FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Filipino community turning up the dial on resistance
Toronto, ON – November 18, 2009 – Members of Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada/Filipino Canadian Youth Alliance – Ontario (UKPC/FCYA-ON) are celebrating the community’s history through a cultural event, with an undeniable theme of resistance. “Roots, Rhymes and Resistance (RRR),” originally showcased in Vancouver for over a decade, will now be introduced in Toronto under the name “Roots, Rhymes and Resistance: Turn Up the Resistance!”
Toronto’s first ever RRR will not only be organized by youth and other members of the community, but will also feature talent from the Magkaisa Centre’s community-based organizations. Performers will include members of UKPC/FCYA-ON, the Philippine Women Centre of Ontario (PWC-ON) and SIKLAB-ON. Spoken word artist Dagamuffin and singer Marylou David will also showcase their talent for the night. The show will be held at the Arbor Room at the University of Toronto’s Hart House on December 12, 2009 from 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM. Far from your average tinikling and tulaan, RRR will celebrate the Filipino culture of resistance and express the community’s issues through music, spoken word, theatre, multimedia and dance. Tickets are being sold for $10 in advance and at the door.
Since 2006, UKPC/FCYA-ON has been educating, organizing and mobilizing Filipino youth to tackle the issues that they face as youth of colour in Canada. Through their organizing work, Filipino youth have been actively creating a culture of resistance, one that awakens youth to their potential in both shaping their reality and the community’s future in Canada. “We see a large number of Filipino youth facing racism and economic marginalization, dropping out of high school and being forced into service sector jobs. And we refuse to take this as part of the norm,” states Marylou David, member of UKPC. As a cultural show, Roots, Rhymes and Resistance not only acts a recognition of the realities that the Filipino community faces but also challenges the community to take concrete action towards their settlement, integration and full entitlement in Canada.
Toronto’s very first RRR will take on the issue of ending violence against Filipino women as its central theme. Since a majority of the Filipino community is composed of women, this issue reverberates through the entire community, especially in the context of the ongoing forms of violence perpetuated by the racist and anti-woman Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP). Toronto’s very first RRR will give voice to the different forms of violence that Filipino women face and the different ways that they resist against them. RRR’s cultural performances draw upon the lives of Filipino women and their families, as impacted by the detrimental effects of the LCP. The performances will show how these issues impact the entire community, and also express the critical need for empowering the community towards change.
This year’s show marks the first ever Roots, Rhymes and Resistance in Toronto. It also marks new forms and ways of creatively expressing the community’s history and current issues. The songs, plays and dances that will be showcased will serve as living expressions of the Filipino community’s collective history and struggles as the third largest visible minority in Canada. “It’s an exciting moment,” says Marylou David. “This is the first time that we are doing a cultural showcase that truly reflects our community’s legacy of resistance. That’s where we draw our inspiration and creativity from.” Without a doubt, “Roots, Rhymes and Resistance: Turn Up the Resistance!” will be the first of many different cultural forms of expression in Toronto.
“Roots, Rhymes and Resistance: Turn Up the Resistance!”
Saturday, December 12, 2009, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Doors open at 7:00 PM, show starts at 7:30 PM
7 Hart House Circle
U of T Downtown Campus