Check In and Working It Out: Against Forgetting

Wow, lapses in blogging have become the norm for me. I told Oscar recently that I missed blogging, and feel I haven’t had a substantial e-space to work out stuff needing working out. I am guilty of becoming the kind of social networking person I dislike — posting up quickie FB updates, oftentimes with minimal context, and oftentimes with very little conversation. The good news is that while kicking my ass, teaching is going very well. I suppose that’s become my space to work stuff out, engage in the kind of necessary dialogue about community and literature.

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Not So Quick Question

(I’ll generally be offline for the next week or so, as I will be traveling; I’m reading with J. Michael Martinez at the Fall for the Book Festival at GMU in Fairfax, VA tomorrow, and then seeing family and friends in NY.)

So, just one (not so) quick question:

Remember back in the day, when everyone wanted to be THE BOMB-ASS PINAY POET? Remember that “Everyone wants to be the next Jessica Hagedorn” attitude that stifled Pinay artist and academic relationships and support systems? Here, I’m alluding to Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales’s work on Pinayism (which has obviously stuck with me in a good and critical way), and thinking on the fact that Jessica, Allyson, and I all very happily spoke at the same event yesterday evening to honor Al Robles, and that each of us shared something particular and distinct.

It was a wonderful event with wonderful energy, with many meaningful things said, and with community folk/extended family in attendance. The house was packed. No one flexed ego on anyone. If folks had baggage, they left it at home or elsewhere. Local college students (and recent grads) were walking around the place afterward, just effervescent, articulating how uplifted they were made to feel. Yesterday evening, something important crystallized for me belatedly — the fact that as Pinays and professionals, we have all worked to become experts or even masters in our own respective fields, that there are indeed many places in which a Pinay can be ambitious, can excel, gain recognition, and we can do so without disenfranchising other Pinays. Therefore, it should no longer be relevant, that impulse to be the singular publicly recognized Pinay. I am hoping that younger generations of Pinay artists, academics, and activists have and will continue to come up more community-minded and simultaneously ambitious.