pag-asaharibon:

How Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales’ ‘Pinayism’ seeks to inspire women to stand up for themselves

Her GPA in high school was 1.8. And yet even with a lackluster academic performance leading to a two-year stint at a community college, Dr. Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales mustered enough determination to get accepted at UC Berkeley receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies in 1993 and seven years later a Ph.D. in Education from UCLA.
“My high school life was something not to brag about but I tell my students about my struggles as a young Filipina American to give them strength to get moving on with their life — despite low grades, growing up problems, mixed cultural heritage, troubled identity,” she told an audience of young Filipino Americans.
Cubales was the keynote speaker of the 7th Annual Summit Conference of the Southern California Pilipino American Student Alliance (SCPASA) and the Katipunan Pilipino Student Organization held February 8 at UC Riverside. The summit was attended by more than 500 college students, mostly second-generation FilAms, from Southern California to Nevada.
A petite, attractive mother from San Francisco, Allyson cited an article she authored in 1995 on “Pinayism,” which centered on the teaching of studies on Filipino women (Pinays) – including their history and their contemporary experiences.
What are the struggles of Pinays in America?
What surfaced in her response were issues examined in a study she co-authored with Jocyl Sacramento for the AmerAsian Journal. She shared with TheFilAmLA how issues, such as sexism and sex-trafficking, domestic violence, high rates of breast cancer, teen pregnancy, eating disorders, are among the concerns of Filipino American women.
She said there are studies and emerging data indicating that Filipina girls have a significant suicide rate compared to the general population.
“This is caused by the social pressure and the challenges they face from unplanned pregnancy, high incidence of AIDS; being domestic workers with basically no labor rights; being mail-order brides.” And always, she added, this has been a problem for both Pinays and Pinoys of the second generation.
“I was not proud to be a Filipino as I was growing up,” she said, which affected her grades and developed in herself an attitude of alienation.
She said her “epiphany” came upon reading “America is in the Heart,” by Carlos Bulosan which has now become her “bible.” The book drove her to study more about her past as a Filipino American and inspired her to reach out to others urging them to fight for their rightful place in this country.
“I later learned from my parents that my grandfather was a farm worker,” she said. “Our kids have to learn and know about our past; the important contribution of Filipinos in this country; the labor farm movement; the waves of immigration and their important contributions to America. This is the only way we can build on our present and affect the future of our communities.”
She encouraged her audience to find their identity and to center their life experience on community work.
“Resist oppression of all kinds, most of all resist oppression to yourselves,” she said.
Allyson has published several books and articles focusing on Philippine American studies and the development of an ethnic studies curriculum in universities.
Among her numerous awards are the 2006 Distinguished Young Alumnus from UCLA and the2008 San Francisco State Faculty Award for Community Service Learning. In 2010, she received the Distinguished Faculty Award, one of the highest awards given to members of academe. She was recently named one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World by the Filipina Women’s Network.





So proud to call her my Ate and mentor. I stand on the shoulders of amazing people.

pag-asaharibon:

How Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales’ ‘Pinayism’ seeks to inspire women to stand up for themselves

Her GPA in high school was 1.8. And yet even with a lackluster academic performance leading to a two-year stint at a community college, Dr. Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales mustered enough determination to get accepted at UC Berkeley receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies in 1993 and seven years later a Ph.D. in Education from UCLA.

“My high school life was something not to brag about but I tell my students about my struggles as a young Filipina American to give them strength to get moving on with their life — despite low grades, growing up problems, mixed cultural heritage, troubled identity,” she told an audience of young Filipino Americans.

Cubales was the keynote speaker of the 7th Annual Summit Conference of the Southern California Pilipino American Student Alliance (SCPASA) and the Katipunan Pilipino Student Organization held February 8 at UC Riverside. The summit was attended by more than 500 college students, mostly second-generation FilAms, from Southern California to Nevada.

A petite, attractive mother from San Francisco, Allyson cited an article she authored in 1995 on “Pinayism,” which centered on the teaching of studies on Filipino women (Pinays) – including their history and their contemporary experiences.

What are the struggles of Pinays in America?

What surfaced in her response were issues examined in a study she co-authored with Jocyl Sacramento for the AmerAsian Journal. She shared with TheFilAmLA how issues, such as sexism and sex-trafficking, domestic violence, high rates of breast cancer, teen pregnancy, eating disorders, are among the concerns of Filipino American women.

She said there are studies and emerging data indicating that Filipina girls have a significant suicide rate compared to the general population.

“This is caused by the social pressure and the challenges they face from unplanned pregnancy, high incidence of AIDS; being domestic workers with basically no labor rights; being mail-order brides.” And always, she added, this has been a problem for both Pinays and Pinoys of the second generation.

“I was not proud to be a Filipino as I was growing up,” she said, which affected her grades and developed in herself an attitude of alienation.

She said her “epiphany” came upon reading “America is in the Heart,” by Carlos Bulosan which has now become her “bible.” The book drove her to study more about her past as a Filipino American and inspired her to reach out to others urging them to fight for their rightful place in this country.

“I later learned from my parents that my grandfather was a farm worker,” she said. “Our kids have to learn and know about our past; the important contribution of Filipinos in this country; the labor farm movement; the waves of immigration and their important contributions to America. This is the only way we can build on our present and affect the future of our communities.”

She encouraged her audience to find their identity and to center their life experience on community work.

“Resist oppression of all kinds, most of all resist oppression to yourselves,” she said.

Allyson has published several books and articles focusing on Philippine American studies and the development of an ethnic studies curriculum in universities.

Among her numerous awards are the 2006 Distinguished Young Alumnus from UCLA and the2008 San Francisco State Faculty Award for Community Service Learning. In 2010, she received the Distinguished Faculty Award, one of the highest awards given to members of academe. She was recently named one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World by the Filipina Women’s Network.

So proud to call her my Ate and mentor. I stand on the shoulders of amazing people.

Back to Skewl (aka Don’t Call it a Comeback, I’ve Been Here for YEARS)

I started courses for my grad program this week. It feels fucking good to be a student again. It really took me taking a year off to realize how much I missed going to class (not just to teach) and to be on that learningstudyingreading vibe. Already there is a pile of readings waiting for me. It all needs to be done, but I feel like I have to pause and reflect on this moment in the beginning of my journey.

I’m excited, hopeful, I feel ready to get to work! In saying that, I want to make sure that I keep my purposeful intentions constantly on check and keep the productivity at a steady/healthy pace. 

A few things that I’ve committed to myself in entering the master’s program:

-Be organized. Record everything, keep to-do lists and follow-through 

-Balance work and home life. In the past, I found myself putting too much energy into work and neglected time with family and friends. I want to put in the extra effort to be engaging and present within all the spaces I consider important.

-Pack food! I will attempt to bring healthy and delicious “baon” everyday I am on campus. I will allow myself to buy a caffeinated beverage or other treats once a week.

-Werk! In terms of getting my shit done and still lookin’ cute. It just struck me while I was going to my first class that, damn…I am living out my dream. Not many know what they want to pursue or even have the opportunity. I feel so blessed to have the chance to do this. ”Work like your life depends on it.”  Not just work, but bringing out your BEST work. “Strive to do your best in all you do so no one can say shit to you.” So WERK!

-Be humble. During grad orientations, the second year cohort came by to do a round table discussion of their experience in the program. When giving out advice someone said, “You may have been the most knowledgeable student in your undergrad classes that knew all the answers. Don’t come into seminars thinking that—there will be others smarter than you, especially at this level. Come in to the space with the attitude that you just want to learn and improve your research/knowledge/skills.” 

-Accept that there will be difficult points and struggle, but there’s also joy and hope in the work being done.

-FUCKIN’ read, read, READ.

-Reflect. As much as it’s important to be submerged in work, I want to also make an effort to record my process and experience— the up’s and down’s—especially on here.

I want to go to UC Berkeley. I’m going to be a lawyer. I won’t have kids until I’m married. I’ll ask Oprah to be the godmother of my kids when I’ve become famous in the rap game.

A fifth grader shared with me an entry she wrote in her personal journal. Go ahead with your lawyer-rapper self.
Student: Shut up! Y'all are hecka irritating!
Me: Excuse me, can you try that again? How can you say that in a more respectful way?
Student: Um...PLEASE shut up?
Me: -_-

Tests

The kids are taking the CST’s (California Standardized Testing) this week. The amount of work and preparation that goes into the tests is insane. Every Thursday since February, my 4th and 5th grade kids have been told to basically do nothing in my homework class but read. It’s to build their stamina up for the testing. A few students take to it no problem, but a few also struggle with it. I don’t blame them. You’re at your after school program, you’ve been sitting in class all day— the last thing you want to do is sit still to read. 

And teachers are STILL expected to prepare work for their classes (albeit, very light and less difficult work) to do for after the testing. 

Everyone seems to just be trudging along this week due to all the extra mental and physical energy being put into the the testing. On top of that it’s been raining; students don’t even have the chance to go outside and release all the pent-up stress. 

I ask some kids about how the testing’s going. Some are blase about the whole thing. A few have expressed their worries and anxieties about taking the tests. Not everyone is strong at taking tests, especially a booklet-worth of bubbling in letters. I empathize—especially having just recently taken the CSET and CBEST, both being heavy on multiple choice. I cannot count how many times I looked at a problem and thought, “How do they expect me to study for all THIS!” But it’s a hard issue to negotiate. How can I let students know that they just need to try their best but at the same time not worry too much as it’s ultimately a fucked up way of trying to discern their and their school’s performance. 

Hoping that the sun will come out tomorrow. These kids deserve to play.

Wellness Days

Whenever I have to see the GI, I will take the day off from work. It’s a luxury that I’m fortunate to be able to take. Going to the doctor can take all day, especially when you’re at the mercy of free healthy care (thank you, San Francisco). I’ve been in circumstances where I’ve waited two hours to be only seen for less than fifteen minutes. Not to mention having to wait for prescription at General, it can be whole day’s worth of waiting. But I’m glad for the free health care, glad that all the procedures and trips to the ER have been taken care for. Glad that I don’t have to pay for medication that might otherwise be too expensive for my budget. I really do feel fortunate to live in such a progressive city. Now if only such a concept was a available to EVERYONE in this country, then we’d be a much healthier and happier group of people.

Right after the GI appointment, I’ve also got a session with the therapist. Not sure yet what route our discussion will go into today. Hoping to gain new understandings and perspective.

Ulcerative Colitis and Teaching

For people with IBD, the assurance of being able to get to the nearest restroom (you know, just in case) is so necessary. But what if you’re in charge of thirty elementary school students that can’t just be left unattended at any given time? It’s the issue I’ve got to deal with everyday I’m at work.

Everyday, I think about logistics that a person without IBD wouldn’t have to think about if they’re working at a school. I’m lucky enough to have a partner in the classroom (I do homework help at an afterschool program), so often I can just excuse myself when necessary. But then there are times when said partner will need to leave the room to do something, and my mind will go into panic mode. That’s the anxiety I’ve developed because of the UC. Even when I’m feeling perfectly fine (not feeling sick, not in a flare), when a situation arises that I am unable to have access to a restroom, I’ll begin to get panicky.

And so during each work day, instances will arise that will create these feelings of panic and anxiety. Feelings that have are from having ulcerative colitis.

And herein lies the complication— I just thoroughly enjoy being in the school setting and I do love teaching. I’ve always considered a career as a teacher. But having a chronic illness really affects my relationship to the field and how I locate myself within the teaching space. I wonder how different my whole way of teaching would be if I wasn’t diagnosed with UC. I work four hours a day at the program now. And sometimes the stress that comes with it is already so overwhelming. How will I be able to cope doing it full-time?

Even with having the feeling of not being ready enough, I began preparing to apply to teaching credential programs, even taking the CSET and the CBEST. But I kept stalling on actually applying to a specific school. I didn’t feel confident that I’d be able to commit my best efforts to a credential program and teaching in an elementary school afterwards.

After reflecting on my goals, I realized— being an elementary school teacher wasn’t the only option. I can get an MA and even a phd and teach at the college level. I can still be a nerd about education and creating curriculum, but it’ll just be in a different space and through different application.

Coping with UC has never gotten easier. Negotiating my aspirations with having a condition is still a work in progress too. I’m just thankful that I can even have the options of going back to school and working, as these things could very well not be possible in a different situation.

Two Days Back After Spring Break

Students are getting prepared for standardized testing. They’re coming in with homework involving answering questions via multiple choice/answer/guess.

About a dozen kids have come up to me everyday to ask me to donate to a little girl with cancer. I’m unsure if this child goes to the school. Must investigate further. Must find clever way to choose which student I’ll donate to.

Discovered there is a furlough this Friday. I’m already taking Thursdays off because I have an appointment with the GI and Therapist. Meaning I have a 4 day weekend. Meaning my bank account is silently weeping.

Had awkward conversation with 5th graders about what their understanding of rape is. They get the gist of it at least.

Had to talk to a student’s parent (actually her older sister) about attitude issues. I always come out of talking with parents wishing I said something more.

Family-time Visits

It’s always a nice change of pace to leave SF for Arizona.
For one, I get to spend time with family and eat my mother’s cooking. I also get to dig out my warm weather clothes (tank tops, sun dresses, sandals, you know the cute shit.) and be able to wear them out here no problem. Plus, coming out to the suburbs is a good change in scenery for a while when living in the city full time . Exploring different malls, eating places, and ‘lo there is parking EVERYWHERE!

Even though I went to elementary and middle school in AZ, there was a point when I was 15 that I made the decision to claim the Bay as my True Home. If anything, Arizona has evolved into a place to recenter and refocus. I spent time here during to get my ulcerative colitis under control. Six whole months of just resting, getting treatment, trying to gain the weight I lost back. Now when I come back, it’s because I have time off from work (the kids have spring break right now so I get a week off too). I can easily just go off the grid for a while, especially since my mother has no cable or reliable source of Internet. If I didn’t have 3G on my phone, I’d be completely out of the loop. But I don’t mind. I get a lot of reading and writing done. I get a lot of sleep in. I get a lot of eating of nanay’s cooking in—enough to carry me till the next time I return.

Mah Period’s Ah-Comin’

I know this because I start craving food combinations that I otherwise wouldn’t think of.

Example, today I felt like just eating-all-the-things. I had:

1) thin mints
2) milk tea from Quickly
3) mocha frappacinno
3) pork rinds
4) kare kare
5) sisig
6) corned beef and cabbage

I basically ate the thin mints as a side to each meal. Since I didn’t go out, I treated myself to tea and frap. Usually these are big no-no’s since they have a tendency to hate my tummy. But I indulged today.

I’ve also been craving elote. I ate one when we were at the taco shop and I don’t know if it was just the drunk muchies but it was hella good. I might just have to make a trip to the mission and buy one. Or four.