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
Indigenous is not a skin color,
Indigenous is not my nose,
Indigenous is not my eye color,
Indigenous is not my lips,
Indigenous is not romanticizing ancient teachings,
To cut to pieces,
And abbreviate in a research document,
Indigenous is removing layers of shame from your ancestors trail,
Indigenous is stepping up to the plate,
Healing and creating a new way for future generations,
Indigenous is standing tall,
Indigenous is standing beautifully,
Indigenous is an honor.
Painting © Ernesto Hernandez Olmos, Mother Earth