“Your reason for a better should of been genuine.
I do it because it gives me a sort of peace-of-mind.
And for the love.”

I know I always post this song like every three months on my facebook, so this is how you know it’s me writing. But I’ve also been feeling like these past few days have been like falling in love with the Philippines again. Every year it gets easier and easier and so much joy is in me. But like my favorite movies, there’s a complicated story in this where someone gets hurt.

I feel like the first few days on BSB and last few days are the hardest. The beginning is tough because of the adjustment and figuring everyone out. The end is also tough because you start losing patience with everyone or you start missing all the privileges you’ve left back in America. For me…

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Babae Expo Team solicits your donation!

GABRIELA-USA greets you with warmth and solidarity!

Babae San Francisco, a Filipino women’s organization, along with GABRIELA, a national alliance of women’s organizations, both belong to the vibrant women’s movement of the Philippines that has been organizing and mobilizing Filipino women around their rights and issues for over 20 years. Our work deals distinctly with the problems of women, working to free women from all forms of oppression ranging from economic and political oppression, sexual violence and abuse, to the neglect and denial of health and reproductive rights.

As an overseas chapter of GABRIELA, Babae SF will be holding another “Back to the Motherland” exposure trip to the Philippines.  This summer, our objective is to see, listen and experience what Filipino women go through in their everyday lives, where they go to school and where they work: campuses, farms, factories, etc. Expanding the bridge between our Filipino women’s experience here in the United States with our sisters in the Motherland.

We are asking for any donations you can offer.  The “Back to the Motherland” program is non-profit, and all exposurists fundraise for the month-long trip. The fundraising will not only help with the exposurists’ daily travel necessities, but also give back to the communities that they visit.

This year the needs expressed to us by GABRIELA organizations were around medical and health supplies. GABRIELA has a health program as a part of their work and are in dire need of these few basic supplies:

  • Pain killers (i.e. Tylenol, Advil, etc.)
  • Vitamins (i.e Women’s One-A-Day, Centrum)
  • Cold and Flu (i.e. Robitussin, Dimetapp)
  • Contraceptives (i.e. Condoms, Lubrication)
  • Hygienic products (i.e. Toothbrushes, Pads, Tampons)
  • Digital blood pressure monitor and other equipment used for getting vital health signs;
  • Ointments/medicines for skin diseases.
  • Other basic medical needs such as first aid kits, latex gloves, bandages, alcohol wipes, etc.

If you are willing to donate monetarily or any of the above materials, we are truly grateful and elated to accept. Monetary donations can be made via the following link: http://tinyurl.com/babaedonation. We can also coordinate with you to pick up material donations.

Thank you for supporting us and our work! Please don’t hesitate to contact us at babaesf@gmail.com or (415) 324-9050.

Sincerely,

Tina Shauf

Chairperson

2011 Babae Exposure Tream

NYC Arrival

8/12/10

Arrived at JFK: late by an hour, had to pay $5 to get out of the Air Train separately from the $8 all day fun pass for the subway…sheesh…A train took forever, luckily caught the express…switched to the C train on Nostrand…took the C to the S, then to the Q, but had to back track and got on the B so I could meet Val at a West African dance class. That’s the best way to go after a long flight…loosen up and work it out with dance…felt freeing and woke me up from the possible jet-lag feeling…bought some fruit and informal SICA at the corner store, then took a bus into Flatbush, a neigborhood that resembles SF’s long stretched Mission ST (the long stretch of mom and pop shops selling dollar deal goods and home cooked meals in the Mission, not the gentrified Mission parts), but instead of a Latino community, Flatbush consists of heavily populated black community. Got to Val’s apartment: not a walk up, and not tiny like most NYC apartments…huge friggin place, with a foyer and huge living room that can manage 3 inflatable full mattresses…watched an episode of What not to Wear while waiting for Val to handle some bidness…went down to a Cup cake shop in the LES to meet with Tina! Then off to see some really dope graff @ PS1…a building full of graff pieces, so siiiiiiiiick…best live graff I’ve seen in a while…then we bounced to an off-shoot of the MOMA…there was a really neat installation of huge yoga balls in nest and boingy sounding pipes and hammocks…neat!!!like an adult Jungle: that place like Chuck E Cheeses when I was a kid!!! Then we traversed the inside of that off-shoot MOMA…bored as hell, my attention span weary and just disappointed at the art…soooooooo uber lame, Tina got repremanded by claps because she tried to open a door know art installation…the show was titled “Massive and Erect”: not worth it at all…boring and heady bull crap…So off to Queens to visit the Bayanihan center: resembles the FCC in the Excelsior. We met some youth interns planning a Piestahan…and a few other center workers. Queens has the majority of Filipinos living in NY…we saw places that sold Filipino food and all sorts of other services you would find in a fil-am community. It rained a bit, but didn’t bother anyone…Afterwards we drove back to Val’s and ate some bomb Dominican Chicken: ohhhhh so yummy! Then watched Inglorious Bastards as we waited for more FiRE women to arrive to have logistical meeting and sleep over for the caravan ride to Montreal the next day.

NYC here we go…

Hello GA: just checking in to give current updates on the MIWC travels…So I’m eating my cup-o-soup @ work…really anxious about going already…and I read an email from our sisters in SJ who will also be at the conference:
Can we define some goals as a bay area  contigent for attending the MIWC?
what do we expect while there? what do we expect when comign back? (maybe we can have this conversation while in montreal?)
what does this conference mean to us as women of color? in spanish speakign community? in SF? in San JO? etc…
gracias,
adriana

THere are many women conferences, women of color conferences that happen around the world. What makes this one unique is that it was born in Hong Kong, and the organizers behind it are not your ‘typical’ organizing FORCE you usually hear about. THe next most dopest after that is the title or focus of this conference. IT is genuinely attempting to reach out the globe over and create world womens MILITANT movement! Usually that the conference title can be found as a workshop in most other conferences, but this one has it as its theme. To me this speaks to the various indigenous prophecies coming to pass the world over. The 13 grandmothers have been working hard re-awakening conscciousnes to our valued water sources. TO gather a miliant womens alliance of the world means to piss off the women of the world and say enough is enough. We tie our babies to us and we go out with our brooms, mops, buckets, machetes, rifles, sage bundles, pens, whatever is OUR weapon adn we begin to clean up this world we live in. We must our children will have no world, no green no blues to play with. They already do not have the same colors we had growing up. The Central Valley is grey on a clear day! I remember seeing mountains on a clear day. Our children play on blacktops, I remember sitting in the middle of a field making necklaces out flowers and play he loves me not he loves me with buttercups. Our children will look at books, at pictures and ask us what those tall things are that have branches and are green, we will answer trees. They will ask what happened to them, we will answer they all died. Then we have to answer to our children whether we helped kill them or fought trying to save them.

As women of color, as Indigenous women we have been sitting watching, observing seeing what these Western ‘advanced” ways will take us, we have seen enough! Like the Mujeres Zapatistas demand “YA BASTA” enough is enough. We must stand, honor our traditions for they hold valuable keys for our future, adn begin to clean up our respectives corner of the sacred directiosn.

Yes we should sit and dialogue while there. Maybe we can extend our energies a bit and have quick check ins at the end of each day that way we take care of each other. I will have my “what is that and everything-inquisitive-observant” 1 yr old sun with me, trust me I will need some help with recharing my energy. These check ins will also help us keep track of what is going on and easier to digest towards teh end and uipon our return. Our memories will work better this way insterad of trying to hold it all in for when we get back. It will also help us create beautiful thins when we return.

It is late I think I can keep going on but I should get some rest for tomorow I must pack to bounce on Thursday, see you ladies there.

Lydia & Luname

Thinking about all this makes me understand that for me this conference is to make it personal.  The personal is political is it not?  I’ll get to meet the women that are doing the work from their parts of the world…and with this I can share their stories with Babae!  This is a larger conversation I will continue with our sisters at the conference…!!!!  Tina’s already there…ahhhh!!! and I’ll soon be on my way…taking the red eye to NYC will be there 7am Thursday morning…gonna take the subway: A to the C to the S to the Q…then walk…holy crap let’s hope I make it to the Lenox Lounge…then off to a West African Dance class with Val!!!! wooo!!!!  So the next post will be from NYC!!!!!!!! Babae and FiRE mixin git up…

>B