PSL: Poetry Is Our Second Language


POETRY IS OUR SECOND LANGUAGE is a FREE 5-week workshop that bridges the gap between traditional Filipino poetry and contemporary storytelling. 

As you set up camp on the coast of Mindoro Islands, 900 AD, National Champion Spoken Word Artist Patrick de Belen will trace the roots of Filipino poetry through centuries of struggle and passion, in hopes to inspire the docking of your own style in the midst of the raging tide that is the cultural identity of young Filipino-Canadian poets today.

From Ambahans carved into bamboo, to the intense poetic debates of a Balagtasan, to the revolutionary words of Jose Rizal, to finally publishing your own work and performing in the final showcase, you will embark on a quest to mark your own X in the history of Filipino poetry.

We would like to acknowledge funding support from ArtReach Toronto.


Registration for PSL is coming soon!

To register and for more information, contact PSL Coordinator Patrick de Belen at


Patrick de Belen is a rare breed of artist. This Toronto-based poet, performer and educator is one whose formidable acclaim as a performance artist and writer is equaled by his commitment to his community, and his status as an enduring source of insight, energy and mentorship for young poets across North America. As a performer, Patrick has garnered praise and admiration for his ability to blend sharp social commentary with an exhaustless wit, charm and creative candour. This combination of talents has made him a national slam champion, as he was at the 2012 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, and a performer of note on such platforms as CBC, TED, NEXE and others. He is also the first ever recipient of the Poet of Honour award at YouthCanSlamCanada’s national youth poetry festival, an award he won on the basis of his dual talents as a poet of remarkable ability and an educator of enduring devotion, passion, and intelligence.




Help the PSL participants reclaim their cultural inheritance

A contribution of $75 to the PSL Program allows one more participant the chance to explore their Filipino heritage through poetry and spoken word. 

Kapisanan is a brave space which integrates an anti-oppression framework for young Filipinos to express their voices, exchange ideas and explore their roots together as an empowered community.

Kapisanan Philippine Centre is a registered Canadian charity: 88838 7404 RR0001