Category Archives: 2010-2011

My Fremont Friend

By Joseph T. Enriquez

His name is Duy Ha and he‘s full Vietnamese.
With parents originating from hardworking and traditional families.

His mother moved over after Saigon had fallen
To a Communist government that forced the lives of those around them.

The mother, forced to leave her family behind.
His father moved to the U.S. in search of a better life.
For this family, all they longed for was the American Dream
But sometimes dreams are not really as they seem.
Check it, a friend of mine since elementary school.
He lived a wholesome life with very little to do
Except, get good grades and a solid education.
His older brother Huy lived by the same rotation.
The father goes to work and plays the role of breadwinner.
The mother does the finance, cleans and cooks dinner.
―It‘s a pretty nuclear household,‖ my friend had stated.
But sometimes that kind of thinking can become overrated.
He‘s more American now rather than Vietnamese.
But still continues to worship his ancestors as he bows to his knees.

After this presentation put Duy Ha on the spot,
He hopes that hearing his story ya‘ll have learned a lot.

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Filed under 2010-2011, Poems

10

By: Joseph T. Enriquez

Through the past 10 weeks of internship Ben Paz has been teaching me,
What is the meaning of politics? Knowledge equals identity.
So many lessons and words come to my mind.
No History, No Self.
After producing all of our speak outs, identity is what I find.
Know History, Know self.
It‘s not all about the facts and dates crummy teachers have force-fed us so we can regurgitate.
It‘s about the Soma Tours, Veteranos Week, Pinayism, LGBTQQI, Little Manila and ―Standing on the shoulders of those who came before us‖ so that we can appreciate.
It‘s a thing we call Kapwa, the Filipino thang.
It‘s the shared connection between us all, a family, that makes me wanna say… dang!
I thank God for all of the friends I have been blessed, to name a few, Julz, Gerald, Arjay and Jan.
After internship I feel I can truly, confidently, with humility and my dignity, say I am a Filipino American.

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Filed under 2010-2011, Poems

Me For Now

By: Joseph T. Enriquez

There‘re so many things I want to share and say,
Stories and lessons bringing my knowledge to a brighter day.
Every week, every workshop asked, ―Who are you?‖
Who I am is something people seem to misconstrue.
To start off the list, I‘ll say my favorite color is blue.
I have tended to lean away from change, preferring the older from the new.
Ten weeks ago, when I started internship.
I had no idea the revelation that I would experience,
Like eating fries with a side of ranch dip.
Meeting all of these new faces for that first time, I had fear and its-
– Amazing to see how much I‘ve grown to be,
Curious, ambitious- trying to hone a mind that‘s free.
Before we created all of these pieces that represent who we are,
I was freaking out.
Releasing the demons from the jar.
Through all these mediums that we‘ve been speaking out-
Though I have become a Filipino-American who is more confident.
I have grown each day in each workshop while I pay me rent.
I want to end this with a bit of poetry,

A thank you segment to all yall‘s hearts from me.
I‘m thankful for all of the times I‘ve had,
Going from fad to fad, passing the crazies and mad.
I‘m thankful for all of those family moments,
And knowing when I‘m in trouble it‘s okay to go home. It‘s-
– Awesome to know that no matter what I do,
You all will continue to care with a love that is true.
I always wonder why I do what I do,
And why I have done what I have done.
Could it have to do with my favorite color being blue?
Knowledge is identity and politics is power.
I am just another Filipino who loves to sing in the shower.
Dancing hip-hop, Filipino folk and ballroom is my passion.
This college life seems to be a rush on the fast lane.
To all of the coordinators, you all have changed my future.
I always question the reason for why we all have sutures.
Because my brain can‘t be held down by a skull that can‘t expand.

I have so many aspirations at the palm of my hands.
So many decisions to make or break,
So many projects to complete or fake,
The future is something said to not be written in stone.
I hope that after all this we‘ll all still talk on the phone.

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Filed under 2010-2011, Poems

My (Waiting) Self

By: Herman Chau

 

Rust beneath embitters.
Languid tears laze with foolish tell,
But I shall bear till
Spring‘s zephyr envelopes me with sweet caress.

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Filed under 2010-2011, Poems

Watsonville is in the Heart

By Dioscoro R. Recio

The sun emits brilliant shades of green through apple trees across Freedom Blvd
Mother Earth tilts on her axis helping me to remember

Doors swing open to the Filipino Community hall exposing my youth
I am pulled in by all of my aunties and uncles like chloroplasts gathering sunlight
I am their Balikbayan box in an apple crate
Women caress my skin for smoothness
Men grip my arm for firmness
I am their very own

A maturing sprout amongst withered trees who have endured the winter storms
Falling to the ground as a ripe apple does exploding with feelings

of conviction and forgiveness
of silence and reverence
of shame and pride

Xylem and phloem flow through my veins
from my roots
to my core

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Remembering Our Interconnectedness

By: Mary Thi Pham

It‘s nearing midnight, and there‘s quiet except for my fan blowing the rising steam from my flesh.

My body, nothing more than a shell on borrowed time in this realm, sits and waits for decay, sickness, and death.

Death—no one can face this fate for me. No one can come with me to ease the way.
I came into this world alone because of a tenacious clinging to a life that‘s merely a mirage.
And now, because of this craving for pleasure, I pick up the only tool I know how to use—my pen.
Spinning words on a page that no one will ever read or think is worthy, I write.

For no one, but my own means and selfish pleasures. This is what brought me here in the first place.
Tenacious clinging to a world that despite all its diversions cannot keep me from remembering.
I will let this self-cherishing die away because it keeps me separate from you, and you, and you.
I remember of a place long ago where concepts such as: “self-cherishing and “self-loathing” didn‘t exist.

I remember never being alone because “I” never existed separate from “you” and “we” cherished one another.

Not the way lovers do, but the way the gardener weeded out all the bad seeds that nestled into our roots and polluted the pure beings that we are. I remember never feeling alone or not loved.
I remember that there was no power, no hatred, no greed, no delusions, no sorrow, no prisoners, no captors, no divisions, and no trespasses.

I remember there being no laws; we weren‘t governed by words, logic, and policies; we were governed by love, by wisdom, and by compassion.

I remember the sacredness in “me,” in “you,” in “them,” and in “us.”

Do you remember it, too?

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Filed under 2010-2011, Poems

Diaspora

By: Mary Thi Pham

Lost in a nation with fleeting diversions

I find no solace in this minority fusion

This free

America

Incessantly reminding me

Of the shame

On my skin

This culture

Of color

This Immigrant

Nation

Not exactly home,

But a station for me to rest

My anatomy of pain

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Filed under 2010-2011, Poems