Abigail Pidazo
June 2022
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Abigail Pidazo is a Filipina-American poet, writer, and community organizer based in Southern California. She is also the Resident Co-Host and Outreach Coordinator of the Sunday Jump, a monthly open mic series based in Historic Filipinotown, LA providing a safe space for marginalized voices. Now based in the Inland Empire, you can also find her as the Digital Outreach Worker with the Asian-American Pacific Islander Mental Health Resource Center (@fa_aapimhrc) based in Riverside County where she is working towards destigmatizing mental health within the AAPI community.

BAHALA KA SA BUHAY MO

bahala ka sa buhay mo

in my mother’s tongue

intentionally means

“whatever! do what you want. it’s your life”

-

every time i have a regret

i hear the phrase in my head

in my mother’s voice

-

but also every memory

every single one where

i didn’t have to pretend

to be anyone else

but myself

happened in those moments

-

so maybe in my mother’s tongue

in my mother’s voice

i hear regret

of a past life

she didn’t get to experience

-

because

bahala ka sa buhay mo

means also

to “take care of your life”

-

and so she took care

of her life

so well

she began to

take care of others

-

these days

i hear her say

bahala ka sa buhay mo

less

and instead

hear her ask

when i’m coming home

-

and maybe

if i had known

that

bahala ka sa buhay mo

was the same way

of asking me

when i was coming home

i

wouldn’t

have left home so much

-

but for her

bahala ka sa buhay mo

was her life

her buhay

-

so now

i am answering

bahala na ako

-

which means to say

i will take care of it

MONSTER

 

Before you are beautiful,

Be a monster

Be a monster because

When you are a monster

Everyone fears you

The world fears you

Everyone will just leave you alone

Leave you there

To be a monster

No one will bother you

Go on the other side of the street

Just to avoid you

Because you

You are

A

monster

When you are a monster

No one will try to

Understand you

Because they are terrified of you

But when you are a monster

The only voice you will hear so loud

is your own

When you are a monster

You will be consumed by your own thoughts

When you are a monster

The only monster

You will know is you

Because the only monster that you see is yourself

Because everyone and everything around you

Has gone away

And when you are ready

When you are ready

To be beautiful

When you are ready to speak

To the core of you

Because when you were alone

You found

You found that you were beautiful

the same way

Everything inside you was so beautiful

And that’s why they were scared of you

That’s why you made everyone scared of you

Because you weren’t a monster after all

You were just scared

You were just lonely

You were just terrified

Terrified if they saw you for who you really were

They would want to be with you too

Because you are beautiful

And when you are beautiful

They want to come back to you

When you are beautiful

Everyone who saw you as a monster

Will come back

Because they were beautiful once too

And they don’t understand

Why they were monsters

Why they became monsters

How did they become monsters

And how do they become beautiful again

Because they swore

they were beautiful once too

And because they are monsters

They can’t hear themselves anymore

Everyone around you

Who left you alone

Became monsters

And now they want to understand you

Understand how you became beautiful

Because it’s what they want to go back to

Before you were a monster

Before you were beautiful

You were always

Here

And when you were here

They didn’t tell you

That you could be anything

That you wanted to be

the same way

Everything inside you was so beautiful

And that’s why they were scared of you

That’s why you made everyone scared of you

Because you weren’t a monster after all

You were just scared

You were just lonely

You were just terrified

Terrified if they saw you for who you really were

They would want to be with you too

Because you are beautiful

And when you are beautiful

They want to come back to you

When you are beautiful

Everyone who saw you as a monster

Will come back

Because they were beautiful once too

And they don’t understand

Why they were monsters

Why they became monsters

How did they become monsters

And how do they become beautiful again

Because they swore

they were beautiful once too

And because they are monsters

They can’t hear themselves anymore

Everyone around you

Who left you alone

Became monsters

And now they want to understand you

Understand how you became beautiful

Because it’s what they want to go back to

Before you were a monster

Before you were beautiful

You were always

Here

And when you were here

They didn’t tell you

That you could be anything

That you wanted to be