8:30AM-9:55AM | Plenary Panel

“Raising Peminists” | Melinda Luisa de Jesús (California College of the Arts), Valerie Francisco (San Francisco State University)

Peminism starts at home. Drs. Melinda Luisa de Jesús (and her children) and Valerie Francisco Menchavez will discuss peminist parenting challenges and strategies while filmmaker Karla Villanueva Danan will discuss religion and sexuality in her short film “Jezebel.” In this plenary we hope to foster lots of good dialogue around creating new ways to foster peminist empowerment and connection in our families and communities, and we welcome your stories and insights.

10:15AM-11:30AM | Concurrent Events

PANEL: Creating peminist culture

“Homeland and De-colonialism: Pilipinx Tattooing Practices as Digital Technology” | Ashley Caranto Morford (University of Toronto)

The digital humanities are intertwined in a vexed legacy of colonialism. Narrow definitions of “digital” and “digital technologies” fail to recognize de-colonial digital technologies, which have existed for much longer than computers have. Angela Haas (Cherokee) calls for a re-imagining of what qualifies as digital technology. Drawing on this, I posit that traditional Pilipinx hand-tap tattooing methods are forms of de-colonial digital technology that rely on the fingers — the original digits — to create codes that convey ancestral knowledges. Understanding Pilipinx traditional tattooing processes through a digital lens emphasizes the intimate relationship shared between digital tech, the body, and the land. Yet, even as Pilipinx traditional tattooing is a decolonial digital technology that ought to be recognized and celebrated, so too will I acknowledge the risks that are posed as a result of this tech becoming more widely and easily shared through the dominant digital realm of cyberspace.

“Bukas na puso (photography exhibit)” | Bianca Recuenco

In December 2018, I curated a photo project entitled, “Bukas na Puso,” meaning “open heart” in Tagalog. This project served as a way of holding space with Filipinx femmes, whether that be through the physical, head, and/or heart space(s). My intention was to create a moment of collective healing for diasporic beings and bring in this idea of radical softness (a term coined by Brazilian photographer, June Canedo). These photos are a testament to complex ancestral resiliency, a recognition of participants’ intersections of identity, and a reaffirmation of their textured lived experiences. With the prevalence of the politicization of machismo in Philippine culture and gendered constructions of womanhood, the participants’ existence signifies their resistance. It’s my hope that my access to digital photography can be utilized as a bridge in both intimately connecting and celebrating global Filipinx community members.

“Mahal Manananggal (short story reading)” | Judie Nazareth

Mahal, Manananggal is a short story about a half-girl, half-mananagal, Nenita “Neng” Abayan trying to survive in the human world. She can still eat garlic and vinegar, can be in the sunlight during the day. Yet, she still has to feed on animal blood. During her nightly feedings, she encounters a young Pilipina American, Bayani Yani” Calag. Neng has never felt this way towards someone before, the other girl’s blood is calling for her. Will Neng actually feed on a human being for the first time? A friendship between the two girls starts to bloom. But will it become something more and secrets between the two girls start to unfold?

“Inevitability: Representations of Queer FilipinX Womyn (Short Film Screening and Discussion)” | Jacqueline Aquines

When I cast Linda Kee, a FilipinX actor who has been in the industry for more than 20 years, in the short film, “Saturdays” she said it was the first time in her career that she was ever hired to play a Filipino woman. I would like to discuss representation as a mode of normalization and tool of validation. To be see one’s reality reflected in media works to move one’s experience from where “You do not matter” to “You exist,” ‘You matter,” and finally to “You are inevitable.” This discussion and film will address a decolonization of the queer identity in the Canadian FilipinX diaspora that progresses through how one navigates in:

• predominantly mainstream social situations,

• heteronormative expectations perpetuated by Filipino Catholicism,

• proximity to whiteness as a preferred aesthetic in Filipino entertainment

• Filipino community in Calgary, Alberta

• the developing Queer FilipinX network in Social Media

WORKSHOP: TURNING THE PAGE [A Pilipinx Radical Imagination writing workshop]

“Turning the Page: What is in Your Peminist Radical Imagination?” | Melissa-Ann Nievera-Lozano, Leah K. Sicat, and MaryCarl

This workshop is for those who see writing as a means of survival. Pilipinx Radical Imagination Reader (PRIR) co-editor Melissa-Ann Nievera-Lozano, and contributors Leah K. Sicat and MaryCarl Guiao, invite us to let our writing grapple with questions at the heart of Peminist learning. PRIR was birthed to elevate Pinay and non-binary Pinxy voices often muted in our financial, governmental, media, and educational institutions. This writing workshop will hold non-judgmental, consensual, and mutually empathetic space for conversations that recognize how interlocking, colonial, imperialistic, capitalistic systems and dynamics impact our lives. Participants will explore how we can participate in, perpetuate, and/or protest against interlocking systems of oppression, such as patriarchy, imperialism, white supremacy, and anti-Blackness, to name a few. Pain implicates growth (Tintiango-Cubales): We must face the painful process of naming our realities, checking ourselves, and writing truth to power for our collective healing.

KALI WORKSHOP | Michelle Bautista

I’d like to conduct a hands on kali workshop that explores the theme of the feminine/masculine spectrum, our perceptions and what we’ve learned about being aggressive and violence, and how allowing oneself to explore the spectrum we walk gives both men and women the freedom to be their true selves and in coordination creates the most powerful synergy of all.//It will be a combination of basic kali techniques to explore these ideas in mind and body. Learning objectives include gaining a greater sense of one’s body, exploring feminine/masculine spectrum, and having fun.

12:00PM – 1:30PM | Concurrent Events


“Dual Jeopardy: Challenges and Experiences in “Developing a Research Study of Filipina Americans” | Kari Tabag (Adelphi University)

This presentation will include a historical analysis of social work in the Philippines leading up to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, with historical highlights of social work in the U.S. from 1968 to present. Narratives of Filipina American social workers and their experiences in the provision of social services to Filipino American communities, are analyzed and discussed. The author also being a Filipina American social worker provides transparency to the intersectionality of Filipina Americans and Filipina social workers. Racial identity influences one’s development as a mental health professional, and have the potential to negatively affect one’s clinical and professional skills, and service delivery. This presentation will further the mental health community’s knowledge about Philippine culture, Filipina Americans, the impact of racial microaggressions and oppression, and the stigma of labels and stereotypes. Lastly, implications for mental health professionals working with Filipina Americans, and the importance of self-care among Filipina Americans are presented.

“Strength as I Stand on Ancestral Wisdom: The Becoming of a Pinay Scholar of Kapu Aloha & Mahalaya” | Alma Trinidad (Portland State University)

As a first generation scholar from a low-income, Filipino immigrant family of Molokai and Kunia, Dr. Trinidad never dreamt of becoming a social worker and professor. Through a critical autoethnography and life course approach, she presents key moments in her voyage towards becoming a tenured professor at a crucial time, the height of Trumpism in the United States — a time with continuous erosion of democracy; increased cost of going to college, and instability in building strong infrastructure that support first generation college students and communities of color. She reflects upon her work in teaching, mentoring, and community-based research in the areas of sociopolitical development, critical pedagogy of place, and social movements.With a special focus on oppressive forces throughout her voyage, she shares key reflections on the influences and experiences that have informed her stance as a Pinay scholar warrior of kapu aloha and mahalaya.  

“Filipinx Emerging Social Work Scholars and Practitioners: Learning From the Elders and Forging Our Path” | Monica Batac (PhD candidate, McGill University)

This paper explores my work as a community-based scholar and practitioner with various Filipino organizations across Canada and the U.S. In this paper, I highlight how Filipinas’ labour has been pivotal in ensuring these very organizations exist and function in our communities. I share four P/Feminist lessons regarding labour: renumeration of labour, self-care, emotional labour, and organizational sustainability. Reflecting on these lessons learned, I suggest there is a need for intergenerational interventions in our social service and community work networks in order to reimagine and develop a diasporic P/Feminist agenda in social work research and practice.

WORKSHOP: Memories, Migrations and Movements: Situating Peminist Voice in the Diaspora

“Memories, Migrations and Movements: Situating Peminist Voice in the Diaspora” | Leah K. Sicat

As a Peminist intervention, this workshop centers around two key questions: When history speaks to us, how do we respond? When Pinays and Peminists speak, who listens? This workshop will grapple with how we, as Pinays and Peminists in diaspora, can engage in writing that is not only healing but also regenerative. We will explore interconnections between how even we perpetuate different layers of silencing, invisibility, and denial on ourselves and each other; and why that is counter-productive to dismantling systemic and internalized oppressions like patriarchy, racism, and classism. This workshop will create strategies and multigenerational dialogue on how we can show up on a collective and a 1:1 scale with everyday social justice work. Considering that there are very few spaces to discuss Peminism, this writing workshop aims to share our bravery, knowledge, wisdom, and fury as women, and how we can build together as Pinays and Peminists and with women of Color to end violence against women.

2:15PM-3:45PM | Concurrent Events

Panel: decolonization and healing

“Sing with Nanay: Bridging the Language Gap, A Mother’s Journey” | Jillian Sudayan

This paper discusses the impact of language loss within the Filipino-Canadian diaspora.  I first situate my social location as a Filipina-Canadian artist, professional, and Pinay mother, and how I have negotiated speaking two colonial languages but not my ancestral language.  I speak about the ruptures in identity and mental health, as well as the sense of responsibility I have in transmitting culture to my young daughter.

In this paper, I will also discuss my journey of reconciliation, and how I have turned to digital storytelling and music to reconnect with my Pinay culture and identity, and my (and my daughter’s) place within the Filipino-Canadian diaspora. In particular, I will speak about a creative and educational project, titled “Sing With Nanay”, which utilizes the Filipino language as a gateway to Pinay culture and identity, and combines storytelling and music in an effort to counter the detrimental effects of language loss.

“Pinay Activism in the Silicon Valley: Finding Place amidst Displacement, Gentrification, and Imperialist Technologies” | Katherine Nasol (UC Davis)

On August 17, 2015, my Lola Vicky left this earth. I imagine her and my lolo in heaven, cooking adobo in their east San Jose home. Her death coincided with my reunion to San Jose, California after four years of being away. This was where I learned about what it meant to be a young girl. Throughout college, I learned about Pinayism, the Philippine National Democratic movement, and community organizing, and I felt a desire to come back home and create changes within my own community.

As a San Jose-born Pinay, I discuss organizing marginalized communities within the Silicon Valley during the onset of rising US fascism and imperialism. I elaborate on: resisting displacement through grassroots community organizing, (re)creating home for myself and others amidst the gentrification of my community, and understanding the role of imperialist technologies in my family’s hxstory and my community’s future, looking at the transnational story of my Lola transitioning from piggery owner to her life as a former silicon chip factory worker. I utilize personal narratives, poems, and songs as mediums to share the contradictions of organizing and living within an area dominated by immense tech-influenced wealth while being bordered by farmland and im/migrant communities.

“Ilokanas in Hawaii: finding Our Voice” | Rebecca Goldschmidt and Nadezna “Nadine” Ortega

Language is the backbone of culture. As co-founders of an Ilokano language program in Honolulu, Laing Hawaii, we will discuss our strategies for the perpetuation of culture through language learning, as well as the importance of cross-cultural bridge-building and learning from Native Hawaiian movements for social justice. As Ilokanas, we consider the issues most affecting our sisters: domestic violence, sex trafficking, incarceration, low wages & labor exploitation – and see them as related to complex histories of colonization and cultural loss. Intentional language acquisition, we believe, serves as a way to reconnect with our ancestral worldview, and create healthier futures for ourselves and our communities.

“Nakemista Critical Race Theory (NakemistaCrit): Arriving at an Ilokana Peminist Theoretical FRamework for  Hawai’i Diaspora” | Debra Andres Arellano (PhD candidate, University of Hawaii)

This paper explores an Ilokana feminist theory designed to meet the growing need for an appropriate theoretical framework for Ilokanas in the Hawaiʻi diaspora. Nakemista Critical Race Theory was born from the weaving together of the transformative elements of peminism and the nakem movement. Birthed by a collective of Ilokano intellectuals in the Philippines, Hawaiʻi and throughout the diaspora, the international nakem movement is a movement for the emancipatory education of Ilokanos and indigenous peoples of the Amianan (northern Philippines).NakemistaCrit carves out a space within peminism for the Hawaiʻi Ilokana diaspora; brings a gender analysis and “peminize” the Ilokano conscious-raising nakem movement so that we hold our own accountable for challenging patriarchy as we forge towards a future of Ilokano self-determination and emancipatory education; furthers the peminist agenda of decolonization by holding ourselves accountable to our kuleana (responsibility) to the kanaka ʻōiwi (native Hawaiians).


“What is Pinay Liminality?” | Christine Abiba

Pinay Liminality is an oral history project that seeks to preserve the personal narratives of Filipino-Americans navigating the ‘in-betweens’ of identity. Through kwentuhan, we practice Pinayism//peminism by putting our Pinay identities at the forefront.

Pinay Liminality records Pinay/Pinxys telling their stories in their own voices to preserve our stories for posterity and future generations, understand who we are in community, and affirm the experience of liminality (the in-between spaces of the diaspora where we create and bridge meaning between multiple thresholds of construct and culture.

Inspired by the poetics of Barbara Jane Reyes, this workshop invites participants to reflect and share their responses to the following questions:

■ What does being Pinay/Pinxy mean to you?

■ How do you know what you know about being Pinay/Pinxy?

■ How does being Pinay/Pinxy intersect with your other identities, roles, and relationships?

The first portion of the workshop introduces the concept of Pinay Liminality, the use of oral history as a methodology, and snippets of edited recordings. The latter portion of the workshop focuses on listening deeply, engaging in thoughtful conversations, and putting Pinxy narratives at the forefront. By listening to each others kwentos, we learn about ourselves through community. Here, we share our interactions with gender, race, and class; our reflections on our history of colonization and cultural excavation; and our understandings of home, hiya, utang na loob, self, and belonging.