***THIS IS A TRANSCRIPT OF MY TALK AS A GUEST PANELIST/SPEAKER FOR THE SDSU OUTREACH'S, "LGBT+ VOICES: A CULTURAL EXPERIENCE" LAST APRIL 2018***
WARNING: This is a bit of a hefty read as I had to talk for about 10-mins.
I am the one that is standing in front you right now.
I am the one who has faced through so many obstacles in life.
I am the one who seeks revenge for those who’ve hurt me.
I am the one that longs for a mere acceptance.
I am the that you see strutting down the street.
I am the one that values friendship more than anything else.
I am the one that trips over the smallest cement cracks.
I am the one that you hear laughing randomly for no reason.
I am the disappointment of my family.
I am the son that they wish they never had.
I am the outcast of the society.
I am that annoying bug that you really want to step on.
I am the one that everybody bullied .
I am the one that people can call a good friend.
I am the one that will say “Bless You” even if they don’t acknowledge it.
I am the one who will be the last to get things in school.
These are the marks of the endless tears , that I’ve cried.
These are the hands of experience and resentment.
These are the eyes who has been exposed through the harsh, painful side of reality.
Most of all, this is the heart that has been shattered to millions of pieces over and over and over again.
I will be the one to prove everybody wrong.
I will be the one to make a difference.
I will be the one to conquer everything that will be thrown at me.
I will be the one to define myself.
My name is Edrian Melchor F. Pangilinan, I am 26 years old, an artist, a lover of love, a foodie and ultimately an old soul. I was born in Mandaluyong City, PI and was raised here in San Diego where my whole family and I immigrated in 2001. Growing up with a strong appreciation for the arts, my training included dance, music, voice and art. In 2011, I graduated from San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts where I discovered my potential for developing creative expression through dance and video. Along the journey of cultivating my artistic voice and healing, I decided to furthermore pursue a higher education in the arts where I graduated at San Diego State University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance with a minor in Television, Film and New Media. Last year, I checked off not just one bucket list but two of creating/writing and producing my very own LGBT shorts. The first one was “Hey Man”, a 3-year long project. It is a romantic comedy film about one’s discover of self-love and worth which is mainly inspired by thoughts and views about love. And later that year, I had the opportunity to produce another LGBT short called “Flight”, this film was greatly inspired by a deep-rooted place of loneliness and my yearning for companionship and connection. As of today, “Flight” has been viewed over 67,000 times on YouTube.
Back to this poem, it is a very much a true testament to how FAR I’ve come in life to working hard and diligently to create the fruitful life that I have now. Once upon a time, THIS was my life, the life that I had to live, to learn how to LOVE and EMBRACE. Growing up, I’ve always known and recognized that I was different than everyone else, I didn’t really know it was back then up until I was began to bullied for simply being myself. The sad part was, it didn’t end at the school grounds but rather continued to my own home with my family. It was then and there that I realized that I am different and began to slowly wither away. For a very very very long time, I was so broken to the point where I became vengeful to inflict pain to those who’ve hurt me including my family. I was VERY LOST and DIDN’T know who I was anymore through it all. I begged and seeked for love, happiness and acceptance through the all the wrong places and people thinking that I was going to succeed and I didn’t. Little did I know that being a creative person would be the very thing to save ME from MYSELF - through the form of movement. I always that dance, being artist chose me than me choosing it. At the time I didn’t realize why I kept doing what I was doing except for the fact that I simply loved doing it. It was then that it was revealed to me through reaching my very lowest (of where I almost considered drugs & alcohol) the true healing effects of the arts. Ever since then, I have been on the journey towards self-love and healing myself. Through all of this great trial & tribulations, I ultimately learned what it truly means to have REAL LOVE for myself and to even have a slight clue of what my true worth even is.
I am VERY THANKFUL that I got to experience this in my lifetime because I would’ve never been able to have the chance to get to know and embrace the person that I am this very day - the WARRIOR of LOVE that I am and the MASTERPIECE that I will become.
Through my interview with the lovely Sam, I realized that what had happened in the past didn’t matter and haunted me anymore but it was rather HOW I moved forward and WHAT I did to give back to this world. In the 26 years that I’ve been alive, I realized that the best way I can give back to this world in the midst of my adversities was to love, love more and spread the love even if it hurts. My recent discovery and practice of Bikram Yoga has been very pivotal to my recent breakthrough of not just finding myself again but finding peace within. This practice has really allowed to dig deep to find peace within myself through the 105 degrees tempered room. So, lastly I want to end my talk with a special message for you all from a recent class that I took as we move forward together in life
My presence is enough, I am enough. I don’t need to be THE best (out of everyone/anyone) but just simply need to be my OWN champion of myself. I completely deserve to LOVE myself wholeheartedly, completely and unapologetically. Life has told me in many different ways that I am not worthy because of X,Y and Z. You know what, I say FUCK the rules and the here-sayers and. just be relentless in your pursuit of simply being, owning, cherishing, loving, struggling, deepening and continuing to find ways to own the life that you deserve to have. So what if you don’t fit the mold, it never means that there can never be any room for a REBEL to completely change the rules (as long you as you do with a good heart) and start a new MOVEMENT. To be honest, I don’t even know what my whole intention was of starting this post but I knew I simply wanted to express.
Lastly, please do KNOW that you are never completely alone in this journey of life. There are just as many people going through the same struggle as you. You just have to find the means to dig deep, feel vulnerable, set your intentions clear and open up yourself to the world like the flowers that we are truly meant to BLOSSOM into. I fucking love you, YOU are fucking loved, and please please don’t LET anyone tell you otherwise. and if they do, just simply find it WITHIN yourself to love them anyways
At this point, we never really know when we’re going to leave this world and my absolutely worst fear about that is not about the ACTION of death itself but the regret of not extending my wings to the fullest before I leave. So far anyone reading this, I hope this inspires to LOVE more, to relentlessly be in the PURSUIT of happiness, being unapologetic about yourself and basically just love all around. Because we will simply disappear one day and it’ll be...
***THANK YOU SAM PUT FOR THIS AMAZING + LIFE CHANGING OPPORTUNITY TO BE ABLE TO SHARE MY STORY AND USE THIS AS A PLATFORM FOR EMPOWERMENT. I WILL BE TALKING ABOUT THIS IN A FUTURE VLOG. ***
For now, please check out and "like" the official Facebook page for the "OUTreach", an SDSU School of Social Work LGBTQIA Student Organization.