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An Act of Rebellion

By: Pangga Tevez

When a white woman talks about her experiences, she is applauded by her vulnerability
and living her truth; When Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) start speaking
about their experiences, they’re constantly overlooked.
A parade, a celebratory siren, a standing ovation, or a Badge of Honour is rewarded to the
next White Woman who speaks her truth. The usual badge BIPOC’s get is a badge that comes
with a label unstable or aggressive, and the only parade you’ll see us doing, is when we’re
marching down the streets protesting for basic Human Rights.
I figured out I wanted to be a writer when I knew I had a story to tell. I started speaking
about my experiences online so that women who look like me can welcome vulnerability into
their lives; so if I start writing my stories, Asian women can open those doors that we’ve been
taught to keep shut, which in turn forced us—if not coerced—to keep our mouths shut.
As an Asian woman, we’ve been raised to keep our feelings to ourselves; to suck it up; to
trick our minds that if we convince ourselves hard enough to maintain this façade that we can
FAKE IT ‘TIL WE MAKE IT. And somehow along the way, we can magically forget about our
feelings in the hopes that those feelings will eventually get lost in the path as we run away from
them.
Years later, a light gust of smell, a familiar face, a jolt of electricity that strikes through
your body like lightning, a traumatising taste of the past, have found its way and throws us back
to that crippling night. We find ourselves trembling in our own dark little corner from years of
pent-up emotions.
Faking it never works when it comes to our emotions. We cannot magically OBLIVIATE
our memories. The only magical force we have within, is our voice. Imagine the power that you
have as an Asian woman with a strong voice.
A popular belief among Asians, especially on women, is that showing our vulnerability
makes us weak. This idea harms BIPOC’s; because if we are not unstable or aggressive, we are
told “It never happened.” Thus, denying us of our very own existence; thus, there is less
representation in the field of ARTS; thus, our stories are never told.
Creativity and the Arts is taken less seriously in Asian communities. You will never hear
someone doing taxes as a hobby, because dancing is not a realistic profession. It is true that you
need to find a job while pursuing your ART, but it does not mean that your ART requires less
work.
I believe I was put in this position for all the women like me who had to swallow her
emotions because she’s scared to be labelled crazy. But I would be doing a disservice to myself and all the women who fought in history to be where I am now if I kept my mouth shut. I
confronted my emotions to be my most honest, creative, and authentic self.
My work is not an advocacy; it is a fight. It is a movement for all women like me to be
seen and to be heard so that one day we will no longer be marching in the streets protesting for
our rights.
As an Asian woman, writing about my vulnerability is an act of rebellion.

Pangga Tevez is an intersectional feminist, activist, vegan, who is crazy about Beyonce and her four dogs. She started a non-profit organization on May 2018 called Go Ahead #ImWithYouth . It is an organization that helps young children from remote areas get the education they need and an advocacy platform for the youth to speak about the importance of therapy, self-care, and mental health. I’m With Youth also helps marginalized groups feel empowered and get the support they need by providing them a safe space to express themselves. She was also a professional dancer and joined a reality show in the Philippines in 2007 called Search for the Next Total Performer. She was the youngest among 12 contestants and chosen out of thousands at the age of 16. She is also a model. She studies English with a deep focus on literature and history. My research was a comparative study on Classic and Contemporary children’s literature that puts emphasis on the continuing racism, oppression, abuse, and neglect today.

Find Pangga here:

Instagram: @panggatevez

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