The Center for Babaylan Studies Celebrates 10 Years as a Pioneer of Ancestral Indigenous Study and Practice at International Conference


Torrance, ON, Canada - September 3, 2019: The Center for Babaylan Studies (CfBS), in partnership with Kapwa Collective, announces the Fourth International Babaylan Conference on September 20-22, 2019 at the YMCA Camp Pine Crest in Torrance, Ontario, Canada near Wahta Kanien’Keha:Ka Territory.

Since 2008, The International Babaylan Conference has served as a unique gathering of community leaders, artists, educators, spiritual practitioners, students and more to share how modern people are relearning ancient traditions based in Filipino heritage.

As part of this theme, the conference will engage the question of unlearning settler colonial privilege and re-learning just relations with land, waters, and all beings and connecting responsibly with the original stewards of Turtle Island (the indigenous name of North America). 

"The Filipino value of kapwa [the self in the other] is always inclusive," says Dr. Leny Stobel, Professor Emeritus in American Multicultural Studies at Sonoma State University, author, and CfBS Founder. "We are extending our historical lens from 500 years of modernity to 10,000 years of how we have lived on the planet, changed its landscape and created the problems we have now. We hope that it will encourage participants to become more reflective of how we can face the crisis of our time.”

The conference comes as CfBS celebrates the 10 year anniversary of its founding. CfBS has become known across the US, Canada, and other parts of the global Filipino diaspora as being a pioneer in and primary resource for the learning and sharing of what they refer to as Filipino Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices (IKSP).

Hoping to be enriched by their learnings and the ties built with the Wahta Mohawk community during conference preparation, the international gathering seeks to find new ways to live with grace, wholeness, and beauty in these dire and uncertain times of climate change and ecological collapse.

While the conference delves deep into these modern problems, Dr. Strobel points to how CfBS aims to bring together community leaders and constituents from across the globe in what is ultimately a message of hope and unity: “We are not people separated by land but people connected by water.”

To learn more about the 4th International Babaylan Conference, click here.

About the Center for Babaylan Studies: The Center for Babaylan Studies is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the social, political, and spiritual work of decolonization and social liberation through the reclamation of Filipino indigenous traditions. Notable accomplishments include the academically acclaimed publications Coming Full Circle: The Process of Decolonization Among Post-1965 Filipino Americans; Babaylan: Filipinos and the Call of the Indigenous; Back from the Crocodile's Belly: Philippine Babaylan Studies and the Struggle for Indigenous Memory. Learn more at

About Kapwa Collective: Kapwa Collectiveis a Toronto-based group of Filipinx-Canadianartists, critical thinkers, and healers who work towards bridging narratives between the Indigenous and the Diasporic, and the Filipinx + the Canadian. Through workshops, community events, and interpersonal relationship and community networking, they facilitate links among academic, artistic, activist, and other communities in Toronto. Learn more at

CONTACT: Lily Mendoza, Director