Pinay HERstories

A series of ongoing art projects by GABRIELA-USA (babaeSF, FiRE NYC, & Pinay sa Seattle)

Join us for DIWANG PINAY in three cities! November 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — h! @ 8:49 pm

Diwang Pinay is being hosted allover the country with GABRIELA-USA organizations!  Please join us and celebrate Filipinas’ resistance through art and performance!  For more information on your city, please click the links below!

in SEATTLE, WA on January 18, 2009

DIWANG PINAY at the  Filipino Community Center
5740 Martin Luther King Jr Way
Seattle, WA 98118

hosted by Pinay sa Seattle

San Francisco, CA on March 8 (International Women’s Day!)

details are TBA!
hosted by babaeSF and LFS

New York, NY on April 25

at Judson Memorial Church
hosted by FiRE


Lola by Paula Lozano

Filed under: SF entries — h! @ 7:08 pm



and i remember…

the graceful wrinkles that began to etch into the corners of her eyes, lips and hands over the years. each line emblazoned her physical essence with memories from her past. even when the curse of old age began to riddle her body with debilatating ailments, her spirit only seemed to perpetually ascend with each passing day. she is a delicate strength, like a sampaguita flower that blooms even in the most tumultous storm.

my memory traced a line that led to me. the exact intersection in her life and mine that were dedicated solely to each other. it is the smell of garlic wafting from the kitchen, the sight of noodles boiling angrily in a hot pot of water and the squishy sounds of meat being tossed back and forth from her left hand to her right, slowly being shaped into round balls for the soup she made just for me.

bola bola, she called it. bola bola for pola. from lola, she winked.

and i laughed everytime she would say this. not only because of the way she would always annunciate and spell my name such so that it was the sister of her own, but more at her own amusement for the sing song rhyme she created. in passing years, her singsong rhyme became our secret little language; a quote wrapped in esoterica, bursting with affection the way a flower would burst open in eager anticipation of the sun’s rays.

and the soup. oh how i relished each drop of that soup. and the image of rice noodles swirling like delicate clouds in an abyss of brown broth. the union of salty and tangy that greeted my taste buds with each dripping spoonful. the juicy morsels of round meat balls, shaped by her delicate hands. the makeshift tupperware of baon to bring home. all a product of love, no doubt.

and even when her ailments prevented her from ever using the kitchen again, this memory was ours and ours alone. my connection to her. my dedicated wrinkle in the corner of her eye.


Untitled #2 by Valerie Francisco

Filed under: SF entries — h! @ 7:07 pm

the humidity has a tendency to cling to my clothing.




i don’t mind it. i haven’t sweated like this for years.

naninibago talaga ako.

i’m finding that my tongue is such a nuisance.



i can’t get the english words in my head out in a coherent tagalog manner. forcing me to butcher my language and infuse it with tagalog-ified english words like, “nagwowork” or “making habol”. it gives me away.

well, everything really gives me away. i think its my swagger. or even my tendency to smile at people. it just makes them uncomfortable. of course, the fact that i’m six billion sizes bigger than most men, women, children, and roosters here, also might be a factor that says “AMERICAN”.

i’ve changed.

home has changed.

well somewhat. not for the better or anything.

i walked around today in my aunt’s neighborhood. i remem


Homesickness by Kristia Castrillo

Filed under: SF entries — h! @ 7:05 pm

I think about you
to the sounds of water moving
from solid to liquid, melting and freezing,
then over again.
Ice and water in an intermingling state.
I imagine that your equally-brown feet
in fertile mud,
as you lift each ankle through the thickness, planting rice
make a similar sound.
Put face to face with our differences,
the space between us,
I conjure up universals
with which to relate.
So I pretend that
there is some connection
between my boots in the slush here
and your barefeet in rubber slippers there.
I must cling on to something.

Untitled by Valerie Francisco

Filed under: SF entries — h! @ 7:04 pm

so yesterday and the days before that, i kinda forgot that i had this humongous trip ahead of me.

yes, i thought about it everyday. talked to different people about it everyday.

but it seemed to far to be real.

kimmie said that she felt the same way when she went to italy. not realizing that she was actually there, imagining that it was just some fucked up part of new york she had never seen before.

and i realized, holy crap. i have grown attached to new york.

i mean this is a long way from the girl who was counting the days when she could go back home.

i realized that i live and love new york.

which is really besides the point.

the point is that my summer adventures begin today.

yes, it’s 606 am.

yes, i’m at JFK airport.

and yes, i am eating fake eggs and crappy toast from the airport restaurant.

one that’ll take me across the world, to a place that’s only really existed as a mere imaginary for me for the past 15 years.

home, the philippines.

its surreal now. i laid out my things last night. the articles of clothing and items that are so particular to an exposurist next to my clothes.

in the past, the compressed bags, tightly wound toilet paper, mini hand sanitizer-shampoo-conditioner, and fast drying towel were things that i imagined in someone else’s bags. a kasama that would go back summer after summer, leaving me wishing that i would one day be able to pack those things right beside my favorite summer shirt (thin and airy, perfect for the humidity) and brazillia flip flops (light and comfy, perfect for walking distances). but in the past, i could never.

and last night, i did it. raul double counted everything for me. reassured me that i was good and ready to go. after we had compressed everything, he watched me as i tested the weight of the bag. he watched me and asked me if i needed to take less. i said it was heavy but i’d deal with it in the phils.

funny how tables turn. just last year, i was in the very same position as he was. making sure everything was packed in a good way as to not waste space. reassuring him that everything was fine and that he would be fine. and then now its me.

really, it’s my turn.

the trip didn’t come to a reality until i put on the bag on my back. i felt a drip of sweat come down my temple.

and i’m off.


The Lines of My Hands by Nikki Escobar

Filed under: SF entries — h! @ 7:01 pm

The Lines of My Hands

Marie Fe: the length of your metaphysics matches my own in

your smile.

Ruby: a piece of the sun bursts forth from our mouths

and now I know the worth of gold.

Janet: atomic rock staying strong in the midst of Death as he takes

your boys into the earth, see that I can taste the salt of your eyes.

Roberto Jr: patient bird of paradise, whisper a harana from the trees at twilight

so that I may sleep with you in my ears.

Daisy: beauteous capabilities sprout from the roots of your mind.

to bloom under your shadow is to effloresce intelligently.

Gilbert: the gentle bend of a blade understands that your force surpasses its own

and I can only wish for your metallic intensity.

Rojer: the movements of water upon the shore realize grace

as they meet your toes in the sand.

Rhoi: the mapping of the stars is the simplicity of you.

open those capsules of light, little brother.

Jessa Marie: fragments of the world reflect in your palms.

hold them to the sky and absorb their warmth, little sister.

Nanay: cries curl the black of my hair

and I can wrap, finally, the tenderness of genetics between my fingertips.

Tatay: steady remnants of pride fall like leaves at your feet.

my stubbornness echoes at the same tempo.

Mom: kept promises are kept close to the soul.

this is where my gratitude refuses to leave.

Dad: never an ocean’s distance from a kalamansi tree,

salamat po, for giving me two families, for

tracing the lines of my hands.


Hello world! May 19, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — h! @ 3:11 pm

Welcome to GABRIELA-USA national arts project!  We can’t wait to see how this space will evolve in the coming months!