These are 12 of the 26 works of art created for Project 1: Re-telling/Re-imagining.
The full project description can be found here.
Project 1 CJA:
Project 1 MS:
Project 1 ML:
Reclaiming my identity
My piece is about me trying to identify with my Filipino culture. The girl in the picture is me with an etch sketch. In the etch sketch is a half erased flag of the Philippines, which symbolizes me losing my identity with the Philippines when I came to the United States. Behind me is the Golden Gate Bridge to me the Golden Gate Bridge was the connection that helped me bond back to my Filipino culture. I lived in Marin but went to school in the city and I learned more about the Philippines history attending USF than from my family.
The two pointing hands that are decorated as the US flag and the other the Philippine flag represent me trying to connect the two cultures together through USF. By taking Filipino classes and getting educated from USF, I have allowed myself to be appreciative and happy of my background. Although my family and relatives know nothing about the history of the Philippines, I am happy to educate them and inform them what has happened or is happening in the Philippines and United States. I was born in the Philippines and the airplane was my transportation to arrive but instead of having the airplane come from the Philippines I had it travel from the United States to the Philippines. In a way the airplane is going back to the roots of where I came from and reclaiming my identity, my culture, and my history.
The pictures that I put on my piece, for instance the cross and sword combined together resembles the colonization of the Philippines from Spain. This symbol is what makes me angry and wonder at the same time because it makes me not want to be Catholic because it was something that was forced on the people to believe in.
Project 1 JT:
Project 1 MAS:
Project 1 Val Fernandez:
Luzviminda is the matriarch of the Philippines. No, skip that. She is the Philippines (if the Philippines were a woman that is). She is strong. She has survived it all. As the Native Guns song “Promise” goes, she has been “used and abused by both friends and enemies.” But despite this all, Luzviminda remains the same nurturing and vibrant mother she always has. She welcomes back her children that leave her for other lands and better opportunities (the same lands that have raped and abused her.) To her children, she makes them promise that they come back and visit her and to not be gone too long. This is Luzviminda. This is the motherland. This is the Philippines.
This piece is a vision of what I myself picture in my head when I hear Luzviminda. Childhood memories of attending the fiesta of Our Lady of Penafrancia and having white girls make faces of my bag of shrimp chips during recess are were some of the moments in my life when I just couldn’t help but feel Filipino. Partaking in cultural events and eating stereotypical foods were the pinnacle and extent of my knowledge of Filipino culture. I was young, naive, and did not realize that there was a whole history and culture that had not yet been revealed to me.
Then in college, I was introduced to Luzviminda. She was no longer just a land of pirated DVDs, Chowkings, and papaya soap. She was something. She was history. And she was beautiful. I’d like you to meet her.
Project 1 JI:
This piece may look simple, but is complicated in my eyes. The two photographs in the middle are the wedding pictures of my grandparents on my mother and father’s side. I specifically chose these photographs because the union of each couple represents the start of their hopes and dreams that they had for their children, grandchildren, and many generations to come. I chose four symbols of what I thought my lolos and lolas wanted for their children in the U.S. I knew that they typically thought of the U.S. as the “land of opportunity.” Although they themselves were not able to come, they had plans for their offspring.
The first symbol is the cross which represents religion and the close tie to the Catholic faith. The second symbol is money which represents wealth and well-being that “all will experience in the states.” The nursing cap represents an education and a degree, specifically in the medical field, that my lolos and lolas wanted for their children to be successful, education that the Philippines may not be able to provide. The last symbol is the marriage of a Filipino couple. My grandparents want nothing more than for their children to grow up in the states and raise a traditional all Filipino family.
All these symbols have been torn apart. The reason for this is to represent the struggle, imperfection, and alternate pathways to these dreams my parents, my sister, and I have taken trying to fulfill their dreams. The flag in the background is a blend of the Filipino and American flags. The imperfection of the spacing and painting of this flag also symbolizes the struggle my parents, as the first immigrants, and I, as the first American-born generation have in connecting my grandparents’ hopes and dreams to ours. The flag has also been drawn horizontally to have the red running down. This symbolizes the blood, sweat, and tears that my grandparents, my parents, and I have in common in striving to becoming better.
Project 1 Hazel Benigno:
The Filipino and Filipino-American identity is one of both contradictions and harmony, a blend of the traditional and modern. For my project, I chose to represent these contradictions by juxtaposing light and dark, nature and city, soft edges and sharp lines, and woman and man. However, this co-existing harmony that also unites them is represented by the bamboo sticks that the couple dances between, as well as the bamboo bridge that connects them. This bridge is representative of the fact that one can often bridge the gap between the past and present by something as seemingly simple as dancing.
Although the Tinikling is not the national dance, I chose to center my piece around it because it has become so popularized and is one of the few dances I have heard of with such varied explanations. The three main stories I have heard are either of the dancers imitating a bird, a dance cultivated from a cruel punishment for farmers, or a couple proving their agility and eligibility for marriage. This reflects upon the fact that much of Filipino history is an oral tradition and though the story may not always be correct, all our varied stories, like the personal histories of the individuals who contribute to the Filipino culture, are still able to come together in one dynamic moment; in this case, dancing. Though modern times may lead us away from our original culture, it is still essentially ours to claim, should we choose to recognize it. As Alleluia Panis wrote, “we search for our own particular cultural continuum that is uniquely our own.”
Project 1 JD:
Project 1 Lester Banatao:
For my project, I wanted to focus on how Filipinos and Filipino-Americans bridge the literal gap and make connections between the Philippines and the United States. The different ways they connect can be applied to the Philippines and any other country in the world as well. The Philippines and the United States, specifically, have had a long and twisting history together. From the days of the Philippine Revolution to today's immigration and Filipino veterans fighting for equal benefits, the 7,000 mile Pacific divide is made a little less wide by advances in communication, travel, and the never ending passing down of Filipino traditions.
The biggest part of my piece, I believe, is how these images illustrate the journey of my own family. Their dream, as with many Filipino immigrants, is to provide for a better life for their children and grandchildren. By all accounts, that dream has come true.
Project 1 MCC:
Project 1 DC: