‘Salamat’ is a Tagalog word that means ‘Thank you.’ I am starting 2010, a new year that marks a new decade, with gratitude to those who have encouraged me to express myself in various media.
I was originally thinking of naming this blog, ‘brown boy’s burdens’ inspired by my experiences as an international student in the United States. In 2007, I started the Ph.D. Geography Program at the University of Washington. This year marked a significant shift in my life, when my academic career took a reflexive turn as I started to grapple with identity issues such as being a ‘brown’ ‘boy’ learning academic tactics of a Western thought. I used to think that being a scholar ‘from’ the Global South presents multiple burdens in the practice of academic knowledge production (I will share my opinion on this issue in future posts) but now, I strategically embrace and use this ‘identity’ to empower my politics and social agenda. I chose ‘blues’ over ‘burden’ not just because ‘blue’ is my favorite color but because ‘blues’ refer to states of melancholy that I have learned to capitalize to inspire me write, think and express myself. It is a state where sadness and disappointment meet critique and expression which will hopefully provoke thinking of various ways toward ‘emancipation’. As I continuously consume works of other scholars and attempt to create emotional-analytic-critical states of being, I seem to always feel a mixture of anxiety, anger and a sense of spiritual liberation that eventually feeds my passion to express myself (now, through mainstream academic work).
I see my blog, ‘Brown boy’s blues’, as an attempt to share my ‘light bulb’ moments that fall within a range, from ‘blues’ – problematics – to praxis – offerings of action toward emancipation.
Salamat to everyone who has given me the opportunity to live, think and let my spirit speak. And…salamat…to Darin for encouraging me to put up my own blog. Cheers!