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Intramuros. The Walled City. I savor the sounds and sensations of the
old Spanish names rolling off my tongue. Baluarte de Santa Barbara,
Baluarte de San Miguel. As we walk along the weathered walls, I shiver
thinking of the histories these stones have seen. Here Rizal wrote his
farewell poem before he joined the ranks of the Philippines’ martyrs.
There the prisoners were kept during the Japanese occupation. Oh, I’ve
been to older places: temples in Japan, museums in France, graveyards
in the US… But it’s different when a history is *your own*, when you
recognize the names and stories from the textbooks of your childhood,
when you catch a glimpse of your heritage.

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OFF FOCUS by Lina Rodriguez and Rita Kamacho

Posted: - Modified: | philippines

Wednesday May 2nd, 2007
7:00 to 10:00 PM
The Gladstone Hotel – Second floor 1214 Queen Street West
PWYC – Money collected will go to the Philippine Women Centre of Ontario

Who is taking care of our children and elders? World economic trends have
produced a trans-national labour force concentrating international temporary
workers in Canada in an exploitative work environment, in most of the cases.

Off Focus seeks to give visibility to Filipino foreign domestic workers and
question the labor conditions under the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) in
Canada. What does it mean for them to be in a country where they just have
the right to work in a specific job, with a specific employee and
under his/her roof? How are their families affected by their long separation

Through sound, video and performance, this piece invites the audience to
be aware of the challenges that foreign domestic laborers encounter as
international temporary workers and low-income earners.

Philippine Women Centre of Ontario,
Filipino Students’ Association of Toronto,
Filipino Canadian Youth Alliance,

Off Focus is part of the
Mayworks Festival,
April 28 – May 6.

Media contact:
Lina Rodriguez

E-Mail from Von Totanes

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More food for thought

| philippines

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Being Filipino

Posted: - Modified: | philippines

One of the things J- did this weekend was visit a Filipino family (A-‘s). J said she had four bowls of “si.. sini…”

“Sinigang!” I said. Ah, sinigang. How could I not remember all the
good times I shared with my barkada over a pot of sinigang,
whether it had meat or just vegetables? (Heh.)

And to think that J loves sinigang too.

Moments like these make me wish I could poke all the people who feel
insecure about our culture… =)

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| philippines

Reading Dominique’s blog post about “Deal or No Deal” made me feel terrible about television shows. Marcelle told me about Wowowee, too… How twisted do we have to be in order to derive pleasure from watching the agony of the poor?

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I won’t be part of the brain drain

| philippines

It’ll be easy for me to establish myself abroad. I have to keep my
ties to the Philippines strong. If I wait until I’m rich, my reasons
for caring won’t be as vivid. I might forget why I love my country
despite the smog, the traffic, the scandals. I’ll make sure I
remember. I’ll keep an eye out for stories that make me feel good
about the Philippines and I’ll keep looking for ways to help.

I pledge 10% of my income towards charitable causes. I don’t want to
stop at sending money home. I want to find a cause that I can be
involved in, that will e-mail me reports of the difference it is
making in people’s lives.

As long as the Philippines is real to me, I will also be fully real
and alive.

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There's no place like home

| philippines

It's so good to be home again!

Now if only wireless Just Worked. Hmm…