by Christine Abiba
To Preserve, we must first understand that we are all fighting, fighting to protect ourselves in a world that has taught us to adapt to survive. The function of preservation is to sustain who we are. We must recognize how trauma, vulnerability, and suffering in their most intense manifestations are essential because they are the demons that teach us. Teach us the necessity of pain as experiences that unite us, make us human, and make life worth living. It is in our darkest closets and times of complete desolation that we seek something beyond the world of brokenness we are born into. This yearning for something greater, true kapwa.
To Preserve, we must put kapwa in practice. This looks like making room for empathy, recognizing our own limitations. Never forgetting who we are in each other. In the ideal world we are creating, there is be no need for protection. We would recognize our responsibility to walk each other home, not for safety, but for pakikisama. What we would then have is intimacy, what we would then have is love- and that would be stronger than any threat, trauma, or suffering.
If I know anything about being Pinay, I know that it is rooted in an affective sense of love. I know this because it has been given to me- in time, in service, in a different language, in different ways. I know this is love because somehow, I/we have survived.
This online archive is an act of queering Pinayism, preservation, and love.