intern@Kapisanan: who is "Kuya Len"?

Len Cervantes (right) and Romeo Candido (left) Leonard "Len" Cervantes. A name so commonly pronounced within the walls of Kapisanan, it's hard to comprehend that he doesn't even have a personalized fan page on our website. Or shrine.

"Excuuuse me, you don't know who he is?!" Let me enlighten you with a few essential details.

As an artist, a writer, a poet, a playwright, a performer, a "digital ninja" at MTV and MuchMusic, a multimedia production whiz, a mentor (or as I'd like to call, Kuya Len)--where do I even begin to discuss the spirit of this Kapisanan guru?

You might have spotted him most recently in some slick threads, bringing back the 90s at a performance of Shotgun Wedding, a musical mixtape that he wrote about trials and tribulations of high school love, heartbreak and growing up. In a joint fundraiser for Kultura 2010, Kapisanan and the Carlos Bulosan Theatre (CBT) were able to reminisce and kick it old school at Prom '93!

Len Cervantes at PSL

Now let's lead into Len's lyrical flow. If you didn't catch him MC-ing at the largest gathering of poetry in the Filipino-Canadian community last year, you missed out--especially on a chance to open your heart (and wallet).

Charity is also our Second Language during Nuit Blanche 2009 raised funds for the hundreds of communities ravaged by typhoons and tropical storms in the Philippines. The full house enjoyed pieces from both amateur and pro Kapisanan poets and spoken word artists, many of whom arose from Poetry is our Second Language (PSL), a four-week workshop series facilitated by none other than the bossman at the K's headquarters.

I dare you to remain unmoved by his words as he unravels Filipino poetry and its direct link to our heritage during the PSL unit. Don't miss out on learning about the balagtasan and lots more during this year's season starting Thursday, Sept. 9!

At FCAR Orientation 2009

As a Ryerson University alumnus, Len has also breathed life into the Filipino Canadian Association of Ryerson (FCAR) as one of its founding executives. Heads up, frosh--FCAR is still on the map striving to sustain Kuya Len's legacy. Drop by for orientation coming at you real soon! You can even say hi to the K at Ryehigh's Campus Groups Day this Wednesday, Sept. 8 and connect with other Filipino youth.

Aside from doing work with CBT as a poet-in-residence, did I mention that he's even a Kapisanan board member, one of the essential gears that mobilized this arts and culture machine/beast into its present state? Yeah. You can pick up your jaw from the floor now.

And that's just skimming the surface.

With an impressive arts (and life) resume under his belt, there's one point you won't ever see Kuya Len at in his life: slowing down.

- Angie Torres Marketing and Communications Intern

(Now that you've officially become part of the unofficial fan club, you can give him a shout or stalk him at @LenCervantes on Twitter.)