DIWA NG KASARINLAN 2015, a Free event!

Diwa Ng Kasarinlan 2015 Poster

Anakbayan-Toronto happily invites everyone to the fourth annual Diwa ng Kasarinlan (DnK), Spirit of Independence, to commemorate the 123rd year founding of the Katipunan and to celebrate the continuous efforts by Filipinos worldwide for genuine independence in the Philippines.

DnK is an initiative by Filipino youth to commemorate the 123rd year founding of the Katipunan, the patriotic society which launched the Philippine Revolution from Spain in 1896 under the leadership of Andres Bonifacio.

Diwa ng Kasarinlan is a free all-day event that aims to bring together Filipino youth across the Greater Toronto Area and beyond for the purpose of promoting national pride through awareness of our history, the current challenges we face as a people, and discussions of what youth can do to help overcome these challenges.

This year’s theme, Our Revolutionary Roots: Ang Pag Ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa (The Love of Country) will be explored through artistic performances and displays to send out messages of social justice in the Philippines. We will have performances that will showcase local talents and talks highlighting aspects of our rich history and culture.

We need genuine changes in our motherland and Filipino youth has a place in the struggle to oust Aquino and stop Western & Chinese aggression towards the Philippines.

The event will take place July 25th, 1-4 pm at the OPSEU Region 5 office in 31 Wellesely St. East, Toronto; refreshments will be provided and please visit facebook.com/Anakbayan.Toronto for more details.

This event is co-sponsored and supported by OPSEU Region 5, Philippine Advancement Through Arts and Culture (PATAC), Filipino Worker’s Network with the support, Bayan and Migrante Canada Organizations, SEAS (Support enhance Access Service Centre), and UFCW Canada.

Join us, get to know Filipino pride for the right reasons!

Diwa ng Kasarinlan 2014!

10168191_609349895819320_6957176472556280253_nToronto– Local Filipino youth organization Anakbayan-Toronto and Filipino Canadian Association of Ryerson (FCAR) invites everyone to the third Diwa ng Kasarinlan Spirit of Independence Saturday, July 19th from 1-4pm at Ryerson University Student Campus Centre.

Diwa ng Kasarinlan is a free annual celebration of the formation of the Katipunan and its heroes as a way to realize Filipino pride that comes from our history of epic struggle. This year’s theme is “Powershift : Power to the People.”

Join us for a day of festivities featuring local Toronto talent. We are excited to present new and returning performers such as local Filipino hip hop group Southeast Cartel, No Budget Band, Filipino poetry collective Akdaan, and the all-women kulintang ensemble Pantayo. We are also featuring the performance of spoken word artist Spin El Poeta and local Cordillera youth group Matineb.

Diwa ng Kasarinlan is a celebration of our assertion for genuine Philippine independence and continues our fight for People’s true rights and freedom. It will feature talks, various artistic performances, and community empowerment.

AnakBayan Toronto (AB-TO) is an all-youth advocacy group organizing events around issues affecting the Filipino community in Canada and the struggle for national democracy in the Philippines.

Diwa ng Kasarinlan

Saturday, July 19th from 1-4pm

Ryerson University Student Campus Centre

55 Gould St. Toronto, Ontario

 

For more information and updates follow us and use hashtag #DnK2014

 

Facebook: http://fb.com/Anakbayan.Toronto/

Facebook event page: http://on.fb.me/UbC25T

Website: http://www.anakbayanto.org

Twitter: @anakbayanto

Event: http://dnk2014.eventbrite.com

Community supports Kenneth Aldovino’s Right to Stay

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By: Lesley Valiente and Sarah Salise

Kenneth Aldovino received a letter in the mail asking him to leave the country before the end of January. Aldovino has been in Canada for 6 months, initially arriving just in time to see his mother, Edna Aldovino, for the last time before she passed away of cancer in July of 2013.

Prior to her passing, Edna worked in Canada under the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) since 2009 and in 2012, completed the requirements that make her and her family eligible for permanent resident status. Completing these requirements was difficult as Edna was diagnosed with breast cancer in February of 2011 and continued working while undergoing chemotherapy treatments to ensure that she complete the requirements that would allow her to apply for permanent residency. Edna’s years of hard work and sacrifice, unfortunately, will not fulfill their purpose of bringing Kenneth to live in Canada as the processing of his application stops with the death of his mother, who was the primary applicant on their papers.

Canada’s Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) is geared for Canadian families looking to hire a foreign caregiver because the availability of local workers are lacking. The program is meant for temporary employment but Canada is one of the few countries that promote the LCP to migrant workers as a way for them to work abroad and at the same time earn their permanent residency status.  Live-in caregivers have up to four years to complete the requirement of 3, 900 hours or 24 months of full-time employment to be eligible to apply for permanent residency. In Ontario, live-in caregivers are paid a minimum wage of $10.86 per hour and work for up to 48 hours a week.

A community-led campaign called ‘Let Kenneth Stay’ is now in full swing, with organizers collecting letters of support and circulating online petitions to encourage Minister of Immigration, Hon. Chris Alexander to use his discretionary powers and allow Kenneth’s permanent residency application to process. Having lost his mother so early in life, Kenneth will face great difficulty if forced to return to the Philippines where he will have no family and no financial support. In fact, thousands of young, educated Filipinos leave the Philippines everyday in search for jobs abroad – an illustration of the lack of employment opportunities within the country. If given the chance to stay in Canada, Kenneth has a support group within the community and will have the chance to study and work to build a new life for himself. Community organizers are hopeful that Kenneth’s application for permanent residency will be considered under humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Letters of support as well as petition signatures are of great importance at this time in putting pressure on the government to act in Kenneth’s favour.”Let Kenneth Stay” campaign has also been gaining supporters and followers throughout Canada and in the U.S. on Facebook.

According to the Filipino youth organization, Anakbayan Toronto, there is a bigger issue at play in cases such as Edna’s: the lack of status accorded to workers under the Live-In Caregiver Program. Since caregivers are seen as a source of “temporary work” and not as immediate candidates for citizenship, these workers must migrate to Canada alone, undergoing separation from their families. Edna herself left home in 1999 when Kenneth was just five years old and migrated to work in Taiwan, Kuwait, Singapore and Hong Kong before coming to Canada. In addition to the emotional strain of being away from one’s family, live-in caregivers undergo difficult working conditions, finding themselves on call around the clock as the needs of the elderly and of the young for whom they provide care do not end after an 8-hour workday. Such arduous labour takes a physical toll on the body after time, and it is not surprising to find that many caregivers, like Edna, eventually display serious medical problems. While there is an economic pull factor for foreigners to work as a live-in caregiver in Canada, it cannot be denied that the true aspiration for these workers is to eventually live in Canada permanently with their families. In the case of Edna Aldovino, denying her son the right to claim his permanent residency does an injustice to Edna and renders her years of hard work and sacrifice meaningless.

Diwa ng Kasarinlan 2013: Struggles

Join us and be part of the Filipino community youth to learn about our culture, history and the legacy of our revolutionary forefathers through music, performances, and interactive education.

AnakBayan Toronto (ABT) is an all-youth advocacy group organizing around issues affecting the Filipino community in Canada and the struggle for national democracy in the Philippines. Since it traces its roots to the revolutionary forefathers, AB-T celebrates the founding of Katipunan through Diwa ng Kasarinlan on July 27, 2013.

Diwa ng Kasarinlan is a celebration of our assertion for genuine Philippine independence and continuing our fight for People’s true rights and freedom. It will provide workshops on leadership, arts, and community empowerment. Also, as part of ABT’s dedication on educating Filipino youth regarding the plight of the Philippines, various socio-political discussions will also be featured.

Come celebrate Filipino pride that comes from our history of epic struggle.

#DnK 2013 Volunteer Call Out

Anakbayan-Toronto is still looking for dedicated and energetic youth to make this historic event happen.  In the lead-up to the event, we need people to help with pre-DnK events, marketing, physical setup, ushers, etc. Working together is a great way to meet others who also hold the passion and the resilient spirit that the Filipino struggle is remarkable with.

Contact us at anakbayan.toronto@gmail.com with the subject line #DnK2013 and let us know your interests.

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Anakbayan Toronto
To get your tickets for FREE please register at http://dnk2013.eventbrite.com/


Makibaka! Huwag Matakot!

The 5th of the 6 FREE language classes!

 

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***How to Spit FiYAh in Bisaya!!***

The 5th of the 6 FREE language classes!

We have Rhea Gamana as a guest facilitator for this class! She will teach you how to construct basic sentences and engage in a conversation in Bisaya! To enhance your Bisaya vocabulary, you will be learning a new song every class.

Again, space is limited to 10 spots, so please contact us immediately to book your spot!

Contact info:
anakbayan.toronto@gmail.com, or
Rhea at (647) 281-0652

Where: CSI Regent Park, 3rd Floor, Daniels Spectrum Building, 585 Dundas Street East
When: Saturday, June 8, 2013 at 5- 7:30 pm

***How to Spit FiYAh in Bisaya!!***

ImageThis is the 4th of the 6 FREE language classes, coordinated and facilitated by Haniely Pableo.

Cebuano (Bisaya/ Binisaya / Visaya) is the second largest spoken language in the Philippines. It is spoken in Visayas and Mindanao. Come and learn how to converse and engage in Bisaya!

Kitakita ta bai! 🙂

Space is limited: 10 spots, so please contact us immediately to book a spot!

Contact info:
anakbayan.toronto@gmail.com, or
Rhea at (647) 281-0652

Where: CSI Regent Park, 3rd Floor, Daniels Spectrum Building, 585 Dundas Street East
When: Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 4:30-7pm

***How to Spit FiYAh in Bisaya!!***- workshop 3/6

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***How to Spit FiYAh in Bisaya!!***

This is the 3rd of the 6 FREE language classes, coordinated and facilitated by Haniely Pableo, that will teach you how to construct basic sentences and engage in a conversation in Bisaya! In this class, we will focus on: interrogatives, request and command; and basic sentence structure. To enhance your Bisaya vocabulary, you will be learning a new song every class.

Space is limited: 10 spots, so please contact us immediately to book a spot!

Contact info:
anakbayan.toronto@gmail.com, or
Rhea at (647) 281-0652

Where: CSI Regent Park, 3rd Floor, Daniels Spectrum Building, 585 Dundas Street East
When: Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 4:30-7pm

How to spit FiYah in Bisaya – workshop 2/6

 

This is the 2nd of the 6 FREE language classes, coordinated and facilitated by Haniely Pableo, that will teach you how to construct basic sentences and engage in a conversation in Bisaya! In this class, we will focus on: interrogatives, request and command; and basic sentence structure. To enhance your Bisaya vocabulary, you will be learning a new song every class.

… Space is limited, so please contact us immediately to book a spot!

Contact info:
anakbayan.toronto@gmail.com, or Rhea at (647) 281-0652

Where: CSI Regent Park, 3rd Floor, Daniels Spectrum Building, 585 Dundas Street East
When: Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 4:30-7pm

**Poster created by Althea Balmes and Tim Manalo**

Toronto Filipino youth group on PH peace process: “Time for true action rather than empty talks”

Reference: Alex Felipe
anakbayan.toronto@gmail.com

APRIL 24, 2013–This year marks the 40th anniversary of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the largest coalition of various economic, social justice organizations and organs of political power within the national democratic movement.

The process of building up a concrete revolutionary movement has been a gradual and complex process since its inception. This was the same period that the Philippines suffered from a serious downturn after years of experiencing positive outgrowth postured by ex-dictator Ferdinand Marcos. An era for his vision of a “New Society” was supposedly fostered through the installation of Martial Law. The regime’s move however, created extreme poverty levels, rampant graft and corruption and slowdown of economy until “it was grinding to a halt” in the 80s.

In the midst of the disorder caused by the dictatorship, the NDFP was born in 1973 the day after its program was formalized. Its policy was sought under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to establish unity among patriotic classes, forces and sectors in the Philippines and abroad for genuine national freedom and lasting peace.

It has a profound role in advancing the struggle against the imperialist US government and its peripheral reactionary governments throughout the last four decades. While it continuously pushes for its program, a truly democratic process that serves the needs of the majority of the people remains elusive with the current ruling class still  in power. This naturally gives rise to a yearning for justice, and has pushed the people to wage an armed rebellion.

The Philippine military’s assessment makes clear that the broad mass movement led by the NDFP continues to wield “strong influence” in more than 60 of the country’s 72 provinces. 

According to their own reports, New People’s Army (NPA) units have initiated more than 70 tactical offensives against large-scale mining corporations and agri-business plantations in the first four months of 2013. These activities are coordinated to hold the multinational companies back from exploiting the peoples and the environment. The anti-feudal movement in the countryside continues to heighten its influence up to the regional level, particularly in the southern island of Mindanao.

Despite the incident involving an NPA unit and Gingoog Mayor Ruth Guingona, Senator Teofisto Guingona III agrees to the need to resume formal GPH-NDFP peace talks. On the other hand, the Malacañang palace orders to “dismantle NPA checkpoints” enforcing its will on the Philippines as having only “one government” and under “one President,” Benigno Aquino III. His demand only seeks to circumvent the process and calls for surrender.

This is just one in a line of the many obstacles to a two-state solution. How can the problem be resolved when the Aquino regime keeps its counterinsurgency campaign and even allows US troops to use the country as a base in the Asia-Pacific region? How can negotiations be pursued if NDFP consultants Alan Jazmines, Tirso Alcantara, Eduardo Serrano, Edgardo Friginal, Eduardo Sarmiento, Leopoldo Caloza, Emeterio Antalan, Renante Gamara, Jaime Soledad, Danilo Badayos, Pedro Codaste, Alfredo Mapano and Ramon Patriarca remain in detention? How can we move on to tackle the next substantive issues if the current regime fails to honour previous agreements such as the Hague Joint Declaration, and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG)? It is safe to say that a solution of the broader framework is needed.

However, this is a situation that peace-minded masses want to see a resolution to: a sincere engagement in reconciliation work for restorative justice and lasting peace process.

Anakbayan-Toronto only hopes for hastening the resumption of the negotiations in the midst of the pitfalls caused by the Aquino regime’s apparent disinterest. We are committed that the root causes of the armed conflict be addressed fundamentally through an overturning of the semi-colonial, semi-feudal conditions in the Philippines. We rightfully express that the Filipino people deserve to benefit in our goal for genuine land reform, national industrialization, true freedom and democracy.

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AB STATEMENT ON ALDAW TI KORDILYERA (CORDILLERA DAY) 2013

Can a revolutionary indigenous culture break capitalism’s momentum?

Is it imaginable that our indigenous youth who have been born in Canada or have been hyphenates, claim that they can empower themselves today through their decolonizing psychology, practice and constant self-identity? Can culture alone allow the next generation to come to the fore as active participants in shaping our times?

Sisters, brothers, comrades and kasamas, revolutionary greetings from the youth section of progressive Filipinos in Canada.

The roots of the struggle of the indigenous peoples had resulted in a push by the American regime for direct control over the Cordillera region. The solution to the US Great Depression of the late 1920s was contracted in the mineral-rich mountains the Philippines. This would mean the start of “the real gold rush,” which had been in slack primarily because of the panned resistance to the Spanish conquistadors by the disparate peoples. This would mean that the northern region was the predestined subject of “benevolent assimilation” and cultural disparagement.

American colonial authorities propagated the idea of a pan-Cordillera identity and the meaning of a single “Igorot” inhabiting the highlands to separate them from their lowland counterparts and pacify them. This homogenous regional consciousness was used to constitute America as modern to justify its imperialist occupation. In the turn of the 20th century during the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, descendants of tribal peoples were put as ‘living exhibits’ — especially the Cordillerans whose main draw was their custom of eating dog meat. However, prior to their coming, these peoples were richly diverse, as is still now, in different terms.

Our history has taught us lessons that are very significant to our present identity. The role of instituted policies have demonstrated us how ethnic imaginings are constantly constructed and reconstructed. It is precisely the clash of interests that shape the dynamics of history.

Has the bourgeois government in Manila ever effected a progress without dragging away peoples through dirt and blood, forced disappearances and forcible dispossession from their domains?

Perennial mining disasters and controversial mining impacts including those by Canadian firms operating in the homeland show us clearly: the 1996 Marcopper tragedy in the small island-province of Marinduque, whose main waterway Boac River was declared not usable even after more than 10 years since the mine closed; then 2005 Lafayette mine which caused cyanide spill and fish-kill off the coast of Albay, in which local fisherfolks’ livelihood and health were devastated; and most recently, the Philex tailing pond leak which is probably the largest mining tragedy in the Philippines, causing displacement of thousands of our brothers and sisters from the Cordillera region.

From north to south, indigenous peoples must arise out of the fact that their formal equality only covers up their real inequality.The concentration of economic and political power among a few families should not be an acceptable option to the majority Filipinos. Our people in the diaspora must also stand firmly on the question of sovereign land in the context of impoverishment. Altogether, we must ultimately allow healing the economic wounds inflicted by peripheral capitalism by pushing for true democracy and national industrialization.

Cordillera Day gives us a chance to reflect the sacrifice that have been made by our fallen hero Macli-ing Dulag. This day also should make us act on behalf of our indigenous compatriots who have been disappeared such as James Balao and politically imprisoned like Kennedy Bangibang. Culture of impunity persists after the extrajudicial killings of Romy Sanchez, Albert Terredano, Pepe Manegdeg, Jose Doton, Markus Rafael Bangit and Alice Claver. Against the backdrop of centuries-old culture of resistance of indigenous peoples, justice has not been served to these human rights defenders.

We, together with the people of Cordillera, do not sit idly by as we continue to ward off capitalists who plunder their lands and lives for the benefit of the monied few. We will keep exposing and opposing the complicity of Canadian corporations in this conflict. We reaffirm our fight for land which is life and for life that is the land.

We at Anakbayan-Toronto are in solidarity with the people of Cordillera! Down with imperialism, bureaucrat capitalism, and feudalism!!!