Thursday, July 28, 2011

Popular Spirituality as Cultural Energy

This essay by Paring Bert Alejo is refreshing in the way it articulates and clarifies, for me, the language of popular spirituality among the Filipinos especially of the masa/common folks. I find it interesting that the official church (Catholic) often deems this language as mere resistance against the church's dominant practices when in fact, as Fr. Alejo says, it is cultural energy that challenges our vocabularies of power.


...When Our Lady of Pe├▒afrancia is processed, the whole Naga City comes
alive in a colorful devotion. And yet, nothing of this spirit occupies a page in our religious
instruction. In the seminary, we mouth all this rationalist Cogito, I think therefore I am. But
there could be other approaches to existence: I dance, therefore I am. We dance, therefore, we collectively exist and live as Christians. We wear colorful hats, therefore, we are alive in our faith. We shake our bodies, we sweat, and we feel the hurt and we feel the healing, and that is how we experience the Divine. My mother would always tell me, when you come back here, please bring lana or oil for my aching back, yung bendisyunan mo, ( Being blessed) etc. Many of us have been healed in this kind of spirituality but we have been de-inculturated by our own convents or seminary, by our formators and formation programs.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

my hand-made life

today i harvested kale and then washed, chopped, dried, baked. yay!kale chips!
i harvested tomatoes and will have to harvest basil later.
yesterday i harvested blueberries and there was just a handful so they got eaten pronto.
the other day, i harvested oregano and made a sun-dried tomato and oregano pesto.

when i am out in the garden, i catch myself thinking about what isn't getting done -- the manuscripts i have to read, the program i need to write, the books i need to order, the to-do list i need to check off, the books i have to mail, the books i need to read.

it reminded me of Winona La Duke's father who told her: until you learn how to plant corn, i would not listen to your philosophizing. this has stayed with me since. how can i talk about connecting with the Land, write about the organic life, write about environmental justice, etc., if i do not even know how to tend a garden?

so yes, my other work is important but that work is being fed by this small garden.

Friday, July 22, 2011

our next revolution

Just finished reading Grace Lee Boggs' The Next American Revolution. Grace turned 96 this year!! and that means that she is an intellectual, activist, community organizer, philosopher who has been through the major historical moments of this century. She is an inspiration and role model to me of how to be a transformative leader and revolutionary.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Kapwa Conference 2012

(Here's the invitation to attend Kapwa conference next year)!

L’ Azotea Bldg., 108 Session Road , 2600 Baguio City, Philippines
E-mail:; Phone: (+63) 74 - 446 0108, CP: (+63) 09064536108

Hello dear Babaylan friends! How are you? We hope this letter finds you well and in good spirits.

As you may know, we have already started to put KAPWA-3 into motion. Recalling how, during our Conference last year, we discussed the importance of theory building, we wonder if any of you has focused on this kind of work lately?

Theory building (and the assertion of local frameworks in the academe) will be an important aspect of KAPWA-3, slated for June 28 – 30, 2012 at VOCAS and UP Baguio. In this light, we would like to invite you to contribute papers / videos relevant to highlighting the importance of indigenous knowledge. We are looking for presentations that elaborate/explain/expand the concepts, methods and theories of Sikolohiyang Filipino and Filipino Personhood, or define Kapwa Psychology in the context of indigenous mind/decolonialization. One of our goals is for the academe to co-present with an indigenous group and/or person (like Dr. Alice Magos), or present work that they did with an indigenous group or groups and explain why they chose this kind of research. We hope that in this way, the Kapwa movement can continue to live, breathe, spread and evolve!

Aside from being some of our presenters at next year's conference, we would also like to ask for your help in helping us raise funds for the conference. We would like to invite indigenous artists and scholars from other countries, such as the head of the Mongolian Academy for Arts and Culture, Gombojavyn Mend-Ooyo and other culture bearers. Please do let us know in what way you can help or contribute in this aspect of the conference.

We are truly looking forward to experiencing the gifts of the KAPWA-3 Conference with you in June 2012! Thank you so much for your love and continued support. We hope to hear from you soon. Thank you.

With warm regards,

Katrin de Guia and 
Lissa Romero de Guia

Monday, July 18, 2011

connecting the dots....
A Better Life, the movie
Star Wars
Nerf guns
Jose Vargas on being undocumented immigrant
US debt ceiling
the three gorges dam is built on an earthquake fault
the native youth make films about sacred places and elders
obesity in the US and food networks
reality tv shows
poetry, migritude
leadership retreats
social media
health care costs and fear of death

Monday, July 11, 2011

summer reads

Leche by Zack Linmark
The New Imperial Order: Indigenous Responses to Globalization
Indigenizing the Academy
The Masses are Messiah: Contemplating the Filipino SOul
Mystic Wanderers in the Land of Perpetual Departure
Pedagogies of Crossing
Fate and Destiny
The Water of Life
Race and the Cosmos
The Next American Revolution
Liberation and the Cosmos

manuscript about the Lolas
YES Magazine
ODE Magazine
High Country News

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

CWL invite

CWL in Sonoma, June 2011
CWL in Sonoma, June 2011
We've just completed two Cultivating Women's Leadership intensives, and my heart is full to overflowing from experiencing 42 women flourishing into their own expanded voice, courage and purposeful capacities.  

"Cultivating Women's Leadership ushered me into a new place of certainty about the purpose of my leadership. I am a leader and I have presence, clarity, and credibility. I will no longer be shy about admitting that I have these qualities. I will no longer be timid about stepping forward. I will no longer be reticent to receive praises for the work that I do. I will no longer minimize the importance of my purpose and work."   
-Leny Strobel, Ph.D., Professor of Multicultural Studies, Sonoma State University
Nina Simons, Toby Herzlich and Sarah Crowell
Nina Simons, Toby Herzlich and Sarah Crowell

Guest facilitator Sarah Crowell (of Destiny Arts) joined my teaching partner Toby Herzlich and me to form a trio that was complementary, deeply experienced and real. Sarah's embodied teaching, honed through years of choreography with diverse young people to encourage their most authentic expression, was an enlivening contribution to the depth of our emotional, spiritual and intellectual inquiry. We partnered seamlessly and joyfully as a team, and will be collaborating again to facilitate the next intensive inNorthern New Mexico.

As the leader of a national network of organizations who has sought to increase my skillfulness over the past 20 years, I found exactly what I needed at CWL to take my personal power and my leadership skills to the next level.
-Stacy Malkan, Health Care Without Harm and Cofounder, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

I'm writing to offer you 3 opportunities:

·      Apply, or invite a friend to apply for the final Cultivating Women's Leadership intensive of 2011, in Northern NM, Aug 29-Sept 3.  Deadline for submitting applications is July 8th.
·       Preview the leading-edge, abundant and diverse women's leadership-related content at this year's Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, CA with a 5% discount to register online using this code: Women11.
·       Subscribe to our Moonrise: A Whole System Approach to Women's Leadership email list by sending an email with Subscribe in the subject to be notified of other events and opportunities (we won't share your email with anyone else).

Male allies are most warmly welcome to join us for the last two.  Renowned leaders as disparate as Al Gore, the Dalai Lama and Wangari Maathai agree that the increased emergence of women's leadership globally is essential to addressing climate change and shifting our course toward a healthy, just and sustainable future.

Evidence keeps mounting that as the percentage of women in leadership grows in every sector and discipline - from financial management to board rooms to politics, and throughout business, the arts, media, medicine and civil society - so too improves the education, economic and social stability and ecological health of all people and their communities.

Thank you for your part in healing how we relate to our selves, each other and the Earth. And for helping to shift how we live on Earth to honor the web of life, each other and
future generations.   
With love, gratitude and respect,

 Nina's Sig

Nina Simons, Co-CEO and Co-Founder