My Native Tongue/Are We Free

I DON’T SPEAK MY NATIVE TONGUE
THOUGH I WEAR MY NATIVE SKIN
IM PROUD OF MY CULTURE
WHEN IM REALLY IN BETWEEN

FILIPINO-AMERICAN IS WHAT STANDS BEFORE YOU

TO AMERICANS IM FILIPINO BASED ON A SENSELESS CENSUS
AMERICANO THRU THE EYES OF MY NATIVE FILIPINO
BROTHERS & SISTERS BECAUSE I CANT SPEAK THE DIALECT
YET I STAND STRONG LIKE A CARABAO
BREAKING DOWN THE STONE WALLS THAT THEY ERECT

I LIVE THE DASH
IN BETWEEN FILIPINO-AMERICAN

I SALUTE THE KATIPUNAN WHO FOUGHT FOR MY INDEPENDANCE
I SALUTE THE MINUTE MEN WHO FOUGHT FOR MY INDEPENANCE

GENERAL EMILIO AGUINALDO
GENERAL GORGE WASHINGTON

BUT DON’T GET IT TWISTED I KNOW MY HISTORY
AMERICA HAS DEALT ITS SHARE OF FILIPINO MISERY

AMERICA IS IN THE HEART
CARLOS BULOSAN TOLD ME THAT

FROM PICKING VEGETABLES AND FRUIT AS A MIGRANT WORKER
CANNING FISH IN ALASKA
I RESPECT THE MANONGS AND VETERANOS
ACTIVIST AND LIBERATION FIGHTERS SUCH AS ERNESTO MANGAOANG TO GABRIELA SILANG
WHO PAVED THE WAY

FOR ME TO BE FREE

HOWEVER

ARE WE FREE
MY PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
WE CANT EVEN GOVERN OUR OWN COUNTRY
ACTORS AS POLITICIANS CAUSE THEY ACTING
MASKING THE TROUBLES AWAY WITH LIGHTNING CREAMS
MONEY AND POWER CONTROLS THEIR SELF ESTEEMS
AIR CONDITIONED TRAITORS TO THEIR OWN KIND
IT’S BIGGER THAN WOW WOW WEE
FRESH OF THE BOAT CAUSE THEY WANTED TO FLEE

I SAID FRESH OFF THE BOAT BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO FLEE

A COUNTRY WITH NO UNITY
A COUNTRY WITH POVERTY
A COUNTRY WHERE LIGHTER IS BETTER
AND BROWN IS JUST TOO DARK
SO ANAK
STAY OUT OF THE SUN
A COUNTRY WHERE TOURIST GO TO HAVE FUN
A COUNTRY WHERE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ARE STEALING ALL THE FUNDS
A COUNTRY WHERE ACTIVIST DISAPPEAR
A COUNTRY THAT IS DEAR
A COUNTRY I CALL MY TRUE MAINLAND BUT HAVE NOT YET TO VISIT
A COUNTRY I STRIVE TO UNDERSTAND BECAUSE THE HISTORY IS TAINTED FROM LAPU LAPU TO THE DEATH MARCH OF BATAAN

SO HERE IS A LITTLE HISTORY
ABOUT PEOPLE HUNGRY AND DYING IN THE BARRIOS

AND

AGUINALDO AND BONIFACIO
WERE INSPIRED BY RIZAL
THEY TRIED TO RESOLVE
THE SUPPRESSION
THROUGH REVOLUTION
THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE WINNING
WHEN THEY REALLY WERE LOOSING

THE SPANISH ERADICATED OUR CULTURE
GIVING US SLAVE NAMES
TRYING TO TAME ARE SO CALLED WITCH CRAFT
WITH CATHOLICISM

IN THE NAME OF KING PHILLIP
THEY BUILT THEIR MISSION

400 YEARS OF BEING CONDITIONED
JUST TO BE RECONDITIONED
HISTORY IS LOST BETWEEN FICTION AND NON FICTION

AMERICA CAME TO HELP WARD OF THE SPANISH
BUT THE VISION OF FREEDOM WOULD SOON VANISH

OUR ANNIHILATION
WAS ASSIMILATION

THE TRAITORS SURVIVED
WHILE THE NATIONALIST DIED
CARRYING THE FLAG

WELL IM HEAR TO HOLD TO HOLD IT UP HIGH
CARRYING THE DEAD SOLDIERS ON MY BACK
WHO DIED FOR MY FREEDOM

BUT ARE WE REALLY FREE

FREEDOM WAS A TEASE
THE MASQUERADERS WERE THE
THE AMERICAN ARMY OF IMPERIALIST DICTATORS
PAVING ROADS OVER A FOREST OF HERITAGE
CONSUMING THE BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS OF A CULTURE I STRIVE TO UNDERSTAND

BECAUSE THE HISTORY IS TAINTED
FROM LAPU LAPU TO THE DEATH MARCH OF BATAAN

BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF A THOUSAND ISLANDS
WEAR THE SUN AND STARS ON YOUR SLEEVE AND REMEMBER THE PEOPLE WHO CAME BEFORE WE SO THAT WE COULD BE FREE FROM THE PARADOX OF TRUE AND FALSE OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE FREE.

WHAT IT TRULY MEANS TO BE FREE


-Gabriel Nicholas