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Bino A. Realuyo

Bino A. Realuyo is a poet/novelist/essayist, community organizer and educator. He is the author of the novel, The Umbrella Country, a poetry collection, The Gods We Worship Live Next Door, and has edited two anthologies. His citations include: Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award 2000 finalist, Booklist Top Ten First Novels of 1999, Poetry Society of America's Lucille Medwick Memorial Award, and a 2009 Philippine National Book Award for poetry. He attended graduate studies at Harvard University with a full fellowship from the Kennedy School of Government. Leaving Manila as a young teen, he has since spent most of his adult life in New York City and in latin american countries. His website:

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Entries by Bino A. Realuyo

Dear Straight People Who Need To Know What Pulse #Orlando Means To Us

(0) Comments | Posted June 20, 2016 | 4:05 PM


The most profound conversations remain unspoken since the Orlando massacre. Many of us are still sitting in deep silence not believing something of this magnitude could happen in our lifetime. Not that we have't seen shootings before, not that we haven't seen mass...

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Dear Pacquiao and Filipinos Stuck in the Dark Ages

(16) Comments | Posted February 24, 2016 | 10:22 AM


The King James Bible, authored by fifty people, has never been so busy in one week, as thousands of Filipinos quoted from it left and right to defend Manny Pacquiao's controversial statement last week about LGBTs being "worse than...

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Dear Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2015, Confidently Beautiful, With a Humble Heart

(107) Comments | Posted December 23, 2015 | 11:11 AM


What a humbling experience to watch your circuitous path toward the Miss Universe crown. It is easy to get lost in your triumph, easier even to fail to see the message. It is easy to participate in the glory of winning, especially yours,...

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Dear Hive Mind of Social Media Empathy Fads

(1) Comments | Posted November 16, 2015 | 3:51 PM

What happened on Friday in Paris is a social media epiphany. At least for me. I have never seen my Facebook feeds so divided between those who ate off of Facebook's silver platter and French-flagged their profile pictures and those who resisted and defied the fad, citing that similar terrorist...

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Dear F. Sionil Jose, Philippine National -- Propagandist?

(5) Comments | Posted August 4, 2015 | 6:31 PM


We Filipinos have been burnt to ashes by collaborators, haven't we? From those who collaborated with Spaniards during the colonial times to those who collaborated with the Japanese during World War II to those who might collaborate with the Chinese as...

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Dear Progressive Philippines

(57) Comments | Posted June 28, 2015 | 8:57 AM


Quite a push to put together those two words in the same line, but I am feeling very hopeful and optimistic these days, a historic time in the United States because the Supreme Court just legalized same-sex marriage in the nation, something I...

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Dear Patricia Arquette, Who 'Fought' For Us

(11) Comments | Posted February 27, 2015 | 11:24 AM

First, congratulations on your well-deserved Academy Award. Second, thank you for breathing new life to a volatile political issue at an event that has become as safe as glitter. It was wonderful to see you reading from a note instead of reciting from memory, so that no message would be...

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Dear Miss Universe: Our Filipino Telenovela

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2015 | 11:18 AM


Once a year, I close shop. And it doesn't happen during Semana Santa, but during a Philippine gay holy week, that is, Miss Universe season. It's been the case for as long as I can remember -- since my childhood in Manila, during...

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Dear Pope of the Poor and Hopeful People of the Philippines

(7) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 1:47 PM


They say it's a world record: Six million hope-seeking people turned up on a rainy day to pay you homage in Manila, surpassing the number of devotees in the same papal venue in 1995. In 1981 when Pope John Paul II...

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Dear Filipino Food in America

(0) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 10:44 AM


For me, Balut is the deal breaker. Back in the day, people used to ask me how my name was pronounced, but now they ask me if I eat Balut. The answer appears on my face in the way my eyes,...

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Dear Anti-Marcoses, Pro-Marcoses, and the Spirit of Philippine Martial Law

(52) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 6:13 PM


I write this with a serious understanding and thus acceptance that Filipinos don't grasp the power of these two words: Never. Again. I have also learned to accept that many Filipinos confuse (Catholic) Forgiveness with these wrought sisters, Denial and Powerlessness. That "history...

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Dear Nora Aunor, Greatest Filipina Actress, Brown and Beautiful

(21) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 3:17 PM


Philippine cinema today is a city of bleached-brown faces and light-skinned faces that magically don't tan in the tropical sun. Manilawood is a city that privileges mestizo actors by placing them at the center of local narratives, actors with names that by Filipino...

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Dear Filipino Organizers Erased by the Cesar Chavez Movement

(37) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 11:36 AM


Coming to America in the 1920s was no vacation. Filipinos were "American nationals," the result of recent colonization, and ironically exempted from the exclusionary Immigration Act of 1924 that precluded the influx of immigrants from "Asiatic Barred Zones." Saved...

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Dear Filipino Olympian Michael Martinez, Outside-the-box Big Dreamer

(2) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 2:38 PM


I was fifteen in Manila, with perhaps a similar teenage curiosity and passion as yours, when I had a big secret--I started writing a novel. I called it then, The Maya's Wail. I didn't tell anyone, because I knew nobody would understand. I...

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Dear Me on My Deathbed

(0) Comments | Posted January 14, 2014 | 1:20 PM

I am standing at the foot of your deathbed watching you, an older version of me at your final moments in life, and I wonder -- did you reach your life purpose? Are you fulfilled? Are you at peace? Are you bereft of regret? Are there tasks undone: the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas?...

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Dear Survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda

(1) Comments | Posted November 13, 2013 | 9:02 PM

"Survivor" is a word I heard all my life. My father was a survivor of events humanity could never fathom: The Bataan Death March, World War II Japanese concentration camps. The hows of survival is equally incomprehensible; one can spend a lifetime piecing together a patchwork of memories to understand...

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Dear 'Others' in America

(14) Comments | Posted July 22, 2013 | 6:12 PM

If you are at all like me, you would have had a heightened or even anxious awareness of being the "other" in America in the past few months. From the Boston Marathon bombing, where the first primetime suspect was an unknown "dark-skinned man with a black backpack" to...

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Dear Beautiful Mother of a Gay Man in Your Twilight Years

(3) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 2:00 PM

On a cold day in March, while my brother and I carried your weakened, almost unconscious body out of a Jersey City hospital after your lumpectomy, our lives finally got caught in time's tight grip. You were no longer the young, energetic woman I knew all my life, that fierce,...

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Dear Filipino Immigrants Who Will One Day Read Our Books

(9) Comments | Posted April 10, 2013 | 2:14 PM

Here is our last count: four million Filipino immigrants in America. Nary a season on primetime TV without a Filipino face gracing the screen: American idol (Jessica Sanchez, Jasmine Trias), America's Best Dance Crew (Jabbawockeez); YouTube discoveries (Arnel Pineda, Charice Pempengco); mixed second generation Filipino-Americans (Cheryl Burke/Dancing with...

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Dear Homophobic Philippines

(22) Comments | Posted March 19, 2013 | 2:46 PM

It would be appropriate to start this missive by noting the year of our recorded civilization: 2013; and by including a recent headline reflecting our current state of affairs: "Obama urges U.S. high court to allow gay marriage in California." In other parts of the world, at least the more...

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