My father left us when I was barely a few months old. Took my mom’s spousal immigration sponsorship and bounced. Left behind his name and his dimples. Years later my mom decided to get married to a carpenter; a working class stone of a man who liked to wield his hand on his tools and, as we would find out, on his own household. I mostly remember a blank void from those few long years; staying outside to avoid what waited for me at home. We endured all this so I could have a “father figure” in my life. Little did my mother know that she was the best father I could’ve ever asked for. Much love to all the dads out there, the good, the imperfect, the accidental, the surrogates.
What my folks back home are saying…
1) No to Martial Law. It is not the answer and never in history has it led to anything asides from heightened state repression. .
2) The Maute Group, Abu Sayaaf, and pseudo-ISIS groups must be stopped. Folks support that. Martial Law is not needed to do this. .
3) Intensified and indiscriminate military actions. These have displaced people in areas like North Cotabato, not to mention the tens of thousands that have evacuated Marawi City. .
4) Harassment and State Repression. A few hundred people were arrested in Davao City simply for not having ID. My organizer folks there have also noticed possible surveillance by undercover agents. True or not, the new conditions are creating a heightened sense of paranoia and stress for people doing social justice work on the ground. .
5) Peace talks. Super important but seems to get little play outside the PI. The demands by the reds for a just and lasting peace are less about laying down arms and primarily about improving the social and economic conditions of the toiling masses; to address poverty, landlessness, imperialism, and the other root causes of things like extremism and drug abuse (which, by the way, Duterte’s drug war will not resolve). .
6) Martial law will only serve to embolden a military force that is already notorious for human rights abuses, kidnappings, and extrajudicial killings. These actions almost always come at the expense of the poor, women/children/elderly, and indigenous communities. .
Indigenous people in the Philippines are often the most invisible populations in the Philippines. In Mindanao, the Lumad live in remote areas with very little access to schools and health care, and in the last few years typhoons have decimated the places where they farm and live. In addition, multinational mining and logging companies have encroached on their ancestral land, using military and paramilitary forces to harass, displace, and in several cases, kill people. This poster is dedicated to all indigenous peoples of the Philippines, who honor the ancestors by preserving the culture and fighting for their land.
HONOR THE ANCESTORS poster | 12″ x 18″ digital print | $20 (reduced price!)
Buy it here
After FIVE friggin months of snow and cold, spring is starting to say hello. Which meant it was time to bring my non-winter shoes, baseball caps, and most especially my bicycle out of hibernation. Montreal is an amazing city to bike in, with bicycle lanes all around the city. There are bike routes up to Mont Royal, along the Lachine Canal, and running through downtown and Le Plateau. Shoot, there’s a bike lane that goes straight to our apartment! Looking forward to putting some mileage in and discovering all the nooks and crannies of this place.
Anakbayan Montreal at one of the International Workers Day marches in Montreal
One of the primary ways that I’ve been settling into Montreal is by doing movement work, connecting with organizations such as BAYAN, Anakbayan, Migrante, the Centre for Philippine Concerns, etc. The transition has been mostly seamless; I’ve been able to apply my cultural work skills and experience into the different activities here. I’ve also been pretty active with the Immigrant Workers Centre/Centre des Travellieurs Immigrants, laying out their newspaper La Vox Des Migrant(e)s, as well as designing promotional materials for their 15$ Maintenant ($15 minimum wage now) campaign. I also performed recently at a couple events, one hosted by BAYAN Canada, and the other by the IWC’s Artist Bloc.
I’m reminded of when I first moved to the Bay Area, a new person in a new city trying to get plugged in. Luckily for me back then there were plenty of actions and activities that needed my services, such as the Upset the Setup youth conference, the Ethnic Studies conferences, and a plethora of anti-war and immigrant rights protests. It was through these activities that I met some of my closest comrades and friends, warriors who are still out on the streets holding it down in the Bay to this day. It is these memories that remind me that I can make it out here in Montreal, but that it might just take a little time, patience, and love.
Welcome to the 2017 update! Since I last posted (YEARS ago), among other things, I relocated to Montreal (yes, Canada)! And since I’m trying to make connections out here, I decided to revamp my website.
This site will mostly be for my music, but the blogs will also feature posts on politics, design, photography, food, and other things that I engage with on the regular.
For now, been mostly trying to settle in to this amazing new city since moving here last summer. From connecting with community organizations out here, grubbin, exploring, and finally, to doing the rapper thing, it’s been quite a ride so far.
I will be posting on the regular, so please follow! Thanks and stay tuned!