10 F Philippines

10 F Philippines

by Barbara Jane Reyes

1. “The beauty of her creation, though, is the ease of manipulation” — Georgia Political Review (June 23, 2014).




pix·i·lat·ed or pix·il·lat·ed or pix·e·lat·ed or pix·el·lat·ed (pĭksə-lā′tĭd)


1. Behaving as if mentally unbalanced; very eccentric.

2. Whimsical; prankish.

3. Slang Intoxicated; drunk.

[From PIXIE.]

pix′i·lation n.


When Sweetie was born, the soundtrack of fetid rain clacking on corrugated roofs.

Not roofs, really, but slattern shacks tied with plastic shopping bag rope binding

Corner posts, not really posts but demolished parts stacked, rebar reaching as

Petrified extremities, brittle, begging for coins. The shrieking thing’s birth was swift,

A pixie thing, barely the size of a man’s swinging fist. She was the daughter of a whore,

The sister of a whore. A whore begets a whore weans a whore, then gets back to work.

When Sweetie was born, market research findings revealed what the world wide web

Catalogued, user posts on bulletin boards, blogged testimonials boasting cottage industry

Pages illustrated with pixellated, Third World motion capture money shots. In Catholic charities’

Video captures, Hollywood has-beens in squatter encampments, bedecked in linen, immunized.

Here, you meet Sweetie’s harelipped kin, feral, big-eyed, swarming. Flipflops worn to concrete,

Matted hair, patella bones and open wounds, distended bellies. Petrified extremities, begging,

Broadcasting toll free numbers, websites, prime time, suppertime. You call because parasites

In the drinking water. You log in because you want the young, pure. Sweetie was born ready.



6. “I’m not real.”

7. “The rich westerner usually defines ‘the market’. Money is scarce in many developing countries and practically every request by webcam will be conceded, however perverse.” — Terre des Hommes




We are devastated by the thought of you, Sweetie

We are rooting for you to defy the odds, Sweetie


We are entitled to your story is ours too, Sweetie

We are deconstructing your construction, Sweetie


We are checking our status updates for you, Sweetie

We are seeking solidarity in hashtags and reshares, Sweetie


We are writing ourselves into your narrative, Sweetie

We are raising our virtual fists for you, Sweetie


We are displaying placards of protest for you, Sweetie

We are creating memes of defiance for you, Sweetie


We are creating distance between us and you, Sweetie

We are confused about ourselves because of you, Sweetie


We are consumed with ourselves because of you, Sweetie

We are consumed, we like you not like you, unlike you Sweetie


10. “Sweetie will not be used again. She has done her job. ” — International Business Times (November 6, 2013)

[Images are from the Terre des Hommes website.]

Reyes, B. J. (2015) 10 F Philippines. Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, No.6. doi:10.7264/N3416VBN

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Barbara Jane Reyes

Barbara Jane Reyes is a Pinay poet and educator, based in Oakland, CA. She is an adjunct professor in the Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program at University of San Francisco, and the author of Diwata (BOA Editions Ltd., 2010), and Poeta en San Francisco (2005). She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc. (PAWA).

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10 F Philippines