August 2008

[*archieval images courtesy of Wikipedia, and the University of Wisconsin]

Women begging for food from Americans during the Phil-Am War.

Women begging for food from Americans during the Phil-Am War.

[*I will be co-instructing an upcoming series of Philippine history workshops at KPC from September to November, so I thought I’d write a preview about the Fil-Am War…]

Today’s North American news has daily reports of the debacle in Iraq. It’s just the latest in a string of US invasions into sovereign lands, but the grand-daddy of it all was in the Philippines. (more…)

A few weeks back I asked Filipino youth to tell me what they liked and hated about their people.  During Kultura last Saturday, I did this again.  (more…)

Yeah, yeah!  KPC’s 3rd annual Kultura Festival was last Saturday and it was ridiculous!  In this set of pics I’ll show some of the afternoon events in the park across the street from the centre in trendy Kensington Market in downtown Toronto.  There was music, dance, spoken word, visual art and installations, Filipino street food–and on site hair stylin and massage! (more…)

Olivia with Juana and her husband Noli.

Yesterday Migrante-Ontario, the Independent Worker’s Association (IWA), and associated groups celebrated Juana Tejada’s successful fight to gain permanent residence status. Juana is the live-in caregiver (LCP) that was denied status twice after she was discovered to have terminal cancer and deemed a burden to the Canadian healthcare system. (more…)

A while back I went to a Filipino event at a large Toronto venue. It was an outdoor event and unfortunately it was raining, though luckily the venue had large open air tents to keep the people dry—but for some reason I smelled wet dog.

I was reminded of my youth when I was ashamed of being Filipino. (more…)

poster designed by Christine Mangosing

Hey Toronto Peeps! Come out this Saturday (23 Aug) for Kultura, and see how Filipino youth put on a festival! This is not your Tita and Tito’s Fiesta, this is ours.

I’ll be exhibiting here, and I have an photo installation that will be ongoing throughout the afternoon. Plus check out what local professional Filipino artists are putting together.

spoken word/music performances in the park, arts & crafts vendors, Pinoy street food what?! fishballs, banana-Q anyone!? play readings by Filipino playwrights & actors, shorts films by Filipino filmmakers. Represent!

All happening at Bellevue Square Park on Augusta & Dennison, and at KPC 167 Augusta Avenue

CLICK HERE for a map of the area.

So Canada is finally winning some medals. During that first week all I could hear on the news was the refrain of ‘when’ and ‘why.’ Canada was feeling a little down on itself for its poor showing. While I empathized with the sentiment, it also made me smile a little. I’m not sure if the everyday Canadian saw the parallels between the medal drought and race relations, but that’s what I saw every time the Olympics was discussed on the news. (more…)

Juana Tejada, the Filipina caregiver with terminal cancer that fought against her deportation and won, is an inspiration to caregivers and the Filipino community at large. Come celebrate her victory with her next Sunday (24 Aug), and join in the new campaign to ensure what happens to her doesn’t happen to anyone else. (more…)

I know the Olympics are on, but isn’t anyone else transfixed by the media’s completely uncritical analysis of the Georgian situation?

The Georgian conflict, if North American media outlets are to be believed, is the result of a Russian ‘invasion’ that smacks of a ‘Soviet-style Cold War mentality.’ But even European outlets agree that Georgia clearly struck first. (more…)

***To take a bit of a break from some of the heavier subject matter I’ve been posting, here’s an old travel story from my very first trip back to the Phils in 2001. It’s an email I wrote my friends. I was less than a month into that Asian trip, a trip that would last almost 2.5 years. I read this and I remember a younger me…

* * * * *

Monday June 11, 2001

I have come to realize that the psychological aftertaste of testicle lingers far longer than the actual physical flavour… but I am getting ahead of myself. Please let me restart from the beginning of the story. (more…)

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