I was asked to share a reflection/response to the exhibit Anting Anting | Magic Objects by Michael Arcega at a Thacher/CRASE collaborative event “Inspirations from Anting Anting: Magic Objects of Protection.”
Art is not only personal to the artist who created it but also to the person viewing it. I chose the piece “Doña Señorita”: Matriarchal power enhancement. I was drawn to it initially because I love señorita bananas. At a deeper level, the piece makes me remember my home, my family. It symbolizes the generations of Locsin women – past, present and future.
I am from my mother, my father
From Wo Sin Lok
from Amoy 268 years ago
I am from my family,
small, quiet, large, noisy, 5 in 82
I am from the garnet
hard, durable, yet soft, vulnerable
I am from the diamond
unique, creative, reflecting light to make rainbows
I am from my grandmother
petite, powerful, God fearing,
I am from those who attend Mass, pray the novena
yet believe the theories of Darwin and Lemaitre
I am from the sugar capital of the Philippines
from the home of the aswang
I am from the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost
yet believe in the lore of kapre, dwende, tiyanak
I pray the Our Father, Hail Mary and the Glory Be
but say “Tabi Tabi po” to pay respects to the elementals
I am from Washington DC
but call myself a proud Ilongga
I am from the Balay Dako
from the house that burnt to ashes
I am from the Bisaya, Hiligaynon
gentle, soft-spoken, meek
yet direct, honest, to the point
I am from the ones who taught me right from wrong
those who taught me the importance of delicadeza
yet I live in the land where it is non-existent
I am from my Yaya Goya
I am from my Lola Inday
the king, queen, empress, the last word
I am from the Holy Rosary
Ako ang nanay ni Isabel
I am 112235121
Ako ang nanay ni Isabel means I am Isabel’s mother.
Aswang means witch
Balay Dako means big house
Delicadeza means being refined or having manners, etiquette. it means having the sense of propriety or how to behave under the circumstance.
Dwende is a dwarf who live in anthills, termite mounds (punso) who are either good or bad
Ilongga refers to the females of the Visayans who speak the Hiligaynon/Illongo dialect.
Kapre is a Philippine mythical tree giant
“Tabi tabi, po” means excuse me, pardon me, please move to the side
Tiyanak is a vampiric creature who imitates the form of a child; sounds like a child and when someone picks it up, it goes back to its true form and attacks.
Liza Locsin is Assistant to the Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is a ninth generation Pilipino (of Chinese origin). 112235121 is her number in the Locsin genealogy. There are 82 people in her family on her father’s side.