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
What does “Indigenous” mean
From the perspective of a Filipino in the diaspora?
“I use the term indigenous to refer to the self that has found its place, its home in the world. Emptied of projections of ‘inferiority,’ ‘third world,’ ‘undeveloped,’ ‘uncivilized,’ ‘exotic and primitive,’ and ‘modernizing,’ it is the self capable of conjuring one’s place and growing roots through the work of imagination, re‐framing history, and re‐telling the Filipino story that centers our history of resistance, survival, and re‐generation.”
-Leny Strobel, Filipino American author and scholar