February Favorites and Feelings as a Filipino American
As Valentine’s Day is around the corner, the month of February as a whole always has me thinking critically about love. I love love. I consider myself a hopeless romantic, and though I shamefully enjoy the occasional “love-is-dead” joke, I cannot deny that love is a beautiful thing. And as I think more deeply about loving someone/something or even being loved in return, I’ve recently been thinking about the way I perceive the concept of feelings and how I’ve learned to feel.
Sometimes, I fear that I feel too much, as if my perceptions of the world are too idyllic or just simply corny. Being emotional may often be seen as a weakness, yet with my upbringing, I was taught that expression and vulnerability are signs of great strength. To me, letting yourself be emotional and the ability to love — platonically, romantically and everything in between — is to be comfortable with yourself. I think I learned a lot of that through media from the Philippines and content created by Filipinx Americans. I grew up in a household where my parents would fill the house with Ilocano and Tagalog love songs. Though I couldn’t understand the lyrics at the time, the expression from the singers’ voices conveyed sentimentality and fondness — something that still sticks with me to this day. When I got the chance to learn the languages, I gained a deeper appreciation of what love truly means in the Philippines. Learning how to feel also went beyond music for me. It continued when I watched Filipino dramas and “teleseryes” with my cousins, and it progressed to tearing up while viewing Jollibee fast-food commercials (this one, but also this one). In essence, Filipino media taught me to not take love for granted. It taught me to enjoy the company that’s right in front of you while making peace with the heartbreak you hold.
In this very extra post, whether you’re the type to say exactly what’s on your mind or be one to have your guard constantly up, I just wanted to offer some songs off of Soundcloud from Filipinx artists that remind me to embrace every emotion wholeheartedly — to trust the process no matter what.