Mr. Philippine National Artist, I have respected your writing for decades, especially your narratives of the poor and underrepresented. I appreciate your prominence in Philippine literature and respect your well deserved ascent to National Artist stature, but using your position for propaganda is where I will draw the line.
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 which the street kids where I grew up would stage our version of Miss Universe in friends' houses.
In the age of American ethnic diversity, it is all about representation -- a spiritual mission to bring you, our fathers, back in the light. History might have worked in favor of Chavez in the past decades, but many Filipino Americans will do what it takes to put your names in the pages of American movements.