To My Fellow Filipinos

To my fellow Filipinos
Flesh of my flesh
Blood of my blood
The spirit of culture within me

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To my fellow Filipinos
Flesh of my flesh
Blood of my blood
The spirit of culture within me

I’m sorry that I only remember you
Whenever I need to exoticise my Filipinoness
I’m sorry for putting you in boxes
Boxes that I file away whenever it’s inconvenient
Boxes that I take out only when it suits me
I promise that I will do better

To my fellow Filipinos
Flesh of my flesh
Blood of my blood
The spirit of history within me

Do not forget those who fought for us
The lives that were lost to give us ours
The voices that were silenced so that we could speak
We are accountable to them
Whenever we attempt to strip away our colour
So that our coloniser’s whiteness won’t clash with our skin
Remember Heneral Luna, Jose Rizal, Melchora Aquino, Gabriela Silang
Remember the revolutionaries who have fought for our freedom
Remember the heroes who have died for our survival

To my fellow Filipinos
Flesh of my flesh
Blood of my blood
The spirit of strength within me

Do not believe them 
When they say we are weak
For we are strong
Stronger than our trauma
We are proof of the strength of those who fought for us
We are products of the throats that demanded freedom
The same throats that were slit to appease our oppressors

To my fellow Filipinos
Flesh of my flesh
Blood of my blood
The spirit of language within me

I refuse to anglicise my name when they cannot pronounce it
We have done enough for them
We have twisted and bent our tongues
So that we can wrap it around their language
Our throats burn with the remnants of the trail it has left behind 
We have relinquished parts of ourselves
So that our culture can easily be digested by white stomachs

To my fellow Filipinos
Flesh of my flesh
Blood of my blood
The spirit of my people within me
My blood calls out to yours
We are sons and daughters of  heroes, fighters, and revolutionaries
Do not believe the lie that we are otherwise

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