This is a reminder for me. I’m just going to leave this here. Thank you, Ruby! ❤️
A Letter to Filipina Women
I know I’m biased, but I think you are one of the most beautiful women in the world. You and I come from bronze sunsets and islands, of banana leaves and sampaguitas, your grace innate like the waves of the Pacific charting your way back home.
And as you know, the Filipina woman is one magnificent creature. (Yes, go ahead and brush those shoulders off, sis.) 🙂
We are vulnerable and brave, headstrong and persistent, protective and committed to our family and those we love. We grew up knowing how to share our clothes, our food, and our time, taught by tradition that family is first and our most cherished treasure. We extend that love and protection to our cousins and friends, who we openly call our Ates and Kuyas, our brothers and sisters. We come from a culture of family and community, of inclusion and acceptance, and because of this, we’ve mastered the art of hospitality and welcome.
And yet, we know that family can sometimes be a challenge for us too, wanting to please others before ourselves, putting others first. We are taught to sacrifice for the sake of tradition, teetering us off balance as we try and find footing amidst American soil and Philippine roots, trying to find sense of home. We’re taught to silence a lot of our own needs, to view personal needs as secondary and unimportant, following passions as irrational, and dreaming as unreasonable and impractical.
And yet, here we are, pioneering a new generation of empowered Filipinas, launching fashion lines, becoming political leaders, crusading as community organizers, starring in movie roles, dancing on stages of Broadway theaters, running music labels, all the while keeping our culture and courage intact. And I’m fortunate enough to say this is a first hand truth, because I am blessed to be surrounded by those strong Filipina women, holding down their communities from New York to London, from Paris to San Francisco, and inevitably, from Manila to Davao.
It is our time, sisters. And it is our time to find our way back home.
Don’t forget the country that birthed you, the history that is at the core of your truth. Seek your way back to the nation that gave you the black of your hair, the brown of your skin, the gold of your heart. The Philippines is calling sis. She is waiting for you with open arms, welcoming you just as she taught us how. Look to your community to find home.
Lastly, I want you to remember this: the love of a Filipina woman is a force to be reckoned with. We know how to love, deep, true, and real. Filipina women love hard, and we love whole. Any person fortunate enough to have experienced the love of a Filipina woman knows it is not to be taken lightly, but a treasure to be coveted and nurtured. Our strong belief in family and in God transcends our love to levels beyond the imaginable. Use your love wise, and be selective in who you give it to. Protect your love, and most of all, give much of it to yourself. Love yourself whole and complete, knowing that loving self is the root of our ability to give ourselves to the world. You can’t make a difference outside if you haven’t healed yourself within. So indulge, sis, and when you’re ready, share it intently and generously.
You, Filipina women, my sisters, are among the most beautiful in the world. My wish for you is to know your incredible power and own it. It is an honor to be among you.
With love and admiration,