Saturday, February 28, 2009

cordially invites you to
MEN READING WOMEN'S WRITINGS: A Literary Luncheon to celebrate Women's History Month
Dr. Leny Mendoza Strobel, Guest Speaker
Saturday, March 28, 2009, ll:00am - 4:00pm
Breakwater Room, Ports of Call Restaurant
Berth 78, San Pedro, CA 90731
Tel (310) 833-3553
Luncheon ticket - $35.00 Call (310) 514-9139. <linda_nietes@sbcglobal.net>
Seats are limited and early reservation is encouraged. Full details of the program will be sent upon receipt of paid reservation. Event is also open to men. Books of Filipina authors will be available during the event.

---BACKGROUND: PINAY GATHERING celebrates Women's History Month, focusing on International Women's Day (IWD). This is the fourth year that our Bookshop had organized this event, and this year, we celebrate women's partnership with men in combatting violence towards women. This is in line with the 2009 theme of the United Nations: WOMEN AND MEN UNITED TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS. MEN READING WOMEN'S WRITINGS is a literary first. We have invited five men from other cultures, who are married to Filipinas, to read literary works of Filipina authors to better appreciate and understand contemporary problems that some women have to face.

Dr. Leny Mendoza Strobel, Guest Speaker and Resource Person, is Associate Professor of American Multicultural Studies at Sonoma State University. She is the author of "Coming Full Circle: The Process of Decolonization among Post-1965 Filipino Americans" (2000) and "A Book of Her Own: Words and Images to Honor the Babaylan"(2005). Her new book on the Filipina Babaylan tradition will be released late this year. She also serves as a cultural and community advocate. I

NTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY (IWD):In 1975, during International Women's Year, the UN began celebrating 8 March as International Women's Day and in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace. Why dedicate a day exclusively to the celebration of the world's women? In adopting its resolution on the observance of Women's Day, the General Assembly cited two reasons: (1) to recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality and development of women; (2) to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security. And March 8th every year has been designated as International Women's Day in the United States.

---To celebrate the 25th anniversary of our Bookshop, we are pleased to present this event to the Fil Am Community of Los Angeles as one of our Silver Jubilee offerings. Thank you for your continued support of our Bookshop's programs. Maraming Salamat at Mabuhay !

---Philippine Expressions Bookshop
The Mail Order Bookshop dedicated toFilipino Americans in search of their roots. 2114 Trudie DriveRancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275-2006, USATel (310) 514-9139 FAX (310) 514-3485----

Thursday, February 26, 2009

it's black history month and pbs programming tonite is on the negro spirituals. i grew up singing these songs as a young person in a church choir. thinking about those days now fills me with a profound joy that comes from the spirit of the songs.

i miss singing.

in those church choir days we weren't taught about slavery or the civil rights movement as we learned to sing the songs. we didn't have any kind of discussions about the oral literature of the African slaves. nothing at all of the sort. and yet learning the spirituals seemed almost effortless compared to the difficulty of learning cantatas and hymns. it felt right in the body.

it is good to think about this connection now...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Zeitgeist, the movie
millions have seen this free movie online and its addendum. it was brought to my attention by some of my students. it is a call to revolution. watch it now. see for yourself if the connections he calls attention to makes sense to you. in an interview he makes it clear that he doesn't attack christians, he is critical of christianity (as organized religion) as the dominant narrative of the times. a bit polemical.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bourdain's No Reservations - Philippines

I like Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. He is usually bubbling with enthusiasm for the countries he visits and raves about their cuisine. So why do I feel that his culinary tour of the Philippines is flat? He visited Chinatown in Manila, Claude Tayag in Pampanga, and Augusto's family in Cebu. The questions are inevitable: why is Philippine cuisine not well known enough? why isn't it distinctive? what is a Filipino? The answers are also predictable: melting pot, marginalized in Asia because it's too West-oriented, too diverse, we are too nice, etc.

He seemed disappointed in the real Augusto vs the high-energy video fan Augusto. Augusto's family was quiet, barely talking and making eye contact with Bourdain. Augusto couldn't do or say enough to liven things up so Bourdain had to provide the post-taping commentary. Bourdain doesn't usually comment on identity issues but if food=identity, then he had a hard time finding the equation. Was it an honest assessment? Perhaps. Me thinks he could have talked to more persuasive folks like Prof. Jun de Leon... Oh, Doreen Fernandez, I miss you.

As for the big name gourmet chef, artist, restaurauteur Claude Tayag - he did a good enough job. Good choice. But I can't believe that Cebu beat Pampanga on the best lechon!

Well, Claude said that what makes the food special has less to do with ingredients and more about the family and friends enjoying eating together but even this didn't show very well in the Cebu segment.

I demand a retake:-) I think he should visit Cafe by the Ruins and Vocas in Baguio and let Kidlat Tahimik be his tour guide.

Friday, February 13, 2009

now that i'm a bonafide Elder, i take delight in seeing the next generation take over.

Rod Magbual, Jeffrey Lawitan, Verma Zapanta, Lawrence Festin -- from Pin@y Educational Partnership (PEP) at San Francisco State U -- took over my Fil Am class last Wednesday and they rocked! my students were very impressed with the work of PEP. the energy level was high, spirits were lifted. after the guests left, we brainstormed on how we will change our pedagogies beginning with...tada! bringing food everyweek. so one of the students quickly passed a sign up sheet. next week: lumpia. then someone said he wants to learn about Filipino world music. another one wanted to learn dances. and then more heartfelt and heartbreaking personal revelations of regret for not knowing enough about Filipino history and heritage.

the students are not all Fil Ams. and yet most of them were able to connect with the sentiments. my grandpa is from Poland and i don't know why he came to this country. i feel sad about that.

the PEP teachers, under Allyson, are miracle workers: turning on students to a Freireian education.

check out PEP and please support them!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

On Eldership...

This past year's lesson: I am an elder.
This has been a difficult lesson to learn in a youth-obsessed culture.
"What kind of ancestor are you going to be?"
When I was asked this question a few years ago, it struck a deep chord that began another journey: a reckoning with eldership.
When younger people started calling me Auntie, Tita, mentor --
Something shifted inside.
Yes, I am an elder.
When I was drawn to a book on women's sacred circles and then made plans to form one,
it felt right.

I am drawn to the wisdom of native grandmothers.
I no longer wonder why their language is simple and metaphorical and powerful.
After the words, come wisdom.
As a native elder once said: If I have to tell you what to do, then I have not been a good leader.

Lately, I have been feeling the need to work with a different language.
The language comes to me in dream images and through sensations in the body.
It pulls me away from the mind's preoccupation with abstractions.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

haeccity -- i just can't get around this word. if i want to say something about a concept or a thing that would signify its "thisness" ...why use the word 'haeccity' instead of just describing the "this"? ek ek.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Matthew Fox on Thomas Berry and Gaston Bachelard and others... speaks to my quest to move beyond anthropocentrism...

Gaston Bachelard, the late twentieth century French philosopher, comments on what happens when cosmos and psyche reconnect. In the Poetics of Space he talks of the holy trinity of Immensity, Intensity and Intimacy. When you have an experience of Immensity—in Thomas’ words, an experience of the cosmos, or relationship to it, it is an intense experience. All awe is both an intense and intimate experience. Humans cannot separate the immense, intense and intimate experience and Thomas Berry by leading us into a cosmic awareness again, an awareness as important for our hearts as for our minds, is bathing us anew in Immensity, Intensity and Intimacy far beyond any mere anthropocentric relationship could ever do for us.

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