Welcome

This place holds pieces of my research and reflections by way of word, song, poetry, and academic conversation.

My work mainly focuses on the following:

  • the intergenerational transmission of trauma
  • postcolonial critique and the colonial mentality
  • spirituality, missions, and the church
  • racial identity
  • the theology of hospitality
  • therapeutic approaches and tools in multicultural settings

Writing

Formidable & Loved Part ii: Conversations on Identity & Belonging

I love using food metaphor. With that, I love ‘setting the table’ for friends and strangers to feast and feel safe enough to have meaningful and courageous conversations. On the evening of August 17th in downtown Seattle, I had the immense delight and privilege to ‘set the table’ for people to bear witness to a …

“Formidable & Loved: The Story of a Migrant”

FREE ADMISSION. Invite your friends! Through music, storytelling, and poetry, we will explore the dynamics and issues exclusive to the minority experience in the United States. While it is necessary to talk about immigration, systemic oppression, stereotypes, etc., we easily get “in our heads” with these matters and still miss the person’s face by focusing …

Speaking

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

Bare Witness : On vulnerability & becoming
November 9, 2019, at Cedar & Spokes Coffee and Bar, Seattle, WA

Confronting Reality: Toward a De-Colonial Spirituality
November 18, 2019 at Coastland Commons, Northminster Presbyterian Church
7706 25th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117. Be sure to RSVP here.

Previous speaking engagements here.

We are now accepting booking requests in Spring 2020!

Invite Gabes to speak and/or perform at your next event or podcast episode to engage the topics that range from decolonization, culture and identity, belonging, social justice, racial and intergenerational trauma, colonialism and oppressive power structures, spirituality, hospitality, and more

The Violation of Hospitality

Ang Mga Sugatang Kamay na Naghain sa Lamesa
(The Scarred Hands that Set the Table)

Abstract: Artifacts of postcolonialism are in the traditions, language, and economic realities of Filipino culture. The continuing effects from centuries of regime did not leave the Filipino mentality and behavior untouched, especially their self-identity in relation to the American people and their culture whom they feel viscerally inferior to. This cultural dynamic becomes exploitative when the Filipino’s self-inferiority is used by the American to maintain in a position of power and advantage. This work explores how this dynamic occurs in relationships between employers and employees, and interactions between caretakers and guests within hospitality industries. There are stories, oftentimes unreported or hidden by the industry, where the American employer and customer manipulate the subservient Filipino worker and take advantage of their tendency to not stand up for themselves while in the presence of authority—even in the event of being mistreated and unfairly waged by employers, and/or assaulted and discriminated by hotel occupants and customers. By exploring a Filipino hotel worker’s experience in the industry, this project will engage the complexities of how the Philippines’ postcolonial history, which does not exempt the development of Filipino spirituality, created continually damaging consequences seen in corrupt power dynamics, and the self-inferior mentality of Filipinos. The crisis in these industries compromises the integrity of their work by misunderstanding and violating the true meaning of hospitality, and exposes how oppression from colonization persists and took on a different form today.

Music

This song is written about my body and to my body—the body of a Filipino woman that is oftentimes invisible and misunderstood.

As a minority in the United States, there have been countless moments when I intentionally assimilated in order to survive and to belong. This involved actively rejecting my body for approval and safety–which I wasn’t aware were a false sense of approval and safety.

The song is a letter of apology and gratitude to my body. I apologized for the times I participated in the process of being invisible through my assimilation. Here, I also thanked my body for being the home that continues to hold me. It is precisely the home that makes me resilient, and the home that has been holding my heart and keeping me alive.

Interested in hearing more? Look here.