Eat, live, breathe Philippines through Kamalayan

What do you get when you blend together various forms of art, the youth, and an eagerness to learn about one's identity? No, its not halo-halo (that's close, though). The result is the official launch of the Kamalayan Konsciousness Workshop Series. Last week, Kapisanan hosted a night of film, music, photography, visual art, poetry, drinks and heightened awareness. In case you missed it, read on for a recap, as well as a preview of what's coming at you from Kamalayan's first workshop on Wednesday, October 6th.

The Kamalayan Filipino Konsciousness Series aims to uplift and inform young people to move forward responsibly, conscious of their power and their crucial role in creating change.

Some of Kamalayan's display: posters, sketch books, t-shirts, and a photo booth in support of Free the 43

As soon as I step foot in the gallery, it was obvious that Kamalayan's message goes beyond the surface in explaining what it means to be Filipino. The exhibit shows more than just air-conditioned super-sized malls and resort-y beach scenes. Rather, a more holistic view of our homeland is presented, as a means of exploring other aspects of our culture and heritage. Alex Felipe and Manuel Luis Veneracion showcased their photography, spotlighting the good & the bad, and urban & rural Philippines.

Top:  A photo exhibit featuring works by Alex Felipe and Manuel Luis Veneracion. Bottom: An open-minded audience always completes an event.

As the program unfolded, film and music also made its way to the stage as a means of sharing experiences of the Filipino diaspora: from the tales of Toronto-raised Filipinos who went back to the homeland as Balikbayans, to the challenges of new Filipinos in Canada, to the hardships of Filipino health workers who are illegally detained by the Philippine government because of their alleged connections with the New People's Army. Together, these vignettes make up the contemporary Filipino experience and what completes one's identity, one's Filipino-ness.

Some performances/info sessions from the night

The KAMALAYAN Filipino Konsciousness Series is presented by Migrante Ontario Youth, in community partnership with Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts & Culture, and in collaboration with the Filipino Canadian Association of Ryerson and the Filipino Students’ Association of Toronto.

More photos from the event can be found here.

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Kamalayan’s FREE bi-weekly workshops and events take a critical look at Philippine history, culture, and current events to encourage, dialogue, awareness and consciousness as a foundation for youth empowerment.

The first workshop: Eat, Live, Breathe Philippines http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=150579138310985&ref=mf

There is so much more to see, taste, and feel in places all over The Philippines. Things that can not be experienced at a resort, in a mall, or within the over-protective confines of your family's home. Aren't you curious...?

Recommended for anyone already planning to go to The Philippines or has been thinking about it, but wasn't sure how to go about it.

Workshop will be facilitated by Manuel Luis Veneracion and Alex Felipe

Wednesday, October 6, 2010 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. 167 Augusta Ave. Toronto, ON

See you there, Toronto!