September 2019

KAPASIKARAN: “Stories of Struggle” Book Discussion

September 14, 2019, 1-4 PM, UPper Shelf Bookstore, UP Town Center, Quezon City

KAPASIKARAN presents “STORIES OF STRUGGLE: Experiences of Land Reform in Negros Island, Philippines”

Kapasikaran is a discussion series initiated by Sama-samang Artista para sa Kilusang Agraryo (SAKA) to help shed light on different aspects of the ongoing peasant struggle for genuine agrarian reform, rural development, and food security. Kapasikaran began in 2017 at the International Center of the University of the Philippines where, at the time, displaced Lumad students from the Save Our Schools network had taken shelter, and it was urgent for allies to learn more about their plight and call for the demilitarization of their schools and communities.

In partnership with Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura, the series would soon take on the shape of book discussions, facilitating the book tour of “Bungkalan: Manwal sa Organikong Pagsasaka” from Quezon City to Los Baños for potential peasant advocates and human rights defenders to learn about the innovative land occupation and cultivation actions carried out by the peasant sector in the countryside, particularly in Hacienda Luisita.

Kapasikaran carries on with its book discussions this month, casting the spotlight on Ma. Diosa Labiste and Sarah Wright’s “Stories of Struggle: Experiences of Land Reform in Negros Island, Philippines.” The situation in Negros island, the country’s sugarbowl and hacienda capital, has worsened with the implementation of Rodrigo Duterte’s Memorandum Order 32 in Negros, Samar, and Bicol. This counter-insurgency policy, which aims to “suppress lawless violence and acts of terror” and “prevent such violence from spreading and escalating elsewhere in the country,” has marked an over 300% increase in the rate of extra-judicial killings on the island since its imposition. The number of civilian murders in the two Negros provinces has spiked to 87, mostly farmers and land reform activists. Farmers who stand up for their right to own land are suppressed by the state, with at least 226 farmers killed nationwide since Duterte was elected. Negros has been tagged a “war laboratory,” with state forces quelling the peasant movement in the same manner they have killed suspected drug pushers and addicts, that is to say, “Tokhang-style.”

“Stories of Struggle” narrates the roots of feudal exploitation in Negros since Spanish colonization and how it has been carried over decades later by government policies such as Ferdinand Marcos’ Presidential Decree 27 and Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino’s Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (or CARP, which is still implemented today with extension and reforms). The discussion focuses on the success of grassroots projects and people’s movements in pushing for land reform, in contrast to the loopholes and failures of CARP leading to the current state of feudal unrest in Negros. Through the stories of agricultural workers, farmers, and community organizers led by the Paghida-et sa Kauswagan Development Group, the book presents lessons in land occupation and collective farming as well as the dangers posed by market-driven and neoliberal schemes such as land-use conversion by the landlord class.

SAKA, as co-convenor of Defend Negros #stoptheattacks Network and in coordination with University of the Philippines Press, will host KAPASIKARAN: “Stories of Struggle” with Prof. Ma. Diosa Labiste on September 14, 2019, at UPper Shelf Bookstore, UP Town Center, Quezon City. The gathering features speakers from SAKA, Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura, Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy, Gantala Press, and Anakpawis Partylist to focus on a people-centered agrarian reform program as basis for a truly democratic and humane society.

We hope to see you there to stand with us and enrich our awareness on the following demands:

#StopTheAttacks against the peasant sector!
#StopKillingFarmers and peasant advocates now! #EndImpunity!
#StopMilitarizationNow and #DefendNegros!
#FreeLandDistribution through genuine agrarian reform! #PushGARB now!

No entrance fee. To confirm your attendance, please visit the Event page:

GANDANG-GANDA SA SARILING GAWA! All-women Art & Small Press Fair

September 20, 2019, UP-Mindanao | 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM – Forum on Zines and Bite-size Awareness; 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Forum on Anti-Rape Culture

September 21, 2019, Ateneo de Davao University | 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM – Forum on Small Presses and Insuppressible Press Freedom; 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Zine-making workshop

September 21, 2019, Suazo Bar Rooftop | 6:00 PM – 12:00 AM – All-Women Art & Small Press Expo

Gandang-Ganda sa Sariling Gawa! (GGSSG!) is an annual all-women art and small press fair organized by Gantala Press in partnership with the Cultural Center of the Philippines Intertextual Division. First conducted in 2018, the event calls for women creators to come together for a day to sell and showcase their works such as books, zines, stickers, illustrations, and comics.

Now, in partnership with Balud Art Network, UP-Mindanao BA English (Creative Writing) Program, and Ateneo de Davao University, with the support of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts and RM 74, we are bringing GGSSG! to Davao City on September 20-21, 2019.

Join our forums in UP-Mindanao and in Ateneo de Davao University on September 20-21, and our all-women art & small press at the Suazo Bar Rooftop on September 21, 2019. No entrance fee for all events.


MAKISAWSAW NA! Talk, Book Launch, Sawsawan-making Demo

September 29, 2019, 2 PM, Good Food Sundays, Mandala Park, Mandaluyong City

To round up the month of rains and food issues, we are taking the discussion out of the kitchen and into the market. Me & My Veg Mouth and Gantala Press will launch MAKISAWSAW: Recipes x Ideas and facilitate a discussion with Amihan Peasant Women on how rice liberalization is affecting our farmers and what we can do to support them. In true Makisawsaw fashion, there will be a sawsawan-making demo for everyone. No entrance fee. Makisawsaw na!