KULTURA FESTIVAL 2011 Where are they Now?

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We are busy planning Kapisanan’s 7th Annual Kultura Filipino Arts Festival!

KULTURA Festival is KAPISANAN’s signature annual summer Filipino arts festival since 2005. The festival features a live music showcase, a visual arts exhibit in the KAPISANAN gallery, film screenings, now co-presented by Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival, and theatre showcases presented in partnership with Carlos Bulosan Theatre.

Here’s an update of August 2011’s theatre presenters and how their work has grown since showcasing their work at the 6th Annual KULTURA Festival.

Transit Diaries by Meesha Albano
Since Transit Diaries showcase, playwright Meesha Albano was then accepted in the Carlos Bulosan Theatre’s Play Creation Unit. While part of the Unit she continued to develop Transit Diaries with the support of Play Creation Unit Director, Marjorie Chan.  In March of this year Meesha showcased new scenes of Transit Diaries in a staged reading as part of CBT’s Flipside Festival under the direction of Ruth Madoc-Jones (pictured left).

We can all see the production of Transit Diaries by Meesha Albano this summer as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival Starting July 4th-15 2012
More Details Here

Through the Bamboo by Byron Abalos & Andrea Mapili

Playwrights Byron Abalos and Andrea Mapili took their 40 minute play with them when they moved to California shortly

after presenting at KULTURA. While there they continued to develop their play and recently had a 70 minute reading of Through the Bamboo at Bilndlestiff Studio in San Francisco!  Bindlestiff Studio was founded in 1989 by Canadian artists Chrystene Ells, Chris Brophy, and a group of local theatre artists and for many years flourished as an experimental theatre space.

Bindlestiff Studio cultivates artists who reflect and celebrate the diverse
values, traditions, and histories of Pilipino and Filipino American cultures through bold artistic expression and community engagement.

Rebound (formerly Monday Night Lights) created by The Sixth Man Collective: Byron Abalos, Marjorie Chan, Colin Doyle, Darrel Gamotin and Richard Lee

About five years ago a group of actors came together to let off some steam and play some basketball. From their weekly gatherings they  were inspired by the correlation between art and sport. Last year’s presentation brought audience and actors together with story and basketball drills in this outdoor interactive play. The Theatre Centre Artistic Director Franco Boni, was in the audience for this showcase and after an application process The Sixth Man Collective was chosen as one of The Theatre Centre’s 2012 resident companies.

Their continued development on Rebound (formerly Monday Night Lights) will return 1087 Queen St. West to its roots as one of Toronto’s first YMCAs and the home of some of the earliest basketball games in Toronto’s history.

Catch the next phase of Rebound on Sunday July 8th 4:00PM at The Theatre Centre 1087 Queen Streest West (entrance on Dovercourt) and later again in mid December 2012

Every Letter Counts by Nina Lee Aquino

Every Letter Counts makes its world premiere at Factory Theatre Directed by Nigel Shawn Williams – recent Dora Mavor Moore Award winning Actor for his role in Obsidian Theatre’s Top Dog/ Under Dog, and previously nominated for Outstanding Direction for Anusree Roy’s Brothel No. 9.

Nina Lee Aquino has been an Associate Artist of Factory Theatre for three years and Every Letter Counts was developed through Factory Theatre’s Play Development Program and is the first Factory production of one of Nina Lee Aquino’s plays.

See Every Letter Counts at Factory Theatre (Main Space Theatre) January 26-February 24, 2013
More Details Here

Nina is CBT’s Director of Novice Play Creation Unit and the Novice Play Creation Unit (pictured right) will be showcasing their work at this year’s KULTURA.

KAPISANAN’s 7th KULTURA Filipino Arts Festival slated to open Friday August 17, 2012. More details soon!


Sister Mary’s a Dyke?!

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Sister Mary’s a Dyke?! by Flerida Peña
with Director Nina Lee Aquino, Designer Camellia Koo and Dramaturge Ric Knowles
Friday May 25, 8PM & Sunday May 27, at 2PM at the
Fringe Creation Lab, 720 Bathurst St, Suite 403, Toronto ON
Pay-What-You-Can. Arrive on time.

This comedic drama focuses on Abby’s journey as she uncovers the truth about her school. Unbeknownst to her, the school is not only comprised of sexually active queer students and nuns, it is the training ground for a group of Catholic Extremists who are hell-bent (heh) on infiltrating Vatican City by secretly organizing their female members into the College of Cardinals.

In this rogue approach to development, Playwright and Performer, Flerida Peña will be given only 10 days of rehearsal before she presents her latest draft of #SMAD on Friday May 25th.  Director Nina Lee Aquino, Designer Camellia Koo and Dramaturge  Ric Knowles assist Flerida as she spends the following day, May 26th, writing/revising/rehearsing for what could be a drastically different presentation on Sunday May 27th at 2PM.

Fore more information download Sister Mary’s a Dyke?! Press Release

May is Asian Heritage Month – Events

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Celebrating and acknowledging the long and rich history of Asian Canadians and their contributions to Canada!
Here are three affordable events with some extra Filipino Pride this month

1. The Carlos Bulosan Theatre presents the Workshop Presentation of
Sister Mary’s a Dyke?!
by Flerida Peña

Nuns, Catholic School Girls and other things the Vatican didn’t see coming
Friday May 25 at 8PM and Sunday May 27th at 2PM at the Fringe Creation Lab, 720 Bathurst St, Suite 403
Pay-What-You-Can. Arrive on time.

In this rogue approach to development, Playwright and Performer, Flerida Peña will be given only 10 days of rehearsal before she presents her latest draft of #SMAD on Friday May 25th.  Director Nina Lee Aquino, Designer Camellia Koo and Dramaturge  Ric Knowles assist Flerida as she spends the following day, May 26th, writing/revising/rehearsing for what could be a drastically different presentation on Sunday May 27th at 2PM.

2. Toronto Public Library in community partnership with KAPISANAN and Mavshack presents FILIPINO FILM SERIES

All FREE films screenings will be at:
Toronto Public Library, Barbara Frum Branch
20 Covington Rd. Toronto.
Covington is just West off Bathurst St., just North of Lawrence Ave.

Lolo’s Child | Tuesday May 8 – 6pm
Directed by local Filipino-Canadian, Romeo Candido. Romeo will be in attendance for Q & A. Check out the trailer

Emir | Tuesday May 22 – 2pm
Directed by Chito Rono, starring Francheska Farr – a musical production about a Filipina who becomes a nanny to an Arab prince.  Guest speaker Brian Bantugan will be in attendance.

Baler | Tuesday May 29 – 6pm
Directed by Mark Meily, starring Jericho Rosales and Anne Curtis – a star-crossed love story set during the revolution against Spain.  Guest speaker Brian Bantugan will be in attendance.

3. Miracle Thieves hosts the first Cultural Series presenting The Philippines | Now On until May 2nd
Installations by Jo SiMalaya Alcampo, Michaela Cruz, Jodinand AguillonAlex Felipe, Eric Quebral, CMango DesignPacific Blues, Sammy Jade, The Original Fiddy, Jen Maramba, Pinoy Culture Bookstore, Lamesa Filipino Kitchen, Centre for Babaylan Studies, Kapwa 3 Conference (Baguio, Philippines) and more.

For more on Asian Heritage Month check out the Citizenship and Immigration website

Call for Submissions – Queer Playwrights

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From the desk of Queer playwrights Catherine Hernandez and Flerida Peña (along with our video dude, Manny Veneracion with music by MC Jazz) join forces to bring you When Sally Met Sally, an online video collection of dating disasters.

Based on TRUE stories from our viewership and the playwrights themselves, each episode will laugh at the quirks of dating, queer style.

We want you, your friends and your friend’s friends who self-identify as LGBTTIQQ2S/WSW/MSM to send to us your stories of dating disasters.

Here is what you need to know

1)      Your submission will be COMPLETELY CONFIDENTIAL. No names will be used and all similarities pertaining to your story will be diluted to the best of our ability.

2)      For worried viewers: Although you might think that bee-yotch you met last week told us about how you breastfed a puppy during speed dating, there were probably three or more people who submitted a similar story. Seriously. Our community is too weird for anyone to pinpoint anything on you. Now stop breastfeeding that puppy.

3)      You will not receive any payment for your submission. You may experience intense glee if we choose to use your submission in some way. This may give you satisfaction beyond what payment can ever give you.

4)      We want the truth. The truth is just plain funny. No need to exaggerate. Reality is funny as is.

5)      Do note that our focus will be on first dates rather than how your past relationship got dragged into the dirt, ending in your ex burning sex toys outside your former home. That’s not really funny. That’s just sad.

6)      Submission of your story will not guarantee that it will be recreated in our series.

7)      We are aiming at shooting all recreations in one take and under 2 minutes.

8)      Once we have our first 3 episodes up, please share, because sharing is caring.

9)      Our deadline for our first round of submissions is May 3rd 2012.

10)    This image of the fallen cupid is merely temporary. We have more swag than that.

If you have something to share, e-mail us at whensallymetsallyshow@gmail.com.

Last Night’s Supper by Jodinand Aguillon

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Last Night's Supper by Jodinand Aguillon

Inspired by the home he grew up in, Art Director and Photographer Jodinand Aguillion (aka Jodee), gathered 13 Filipina artists-enterpenures and used food, fashion, installation art, social media and photography to celebrate our Filipino Culture for The Pearl Cultural Showcase at Miracle Thieves.  See the Photograph and other installations today until May 2, 2012

On Wednesday night myself and 12 fellow Filipinas gathered at Pretty Freedom to help our friend and feast on this glorious Filipino meal that included pancit, kare-kare and lechon. Jodee briefed us that the feeling of the shoot is “…REGAL REALNESS (powerful, bold, elegant – but not over the top) it’s a blend of Beyonce’s “Run The World” & “Joy Luck Club.”‘ We, the participants, noted that the set itself was striking, and filled with familiar symbols of our own childhood but with a contemporary flare.

Once we were ready to shoot, Jodee began by remarking how we inspire him on both personal and artistic levels. “It’s not a coincidence that you’re all here in this room. You all are powerful and instrumental to the success of our community and culture.” During the photoshoot our job consisted of talking, laughing, eating and of course calling Jodee’s mom to wish her a happy birthday. Jodee continued to talk about his upbringing and his mother as a constant source of  strength and inspiration.

Here are the 13 Filipina artists-enterpenures of Last Night’s Super are (from left to right)
Diana Reyes aka Fly Lady Di, painter, actor and dancer
Kristen Jordan, original member of CLUTCH Vol 1, Organizer Daps All Ages
Annalie Bonda, of The Chief Company
Tala Berkes
, Fashion Designer
Christine Mangosing
, Art Director & Designer at C*Mango Design
Maylee Todd, Multi-faceted artis
April Aliermo, of Hooded Fang & Phedre
Casey Mecija of Ohbijou
Eleanor Espiritu of Mirror Phase
Renna Reddie, Artistic Producer at the Carlos Bulosan Theatre
Renelyn Quinicot, CLUTCH Vol 4 member
Gerasil Coria
, Blogger
Charise Aragonza, CLUTCH Vol 4 member

The photo is currently gaining much attention across social media websites and receiving positive accolades.  More often than not Filipino Women are showcased through a male gaze.  All one has to do is Google “Filipino Women” and the computer screen is filled with predominately exoticized imagery and websites. On an intimate level the photographer wanted to pay homage to his friends and their accomplishments but this photo, the set, the food, and all that it encompasses establishes a demand for the evolving Filipino presence in our mainstream culture.

See the night through instagram

Jodinand Aguillon  is the Co-Owner and Creative Director of Pretty Freedom in Toronto’s Kensington Market, Shopcastr Retail Scout, Do-It-Yourself Innovator, Shotgun Wedding Set and Costumer Designer, Photographer and all round Renaissance Magic Maker.

Catering provided by the ever satisfying Tita Flips and her Scadding Court Food Stand and the lechon provided by Mang Bernard’s, who came to Toronto in 1961 and originally sold lumpia in Kensington Market, now in Parkdale he runs his own Filipino Grocery Store.

Make-up done by Gillian Alix and Vincent Trang. Last and certainly not least, Patricio Estebar as Jodee Photography mentor.

B R U H A : A CLUTCH Vol. 4 Exhibit

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Carlos Bulosan Theatre’s Community Partner
Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts & Culture presents
B R U H A : A CLUTCH Vol. 4 Exhibit


April 14, 2012
7:00 p.m.
167 Augusta Ave., Toronto in Kensington Market

Visual Art | Installation | Music | Photography | Performances + more

Charise Aragoza
Renelyn Quinicot
Victoria Marie
Victoria Bacnis
Diane Guison
Maureen Mendoza

Wednesdays & Thursdays
12 – 8 PM
Until April 28, 2012


CLUTCH is a free six-month arts-based program for young Filipina women 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 cultural heritage, and tell their stories on their terms. CLUTCH aims to provide hands-on artistic and leadership development, through the exploration of cultural identity as the foundation for empowerment.

Caroline Mangosing – Canada’s Top 25 Immigrants 2012

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Congratulations to our Community Partner Kapisanan’s Executive Director Caroline Mangosing who was nominated as Canada’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrants of 2012 by CLUTCH Vol 1. participant Maricar Ranada. Here’s her reasonings for nominating Caroline.

Caroline is one of 75 shortlisted candidates from all across Canada – it’s a very impressive list including Toronto’s K’naan, Ward 27 Councillor & LGBTQ activist Kristyn Wong-Tam and MMP (and Kensington neighbour) Olivia Chow.

One of the hardest things one person can go through is to leave their homeland and try to survive in an adopted one. As an immigrant in this multicultural land, I was not an exception to that. I too had a challenging time settling in Canada.

In our life’s journey, we meet people who share our own story, who help us grow, who inspire us. About five years ago, only months after I arrived in Canada, I met one. I met Caroline Mangosing, the co-founder of a Filipino arts-based, youth-focused center, Kapisanan.

Maricar Ranada before she moved to Canada (above) and Maricar as a CLUTCH Vol.1 participant (below). Click for bigger photo

As a fresh, young newcomer searching for a place to belong, Caroline and the Kapisanan team welcomed me and offered me a more positive way of adapting to a new environment. Through their program, “Clutch” which helps young Filipino-Canadian women hone their creativity, gain empowerment and explore their identity, I was able to experience an amazing journey in the world of arts.

Throughout the six-month program, I met and shared a dialogue with a wonderful and talented group of people. They were all supportive and generous in sharing their knowledge and talents to us, the participants. During those times, I remember calling Caroline as our “Ate“, Filipino word for older sister. As our Ate, she was always their to guide and support us. Her story is like our own. She was once a young newcomer who wanted to fit in, who wanted to be heard. And through her love of arts, her passion and her perseverance, she was able to build a haven for Filipino youth to develop their talents while they recognize their roots and identity, all through the lens of arts and culture.

Thanks to Caroline’s creative way of helping young people like me, I had an easier transition to adjust to a new country. It helped me embrace another culture while maintaining and remembering my own. I am proud and honored to have met a person as passionate and as inspiring as Caroline. For me, she’s one of the people who truly make a difference.

Please vote for her for Canada’s Top 25 immigrants 2012. Let’s support her and all the people that make Kapisanan thrive as they continue helping the community and inspiring the youth.

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Isa sa pinakamahirap na pagsubok sa isang tao ay ang lumayo at mamuhay sa ibang bansa. Bilang isang imigrante dito sa bansang binubuo ng iba’t ibang lahi at kultura, nahirapan ako sa umpisa na umayon sa aking bagong kapaligiran.

Salamat na lang at nahanap ko ang Kapisanan Center at nakilala ko si Caroline Mangosing. Masayang malaman na may isang grupo ng mga Pilipino na talagang pinahahalagahan ang sariling kultura. Kasama ng isang kaibigan, binuo ni Caroline ang isang “Filipino arts-based, youth-oriented community center” na may layuning suportahan ang mga kabataang Pinoy sa pagtuklas ng kanilang kultura at pinagmulan sa pamamagitan ng sining.

Sa tulong at inspirasyong ibinigay sa akin ng Kapisanan na pinangungunahan ni Caroline, natutunan kong yakapin ang dalawang magkaibang kultura. Sa pamamagitan ng sining, napawi kahit papano ang aking kalungkutan at pangungulila sa bayang kinagisnan.

Ikinararangal ko na makilala si Caroline at ang mga bumubuo sa Kapisanan. Maraming salamat at nandiyan kayo, hindi lamang para gabayan ang mga kabataang Pilipino sa pagkilala ng kanilang kultura kundi para magsimula ng iba’t ibang aktibidad na may layuning tumulong sa mga nangangailangan nating mga kababayan malayo man tayo sa Pilipinas.

Atin pong suportahan ang kanilang adhikain sa pamamagitan ng pagboto kay Caroline na mapabilang sa “Canada’s Top 25 Immigrants. Maraming salamat.

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