one year later
Last year, on November 13, was Halong, a community sharing and cultural show and the culmination of the Bayan Expo 2011 experience.
I feel privileged to be back here in Pinas as I reflect on our experiences and all that has happened since then. I looked through all the old posts, smiled and sighed, and let myself relive many of those moments. I’m so thankful for this blog, and for the opportunity to know how my HnD kasamas experienced those moments, and how each of us interpreted what we learned.
It feels peculiar being back home, and not on an exposure program. When I arrived at the airport, it felt weird to be without a crew. I was happy, but it felt kind of hollow. I didn’t feel like I had really landed until today, when I visited the Bayan and Gabriela office. After sitting in on a couple of meetings (Inter- Party List @ Bayan, Staff Meeting and Gabriela), I felt like I was myself again.
Expo 2011 had it share of difficulties. But collectively, we pushed through and had an unbelievably dope overall experience. It was most definitely, some of the best and happiest times of my life. Going back to Seattle was very very hard. Not only because of my usual bicontinental blues, but because shortly after I experienced a bittersweet romantic entanglement with a comrade here, I went home and experienced the deepest heartbreak of my adult life. Shortly after I went back to Seattle, I found out my brother (who turned out to be a huge part of our expo) had done great harm to a person in the Seattle community. I still haven’t fully reconciled what that means to our relationship, but I felt like I lost a brother this past year.
On the other hand, I developed a deep affinity that turned into a great love during this trip. I actually felt this for every one of the HnD crew, but one in particular evolved in a romantic direction. This relationship has been and continues to be a very valuable learning experience.
Every one of the 2011 exposurists has done incredible organizing work in the past year, despite some major challenges. I truly feel that our area has been revitalized and feel better than ever. Usually hearing about the issues and activities taken on by orgs here make me feel inadequate, but when I think about our growing campaign work, our membership consolidation and how each organization has truly invested in each other, I feel so damn good. And HELLA proud. And really happy I went back to Seattle to be part of that.
Hanggang dito na lang muna.