Chris Aldana: Empowering women through spoken words
“She is a poetic superhero of titanic proportions whose superpower is giving others superpowers.” – Leroy Jenkonius III, Bangkok Lyrical Lunacy
Fierce. Feisty. Filipina. And she’s only 22. Yeah, life is unfair. Meet Christian Aldana. She is half- Filipino (her mother is from Cebu), half-Australian, all intensity. She’s currently based in Bangkok as a Leadership Development Associate at Wedu Global. This wordsmith got her degree from The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.
She’s a regular performer at the Bangkok Lyrical Lunacy spoken word open mic night. As soon as she hits the verses of her poems, she can get your attention in an instant and you have no choice but to listen and enjoy every syllable that comes out of her mouth. She spits words about truth and liberation. This lady has a purpose. You will be left in awe with your own mouth open.
Let’s know more about her.
“I’ve been writing poetry since I was little. Over time, it became a way to organize my thoughts and emotions, and these days I find myself scribbling verses and couplets on any available piece of paper (or jotting them down on my phone).”
How does it feel everytime/whenever you perform? Any rituals before going onstage?
“It’s exhilarating! And nerve-wracking every single time. Getting on stage and performing very personal and sometimes painful pieces is difficult, and even though I’ve been doing this for almost 4 years now, I still find that my palms are sweating before I step in front of the mic. Before I go onstage I need to spend at least 10 or 15 mins completely tuned out of the world reciting lines to myself, just to make sure I remember everything.”
Where do you get your inspirations?
“A lot of it comes from conversations I have with people close to me. We’ll have these long conversations about friendship or love or politics and even though the conversation is over, everything is still spinning in my head – so I write a poem. I get inspiration from personal experiences too, I process all these big questions I have about life through poetry. ”
How much of a Filipina are you?
“I believe you can’t put a quantity to something so fundamental as your identity. I feel Filipina right down to my bones, even though I have spent the majority of my childhood and my life (so far) outside of it. I feel very rooted in my culture because of the way I’ve been raised, and because of my “Lola” and “Lolo”.”
There are obvious hints of woman empowerment in your poems. What about it?
“Indeed, what about it? (hehe) I am unapologetically a multicultural feminist through and through, so I guess it’s not surprising that women’s empowerment plays a huge part in my poetry. Even as a kid I was outspoken about society’s perception of gender and the arbitrary double standards that exist, though I didn’t know that what I believed had a term back then. My mother did choose to give me a unisex name on purpose, so I guess my fate as an advocate for women’s empowerment was sealed from birth!”
As Leroy Jenkonius III of Bangkok Lyrical Lunacy testifies, “Chris’ poetry is powerful. When she is on the mic, it becomes clear that Wonder Woman will get her ass beat by Chris because she can out woman anyone. But more than that, her poetry is absolutely empowering, so it is as if Superman had all the strength in the world but his superpower only worked if he taught people how to be just as powerful. That’s Chris’ poetry. She is a poetic superhero of titanic proportions whose superpower is giving others superpowers.”
Grace Pasco, another Filipina and spoken word artist adds, “ She’s articulate, classy and intelligent. She’s passionate about her work and you can tell from the way she unapologetically and sincerely delivers her poetry. She doesn’t just do work; she does soul work.”
Christian Aldana…Weaving truth through spoken words. Catch her and the rest of the Bangkok Lyrical Lunacy collective at the Overground.