This episode, curated by Ellen-Rae Cachola, features the lit and musical choices of Katherine Achacoso, Maiana Minahal, and r.a.d. Leng Leng aka Mylene A. Cahambing. Enjoy!
Katherine Achacoso is a queer daughter of the Filipinx diaspora raised by strong Surigaonon, Bohalano, and Tagalog women. She currently lives in the ahupuaʻa of Waikīkī in Ka Moʻiliʻili, where she teaches online classes on American Empire, Indigenous and Transnational Feminisms, Filipinx Studies and Environmental Justice for the Department of American Studies. Her dissertation is a love letter to her mother, highlighting the inter-generational diasporic Surigaonon struggle to protect water from Canadian mining in her ancestral homelands in Surigao.
Maiana Minahal is a queer femme truth teller and truth seeker, writer, performing artist, educator, and auntie. She is a diasporic traveler who was born in the Philippines, and immigrated from Mindanao to the U.S. as a child with her parents and brothers. Raised in California, she is currently based in Honolulu, occupied Hawai’i, where she teaches at Kapi’olani Community College. She is the author of the poetry collection Legend Sondayo, and has work forthcoming in Q & A: Voices from Queer Asian North America. You can find her on instagram @prof.maiana
Born in Quezon City on the Island of Luzon to Cebuano and Boholana parents, r.a.d. Leng Leng aka Mylene A. Cahambing, RN, PHN, MPH with recent Double AA in Humanities and Social Sciences, was 10 years old when they immigrated to the San Francisco – East Bay Area. She is a multimedia Dream~Weaver ARTibista, a twin sister, an auntie, a wife, a former Foster Care Public Health Nurse, a Disability Wellness Advocate and the Founder of Rekonstraksyon, a virtual space to raise awareness about Persistent Post-Concussive Syndrome. A dream manifests as Vision Holder of Balik sa Dagat Bangka (Return to the Sea Canoe) Journey, rooted in the grassroots kommunity effort that built a 22-foot long dugout outrigger bangka as a ‘World’ Canoe to create safe spaces to shift ancestral traumas via water-craft building and dream power paddle-making workshops. Honored to create a ‘Wellness’ booklet with NAPIESV, the National Organization of Asians and Pacific Islanders Ending Sexual Violence. Follow them on IG: callmerad1.
Ellen-Rae Cachola curated this second episode of Pinay poets reminding us to not forget, but to remember and interconnect. Ellen-Rae is an archivist and ethnic studies educator who creates circles with many voices; we are not alone and we affect each other.
Amidst everything that went on with the killings in Asian Spas in Atlanta, there was also an additional push to organize and speak on issues to educate non-Asian communities about our experiences. While this is necessary, there is also exhaustion from the trauma, and PTSD (not to mention violence) this event provoked. These poetry pieces by Katherine Achacoso, Maiana Minahal, and r.a.d. Leng Leng aka Mylene A. Cahambing reflect diasporic Filipinx acts of resistance, caring for our bodies as enough, and cursing out against those forces that “mentally fuck” and gaslight us to endure injustices. These pieces voice the humanity of what it means to be an Asian immigrant woman, especially when remembering the massage workers who bore the brunt of deadly violence at the intersection of racialized sexism and global imperialism.
- “River Clouds” by Kulintronica featuring Waway Saway
- Intro by Ellen-Rae Cachola
- LIT: Katherine Achacoso’s “Live”
- “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke
- LIT: Maiana Minahal’s “Let the Record Show” (Content warning: contains descriptions of and responses to the 2021 Atlanta spa shootings)
- “Gone” by Jorja Smith
- LIT: r.a.d. Leng Leng aka Mylene A. Cahambing’s “I Am Not Fine,” ends with “Through the Fyah” by Ilaya Malaya
- “Fight for You” by H.E.R.