Kasama

“Kasama” is a pretty loaded word in the Tagalog language. We call each other kasama in the movement for true national democracy in the Philippines. If you translate it literally, it means “ally, comrade, partner, colleague, etc.” Over the years of being an activist for my people in the homeland and in the diaspora, I’ve realized that this term, or title as some folks may call it, is not something we just throw around for just anybody. Now, I’m not meaning to be exclusive with the term, I believe everyone can and should be a kasama. But to call someone your kasama means that they are much more to you than just a “ally, comrade, partner, colleague, etc.,” whether you’ve known each other for years upon years or just a few minutes, or even not having ever met. At the heart of kasama is love and humility, for self and for the masa (masses). My kasama Melanie D. in New York, another activist for true national democracy for our homeland, best describes what a kasama is. Thank you, my kasama!

“Love for a kasama is not love for a friend, not love for a lover, not love for family. It is a love that allows us to know each other intimately, know each other’s dreams, each other’s hopes, each other’s tragedies without having met each other because we share them. We share the love for the people, we share the hope for freedom, we grieve for the same loss. And the more I know you, the more I love you.”

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To my kasamas I got together with at this weekend’s Bayan-USA/Gabriela-USA Congress, much love from this revolutionary’s heart. Whether we’ve known each other for years, or just this past weekend, you all hold a special place in me in our collective lifelong struggle for our people. To building and working together for the next 3 years and beyond, ISULONG!

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2 Responses to “Kasama”

  1. Hey Ryan,
    Nice blog. I saw your post thru facebook so I thought I’d check it out.
    I like the pictures and everything you had to say….keep it up.

    Yay to your friend in New York. Oh by the way, you know I live in New York now, right? Okay, well….keep the blogs coming…and take care!

    ~ Arlene =)

  2. Uy, Ryan! Waahhh, nakakataba naman ng puso na sumipot ako sa blog mo… (trans: “it’s fattening to the heart that I appear in your blog”…hahahahahahaha…..okay, okay, seryoso, “it’s heartwarming to find my name in your blog)…

    Kas, when you coming back to NYC?! XD Habang naghihintay, babasahin ko na lang blog mo…

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