Pakikipagkapwa is a worldview that within one’s loob or deepest inner being, there is not just a shared humanity but also a shared inner life that connects us with each other and with all cosmic existence.
11 years later, how would I rewrite what I wrote for the Pinay Power anthology?
I took this worldview to heart and began to understand better the opposing worldview of patriarchy and imperialism. This is what I wrote in “Creating NewFilipina.com and the Rise of CyberPinays”:
[Our colonizers and the developed countries today still] operate from a worldview based on a hierarchical order that establishes status and competition and justifies oppression and exploitation. This philosophy creates notions of superiority and privilege that underlie antagonism, colonization, racial discrimination, and male dominance. The philosophy is that of the Oppressors and Conquerors of world history. It is a philosophy based on external power and is, in fact, the exact opposite of what the deepest values of Filipino ancestry really are—that of loob and kapwa (connection and oneness with others). Filipinos today must therefore realize that the antithesis of patriarchy’s worldview is the Filipino consciousness of pakikipagkapwa. The philosophy is based on awareness of lakas ng loob (internal power) and spirit how they give way to healing, compassion, and wholeness. To recall this ancestral way of being enables Philippine people to embrace their identities and not look down upon themselves as inferior to their colonizers or to any other nationality, culture or religion. Subscribing to the worldview of pakikipagkapwa and unsubscribing from the patriarchal worldview are inherent in decolonizing not only of the colonized, but also of the colonizer. (Daly, 2005, p. 233)
Thus, in my experience, the journey of BagongPinay has surfaced from deep within me a bond of connection with my ancestral home of the Philippines. It had come to signify: connection with homeland and ancestry, energy for creative endeavors, and inspiration to re-create Filipino culture, both on cyberspace and in the real. In many ways, this spiritual rejoining with homeland and ancestry assuaged the pain of my geographical dislocation as a Filipino American.