Tibok: Heartbeat of the Filipino Lesbian

Tibok: Heartbeat of the Filipino Lesbian

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It wasn’t long ago when I embraced the possibility that I was on my way to becoming a full-pledged lesbian. I thought it was just a mere curiosity and I would have outgrown it. I guess I should have paid more attention to the famous saying of a cat being killed out of curiosity. In my case, I was the cat.

I could still remember vividly the first lesbian book I read. The title of the book was “Tibok: Heartbeat of the Filipino Lesbian”. It was an anthology, meaning it was a collection of literary works perfectly hand-picked by the primary author, Ms. Anna Leah Sarabia.

The book was a compilation of essays, short stories, poems and comic strips that covered issues confronting the lesbians today. It showcased the different lesbian experiences that happened during the 80’s until the 90’s. It offered me a glimpse to the lives of lesbians who are disowned, liberated and even closeted.

The title, TIBOK, a Tagalog word, which means heartbeat in English, symbolized the desire of every Filipino Lesbians to share their experiences and to become visible. As the status of being a lesbian and gay in our country being gradually demoted throughout the ensuing years, these lesbian authors wanted and yearned for changes. By sharing their experiences, it would help readers to open their minds in a non prejudice and welcoming way.

It was a great book, in my opinion. It served as an eye-opener to the pathway I chose. I realized that I wasn’t alone and I should hold on because in time, in the midst of confusion, I will find a place, a safe haven, to become comfortable with my own skin.

I would gladly recommend this book, especially to those who are confused. Not only would the experience be liberating but also it would be entertaining as well. I would like to finish this by invoking a quote from a French playwright, Jean Anouilh. He said, “Our entire life… consists ultimately in accepting ourselves as we are.”


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