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diwang pinay


a couple of weeks ago, Babae San Francisco and the League of Filipino Students put on the 7th annual diwang pinay, a multi-arts showcase of talented pinays from the bay area. i had the pleasure of doing live art for the very first time with the homie BEAN, and it was definitely an experience!

still we rise

diwang pinay has been a source of inspiration and motivation for me, being in such a supportive and nurturing space. i’ve always loved that the audience will applaud and cheer you through any slip ups in your performance because you can really feel the community support. some of my favorite pinay artists and performers were introduced to me at diwang pinay, and i love that so much of the talent are up and coming, regular pinays. the down to earth community vibe and intimate venue, coupled with amazing talent, is always a recipe for magic.

live art is half really fun, half an anxiety attack waiting to happen. bean and i didn’t talk much about what we were going to paint until the night before, but i liked how organic the piece came out to be, blending our two styles together. the anxiety part is from not knowing what it’s gonna look like in the end. we’re bound by time, not imagination so it’s important to have a realistic idea of what we can actually accomplish painting in 2 1/2 hours. i barely remember the performances because i was concentrating so much! and man, that shit’s tiring to do..standing there painting nonstop for that long. anyhow, i liked the end result and i enjoyed the process, so i definitely wouldn’t mind doing it again in the future 🙂

article on the event below!

original article here:


San Francisco celebrates talented Filipinas

Elaine Villasper, Filipino-American from Daly City, showcases four of her paintings during the recently held Diwang-Pinay: Still We Rise at the Bayanihan Community Center in San Francisco. (Marconi Calindas) By MARCONI CALINDAS

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.-The city of San Francisco recently celebrated and honored the talents of Filipino women in the Bay Area.

In its fourth year, the Babae-San Francisco, a women’s organization and affiliate of GABRIELA-USA, gathered talented Filipino women for an annual festivity that addresses the rights and welfare of Filipinas in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The group’s annual performance and silent auction last Sunday night, dubbed “Diwang Pinay: Still We Rise,” was held at the Bayanihan Community Center in San Francisco and showcased Filipina-American performers, writers, and artists based in California.

Organization Development officer Elaine Villasper said that “Diwang Pinay” promotes the work of Filipina artists everywhere and represents the expanding cultural backbone of the Filipina diaspora. She said the League of Filipino Students USA started the annual presentation in San Francisco seven years ago until Babae-SF took over in 2006.

She said the theme this year was based on the economic downturn that Filipino women face right now. “[It tells of] how Filipina women can rise above adversity, not just today or time but in general. In history, women are the ones that raise their families and provide care,” Villasper said.

She said the event’s theme focused on how women persevere through tough times and was one of several venues dedicated to providing Filipinas and Filipina-Americans a platform to showcase their triumphs and struggles through art, linking history to the narrative of today’s Filipina.

The event showcased 10 visual artists: Jessica Antonio, Bean Rabino, Villasper, Dezi Suarez, Heather Boyer, Jenifer Wofford, Catherine Lagman, Jana Templanza and Samantha Pinpin.

Villasper, a Daly City resident, contributed four of her paintings for the silent auction. She said her paintings were inspired by women she met when she visited Calinga in the Cordillera Region.

For Villasper, the modern Filipina is multi-faceted. “There’s so many characters for her: A nanay [mother], lola [grandmother], nurse, student, activist. You can’t categorize a Filipino woman now. This event shows the empowerment of women [and] how different we can all be.”

Rabino, a visual artist and an Art History and Studio Art graduate from Humboldt University in California, also contributed four paintings. She said her participation is intended to make a difference and to celebrate the talent of creative Filipino women. “Being Filipina means so many things, juxtapositions. There’s more to being just a Pinay in America,” she said, adding that today’s Filipina is tough, especially those who want to go “against the grain” living in the U.S.

The event also highlighted two famous Filipinas in Philippine history: Gabriela Silang and Melchora Aquino, also known as Tandang Sora. Skits, poetry readings, short films and song and dance numbers were showcased during the two-hour event. Performers included Kristen Sajonas, Tina Shauf, Aiza Bonus, Erica Viray-Santos, Evelyn Obamos, Caroline Calderon, Chloe Nakano and the Parangal Dance Company. Over 300 Filipino-Americans that included students, teachers, and parents attended the event.

The event also highlighted the courage and perseverance of lesbian couple Shirley Tan and Jay Mercado. The couple, who were present during the presentation, recently hurdled a U.S. Immigration challenge when Tan was given reprieve to stay in America until 2011, enough to give the U.S. Congress time to pass a bill that will allow gay and lesbian Americans to petition their foreign domestic partners to be U.S. residents.

GABRIELA-USA chairperson Raquel Redondiez said she was honored to have the presence of Tan and Mercado-modern-day Filipina women who are fighting for what they believe in.

Redondiez said, “The theme Still We Rise really means to celebrate the Filipina women and their struggles. Many Pinays leave the country to be away from their family to support them.” She said Tan’s case is an example of an ongoing struggle.

GABRIELA Philippines is on its 25th year in the Philippines.

One Comment leave one →
  1. xmabaitx permalink
    June.1.2009 9:09pm

    art.illery. Super [snap. snap.] Clever. I now invite you to join the N.ew P.ostmodern A.rmy’s Artistic/Academic Division: Sch00l of P0stBull$hit Th30ry [slow clap]

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