Sunday, December 20, 2015

2015 ~ Year in Review

Early this year, my eldest son, Sandino, wanted to recreate his visit with his sister, Aja, his father & I to the Yucatan. Sandino was 5 years old, Aja three and our visit to Cancun, Isla Mujers and Tulum at a young age was an experience he hoped his daughter would have. I suppose my nudging got him to invite us all to his 2014 end-of-the-year-bonus vacation package to join Amaya & his girlfriend... and so Aja, Dario & Aaliyah, Corazon & Joaquin and I shared a special time in the Yucatan. With a successful son like mine, it was a substantial upgrade! My ex and I used to do budget travel ~ mostly buses through Mexico... this time we stayed in a condo, took taxis or walked, jumped on a tour bus and ate exquisitely... & of course, drank Mexico's favorite medicine: tequila. Here I am at my favorite spot with my wonderful children, all now grown, some with children & all glowing from finally accepting their Mexican heritage. Having not being able to grow up with their paternal grandfather, they mostly are culturally Nicoya/Ilocano/Pangasinan/American ~ but this trip gave them pride in having Mexican heritage too.

Yup, it's a California Poppy! I spent most of the time in California. That's because we moved... there's no photo, but I have a new home here in Sonoma County & my travels have been all around my new home.  It's got a huge garden, although many of the plants of the previous owner had died off or floundered because it was a huge drought year yet again. Many of the plants in the garden are non-native, requiring lots of water to thrive. I cut back on the watering and the poor plants have suffered, but this is California, we've got global warming, and I need to replace many of these with local plants that can live in this crazy weather. It's been a busy year, but I am starting to feel more settled...but...

The biggest change has been our pup, Chica, a pitt bull. I'm getting lots of exercizing walking & discovering different beautiful places in Sonoma County... wineries, parks, even some outdoor malls.... She needs lots of attention and so that means not much dance for me anymore (hey, I already had cut back a lot from all my herbal studies!!!!), but I get a lot of time outdoors in nature!

We had one big scare & that was that she's allergic to bees. On a walk to a local park, she collapsed & I was thankful to get her to a vet in time. I would like to thank a wonderful Mexican soccer player and his compassionate wife (who pulled him out of his game) by assisting me. He carried her & ran all the way to the other side of the park to put her into my car. TGI futbol!

Balik Sa Dagat ~  Bangka Journey ~ Laga, CA Circle ~ Kalingafornia Laga ~ here we are joined together on a journey to bring celebration of Filipino culture & heritage to Santa Rosa for it's Luther Burbank parade. It was tons of work, but also tons of fun! I am so thankful to be immersed in a friendship circle that is doing really good work in revitalizing our traditions, which is very hard to do in the diaspora. Congratulations to us all on our hard work and commitment to keeping our traditions strong!

Speaking of traditions here with my kids &  Rara Tou Limen, with Portsha Jefferson & Daniel Brevil, with fabulous music, choreography, vision, and spiritually fulfilling community offerings. Aibobo!
SF Carnaval is not complete with my menina ~ Our sisters dance with different contingents, but we always bring spirit on strong for healing for our communities ~ I am thankful for my sisters, who have held me up when I was down. Meci ~ gracias ~ arigato 

The Giants series & our victory was a highlight for me! These two little girls have brought tons of joy to my life and each others. We took a great road trip with Aja to Oregon this year too and every family event is complete when the two girls are together. May these cousins enjoy each other's company, comfort, laughter, joy, learning, and support forever. May their lives help make a better world for everyone!

 I traveled to Granby, Colorado for the American Herbalist Guild's Herbal Symposium. I loved it, learned a lot and earned a certificate in the Medical track. Interestingly, I met fabulous folks in the Diversity Committee and hope to continue to build a relationship with them and see the progress of the AHG in providing accessibility and diversity in Herbal Medicine. While the Symposium was filled with a number of informative sessions, as a person of Color, I was disappointed with how few of us were there and the lack of many of us teaching. In any case, there's always room for change, and with the state of our world with it's intolerance of other people's class, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality & gender, we can use some change.  Here I am with Christopher Hobbs & unknown friend. He was the husband of Leslie Gardner, my gardening & herbal mythology teacher from the California School of Herbal Studies and Founder of Sonoma County Herbal Exchange. Our Rootie 2013 group loved her immensely and we were her last class before her transition. RIP

This is the view we had each day of Kawa Ariki Training we had from Maori Healers, Atarangi & Terrence Muru and Manu Koreha. I've been studying with the Maori Healers for a bit and this training of mirimiri, romiromi and spiritual healing has been developed by the Maori Healers, who are making a worldwide impact by sharing their ancestral knowledge beyond Aotearoa.

& here's a sample of how to use your feet, besides walking... Feel like healing? Follow the Maori Healers and schedule a session when they travel to your country... or visit them in Aotearoa... your life will never be the same again and you will be grateful for it.

And finally, before the December holiday, the meninas traveled to Thailand to witness the beautiful wedding of two of our favorite people in the world ~ Anthony & Boonchalong. This adventure brought us to Chiang Mai, Phuket & Bangkok, a diverse rural, beach, urban trek with time with learning about Thai culture, tradition, religion, food, plants, dance, and music.

My favorite times were early morning (yes, 4 am) food prep and mother/daughter Thai conversations & then... dancing with Thai mom before eating breakfast... and of course, eating scrumptious Thai local foods, prepared with loving hands and even delivered from villagers.

It was a wonderful adventure, unexpected for me as I had never thought I'd ever visit... but now, I hope to return one day to learn even more.... anyone joining?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Te Rongopae ~ The Clear Bright Horizon

I haven't traveled internationally since 2008, being focused on the work needed here on Turtle Island. This trip, Te Rongopae, was a call that I heeded, even planning it at the very last minute, but heeding its call and gaining more than I would ever have imagined. Organized by the Maori Healers (, Atarangi Muru and Manu Korewha, I have gained practice, insights, songs, dances, dreams, thoughts, inspirations and a new family, a Whaunou. We are connected by the rainbow bridge, our thoughts and actions, our ha ~ breath of life ~ and our tears of joy and pain, from the innermost recesses of being. I am honored to have made the journey and will share bits and pieces as time goes by.

Our training intensive was held at a wonderful retreat ~ Kawai Purapura ~ here's our dining hall area, taken upon my arrival ~ I flew in one day late and was unable to participate in the morning ceremony at the ocean, but was instead greeted by a beautiful forested area with lovely buildings at this retreat ~ my friends were to arrive a bit later ~

Friday, May 3, 2013

Transitions ~ Weaving a New World

Each week I journey from Sonoma County to San Francisco & Alameda Counties ~ hoping to drive to Santa Cruz County to check on the health of one of my favorite Shasta Elders ~

~ As I write my hands have seen more dirt, seeds, computer keyboards and textbook pages ~ but I am learning ~ I revel when I touch the softness of stems, flowers and leaves ~ buds of life to be woven to support ours as plants always have ~ threads of cotton, threads of wool, maybe flax or dogwood ~ may our hands return to simple things that bring us pleasure, joy, comfort, warmth and a connection to our true inner beings where light is the rule ~ feeling good about our Laga, CA Circle ~ our weavers encircled in Kalinga looms ~ weaving a new vision for the SF Bay Area to the beat of tongatong in the distance rolling to us over the waves ~ an undulating rhythm that keeps us upright, strong, nimble, quick and resilient ~ weave on little sisters ~ weave on ~

Thursday, April 4, 2013

New Beginnings, New Life, New Student

~ from one classroom to the next ~ my role as a teacher on hold so i can learn more from the plants ~ i am a babe in this green world ~ learning all this new language of physiology, botany & more ~ it's exciting, challenging, exhilarating and sometimes exhausting ~ but i love it ~ & you'll see why below ~

~ it's refreshing being surrounded by these beautiful plants, this sweet Emerald Valley, each day at school in Forestville, CA ~ hope all's well where you are on this beautiful planet, our Pachamama ~

Monday, January 28, 2013


2012 was a flurry of activity, no big travels, only short ones, mostly in the SF BAY & once to Tahoe ~ love that place!!!

2013 has been a big travel of the mind, while sleeping, while resting, while healing in the cold winter days of January ~ dreams, daydreams of worldwide travels & learning more so I can do more good ~ just in a different way than I did my first 55 years of existence....

This weekend, a dance inspired weekend of healing Haitian, Congolese and local AIM style round dancing ~ finally ~ we're IDLE NO MORE ~ inspiring speeches by local heros & sheros ~ you just gotta love them ~ you just gotta dance with them ~ you just gotta write your local, state & national representatives, attend meetings & be active in protecting our waters & our land for all our future generations ~ here's one we need to fight as SOCAL drains more of NORCAL waters ~,-new-water-proposals-and-weakening-of-indian-water-rights-threaten-salmon-gains-141873

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Small footprint, Big Impact

Fall/Winter Update ~ Living in the San Francisco Bay Area ~

I have been busy with many projects since my retirement from teaching this June, 2012.

Danza Ye'Ja Love Medicine Dream ~ I am working hard assisting Grampa Darryl Babe Wilson in keeping our Mother Earth from turning into second moon.


Bangka Journeys ~ I have been sending prayer, thoughts and good works towards manifesting bangka journeys in the San Francisco Bay Waters, then into the future of perhaps being invited to the Coast Salish peoples' Canoe Journeys and even grander, in eventually building bangkas for longer voyages in our pacific, as the Pacific Voyagers have done.

Stitching Journeys ~ I have been learning Laga (backstrap weaving) from my Master Teacher, Jenny Bawer Young, Kalinga. Each row of thread brings me closer to myself. I am honored.

Ceremony ~ May we all, each day, have gratitude for each breath of air, each sip of water, each warm flicker of fire, each speck of earth, each tree that stands, rock and mountain that stands, bird that flies, cloud that passes, insect that crawls, fish that swim, snake that slithers, stars that twinkle, moon that shines, sun that rises, music that fills our ears, ancestors that guide... these are the journeys I take this year. I have traveled far and have further to go ~

Friday, June 15, 2012

Mid-Year Update, 2012

Although I planned to attend the Kapwa3 Conference with my family...!KAPWA%203/c1669

 turns out my family needs me more on Turtle Island than back home in the Philippines... so I am postponing my travels for a time until the Travel Gods hand me a pass with a, "GO HOME," emblazoned on it.  Weaving and studying herbal medicine has been my passion this year & I am happy to announce my official ACTA Apprenticeship blog at:

My adventure into herbal medicine is a roundtrip ticket back to my youth! MABUHAY to the Oakland Hills, Twin Peaks, Mt. Tamalpais, Mt. Tuyshtak, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Mt. Shasta, the Cordilleras in the Philippines and the Sierra Nevadas, whose green forests and healing powers have soothed my soul. There are many people who have brought me back to my love of plants, especially my family, but I am ever so grateful that I am at this place in my life once again.

I am ecstatic that I am able to dance again!!! Whoo Hoo!! Dancing with Rara Tou Limen, under the theme of "Love, Life & Transformation," and the guidance of Urzulie Freda, was truly heartfelt... I have been seeing and feeling love from every direction!!!! Even Aja is letting me wear her turquoise heart ~ loving it!

Another exciting update is that Leng Leng and I are truly on the path to our future of Water Dreams ~ we've been gifted a log for a canoe & you can read about that on her blog at:

A special thanks to the Manang Diane Vendiola, her daughter Shelly and the entire Vendiola family, for embracing us when we went to Swinomish to assist with protecting Mother Earth during the "Paddle to Swinomish" Journey in 2011. Check them out at:

And I am ever so grateful to assist Grampa Babe (Daryll Babe Wilson), Pit River Indian, in planting the seeds of the Dream of Danza Ye'ja into being for the healing of Mother Earth.

May we all remember how to respect all beings ~ may our memories from our ancient path bring us to the beauty of creation that creation may continue in a positive good way ~ may all embrace their divinity and walk in a good way ~ a special thank you to my mom, my father, my grandparents and all my ancestors. Another thank you to my children, my grandchildren and all those generations into the future that depend on us for a good way of being that we will respect and love our Mother Earth for all that follow. To all my relations ~ I am thankful to be in this world with you ~ Obrigado! Arigato! Gracia! Salamat! Agyamanak! Meci! Mahalo! & finally, as I remember the Manongs always shouting, "MABUHAY!!!"