July 2008


Pango means flat nosed.

“Pango” means “flat nosed.”

I was at a famjam yesterday at the Fiesta ng Pateros picnic in Newmarket (Pateros is the part of Manila where my immediate family lived). I decided to test out a project about how young Filipinos and Filipinas viewed their people.

I visited other tables and asked youth to write one positive and one negative about Fils. The horizontal images show what they liked, the vertical pics what they didn’t like.

I told them they could write anything on the white board they wanted, as long as they meant it. I didn’t tell what language to use, nor did I correct spelling.

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Myk Miranda, Mithi Esguerra, and I were invited to speak on Radio Migrante (105.5FM) yesterday afternoon on the theme of migration and identity. For one hour every Tuesday from 4-5pm, York University Radio with host Marco Luciano of Migrante-Ontario runs this program about the Filipino migrant experience. (more…)

I like to look at archival photos every once in awhile. There’s something about seeing images from the past that grips me. The long dead faces, and old–almost foreign–landscapes tell stories.

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I was interested in this photo from 1909 instantly, two Filipino indigenous men, captives of colonized Filipino soldiers working for the Americans. One of the bound men had a look that seemed to me fearful, while the other seemed proud and defiant. The caption under the photo only told me that they were the killers of Dr. William Jones.

Who was this Dr. Jones? What was he a doctor of? What was he doing in the Phils and, presumably indigenous territory? And, of course, why was he killed? (more…)

Happy Canada Day all!

Of course Canada has been a blessing for many Filipinos (the 4th largest visible minority in the country). It has provided us with opportunities that we would be hard pressed to find in the Philippines. I remember my first visit back home in 2001 when I saw how my relatives lived and I often still think about what would have become of me and my family had we stayed.

[above: my uncle’s neighbourhood, a squatter area by active train tracks in Manila. I lived here for four months in 2001 (photo from 2005).]

Of course all of our experiences are unique and with a community as large as ours the stories of migration vary widely, but when you look at the big picture a heart wrenching reality emerges. (more…)