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
"For the Kalinga, nature has always provided a kind of talisman against unbridled change and a link to ancient traditions because it is constant, perpetual, and eternal. Nature was the basis from which many Kalinga cultural traditions sprang and none more so than the ancient art of tattoo. Tattooing was a natural language of the skin that gave voice to the ancestors and their descendants who attempted to emulate them by sacrificing their own bodies to make them more lasting and sacred."
Photo: The heavily tattooed elder Anita who is one of the best weavers in Bugnay. Fern designs ornament her upper shoulders.
- from The Last Kalinga Tattoo Artist of The Philippines