SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DECOLONISED FILIPINX IN SO-CALLED AUSTRALIA
(Adapted from Leny Strobel’s book, Babaylan: Filipinos and the Call of the Indigenous
by Oceania Pagsuyo members, March 2022)
They understand European & “Australian” colonial history & its current psychic & epistemic violence on themself & Othered people on this continent, including First Nations people, and people of colour seeking asylum.
They understand that their presence in so-called Australia is a product of this history. The narration of “Australian history” as it relates to First Nations people should be understood as an imperial & colonial narrative that mirrors the colonial history of our people. The normatisation of this colonial narrative is in urgent need of critique & revision.
They do archeological psychic work to uncover, discover, or reimagine, what their Filipinx Indigenous memory is trying to reveal & teach them.
Filipinx Indigenous memory reveals intuitive knowledge about who they are as an Indigenous person. Indigenous Filipinx theorising includes language-based concepts like Kapwa, Loob, Damdamin, Diwa, Dangal, Paninindigan, Bayanihan– that gives a decolonial Filipinx a narrative that anchors their identity & their life work in Filipinx values.
They recognise that the framework of Indigeneity and decolonisation can serve as a powerful critique of neocolonialism, capitalism, and its discontents. They understand that Indigenous methodologies are capable of undoing this havoc.
A decolonised Filipinx knows themself as a “self-in-relation” (kapwa) rather than the product of the western and liberal notion of the self as an “individual with free will” acting out in self-interest. They hold the lens of pagkikiisa rather than pagkikiiba when relating to their world.
A decolonised Filipinx understands that the location and position of their diasporic Filipinx community needs to be reframed away from the assimilationist model or the grateful migrant narrative. Instead, embodying our Indigenous knowledges towards relationship-building with First Nations people and other displaced peoples.
A decolonised Filipinx in so-called Australia understands that they live on stolen land from Indigenous peoples to this continent. They recognise the responsibilities as Indigenous migrant-settlers to centre local Indigenous liberation movements against the continual displacement, dispossession, and destruction to their people and the land.
A decolonised Filipinx understands the uses of Indigenous knowledges and history in order to become an effective and impactful community member in the diasporic context. They push back against ideas of internalised shame and reductionist thinking.
A decolonised Filipinx inhabits a global Indigenous perspective that is informed by Indigenous knowledges and histories from around the world. They participate in breaking the cycle of imperial narratives of so-called Australia.