Helping Flood Victims Beyond the Box

Leave a comment

ImageWe here at Carlos Bulosan are preparing to close our office for the Holidays. Although we want to acknowledge the state of emergency back in the homeland. The press has been calling our community partner, Kapisanan,  to see if we are able to mobilize relief efforts within the GTA for Typhoon Sendong (Washi) that struck the province of Misamis Oriental in the northern part of Mindanao, on Friday [December 16].

Although we all are not able to mobilize for this typhoon, like they did for Ondoy, there is still a huge need for people to contribute and donate. If you are starting or finishing some  shopping, think about donating to the help the victims of Typhoon Sendang on behalf of the person you are buying a gift for.

On behalf of Kapisanan and CBT here’s our recommendation of where you can donate cash. We strongly recommend cash donations, it’s much more immediate, and it’s carbon footprint-conscious.

OPERATION SAGIP MIGRANTE (Operation Migrante Relief) for the survivors of typhoon Sendong. This relief effort is organized by Migrante Canada and its chapters, in cooperation with Migrante International.
Operation Sagip-Migrante is now open for monetary donations.

Donations in cash or cheques can be deposited to the MIGRANTE ONTARIO account. Please write “For Sagip Migrante” on the Memo line.

Migrante-Ontario Account # 0617-5260423
TD Canada Trust Branch 1968
Charitable Receipts for Donations of $20.00 and over

Please ensure that complete mailing address of donor appears on the cheque. For cash donations, email the list of names complete with mailing addresses and cash amounts to

For more information, please contact Jonathan Canchela at 647-833-1023.


Toy Mountain & CBT

Leave a comment

See Carlos Bulosan Theatre and other Charities from Dolphin Bingo Hall at 1911 Eglinton Ave E, Scarborough, tonight on CTV with Tom Brown as CBT participates in Toronto’s 16th Annual Toy Mountain campaign benefiting The Salvation Army. This year’s Toy Mountain toy goal is the biggest yet, with 150,000 toys needed for disadvantaged children living the GTA. It’s amazing how small amounts collected over time accumulate.  So far the 43 Charities including CBT have helped collect over $2000.00.

If you’re interested in donating a new unwrapped toy for children as young as newborns as old as 17 years old then check  for a list of official toy drop-off locations closest to you.

Shop Dundas Street. Shop Local!

Leave a comment

If you’re shopping this weekend Shop Local with some Filipino Flare. Avoid the cluttered and claustrophobic parking lots and malls and head to Dundas Street. From Spadina St. to Dufferin St. you’ll find one of the kind gifts in specialty shops own and curated by Filipino Artist, Designers, Craft-Makers right here in Toronto.

Lets start East and work West. First stop Kensington Market North of Dundas St. on Augusta Ave.

1. Blue Banana Market | 250 Augusta Ave |

Ok Ok so it’s closer to College St. and it’s NOT owned by a Filipino BUT Blue Banana gets a special shout out because they recently donated a gift basket valued at $70+ to the Women + Finance + Empowerment  event at Kapisanan Centre for Philippine Arts and Culture. Thank you Blue Banana for the community support.

2. Kapisanan Centre for Philippine Arts and Culture | 167  Augusta

Just south of Bellevue Park is the Kapisanan Centre for Philippine Arts and Culture. The paroles in the window are a clear indication you’re in the right place. You can say that I’m biased as CBT’s office is IN Kapisanan but Kapisanan is the place where you will find funky trinkets, yummy treats, and festive Pasko vibes!

Funky trinkets – Hand-crafted waterfall necklace from T’boli tribe in Mindanao ($60)

Yummy treats – Artisinal Preserves by Eric Quebral featuring flavours include Lemon Curd, Apple Butter and Guinness Stout Mustard ($5 ea.)

Pasko (Christmas) Vibes – Block printing Holiday Cards hand made by Clutch Program* participants. ($3 ea. Or 2 for $5)

But wait. There’s more:  Silkscreen Prints and Melissa Clemente Designs!

*CLUTCH is a FREE 5-month arts-based program for young Filipina artists (females aged 17-24 years old) to start a dialogue with each other, get mentorship from professional artists within the community, have access to professional tools to hone their creativity, define their identity, explore their community, and tell their stories on their terms.

3. Pretty Freedom | 165  Augusta Ave

Pretty Freedom is my favourite vintage-like store for two reasons 1)   they are affordable 2) they believe in second chances. Everything in the store including the furnishings has been given a second chance.

Pretty Freedom, or “Ilus Malaya”, was named for the owners’ favourite words in their native languages (Estonian and Tagalog). This fabulous store also carries local jewellery designers including  It’s Your Life and WiLD MOON Jewelry.

Every Tuesday they release their new stock (with prices) online via the “Weekly Top 40” and you can ask the store owners via social media to hold items for you. Talk about customer service! And…This Month they’re having a special on  Melissa Clemente Designs.

4.  Miracle Thieves | 249 Crawford Street |

Say goodbye to Kensington and walk West until you’re facing Trinity Bellwoods Park on Dundas it is here that you’ll find  Miracle Thieves. Miracle Thieves has a viaritey of community activities in addition to their retail store.

Every quarter, Miracle Thieves features local Toronto artists in the main studio space. Ranging from illustrations and handbound books, to jewelry and sui generis garments, Miracle Thieves showcases a wide range of pieces made by prolific local artisans.

Their consignment retail component is curated (by Robin Lacambra one half of to feature world-class talents who live and work in the village/neighbourhood. Some of their featured artists include Tala Kamea, Ilona Fiddy and of course, Melissa Clemente Designs (I’m seeing a theme here).

5. Magiks Home Furnishings | 1499 Dundas Street West |

This specialty shop showcases time-old traditions of woodcarving, weaving, lighting and much more.  With its Spanish colonial influences, Islamic sensibilities, and animistic origins, the pieces are unique and outstanding.

Their accent and lighting pieces are stunning.  The concepts are familiar, however the materials and shapes are unique. The result is an outstanding merge of  originality and  functionality. Their table lamps and shell votive candle holders are what originally caught my eye although avoid the Imelda Marcos quote on the main page…it lacks irony.

Why is it IMPORTANT to shop local?
Locally owned businesses tend to purchase from other local businesses, thus owned by people who live locally, and are more invested in the community’s future. For example the majority of the places listed above have active outreach and community programs. Local businesses require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community. A growing body of economic research shows that entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.

Filipina-Canadian Artist on Bravo’s Work of Art

Leave a comment

Sara Jimenez is a contestant on Bravo’s reality TV show, Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, season 2 on Bravo.

Sara Jimenez is a Filipina-Canadian artist who currently lives and works in New York City. Having received her BA from the University of Toronto in 2008, Jimenez moved to New York to continue her career as a multi-media artist. Over the past ten years, her work has shifted from ink and watercolor to installations and sculpture. She has received training not only at the University of Toronto, but also at RISD (2001), Parsons (2006), and SVA (2007-2010). In 2011, Jimenez returned to Parsons to recieve her MFA.

In New York, Jimenez has worked with Thom Sokoloski as a performance and installation artist in The Encampment (2007). Between 2008 and 2010, Jimenez has shown her work at exhibitions such as the EstroGenius Visual Art ExhibitionLive Love Live Art Exhibition, and Space Womb.  In summer 2010, Jimenez received the Citizen Committee for New York City’s grant New Yorkers for Better Neighborhoods Award for her collaboration in the art workshop MUSE (Movement to Uncover Self-Expression), a 6 week course for women in the Lower East Side. She also exhibited and co-curated two group shows called Salon, September and December 2010.As evident in her paintings, Sara explores and deconstructs concepts in womanhood, identity, spirituality, and the subconscious in her unique works of art.

On Episode 6 the remaining eight artists were randomly paired and they have to create a piece of street art on a brick wall under the Brooklyn Bridgein Dumbo. Sara and partner Kymia Nawabi (Iranian-American) decided to do a graphic piece about the displacement of their parents from their native lands.

Title: Reroot

Follow her on:
twitter: SaraEGJ

All art is original and may not be reproduced without the artists consent. © 2011


Leave a comment

Critically acclaimed production of Eating with Lola is doing a tour of the GTA’s schools!

 Synopsis:  Sulong Theatre Collective brings you the story of Lola (grandmother in Filipino), who is so old and sick she has to be spoon fed by her granddaughter Grace. But It wasn’t always like this. Over the course of her final meal on earth, Lola explains how it was always her job to find food – even if that meant stealing it.

Part confession, part revelation, Lola’s epic tale unravels the entire modern history of Manila from the time of the Thomasites to the second wave of Filipino migration to the United States – one spoonful at a time.

A one woman (and one puppet) tour-de-force about the impact of war on those we love the most.

Presented by Sulong Theatre, first developed by fu-GEN Asian Theatre Company, developed by Carlos Bulosan Theatre Company, Kapisanan Philippine Centre, Lab Cab Festival, Theatre Passe Muraille.

Perfect for teachers teaching subjects such as:
International Relations
Women’s Studies

Morning performances at your school location on the Feb 6, 13, 27; Mar 5, 19, 26. Additional Monday performances can be negotiated. $250/performance in your school (travel fee if outside the Toronto area). Works best in smaller space such as a school library.

Best suited for grades 2 and up. There is no foul language, there is the reference to torture during the Second World War. But due to the sophisticated nature of the story, it can be told to both young children to teenagers.

To book, or have questions contact Catherine at


Jon Kaplan of NOW Magazine says…

“NNNN”! “A simple but tasty theatrical meal.”

 Paula Citron of Classical 96.3 says…

“directed by a queen of whimsy, Ann Powell of Puppetmongers.”

“I have to confess, that over time, I stopped seeing Hernandez, and began to visualize the other people, including the tiny puppet Lola.”