This is the first time, in almost a week that I've been home before 12am.
When people ask me what I "do", there are many answers that can come out of my mouth at any given moment. I'm a teacher. I'm a student. I'm an artist. I work on children's storybooks. I model. I act. I write plays. I write poetry. I do photography. I'm an activist.
Today, I'm just tired.
Yesterday, I spent the day at Raised Pinay, selling my latest children's book with all proceeds going to Roots of Health, an organization dedicated to reproductive health justice in the Philippines (hard mission for a country that is Catholic). Today, I spent the morning stage managing an event called Afro-Asian Solidarity & Kinship as part of the Active Archive series with two INCREDIBLE socially engaged theatre artists whose work I super admire and respect. Then, I spent the afternoon at a vigil to mourn the farmers who were recently killed in the Philippines.
The work that I find myself doing is undoubtedly important and I am glad to be doing it. It is also hard and wearing on the soul and it makes me tired. Sometimes, it makes me overeat. Sometimes it makes me feel like I can't eat at all.
My boyfriend is a street magician and he spends his day making people smile and laugh. I'm one of those people. Sometimes, I'm not sure what I would do without his goofy antics to help lighten the mood of my often dark-subject filled days.
Yesterday was one of those days that I felt like I could eat a horse. Today's one of those days when I feel like I can't eat at all. Spending the afternoon learning about the Lumad crisis and about the murders in the country of my ancestors makes me feel sick to my stomach. I keep telling myself that there is only so much we can do, and that I'm doing my best to do that much.
I always try to approach difficult issues through the eyes of a child. One of my main projects right now is called Si Malakas at Si Maganda, a children's storybook project that recounts the Philippine creation story, a story I didn't hear until I was 26, despite the fact that my parents are both Filipino and I grew up with my two grandparents who are also Filipino. I'm interested in mythology, legend and folklore and how it can apply to us today, if it can. What does it teach us? What might we gain from understanding our roots? When I sell the book and talk about diversity and issues of representation, I dress up like one of the characters. Maganda. Maganda is the Tagalog word for beautiful. Here I am in the bathroom of one of yesterday's venues, dressed as Maganda. The costume is inspired by a sprouting bamboo shoot.