Our Journey is Your Journey…

by alex

The flight over was uneventful, except that again I didn’t get any sleep… not til the last leg (Tokyo to Manila) at least. So basically in my tired stupor I had a lot of time to think about what was to come.

This project marks the first time I got an art grant, so I should probably explain the concept we came up with a little bit.  The starting point was basically a seemingly simple question:

What would our lives be like if our parents and/or ourselves didn’t migrate to Canada? (I personally came over with my parents when I was two years old.)

My Mum and I preparing to fly to Toronto (1977).

I’m sure I’m not the only person that’s ever thought about it.  I’m sure I’m not the only one curious about what he would have been.  And I’m sure I’m not the only one who later sought to learn about the land and culture he had come from.

Who am I?  What kind of place did I come from?  What does it mean to be ‘Filipino?’

These are the kinds of questions that have led up to me being the person I am now.  As some of you know I’m involved with the Filipino community, not just as an artist, but as an advocate for both Fil-Can and Philippine issues.  I figure a lot of this interest was born from all my times being a balikbayan and exploring my identity.  It often saddens me that so many other Filipino youth that were born and/or raised in Canada don’t seem to have a strong attachment to their people, land, and culture.

I’m fairly convinced that a lot of this has to do with the fact that many have either never been back home, or if they have, they’ve only been as tourists.  And to come to the Philippines as a tourist is to come as a foreigner, doing this ensures that you never truly connect with what it means to be a Filipino.

One of our goals is to show the Philippines as honestly as possible to our brothers and sisters who call the West home.

This is going to be a journey.  So let’s see where this takes us shall we?

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4 Comments

  1. congratulations on your art grant!

    i like this: “And to come to the Philippines as a tourist is to come as a foreigner, doing this ensures that you never truly connect with what it means to be a Filipino.”

    i’m looking forward to voyeuristically experiencing the Philippines as a non-Filipino

  2. oops! i meant, non-tourist. whaa whaa

  3. To fully understand and truly capture the essence of your identity is to immerse yourself in the chaos and let things happen. Let it flow and it will come to you. Culture conflict could be an issue but its healthy. Its desirable.

  4. @carmenleilani on Twitter recommended your blog site and so I checked it out. I am completely intrigued by your trip to the islands to experience a new, coming home. I will anxiously wait for your newest entries on this blog. @carmenleilani may call this another contribution to the “Balikbayan Renaissance.” Mabuhay…at Ingat!


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