ILONA FIDDY is a multi-disciplinary maker of things, whose art likes everything from robots and lazer beams, to things rusted and old, objects of inherited histories, things thrown away. Her parents grew up singing different songs in their youth, her mother, Lupang Hininirang, and her father, God Save the Queen. Ilona then, grew up singing O Canada with a preternatural awareness of diverse cultural idiosyncrasies and a keen sense of Other. These experiences have often informed her art, in theme, in process, and in medium. She sees much, considers everything and includes by instinct. There is no right or left.

“The philippines is both foreign land and home of heart, the islands that carried my maternal line until bearing them to Canada, to mix and match and make me. The cross-cultural patchwork that is defining my life and identity parallels that of the history of the Philippines and the development of modern Philippine culture. The artists of Kilusan are afforded a unique perspective of this curious heritage. Though our artistic practices are varied our inspiration is the same: our countries, our people, each other. In my collaborations with the collective, Carlos Celdran, and the other artists in the Philippines, I hope to begin and sustain a dialogue in my mother tongue.
– ilona fiddy

ALEX FELIPE currently resides in Toronto, Canada.  He returns regularly to the Philippines.

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Toronto with the goal of being a human rights lawyer instead he became a documentary photographer who focuses on human rights issues. Though he also does work in other genres and issues, his focus is on stories that involve the relationship between his country of birth (the Philippines) and his country of upbringing and citizenship (Canada).

His photography has been featured in publications and exhibitions in Canada, the USA, Italy, Australia, and the Philippines. His work has been published and/or exhibited by Amnesty International, CARE-Canada, Oxfam-Australia, NOW magazine, The Toronto Star, This Magazine, Red Bull Entertainment, the Immaginario Scientifico museum in Trieste, and others.

In his last trip to the Philippines in 2008 he worked with local and international NGOs around human rights issues. Other than his personal projects (the centre-piece being a project about Canadian-owned mining in the Philippines) he worked with organizations like the Children’s Rehabilitation Center and the Children’s Participation Center to help provide art therapy for children and youth in urban poor areas of Manila, and with victims of military violence.

” ‘Kilusan’ means ‘movement’ in Tagalog.  The Filipino community is the third largest visible minority community in Canada, yet (in my opinion) the community is still struggling to find it’s identity and sense of cultural pride within this country.  The Kilusan Exchange is a movement to understand our common heritage: its past and its present.  And it is also a way for us to share our culture and history with others.”
– alex felipe

JEFF GARCIA‘s art reveals his love for the discarded and for hidden narratives. Inspired by the Fluxus/Dada movements and his Filipino roots, he has an obsession to collect and to reuse. In 2007 he received Best Mixed Media Award (2d) at the Toronto Outdoor Exhibition and began facilitating collaborative jams and experimental screen printing workshops at Contemporary Textiles Studio. Jeff is currently working on an international mail art project and exhibiting at Hello/Texas Gallery in Tokyo, Japan

“In collaboration with my fellow Filipino Canadian artists and Carlos Celdran, I want to deepen my inherited Filipino philosophy of “hustling to make something out of nothing”. Through installation and live performance I want my re-invented perspective of Manila, and the Philippines to be more accessible for the Toronto community. Though a variety of end products will result, I hope our artist process is consistent : an organic approach of adding to and stripping away from our history and culture.”
– jeff garcia

TIFFANY NAVAL JR. has managed to fiddle her way into everything. With a background in graphic design and creative writing, her sense of resourcefulness using anything she can find, from anywhere in her surroundings, to manipulate into original and inventive pieces, is imaginative and clever. Through her bank of living footage and photos, to her boxes of beads, scraps of papers, cases of markers, cartons of buttons, drawers of threads and needles, this true bricoleur only drafts unimpeachable entities. By the same token, her motivation is single sourced: to keep the love growing. Her love is forever growing and she will embezzle your heart.

“The Kilusan Exchange undertaking stupefies my brainpower. The opinion of mine is of this: the artists that I will (so honourably) be working alongside – including Carlos Celdran himself are astounding. This chance to learn more about my culture, explore my identity and meet more of my people, while at the same time being able to create arrant absurdities and is truly amazing. love.”
– tiffany naval jr.

JENNIFER MARAMBA’s contemporary artworks range from painting, printmaking to performative and process-based art. Her passion for people is presented through her creation of situations and spaces with her drawings and installations to enhance dialogue and social connections. Jennifer also explores her identity as a Filipina-Canadian and uses these concepts to creatively communicate to other Filipino-Canadians, as well as the broader community, and to ultimately explore social connectivity.

“Kilusan Exchange provides an open dialogue between artists who share the same ethnicity and cultural influences. The Kilusan Exchange provides an opportunity for me to foster my development in the use of visual art as a tool for social connections and collaborations. I think that Kilusan Exchange provides an awesome platform to connect and collaborate with my artist peers, the Filipino community, the broader community and furthermore provide me with the tools to develop as a professional artist in Toronto.”

– jen maramba


6 responses to “THE COLLECTIVE

  1. I always feel proud of Filipino youths from everywhere who take the time and effort to excel themselves in whatever whereever their heart is… mga kabataang patuloy na tumutupad sa pagbibigay halaga sa aral ni Gat Rizal…ANG KABATAAN ANG PAG-ASA NG BAYAN.

    I am proud of you, guys! Role models for the youth! God be with you in all your undertakings… Amen!


    I look at your fotos there and I can’t help but smile a “happy mom smile”… coz you all look bubbly (esp. you girls) …

    People here will describe you as being “kikay”…hahaha! take that expression home to canada!

    I am sending the following lyrics of a song I made so you will have a deeper impression of the Filipinos you see around…(not the wandering crooks huh!) hahaha! The song for the “Unsung Heroes” of Pinas…
    mapasmile naman kayo at wag puro shocking at iwww….yukss…. LOL!

    Mga Bayaning Walang Tropeo

    Nakabilad sa initan, nasusunog ang balat
    Tinitiis ang pagod, ‘wag lang sanang uulan.
    Magsasaka, kaminero, kartero’t iba pa
    Nagkakandahilo na, arya pa nang arya.

    Chorus 1:
    Sige, sugod lang ang Filipino.
    Walang inuurungan, walang inaatrasan.
    Itaas ang bandilang Pilipino.
    Sa tiyaga…Ay! Marami tayo

    Nangangapal na sa kalyo,
    pumuputok na ang ugat
    Nananakit na’ng katawan sa kabubuhat.
    Kargador, karpintero, minero at mason
    Nagdidiliryo na sa hirap,
    kayod pa rin nang kayod!

    Chorus 2:
    Sige, sugod lang ang Filipino.
    Walang inuurungan, walang inaatrasan.
    Itaas ang bandilang Pilipino.
    Sa lakas…Ay! May laban tayo!

    Sige, paspas sa pagkusot, ‘sang tambak na labada.
    Magpaplantsa sa gabi’t uumagahin na naman.
    Labandera’t plantsadora, nagkakandaubo na,
    Kalahati ng kinita, sa gamot pa napunta!

    Chorus 3:
    Sige, sugod lang ang Filipino.
    Walang inuurungan, walang inaatrasan.
    Itaas ang bandilang Pilipino. Sa kasipagan…Ay! Panalo tayo!

    Takot ay kinakalaban, lungkot ay tinitiis.
    Susugod sa malayong bayan,
    wala kahit ‘sang kusing.
    Domestic Helper, yaya, janitor at tsuper,
    Kahit anong trabaho, handa nilang pasukin!

    Chorus 4:
    Sige, sugod lang ang Filipino.
    Walang inuurungan, walang inaatrasan.
    Itaas ang bandilang Pilipino.
    Sa katapangan…Ay! Subok na tayo!

    Saludo ako sa Filipino…
    Bayaning manggagawang Filipino.
    Bayaning totoo ang Filipino….
    May dangal !….. kahit walang tropeo !!!

    i have a ppt file on this…but can’t upload yet kasi your mommy joyce here is not very computer expert pa…sorry, guys.

  4. Pingback: BUT WHO IS CARLOS CELDRAN? « kapisanan philippine centre for arts & culture presents: THE KILUSAN COLLECTIVE

  5. mommy joyce!
    thank you so much for you love and support which is much needed in our individual journey in discovering, re-discovering or recovering our heritage and identity. We are happy to get such positive support from people like you who believe in us. Thank you so much and we cannot wait to share with you all of what we experienced from the being in the Philippines.

    love, jennifer

  6. it is my pleasure, jen, to follow your journey …and feel proud that you find it relevant to trace your roots! It would be a dream come true…if I get to visit your group in Canada someday…but I know it is not possible as I am just a solo mom who can’t leave home…sigh…!
    Anyway, as I am mom friend to a lot of youth here… I shall find much pleasure in telling the kids here about kids like you there…hahaha!
    and… I can’t wait to know about your experiences here… I pray that, after your journey, you’ll be saying …”wow, mommy joyce, the Kilusan Exchange…it was all worth it!”

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