The 187th recipient is Cly Samson @bonclyver, team member at Oxbow Farm @oxbowcenter in Carnation, WA.
Cly writes, “I am a queer Filipina with family roots coming from Angono, Rizal & Olongapo City, Philippines. My ancestors are fisherfolk, farmers and artists. I’m currently taking care of a 1-acre educational farm - Oxbow Farm - on Coast Salish land. I only started farming just a year ago as an intern at Kamayan Farm @kamayanfarm
‘Lakas ng loob’ is written on my wrist. It means strong self or inner strength in Tagalog. Growing up, I was never told good job or well done but once in a while an elder would say ‘Lakas ng loob si Cly’. It hits deep, like soul deep. It meant that someone acknowledged my spirit as being strong and courageous. It also meant that if I didn’t feel strong or courageous, I wouldn’t be acknowledged. So striving for resilience within my Filipino culture became very toxic.
But, the more I hear about farmers and their struggles, the more accepting I become of my struggles instead of covering it up with toxic resilience. ‘Lakas ng loob’ means that I am strong in this present moment/self/community. That I can be stressed, sad, angry, in need of help and still be held by others and myself.”