- 1 year ago
- 1 year ago
Looks like it’s time to get the ball rolling with the first speaking engagement of the year!
I’m happy and feel very fortunate to say that myself, allisantos along with Pearl Girls Productions, will be conducting a workshop at The 27th Annual Asian Pacific American Awareness Conference (APAAC) at the University of California, Irvine.
We’ll be talking about “That’s What She Said” and the journey to create an Asian American Queer web series.
It’ll be 3 years since I’ve graduated from there, so it’ll be exciting to see new and hopefully familiar faces.
The Movement: Then and Now
Student Center of the University of California, Irvine
Early registration $7 ends January 14th. Registration is $10 thereafter.
January 28, 2012 | Saturday
8AM – 630 PM
For more information please visit their site : http://apaac.wordpress.com/
I will also be performing some original spoken word poetry with the rest of forWord!
- 1 year ago
Random Haiku: @fWcollective
I’m starting to write random haiku on Twitter @fWcollective. Sometimes I’ll mix in alliteration too for some extra oomph.
Here are two I had already tweeted since being in the Philippines:
Panning for presents/ pushing and pulling people/ just panic no peace #fWhaiku #fWalliteration
The sun has risen/ jeepney honks and rooster crows/ gising na, wake up #fWhaiku
Follow for more!
- 1 year ago
Reflection: KmB Presents Solidarity Night 2011
Last Wednesday, November 30th, threeWord (Mark was not able to attend due to his brother’s graduation. Congrats!) performed alongside Kymistry, Tripz, and Andrew Figueroa Chiang and the Blazing Rays of the Sun to celebrate Bonifacio Day and KmB’s 12th Year Anniversary at SIPA in Historic Filipinotown!
Kabataang maka-Bayan (KmB), or Pro-People Youth, is a progressive youth and student organization. Our aim is to raise the social consciousness of the youth to organize and mobilize in response to issues affecting our local communities, the oppressed people of the Philippines and other pro-people issues around the world.
Stephanie and I are currently provisional members of KmB. Not too long ago, we attended this KmB event which featured Johnny Itliong, the son of Larry Itliong who was a co-founder and an unfortunately often forgotten hero of the UFW. Johnny reminded us a part of our Filipino-American history and how important it is for us to organize and mobilize if we wish to bring about a positive change in our community. This ultimately was what brought us to KmB.
At our first KmB meeting, one of the members invited forWord to perform for Solidarity Night and it was an honor to accept. I also became part of the planning committee for Solidarity Night with Carmela, Janice, Manila, and Jay.
The theme for the night was to party it up as if it were your birthday; a pinata that represented capitalism was provided by yours truly. I wish we had a picture of it and how it was utterly destroyed thereafter. Take that, oil companies!
On the night of the event, I drove straight from work. Luckily, traffic was not so bad on the side streets. The freeways were a different matter for Stephanie and Susan due to accidents and heavy blowing winds. We were set to perform at 7:10 PM. I was the only forWord member since 6:30 PM. At 7:05 PM, it got to the point where I had to prepare myself to do a solo set. The KmB organizers were already stalling for us. Thankfully, Stephanie made it. But we had to start our set without Susan.
We were the first performance for the night as we went after the solidarity statements given by allied organizations.
Stephanie and I performed two duo poems, “Living Dead” and “Shared Roots.” I performed an old yet still relevant poem from college entitled, “Everybody Wants to Be An Activist.” Toward the end of our set, Stephanie pointed out that Susan had arrived. I didn’t even notice, but there she was at the sidelines so I brought the crowd to give her a warm welcome. Together, we performed “Writer’s Block,” the threeWord version impromptu style.
Kymistry rocked it out on the guitar with her beautiful singing. Andrew and the BROTS surely entertained the crowd with their souls emanating through the music. There was a year-in-review video made by Jay which was absolutely awesome by the way. I am very new to KmB so to see a glimpse of what they did this past year was informative for me and kept me looking forward to the next. The night ended with an inspiring speech by Ernest who spoke about the importance of KmB and how he will always be “KmB for life.” It definitely got me more inspired to stay active with KmB.
With forWord, I am active in the spoken word community. With KmB, I hope to be active in the Filipino-American community. Somewhere in between, it is the dream to combine the two like a fitting puzzle to my identity as a Filipino-American spoken word artist: I am proud of my people’s culture, my people’s history. I will continue to write and perform poetry to share our culture, our history.
One of the main campaigns of KmB right now is to save multicultural and ethnic studies classes! With all the budget cuts happening, these classes are usually the first to go. We must remind those about the importance of culture because without it we are like dull pencils. Culture is what sharpens our minds and shapes us to be who we are. Let’s educate why culture is crucial to the development of our identity; not only Asian-American, but all cultural identities.
Currently KmB is in the planning stages for a series of educational workshops so if you feel the same way, it is time to get started. I know I am still learning and have a lot more to learn. Let’s go!
- Eddy M. Gana Jr.
- 1 year ago
- 1 year ago
Memories: What’s in a Name?
Today is our forWord anniversary!
[Our first picture as a group.]
In celebration of the day we decided to form a collective, it feels only right to reminisce when we were nameless. A year ago today, we were not forWord; just four friends who loved spoken word poetry and wanted to contine writing together post-Uncultivated Rabbits at UC Irvine. Like most groups, we went through a brainstorming process. We were at Steph’s and my apartment in Anaheim and I still remember how we threw ideas back and forth in the living room. We even had a white board to record some of the ideas.
Let’s go through some of the names: the good, the bad, and the ugly. We thought of other alumni groups, like Kaba Modern Legacy, so logically we thought of something like Uncultivated Rabbits… Legacy. Other names we suggested include: Word Factory, Spitfire, Snap, The Daily Grind, Four/4 Sight/Recite, The Workshop, Training Wheels, Freudian Slip, Purebred, Progress, Soapbox, and Small Talk. One name we liked, but just became a running joke with us was Standing Ovation with its own tagline, “You better!” You can thank Mark for that one.
[The very first time we visited Speak Easy.]
Unbeknownst to most people, we actually went by another name for an entire week. We were known as “Blindspot Poets” with the tagline, “You didn’t see it coming,” which was also conjured by Mark. Clearly we were aiming for a name that not only defined us, but also had a catchy phrase attached to it. Fun times! But I ultimately was the only one who didn’t embrace this name with open arms; more or less, I just gave my right hand. It wasn’t enough. I figured that I would sleep on it and maybe it would grow on me. That never happened.
[Respect the studio! Taken during a recording session.]
At the next meeting, I asked if we could have another brainstorming session. I hoped to myself beforehand that I would not get kicked out, and luckily I am still here. So it was back to the drawing board. For some time, I have had the dream to facilitate a writing program for the youth and subsequently entitle the program, “UpWord.” I liked the name so much that I thought I would give it a try to see if the others would like it. Obviously, there was a play on words with going “upwards” and staying “up” with “words,” but ironically this idea didn’t fly.
So we continued to go over past names. At this point, we pretty much exhausted our creative drive to think of new ones. We were ultimately going in circles. Then suddenly, Susan said, “How about forword because there are ‘four’ of us?” It was like a match was lit up inside all of us. Simultaneously, Steph, Mark, Susan, and I all pitched in different ways “forword” could apply to us, such as “foreword” to imply that this is the beginning of something new, “forward” to imply that we are making progress, “for” the “word” because we write for the love of spoken word, and “four-word” because there are four of us. Clearly, we were all drawn to this name. But so as to not repeat the falling out of “Blindspot Poets,” we all slept on “forword” for a week to see if it would grow on us… and like some dreams, it eventually became a reality.
[Outside Paradise Perks, the venue where we made our debut as forWord.]
Before we even knew it, we became forword! Actually how we became forWord with a lower-cased “f” and a capitalized “W,” we’ll save that story for another time!
- Eddy M. Gana Jr.
Our forWord anniversary was actually a few days ago on November 15th, but I wanted to share this story about how we got our name. Hope y’all enjoy! Thank you all for your continuous support!!!
- 1 year ago