Author Archives: jenmaramba


san augustin confessional

whoa! has it been that long since I last blogged? yes! it has. why is that?

While in the Philippines, I felt a unmotivated with this project. It wasn’t that the Philippines or being in the Philippines was uninspiring. As an artist who has been using my Filipina identity within my artistic concepts…being there was total mental stimulation for research on all different levels. Meeting family for the first time, seeing where my father grew up, connecting with the Kilusan Exchange artists and just being put into a different environment that I feel both a connection and disconnection with. Also artists I met, both who use their Filipino identity and those who reach out to other concepts to connect to the world were inspiring in hearing their experiences and seeing their experiences through their art.

So why was I so unmotivated? I suppose it was this sense of not feeling free. This is my philosophy in practicing my art, my freedom. To do. To be. For whatever ‘political’ issues arouse within the group and within the organization which, I work with…it was difficult for me to be free, to do. I suppose this is my realization of my artistic methods in which allows me to create. In this confirmation of the conditions I demand for myself as an artist, I realize the compromise I sometimes must make to work with others and also the refusal to compromise when I believe in something that is important to me. My artistic freedom is important to me…otherwise art becomes just like everything else with rules, politics, restrictions and for me…it loses the playfulness and freedom of expression – and sometimes results in my lack of motivation.

So here I am, back in Toronto with a few days behind me reflecting on my journey and experience in my motherland (the Philippines) ready to share with my homeland and community (Toronto) my experience as a Filipina-Canadian. I have so many thoughts, feelings, and ideas that are ready to be brought forward through my art. To the rest of the Kilusan Exchange participants: Alex, Jeff, Tiff, Ilona and Carlos – Thank you for sharing this experience with me, even with all our challenges that make us grow even stronger as artists and individuals who have something to say through our art – whatever that means to you! 🙂

Thanks Philippines, I cannot wait to come back and learn more – and of course, to really play with you!



Handa Ka Na?  Opo, Handa Na Kami!

Are You Ready?  Yes, We are Ready!

The Living Room

It is our third day in Manila, Philippines and we had the opportunity to get adjusted to our jetlag and get used to the hot weather. For me, I am so glad to feel warm sun on my face and even the smog is quite okay with me. In The Living Room, where the collective is staying, we can see Manila Bay right outside our window as the sun shines in Continue reading

HANDA KA NA? (Are You Ready?) Are YOU?



OMG! going to the the Philippines!

So here it is. I am going to the Philippines for pretty much the first time. I was there when I was six…I don’t think that really counts.

We’re (alex, tiff, ilona and I ) meeting with Carlos Celdran ( who will be showing us a different kind of Manila through Art, History, Performance, more History and in Celdran style. I anticipate that we’ll also use our Balikbayan energy to learn, re-learn, and influence the art scene of Manila. So here I am  …so ready, so set, and so going to the Philippines to learn about my heritage within the contemporary art scene of Manila with such deep historical influence.

In April – If you don’t know, now you’ll know!!

See you soon Carlos and Manila!

Sincerely, Jen