Art Dialogue in the Pilipinx Diaspora

May 11, 2019

The Luggage Store Gallery: 1007 Market Street, SF 94103


A convening of local and international Pilipinx Artists, Funders, and Cultural Workers exploring urgent issues of sustainability, cultural transmission, building upon traditional practices, and innovation and hybridity in the arts.


Event Schedule



Sydney Loyola and Jae Tioseco




Raju Desai, PhD City College of San Francisco


Conrad Benedicto Kulintang Dialect, Musalaya’s Gift (SF) Herna Cruz-Louie  ACPA, USF Lecturer (SF Bay Area) Lydia Querian Parangal Dance Co, Gongster’s Paradise, (Oakland/Manila) Peter de Guzman Malaya Filipino Dance Arts (LA) Datu Rodelio ‘Waway’ Saway Talaandig Tribe (Sungco, Bukidnon Philippines)




Anthem Salgado Art of Hustle


Cece Carpio Trust Your Struggle Collective, Muralist (SF) Irene Faye Duller Mumu, An Otherwise Co., SFSU, USF (SF) Kat Evasco Playwright, Comic, Director (SF/LA) Giovanni Ortega Poet, Theater Artist, Pomona College (SoCal) Joann Natalia Aquino Communications PR (Seattle/Hawaii)

12:45PM-2:00 PM


jose e. abad Dance Cheryl Delostrinos Dance Conrad Benedicto Literary Peter de Guzman Malaya Filipino American Dance Arts (LA) Granny Cart Gangstas Sketch/Improv




Robynn Takayama SF Arts Commission


Cheryl Delostrinos Au Collective, Arts Corps, (Seattle) Frances Phillips Program Director, CWF, Walter & Elise Haas Fund Lian Ladia Curator and Organizer, SOMCAN (SF) Rachel Lastimosa SOMA Pilipinas (SF)




Giovanni Ortega


Wilfred Galila Caroline Garcia Kim Arteche Marcelino ‘Balugto’ Necosia Jr. Salima Saway Agra-an Datu Rodelio ‘Waway’ Saway



Traditional communal dinner of bountiful delicious Pilipinx cuisine on banana-leaf-covered- table eaten only with one’s hands.

Hosted by comic/theater artist Joe Cascasan.
Performances by comic/theater artist Kat Evasco and Joe Cascasan.
Live music by Aimee Amparo and Joshua Icban.

Artists and Panelists

Anthem Salgado is the founder of artist/entrepreneur professional development program and web resource, Art Of Hustle, which provides valuable training and consulting for independent artists, creative entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profit organizations. His offerings primarily revolve around marketing, helping both individuals and companies maximize on referral building, social media, and income generation opportunities.

Cheryl Delostrinos is a Filipino American born and raised in Seattle. She is one of the co-founders of Au Collective.

Delostrinos has presented many works for festivals and events in Seattle, Portland, and New York, including The CHIN Project at the 92nd st Y, the NW New Works Festival, SAM Remix, Risk/Reward, and the Beacon Hill block party.

She is a cultural worker and movement educator with SAAS, Arts Corps, Yesler Community Center, and Coyote Central.

Delostrinos has devoted her life to creating and fostering art spaces that are accessible to marginalized communities. She believes that art in not a privilege, it is a right.

Frances Phillips is the Program Director, Arts and Creative Work Fund, at the Walter & Elise Haas Fund.

She has more than 20 years of experience working with artists and building community access to arts and arts education.

She served as Executive Director of Intersection for the Arts and Director of the Poetry Center and American Poetry Archives at SF University.

With Stan Hutton, Frances published The Nonprofit Kit for Dummies, a guide to starting and managing nonprofit organizations.

She also has authored three books of poetry, co-edits the Grantmakers in the Arts Reader, and reviews for national newspapers and journals.

Frances serves on the SF Unified School District’s Public Education Enrichment Fund Community Advisory Committee and co-chairs the SFUSD’s Arts Education Master Plan advisory committee.

Herna (pronounced “Er-Na”) Cruz-Louie is the Executive Director and Co-Founder for American Center of Philippine Arts (ACPA).

She trained and performed with PASACAT Philippine Performing Arts Company of San Diego and with LIKHA-Pilipino Folk Ensemble and became Executive Director.

Herna has worked with many dance companies: BarangaySF, Kawayan Folk Arts, Kariktan, Parangal, and LIKHA; and, organizations: Pilipino American Collegiate Endeavor (PACE) of SFSU, Asian Pacific American Youth Promoting Advocacy & Leadership (AYPAL), Mga Kapatid of UC Davis, Kasamahan of USF, and more.

She is currently the Director of Human Resources at the Girl Scouts of Northern California and has worked for YMCA, Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, KSW, and the Oakland Asian Cultural Center.

Kat Evasco is a writer, stand up comedian, performance artist, and educator.

Evasco is best known for her national touring autobiographical one-woman show, Mommy Queerest, co-written and directed by John Caldon.

She has performed at venues including the Haha Cafe, San Jose Improv, the Purple Onion, Napa Valley Opera House, Logan Center for the Arts, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, and FringeArts.

She is currently developing and directing Prieto, by nationally acclaimed poet and undocumented activist, Yosimar Reyes, in collaboration with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas and directing poet and spoken word artist, Jason Bayani, in Locus of Control.

Evasco is the Co-Director for Resilience Archives, a digital history tour map that highlights the contributions, memories, and historical moments of the LGBTQ Asian Pacific Islander community.

Lydia Querian is the founder of Divine Creative Studio, owner of Daily Malong, music curator for OPM republic, co-founder of Houe of Gongs, and executive producer of Gongster's Paradise Kulintang Festival.

A dance and music artist, she has performed nationally and internationally with Parangal Dance Company, Kulintronica, SF Kulintang Project/Legacy, Kularts, Dancing Earth, and Fusion Dance Project. She is part of the Board of Directors of Kularts and ACPA, and a correspondent/contributor for both and Hella Pinay.

Rachel Lastimosa is a musician, composer, producer and performer contributing to the Bay Area music scene since 2000.

Rachel is a San Diego native who has toured nationally and internationally. Theater works include: Campo Santos’ Tree City Legends, directed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph; Holy Crime, directed by Sean San José and ACT’s Mark Rucker; and scored for Kularts’ Incarcerated 6x9, directed by Alleluia Panis.

For Rachel, community organizing with SOMA Pilipinas is a way to address the effects of Filipino diaspora. She also works to defend indigenous peoples' rights in the Philippines as an organizer with Salupongan International.

Datu Rodelio ‘Waway’ Saway is a Philippine Tribal Leader of the Talaandig people in Bukidnon, shares and expands on tribal tradition as a composer, singer, instrument maker, and visual artist.

A co-founder and teacher of the Talaandig School of Living Traditions, he has performed throughout the Philippines and Asia with his musical group, and with Grace Nono's Tao Music.

He is the creative force behind the development of sustainable livelihood in tribal arts, including soil painting and instrument-making.

A consummate innovator, he creates music instruments that are musically-sound works of art.

He has performed Lincoln Center, performing in the Grammy-nominated DEORO: THE BROOKLYN MANILA PROJECT, Featuring Dave Eggar and Chuck Palmer.

Granny Carts Gangstas are an all Asian American women sketch comedy group birthed from the black-box stage of Bindlestiff Studio. Founded by Aureen Almario and Ava Tong in 2007, the GCG crew have been performing their sketches since 2013 including Rise of the Red Dawn, No Happy Endings, Ladies and the Tramps, Bad Fruit, Pussy Generation, and Here Kitty Kitty. We create rebellious rowdy comedy poking fun at pop culture, consumerism, politics, systems of oppression (oh yeah), the mundane and absurdity of everyday life, weed, and pretty much anything under the sun, actually universe.

jose e. abad is a performance and movement artist whose work is rooted in collaboration and community engaged arts as a form of resistance and liberation. Through dance and storytelling abad unearths lost histories, memories, and wisdom held within the body that the mind has forgotten or the dominant culture has erased. Their work focuses on dismantling externally imposed, constrictive narratives and creating space for the complex, nuanced existence of Queer, Black, and Trans POC. Born in Olongapo City, Philippines to a Filipinx Mother and a West Indian Father, Abad’s work explores the complexities of being biracial and the challenges around developing a cultural identity with immigrant parents in America.

Joe Cascasan is a Bay Area based theater actor and director. A few acting credits include Los Altos Stage Company's Grapes of Wrath, Bindlestiff's Pinoy Midsummer and There's the Moon and Then There's You. His directing credits include Dark Heart, All Bets Off, Ang Bata Sa Drum, Opportunity, Night Shift, and Love is a Verb. Joe also recently directed No Country for Old Henchmen which won at Pianofights's Shortlived theater competition. Joe continues to volunteer, providing guidance to incoming generations of artists and sustaining valuable artistic representation of the Pilipino American community.

Using acrylic, ink, aerosol and installations, Cece Carpio tells stories of immigration, ancestry, resistance,and resilience. She documents evolving traditions through combining folkloric forms, bold portraits, and natural elements using contemporary art techniques.

Cece has produced and exhibited work in the Philippines, Fiji Islands, Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Italy, Norway, Ireland, United Kingdom, India, Guam, and throughout the United States.

She is currently at the San Francisco Arts Commission and is a Public Art Advisor for the City of Oakland.

Cece can often be found collaborating with her collective, Trust Your Struggle, teaching, and traveling around the world in pursuit of the perfect wall.

Conrad J. Benedicto is a teacher, author, and kulintang musician who studied with Master Danongan Kalanduyan from 1997 to 2016.

He was Master Kalanduyan’s apprentice within the Alliance for California Traditional Arts’ Apprenticeship Program in 2007 and again in 2013.

He teaches social studies, environmental education, and kulintang music at Balboa High School in San Francisco.

In 2018, Conrad received an individual artist grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission to compose original kulintang music for his project called Kulintang Dialect.

KulArts is publishing his debut fantasy novel, Musalaya’s Gift, in 2020.

Gio Ortega is a poet and theater artist.

He is member of Theater Without Borders, and has worked with the Hague Center of Acting in Singapore and Creativity and at the Philippine-Australian Arts, Culture, and Innovation Central in Australia.

He is currently in the film version of Florante Aguilar’s Song Cycle Aswang Ghost Stories, and regularly performs at Galerie Studio St St in Neukölln, Berlin. He performed in Imelda, The Musical (East West Players), Romance of Magno Rubio, Dogeaters, The Refugee Hotel (Center Theatre Group). East West Player produced the world premiere of his play Criers for Hire. ALLOS, the story of Carlos Bulosan commissioned by East WestPlayers has been performed in Honolulu, Chicago, Singapore, Kampala Theater and Oregon Shakespeare Festivals.

His poetry has been published in numerous anthologies and first book Leaves from the Silver Lake Barrio was published by The Undeniables.

He is Assistant Professor of Theater and Dance at Pomona College.

Irene Duller teaches at SF State University and University of SF and the co-founder of An Otherwise Company and has worked with Intersection for the Arts, Brava Theater Center and Kularts.

She’s a founding member of 8th Wonder (2000), the nation's premiere Pilipina/o performance poetry collective, and The Rhapsodistas, an all-women interdisciplinary hip hop group, performing throughout the U.S. and the Philippines.

Her most recent project was MUMU 1977: an Otherwise Experience at Bindlestiff Studio — a sold-out immersive art-theatre experience that she co-wrote and produced with Susmaryosep and Co.

She on the Board of Directors for Kularts, Nihonmachi Little Friends, and the former Funkonometry SF.

Lian Ladia is a curator and organizer and the community engagement organizer at The South of Market Community Action Network (SOMCAN) co-leading a program called “Reclaiming Our Space” about social equity, urban planning and the power of art and design.

Apart from her work in land use and organizing in the SOMA, she is also a curator, who will present the work of Bay Area Filipino American artist Carlos Villa at the coming Singapore Biennale 2019 in Singapore.

Lian went to the De Appel Curatorial Programme in Amsterdam, Netherlands. She also received a graduate degree in Curatorial Studies at CCS Bard in New York as an Asian Cultural Council Grantee.

Lian is also the co-founder of Planting Rice founded in Manila, a curatorial collaborative that repotentializes space and distributes information on contemporary discussions in Southeast Asia and the greater Philippine diaspora.

Peter de Guzman is a dancer, choreographer, and dance ethnologist.He graduated from UCLA World Arts and Cultures/Dance and is currently the artistic director for MALAYA Filipino American Dance Arts.

Peter specializes in Pangalay and has researched the art form in the field and trained under master artist Ligaya Amilbangsa.His choreography focuses on the intercultural intersections between American/Filipino identities with traditional/contemporary indigenous dance.

Most recently he received an award from the Alliance for California Traditional Arts in their master apprenticeship program.

Inspired by the ability of artists to imagine a better world, Robynn Takayama has worked in the community as an artist, arts administrator, and funder for over 20 years.

Audiences have seen her video, web, and sound installations in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Robynn’s radio stories have aired on national and local public radio programs and she was a contributing producer to the Peabody-awarded documentary, Crossing East.

She has worked at the San Francisco Arts Commission since 2000 and administers grants funded by the innovative Cultural Equity Endowment Fund.

Raj Desai, PhD is an Indipino (mixed race Indian and Pilipino) American scholar, dancer, and activist. He teaches at City College of San Francisco and was involved with Pin@y Educational Partnership, a teaching pipeline that teaches Critical Filipino/a American History, Culture and Identity. He was a 2011 Fullbright Fellow in the Advanced Filipino Abroad Program at the Ateneo de Manila University.

Aimee Amparo has been combining music, spiritual work & healing arts, and travel for 9 years. Her journeys have taken her around the world from India to the Middle East, Brazil, Mexico and most recently the southern Philippine islands. Each song is a connection to the other, revealing a shared human experience. Each journey is connection to source, an indigenous wisdom which reveals a common thread; an understanding of earth, spirit, and community and their relation to self. She uses music to tell the stories that have been passed down to her and to create intention for the future.

Joshua Icban is a composer/musician/performer born and raised in Vallejo, CA. His work utilizes multigenerational sounds and techniques to compose living reactions to the world he has experienced and been exposed to. He has worked with Bay Area groups such as Awesome Orchestra, Cellista, the San Francisco state Gospel and Afro Cuban Ensembles and Bindlestiff Studios as either a performer or arranger.

He received his undergraduate degree in Jazz performance from San Francisco State in 2014 and masters in ethnomusicology at Cal State East Bay where his research focuses on Fil-Am music in the bay area diaspora. He composed original music score for In the 'Belly of the Eagle: Man@ Is Deity'.

Joann Natalia Aquino is a publicist, an arts marketer, and a traveling freelance journalist covering lifestyle and the arts. She has over 17 years experience in the communications field from writing and editing, marketing, public relations, and community relations. Her previous posts include serving as public relations and marketing manager for the Seattle-based Wing Luke Asian Museum, as legislative liaison and community outreach administrator for the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, as editor-in-chief for the Filipino American Herald, and as marketing contractor for the Tony Award-winning Intiman Theatre. She remains a consultant/freelancer and is currently developing a screenplay and a series of children’s books

A lifelong student of life and traditional ways, Joann is also a trained birth and post-partum doula and a student/practitioner of plant medicine.