Saturday, August 10, 2013

KU infoshop... March Against Monsanto...and other actions!

For seven years KINAIYAHAN UNAHON is active in different forms of activism here in the city. One of it's major projects is the KU community space here in Juna Subdivision, Matina. In this space there are things happening every week, activities regularly attended by friends and other visitors from different parts of Davao. With the help of friends, volunteers of KU tirelessly initiate programs that help others in terms of relevant information and community actions. They have weekly free school (film and discussions), free energy and sustainability workshop, cooking and language lessons, book club, physical activities / sports, Integral Philosophy, spirituality and Ecology study circle, and other gatherings that are helpful for everybody. 

This very wonderful project is a collaboration of two individuals sincerely and voluntarily dedicating there time and energy. With the help of the former members and close friends, this collective still exist and function. 

At the moment the KU infoshop is the main space where we can fully conduct educational gatherings, workshops, planning and meetings for volunteer actions since they have resources such as projector, extra computers, How-to books, cooking materials for FNB, and enough space for meetings and plannings. This community space is the third infoshop here in Davao since the AS-A-WHOLE infoshop in Bangkal that was established last 2006 and only lasted for a year. Months before the AS-A-WHOLE Collective broke out, KU emerged and since then some people especially from the local DIY/punk scene became familiar with different aspects of activism and even started to initiate small actions such us making zines, organizing benefit shows, writing essays, volunteering to communities and organizing educational activities and mass feedings like the international action Food Not Bombs, etc. 

Some of the major activities that we had since the opening of the new KU Center are Really Really Free Market, March Against Monsanto, and the recent local FNB anniversary. During the March Against Monsanto day, we had a theatre presentation that basically depict and explain the hazards and the crises brought about by Monsanto and other big bio-tech and chemical companies.


The play lasted for almost 30 minutes but the preparation took 4 days or at least 4 major rehearsals. During the preparation, volunteers enthusiastically visit KU center for almost everyday. In these days we had so many memorable things, laughters and meaningful conversations. It was a rich experience and all of us are willing to do it again, even to improve the play for more presentations.

During the march, most of us doesn't have enough rest but still eager to join the demonstration. With leaflets, banners, musical instruments and other tools, we marched and expressed our thoughts and voices on the streets for a couple of hours, attracting many people from different sides of the road. From streets to jeepneys to malls, from Maa to San Pedro which is one of the main destinations of the demonstration, We gave away leaflets about GMO and biotech companies, we talked to people and then we performed the play, getting more attentions from passers by and other people. 

While having the performance, some children got carried away and joined. Those little children understood the message of the play and "took matters in their own hands" during the revenge part, where people and farmers united to shutdown the biotech companies. After performing the play outside the city hall, Food Not Bombs volunteers gave away food to the homeless and street children around the area then after that, we headed to Davao People's Park for the Really Really Free Market. 

So during the RRFM many of the people we invited came including the members of Ananda Marga, which is one of the most successful and active in various community initiatives. Many random people in the park also participated and appreciated the purpose of the action and feel that this kind of action needs to be sustain and improved. They asked when is the next RRFM so that they can bring something to share! 

That's all for now. Hope you will read our next post. Thank you very much! Long live ye' ol Organic Minds!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Small steps for constant expression

Hello again to all! Our story continues... Empathy (and friends) have some new good moments to talk about now (and when we see each other in the future!). Even little and easy things sometimes matters much, so they say. Well most of the time it's good to think about those things rather than your failures and frustrations. First, there were many things happened in a short period of time. I mean in just a couple of months, i can't believe how many times I got inspired and motivated by every small things around me and also the things we did or accomplished in connection to the projects. One is, our good friends, our former collective, successfully launched another infoshop/community center and they are starting to have wonderful things happening there right now, in a period of 3 months after transfering! They had workshops, discussions and film screenings for their Free School project. Here we also changed the name of the place, it is now called "Organic Minds Community Center" and we also distributed newsletter and schedules for the neighbors to know. There they will see what are the values, goals and visions of the people living in OMCC and what are the plans we have in the next couple of months - the topics we want to discuss, workshops we want to organize, gatherings, music and art nights and other programs we want to provide within this year. 

Aside from that, we have new books and documentary videos for our multi-media library. We met many people who donated books, zines, movies and other important stuff for the library. So those are some examples of the things we had during those months. Of course, including this, I also can't believe there were also many crap, pathetic, worst, and undesirable things happened here locally or around the world and it also affected me or us all sometimes, I think. But those good things I mentioned are not really that big deal, I just want to include those on my mind to remind me of my own phase, growth or whatever things happening around me or us. I hope at least it will help us all see and analyze matters in our surroundings. To be honest, I also think so much about having a long day of rest, sleep, vacation, contemplation, etc., on a beach or forest or somewhere away from the city or the people or things that brings negativity to my life. But of course in a practical sense, it's not easy to do because of my commitments here.

Last February 23, Keith McHenry, the co-founder of Food Not Bombs came to Davao for a conference about global food politics and war, GMO, and also, creative activism. During the conference different participants enthusiastically listened to him talk and got inspired by the story he told and as well as by the others. NGOs, students, and other participants shared different visions and ideas in relation to the discussions we had at the gathering. We also talked about our projects, the Sharing Garden, KU Free School Project and other simple activism we do. After the conference, we all went out to the city to do the FNB feeding. We shared vegan food to the homeless and beggars in Osmenia Park while talking to people about FNB and related issues, preparing for the benefit gig we organized to raise amount to buy a tent that will be used for activities or any disaster. Keith Mchenry also talked and promoted his book at the gig and we successfully raised money that night. The next day, Keith Mchenry bade farewell and went to Indonesia to attend another conference. 

Last April 19 we organized a street gathering and art exhibit called eARTh. It is in connection to the global Earth Day celebration but of course, with different perspectives and issues to address. Many artist from all over Davao participated and enjoyed the gathering. We exchanged stickers and artworks and also distributed leaflets having different important social and environmental issues. In addition, many street artist also created artworks that strongly criticized the bullshit of coming election.

During the exhibit, happened in a very short time, there was an informal talk about the local street art and the potent message and impact it might gonna bring to the people, how it's going to communicate to the passers and how it might gonna invite danger. We also played music together, including few people from other towns, enjoyed the food and separated with smiles on our faces. 

Last May 11 we helped organize a screening of Flow: For the love of water, a documentary movie about the global water crisis. Together with Steven Starr, the executive producer of the film, we exchanged ideas and information with other participants in a very short but meaningful time. Steven also answered questions during those event. The activity went well, many people came and asked to have a copy for them to share. 

Here is a picture after the event, with CAVITY crew, street artist from Cavite, and Steven Starr in the Middle. 

And finally, we also held a summer art class for the children here in OMCC with the help of our friend, Arvin from Manila. We had around 30 kids from different parts of Bread Homes and we gave them 3 exercises a day. It was not really successfully done everyday because of other things or works but we managed to gave them good activities and time for this program. Many of them were lazy to come back but many also were happy for the class and hope to be part of it next time. 

During this summer class, we did many things aside from art. We discussed about how to help keep the environment and themselves healthy, how to participate and contribute to the community, we also taught them different simple things, from cooking, planting and making a zine. Here are more pictures of the children and their works. 



So these are the things happened during those few months. Politically, it's not that much but we were happy we did those things. As for now, aside from everyday little works at the garden, we are trying to keep things running for our Food Freedom project together with our friends. We just participated in the Global March against Monsanto last May 25 and also gathered for Really Really Free Market that night.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Forum on Global Cultural Paradigm Shift

Last February 2 Saturday, Kinaiyahan Unahon Collective organized a forum entitled “Global Cultural Paradigm Shift: A Multiplicity of Perspective”. It was attended by people from different backgrounds and organizations. Participants were composed of musicians, alternative health practitioners, students, artists, community organizers and activists. 

Among those who shared ideas and experiences are volunteers from Mindset Breaker Distro, Sharing Garden, and KU Free School Project which explores subjects such as Astronomy; Integral Ecology; Spiral Dynamics; Egalitarian Space Sharing; Philippine Mining Matrix; Earth Science; Conflict Analysis; Film Deconstruction; Integral Psychology; and Fighting Arts. 

The forum went smoothly for four hours discussing issues about different movement, initiatives, community projects, social infrastructure that addresses crisis and solutions for ecology, psychology and society. It also explored different approaches by different organizations aiming for sustainability and positive community transformation which emphasizes practical and effective actions such as permaculture, intentional community, clean energy, organic farming, community supported agriculture, social centers and community library, etc...


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"witches, nurses and midwives" reading

Last January 14 and 21, we had a reading session at the KU Social Center with the book entitled “Witches, Nurses, and Midwives: A history of women healers”. It is first published by The Feminist Press in 1973; an essential book about the corruption of the medical establishment and its historic roots in witch hunters. In this new edition, Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English have written an entirely new chapter that delves into the current fascination with and controversies about witches, exposing our fears and fantasies. They build on their classic exposé on the demonization of women healers and the political and economic monopolization of medicine. This quick history brings us up-to-date, exploring today's changing attitudes toward childbirth, alternative medicine, and modern-day witches (from Amazon).

Ten participants sincerely listened and shared their perspectives about the topic. During the session, we also discussed many points related to our current local health system and how it needs to be changed. Some participants were also enlightened on the issues and the myth surrounding witch craft and women as healers.

If you want to download the pdf version of the said book, please download it from here: