jeepney spirituality

reflections on faith, culture, and pilipino identity

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community #1 :unINTENTIONAL community & the immigrant experience

I got a chance to chat with my mother about her immigration experience.

my mom in her youth

"You live with other people? Why would you do that? Is it like a commune, or something?" - Responses we’ve gotten from family, friends, and folks in our church community upon hearing that we live in community with four other adults, and two other children…all under the same roof. 

We decided early in the first months of marriage, that we wanted to live in community as a spiritual discipline. In a culture that is marked by consumerism and isolation, we wanted to live in a way that pushed back on this earthly reality for the sake of living into a Kingdom reality. My wife and I forget sometimes how different this approach to post-college life can be, and how jarring it can sound for people who’d never consider living this intentionally, in community. After all, people only live with other people if they have to, right?

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The Spiritual Discipline of Parenthood

Nine days ago, my son entered the world after my wife went through more than 60 hours of labor (she’s a freaking super hero). I left a conference that I had been helping to plan for the last year-and-a-half, and rushed home because of a text from my wife that read: “I think I’m in labor…come home as soon as you can.” In that very moment, something very different had kicked in for me; I had to get home.

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agency (probably more posts to come)

Jeepneys are an exercise in Pilipino agency. Leftover vehicles (hundreds), either sold to Pilipinos or left as gifts at the close of World War II. They are painted in an array of colors, plated in chrome, engines ripped out, replaced, backs extended to accomodate for 20+ people. If it wasn’t a Pilipino vehicle when the US Army handed the jeep over, it definitely is one now. Pilipinos made Jeepneys their own. And now, they’re the most widely used, incredibly affordable modes of transportation throughout the Philippines, and especially in Metro Manila. I realize this isn’t the cleanest metaphor, but it’s a good starting point in light of thinking about faith.

The concept of agency has been on my mind as of late. Agency in light of faith, and why agency (and the exercise of it) is a key component in the growth and development of people who follow Jesus.

And now, a few unformed points about agency in light of faith.

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Filed under faith agency transition youngadult church christianity filipino pilipino pilipinoamerican filipinoamerican catholic evangelical jeepney colonialism imperialism lordship

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an introduction

My wife grew up in the Philippines. For some of her childhood, her dad was a jeepney driver. Jeepneys are the backbone of the informal, chaotic, and elegantly complex public transportation system in the Philippines. They were left in the Philippines after World War II by the US Military, and Filipinos have been tearing them up, rebuilding them, and making them their own, ever since. They are in essence, a reflection of the complicated history of the Philippines; a history marked by colonialism, conquest, imperialism, cultural hegemony, beauty, and redemption. This history is still in process today.

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Filed under jeepney spirituality filipino pilipino filipinoamerican filam pilipinoamerican faith culture philippines