What Is Grrrl Gang Manila and Why Should You Be Part of It?
Just in time for Women's Month, a group of women have banded together to rally Filipinas and create a safe space where women can talk face-to-face about issues that concern us. We spoke to Mich Dulce, fashion designer, milliner, corsetiere, actress, and vocalist, to learn more about Grrrl Gang Manila and why it's important that you be a part of the movement.
Mich shares that her entry point to feminism was riot grrrl, the underground feminist punk movement that started in the '90s. Her love for music—she's the vocalist of riot grrrl band Death by Tampon—helped her discover feminism. The former PBB housemate shares that when she was younger, she was always interested in feminism but she was also worried that she might get things wrong or her idea of feminism wouldn't be accepted by others. "I've always been kind of insecure in my feminism. I was always afraid to call myself a feminist because I was scared people would judge me and think my opinions were wrong." But as she grew older and got to travel, she found that there were groups of women who would meet and openly discuss women's issues without fear of judgment or rejection. "Every time I travel, I'm super active in riot grrrl communities and I go to feminist meets and there's nothing like that in the Philippines. It's not so approachable," she explains. "In New York, they have these events and you just show up and it's super friendly. You don't have to sign up, it's not hard to find, it's super casual," Mich shares. It was important for someone like her, who was insecure or not sure about her knowledge of feminism. She says, "It's easier to learn about feminism like that. It wasn't intimidating." She realized that there was a need for this type of female fellowship in the Philippines.
Mich with her all-female band Death by Tampon
Very recently, she openly discussed her decision to freeze her eggs. Because she really had no one else to ask, she posted her questions on Facebook and was surprised by the way some of the people close to her reacted. "For me, that was always kind of part of my feminism. That I talk about my body and use my experiences so that other people will learn. Egg freezing wasn't something common in the Philippines. I always tried to talk about it online," she narrates, wondering why people got offended with her posts. "I can't believe that in this time and age, people are still censoring you about talking about your body," she says, citing the moment when something in her was awakened. In Paris, she attended the Women's March, and found that there were so many different women with different issues and they were all there to rally together. "It was inspiring to me. There was no right or wrong kind of feminism. You can be your own kind of feminist," she realized.
There was no right or wrong kind of feminism. You can be your own kind of feminist.
She reached out to her bandmates because "they're really the people I've been talking to about feminism for a decade." But she knew that not everyone was as lucky as her to have a group she could turn to whenever she needed to discuss certain issues, so she set out to find other women who had the same passion about forming a community. She reached out to Marla Darwin, whose posts on Facebook especially during the Women's March stood out to her; early 2000s feminist zine writer Claire Villacorta, who she knew back in her DBT days; and Earnest Zabala, who was fortunate to have stumbled upon Isis International Manila when she was younger. This was it—the core group. "We like to term it as 'cheerleaders' instead of founders or organizers because cheerleaders are people who show their enthusiasm to rally together for a team, which is Pinay women." They were different kinds of feminists who all recognized the need for something like this in Manila.
To be clear, though, they don't want to monopolize the conversation. Claire emphasizes, "While we want to make this space happen, we don't want to place ourselves as leaders spearheading something. We're here to connect with other women and girls on equal footing. But to move this forward, we do have to put in effort to get the word out."
We're here to connect with other women and girls on equal footing.
Marla shares that Mich got in touch with her with the idea of a feminist community gathering. It wasn't hard for her to say yes because feminism is one of her biggest advocacies. "I joined because even if I am already part of a local feminist group, I haven't seen any effort in Manila that wanted to organize meet-ups targeted towards a broad audience. I always felt like there is a need for this," she says.
Based on her own experience growing up, Earnest remembers, "how grateful I felt then to have that particular space and that particular sisterhood, corny as it may sound. And I want my daughter, who is now 15 years old, (and other young women) to be able to have that experience."
The Amazon original series Good Girls Revolt was set in New York City in the 1960s.
As seen on their Facebook Page, the group is inspired by women's liberation in the '60s and the riot grrrl movement in the '90s. Its goal is to create a safe space where women can freely discuss issues that concern us—with no judgment, no hostility, and no pressure. The group is still quite young (they started putting everything together in January of this year) and they're still in the process of editing their manifesto. They want to encourage discourse to allow women to be more informed by hearing the different sides of feminism from other women. They want to acknowledge that everyone's idea of feminism may be different—and that it's okay to have differing opinions—but that there should always be kindness and respect in the community.
When asked about the importance of a community like Grrrl Gang Manila, Marla says, "Communities are important because that's where we find our voices. Filipino women are still struggling to recognize their truths in the midst of societal expectations, religion, and culture. We can only have shot at bettering our world when we don't second guess our intentions and when we have the support of many others like us. Communities invite you to be part of something bigger than yourself and help you figure out what causes matter to you. Young people now especially are waking up to this and it's only right to have something like Grrrl Gang to facilitate it."
Communities invite you to be part of something bigger than yourself and help you figure out what causes matter to you.
They're hoping to reach out to young women, which is a big part of how their logo and online collaterals are designed. Marla, a graphic designer who specializes in identity design, says this about their logo, "I wanted a modern take on imagery that you connote with letters you write to girl friends, diary entries, and embroidered monograms. It gives the community a personal touch." As for the illustrations, she partnered with artist Elyoo De La Cruz, whose personal style is "very Grrrl Gang (fun, cheeky, and woke)." Since this is a collaborative effort, they also want to engage with other female designers in the future. Marla says, "I intend for the collaterals to be a constant, evolving element of the community to echo the spontaneous and organic spirit of our movement."
What to expect at Grrrl Meet #1
"It's for everyone!" Mich excitedly says, when we ask about the very first meet happening on March 25 at the Bulwagang Tandang Sora in UP Diliman. "It's an open discussion," she explains. They want everyone to come and be heard. What does feminism mean to you? What are the things that concern you as a woman? They'll be releasing a few talk points on their social accounts in the coming days to help start the conversation and give people an idea of what's going to happen at the meeting.
Why meet in person? "It's so easy to be an activist online but not translate it into action. It's encouraging to bond physically with women," Mich on what sets Grrrl Gang Manila apart from just being an online community and why it's important to have face-to-face interaction.
If you're feeling shy or scared to attend, Earnest offers these words of encouragement, "I believe that what we know now to be true and good about ourselves and the world...we didn't come by those thoughts on our own. Someone took the time and energy to guide us towards our Aha! moments. And maybe that someone will be attending Grrrl Meet #1. Tara na! Wala nang hiya-hiya!"
What you can do to help
Spread the word. Tell your best friend, your girlfriend, your neighbor, your seatmate—all the women you know! Make sure to ask them to RSVP on the event page so there's a proper headcount.
Volunteer. A lot of hard work goes into planning and volunteers are always welcome. Send them a message of intent if you want to help out. Whether it's with reaching out to other girls or lending a hand at the day of the meet, any assistance is appreciated!
Donate. Attending the meet is absolutely free but of course venues don't come for free and a little will go a long way. If you've got some of your allowance saved for a new pair of shoes, why don't you skip the mall and donate some of your cash to help fund the meets?
What happens next
"The most important thing is to determine what is important to us as women," Mich says. There will be more meets to come. "We want to progress it into action when it's applicable. If there's something we can fight for, why don't we fight for it?" There will be talks so we can learn further; they want to do an art collective; they want to do craft meets, things that support girls. All the meets are free but they will be asking for donations, "Basically, we're going to pass around a can. [laughs]" The goal is to keep their events free and accessible because "once you start charging, you already exclude a certain group and it's not inclusive."
"We called it Grrrl Gang Manila because we want it to become something that people can replicate where they are," Mich explains, likening it to Girl Scouts, which has different chapters around the country. "Further down the line, maybe we'll have Grrrl Gang Philippines, with women meeting from all over," she muses. They're also thinking of starting a podcast and a feminist library.
There are so many plans for the future but the most important one is to be there at the first meet. Don't be scared to come out and meet women you can openly talk to about your issues, be in a place where you can ask questions freely, and a venue where you can listen to girls with their own definitions of feminism. All you need is an open mind and remember to be kind.
Are you joining Grrrl Gang Manila's first meet? Send this to a friend you think would love to join, too!
What're you up to today? Submit your OOTD, fanfic, essay, school project, org event, a pic of your latest hobby, or anything you want to be posted on the Candy Bulletin page!
Forget Me Not: A forgotten entry in Tokyo
Watching well-made films often fuel the desire for adventure and excitement in our own lives. Like many in their youth, I've felt that childlike feeling of seeing myself as the main character in my own movie. The genres often change with time and it goes from comedy to tragedy really quick. I used to think that if I closed my eyes for too long, I'd miss the best parts. That if I close my eyes then I'd be covering the lens to the camera in my mind. But I also believed that I could dream about what I see again when I lay my head to sleep at nights or that I can re-watch all my memories after I die. But now that I'm older reality has a tighter grasp on my throat as I trudge my rocky road to adulthood. My memory is failing me. I write this entry for that reason. Because I am scared to forget. I was emotionally and mentally worn. I didn't know it at the time but I desperately needed that feeling of childlikeness again.
Senior high school came with so much unnecessary pain and pressure that I didn't realize I was gasping for air. I always sat by the window to stare out during class as the voice of my teacher became background noise that faded into my daydreams. Before I knew it, I was packing a small backpack in the middle of the semester on a cold November evening to go on a trip to Tokyo. This time it wasn't a dream and it felt as if time stood still.
While my friends and classmates were back home in their classrooms going on with their lives and schoolwork, I on the other hand was two-thousand miles away in a foreign land with a foreign language where my basic knowledge was not enough for me to survive on my own. Like passing through the Torii gate which the Japanese believe brings humans into the land of the spirits, I was in a new world. The breeze felt like a cold nip at the tip of my nose as autumn was nearing winter but I've never breathed in air fresher. I was welcomed into a small and warm Japanese home with lovely little folded cranes on a humble dinner table.
My aunt who was far lovelier and even more vibrant than the colors on the delicately folded cranes was there to welcome me as well. The paper cranes weren't the only things she prepared for my one-week stay. On a little pink card, she had my name along with my Tokyo address handwritten in Japanese for our rides on the bus & bullet train; and in case I get lost. She also prepared a small pink pouch with cute yellow elephants on it. The pouch was filled with coins of different amounts. The coins were for me to spend freely on drinks and snacks in vending machines. It was all more than enough since beforehand she already prepared us 2 weeks' worth of snacks for my 1-week stay. On top of all that she prepared winter clothes since I traveled light and she insisted that I wear the pink parka that she brought before I came over. I find it funny that she still thinks I like pink but it's still just like the good old days. She's still one of the most thoughtful people I know. My aunt is a missionary in Japan and has always been like a mother and a friend to me. I sobbed like a baby in front of a thousand-member congregation on the day my family and I sent her off. A few years later, with my father being our Church's missions pastor, I was given the opportunity to travel to Tokyo and see her. Seeing her again was bittersweet. It's sweet since she raised me and is a big part of who I am and my interests today. But bitter because it hits you like a ton of bricks when you notice someone you love is has gotten older or weaker. Don't we all feel that at some point with our parents and guardians? On my father's side of the family, we have issues of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Dementia. It's hard to pretend that it doesn't hurt that after years of being with my grandma, she doesn't know who I am. As for my dad, on top of having Parkinson's he is starting to show early signs of dementia too. It's scary how quickly one can forget decades worth of memories. I wonder if I may go through that as well one day.
At the time these thoughts were overshadowed by the magical Disneyland rides and digital museums, sights like Mt. Fuji as well as traditional and Modern Japanese Architecture, pictures we took at the iconic Hachiko shrine, and Shibuya crosswalk, and even the small oddities of Harajuku fashion and merchandise. I took as many pictures every chance I could get. I wrote in my digital journal with plans to make a picture journal when I get back home. Japan was quite the story to tell that I believe rekindled my childlike spirit. Before we knew it, the week ended and I was packing once again. This time my luggage was more than twice as heavy and the destination this time was home. I dreaded leaving Japan but I dreaded leaving my aunt more. I didn't get to say a proper goodbye to her at the airport due to my not knowing that she was only allowed to see me off until a certain point. I cried on the flight back while holding a giant Donald duck stuffed toy as I just imagined her going to her small Tokyo home alone. I also cried since soon I'd have to face reality once again. After hours of travel I found myself back home in the all too familiar Baguio. But I was in distress. It wasn't because my lungs were starting to forget what clean air felt like or that I'm missing the life I've lived for the past week. But I was in distress because I couldn't find my phone. Why was that the biggest problem in the world to me at the time? It was because of the pictures and notes that were lost with it. All the pictures I took and the notes of the smallest details were a blurry mess amidst the panic in my brain. I never posted anything because I wanted to live in the time there and not worry about anything back home or anyone knowing what I've been up to. But what haunts me is that I don't remember a single one of the pictures I took. I was so sure that I'd be able to go over them when I get back home. I don't want to forget. It's been 550 days and it still bothers me. It's been 550 days and it's only now that I realize the lesson of this story as I write this.
As scary as it is to forget memories, we have to understand when we have to hold on to something and when it's okay to forget. I tried for weeks to somehow recover the pictures on iCloud but to no avail. We may not be able to fix the mistakes of the past or avoid misfortune that is out of our hands but what we can do is to move forward and make more memories that are worth remembering. Treasure the beautiful moments and the lessons from the terrible times. Cherish them and fight to keep these memories on the surface. If you find that difficult to do then strive to tell your stories to others. Because in the times that we forget, then we have others will remember our legacy. We can't be sure about what happens next though we can plan all we want. Often life doesn't have spoilers and may have a plot twist around the corner. As for me, I may never find those photos again but I made it a goal to one day come back to Tokyo and make more memories. That is a promise that I won't forget.
The Art of Doing Nothing
We have been confined with the worldview about the idea of success; thus, the word “productivity” has been diverted into a different meaning. We labeled the level of our success by identifying the weight of the works we’ve done – believing that the busier you are, the more productive you’ll be. But little did we know that this kind of mindset is a pitfall, ending up in a trap and restricting us to do more of what we can.
Every person has their own way of planning on how to get productive. One of the tips mentioned by Prosalendis was the “2 Hour Hermit Mode” where you just need to stay quiet for two hours to learn and reflect. Within the 2-Hour Hermit Mode, you need to completely shut down outside distractions and try to do nothing, this will help you to have a peace of mind and a quiet time. Focus. This word may be cliché, having a shallow meaning, but the reality is, focusing on one thing is one of the hardest things to do. Some people may have mistakenly understood “doing nothing” as unproductive, but this is actually a form of taking a break. I usually do this 2-Hour Hermit every time I am loaded with tons of deadlines. Just try to sit in the corner of a coffee shop and try to discover new things or just go to a place where you find yourself comfort and peace.
The art of doing nothing makes you appreciate the beauty of the mundane things - you get to witness how the leaves sway on their own branches, you get to see the unappreciated smiles of the people, you get to hear the sound of the birds giving you lullabies. You will never have the time to focus if you are too disturbed with a lot of things. Give yourself a rest from thinking about all the work you need to do. Don’t get distracted and give yourself the freedom of unfolding new things. The power of focusing and art of doing nothing will help you to do things you don’t normally do, and maybe start to love the things you once hated. Trace your progress. We don’t know how productive we are unless we trace our activities. I have a journal where I can write the things I have done, and the things I wasn’t able to accomplish. This helps me to track and jot down the things I failed to do within the day.
You are able to take a break and have a rest by doing outside the boundary of the tons of work you have. You will also be surprised that you have done so many things when you’re listing the things you’ve accomplished. This will not just give you the satisfaction but you will also be grateful for what you have done for the past twenty-four hours. You just need a minute to reminisce what you have done while enjoying the silence in the process. Small daily acts can be a solution to achieve our long-term goals. We’re always bombarded with distractions and piled up work, but nothing can beat the idea of staying on track and not feeling lost. By doing this, we will always be reminded why we started to commit on the things that we want to do. After all, what makes us love what we do is knowing why we started it in the first place. The problem with us is that we are too busy achieving, losing the time to see the colors of the ordinary. We are blinded with the idea that success comes with great productivity. We always think that we are defined by how much work we exerted, and not appreciating the effort we’ve given. The fact is you are already successful in acknowledging that you have done something, and nothing.
???????????????? ???????????????????????????????? ???????????????????? ???????????? #???????????????????????????????????????? 2.0 HOME MADE UBE CHEESE PANDESAL Bright-purple pandesal buns that reveal a center of melted cheese when pulled apart. INGREDIENTS: 6 cups All purpose Flour 3 tsp. Instant Dry Yeast 1/2 tsp. Salt 1/2 cup Sugar 1/4 cup Ube Powder 3/4 cup Warm Milk 3/4 cup Warm Water 2 Eggs (Beaten) 1 Tbsp. Ube Flavor 1 cup Ube Halaya 200 grams quickmelt cheese Breadcrumbs For procedure you can visit the link below. https://youtu.be/tgyq0JRbwBs
Sailormoon is my all time favorite Anime Character (hello 90's kids)! Sailormoon inspired me so much from Girl Power, my artworks, to my ootds and so on and so forth. So to add up my love for Sailormoon here are some of my Sailormoon Inspired OOTD's I have wore before Quarantine :) You can also check my other Sailormoon OOTD's here http://lilmissjaninekaye.blogspot.com/2020/05/ootd-sailormoon-edition.html
At 11 years old, I remember creating my very first (failed) portrait of Heart Evangelista that I saw at a Total Girl magazine. Today, I’m creating commission portraits that I could only hope to make at age 11. Because I previously submitted the photos of this piece in progress, I decided to submit the finished piece. Again, thank you Candy Magazine for featuring and publishing my artworks!