cfbs oct 2013 bangka stories in the redwoods

i forgot to share until now about the center for babaylan studies (cfbs) conference weekend retreat last 2013; this post has been on the draft page until i happen to review it today, so a year later, here goes my cfbs sharing.

maybe i was a taxi/jeepney driver in another life… the weekend started when i picked friends visiting from los angeles at the new bus station on 3rd street in san francisco. i was the wagon-driver to out-of-town folks. on the way to the beautiful redwoods although stuck an hour in a bumper to bumper traffic in petaluma, we shared lots of laughs and stories; one of my favorites was about goldilocks and the four bears joke. throughout the weekend because i was not well, with flu-like symptoms and congestion, i was unable to mingle much with folks but linked with those that mattered at the moment; special moments in a woodsy cabin full of once girls that wanted to be nuns at one point in life in the islands; and on a beautiful morn awakened by a chorus of a cabin-filled snore-fest, so i went out to pee. i sat in my car for warmth as i waited for the sun to rise. next to me sat another woman. we were surrounded by the giant tall redwoods, green everywhere, the yellow sun rising. together, we both cried as we talked about the underlying importance of culture bearers, the responsibilities, and in deep gratitude for our parents who passed on the flame of our traditions, for me at times still awakening to the deep connections….another one of the highlights of the cfbs weekend for me was when i met kuya lagitan. although a brief encounter by the cafeteria door with a cup of hot tea on my hand, it was a wonderful connection of ancestral bangkas and buwaya stories and deeper stories about healing from ancestral wounds related to child abuse by a priest of a church in the islands – one voice speaking for so many in silence. i felt the presence and support of the giant redwoods as conversations about healing communities via craft-building as the bangka dream of healing justice continues……..

i remember briefly or maybe i was so ill i thought i met kanakan at the cfbs gathering; well, later on, kanakan also visited the bangka and after his northern california visit, he came along to our session with janet stickmon’s class at one of napa’s local high school. More and more sharing stories about mexico, the galleon trade, bisayan, the church, decolonizing and palawan bangka stories….


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