by SOMA Pilipinas
LIWANAG: Literary and Graphic Expressions by Filipinos in America, Special Commemorative Reissue
What happens when a group of young Pinoy and Pinay writers, artists, and students -- Filips-- take the means of production into their own hands. They create a Flip-centric work of art and literature that is their collaborative artistic and political vision, and though decades out of print, it becomes legendary in the local community, its effects reaching into the following decades, and into the new century.
For many of us "youngbloods," as Manong Al Robles called us as he encountered us in San Francisco streets, especially SoMa, especially Manilatown, LIWANAG, produced in 1975 at San Francisco State University, birthplace of the 1968 Third World Liberation From (TWLF), was a necessary object lesson in possibility and execution. In the 1980s, so few of us had ever seen ourselves in print; imagining ourselves as authors of our own stories was, as gross understatement, an insurmountable challenge. If not for LIWANAG, how could we have ever committed our historically, linguistically, emotionally complex stories to the page, writing ourselves in our own images, in our languages, in our spaces...