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Ruby Ibarra – Who I Am

Lyrics/Vocals: R. Ibarra
Instrumental: Cormega – The Saga (Remix)
Intro of the song contains samples from Francis Magalona – Mga Kababayan Ko and Apo Hiking Society – American Junk


In honor of celebrating Filipino American History month, this is a song about Filipino/Filipino-American history and politics.

This is a song I wrote for UC Davis’ 2010 Pilipino Culture Night.
Many thanks to Cherie Buenaflor for asking me to write this!

Kailangan na tayoy gumising, ating damdamin isipin
at itong hangin linisin, puede na natin baguhin
bakit ba ganyan? naka posa ang ating kamay
mga preso ng secreto at mali sa saysay
so not myself as i should be – less a self, more selfishly
the press say i should sell myself to shelves but theres discrepancy:
identity thats meant to be and colonized mind in me
lying in our eyes till we find ourself as enemy
taught to use papaya soap like whiteness is the antidote
caught in colonized approach cant fight this, like im at the throat
question it? you start to choke, unless you lessen half your soul
pressin close this flattened nose, its told its best if I’m ‘Cano
best if i erase the brown, color of the country’s ground
color of the roots found beneath the lands of Mindanao
people power sequel cuz this be the peoples hour
so we need to see it now or we cant seek whats really ours

colonized mind, blind folded, so im hynotized
compromised pride, bind hands, never reach the skies
modified eyes, cry truth, fail to recognize
the disguised lies write views planted in our minds
callin me a dogeater prayin on some chicken bones
nation known for sex tours, order brides mailed to homes
all of that is nonsense, they’ve never felt the misery
theyve never seen my province or know my country’s history
the blistered feet, pollution, greed, Spain and U.S. Colony
planted all this fallacy, corruption in mentality
Marcos with regime and so no privacy for families
people power used to heed the goverment monopoly
the poverty that never sees improvement from economy
kayumangi, no equality, cuz white is what you oughta be
the native tongue i try to speak is silenced by the mastery
of English that I’m forced keep to take the FOB outside of me

like Bulosan said, Americas in the heart
but my blood is Philippines that keeps it pumpin in the dark
So people wake up so we can learn about the issues
Those we never learned in school, and missed in news
Those we never find in books, so its a missed tool
Never learned to hold up a fist, our minds the pistol
defined by a line in my mind called the hyphen
So over time, I’m, tryna find the right height when
tryna reach the sky but I fight from being boxed in
Wanna bridge the gap but my color is the toxin
cultures counteract, keep me back as a caution
of history and facts from my path so I’m tossed in
stuck between America and Philippines, though
so i know that Im both, so I struggle with this rope
If I’m Filipino now with a flat nose
makes me Filipino then, but with my eyes closed

Rest in Peace to idol, Francis Magalona– the talent who introduced me to rap music.

What do you think?


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