Category Archives: Indigenous Rights

8/29/13: Bumabalik: Reporting from the Philippines


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(Bumabalik translates into “returning.”)

On this installment of APEX Express:

APEX contributor R.J. Lozada is back from the Philippines!

Contributor R.J. Lozada amidst a crowd of protestors at the SONA ng Bayan (People's SONA, or State of the Nation Address). Photo Courtesy of A. Beltran

Contributor R.J. Lozada amidst a crowd at the SONA ng Bayan (People’s SONA, or State of the Nation Address). Photo Courtesy of A. Beltran

 Aerial shot of the crowd that joined the ‘Million People March.’ Photo courtesy of Architect Paulo Alcazaren.

Aerial shot of the crowd that joined the ‘Million People March.’ Photo courtesy of Architect Paulo Alcazaren.

Monday, August 26 drew nearly 100,000 Filipinos in peaceful protest against political corruption and pork barrel politics. R.J. brings us an interview with author Laurel Fantauzzo who participated in the peaceful rally.

Famers and organizers from Hacienda Luisita protest the distribution of lands in front the House of Representatives in Manila. Photo courtesy of R. Lozada

Farmers and organizers from Hacienda Luisita protest the distribution of lands in front the House of Representatives in Manila. Photo courtesy of R.J. Lozada

Land is life. When Spain forcefully took and claimed land from the Philippines in 1521 they created a sociopolitical climate that would birth long-standing systems of oppression, manifesting in everything from political infrastructure to psychology to cuisine. Among the remnants and ghosts of colonization is Hacienda Luisita. The farmlands that belong to natives long before the Spanish were taken, and ended up in the hands of the family of the current President Benigno Aquino III, since the late 1950s. R.J. spent some time with farmers of Hacienda Luisita to learn what agrarian reform can really look like.

Flordia Sibayan, or "Pong," is the chair of AMBALA, the farmworkers union at Hacienda Luisita. She and about 50 farmers and organizers camped out in front of the offices Department of Agricultural Reform. They're protesting the lottery system, and other divide and conquer tactics to disrupt the movement for genuine agrarian reform. Photo courtesy of R. Lozada.

Flordia Sibayan, or “Pong,” is the chair of AMBALA, the farmworkers union at Hacienda Luisita. She and about 50 farmers and organizers camped out in front of the offices Department of Agricultural Reform. They’re protesting the lottery system, and other divide and conquer tactics to disrupt the movement for genuine agrarian reform. Photo courtesy of R.J. Lozada.


  • On Saturday, August 31st at 7:30PM at the Solespace in Oakland, RAMA presents this months installment of Go! Ohana, featuring musicians Ben Ahn, Cynthia Lin, hosted by Tim Huey, and Leila Ramanculova.

  • On Thursday, September 5th at 6:00PM, Undocu-Health: Healthcare and the Undocumented — this event at the Asian Resource Lobby in Oakland will feature a talk regarding the Affordable Care Act otherwise known as Obamacare, and the undocumented community.

  • On Friday, September 6 at 7:00PM, the “Ordinary Guy,” Afro-Filipino Joe Bataan, will be at the I-Hotel in San Francisco for a meet and greet!

5/30/13 Stories of Resistance and Resilience — APEN Laotian Leader Lipo Chanthanasak, Poet Kosal Khiev, Moana Nui and Hopie Spitshard’s New Album!


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This week we’ll be covering stories of resistance and resilience. Tune in to hear inspiring stories from the Southeast Asian community — first, the story of Lipo Chanthanasak a laotian member leader of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network who was recently honored at the White House as a Champion of Change.  Then, we bring back on air the voice and story of poet and ex-prisoner Kosal Khiev.

Lipo-at-rallyPhoto credit: APEN
kosal-khievPhoto credit: Kosal Khiev

We’ll also get a sneak preview of this weekend’s big Moana Nui teach-in in Berkeley — a two-day event covering militarism, globalization and the “Pacific Pivot”, with 45 speakers coming from 20 different countries!

And we play some tracks from Hopie Spitshard’s latest album “Sugar Water” which drops next week!

sugar water party flyer


  • Friday, May 31st, 7-11pm at SOMArts Cultural Center (934 Brannan Street, San Francisco, CA 94103)
    Kearny Street Workshop presents KSW Runway: Celebrate Your Body. An alternative fashion and music show that pays homage to the creativity and plurality of the Bay Area. For one night only, SOMArts’ Bay Gallery will be transformed into a street fair, replete with battling models, live performances, a DJ, food stalls, vendors, prizes, and surprise guests.  APEX contributor Robynn Takayama will be co-hosting!

  • June 1st & 2nd at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School (1781 Rose Street, Berkeley)
    Moana Nui: Peoples of the Pacific — Confronting Militarization, Resource Theft, Globalization and America’s “Pacific Pivot” The International Forum on Globalization (IFG), in collaboration with a broad range of Asian, indigenous and small-island peoples of the Pacific, and activists from countries throughout the Pacific Basin, will present a two-day series of public events in Berkeley with panels and events focused on responding to some of the greatest threats ever to face Pacific peoples.
  • June 5th at 8pm at Brick & Mortar (1710 Mission St, SF)
    Hopie Spitshard’s “Sugar Water” Album Release Party

3/28/13 Labor Issues, Legacy of Partitioning, and Bambu!

Terry Valen with NAFCON and FCC

Terry Valen with NAFCON and FCC


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Tonight we have Terry Valen, president of NAFCON (National Alliance for Filipino Concerns) and director of the Filipino Community Center in San Francisco to talk about the struggle of migrant Filipino oil workers in New Orleans and the results of a fact-finding mission that was done there in February.

Emcee Bambu

Emcee Bambu

Also, Apex crew member Tara Dorabji brings us an exclusive interview with Pakistani author Bapsi Sidhwa, sharing with us the legacy of the 1947 partitioning of India.

And last but not least, L.A Filipino Hip Hop artist BAMBU joins us to reflect about his last decade in music and talk about his new work.

Community Calendar

Saturday March 30th 6pm
LAND IS LIFE: Communities Resisting Dispossession and Colonization Commemorating Palestinian Land Day

Dance, Poetry, and Speakers from different communities resisting occupation worldwide
The Women’s Building
3543 18th Street
San Francisco, CA

Friday March 29 and Saturday March 30 in SF
Bindlestiff Studio presents the World Premiere of Jeffrey Lo’s

Bindlestiff Studio 185 6th Street

Saturday April 13, 3-6pm
Poetry Reading: Brynn Saito, Pireeni Sundaralingam, and Debbie Yee

Eastwind Books
2066 University Avenue, Berkeley

Friday, May 31
KSW Runway: Celebrate Your Body
This alternative fashion show/underground concert/expo showcasing local APA talent in fashion, music, and art and celebrates bodies of all shapes, sizes, ages, abilities, genders, colors, and ethnicities. The event is a fundraiser for Kearny Street Workshop.

SOMArts Cultural Center: 934 Brannan Street, San Francisco

11/22/12: Solidarity with Palestine, Decolonizing Anarchism, and Kidlat Tahimik

[audio] or download the show by clicking here.

Thank you for tuning in during this NO THANKS colonizers show. We hope this show will inspire you to rethink occupation and colonization.

Community Calendar

  • Many of you have made a tradition of volunteering at a food kitchen for the holidays and many of us thank you for that. but if you would like to contribute to community building TOMORROW, there’s Block Friday in San Francisco’s Central Market. transforming the 1100 block of Market Street into a giant potluck and community feast with a community table 100+ feet long. Bring and dish to share and sit down and eat between 2 and 5pm on November 23rd. The link to Block Friday is on our website
  • Also from 4 to 8 p.m., visual artist Salma Aratsu holds an art exhibition sale benefiting Narika, an organization that serves domestic violence survivors from South Asian communities. Apex Express’s own Preeti Mangala Shenker serves as the executive director
  • On Tuesday, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, David Jay Johnston, will be at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley. he’ll be talking about his book “The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use “Plain English” to Rob You Blind” Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. For more information visit

6/14/12 A Radio Documentary, People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, and First Voice Media Apprenticeship Program

APEX Express is proud to announce we are the media sponsor of Vincent Chin 30: Standing Up Then and Now, A Bay Area Conversation.

In 1982, Vincent Chin was the victim of a hate crime murder in Detroit. Thirty years later, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders continue to face discrimination and bullying. In light of recent tragedies like the extreme hazing and subsequent death of Private Danny Chen and the continuing effects of 9/11, what can Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders do to stand up against racism and discrimination?

Join us on June 23rd, at the Ninth Street Independent Film Center in San Francisco for a lively discussion with leaders of local civil rights organizations (Vincent Pan – CAA, Ling Woo Liu – Korematsu Institute, Zahra Billoo – CAIR SFBA, Angela Chan – Asian Law Caucus) moderated by R.J. Lozada from APEX Express. Tickets are $10.

On tonight’s show:

  • We go back a bit. We go back and remember Gina Hotta, or G. We listen to one of her radio documentaries. Processions by G. – composed and performed by Gina Hotta. Gina Hotta/Soprano Sax, Francis Wong/Tenor Sax, Vijay Iyer/Piano, Anthony Brown/Drums.
  • APEX Express contributor Tara Drobji speaks with Dr. Udayakumar. He is the coordinator for the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, and he is in India with the movement to stop the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project. Residents living around the proposed project have launched massive protests, this includes hundreds of hunger strikes and sixty villages have opposed the project.
  • And, the First Voice Media Apprenticeship Program here at KPFA has extended its application deadline for Group 38. I’ll speak with Shwanika of Yabasta about the program and how you can apply.

9/22/11 Anniversary of Martial Law and Filipino American Punk Rock, Unplugged

Digma performing at League of Filipino Students "Ring the Alarm" benefit

On this 39th anniversary of Martial Law in the Philippines, hear from the Filipino Community Center’s monthly Talakayan (Discussion).  This month, the FCC put together Remembering Martial Law, Celebrating International Solidarity .  The discussion focuses on the experiences of Filipino organizers and their allies on an exposure trip to the Philippines several weeks ago-allies like Alex Tom from the Chinese Progressive Association, Steve Williams from POWER , and Bounce from the Trust Your Struggle collective. Contributor Marie Choi and R.J. Lozada piece together a montage of reflection.

Video: Trust Your Struggle collective painting a mural, one of their contributions in the exposure trip (Video by Piya Constantino).

Also, tune in to the sonic assault of Filipino America punk band, Digma, in the first live performance on Apex Express in a long, long time.  We’ll listen to their music, and bridge movement building to cultural production.

Community Calendar

  • Tomorrow, rub shoulders with San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim as she hosts the opening of the San Francisco Arts Commission’s photo exhibition, The ARTery Project: Photographs of Central Market. Featured photographers include Ian Wang, Vivian Troung, and Monica Roy. The reception on Friday is from 5-7 p.m. with jazz bassist Marcus Shelby playing in the hallway.
  • On Saturday, join the progressive community as 518 Valencia Street opens its doors! This center for for popular culture and education is available at low cost to organizations, community members and social movements in the Bay Area, and Apex’s own Ellen Choy is the coordinator. Festivities are from 1-5 p.m. with a brief program honoring the late Eric Quezada at 3 p.m.
  • “The Places We Call Home” – on September 29, 7:00 pm a literary event in celebration of the upcoming Filipino American International Book Festival. Authors and poets reading will include: Oscar Bermeo, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, Rashaan Alexis Meneses, Veronica Montes, Barbara Jane Reyes, and Benito M. Vergara, Jr. For more information about the October 1 to October 2, 2011 Filipino American International Book Festival visit
  • EastSide Arts Alliance, VietUnity, HOBAK, and Anakbayan East Bay present…Final Fridays Films of Resistance and Solidarity will screen Tony Nguyen’s film Enforcing the Silence next Friday, September 30 at 7pm, at Eastside Cultural Center, right there on 2277 International Blvd., Oakland.  To hear more about Tony’s film, check out Karl Jagbandhansingh’s interview with Tony in our archives.
  • International League of Peoples’ Struggle 4th International Assembly and International Festival for People’s Rights & Struggles
    Community Report Back
    Saturday, October 8, 6-8 PM
    Doors open at 5:30pm
    518 Valencia St. (& 16th St.), SF
    This space IS wheelchair accessible
    Hear from guest speakers from Bay Area community organizations who traveled to Manila, Philippines to participate in a week of conferences, assemblies and celebrations with the theme:
    Build a bright future! Mobilize the people to resist exploitation and oppression amidst the protracted global depression, state terrorism and wars of aggression!
    $5 – 10 donation accepted.  No one turned away for lack of funds.
  • In conjunction with Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts’ gallery exhibition of Carlos Villa’s work,  “Manongs, Some Doors and a Bouquet of Crates,” catch Cinema from the Filipino Diaspora. This screening of three films including Ritual by Carlos Villa, a video slide show from 1980, Super Flip by Celine Parreñas, who will be in attendance, and Serbis, by Brillante Mendoza from the Philippines. The screening is on Sunday, October 2nd at 6 p.m.

3/3/11 Hawaii – A Voice for Sovereignty

This week, as a premium for a pledge of $60, we’re featuring the ground-breaking documentary DVD “Hawaii – A Voice for Sovereignty,” by award-winning director Catherine Bauknight, telling the real story and issues facing Native Hawaiians.

“Hawaii – A Voice for Sovereignty” is a documentary film by photojournalist Catherine Bauknight that explores the culture of the Native Hawaiians and their connection to the land. At the forefront of the film are social, economic, and ecological issues that have developed in Hawaii since the takeover by the U.S. in 1893, revealed in interviews with grassroots indigenous people and scholars such as author, Haunani-Kay Trask.

With Hosts Ellen Choy and Karl Jagbandhansingh.

Produced by Karl Jagbandhansingh.