Bayanihan critically analyzes how Spanish and U.S. colonialism have shaped Filipino identity and impeded our cultural experiences. Colonialism, religion, family, and my own identity are researched, discussed, and visually represented to also serve as a comparative visual analysis; Bayanihan is both a research project and an emotional practice—a push for Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike to be conscious of the irreversible effects of colonialism. The goal of Bayanihan is to question and comfort. Inspired by my own experiences growing up within Filipino church communities, I focus on two major components of Filipino identity: religion and family. Section I discusses the history of early 20th-century American colonialism within the Philippines through critical visual analysis. Section II explores the religious effects of American and Spanish colonialism/Roman Catholicism. In this section, I use metallic gold Risograph printing to represent the bleeding of religion (Riso ink tends to bleed on surfaces it touches). This "leaving of a mark" represents the stigmata of Jesus Christ. The gold also represents the golden edges of a Bible. Finally, Section III comforts the reader by using scans from my family's photo albums to represent Filipino families.
Bayanihan is written in pre-colonial Filipino script, Baybayin. The word "Bayanihan" refers to the spirit of working together to achieve a particular goal. Before Bayanihan is made tangible through printed matter, such as a book, it first exists as an everyday practice of working together as a community to better understand our history—and to dismantle internalized colonialism within Filipino personhood.