I've had this painting for years and years...not only had I painted it for my very first apartment in college, but it's based off of a handcrafted wooden figurine of my mom's from the Philippines, so it's pretty special to me. I can't believe I was thinking about selling it a few months ago. When I dragged it out of the storage closet, tons of nostalgia flooded back to me, and as I was trying to find old photos of it, I ran across pictures with such dear friends of mine, including me with one of my favorite girls in the world two stepping hand-in-hand to our country songs, singing out loud at Pete's Piano Bar with girls from interior design and guys from architecture (I would like to point out that one of my interior design friends got MARRIED last year to a guy in architecture she met that night!), among other happy things.
Anyway! Back to the painting and short story. Are you wondering what 'sayaw' means? It translates to 'dance' from Tagalog (the main Filipino language) to English. Well...that's what Google Translate told me. I didn't get to call my mom or Filipino family/friends to make sure it's being used in the correct context. Bah, that's the name, I've decided.
The music, while foreign to her ears, was all too familiar. She shyly pulled the sides of her red dress down her tanned legs as far as the fabric would allow while discreetly glancing at members of her extended family and their gigantic group of friends dancing to the beat of the drums, kicking the white sand in the air with their feet. This was her native country…not one she had been born into, but one that was the root of her cultural background. The last time she had been at this very place was as a two-year-old; and now, in her twenties, she couldn’t seem to grasp the notion of spontaneity and self confidence she had once possessed as a child.
As the music continued on for the next half hour, she became accustomed to the beat paired with the loud, happy behavior of those enjoying it around her. They’ve been dancing for hours, she thought to herself. After surveying the happiness and festivities surrounding her one more time, she decided to finally let go and be a part of it.
Her initial small, awkward movements felt strange and new to her, but as she moved with the music, she began to feel the rhythm. Before she knew it, she was lost in the fluid motions, thumping and twirling in time with the music and the waves of the ocean behind her.