It’s been over a year since I last shared something here at WIT Blog, but it hasn’t been for lack of trying. The last two years of weathering a mini-apocalypse/global pandemic has been world-shifting in so many ways, some that we may not even realize yet…but that’s not why I’m here today.

Today, I wanted to share something I wrote last month about legacy, the Filipino cultural value of utang ng loob, and the biblical concept of Jubilee. This was probably the first real essay I’ve been able to write in a very long time, and holds even more meaning for me because I was genuinely afraid that any ounce of creativity I’d had left in me was stamped out by the pandemic.

For those of you who continue to struggle with finding hope in dark places, with creating things when it feels like the world is falling apart — know that you are not alone and that nothing is wasted. Your words and art matter, especially now.

And so, without further ado, here is my latest essay, “Jubilee.”*

I come from a family of artists — of creators and musicians and dancers and singers. You wouldn’t know it, though, since the major arc of my family history — at least, the narrative that I’m most familiar with — has always been about survival and stability.

My grandmother on my father’s side is from Cagayan, a province on the northern tip of the northern-most Philippine island of Luzon. When the Japanese invaded the Philippines in 1941, it was by way of Cagayan. My grandmother was 15 years old at the time, and when they heard news of the Japanese invading the country and raping their women, her oldest brother kept his sisters safe by hiding them on a boat, leaving their home behind, and following the boat along the Cagayan River to a relative’s home…

Continue reading here: “Jubilee” by Jessica Gapasin Dennis


*This article was first published in Issue #74 of Inheritance magazine and can be read at https://www.inheritancemag.com/stories/jubilee

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