Goodbye 2017! It was a busy year for us. We delivered our first keynote ever and it was for the 10th Annual SCPASA Summit. We were given the opportunity to kick off KPCC’s brand new storytelling series, Unheard LA. We celebrated our last birthdays of our 20s. We visited New Orleans for our anniversary and fell in love with this city’s vibrant culture, and of course, the beignets. We traveled to Hawaii for the first time together and now constantly wish to return. For all the good times, there were those moments that were the absolute roughest for us. Personally, I struggled on my own journey to preserve my mental health. It was not easy at all and scary at one point. It continues to be a process. Thankfully though, Stephanie was by my side, I started therapy, and the community’s support was always felt.
We pushed through together and ended the year with family in Las Vegas (Not too wild, but we have a vlog about that trip). That reminds me. We started a YouTube Channel and will have a new vlog every Wednesday. You can view them all on our “Videos” tab and feel free to let us know what you think. Honestly, we update our Instagram and YouTube at @writesteady more than this blog, but I am hoping to balance it out more for the new year and thank you for even reading this!
Check out this Instagram Top 9 of 2017 which sums up the year fairly well.
2017 felt like two years with all that had happened personally and politically. Eventful, strenuous, and a reminder of resiliency.
We are ready to move onto the next one. 2018, you’re off to a good start. See y’all in the community.
On Saturday, Eddy and I went rock climbing at Stoney Point Park in Chatsworth. The company I work for has a program that trains high school interns as outdoor adventure guides specializing in rock climbing while also teaching marketing and leadership skills to be entrepreneurs. We got the chance to be able to attend their culmination ceremony for free! I was so impressed with the students’ professionalism and enthusiasm. And it’s always so cool to see the youth in person — I’m usually just at the office staring at a computer screen, so why this work is important sometimes gets lost. It was also really cool seeing some students I met about two years ago when I conducted a marketing workshop for them at their schools — and now they’re applying to college!
There were a few things we discovered after rock climbing. One was that you rely much more on your legs than you do your hands. As one student noted to us, “Your legs are stronger than your arms.” Another is that you really have to trust the person who is belaying you. I remember as I made my way up the wall, I could see the rope pulling down to keep me stable according to where I moved. Third, you get a lot of support from the people on the ground. The students would shout out tips on where you can put your feet, and yell phrases like “You got it!” and “Just a little farther!” It was incredibly encouraging.
It’s been really fun going on these adventures. First, it was camping with the kasamas of KmB at Malibu Creek State Park. Now this. Eddy and I want to go camping again soon… We shall see!
Looking back at old posts on this blog (and there’s not too many), I saw that we mentioned recording my poem, “Death March,” for a collaborative project with a talented magician and friend, Andre Echave. I also realized that we didn’t share the finished version on here.
Filmed and edited by David Lazaro of the Prime Poetry League, we combined magic, poetry, and the Filipino-American experience. This first run of our Magic POetry series addresses the current movement fighting for full equity for our WWII Filipino-American veterans, survivors, and families. I’ll let the video speak for itself.
I am active on Twitter now. Follow me at @egana_jr if you dare. There is an underscore, not a period so take note that it’s different from my Instagram. I tend to post about social justice, writing, and self-care reminders.
My “most popular” tweet is about #Wokemon. I don’t know how it happened, but this is maybe the closest I’ll ever get to going viral.
So #Wokemon is the best meme ever. Childhood + Consciousness. Can't go wrong with that.
After the exposure, I had some interesting threads with folks about #BlackLivesMatter, free speech versus hate speech, and the faultiness of this country’s two-party system. It gets the conversation going, although limited to 140 characters.
Before, I didn’t get Twitter at all. Now I know that it can be volatile or harmless. It’s tricky to understand initially, but it makes a lot more sense now. I think so, anyway.
This is a project that dates back to 2007 according to organizational e-mails I’ve recovered. That is four years before Stephanie and I became involved with KmB, Pro-People Youth. Fittingly, this is better late than never.
We held our first recording session with the kasamas: Jay, Chris, Kacey, Manila, Andrew, Cheryl, and Cy. It was super fun having everyone in the living room, and we were able to record some chants down too. The neighbors might think we are some crazy Filipinos, and maybe they are not wrong because who else spits poetry with no shoes on inside the house. Us.