This being my second attempt at creating a widespread publication, I opted to be more mindful, intuitive and authentic. I didn’t want to rush anything either. This was my mindset as I was trying to come up with a name for the publication. I had compiled pages and pages of words and phrases that summed up what the publication is about, but to no avail. During that time, I had finished reading Gangster of Love by renowned Filipino-American writer and performance artist, Jessica Hagedorn, and was completely smitten by the time period it was set in, the constant references to Jimi Hendrix and mentions of Purple Haze. (Note: I was not high when I came up with this title! But I was feening for something outside the norm). I really liked the idea of using color in the name and decided to run the title, Purple Root Collective, by a few people, asking them what they thought of when they heard the title. It was hilarious; I got answers that ranged from Prince (ie., Purple Rain) to chronic (of course) to Africa and Rastafarians, when in actuality, Purple Root simply refers to the wonderful dessert we Filipinos know and love: ube.
The ambiguity in the title suits me well. While it is a direct reference to an artifact of Filipino culture, it doesn’t exclude the rest of the public from reading the publication. Purple Root Collective is a portal for exchange of creativity and knowledge amongst the general community. I don’t believe it should be restricted to Filipinos only. While I asked people what thoughts came up for them when they heard the title and how it would relate to Filipino culture, I noticed it engaged them in thinking about what the culture means to them. Increasing awareness and appreciation are two of the beautiful manifestations I hope come out of this publication.
*What is Purple Root?