FiRE’s annual Diwang Pinay set

by Philippine Daily Mirror

Fire Event

NEW YORK (April 6) — After a momentous GABRIELA-USA assembly in Los Angeles on March 29, 2009, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) will continue celebrating the advances of Filipino women’s struggle with their own brand of New York flare.

Highlighting significant Filipino women in Filipino and Filipino American history and current day heroines and artists in Fil-Am circles, the second annual Diwang Pinay, which will be held on April 25 at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, New York City, NY, focuses on how Filipino women are emanating a light that inspires the nation at home and abroad.

FiRE’s annual Diwang Pinay is themed “Light of the Nation” or “Ilaw Ng Bayan” to redefine a traditional saying that women are the “light of the home” or “ilaw ng tahanan.” Expanding the cultural stereotype of the domestic Filipino women, the night will celebrate 25 years of Filipino women’s resistance, led by GABRIELA in the Philippines, a national alliance of women’s organizations. The alliance not only holds a distinct role in pushing forward the women’s rights in the Philippines, historically and currently, but has also given women hope and bravery to hold on to in the face of violence, poverty, state repression and migrant issues.

This year’s theme and celebration props up the work of Pinay artists who are currently shaping the art world and the Filipino American community. Following the courageous legacies of Filipino women like Gabriela Silang, Lorena Barrios and Bullet X Marasigan. Diwang Pinay will share how Pinays are redefining the “ilaw,” the light and radiance that represent Filipino women today.

During continuous protest against Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) in the Philippines, Filipinas in the US are crafting their own avenues of education, outreach and awareness around issues affecting women in the Philippines and in America. “Rarely do Pinay artists come together to revel in their artistry and more importantly their noteworthy roles as leaders and inspirations for our community,” stated Valerie Francisco, chairwoman of FiRE, “ This night is a night to celebrate ongoing Filipino women’s struggle but also the beauty that unfolds as we make our resistance our life and our art.”

Diwang Pinay (“Spirit of the Filipina”) is an annual performance and silent auction in New York City showcasing Filipina/ Filipina-American performers, writers, and visual artists. Performing at Diwang Pinay are artists Danielle Parish, Laurel Fantauzzo, Hanalei Ramos, Taospuso, Bernadette Ellorin, Tatlong Mestizas, Emmelle Israel, Binky Bianca, KABALIKAT Workers and the FiRE Kultural Kollective.

A Diwang Pinay trailer of 2008’s event can be viewed from YouTube below this story.

Contact Irma Bajar at for questions or for more information.

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