WMH Site (Invitation)


The Manila Phase


June 15, 2008
6:00 P.M. – 9:30 P.M.
No.5 Sunnyside Drive Brgy. Kristong Hari Quezon City

All events for the WMH Manila phase will take place at the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) Center, Quezon City on June 15, 2008 from 6:00 PM to 9:30 P.M.

Aside from the four main WMH artists-in-residence, the local artists from KASIBULAN who will be participating at the event include: Cynthia Alexander (singer/painter), Brenda V. Fajardo (painter), Karen Flores (painter), Kleng De Loyola (performance artist), Dom-An Macagne (flute player/painter), Alma U. Quinto (soft sculptor), and Teta Tulay (visual artist who does shadow play).

The artist forum that night will consist of:

*a talk on the theme of woman as (mythical) hero by Filipina scholar Fe Mangahas;
*an open conversation with the WMH artists about the following:
(1) the mythical representations of women in the Ramayana;
(2) Filipina revolutionary heroes, like Gabriela Silang and Martial Law activist Maria Lorena, and;
(3) heroic women in everyday life

The focus of the forum discussion will be about the production of art for social change in public art and community spaces.

Legendary folk singer Cynthia Alexander will also perform.

Here, participating artists from KASIBULAN will be exhibiting their paintings, sculptures or visual expressions on the theme “Babaye-Babaylan-Baganihan” (Being Woman, Being Priestess, Being Hero). It will be open to the public from June 15 to July 5.

Why are most of the WMH events in Western Visayas, not Manila?


Says TRADE ROUTES Project Director Angel Velasco Shaw:

With the exception of a one-night forum in Manila, the majority of WMH events will take place in Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental. I made the deliberate decision to decentralize from Metro Manila, to focus instead on regional cities with growing and thriving arts communities.

Decentralization, an act of shifting power bases, is an integral part of the TRADE ROUTES series’ intentions. On other practical and symbolic levels, this choice is also based on the kinds of unique exchanges and dialogues that can occur, in this process of questioning ownership and production of culture. Thus, this leads to the creation of alternative methods of exchange and routes of cultural trade.

Photo of Dumaguete Boulevard by Myrza Sison. May 2004.

WMH Artist Forums (Visayas)


Siliman University
June 20, 2008, 9:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.


Orange Gallery
June 27, 2008, 9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

During the all-day artist forums, the WMH resident artists will discuss Woman As (Mythical) Hero and present their works during their individual artist talks to the public.

As part of the group forum, Arahmaiani will be giving a brief overview of her critical interpretations of Sita’s role in the Ramayana in relationship to the project theme and topics.

In their respective artist talks, Brenda Fajardo will present a presentation of her works over the years, while Angel Velasco Shaw will discuss her creative process as a Filipina American filmmaker, writer, cultural activist, and educator by screening excerpts from her documentaries Umbilical Cord and The Momentary Enemy (2008). Arahmaiani shall also present her latest work dealing with the problems of identity as a Muslim, which has been stigmatized by the West, or specifically Western media by screening her short film, “I Don’t Want to be Part of Your Legend” (2003). Kai Syng Tan will discuss her WMH exhibition piece, “The Rather Terrible Slaughter of the Tour Guide”, contextualizing it within her main body of work in terms of the notions of traveling and gestures/ actions/performance.

In addition, there will be scheduled and/or impromptu conversations with community members — artists, arts appreciators, youth, grassroots organizations, curators, and critics. In the forums and artist talks, an open dialogue with audience interaction shall follow.

WMH Exhibits


Silliman Library, Silliman University
Opens June 20, 2008 at 6:30 P.M.
June 20 – June 23, 200


Orange Gallery, Bacolod City
Opens June 27, 2008 at 5:00 P.M.
June 27 – July 5, 20

A multimedia exhibit by WMH artists Arahmaiani, Brenda V. Fajardo, and Kai Syng Tan and guest Western Visayan artists Dulce Cuna, Kitty Tanaguchi, Esperanza Garces, Merlie Alunan, Mercedita Garcier, Sharon Dadang-Rafols, Susan Caloy and many more!

Brenda Fajardo shall show a series of ink and tempera paintings that deal with the concepts of “woman”, the babaylan (priestess), and the heroine, with the intention of making its viewers confront and question their own preconceived notions of gender, sexuality, and femininity.

Kai Syng Tan will showcase her interactive installation piece, “The Rather Terrible Slaughter of the Tour Guide”.

She explains:

“The audience goes on a ‘Detour’ of the ‘Amazing Shiny City’ with a ‘Tour Guide’ / Artist who gets killed! The City is the A-Lister Protagonist in this campy B-movie -mini- philosophical- & -poetic- & -personal-essay.

The work is a self-reflexive urban fantasy that is a gentle critique and celebration of The City (Singapore), by a die-hard Singapore woman who was born and bred there. Jarring, unapologetically urbane and contemporary, perhaps the Sita that I will seek / create will inevitably be an urban warrior-heroine…”

WMH Workshops*


June 21 – June 23
Coordinator: Ian Casocot at and 0929-2086586
Deadline for registration: June 15, 2008


June 28 – June 29
Coordinator: Tanya Lopez at and 0906-4839898
Deadline for registration: June 23, 2008

WMH project artists will be conducting simultaneous workshops in cultural institutions in Dumaguete City (June 21 – June 23) and Bacolod City and Bago City (June 28 – June 29). Interested parties can register for any of these workshops using the WMH workshop registration form*.

Registration fee is P300.00 for 2 to 2 1/2 days, inclusive of drinks and snacks.


“Documenting Women Heroes with New Media”
Angel Velasco Shaw (United States/Philippines)
Kai Syng Tan (Singapore)

International media artists Angel Velasco Shaw and Kai Syng Tan shall facilitate an interactive workshop for artists and cultural practitioners, where they will discuss their media work in relation to women’s and global issues, and hold critique sessions about the participants’ works in film, video, media installation, performance or in the literary arts.Depending on the composition of their audience, their discussions may also focus on grant writing, media distribution, and media arts practices. Participants will be asked to bring samples of their work (videos) on DVD or mini-DV format for the critique sessions.


“Being A Woman Hero”
Brenda Fajardo (Philippines)

An informal community-based arts workshop where award-winning visual artist Brenda Fajardo will help participants to create visual representations the role of women in life, domestic or public and their vision of how the babaye (woman) is both babaylan (priestess) and bagani (hero), in the form of scrolls or accordion books.


“Transcending Sita”
Arahmaiani (Indonesia)

Noted performance artist Arahmaiani will conduct a performance workshop, encouraging its participants to interact with their bodies, with space, and with other people.

*To download the WMH workshop registration form, please sign up here to become a member of the WMH project e-group. You will find the forms in the Files section under WMH Workshops.

WMH Video Screenings


Silliman University
June 23, 2008, 4:30 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.


Balay Ni Tan Juan Araneta, Bago City
July 1, 2008

10th Anniversary of Creating Presence: 100 Years of Absence (Filipino Women in History)

PAMANA NI LOLA (Grandmother’s Legacy): Video documentary. 20 minutes. 1998. A video on women suffrage from the point of view of the filmmakers. With the 1998 national electoral contest, this documentary on the history of women’s participation in elections is of timely. The filmmakers go on a “search” for surviving women suffragists from the period of the Commonwealth, the women behind the 1937 plebiscite and the 1940 national elections. This documentary allows the filmmakers to journey with their subjects, each emerging with their own voices on the election and the women’s right to vote. (Rica Arevalo, Coreen Jimenez, Sheila Nicolas-Red, Joyce Torreno)

SHE: Video Experimental Narrative. 20 minutes. 1998. Gabriela Silang goes on a yosi (smoking) break after being hanged. A modern-day Doña Victorina gets high on drugs and is brought to a surreal trial. Sisa exorcises her inner demons in a ritualistic dance. Maria Clara gets deconstructed in a doll play. Four women archetypes in four interconnected stories all happening inside a comfort room. This short narrative is an attempt to explore the complexities of Filipino women archetypes that have left their mark on the Filipino consciousness for the past hundred years. (Christine Carlos, Ned Trespeces, Dang Bagas, Emman dela Cruz)

LIHAM PARA SA MGA KABAIHAN (Letters to Women): Video Documentary. 20 minutes. 1998. This documentary tells the stories of women who helped shape the minds of the young by teaching and writing history. It attempts to examine how colonial education or its absence has shaped the consciousness of the Filipino woman in relation to her concept of a woman and a Filipino. The documentary also narrates the stories of women who brought about great changes in education as well as of ordinary women who have empowered themselves through education. (Nancy Pe Rodrigo and Amy Rogel-Rara)

UMBILICAL CORD. Experimental Documentary Video. 27 minutes. 1998. A kaleidoscope of the filmmaker’s impressions of the 1998 events in the Philippines from the Centennial commemoration (liberation from Spain) to the presidential elections set within a larger exploration of the Filipino people’s relationship to one hundred years of Philippine struggle. In a series of montages, the filmmaker asks people from the markets to malls questions about what a hero means, who their heroes/heroines are, what they think of the centennial celebration, and what they think the role of women is today. (Angel Velasco Shaw)

Woman As (Mythical) Hero (videos and films made by the WMH resident artists)

THE MOMENTARY ENEMY. Experimental Documentary Video. 24 minutes. 2008. The Momentary Enemy is about the imminent fall of the American Empire. It takes a critical comparative look into the way mass media has represented the Philippine-American War, Vietnam and Iraq Wars since the turn of the century to present day. (Angel Velasco Shaw)

I DON’T WANT TO BE PART OF YOUR LEGEND. Film. 12 minutes. 2003. Using traditional Indonesian shadow play, this short film work confronts the representationof Sita in the Ramayana, specifically the aspect of the narrative that deals with her “purity”. (Arahamaiani)