In the month of July 2012, I journeyed back to the Philippines with some friends to attend the Kapwa 3 Conference. During this time I was in the Philippines I deeply bonded with a group of people. We found ‘Kapwa’ in each other through planting trees, sharing stories, revealing tears, eating & cooking together, dreaming, making music and simply by being with each other in the journey of recovering our ancestry. We were able to be other communities and individuals – learn from them, learn with them, and dream with them. Our process is one of recovering, rediscovering and remembering our individual selves (indigenous self) and sharing what we find with others. Come learn with us!
The Kapwa Collective is a group of Filipino Canadian artists, critical thinkers, and healers who work across different academic and applied disciplines. We believe in the values of inclusivity and accessibility, and we work towards bridging narratives between the Indigenous and the Diasporic, and the Filipino and the Canadian. We facilitate links among academic, artistic, activist, and other communities in Toronto.
The Kapwa Collective functions as a mutual support group based on the core value of “kapwa”. Virgilio G. Enriquez, known as the founder of Filipino Psychology or Sikolohiyang Pilipino initially proposed a concept of personhood centered on the core value expressed in the word “kapwa”. In the words of the scholar Katrin de Guia:
Kapwa is a Tagalog term widely used when addressing another with the intention of establishing a connection. It reflects a viewpoint that beholds the essential humanity recognizable in everyone, therefore linking (including) people rather than separating (excluding) them from each other. Enriquez felt that this orientation was an expression of ‘humanness at its highest level’.
– Kapwa: The Self in the Other, Worldviews and Lifestyles of Filipino Culture-Bearers, 2005