BOSFilipinos Events Roundup

By Trish Fontanilla

If you’re starting to get stir crazy, here are a some Filipino / AAPI events around town to help you break out of your winter hibernation. Comment below if there’s something we missed!

Picture from the Board Game Night Meetup page.

Picture from the Board Game Night Meetup page.

Board Game Night - NAAAP Boston Scholarship Fundraiser
Saturday, February 23, 2019
6PM - 10PM
@ 50 Milk Street

This weekend NAAAP is having a board game (feel free to bring your own!) night to support their scholarship fund for for college-bound high school seniors of Asian / Pacific Islander descent. To learn more head to: https://boston.naaap.org/events/boardgame-night-fundraiser-2


Picture from their Facebook event.

Picture from their Facebook event.

Call Her Ganda Screening
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
2PM - 5PM
Dowling Hall @ Tufts

Call Her Ganda is screening as part of the Women Take the Reel Film Festival. More on the movie: “When Jennifer Laude, a Filipina trans woman, is brutally murdered by a U.S. Marine, three women intimately invested in the case–an activist attorney (Virgie Suarez), a transgender journalist (Meredith Talusan) and Jennifer’s mother (Julita “Nanay” Laude)–galvanize a political uprising, pursuing justice and taking on hardened histories of US imperialism.” For more information, head to: https://www.facebook.com/events/614960168935533/


Picture from Facebook event page.

Picture from Facebook event page.

Art Workshop with Bren Bataclan
Saturday, March 9, 2019
10AM - 12PM
@ Malden Senior Center

Filipino artist Bren Bataclan is running a 2 hour art workshop for kids at the Malden Senior Center. The $20 fee includes art materials, snacks, and refreshments. This event is in partnership with the Filipino Festival in Malden. For more information, head to: https://www.facebook.com/events/310297012937054/


We, Ceremony Kickback
Thursday, March 14, 2019
6PM - 8PM
@ Dudley Cafe

Join the We, Ceremony team for a night of networking with other womxn of color. There will be raffle prizes, music, and food (Dudley Cafe’s kitchen will be open until 7PM). For more information, head to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/we-ceremony-kickback-tickets-56543148078

Picture from the We, Ceremony Eventbrite page.

Picture from the We, Ceremony Eventbrite page.


Picture provided by Sara Porkalob,  from last year’s BF profile .

Picture provided by Sara Porkalob, from last year’s BF profile.

Dragon Cycle
Running from March 20th - April 6th
@ Oberon

Sara Porkalob is back! And not only is she performing her incredible musical Dragon Lady, she is also performing the next chapter in the Dragon Cycle, Dragon Mama! As a side note, her show last year was incredible and the BF community came out in full force to support Sara. I hope you all get a chance to see one or both of her shows! For more information, head to: https://americanrepertorytheater.org/shows-events/dragon-cycle/


BOSFilipinos March Meetup
Thursday, March 21, 2019
6:30PM - 8:30PM
@ TBD

Our next bi-monthly BOSFilipinos meetup will be March 21st! There's no agenda for this hang out... just drinks, fun, Filipinos. Friends and partners are, of course, welcome. To RSVP, head to: https://www.facebook.com/events/633231877134162/

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Picture from the Eventbrite page

Picture from the Eventbrite page

Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence 2019 Annual Meeting
Monday, March 25, 2019
6PM - 7:30PM
@ Pao Arts Center

The ATASK Annual Meeting will feature highlights from 2018, ATASK’s vision for the future, and ATASK honorees. For more information, head to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/atask-2019-annual-meeting-tickets-55408399013


Change the Way You Bake
Sunday, April 28, 2019
1PM - 5PM
@ Milk Street Cooking School

While there are a few techniques and baked goods you’ll learn about during this class, I saw that they had Filipino Coconut-Rice Cupcakes on the menu, so I figured it deserved a shout out! For more info, check out: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/change-the-way-you-bake-tickets-56342506955

Picture from the Eventbrite page.

Picture from the Eventbrite page.


We’re always looking for BOSFilipinos blog writers! If you’d like to contribute, send us a note at info@bosfilipinos.com.

Dragon Lady is Comin' To Town: An Interview with Sara Porkalob

By Trish Fontanilla

I know people have mixed feelings about Twitter these days, but if you’re following the right people then it ain’t so bad. Case in point: theater companies. A few weeks ago I saw The A.R.T (American Repertory Theater) tweet:

WHAT? Why hadn’t I heard of this show before? Will actual Filipinos be playing the characters? The last question was a gut response in reaction to some recent conversations I’ve had around minority actors. More specifically, the discussions were about Evita being produced without a Latinx cast here in New England, and the Daily Beast piece about the movie ‘Annihilation’ and Hollywood’s erasure of Asians. So as you can imagine, I was stoked to learn more about the woman behind Dragon Lady, Sara Porkalob. Straight from her bio, “Sara Porkalob is an award-winning solo performer, director, and arts activist recognized on City Art’s 2017 Future List and has recently finished her term as Intiman Theatre’s 2017 Co-Curator. She is a co-founder of DeConstruct, an online journal of intersectional performance critique.”

Something I totally missed as I was feverishly scrolling through her blog and her performance list is that she’s based in Seattle. Well, while Sara isn’t a BOSFilipino, she is a boss Filipino and you need to catch her while she’s in town performing her latest show Dragon Lady at The A.R.T (OBERON) March 22nd - 24th.

And thank you to Sara for taking some time to chat with me about her past work, inspiration, and how we can make theater more inclusive.

Dragon Lady picture provided by Sara Porkalob

Dragon Lady picture provided by Sara Porkalob

Do you remember a particular moment growing up that inspired you to be a performer?

Sara: I was born a performer! My mother says I came out of her vaginal canal performing and I am inclined to believe her.

I loved going through your performance list and seeing you playing characters that aren’t traditionally cast with Asians or POCs (people of color). What do you think the theater community can improve upon or do to be more inclusive?

Sara:

  1. Hire POC in all areas, especially in positions of power.

  2. Allocate resources, infrastructure, and decision-making to POC.

  3. Make EDI (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) Training mandatory for all Trustees and employees. Implement this ideology into the mission, vision, and programming.

  4. Create systems of accountability and actionable quarterly objectives.

  5. Engage with the community outside of your audience demographic, maintain these relationships and deepen them through community programming curated BY them, FOR them.

Theatres can do more, but I charge a consultant fee for those :)

Did you find that the more you studied acting, the more you were driven to be an activist? Or were you always engaged in conversations and work around social change?

Sara: I’m privileged to have been raised by two women who value social change and justice. Our household was talking about intersectional activism before they became buzzwords. The more I studied acting, the more I realized how problematic and white American theatre and arts education was. It was this disparity that pushed me to become an advocate and activist within the arts community.

Dragon Lady picture provided by Sara Porkalob

Dragon Lady picture provided by Sara Porkalob

Reading through your blog post “Institutional Racism Made Me a Better Artist,” we get to hear a little bit about the early inspiration for Dragon Lady, which is your family. What has been their response to the show and your other work?

Sara:
In this order:

  1. Disbelief and suspicion

  2. Incredulity and laughter

  3. Tears and catharsis

  4. Anger and healing

  5. Pride and joy

  6. Sharing MORE stories of the past, making sure I know all the details.

My family is my rock. They keep me humble. They are a constant reminder of where I come from and why I should never forget that. They love my work and think I’m the best of my peer group, but they could be biased. Or not. ;)

Did Dragon Lady always have music? What drove you to make it a full musical?

Sara: Dragon Lady has always had music. Transitioning to a musical made sense but required more capital and institutional support. The first two years of performing it, I had musical tracks and sang covers of popular songs that had special significance for the story. The third year, I had enough resources and support to commission a composer to create original music, plus create covers of the past songs. My grandmother was a singer in the Philippines. All of the women in my family are singers and the men are musicians. Music is in my blood. It wouldn’t be a Porkalob show without music.

Who / what (else) inspires you?

Sara: My entire family. Black women. Children. Asian Grandmas.

Dragon Lady poster provided by Sara Porkalob

Dragon Lady poster provided by Sara Porkalob

Performing can be physically and emotionally draining, are there any activities you like to do to recharge?

Sara: I eat Korean, or Filipino, or Japanese food. I also enjoy a hot shower, with a cold beer, and then some good ol’ marijuana after. I also love cats and enjoy relaxing with mine because she’s sassy and silly and doesn’t bore me with small talk.

How else can our community here in Boston support you (besides attending your show)?

Sara: GET MORE BROWN AND BLACK PEOPLE OUT IN THE AUDIENCE!!! That’s the dream, as many POC as I can get, I’d love for them to see this show.

One last question, because I read somewhere that your happy place is “food in my face,” so naturally, I had to ask... what’s your favorite food? Favorite Filipino dish?

Sara: Korean food allll the wayyyyy. Sorry, Filipino ancestors! Fave Filipino dish? Sinigang, all the way. With some patis and hot rice, yesssssss.

Dragon Lady picture provided by Sara Porkalob

Dragon Lady picture provided by Sara Porkalob

Thanks again to Sara Porkalob for being amazing, and taking time to do this interview.

If you don’t have tickets to her show Dragon Lady, playing over at OBERON in Cambridge, get your tickets now! The show is running for 3 nights at 7:30PM, March 22nd - 24th, with one 2PM matinee on March 24th: https://americanrepertorytheater.org/events/show/dragon-lady


We’re always looking for BOSFilipinos blog writers / subjects! If you’d like to contribute or have a suggestions, feel free to send us a note: info@bosfilipinos.com.

BOSFilipinos Event Roundup

By Trish Fontanilla

Hey y'all! One of the questions we always get asked here at BOSFilipinos is, "What events should I be going to?" Well this month, we decided to do a quick roundup of some upcoming happenings around town that you should definitely check out! If we missed something, feel free to leave a note for us in the comments and we'll add it.

Taken from the Tanam event page

Taken from the Tanam event page

Lunar New Year Kamayan
Monday, February 19, 2018
5:30PM - 7:30PM & 8PM - 10PM (2 seatings)
@ Mei Mei

Chef Ellie and the crew at Tanám are celebrating Lunar New Year by eating with their hands! We saw the menu in their newsletter and it. looks. amazing. From lechon kawali (braised and deep fried pork belly) to ginataang alimasag (coconut milk braised crab) to ube cheesecake with coconut meringue, February 19th just feels so far away! For more info: https://tanam.co/


Taken from the Craft Food Hall Project FB invite

Taken from the Craft Food Hall Project FB invite

Restaurant Pop Up: Kain Na - Time to Eat Filipino Food!
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - Thursday, February 22, 2018
Times vary @ Craft Food Hall Project

Craft Food Hall in Lowell does weekly pop-ups, and next week they'll be featuring Filipino food! We hear they'll have chicken adobo, turon (essentially a banana spring roll), pancit (Filipino-style noodles), and more. For info: https://www.facebook.com/events/963843737100752/


Picture taken from the ASPIRE event page

Picture taken from the ASPIRE event page

Hot Pot Fundraiser for ASPIRE
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
6PM - 8PM @ Hot Pot Fundraiser

ASPIRE, a non-profit dedicated to career and leadership development for Asian American girls and women in Boston, is having an all-you-can-eat fundraiser at Hot Pot Buffet in Chinatown! For more info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hot-pot-buffet-fundraiser-tickets-42993047362


Taken from the We, Ceremony invite

Taken from the We, Ceremony invite

Contemporary Women of Color Making History
Thursday, March 1, 2018
6PM - 7:30PM @ Cambridge Public Library

Our friends over at We, Ceremony are kicking off Women's History Month with a Cambridge Public Library collaboration. There will be a panel featuring three local women of color who are changing Boston and beyond. For more info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/contemporary-women-of-color-making-history-tickets-43008878714


Taken from the BCNC event page, image by Bren Bataclan

Taken from the BCNC event page, image by Bren Bataclan

In the Kitchen: Tortang Talong
Saturday, March 3, 2018
11AM - 12:30PM @ Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center

Cambridge-based artist, Bren Bataclan, will be teaching a cooking class featuring one of his favorite Filipino dishes: Tortang Talong! For more info: https://bcnc.net/upcoming-events/2018/3/3/in-the-kitchen


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BOSFilipinos March Meetup
Thursday, March 22, 2018
6PM - 8PM @ TBD

Join us for our first meetup in 2018! We’re bringing together some of the awesome folks in the Boston Filipino community for a happy hour in March. No agenda, just bring yourself and your friends! RSVP on the Facebook page to receive updates: https://www.facebook.com/events/1949448662037487/?active_tab=about


Dragon Lady
Thursday, March 22, 2018 - March 24, 2018
Times vary @ OBERON

From the A.R.T website: “It is the year of the Water Dragon and the eve of Grandma Maria’s 60th birthday. By the light of the karaoke machine, fueled by pork dumplings and diet Pepsi, she shares a dark secret from her Filipino gangster past with one lucky grandchild. Traversing 50 years of faulty family memories, Seattle-based performer Sara Porkalob presents this timely new musical about what it means to come to America.”

For info: https://americanrepertorytheater.org/events/show/dragon-lady


Image taken from The Wilbur show page. 

Image taken from The Wilbur show page. 

Jo Koy
Friday, April 27, 2018 - Saturday, April 28, 2018
Times vary @ The Wilbur

Filipino American comedian, Jo Koy, is in town in April, and you’re in for some laughs as he pulls inspiration from his family, and specifically his son. Did you see his Netflix special? I’m still crying-laughing about it. For more info: https://thewilbur.com/artist/jo_koy/


We’re always looking for BOSFilipinos blog writers! If you’d like to contribute, send us a note at info@bosfilipinos.com.