In honor of Grace Asuncion’s 21st Memorial

{m}aganda was asked to perform for Grace Asuncion’s 21st Memorial today, October 13, 2013. Our Literary Editor Nicole Arca sang an acoustic cover of “What a Wonderful World,” while EIC Aleli Balaguer and Layout Editor Jackie Lee recited a poem they worked on together. Deep in the {m}aganda archives, one would find that Grace Asuncion worked with {m}aganda magazine in the production of issue 2: “pilipino americans in the arts and entertainment” (Fall 1990) and that {m}aganda magazine’s issue 5: “babae ka, malakas ka” (Spring 1992) was produced in dedication to her.

The following is a poem Aleli and Jackie collaborated on for Grace Asuncion’s 21st Memorial.

babae ka, malakas ka

you are woman, you are strong.

your life:

prolonged,

made immortal,

and breathing, through

our thriving community.

your thriving community.

thriving and alive, we

breathe;

we are safe,

protected and accounted for

today, because of

you.

your sweet care

for your friends and your family

–loving sister and daughter, loving roommate, loving friend;

for your passion in guiding peers struggling with classes

–providing mentorship and valuing education;

for your devotion in building community and forging bonds between buddies

–continuing on now as the Kuya/Ate/Ading program;

for your commitment to reconnecting with our culture through art

–dancing traditionally in PCN and working collaboratively with {m}aganda  magazine;

for your aspiration towards the health, care, & wellbeing of others through PAHC,

and for the future of Pilipinos and Pilipinas, we

breathe;

we mobilize, we move; we act, because of

you, Grace Asuncion,

we are

you,

your strength

your presence,

embracing us, we, your community

like your Malong round you

we wear with pride

as we remember you

alive, living,

because of

you.

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