“There is reason, after all,
that some people wish to colonize the moon,
and others dance before it as an ancient friend.”
— James Baldwin

Gabes (she/they/siya) was raised in the countryside of the Philippines. While she lived most of her formative years on the islands, Gabes experienced a great deal of geographical movement for the majority of her lifetime.

Gabes comes from an ancestral lineage of teachers, revolutionaries, musicians, and healers, and she lives their legacy onward as an organizer, singer-songwriter, and therapist today.

Her life’s work is to demonstrate how there’s nothing “post-” about post-colonialism. She studies and teaches how colonial structures persist within systems, society, relationships, imaginations, our bodies, and our relations with the ecosystem.

Gabes completed a Bachelor’s in Historical Theology & Philosophy at a theological school in Chicago, Illinois because of her fascination in the birth and growth of the Western church and missionary movements, along with their crucial influence on the Philippines’ history of Christian hegemony and colonization.

She completed a Master’s in Theology and Culture at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, focusing on colonialism and its impact on the virtue and practice of hospitality. She later earned a second Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, and her clinical practice and research concentrated on trauma from racialized violence and forced displacement. She works primarily with women, femmes, and/or trans patients of the global majority.

In her clinical work, Gabes pays attention to:

  1. selfhood and systems
  2. racial and migration trauma
  3. ancestral trauma and healing
  4. politicized somatics
  5. disaster and pandemic trauma
  6. spiritual abuse
  7. colonized mentality/internalized oppression
  8. narrative-based treatment
  9. attachment theory and culture
  10. abolitionist practices within mental health
  11. trauma-informed organizing

Gabes founded and co-facilitates the Heritage Workshop, a virtual workshop for people of color around the world where they explore and process ancestral lineage, stories, and medicine.

She also presents at academic events and organizes with grassroots movements that aim to advance international human rights and create accountability infrastructures from a transformative justice framework.

Gabes writes poetry and makes songs. She independently produced 3 albums of original music, and her first one was launched when she was 17. She has toured in Southeast Asia, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Photography by Laurel Yae of Nour Images

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