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Translated Letters (feat. Jae Jin)

from ashley court (2017) by nak

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Dear Tita: Let’s open discussion

We approaching the truth and we all hoping to touch it

Been a long time coming ‘cause I’m concerned we got separated
 Diverging won’t get us any closer to summit

I remember that chilly night back in Chino

You told me I’m disgracing us Filipinos

‘Cause I was never taught: couldn’t speak Tagalog 

Though we share the same blood: Rizal, Aguinaldo

God knows I tried to beat the anguish. Feeling like

I can’t love the motherland if I don’t speak the language 

Never thought I’d be hated on by my own people

This American dream this freaking whole sequel

What’s a blossom when all the roots are ashamed of it

I’m hardly processing what the nature is

Though I didn’t learn the language of our home

I’ll love it with the language that I know: this is all I know

Though the islands assemble as a whole shun me

I never felt I’m accepted up in my own country

Even my label of “Asian” often brought into question

I feel a hard disconnection when talking complexion

While you pointing fingers

You can’t “grasp” what’s happening while avoiding splinters
 Similarity can trick you, better know the difference: 

Of “no identity” and “know identity:” I take history to support the inference:

Lapu-Lapu, Propaganda Movement

Revolution: Bonifacio, the Katipunan

I’m the proudest descendant of every insurrection

You won’t see me defensive I won’t live to tell it

I was built for resisting all your vain oppression 

I am not coexisting with all your plain rejection 

I’m no less than the very thing you claim to be

My identity’s something you’ll never take from me

I want to think that it’s deeper than words I didn’t learn
 Maybe all of it swelling up from a deeper hurt

Maybe all the betrayal we suffered ain’t addressed

Maybe grudges ain’t laid to rest you can’t throw

Mud upon another, not making a mess

I want to fight back. But I’m saving my breath. I check (the)
 Vast ocean we crossed I’m now out to wander

‘Cause the cause of it probably is lost in the water

Maybe it’s sleeping, creeping in the deep end

Or maybe our story just isn’t complete yet

Whatever it is, maybe finding the problem

Ain’t as vital as finding God trying to solve em

So I will keep the repercussions

And stay awake knowing sleep the reaper cousin

The seed I clutch is a destiny I can’t retreat from

That’ll blossom, “I promise:” I’m talking sampaguita

It's in the words I'll never say
 Love never needed translation

Maybe the journey of discovering who we are is accepting the reality of destiny at the same time admitting to not knowing where we’re going. Direction is just as important as destination. Maybe identity lies neither in past, present, or future. But maybe it’s all three together. But I hope this letter finds you well. P.S.: Maybe our story is still being written.


from ashley court (2017), released January 1, 2017




nak California

Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.

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