Theme: Recapturing the spirit of 1986 People Power Revolution and What It Means to Me as a Filipino-American.
Length of essay: 700 - 1000 words (not including bibliography, if needed); typed double-spaced, in Arial, Times or Times New Roman font, 12 point size.
Please submit in PDF format to firstname.lastname@example.org by
Deadline: February 20, 2016, 8:00 p.m., Pacific Daylight Savings time.
The contest is open to Filipino-Americans, aged 18 - 30, and residents of the U.S.A.
The following are excluded from participating in the contest: Philippine Consulate staff, PAWA Board members, the People Power @ 30 Organizing Committee, community partners and their families, and writers with a book credit in Books in Print, up to January 31, 2016.
The contest will be judged by a group composed of PAWA members. Essays will be judged on presentation of ideas, style, clarity and coherence.
Cash prizes: $500 for First Place (ABS-CBN award); $200 for second (Inquirer.net award); and $100 for third (Philippine American Press Club award). In addition, Certificate(s) of Recognition, selected books from the PAWA catalog, and if local residents, comp admission to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. The first place winner will also receive one signed copy each of the new (2016) books by authors Myles Garcia and Mila De Guzman, with subjects relative to the event. The winning essay will be read at the Philippine People Power commemorative event at the Consulate General of the Philippines in San Francisco on February 25th.
Winners grant permission to PAWA, all media sponsors and partners to publish their winning essay.
Please copy the following at the end of your email submission:
“By this submission and attaching my printed name hereto, I declare that I am a resident of the United States of America, 18 to 30 years of age, and that the above entry is the original work-product and of my own creation. I also give permission to PAWA, its media sponsors and partners , for no extra compensation, to publish my essay if it is selected.”
Name: ______________________ Date submitted: ____________, 2016
Important: Please provide email, telephone number, physical address, and clear photo (JPEG, PDF) of your State ID or Driver License, or current student ID at a college/university.
If the organizers cannot reach the first-place winner due to incorrect and unclear contact info, we reserve the right to select and move on to the next winning essay on the list. Thus, please make sure your Contact info are correct and working.
Good luck to all entrants. Mabuhay!
My search for community was resolved upon the start of my college experience. While choosing colleges, I visited the UC Berkeley campus and noted the presence of a Filipino student organization -- a place I knew could call a home away from home. I wasn’t wrong. Throughout my involvement with Cal’s Filipino community, I’ve been able to grapple with my identity alongside a supportive network of individuals striving to do the same. I was in awe at the spirit of students reaching beyond their academic commitments to discuss topics like Filipino beauty standards and US military presence in the Philippines, simultaneously pushing for campus diversity and each other’s development as community leaders.
I took the exploration of my Filipino identity beyond campus borders; in fact, beyond the nation’s borders. During the summer of 2015, I was privileged to participate in Kaya Collaborative’s Summer Fellowship Program. For two months, I lived and worked in Manila, immersing myself in the nation’s rich history, culture and camaraderie. In a span of two months, I developed a relationship with the Philippines that I never had during my 13-year upbringing there. I met with government officials, indigenous community leaders and corporate officers, all of whom gave me a better understanding of a country I left, but never forgot. One instance over that summer shook me to realize a dark time in Philippine history, and the strength in community it took to overcome that hardship.
We visited the Bantayog ng Mga Bayani Memorial Museum in Quezon City, dedicated to commemorating those who lost their lives in the fight against Martial Law -- in the fight
for Filipino freedom. The museum took us back to a time often forgotten today, when freedom was not a right for all as much as it was a privilege for a few. In seeing clips of the EDSA protests, to the engraved names of the People Power Revolution martyrs -- including Benigno Aquino -- I was crippled with emotion at the hardship endured by so many, of which I knew so little about. How could I enjoy my freedom without remembering the strife it took to have it?
In reflecting on the struggles for Philippine freedom, I realized that the value central to the People Power Revolution and movements throughout Philippine history was one I practice in my own daily life: unity. It is unity that allowed the Filipino people to topple down a repressive dictatorship during the 1986 People Power Revolution. It is unity that allows Overseas Filipino Workers across the globe to come together in spite of separation from their families. It is unity that allows Filipino students to stand together at their campuses, pushing for diversity and representation.
Historical events such as the People Power Revolution inevitably become more and more distant in the minds of Filipinos with each passing day. We wake up to face not the past, but the present -- society’s current events. As for myself, a 1.5 generation, queer, Filipino American immigrant, at the threshold of entering the work force, martial law and the Marcos regime are not an imminent concern, thanks to those that fought during the People Power Revolution. With this freedom comes the ability to self-determine my future and reach for my dreams. As I step beyond the comfort zone of UC Berkeley’s Filipino community,
it is the spirit of unity that will continue to serve as a means of support and strength in my pursuit of such goals.
Within the campus Filipino community, we practice a cliché: “When one falls, we all fall, but when one rises, we all rise.” As a Filipino American, the legacy of the 1986 People Power Revolution lives on till this day through the unity embodied by Filipino students, OFWs and communities alike, across the world. It is unity that supports us in our individual pursuits, knowing that there are people there to catch us when we fall, and cheer us on as we rise.