Deeper Than That

There are no trinkets to be worn

There are no flags to fly

No shouting at the top of my lungs

No t-shirt blasting my deeper than that pride

No bandana wrapped around my head

No float I want to see passing by

For my pride….is deeper than that

Deeper than all the commercialism

Far deeper than the corporate capitalist..getting rich off the backs of the very same parade viewers

Deeper than the politician waving a flag for support

Saying vote for me, vote for me..

To celebrate and show cultural pride ; there’s nothing wrong with that

I shouted and waved the same

Before Albizu flowed through my veins

Before de Burgos beat in my heart

Before Campeche painted my eyes

Before I knew from where I came

Not for not wanting, not for want to ignore

One sided histories made for want of more and more

There are things that can’t be changed

Like the blood that flows through my veins

Blood that flows like a thousand waving flags

In sync and in harmony

With a heart that pulsates the song of a lone star

My hairs stand at the sweet sound of “La Borinquena”

Blood knows of origins in another land

Land once tended by indigenous hands

Land that gave birth to my forbearers

Etched deep within the skin I’m in

La bandera in my soul

I affirm my identity with that of the forbearers

And proclaim… pride is deeper than that.

© Efrain Ortiz Jr.


Puerto Rican Flag… ¡Que Bonita Bandera!

It’s that time of year again. The Puerto Rican flags, t-shirts, handkerchiefs, trinkets, etc. are on full display. The problem here lies somewhere between pride and false pride. Those who know what they celebrate and those whose only proud reason is another excuse for a party.

Knowledge is power, in knowing our true history we have all the power to better control our destinies. Let us take the steps to get there.

The following is text originally published on various posts at EFRAIN’S CORNER (6/26/09, 6/11/10, 6/10/11)



The Puerto Rican flag..similar to that of the Cuban flag, is beautiful, handsome and gracious.


The Puerto Rican flag was adopted by the Puerto Rican Section of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, circa 1895. There are several accounts as to the actual creation of the flag but, nonetheless, it was a beautiful creation. The design of the flag is open for debate; Francisco Gonzalo Marin, Antonio Vélez Alvarado, Manuel Besosa and even Lola Rodríguez de Tió have all been credited with the design depending on the account.

While we see so many flags displayed proudly it is hard to believe that from 1898 until 1952 the same flag could not be displayed and was considered a felony to do so. It was 1952, when the flag was adopted and proclaimed the official flag of Puerto Rico.

Prior to 1952 :

  • The red symbolized the blood of the brave warriors, white for the peace and victory that would be attained after gaining independence, blue (sky blue) for the sky and blue coastal waters and the lone star represented Puerto Rico.

After 1952:

  • The red became to symbolize the blood that nourishes the three branches of government, the white became to symbolize a republican form of government and the blue triangle, which was changed to a darker shade like that of the U.S. flag, represented the three branches of government.

*Note: The blue was changed to the original sky blue tone in 1995.Additional Notes

  • The Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, formed on September 22 of 1922, was the first political party to officially use the flag as a symbol of the struggle for independence (just as the Puerto Rican Section of the Cuban Revolutionary Party did).
  • The Puerto Rican Section of the Cuban Revolutionary Party was formed on December 22 of 1895 , at which time they adopted the flag.
  • Any flag that is displayed on a vehicle must be attached to a flagpole. (ex. not on the hood, not allowed to touch the ground)
  • The Cuban flag was created in 1849 by Venezuelan general Narciso Lopez. It became official in 1902.
  • The flag should be raised with the first notes of the Puerto Rican national anthem and continue to be raised slowly so that it reaches the top of the flagpole with the last notes.

La patria es…



An Imaginary Conversation Between Oscar López Rivera & Edward Snowden

If ever there were a conversation that was to be had, then this is it. Ed Morales does an exceptional job with an imaginary conversation between nationalism, patriotism and remaining true to one’s beliefs in the face of political might…

Ed Morales

Ed Snowdenolr-bust

Today, Oscar López Rivera, a Puerto Rican nationalist who has been in prison for 33 years after being convicted of seditious conspiracy, released a moving statement about his homeland’s continuing colonial status, the ways he finds to celebrate his life, and the continual struggle for independence. Last night, Edward Snowden, a former NSA employee who has been forced into exile in Russia because he decided to blow the whistle on American intelligence’s unlawful spying on innocent citizens, was interviewed by the father of one of the stars of the hit HBO series Girls.

In some ways it’s a little awkward comparing these two, and in some ways it’s easy. López Rivera is not particularly loyal to the United States, and has dedicated his life to separate his people from it to form a new nation. Snowden sees himself as a loyal American who wants to come home, but feels…

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Makes Me Wanna… Take Notes

It is said that writing is therapy. Well then,  at the current moment I should be writing up a storm. But then, it would probably be a tell all. Some days it seems like there is so much crumbling going on around me that I feel like letting out a scream. A scream may be simplifying matters. I’m sure there’s some rage and pain in there somewhere. My senses and self discipline catch a hold of me and keep me level headed though.

Some where along the way, I will figure out how to put all this out there. Until then, it’s all a note taking process. Here, there, a notepad,  my android… there are notes waiting to find their respective places in my journey through the maze of life. There will  be a time and a place for it all. That, I’m sure of.

Until then, I’ll keep taking notes…

Visiting “Love When You Say Love” (a review)

What’s in a name? In the case of Odilia Rivera Santos,  an infinite amount of words that capture the essence of life as seen through her eyes and experienced in her life.

I met Odilia online several years ago during my earlier venture into the blogosphere,  Efrain’s Corner. Soon after, I had the pleasure of meeting her in person and listening to her perform. And I say, simply amazing.


Odilia is a writer that transcends the norm. Her passion for writing is evident in her everyday social media postings and throughout the several blogs that she hosts.  So, it was to no surprise, when I read her new poetry e-book entitled, “Love When You Say Love,” that it continued on with that very same flare and passion. It’s what I call, a poetic journey through a lovescapade and a solid rock and cushion enmeshed into oneness. At times you’re in love and at others you’re out of love. This collection of poetry leaves no stone unturned. Indeed, a great read!

You may visit this Afro-Puerto Rican writer via her online writing…

My Writers Block Hiccup…

I don’t write enough.  That’s what I always tell myself. Yes, I tend to beat myself up quite a bit for it.  Writer’s block? Well, if it is, I’ll just take note.

It is said, time is of the essence  and I couldn’t agree more.

Seems like I spend most of my days between my commute and the ever maddening world of work.  Work, well that in itself is a story that would make most people shake their heads in disbelief. I could end my days by writing about workplace stories that may seem like complete fabrications. Instead,  I’ll just keep notes and save those stories for another time.

There it is! That wasn’t difficult at all.

Until next time, keep on writing on.