HEART OF THE MATTER – recorded this one in singapore, a long time ago. circa nineteen kopong-kopong.
i’ve always been pragmatic and practical in my life choices. with my politics, i’ve even been more pragmatic. i think i know where it comes from. in the philippines, where i was born, a lot of people still haven’t given up on the idea of complete devotion to their feudal lords. we follow our leaders no matter what and believe in what they say even if we know they lie. i didn’t buy in. i am a rebel at heart and have never subscribed to blind loyalty
in the presidential election, i will be extra pragmatic. i know what happens to a country when its people don’t think things through.
i feel lucky to have been given the opportunity to be an american. i wasn’t born into it: i chose to be one. it’s different, i guess, when you go out of your way to be something. there is intent and there is purpose.
this is probably the main reason why i take the election seriously.
the first time i voted in an election was in 1986. cory aquino, ninoy’s widow, was running against ferdinand marcos. millions of people were on the streets during the cory rallies, all dressed in yellow, all flasing the “L” hand sign. L for Laban. fight. and fight we did. it eventually took a four day revolution to kick marcos out of the country. but that’s another story for another day. in the meantime, here i am… a veteran of countless elections. countless coups. dying a million times of heartache for a country i used to be a citizen of and still love. now, a citizen of a country that seems in a fight with itself. confused and in a lot of pain. i am voting for the first time, at age 50. i am still thrilled.
i keep hearing clinton and trump campaigning to minorities a lot lately. but i don’t hear them or their surrogates mentioning asian-americans. it’s always muslims, latinos, african americans and mexicans. why is that?
is it because our demographic doesn’t matter? that we’ve integrated so successfully that we’re almost invisible? that we’re so stoic and not as vocal as the other minorities that politicians don’t give a shit?
i became a US citizen on the 11th of august, 2015. that december, i turned 50 years old. this coming november, I will be voting in a US election, for the first time, at 50 years old. it thrills me no end.
it’ll be exciting. the presidential elections is historic in so many ways and here i am, an immigrant, an asian-american, born in the philippines, a radical rabble-rouser, subversive, troublemaker, loud, incendiary, provocateur, rebel. i can’t wait to vote.