Archive for June, 2009

It’s Like I Lost a Childhood Friend.

Posted in Uncategorized on June 27, 2009 by kulturalguerilla

I can’t even begin to choose the words that would express how much this person meant to me. So I’ll just write about a deeply profound moment that happened to me in the wake of Michael Jackson’s passing.

I, like many other people were in complete and utter shock when I found out the news. The man who is the reason why I’m so passionate about dance. I can practically mention an MJ moment for every single year of my life. We had dance rehearsals that night. I called my mom before we got started to check in with her and see how she was doing. She asked me if I was doing ok, and by this point I was already tearing. She went on to say,

“It was just his time. You know I still remember how you use to always imitate his dancing when you were little and listen to his tapes all the time. So I know how much he meant to you. He has a great legacy, and the fact that you’re still dancing now, that’s his legacy to you. Just take all your emotions and heart and put it in your dancing. He’ll live on as long as you keep dancing, k? You’ll be ok, I love you Ryan.”

That’s when I start crying, because one, everything my mom said to me is true. Second, that was first time ever she encouraged me to keep on dancing. Growing up, she never really fully supported nor discouraged my dancing, and I can remember her being only at 3 of the numerous shows upon shows I’ve done in my life. I felt all this time she just saw it as a cool hobby I was doing. So when she said what she said last night, I couldn’t help but feel emotional, to know she supported my passion all along.

MJ had such a profound impact on my generation of dancers. As children of the 1980’s and growing up being raised by MTV, he was the one who inspired us to dance in the first place. There was even a period of time in the dance community when every crew had at least one MJ piece in their routines. He opened our eyes to actually “see” the beats of the music, and the energy and passion he put into his music and dancing was untouchable. It was a revelation to the immense amount of personal tyranny and distress he experienced from his above and beyond fucked up life. I can’t even begin to imagine the shear lonliness of denied childhood, ridden with abuse and constant pressure to be the best pop star. The bullshit he had to take from the media and the haters who were working 24-7 to take him down. He was never proven to be responsible for the despicable and atrocious crimes he was constantly accused of. And with such a fucked up life outside of music growing up, can you really blame him for his at times eccentric behavior? Maybe that’s I always defended him from day one. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

He put all that pain, all that emotion, all that heart, into his music and performances. You can tell those were the only times he was truly happy. As a performer, I can relate. Nothing makes me happier than being able to be creative and dance.

Thank you MJ, for being my childhood hero and being the inspiration to so many dancers. You taught us how to “see” the beat of the music and put it into our movements. Your creativity, brilliance, and personal investment in your craft is the standard to which we base our own work. Your music and legacy lives on through our dance movement.

ORGANIC: Urban Arts Showcase 07.11

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2009 by kulturalguerilla

Soulidified Project presents...

Soulidified Project presents...

ORGANIC: Urban Arts Showcase 07.11

ORGANIC: Urban Arts Showcase 07.11


ORGANIC aims to bring to light the reality and severity of the global warming crisis and impress on young and old people alike the possibilities of what could happen if we don’t start changing how we impact the planet.

There are many things that we can do as individuals and as a community to go green and help this important issue. From recycling and conserving energy, we can adapt simple habits that can have a great impact.

Green awareness will be echoed throughout ORGANIC urban arts showcase, through a variety of media, organizations and performances.

ORGANIC will feature live performances from musicians, singers, dance groups, spoken word artists and more. Please join us in spreading this important message to the greater community.

*A portion of the ticket sales for ORGANIC urban arts showcase will be donated to the Go Green Initiative, an organization that bring green awareness to various schools and communities. For more information about Go Green Initiative, visit

Dance Performances By:

+ AK Modern

+ A-Youngin’

+ DS Players

+ Funk Beyond Control

+ Groove Against the Machine

+ Jr. Prophecy/Beat Freaks

+ Mix’d Elements

+ N-Beyond

+ NUMB Contemporary Dance Project

+ Pandora’s Myth

+ Press P.L.A.Y.


+ Silhouette

+ Soulidified Project

+ SOULnation

+ SOULnation Jr.

+ Street Fam

+ UFO Movement

+ VIP San Jose

Musical Performances By:

+ So Timeless Band

+ Tracy Cruz

+ One Drop

+ Lydia Paek

+ Dahrio Wonder

Street Magic Performance By:

+ Dane San Pedro

Hosted By:

+ Yusif Nasir

ORGANIC: Urban Arts Showcase

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Doors Open: 6:30pm

Show Starts: 7:00pm

Chabot College Performing Arts Center

25555 Hesperian Blvd. | Hayward, CA. 94545


$15 presale

$20 at the door

Purchase Tickets Online:

Kapwa Conference 2009!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2009 by kulturalguerilla


San Francisco, CA- The Pin@y Educational Partnerships (PEP) along with the Fulbright-Hays Philippines Study Tour 2008, will host the second Kapwa Conference: Global, Local, Personal. The Kapwa Conference will focus on the work of California educators to better serve the growing cultural diversity of today’s student population. This conference will specifically explore the educational experiences and issues that Filipina/o and Filipina/o American youth face today, as well as a focus on the history of colonialism, identity, and the development of survival strategies that foster healing and community building.

Rooted within Philippine Indigenous Psychology, Kapwa describes a sense of shared identity, oneness, interconnectedness, and holism with others. Through panels, roundtables, workshops, exhibits and performances, the Kapwa conference will explore the intersections of Global, Local, and Personal perspectives that provide a sense of understanding and approaches to better serve the Filipina/o and Filipina/o American youth community.

Advanced Registration will be $30. General (Walk-Up) Registration will be $40. Free registration will be given to youth under 18 with a student I.D.

**No one turned away for lack of funds**

For more information on registration and updated presenters, please visit:


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2009 by kulturalguerilla

For Immediate Release
May 28, 2009

Reference: Rhonda Ramiro, Secretary-General, BAYAN USA, email:


All efforts to cover up the truth must be stopped and exposed, starting with the removal of the Philippine Embassy’s latest post on its website.

The US Chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, or BAYAN USA, denounced recent claims by the Arroyo government’s Presidential Human Rights Commission (PHRC) that the triple abduction of Melissa Roxas, Juanito Carabeo, and John Edward Handoc was a mere fabrication by BAYAN Philippines and human rights group Karapatan, as well that the disappearance of the three involved immersion with the New People’s Army (NPA). The statement from the PHRC was posted yesterday on the website of the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC.

That same day, BAYAN USA and allies were launching indignation actions across the United States for the abduction of Roxas, one of the alliance’s founding members from Los Angeles, as well as her companions Carabeo and Handoc, who have all since surfaced.

“The Arroyo government is working double-time to cover up its tracks in the case of Melissa Roxas, Juanito Carabeo, and John Edward Handoc by spewing outright lies. Its claims in its latest statement on the case are not only false, but reprehensible and condemnable in its aim to set the real perpetrators of this heinous crime free and save face. What we are witnessing is the Philippine government’s obstruction of justice through its culture of impunity,” states BAYAN USA Chair Bernadette Ellorin.

Inaccuracies and Gross Distortion of Facts

Ellorin pointed out several factual errors to the PHRC’s statement released just yesterday. Such outstanding errors are as follows:


“There are no reports of this case in the local government office or with local police authorities of the Municipality of La Paz, Tarlac, where the
abduction allegedly took place, filed by anyone, let alone Bayan and Karapatan.”


At least two police reports were filed on the triple abduction. An initial police report was filed on May 20th, 2009 signed and filed by La Paz Police Chief Inspector Ronald R. Fernandez. The report, detailing the account of witnesses of the May 19th abduction by armed men, was addressed to Tarlac Provincial Director Supt. Rudy Lacadin based in Camp Malabulos. On May 26th, after Roxas surfacing, Police Senior Supt. Chief of the Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response (PACER) Leonardo Arias Espina issued a letter request to human rights group Karapatan, acknowledging the previous initial La Paz, Tarlac police report and inviting Roxas in for questioning.


“There is strong possibility that Roxas and company were on an “immersion” in NPA-infested areas. And that the NPAs could have hidden them for safety purposes, perhaps after receiving reports of a possible encounter or attack by government forces. At some point, organizations like Bayan and Karapatan wanted to take advantage of the situation by letting loose a press statement that an abduction took place, in anticipation of the possibility that Roxas and company would be killed in the crossfire.”


Sufficient documentary evidence compiled by Karapatan– an internationally-recognized and credible Philippine human rights monitoring group– into a fact sheet on the case reports that Roxas, Carabeo, and Handoc were part of a medical mission team in La Paz, Tarlac, not an an immersion with the NPA. Quick claims of NPA-involvement are a tactic of the Arroyo government’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya, which aims to annihilate the armed NPA through the violent targeting of civilian groups engaged in social justice work and community service. By baselessly branding groups such as BAYAN and Karapatan as “communist fronts” and shifting the blame of confirmed human rights violations to the NPA, the Arroyo government absolves itself from having to take the appropriate legal and judicial measures in the over 1,000 cases of extrajudicial killings and over 200 cases of enforced disappearances of unarmed leftist activists.


“We recall the 836 alleged cases of unsolved killings (aka extra-judicial killings) Karapatan released to media in 2006 but which was eventually debunked to be an exaggeration, and the recent 1,016 alleged cases of torture it raised before the UN Committee Against Torture and which to this date remain unsubstantiated.”


As officially reported by United Nations Special Rapporteur Philip Alston in his 2007 country report, the pattern of rampant extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances remains due to a culture of impunity, which includes non-efforts by the Philippine authorities to conduct investigations and prosecute the perpetrators of human rights violations, despite confirmation and documentation of such cases. Just recently in his 2009 followup report, Alston points out the continuing failure of the Arroyo government to provide a good faith effort to address the killings committed by the Philippine military, and that the culture of impunity remains, leaving thousands of cases of confirmed killings and abductions unresolved.

The Truth Will Come Out

According the PHRC, no Philippine law authority has ever received an official report about the abduction. BAYAN USA believes the fact that the official reports filed with signatures from Philippine law authorities exposes to the highest degree that outrageous propaganda machinery of the Arroyo administration. These reports must be popularized, as well as the case fact sheet generated by Karapatan.

BAYAN USA calls on the Philippine Embassy in DC to remove the PHRC statement from its website immediately. It also encourages action by the international community to counter efforts by the Arroyo government to cover-up the triple abduction starting with an email/fax barrage of copies of the official police reports and Karapatan fact sheet on the case, to the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC and the PHRC. The Philippine Embassy’s website was amongst the first to publish the statement from the PHRC.

BAYAN USA remains confident that the truth will eventually surface on what happened to Roxas, Carabeo, and Handoc. “Once Melissa Roxas speaks out, no amount of lies concocted by the Arroyo administration’s propaganda machine will be able to save it from the consequences,” Ellorin ended.