2019 The death of a matriarch has prompted the dispersion of her children across the globe, but tonight they reconvene in song.
In a way, the death of the White House is self-inflicted.
In a way, the loss of memory is a genetic condition that extends to the home.
2008 In the shelter of the nipa hut, the child sings to her grandmother about all the things that surround them, alive.
The song is the mooring line they hold onto as the matriarch, ground floor reinstated, succumbs gradually to Alzheimer's.
2001 In the vast limbo of newly American life, the diaspora grab on to anything that can provide the relief of firmament -
a dying language, a distant wedding, an ancestral house.
For the interstitial child, that house is a playground.
1950 When the matriarch marries, tradition dictates that she start her new life with her new husband in his family home.
However, when her parents-in-law see her pumping water, toiling hard, they see her strength and decide that she will remain at the White House.
She defies tradition and rules a household.
1942 The matriarch lives in the attic with her rattan and caribao bone.
The Japanese occupy the Philippines, then the ground floor of the White House.
1934 The White House is conceived as a favour, a refuge, a repository.
It is built from the wood of a yakal tree, punctured with capiz shell glass, wrapped with a metal artefact of warfare.