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Kristine Moon

My Glocal Journey with Self- Love

How to Self-Love with Colonial Mentality

Kristine Moon self-love #1

I am still growing up, and I want to continue growing up with Self-Love. In this current stage of growing up at the age of 46, I would love to take a vow. A vow to be dedicated to self-love. What is self-love? I define it as being compassionate, kind, and validating of oneself, as you would a friend. Now, as a Filipina-American, the idea of loving yourself can be challenging for a variety of reasons. An over-arching reason lies in the historical legacy many Fil-Am’s wrestle with... colonial mentality.

I studied anthropology and international development, focusing on the developing world and education. My passions lie with doing my part to recover, reimagine, and reclaim our indigenous pride after the brutal history of colonialism. Colonial mentality refers to the norms, traditions and beliefs we as Fil-Am’s (and many postcolonial cultures) can still espouse (consciously or unconsciously) which posit that Filipinos are inferior to Western peoples. This terrible mindset was planted in us by the white supremacist power structures forced upon the Philippines (P.I.) first by the Spanish colonizers (who colonized the Philippines for nearly 400 years), and then by the U.S.A. (who colonized the P.I. for 50 years) up until the Philippines independence in 1898. Such messages continue to block self-love growth within my culture.

Kristine Moon self-love #2

I heard messages like... our native language makes one “cringe” or that there is no reason to keep our language because it’s not useful anyway. Family would get almost raging angry if I expressed interest in learning about the ancient Filipino script baybayin. There was always a derogatory tone when mentioning the Manobo indigenous roots of my great-grandmother. Discussions about the American ways consistently ranked them superior to Filipino ways... and one would be reprimanded almost meanly if you questioned this.

I have done a lot of work on my Fil-Am psyche so I don’t adopt or embody any of these colonial mindsets. I am proud of my Filipino heritage, and I am not going to let any colonial history or current systems degrade who I am. With self-love, I do not want to stand in anger at colonial mentality. I want to help it heal from the poison that was injected by a power structure that was poisoned itself. We all need to take the antidote to all of this postcolonial poison and do the life-long work to eradicate such mental messages and concrete structures from our minds and societies.

Kristine Moon self-love #3