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Department 1

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


I wait in the audience as National Heroes, a dramatic vignette presented at the 2006 Pilipino Cultural Night (PCN) performance, [Re]creation, at the University of California at Berkeley, begins with a completely silent, dark stage. I am surrounded by hundreds of expectant Filipina/o American students and their families, eager to witness this annual performance of Filipina/o American culture, which is repeated on college and high school campuses across the West Coast.1 As I wait in the dark, the figures on stage are lit sequentially. One by one, the characters’ tear-streaked faces become visible. The main character, a Filipina migrant domestic worker named Baby, cries out, “This is not my country. This is not my home. This is not my family. This is not my daughter. My daughter is far away, sick, dreaming of me holding her in my arms. Yet I hold someone else’s child. It does not matter how much my bones ache, or that I am so tired. I will work as hard as I can to pay for her school, and her medicine, and her clothes” (Pilipino American Alliance 2006). [excerpt].




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