Wanderlust, a fundraiser for FINCA

UPDATE: Sadly, this event has been postponed. Hopefully it will be back up & running soon.

Wanderlust has to be one of my favourite English words. So when I first heard about a fundraiser of the same name for FINCA, which stands for Foundation for International Community Assistance, I got excited about it before I even found out what FINCA does. Then I did some research. I discovered that FINCA’s mission…

…is to provide financial services to the world’s lowest-income entrepreneurs so they can create jobs, build assets and improve their standard of living.

What a noble mission. I also found out that FINCA has basically been around for over 25 years. In that time, they’ve reached over 950,000 small business owners across their network of 21 affiliate programs in Africa, Eurasia, the Greater Middle East, and Latin America.

The event itself has been put together by the Illuminare Foundation whose purpose…

…is to provide opportunities for young professionals to participate in charitable events [&] to build awareness and raise funds for lesser known charities with notable initiatives.

So join me on August 29th, for Wanderlust at the gorgeous Steam Whistle Brewery where for $45 (early bird price, ends August 23rd) we can enjoy a complimentary bar, culturally influences hors d’oeurves, exotic live performances, a silent auction and so much more! Full details below:

Illuminare Foundation Presents: Wanderlust

What: Wanderlust, a fundraiser for FINCA.
When: Thursday, August 29th at 8:00pm.
Where: Steam Whistle Brewery.
Address: 255 Bremner Blvd1.
Cost: Early bird $45 until August 23rd, Regular tickets $75.
Who: See Facebook.

Will I see you there?

Footnotes:
  1. as if you needed me to tell you[]

KULTURA Filipino Arts Festival starts TODAY!

8th Annual KULTURA Filipino Arts Festival

I’ve always been pretty proud of my Pinoy upbringing, even if I’m not necessarily loud about it. A large part of that pride is tied to the fact that Filipinos have a knack for being talented. We love the arts and the arts seem to love us right back.

Kultura is a festival that celebrates all the things that Filipinos in Canada are doing wonderfully. Every year the festival has featured all sorts of tasty food, marvellous art installations, rockin’ live music & stellar performances – all hailing from the tinubuang-bayan1. This year is gearing up to be yet another impressive week; with a strong finish at the annual KULTURA Philippine Culinary Competition featuring “Kain Kalye” which translates into ‘Street Eats’2, and also includes KULTURA Live! and the KULTURA Marketplace – all taking place at Artscape Wychwood Barns from 12-7pm.

It fills me with all sorts of pride & butterflies to support KULTURA because of all that it accomplishes and the amazing talent that is brought to the light of day through the five day celebration. Considering it started out as a small backyard art show+party, and seeing what it has grown into I can’t help but feel an immense sense of pride and hope that it continues to see nothing but success. All the founders wanted was a natural way to present the kind of work that the Kapisanan Centre was doing throughout the year. I’d say they’ve done that now, and brought about something so much more enriching and inspiring.

I would like to think that one of the contributing factors to KULTURA’s success is the fact that there are family ties rooted in the tinubuang-bayan1, but I’m sure that their passion, love and pride for Filipino culture and talent is nothing to scoff at either. Growing up in Dubai, I recall attending many events that celebrated Filipino talent and pride but they all fall short of showcasing original talent. Much like Caroline Mangosing‘s experience here, where she would only see beauty pageants3, Hawaiian & salsa dancing and Celine Dion cover artists. KULTURA was created to allow those of us4 with something original to share, a place to do it.

Kristina Guison

Artists like Tim Manalo, Kristina Guison & Julius Manapul who will collaborate with Regent Park, Cabbagetown and the surrounding neighbourhoods as part of Daniels Spectrum’s Outdoor Arts Program in Bayanihan: An Interactive Art Installation at Daniel’s Spectrum today from 11am till 7pm.

Artist Bios

Timothy Manalo was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In 2006, he attended the Ontario College of Art and Design (now OCAD University), where he received his Bachelor’s of Fine Art from the Sculpture and Installation program and was honoured with the coveted OCAD Medal upon graduation in 2010. Known for being technically skilled, Timothy Manalo has gained numerous experience within the fabrication industry as an sculptor and fabricator working in fibreglass, mascot-making and custom interior finishing companies. Most recently he has started working as an ice sculptor for an ice producing company. His true focus is on his personal art practice, which he is able to exercise in his studio located in downtown Toronto. – See more at: http://kapisanancentre.com/vinta-gallery/timothy-manalo/#sthash.bGSAMIDS.dpuf

Maria Kristina Guison is a visual artist currently residing in Mississauga, Ontario. She was born and raised in the Philippines. She took up Production design in Theater and Film for three years in College of St. Benilde, Philippines, then transferred at Sheridan, Trafalgar campus, Oakville Ontario for the Visual and Creative Arts 2-year program. She started being active in the Kapisanan Centre when she joined the CLUTCH Program, a 5-month arts-based program for young Filipina women that deals with the expression of Filipina identity through a wide range of multi-disciplinary arts. Kristina’s works are mostly inspired by not only the by her personal history and experiences, but also by her views on the Philippine society, specifically the relationship of the so-called oppressors with the so-called oppressed. She is amazed at the beauty and sometimes grotesque characteristic of Filipino resilience through out its long and very eventful history. – See more here.

Julius Poncelet Manapul was born in the City of Manila, Philippines.  He immigrated to Toronto, Canada in 1990 where he studied Fine Arts at the Ontario College of Art and Design University graduating with a BFA in 2009.  He then took one year of residency at Toronto School of Art in 2011.  Julius attended the University of Toronto for his Masters of Visual Studies in 2011-2013. Julius cuts to create new Hybrid imaginaries and the unattainable utopian narratives of the imagined Queer happy endings, that reflect his own struggles in religious beliefs growing up as a gay young man in the Philippines and Canada.  All in all placing questions in his coming out process and his own racial melancholia.

Now for a complete look at all the KULTURA events happening this week:

Day 1: BAYANIHAN Interactive Art Installation
Date: Wednesday, August 7th
Time: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Where: Daniel’s Spectrum
Address: 585 Dundas Street East
Cost: FREE
Day 2: ILUSTRADOS – KAPISANAN Legacy Campaign Fundraising Gala Dinner
Date: Thursday, August 8th
Time(s): 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. or 9:30 p.m. seatings
Where: Lamesa
Address: 669 Queen Street West
Cost: $80 
Day 3:
(KONTRA)BIDA: A Clutch Vol. 5 Exhibit
Date: Friday, August 9th
Time: 7 p.m. – late
Where: Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts & Culture
Address: 167 Augusta Ave.
Cost: FREE
Day 4 Part 1: Tales from the Flipside: Over Time, Overseas
Date: Saturday, August 10th
Time: 2 p.m.
Where: Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts & Culture
Address: 167 Augusta Ave.
Cost: FREE
Day 4 Part 2:
Tambay Nights featuring WilaBaliW
Date: Saturday, August 10th
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts & Culture
Address: 167 Augusta Ave.
Cost: $15
Day 5: KAIN KALYE: Filipino Street Eats Competition + KULTURA Live! + KULTURA Marketplace
Date: Sunday, August 11th
Time: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Where: Artscape Wychwood Barns
Address: 601 Christie St
Cost: Various5

But that’s not all, the folks over at the Kapisanan Centre are doing so much great work I couldn’t fit it all into one blog post. Look out for another post later this early next week sometime this month where I tell you about the great things they’re doing for the Filipino fashion scene here in Toronto.

Hope to see you this week!

Footnotes:
  1. Filipino for homeland[][]
  2. Kain meaning Eat, Kalye meaning Street[]
  3. one of which I actually entered and thankfully lost[]
  4. Filipinos[]
  5. depending on the food truck[]

Oh Canada!

I love this country. I love Toronto the most. This is largely due to the fact that it’s the only city in this country that I’ve lived with but I don’t doubt that my love for Toronto will grow as I explore this great country, which I hope to do starting very soon.

My family and I moved here in 1997 from Dubai and we haven’t looked back. Sure things went a bit sour after the first year, but that’s all in the past. We used to go camping at the beach in Dubai, which admittedly was pretty damn awesome, but camping in the gorgeous wildnerness that exists in Canada is pretty unbeatable as well.

I was happy but mostly indifferent about living here for the first 10 years we lived here. It wasn’t until I moved back from living in Dublin that I fell in love with this city. Something about the possibility of greatness that’s in the air; the hope, the love, the acceptance that is just wafting in the air1. Whatever it is, I love this city and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.. except that my nomadic genes have been itchy for the last 6 months. But I digress.

I love that I can wake up on any given day and have so many choices as to what to do that day and no matter what I choose, I will have fun. Not just because the choice is mine, but because the people of this city are fun-loving despite what the negative nancies out there will try to tell you.

As we finish packing for our 3rd annual family camping trip, I want to wish you all a very Happy Canada Day and Happy Pride!!

Have I mentioned that I love that both of those are celebrated over the same long weekend? Boss!

What are you doing this Proud Canada Day Long Weekend?

Footnotes:
  1. maybe it’s just weed[]

I might as well milk it

I doubt I’ll get a chance to be featured in BlogTO’s Street Style again in my life time so I thought I’m scrapbooking here for my future self’s viewing pleasure.

I woke up feeling pretty sick that day and then had to work a few hours of retail before I went to the Bacardi party. They were celebrating 150 years of making rum with a 1920’s prohibition-style party. The bartenders and servers were dressed like gangster of yesteryear1.

Paul was lovely and made me laugh quite a bit throughout the night. He gave great direction too; I wonder what happened to the photo with the teeth-smile; I could have sworn he said he liked it better. Zah-well.

I’d like to thank my wife Christine for taking me as her plus one. If it weren’t for you Chrissy, I wouldn’t even have been there. She’s the bombshell in the photo on the right in case you didn’t know who she was2.

If anyone really wants to know about my outfit, I’ll tell you but it isn’t that impressive3. ;)

One of my favourite photos from the night though? See below!

In case you don’t know who the hot guy on the right is, that’s Julio Reyes.

Footnotes:
  1. and looking pretty damn fine to boot[]
  2. as if[]
  3. I’m a bargain hunter[]

New Year, New Who?

As yet another year is coming to a close1 and the countdowns are starting to rise2 I was trying to figure out what I wanted to write about. As I have been doing for the last six months of life. I’ve been through so much in the last little while that I don’t even know where to begin. Everytime I go for a run I think of about a dozen blog posts that I would love to write about once I sit in front of my computer and start typing; I lose my conviction about three-quarters of the way through.

I know exactly why and yet I can not for the life of me figure out how to fix it; other than in fact: fixing the problems that I want to write about. In some way this change is for the better: I no longer simply complain about my problems, I actually do something about it. Not so good for the life of this journal, but great for me on a larger scale3.

Ryan Nus, friend and fellow blogger4 indirectly wrote about my problem really well in his latest blog post titled, Resolve to be Fearless. There are a lot of reasons I’ve been afraid to say what I want to say and I may never finish and publish those blog posts but I’m okay with it. Partially because a lot of what would have been relevant in the writing is in the past and who likes digging that up for no good reason?

I’m not making any further resolutions this year. I’ve taken a mancation5 and it has helped me really evaluate what it is I want out of a partner. I’ve had time to figure out what I want out of my career. There are no quick ways of getting either but I don’t care. I have faith that things will work out the way I want it to. Not only because I have back-up plans/dreams but because I don’t feel like I have anything to lose – and when you feel like you’ve got nothing to lose, you’re not going to stop until you get what you want. Right, Ryan?

What are you thinking about as 2011 comes to a close? What are you looking forward to the most in 2012?

Footnotes:
  1. it’s getting old at this point, to be honest[]
  2. bad pun completely intended[]
  3. or is it?[]
  4. much more prolific than I have been of late[]
  5. a vacation from men[]
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