I am a womyn who is proud of the sunshine in her roots
That rides on the rays that beam from them toward possibility
Who used to pretend positivity,
But now knows no other way to lead her life
Who lives in both joy and sorrow and who is not afraid, ashamed or tries
to hide her tears- I let them gleam and shine like my smile does.
I am Babaylan by bloodline, in my breath and the beating of my heart
I am Pinay ,
“I am Filipino-American,
I am Filipino First”
I look back to move forward, to re-member who I am
And I love every bit of my being
I believe in the womyn that I know I will become
A sister to many, a lover to one, a mother to a blessed number unknown
I believe my art will touch hearts and souls past my lifetime
I worship the sun, she lives inside me and
reminds me that goodness is in my core
I believe that my hands were meant to create-
in this way I believe I am Goddess
And through my art I can make miracles-
I can heal, I can empower, I can envision and connect
the past, present and future, I can beautify humanity.
I want to be rich in experience,
Have wealth in an abundance of
understanding, compassion and faith.
I want to grow in my struggles,
I don’t ever want to deny the seeds of hardship
I will gather them and
plant them in my children’s backbones
so they can grow into sun-flowers of possibility-
Through their hearts to love,
through their hands to create,
and their feet to move forward.
I will because my mother and father did for me.
Because of the love they taught me
That was and is unapologetic, fierce and true.
I will bring light to the world, through all I create, all I stand for
and all the work choose to commit my life to-
For the young people who make me joyful and crazy
For the community who keeps me focused, fierce and feeling
For my family who strengthens me with their unyielding love
And for myself, because I am blessed to be me
And I will, I will, I will,
…do nothing less than shine