Friday, February 29, 2008

Fil-Am women in NY echoes the worldwide call for OUST GLO!

Press Release
29 February 2008

Reference: Valerie Francisco, Secretary General, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE)
Contact Info:, 925-726-5768,

Fil-Am women in NY echoes the worldwide call for OUST GLO!

New York, NY--The sounds of feet marching on concrete and voices chanting echoed from the streets of Manila to the Filipino hub of Woodside, Queens on a freezing Thursday night. The demands of the Filipino people, migrant or in the Philippines resonated in unison, "GLORIA RESIGN!"

Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE), a Filipino women's organization in New York City, stood side by side with other BAYAN-USA organizations, Anakbayan New York/New Jersey and New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines to join in the worldwide call to oust the defacto Philippine president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In the recent unfolding of scandal after scandal in the Arroyo regime has signaled massive public outrage in the Philippines. Millions of dollars have gone into the pockets of Arroyo and her cronies in the economic scandal between the Philippines and 2 telecommunications networks (National Broadband Network-Zhong Xing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation ). The bottom line is, these underhanded deals will profit the GMA administrations and the debts accrued through this scandal will fall on the shoulder of the Filipino people.

Different communities, church people, students, business and professionals, women, etc., in the Philippines have denounced the GMA administration for its graft and corruption. Migrant Filipinos, overseas foreign workers, youth and women alike, are also taking a stand.

"We understand that the NBN-ZTE deal is the small piece of an enormous, corrupt and crooked web that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself has orechestrated in her unscrupulous and rotten term as puppet president of the Philippines," says Valerie Francisco, Chairperson of FiRE,"ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Gloria must go!"

Marching in the streets in Queens, NY might seem like a reach from the intensifying political climate in the Philippines. But in reality, our growing migrant community is a stones throw away from the Philippines as our voices echo with the same demands:



and another one!

Our soundwoman extraordinaire for the night! VettieVette has been a fantastic friend to FiRE, from DJing our "Stop the Killings" show in March 2007 to hosting a Pinay Brunch this past winter, we are so happy that this woman's got FiRE's back!

DJ Vettie Vette!

DJ Vettie Vette aka Yvette Cuenco is a Bay Area native Brooklynite with Kapampangan and Mindanao roots. She has been involved with the Pilipino community since she was a kid - from her family's church activities through her days as an undergrad at UCLA. She moved to Brooklyn in 2004 to attend NYU's School of Social Work and has been working full-time as a licensed master social worker at a children's day treatment program in Brooklyn since 2006. Outside of the office, Vettie Vette has been involved in the arts & culture scene for many years - as a writer, events volunteer, and performer. On her spare time DJ Vettie Vette can be seen with her DJ crew - Sistamatik, record shopping, cooking, or enjoying the sights and sounds of her adopted city. She is honored to be a part of the first annual Diwang Pinay. For more information on Vettie Vette's events or to download her mixes, please hit up

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

be our friend everywhere!

Amidst these turbulent times, we're still pushing forth with plans for DIWANG PINAY!

Make sure you let us know you're showing up with this lovely SAVE THE DATE! on facebook. Or! Join our FiRE FACEBOOK GROUP!

191 folks, and counting! :)
Thanks for your support, friends.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

If you're in Seattle!


Let Truth Shine Against Darkness

Please come out for these events as we build towards a new brand of People Power!

THURSDAY, February 28, 8pm.
Nationwide Candlelight Vigil for Victims of the Arroyo Regime
University of Washington Red Square in front of Suzallo Library

FRIDAY, February 29.
5:30pm Rally at Komo 4 News Station (140 4th Ave. N)
6:30pm Vigil at Seattle Center Fountain

MONDAY, March 3rd, 6-8pm
Potluck Dinner and Community Teach In
Gran Oriente (117 - 15th Avenue South, Seattle)

SATURDAY, March 8th, 12noon.
International Women's Day Rally to Oust GMA
Featuring First Quarter Storm
Jose Rizal Park (1008 – 12th Avenue South, Seattle)

TUESDAY, March 11, 6:30pm
Edith Burgos, mother of human rights victim
Speaking Event at Bethany UCC
6230 Beacon Avenue South

News Release
February 25, 2008

Reference: Rob McCauley, GMA WATCH 206.383.7209,

Jeff Rice, BAYAN USA National Officer, 206.291.8078,

Joanne Alcantara, GABRIELA-USA, 206.427.2994,

Fil-Ams Commemorate People Power by Calling for a "New Brand" of People Power
GMAT WATCH AND BAYAN USA Calls for Increased Action in the US Against Arroyo

The US Chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, or BAYAN USA, will join its mother alliance's call for commemorative week long actions surrounding the anniversary of People Power 1. On Monday February 25th, the umbrella group BAYAN Philippines will be joining a broader call of church leaders, civil libertarians, and business leaders for the immediate resignation of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, following a high-end dialogue of various Philippine sectors in the Makati Business Club last Tuesday.

The Arroyo clan has recently been exposed of high dealings in graft and corruption as ZTE-NBN Broadband scandal star witness Rodolfo Noel Lozada testified last week to the Philippine Congress.

"We agree that Gloria will be facing a 'new brand' of people power, certainly one where more Filipino-Americans will take a stand, make more noise, and contribute to the anti-corruption, pro-democracy movement in the Philippines," states BAYAN USA Finance Officer Jeff Rice. "We are calling on all patriotic Filipinos in the Seattle area who are concerned with the state of the Motherland to join together in this time of crisis."

BAYAN Philippines Secretary-General Renato Reyes Jr. noted, "Perhaps the difference with people power today is that its seeds are emerging from various sectors of society despite there being no Cardinal Sin to call for it. People power is springing forth from the grassroots, the schools, factories, communities, businesses, with various political formations are coming together. It is spreading despite the limitations of the church hierarchy."

"Now more than ever, we need to recall the lessons of people power and so we can come up with an improved version for our times. The new people power will not simply be led by any religious leader a la Cardinal Sin. Nor will it just seek to replace one regime with a worse one. We have certainly learned lessons from EDSA 1 and EDSA 2," Reyes added.

The theme of the BAYAN protest actions will be People Power Pa Rin! (People Power Still!), a call that is growing popular even among overseas Filipinos in various countries. BAYAN USA has a considerable number of second and third generation Filipino members in the US who fully unite with the call and understand its relevance.

"Nothing is impossible. After 20 years of living under the iron fist of Marcos, the Filipino people made the so-called 'impossible' happen with People Power 1, and again with Estrada with People Power 2. These experiences prove that the Filipino people can make this new brand of People Power possible-- one that will reject the corruption and moral bankruptcy of Trapo (traditional politician) politics, and one that will not allow another Trapo to simply replace Gloria. Even second-generation Fil-Ams can smell what is rotten about Arroyo from 30,000 miles away and know that the Philippine system needs to change," states BAYAN USA Chair, Chito Quijano.

BAYAN USA hopes to mounts actions with allies and friends in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities in the US calling for the resignation or ouster of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo next week. BAYAN USA also calls on all sympathetic forces in the United States to mount creative actions calling for the immediate removal of Arroyo.

In Seattle, a series of actions will take place calling for the ouster of the Philippine President. All events are sponsored by GMA Watch, Bayan USA and GABRIELA USA. The week of March 10th, Edith Burgos, mother of missing farmer and activist Jonas Burgos, will travel across the nation in a national speaking tour to raise the level of awareness on the ongoing forced disappearances of activists in the Philippines. She has presented her case to the United Nations Commission for Human Rights and has garnered the attention of the international community on the state of human rights abuses under the hands of the Philippine government.

THURSDAY, February 28, 8pm.

Nationwide Candlelight Vigil for Victims of the Arroyo Regime

University of Washington Red Square in front of Suzallo Library

FRIDAY, February 29.

5:30pm Rally at Komo News 4

6:30pm Vigil at Seattle Center Fountain

MONDAY, March 3rd, 6-8pm

Potluck Dinner and Community Teach In

Gran Oriente (117 - 15th Avenue South, Seattle)

SATURDAY, March 8th, 12noon.

International Women's Day Rally to Oust GMA

Featuring First Quarter Storm

Jose Rizal Park (1008 – 12th Avenue South, Seattle)

TUESDAY, March 11, 6:30pm

Edith Burgos, mother of human rights victim

Speaking Event at Bethany UCC

6230 Beacon Avenue South

We call on all Filipino people, friends and allies to stand against a corrupt government and say "Enough is enough! People Power Pa Rin! We demand an accountable government in the Philippines! Oust Gloria Now! ###
PINAY* sa Seattle is a collective of Pinays celebrating our multifaceted identities, revolutionary history, and rich culture. We work to build a community in the Seattle area invested in educating, defending, and advocating for the human rights of Filipinas globally. (
Pinay sa Seattle is part of the women's sector of BAYAN–USA, an alliance of progressive Filipino groups in the U.S.(

‘Bye’ Arroyo campaign goes online

‘Bye’ Arroyo campaign goes online
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines -- An alliance of overseas Filipino groups on Tuesday launched an online petition calling on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to say goodbye to her job.

Called Babay Gloria, for Bagong Bayani Ayaw kay Gloria (New Heroes against Gloria), the petition was launched by Migrante.

“Bagong bayani” or modern-day hero is the tag given by the government to overseas Filipino workers, whose multibillion-dollar remittances prop up the Philippine economy.

Aside from the online petition, an actual petition-signing campaign has also been launched along T.M. Kalaw Street in Manila, where hundreds of seafarers congregate daily.

The Babay Gloria petition shows that our countrymen abroad are one with the movement here for the ouster of Arroyo, said Migrante chair Connie Bragas-Regalado.

The petition, addressed to Arroyo, says overseas Filipinos have had enough of the President’s “affronts to our dignity, violations against our rights and welfare, and your lies to the people.”

The petition will be circulated among Migrante’s member-organizations in Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada and the United States.

The petition says overseas Filipinos are fed up with the corruption in the government that has deprived them and their families of efficient public services. Jerome Aning

Saturday, February 23, 2008

GABRIELA-USA Demands Justice for the Rape of Filipina by US Military Personnel!

February 22, 2008
Contact: Joanne Alcantara, National Coordinator, GABRIELA–USA,

GABRIELA-USA Demands Justice for the Rape of Filipina by US Military Personnel!


On February 18, 2008, a US army member was taken into custody for the rape of a Filipino woman in Okinawa, Japan. The woman, who's identity has not been released, reported to local police that she was raped in a hotel. The brutal incident left the woman with injuries, and is currently receiving treatment at a medical facility.

The claim made by the Filipino woman adds to the sordid US military rap sheet in Okinawa, with a 38-year old Marine staff sergeant recently arrested for the rape of a 14-year old Japanese girl only 7 days earlier.

The usual response from the US military claims that Army authorities are investigating the case, but this incident will only prove again the biased nature of the US-Japanese Status of Forces Agreement (SoFA), which allows for US military servicemen to claim impunity regarding specific illegal conduct. In 1995, the gang-rape of an Okinawan elementary school girl by US marines prompted widespread outrage from Okinawans who are still fighting to contest the highly concentrated presence of US military in their island.

Similar to the US-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), these underhanded military deals between the US and other Asian states have grave consequences for the girls and women who live and work in and around highly militarized areas. The gang-rape of 22 year-old Nicole in 2006 is indicative of the ongoing pattern of sexual attacks caused by US military occupation. Further, the Philippine puppet government under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has made it so that the Philippines has become the stomping yard of US military troops. The convicted US marine in Nicole's case, Lce. Corporal Smith's lenient sentence is proof of the Philippines' cowardice when it comes to protecting women's rights and safety.

The growing presence of US military in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia spells out danger for women's bodies and livelihood. A recent report of 2 children and a pregnant woman murdered by so-called US training exercises, Balikatan, in Mindanao calls attention to the countless ways US military occupation targets the welfare of women.

These despicable incidents stir up the continuing women's struggle to oust US occupation in the Philippines and calls for solidarity among women across nations that are subject to the same abuses of military occupation. From the legacy of resistance of our Lolas, WWII comfort women, to standing up against these crimes of war on a new generation of Filipino women, Pinay Sa Seattle, Babae in San Francisco and FiRE in New York demand JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS OF US MILITARY HARASSMENT!

GABRIELA-USA calls for immediate investigation into the rapes in Okinawa, Japan. The US military and government must take accountability for its wars of aggression on the world and on the women of the world!


Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Warm militant greetings!

The GABRIELA-USA National Organizing Committee, on behalf of Pinay Sa Seattle, babae in San Francisco and FiRE in New York, are proud to share recent news that we will be formally building towards a national women's alliance, GABRIELA-USA.

After a monumental conference in Seattle, WA in November 2007, which brought together our 3 women's organizations, we have been steadily building our Filipino women's alliance towards the formation of a GABRIELA USA Chapter in the U.S. This month, we are happy to share with you the news and the actual text that the GABRIELA National Council has recently passed a resolution that recognizes our women's alliance as the first international chapter of the vibrant women's alliance in the Philippines, GABRIELA.

We thank allies and friends like yourself and your organizations in sustaining and supporting us throughout our journey. We would like to send you our gratitude for your steadfast support and look forward to continuing and strengthening our struggle.

GABRIELA USA will be vigilant in addressing the unique struggles of Filipino women in the US and in the Philippines. Side by side with the broader struggles of the Filipino people, GABRIELA USA will continue to strengthen our legacy as empowered Filipino women, and fight against the oppressive government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The road before us will be long and undoubtedly demanding, however, with your help and trust, we are sure to build GABRIELA-USA into a wide, solid and strong force within the National Democratic movement.


In solidarity,
GABRIELA-USA National Organizing Committee





*performances by Filipino artists

*a public orientation on the upcoming Int'l League of People's Struggle Third International Assembly (TIA) on June 17 thru 22 in Hong Kong

*orientation to be delivered via videoconference w/ the ILPS chair, Prof. Jose Maria Sison

SUNDAY, FEB. 24TH, 7-9:30PM
40-21 69TH STREET

organized by
BAYAN USA and its member organizations,
Anakbayan NY/NJ,
Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FIRE),
NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP)


50 duped OFWs scavenge for food in Kuwait dustbins -- NGO

50 duped OFWs scavenge for food in Kuwait dustbins -- NGO

By Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippiness -- A Hong Kong-based migrant workers’ group appealed to the government on Tuesday to do something about 50 Filipino workers reduced to scavenging garbage in Kuwait after being duped by their employer.

The overseas Filipino workers, according to the Asia Pacific Migrants Mission, have resorted to eating expired foodstuff and scavenging sellable items from waste bins just to survive.

APMM said the OFWs were employed by the Gulf Link Transport Co. but subcontracted to different employers as cleaners.
"They have been in Kuwait for three months and a number of them have either not been paid or their salaries have been delayed. Their placement agency is ironically named Great Provider Service Exporters Inc.,” APMM coordinator Gi Estrada said in a statement from Hong Kong.

For those who do get paid, their salaries are reduced from 60 Kuwaiti Dinars (about US$220.50) to only 44 (US$161.70) a month because of illegal deductions. "That’s lower than the monthly wage of a domestic helper here,” Estrada added.
Last Saturday, Migrante-Dubai accompanied more than 40 other victims of labor contract violations in the United Arab Emirate’s commercial capital, to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO). In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, about 100 OFWs are stranded under a bridge and are awaiting deportation.

John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East said they would seek a Senate hearing on the OFW experiences and the alleged negligence and incompetence of some Filipino embassy officials. ###

Thursday, February 14, 2008

International Women's Day!

GABRIELA Statement

International Women's Day

8 March 2008

On March 8, 2008, Filipino women once again call for a militant
commemoration of the International Women's Day to honor the day of
working women. The women's militancy to demand change and fight for
their rights roots back from the historical condition of oppression and
inequality of women. For working class women, this meant inhuman and
slave-like conditions in the form of feudal and capitalist

One hundred years ago, on 8 March 1908, 15,000 women marched through New
York City to demand shorter work hours, just pay and the right to vote.
In the same year in Europe women also set up strikes, protested against
welfare cuts and campaigned for equal pay and unionization.

In the Philippines, women's participation has always been significant in
the people's historical struggle for sovereignty and against oppression
and exploitation. Filipinas first commemorated International Women's Day
in 1971 at the onset of the dictatorial rule of Ferdinand Marcos. With
the establishment of GABRIELA in 1984, women under the alliance
continued the militant tradition of commemoration of IWD from then on,
recognizing the contribution of millions of working women's struggle in
the past.

Today, Filipino working women carry on the struggle at a time of
worsening economic and political crises under the 7- year
Macapagal-Arroyo regime – a regime most subservient to US imperialist
dictates, most corrupt and tyrannical, and almost equals the Marcos
dictatorship in its fascism.

The Arroyo regime boasts of a growing Philippine economy, citing the
increase in the country's Gross National Product and the strengthening
of the peso against the US dollar. The regime further claims that a
diminishing hunger incidence as shown in the last quarter of 2007 survey
was due to her good governance and the success of the hunger mitigation
program that she started in 2005.

The concrete experiences of majority of the Filipino people, especially
women who bear the brunt of hunger and poverty, proved the Arroyo
regime's declaration of progress a lie. For the Filipino people, there
has been no meaningful development amidst the economy's continuing

Sham Program, Corrupt Governance

The government's development program such as the Hunger Mitigation
Program is nothing but mere attempts to cosmetize its utter failure to
resolve the fundamental problems of the Philippine economy.

The Arroyo government's ever-ready compliance to policies of imperialist
globalization leads to the bankruptcy of the country's industry and
agriculture, which in turn, causes the widespread dislocation of workers
and farmers. Even owners of small businesses bemoan the weight of the
crisis and its adverse effects on their businesses and investments.

Reality also runs counter to the Arroyo political clique's propaganda of
good governance. Arroyo and her political clique are being hounded by
unending scandals of corruption and abuse of authority. Adding to these
scandals involving the president, her husband and their close allies are
recent revelations of corruption and kickback in the ZTE-NBN Broadband
project and cases of bribery in Malacañang and Congress coinciding with
a move to consolidate the administration block to ward off a impeachment
case against the President. Yet in all these corruption scandals and
anomalies, not one of those involved was ever tried, much less punished.

Worsening the Modern Day Slavery of Women in the 7th Year of the Fake

The worsening economic crisis leads to further deterioration of Filipino
women's social status. Household work remains the woman's individual
responsibility while the crisis further compels women to seek livelihood
to augment the family's income. And yet feudal patriarchal relations
between men and women remain and society, in general, continues to view
women as inferior and second-class citizens. The number of women victims
of sexual abuse both in the country and abroad continues to rise.

Majority of poor women work as farmer tenants, seasonal plantation
workers or contract workers in the manufacturing industry and burdened
by low wages, absence of benefits and job insecurity. As primary
homemakers, women resort to ingenious ways to earn extra (providing
laundry services, vending food in the streets, etc.) or to seek work
overseas. In fact, majority of present-day Overseas Filipino Workers are
women, who are in jobs most vulnerable to abuse, such as domestic
workers and entertainers.

The Arroyo regime's much touted low hunger incidence in the country in a
survey conducted during the last quarter of 2007 at 16.2 % remains high
when compared to a hunger incidence batting at slightly lower average of
11.9 % over the last 10 years. This 16.2 % hunger incidence can only be
appreciated as lower relative to a 21.5 % (nominally equivalent to 3.8
million Filipino families) all-time high posed during the 3rd quarter of

No amount of propaganda or manipulated statistics could conceal the
intensifying poverty of the Filipino people. And women bear the brunt of
the severity of this crisis.

Effects of a plummeting economy and livelihood push urban poor families
towards further misery. While they suffer from the uncertainty of
irregular source of livelihood, their homes and communities are being
demolished to give way to so-called urban development projects
ostensibly for the benefit of merely a few. Rather than a social
service, the government's housing project is, in fact, a profit-making
endeavour. The government has also turned its back on providing needed
social services, like health services, to the people.

Intensifying Political Repression

Meanwhile, repression of civil liberties and violation of human rights
persist. The state claims even pregnant women, elders and children as
victims. By 2008, reported human rights violations in the country have
involved 889 victims of political killings, which include 98 women
victims and 58 children. Among 179 cases of enforced disappearances are
29 women. Recently the military massacred 8 civilians including 2
children and 3 women, one of whom was pregnant.

Currently, there are 23 women who languish in jail for political
reasons; the most recent illegally arrested and detained was Elizabeth
Principe, a peace advocate and staunch supporter of the welfare of
farmers and indigenous peoples in the countryside. There are also 8
women victims of rape by the military. The list of human rights
violations continue, as these figures and cases have yet to include
thousands of women and children victims of forcible evacuation due to
massive militarization in the countryside. They experienced hunger,
trauma and various forms of sexual abuse.

The military's policy of rape and sexual abuse against women in
captivity is indeed enraging. The spine-chilling torture and rape the
military committed against missing students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn

Cadapan, and the sexual abuse experienced by 64-year old Angie Ipong in
the hands of her military captors cannot and shall not go unpunished.

As the economic and political crisis escalates, coupled with the further
intensification of the people's protest, we can only expect – caution
and condemnation notwithstanding – heightened attacks by the Arroyo
government against progressive organizations like GABRIELA.

Intensifying Women's Resistance

Our 8 March 2008 campaign is the persistence of the historic struggle
and victory of the women's movement as our own contribution to the
intensifying struggle of the Filipino people. We will unleash a strong
mass struggle of women against dire poverty, corruption and tyranny of
the Arroyo regime.

We will give particular emphasis on exposing the grave condition of
masses of women and the various forms of violence women experience in
the form of poverty and VAW, as we also criticize and expose the Arroyo
government's hunger mitigation program for what it really is: A fake
program by a fake President.

This March 8, we will conduct actions with the widest participation of
masses of women to fight for their right to livelihood, housing and
social services, for the future of their children and their families,
and for their right against violence, especially state violence. We will
unleash widespread and militant actions by women and the people against
the Arroyo regime's desperate grip on power.

Women are aware that only through their militant struggle, together with
the rest of the people and under the aegis of a national democratic
struggle, can the recurring and worsening crisis of the semi-colonial
and semi-feudal Philippine society meet its decisive end.

On this International Women's Day, let us vow to bring tens of thousands
of working women in a militant action to contribute to the struggle of
the working women of the world. Let us organize and mobilize women in
the unions and factories, in farms, in urban poor communities, schools
and offices around their local issues and concerns. Let us involve women
from numerous localities through solid and extensive education,
agitation, propaganda and local mass struggle campaigns. Elevating local
and sectoral issues to a political level is an essential part of our
endeavour. Our local, sectoral, national and regional actions shall lead
to massive and militant protest march of women and children on March 8
against the heightening exploitation and oppression of the women of the
world. This March 8 will also kick off GABRIELA's celebration of 25
years of struggle and triumphs next year.

Throughout the world, the struggle of working women against exploitation
is the key to our successful struggle against all forms of oppression.
Only where women are members of the working force and have collective
power will they learn to fight exploitation and oppression as women. We
need to fight the oppression of women towards our full participation in
the economic, political socio-cultural life of our community. The
struggle of organized working class women will end not only women's
oppression but women's exploitation as well.

Women Unite! Struggle against oppression and exploitation!

Fight corruption and tyranny! Oust President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo!

Long Live International Working Women's Day!

Long Live International Solidarity!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Announcing our fiiiiirst confirmed performer!!!!

Diwang Pinay is going to be amazing. You should be there to see it yourself. Without further ado, here she is, the lovely and talented M. Josephine!

Influenced by artists such as Amel Larriuex, A Tribe Called Quest and Jill Scott, new-comer M. Josephine brings her own brand of R&B-Hip Hop-Soul to the stage! This Jersey City native stays true to her passion to uplift the heavy hearts....using musical, artistic abilities to share the struggles she's seen through her eyes and the eyes she's crossed paths with. From Filipino senior citizen parties until the age of 10, open mic's and featuring at showcases in our present time, her drive, passion, and humbleness never cease to grow. Sharing the stage with underground heavy weights such as M1, Silent Knight and Hassan Salaam, MJ proves she is a singer-songwriter worth knowing about!

Please check her out via myspace at


Saturday, February 9, 2008

4/19: DIWANG PINAY: Rise, Woman, RISE!


Diwang Pinay 2008: Rise, Woman, RISE!
Saturday, April 19, 2008 @ 7 pm to 10 pm
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South
NYC, NY 10012

***Take the subway to West 4thm then, walk east along West 4th Street, toward Washington Square Park.


Pinay performers and artist you know and love!
Line up announcement soon! :)

Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment will celebrate its first anniversary! Please join the women of FiRE for a showcase and silent auction of Pinay artists!

Diwang Pinay ("Spirit of the Filipina") is an annual performance and silent auction in New York City showcasing Filipina/ Filipina-American performers, writers, and visual artists. Diwang Pinay promotes the work of Pinay artists everywhere AND represent the expanding cultural backbone of the Filipina diaspora. This FiRE event is one of the few venues solely dedicated to providing Filipinas and Filipina-Americans a platform to display their triumphs and struggles through art, linking history to the narrative of today's Filipina.

April 19, 2008 will mark the first of the annual Diwang Pinay series, and in 2008, calls attention to the human rights violations that run rampant in the Philippines. The toll of women community leaders who are murdered or disappear continue to rise, which has prompted FiRE to create this artistic venue featuring singer/songwriters, performers, and visual artists in order to draw attention to the hostile climate which women organizers face today, and the culture of resistance that triumphantly surfaces during these times.

Performance slots and artist auction submissions are still open until March 15! Please contact Melanie or Hanalei at . For more information, please visit us at !

**Many thanks to Sammi Smith who donated her time and talent for the Diwang Pinay logo and flyer!