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  • kapwaVANCOUVER, Coast Salish – Internationally-acclaimed Philip­pine singer, author, and cultural icon Grace Nono top bills KAP­WA Sensing Ourselves in One Another – Philippine Indigenous Arts Festival: Music, Dance, Lec­ture, and Healing. KAPWA will be held on May 30, 2014 Friday from 4:00 – 10:00 pm at the UBC Liu Institute for Global Issues and the Institute of Asian Research. KAPWA organizers announce the importance of the event. “More than a ludic celebration of the rich artistic forms from the Philippines, this festival is a criti­cal dialogue about the cultural legacies and the political direc­tions of an indigenous aesthetic  by and for Filipino artists in the diaspora,” states KAPWA orga­nizer Tielhard Paradela.

    The Liu Institute for Global Is­sues, Rethinking River Region UBC Network, UBC Philippine Studies Series, and theatre group Kathara Pilipino Indigenous Arts Collective Society are offering the event as an academic and artistic initiative to global artists, culture workers, academics, Filipino, First Nations, immigrant commu­nities, children and families, and the general public. Attendance to the event is by donation. Local artists Bert Monterona (visual artist), Mayo Landicho (tat­too artist), and Kathara Canada (theatre dance group) join Grace Nono at the KAPWA event.

    For further information, con­tact JR Guerrero at katharainfo@ gmail.com or 604.779.4209 OR Tielhard Paradela at ubc.pss@ gmail.com For ticket reservations, go to: www.eventbrite.ca

    About Grace Nono:
    How many brilliant singers who also happen to be scholars do you know? Only one is on my list so far – Grace Nono. Take her two latest exploits: completing course work for a PhD in ethnomusicol­ogy at New York University, and writing the formidable new book, “Song of the Babaylan: Living Voices, Medicines, Spiritualities of Philippine Ritualist-Oralist Heal­ers.”
    This book on the ancient healer of our islands revalues Indigenous Filipino spirituality long eclipsed by colonialism. Recording her continued exis­tence in our post- colonial world builds a bridge between our for­gotten ancestral selves and still de- colonizing selves. Silently aiding Grace in this task is her matrilineal Camiguin-on ancestry, one of the oldest Mano­bo sub-tribes, with several Mamu­muhat in her family tree.

    She hopes this book will “in­tervene in the increasing loss of ancestral memory,” for Filipinos “to envision a future where multi­ple voices are heard, and change honors and includes what came before it.”

    She presents the Filipino as an antipode to those who would deny the existence of spirit, with the historian of mythologies Pros­pero Covar defining Filipino per­sonhood as a “vessel filled with
    spirits” and holistic thinker Se­rafin Talisayon citing three world surveys ranking the Filipino “as the highest in religiosity and spiri­tuality.”

    There’s far more for all kinds of Filipinos to learn in “Song of the Babaylan” – from doctors and nurses to theologians, ecologists and artists. Everyone with a stake in life would do well to rediscov­er the Babaylan, an emissary to multiple dimensions of reality and a measure of our people’s very old soul.

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