EventsPress Release

GFN Launches SangDiwa 2015: First Annual Global Arts Forum and Exhibition

Philippine Fashion Icon Patis Tesoro to Give Keynote Speech

San Francisco, CA – Global Filipino Network (GFN), in partnership with the San Francisco Philippine Consulate and Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc. (PAWA) presents “SangDiwa 2015” at Kalayaan Hall, SF Philippine Consulate, 447 Sutter Street, San Francisco, California.

GFN’s SangDiwa is part of KalayaanSF’s series of events during the month of June to commemorate and celebrate the anniversary of Philippine Independence, which occurred on June 12, 1898 in Kawit, Cavite, Philippines.

“SangDiwa” was coined from the phrase “Isang Diwa” which literally means one spirit and figuratively “One Voice”. SangDiwa is an annual event organized by the Global Filipino Network (GFN) as part of its Arts and Culture track. GFN’s mission is to help build the community through the arts with the hope that people will learn from the finest artists from various disciplines of arts who share their personal insights and experiences to inspire, enlighten, and educate.

The Philippines is as rich in beautiful cultural art as there are many talented and artistic Filipinos. SangDiwa aims to promote this cultural wealth not only to Filipino-Americans but also to other cultural communities who may not otherwise have insight and access to this knowledge. SangDiwa also hopes to inspire the Filipino youth to appreciate the artistic cultural heritage of their ancestors, learn and embrace it, and pass it on to the next generation.

SangDiwa, a showcase of Filipino-American Talent in the Arts, is an all-day event:

The morning session comprises demonstration of various arts (Baybayin, Kalingafornia Laga Weaving and printmaking), musical performance by Pinky Harmony and The Harmonix plus a dance number by the winner of Filipino Youth Coalition (FYC) “Battle of the Tribes.

The afternoon session features a slew of Filipino artists with expertise in fashion, painting, journalism, book writing, cinematography, weaving and native calligraphy. In addition will be musical performance by Maddie Bartolome and MonicaLaire Mendoza (American Idol Finalist 2015). The Hinabi Project’s Anthony Cruz Legarda is participating as one of the speakers to talk about their big event launch. For details of Hinabi Project, please visit

Beatriz “Patis” Pamintuan Tesoro is SangDiwa’s Keynote Speaker. Ms. Tesoro is known as the “Grand Dame of Philippine Fashion” because of her creative and classic designs using indigenous Filipino materials like Abaca, Abel Tiniri, Mindanao Silk and Piña (extract fiber from pineapple leaves). Patis Tesoro was introduced to weaving through the nuns in her school in Assumption, Iloilo. During the early 80s, Ms. Tesoro was a simple housewife and a part-time fashion designer who tailor-made outfits for her circle of friends in their subdivision in San Juan.

The distinguished panel of speakers includes the following:

Marconi Calindas, an Award winning Visual Artist, dabbles on black lines and pure hues as his trademarks of distinctive rendering style. While his subject matter varies from pop icons to triumphs of the human spirit, it’s the boldness of his vocabulary that holds the viewers attention and continues to attract a widening audience. Mr. Calindas translates his art onto clothing using designs inspired by Guam and Northern Mariana Islands. As a writer, he is currently promoting the recently released children’s book about bullying ‘Of Petals and Hope: Sonny Sunflower Triumphs Over Bullying’ which he co-wrote and illustrated was launched at the Maui Arts andCultural Center.

Kristian Kabuay is the founder of His art is focused on the ancient pre-Hispanic Filipino writing system called Baybayin. He creates art based on the Baybayin script and teaches it around the world. He mixes calligraphy and images and works with different mediums on wood panels to toys. Each piece relates a story about the Philippines and its people.

Peggy Peralta is a graduate of the University of the Philippines and obtained her MFA in Motion Pictures and Television with emphasis on Cinematography from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. An award-winning and multi-faceted cinematographer, Ms. Peralta has collaborated on over 20 films dealing with diverse themes and cross-cultural subjects. Her works are distinct for their heart, energy and perspective. Geared with a spontaneous spirit and an inquisitive mind, every project she dives into becomes an opportunity to discover, create and inspire. In 2008, she founded Head of the Dog Pictures, a creative shop based in San Francisco, California.

Eliza O. Barrios is a multidisciplinary artist. Her work ranges from installation and performance art to new media art, all of which draws from her background as a queer American Filipina. Ms. Barrios is inspired by her fervent curiosity in how ephemeral space is perceived in relation to systems of belief. Ms. Barrios’ work has been exhibited at museums, film festivals, and new media festivals internationally and domestically. Ms. Barrios holds a BA from San Francisco State University and an MFA from Mills College. She has received an Honorary Fellowship from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program and is also a member of Mail Order Brides/M.O.B., which has been scheming, entertaining, and creating together for more than 10 years.

Jenny Bawer Young is internationally recognized as a Culture Bearer of Indigenous Knowledge, Skills and Practices of the Kalinga people. A Master Weaver, who learned the painstaking and time consuming tradition that passed down through her mother’s family, she has been weaving since the age of 10. Her products are not only authentic, but in high demand. Each item is created without the use of a loom most Westerners are exposed to; it is created with single strands of thread and sweat, which make each item unique. Ms. Young also has toured Europe and the United States as a dancer who has dazzled crowds with her renditions of “Banga,” “Salip” and “Chalichog.” She then migrated to California in 2006 and consulted with several Filipino American performing groups regarding Kalinga Cultural Heritage.

Anthony Cruz Legarda is a Filipino American fashion designer and textile technologist who incorporates authentic hand-woven fabrics from the Philippines and Asia into distinctive American apparel as well as modernizes luxurious ethnic cloth for the eco-fashion world. Mr. Legarda’s most recent achievements include: (1) creating an eco-friendly clothing collection for the welcome reception and fashion show during San Francisco Week at the Shanghai World Expo in 2010, (2) designing for Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the Science & Technology Ministers from Southeast Asian countries for the 8th Asean Science and Technology week in 2008, (3) and dressing the top eight finalists in 2007’s Miss Earth beauty pageant, which promotes environmental awareness.

Holly Calica is a third generation Filipina Artist, Educator, and Herbalist. She has been active in the San Francisco Bay Area Performing and Visual Arts scene since the 1970s hosting workshops, teaching classes and performing music and dance. She has collaborated with traditional artists and culture bearers for two decades and she focuses on painting, printmaking, installation, mixed media, weaving and the preservation of traditional arts.

Chona Pike equals Fashion design, fashion shows, fashion marketing, fashion education, model training. Ms. Pike’s fashion career started when she worked as a seamstress to support her family after they moved to the US from the Philippines when her husband became ill. Creating designer-level garments on a budget, she coined the phrase “rags to stiches.” With hard work and burning passion, Ms. Pike raised two girls, went to college for fashion design, and created several fashion businesses. As busy as she was, she somehow also found time to reign as Ms. California Philippines. Ms. Pike knows no ceilings in fashion — she is now giving back by building self-esteem in children and industry hopefuls through fashion.

Bernadette Martinez of Artery Press, in her own words “My print plates are inspired by deep realms in creativeness that surrounds my spiritual and mystical persona, inching away into the gouges of my plates. I print expressive works and challenge myself in gouging with unstructured backgrounds. I try to have a series-based focus because printmaking is an art that is uniquely identified from a liquid form of medium. I am constantly researching online or bookstores that inspire me in printing a series. My sketches of the images are my base to the print plate and I add more depth and details with freestyle gouging. My plates are prepared with a base image with no other images. I do not prepare any tools or drawings for background images. My gouging techniques are pretty freestyle. I explore and experiment in many ways”.

The Moderators of SangDiwa are Geraldine Solon, bestselling and award-winning author and speaker and Edwin Lozada, President and member of Board of Directors of PAWA, Inc. and San Francisco Filipino American Jazz Festival.

SangDiwa is grateful for its exhibitors, sponsors and collaborators who made the event possible with their support.

SangDiwa’s Exhibitors are Bernadette Martinez of Artery Press, Eliza Barrios: Interdisciplinary Artist, LAGA, Project Pearls, The Hinabi Project, Patis Tesoro, Marconi Calindas and Kristian Kabuay and Bayani Art.

SangDiwa’s Partners are Kalayaan SF, PAWA (Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc.) and San Francisco Philippine Consulate.

SangDiwa’s Collaborators are YFPA (Young Filipino Professionals Association), Santa Clara County Filipino American Chamber of Commerce, STAC-SV (Science and Technology Advisory Council – Silicon Valley) and WestBay Filipino Center.

SangDiwa’s Sponsors are Artery Press, Philippine American Press Club, New York Life,, DJ Darwin,, Manila Mail , Philippine Consulate General.

Many thanks to SangDiwa’s Food Sponsors Jeepsilog, HAPAG Community Café.

Admission to SangDiwa 2015 is free. Suggested Donation of $5-$20 is appreciated and accepted to help fund future Arts & Culture events organized by the Global Filipino Network (GFN).

Manila Mail newspaper is the event’s print media partner and Philippine American Press Club, U.S.A. (PAPC-USA) is

SangDiwa’s media sponsor.


SANGDIWA SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: Kalayaan Hall, 447 Sutter St. Philippine Consulate General

June 20, 2015

10:00 am ———— Morning Session: Door Open To Public

10:00 am – 11:00 am Art Exhibition (Continues All Day)

11:00 am – 11:30 am Baybayin Art Demonstration

11:30 am – 12:00 pm Kalinga Laga Weavers

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Musical Performance

  • Pinky Harmony
  • Mika Gorospe
  • The Harmonix

12:50 pm – 1:00 pm Afternoon Session: Welcome Remarks

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Topic: “Connecting The Community Through The Arts


  • Marconi Calindas, The Art of Color
  • Kristian Kabuay, The Art of Baybayin
  • Eliza Barrios, Inter-Disciplinary Art
  • Peggy Peralta, The Making of Harana Movie
  • Moderator: Geraldine Solon, Novelist

2:00 pm – 2:25 pm Dance Number by the FYC winner of “Battle Of The Tribes”

2:25 pm – 4:20 pm Topic: “Creative Designs Using Indigenous Filipino Materials

Keynote Presentation: Patis Tesoro, Fashion Designer and a Philippine Fashion Icon


  • Jenny W. Young, Kalingafornia Laga Weavers
  • Anthony Cruz Legarda, The Hinabi Project
  • Holly Calica, Kalingafornia Founder
  • Chona Pike, Preserving Culture Through Fashion

Moderator: Edwin Lozada, Writer; PAWA President

4:25 pm – 4:45 pm Musical Performance

  • Maddie Bartolome
  • Monica Laire Mendoza

4:30 pm – 4:45 pm Closing Remarks And Raffle Drawing

4:45 pm – 5:30 pm Fashion Show By Chona Pike

About Global Filipino Network

Global Filipino Network (GFN) is a non-profit media organization registered as a Public Benefit corporation in the State of California. GFN’s mission is to give people the platform to learn, share, and create a collaborative and connected community. GFN’s vision is to see a stronger and a more united Filipino community worldwide. GFN’s Slogan: “Stronger Together.”

About PAWA (Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc.)

PAWA is a Northern CA based nonprofit arts organization and independent publisher of Filipino American lit. PAWA has published three anthologies of Filipino American Literature, with the third dedicated to writings in tribute to Jose Rizal.  PAWA’s main goal is to create and encourage literature and arts for the preservation and enrichment of Filipino and Filipino American historical, cultural and spiritual values.

Media Contact
Dulce Dizon, PR Director
SF Bay Area Correspondent


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