Saturday, June 12, 2010

Gift from Mila Anguluan Coger today.

Dearest Leny and Katrin,

Today is Philippine Independence Day.  It is a symbolic day as it is the day that I am finally starting to write the draft to my pilot project, the prelude to my dissertation, after months and months of wandering among reams and reams of Eurocentric theories and frameworks that I feel the academe requires me to use in my proposed study. 

It is my own claim to independence, the act of freeing myself from my own internalized oppression, as a minority PhD student who has been struggling to find meaning and coherence amidst the white dominated academic landscape.  I have been increasingly frustrated going around the circle of these alien theories, seemingly lost and yet now, realizing that this experience is the labyrinth necessary so that I can find my inner self; and in finding, be able to speak my own voice and write my own paper, guided by my own intuitive knowledge and practices of the Filipino indigenous way of life. 

I am once more moved by what you both have written, as they echo with deepest resonance my longing to express who I am and the sacred, timeless space I share with you and with all my other fellow Filipinos and life sojourners. 

Today I declare my writing as grounded on the Kapwa Theory of Transformative Decolonization:  the theory of liberation through indigenization, starting from the self and positing the self as inseparable from a collective bound by ties to the ancient and the sacred.  I shall use this theory as the guiding star that has been accompanying me throughout my journey for freedom and total artistic expression, first in the Philippine homeland, continuing to America , my adopted land, and visioning this position as the springboard to a worldview and movement for Indigenous Liberation through the expressive arts therapies.

Today is my day of declaration of independence.  I pray to Bathala for continuing illumination, strength and perseverance.  I pray for your continuing support, guidance and nurturing. 

I thank you with my tears flowing from the heart.


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