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.


*Event* Risking Life & Liberty in Defence of Human Rights in the Philippines

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*Good in the Hood* Our Voices Will Not Be Silenced An Event Hosted by Anakbayan

They have three amazing guests from the Philippines including two recently released female political prisoners (including Angie Ipong,  CBT’s board president Martha Ocampo’s ate who was a political prisoner for 6 years).

Risking Life & Liberty in Defence of Human Rights in the Philippines
A discussion with human right defenders from the Philippines appearing in Toronto as part of a cross-Canada tour
Saturday, March 31, 2012
3:00-6:00 p.m.

University of Tornto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)
Room 5250
(St. Geroge Subway station, Bedford exit.)
BISHOP REUEL MARIGZA: General Secretary, United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) and Vice-Chairperson, National Council of Churches in the Philippines

Community health worker, active member of Tanggol Bayi (Defend Women-Association of Women Health Rights Defenders) and acting coordinator of the Council on Health and Development. Former political prisoner.ANGELINA BISUÑA IPONG:

Coordinator, Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainee Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Association of Ex-Detainees Against Detention and Arrest). Former political prisoner.

TOUR LOCATIONS: Toronto: March 27-31 / Ottawa: April 1-4 / Montreal: April 5-8 / Winnipeg: April 9-11 /
Vancouver: April 12-16

Bern Jagunos, Program Coordinator, Asia Pacific Partnerships, United Church of Canada. (416) 231-7680
Connie Sorio, Coordinator, Asia-Pacific Partnerships, KAIROS. (416) 463-5312 ext 240

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.

============== TAGALOG STATEMENT BELOW ===========

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.

Flipside 2012 Recap

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Six moths ago when the Play Creation Unit formed with Director of Play Creation Marjorie Chan, it was established that this year’s Flipside Festival (including Tales from the Flipside) would be a celebration about new works in development, Specifically taking away the pressure to “perform” works that aren’t ready to be performed…and what a celebration! Each night we had to add more chairs to the crowds as the Playwrights introduced themselves and their inspirations through out their process.

Darrel Gamotin heartfuly introduced each cast member with personal stories – one even leading all the way back to high school for Oh Comely.

In her introduction for her new musical Icosagon Dreams, Flerida Peña got a laugh from audiences when referencing Day Time TV’s infamous icosagon aka the big wheel from the Price is Right!

Jo SiMalaya Alcampo delighted audiences with her singing plants and visuals of her Aswang character represented through shadow puppetry for Hillot Means Healer.

And finally, Meesha Albano informed the audience that the excerpts about to be presented and are part of her larger play Transit Diaries (see it this summer in the Toronto Fringe!)

Of course the audience played a large part in this development celebration. Each night the Playwrights asked 3-4 questions pertaining to their play and (in written form) received feedback from the audience. The feedback provided is intended to support the Playwrights as they enter their next phase of writing.

Photo by: Dwyane Fundano

Thank You to the Facilitators, Directors, Actors, & Volunteers!

We hope you also enjoyed the Interactive Visual Installations by Eric Quebral & Michaela Cruz
The Workshops by Ins Choi & Casey Mecija
The Food (provided by Tita Flips)

Again thank you to our Funders:
Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council &
The City of Toronto

Our Community Partners:
Kapisanan Centre for Philippine Arts and Culture, fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company & Cahoots Theatre Company

Flipside Festival 2012

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Carlos Bulosan Theatre in Partnership with
The Kapisanan Centre for Philippine Arts and Culture proudly present

Flipside Festival
March 8th-11th 2012
at 167 Augusta Ave, Toronto ON

Celebrating Filipino Artists including:
Free Interactive Gallery exhibits by Visual and Installation Artists
Free Workshops &
Tales from the Flipside
CBT’s 11th annual showcase of emerging professional Filipino-Canadian playwrights & theatre artists!

For the past 6 months members of The Carlos Bulosan Theatre’s Play Creation Unit have been introduced and exposed to various approaches of seeing and creation theatre. Lead by Director of Play Creation, Marjorie Chan, these four emerging professional playwrights are readying their scripts for mounted Carlos Bulosan Theatre Productions!

Theatre Tickets are Pay-What-You-Can at the door. There is limited Seating so please arrive on time.
Click on the Flyer below to see the details!

Happy Family Day from CBT

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Taking a less formal approach on the community blog – I thought to wish you all a Happy Family Day (Ontario Statutory Holiday) and tell you about the first time I went to the Philippines and met my family, all five Titas, all 25+ cousins, and all extended family.

For those who don’t know, I’m Canadian born with both Filipino and Scottish backgrounds. My father came to Canada from Scotland in 1965 and my mother came to Canada in 1981, they met years later in Toronto on a blind date in Toronto and fell in love. To give you a little more context my Lolo and Lola migrated to Canada under “Family Care” in 1992 my Lola “hated the cold” and migrated back within a few years while my Lolo stayed, and  became a citizen before his death in 2006. He is buried in Canada.

There was a lot of pressure, both conscious and subconscious, surrounding my December 2008 visit. I was fearful about how I would be perceived, my appearance, my upbringing and my lack of language all contributed to my growing anxieties of the unknown.  I couldn’t do research on the area, demorgraphics (and shark attack stats) etc. My mom’s small village which boasts a healthy population of six people isn’t even available on Google Maps! I was never told a single story about where or how my mother grew up, there are no photographs, home movies or letters, I was only given snip-its memories in the form of passive comments before the conversation was change.

I thought that my family would tell me stories upon stories about my Lolo and help me gain insight into my mother’s upbringing and her relationship with her Mother. My mother is the middle of five sisters and the only one who moved to Canada, via London, as part of the Foreign Domestic Worker Program (before it was called the Live-In-Caregiver Program.) I saw my mother as a balikbayan and how that affected her relationship with each family member. I was being treated like an outsider by my mother and was frustrated with her while she was able to grieve with everyone since the passing of their patriarch. I wanted to grieve too. (hashtag family drama).

As a first-generation Canadian I feel ever more enriched knowing where (both) my parents come from. My discoveries, shape and inform the person that I am. I urge and encourage children of migrant parents to keep asking questions and let your parents tell stories about the home-land.

Years later, an another trip in 2010, my relationship with my family is wonderful but it was a turbulent time trying to seek history when the history was deemed irrelevant compared to the current family dynamics.

So, today I’m working from my parents home – my dad and I are trying to fend for ourselves in the kitchen while my mother is in the Philippines visiting. She  phoned last night to tell me that everything is “fine” and I gave her a gentile reminder that it’s family day to which she barked “What day? don’t buy me a card, save your money!”

Salamat! Thank you! To my all time favourite Santa Guerrilla for letting me use their song “Oh Woman” for the video. Please check out Alex Punzalan’s new song  and like them on Facebook “Pacific Blues Music

Filipino Canadian Artist #6 Cassie Steele

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In an attempt to raise the profile of  Filipino Artists in Canada the Carlos Bulosan Theatre will be posting selected profiles of artists every day for the next week. This posting stems from an original blog post by aspiring Filipino Artists who came to CBT questioning diversity of Filipino artists on stage and the longevity of life in the Entertainment and Performing Arts sectors.

This Artist will be our final showcased installment. Not because there are only six working Filipino-Canadian Artists but that the six artists showcased are only the TIP of this massive iceberg of Filipino-Canadian talent. The Artists and their respective careers do prove that Filipino-Canadians can have a life in arts/entertainment and sustain themselves and achieve national and international status.

Today’s Artist is Toronto born actress and singer-song writer, Cassandra Steele. You may recognize her best for her role as Manny Santos from CTV’s Degrassi: The Next Generation and now as Abby on Much Music’s LA Complex

Fun Facts (thanks Wikipedia) Cassie began crafting her own songs to go with her poetry when she was in the first grade, she then began taking singing lessons. She attended London School of Dance in Scarborough and trained in ballet and jazz dance. Cassie was also a gymnast for quite some time.

Her debut album, How Much for Happy, was released in 2005, followed by two Canadian tours. Steele’s follow-up album, Destructo Doll, was released on July 21, 2009.

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