Noreaga Shouts Out the Philippines by Janice Lobo Sapigao
“Ya, what? you found Manuel Noreaga?
In the Philippines?
He has a mansion?
Okay, we on it, on it, right now, right” — Noreaga “Superthug (What What)”
And my brother and I replayed the track
At least five times
Before we could confirm
That he didn’t say spilled beans,
Other means, or in the machines.
The first time we found our ears
Stuck to a stereo praying
Nore really knew anyone who was Filipino.
We thought he could see us
Between helicopter beats and
The repetition of a single-word
chorus trapped inside of itself.
Before we had been there,
We found the Philippines first before
We could visit. We heard its name
Calling ours, wanting to sit with
a sound system
synonymous with homeland.
To a beat that bumped for us
Brown (over) and
Black (over) and
Belonging (over again).
About the Author:
Janice Lobo Sapigao is a daughter of Filipina/o immigrants. She is the author of two books of poetry: microchips for millions (Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc., 2016) and Like a Solid to a Shadow (Timeless, Infinite Light, 2017.) She is a VONA/Voices and Kundiman Fellow, and the Associate Editor of TAYO Literary Magazine. She co-founded Sunday Jump. She earned her M.F.A. in Writing from CalArts, and she has a B.A. in Ethnic Studies with Honors from UC San Diego.