Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Alive" (P.O.D.)

Everyday is a new day
I'm thankful for every breath that I take
I won't take you for granted (I won't take you for granted)
So I learn from my mistakes
It's beyond my control
Sometimes it's best to let go
Whatever happens in this lifetime
So I trust in love (So I trust in love)
You have given me peace of mind

I, I feel so alive for the very first time
I can’t deny You
I feel so alive
I, I feel so alive for the very first time
And I think I can fly

Sunshine upon my face (Sunshine upon my face)
A new song for me to sing
Tell the world how I feel inside (tell the world how I feel inside)
Even though it might cost me everything
And now that I know this, so beyond, I can't hold this
It's like I can never turn my back away
And now that I’ve seen You (and now that I see You)
I can never look away

I, I feel so alive for the very first time
I can’t deny You
I feel so alive
I, I feel so alive for the very first time
And I think I can fly

And now that I know You (I could never turn my back away)
And now that I see You (I could never look away)
And now that I know You (I could never turn my back away)
And now that I see You (I believe no matter what they say)

I-I feel so alive (feel so alive)
for the very first time (for the very first time)
for the very first time, and I think I can fly.
I-I feel so alive (feel so alive)
for the very first time and I think I can fly,
and I think I can fly, and I think I can fly

30 Day Challenge, Day 2: The meaning behind your blogger name

the UNchecked other refers to both my being hapa and ethnicity/race identification government forms.  In some forms, there is a box called other in lieu of multiracial/multiethnic or mixed. It may sound silly to some and maybe something only fellow hapas can truly understand, but I've always rebelled against the checking of any of these neat little boxes. Most of the time I write hapa or mixed, but sometimes I simply write in HUMAN.

To be hapa is to live in the borderlands, and to exist in these amalgam lands means that I refuse to check one box in those optional race questions on forms. To choose one race over the other would be to negate the other parts that make me, me. If I check other, it would imply that hapa people such as myself have no place that warrants being named. In my cultures—Native or otherwise—not having a name means that you neither exist nor matter. Unseen and unheard, you are a ghost, stripped of the dignity of what it is to be human.

Conversely, I refuse to say I am a quarter this, half that, or part these. Hapa identity is a whole identity that is made from whole ethnicities, races, cultures, traditions, and people. I refuse to be divided into neat little fractions. My ancestry comes as a whole and manifests its influence over me in a uniquely all-encompassing hapa way.

With my held held high, I choose to be the UNchecked other.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

30 Day Challenge, Day 1: A recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself

Partly to get my 'okole on the blogging groove again and mostly because one of my friends has hounded me on FB to do one of these things, I've decided to hop on the 30 Day Challenge bandwagon. So here goes...

I attempted to go for the "pensive" look, but ended up with "constipated." Duuuuuuude....

1. As the sidebar of this here blog subtly declares, I'm HAPA, or mixed race. The short version is that my da was Hawaiian-American and my mom's of Spanish, Filipino, AmerIndian and Chinese descent, but was born and raised in the Philippines.

2. I can speak 8 languages fluently and about a dozen if you include the languages that I can speak at an intermediate level.

3. Like dear ole Harry Potter, I look like my dad but have my momma's eyes. 

4. When I was a kid, I was afraid of Santa Claus. I always thought the notion of a stranger keeping tabs on whether you were naughty or nice was stalker-y. Then there's the whole sneaking into the house through the chimney. Yeaaaahhhh....

5. I went to a Catholic school almost all of my life, and I constantly got in trouble for saying that Jesus was a zombie because He rose from the dead after 3 days.

6. I also got in trouble for saying Catholics are cannibals with the whole drinking the blood and eating the body of Christ.

7. It's been about 16 years since I last played the mandolin and bandurria, but when I picked up a mandolin at a music store, it was as though no time has passed. I can still play Church songs from memory. 

8. I cannot whistle or snap my fingers.

9. I'm afraid to light a match or a lighter...totally the opposite of a pyromaniac. 

10. In addition to a shoe and bag addiction, I also collect fountain pens, Filofaxes and angel figurines.

11. My hair used to be almost knee-length, but now I'm addicted to short hair. 

12. My momma is one of my best friends.

13. My other bff and I met in Tibetan Buddhism class.

14. My ultimate goal is to start my own non-profit organization that offers livelihood programs and education for honour crime and conflict survivors. 

15. I really, really, really wanna move to Turkey. Like, right now. But realistically, it'll have to wait until at least next year or so.

Quote of the Week


Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives.. you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours.. You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears. Your sons are now living in our bosom and are in peace. Having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.

--Mustafa Kemal Atatürk 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Quote of the Week


In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer. 

--Albert Camus 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Quote of the Week


Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. 
--Kahlil Gibran  

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Forever and a Day

It feels like it's been forever and a day since I wrote an entry (scheduled quotes don't count). It's certainly not for a lack of things to say. On the contrary, life has been crazy and hectic, and with that, an abundance of things to share. But somehow words seem to fail. Imagine that...the linguist and writer at a loss as to how to frame words, shape memories and thoughts.

So for now, the voice and words of someone else will have to do:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Quote of the Week


People often say that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder,' and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves. 

--Salma Hayek 

We must never permit the voice of humanity
within us to be silenced. It is Man's sympathy with all creatures that first makes him a Man.

--Albert Schweitzer

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

--Viktor E. Frankl