Bettina F. is a Pinay poet from the Bay. She currently attends the University of San Francisco. Catch her art in the latest publication of [m]aganda magazine.
I am filipina skin, honey-dipped eyes, immigrant bones, ancestor flesh. I am preservation, adaptation, and everything that comes next.
What does being pinay mean to me?
One part of it, for me, is ancestry.
LiterallyI wake up every day wishing I was in the Philippines at the Pampanga river. Like, I wish that so badand it definitely makes a difference because I want to be meditating in those spaces. I want to be touchingthe pampanga river going like my ancestors did brave things when the pampanga river overflowed.
So, what makes me stay in truth thats important me is my ancestors.
my ancestors are my lola pon she passed away when i was around12 or 13 or something like. she's definitely an ancestor i talk to.
When i say ancestors, I just don't see her, I see people. I see waters. I see coconuts. I see bamboo. I see the things that sustained my people back in the Philippines, and I really really see spirits when I see my ancestors. they're the people who make my skin They're the people that have the same eye color as me. They're the same people that love rhythm just as much as i do. They're the people who make me, me.
Even though I cant bring a name to them even though i can't bring a body to them I can bring a spirit to them. Their spirit still resides, no matter how abstract it is, I find it very personal to me because when i feel my skin, I feel them.