Thursday, March 29, 2007

Chicago People! It's Sexual Assault Awareness Month!

What a great event! I really wish I was in Chicago to attend and get my nerdy on and take notes. If you are in the Chicago area, please attend and raise awareness around sexual assualt. You may not know it, but it's still quite challenging to be a woman in these times (sorry for restatingthe obvious.) Fore more info: click here!

She Speaks Volumes Poetry Poetry Slam & Panel Discussion
Presented in collaboration with Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media, Columbia College, Chicago

The She Speaks Volumes poetry slam and panel discussion fuse art and activism to impact social change. In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the event gives voice to the silence surrounding this issue. The event uses music and the arts to encourage young people to speak out against sexual violence and become activists for change in their local communities.

Featured artists, Diva Diction, are three of the most powerful female poets both on page and on stage. Bassey descends from Nigeria, Amalia Ortiz from Mexico and Ishle Park from Korea. Their unique native roots may have originated from different countries but their cultured personalities blend powerfully together. All three women have competed in the National Poetry Slam and have been featured on Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry on HBO.


When: April 26, 2007

Where: HotHouse
31 E. Balbo
Chicago, IL 60605
Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Volunteer: For volunteer opportunities, contact us at

Tickets: Tickets for the event are $15. Click here to purchase tickets online. For VIP pricing, contact Tanisha Pleasant at 312.762.2743.

Contact: Tanisha Pleasant at 312.762.2743 or


Join the artists for an afternoon discussion, "Where do we draw the line? Creative Expression vs. the Perpetuation of a Rape Culture."

April 26, 2007
Columbia College
Conaway Center
1104 S. Wabash, 1st Floor
Chicago, IL 60605
12 p.m.
Free admission
Register here

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I'm Offish!

click the logo to check out mah grilllllz <3 (c/o TEAM AGUADO!)

I'm working with my dramaturg and director today for the National Asian American Theater FEstival version of Guns and TAmpons! (Calm yawself. That is really my necklace.) PS: I need a tan badly. :*(

Other than that, here is my official blurb:

Guns and Tampons: A History of Violence Against Women I Know is the new work written and performed by Hanalei Ramos. In her first multi-media solo show, Hanalei has staged a series of performance pieces based on the experiences of several women who consider themselves victims and survivors of abusive relationships with family, lovers, and friends. By staging portraits of some of the most intimate moments of any woman's life, Guns and Tampons challenges our assigned definitions of womanhood and violence and how it is warped by cultural expectations, societal conditioning, and the more subtle forms of violation experienced by women.

The work features a myriad of characters assembled across generations and circumstance. Guns and Tampons touches on the found stories of a high school senior's found diary entries, the lost interviews of an undocumented college student, a couple caught in the cyclical dance of violence, the language of assault, and the many people who are yearning to understand how they function while maneuvering through love. Guns and Tampons questions what it means to be a survivor and victim of violence, and exposes their muddled boundaries. However, the work serves as a hopeful narrative threaded by themes of shared isolation, patterns of love, and the chances we take toward the secret hope of self-understanding. Ultimately, the patchwork testimony of several individuals transforms itself as the story of all women, and becomes a compelling glimpse into a world of survival and strength.

Guns and Tampons: A History of Violence Against Women I Know was produced by Gayle Isa and directed by Gary San Angel. The show was created through the generous support of the Asian Arts Initiative.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


What a great time to be reminded of how wonderful my friends are. Pix to follow (as I am not as proficient with Mac-usage as I would like to be.)

Thank you to
- all the folks who made it through the slush and sleet to attend the STK fundraiser for the People's Tribunal! GMA WAS FOUND GUILTY! THank you to Geologic for spearheading this campaign, SAndy for all the work she put in, and BAYAN USA for letting me be a part of this event!

- all the folks who attended the combined AnakBayan / Bayan / FiRE workshop on feudalism. Seems like a great time was had by all as WE. BUILT. SPARTA! and Casper-tonia. (hello! d5! you are still my faves!)

- Matt Pana and JOhn Violago for helping me out during my set. You guys were great!

- all of Kylene's friends who recognized me and buying Robin's siopao dolls! (Mine, sadly, did NOT sell.)

- Steve and Cling for hosting the fine folks of FiRE (Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment.) We had a great time!

- and of course, the lovely ladies of FiRE. It was amazing to spend this time with y'all, and I am looking forward to more funtimes as we build this community.

UNRELATED: So. I really dislike when artist blogs are not friendly and kinda focus on HOW DEEPER THAN THOU they are. It makes me uncomfie. As someone who has learned to manage INTERNET FAME (ha!) I like keeping it real by not faking it. (Redundant.) I would love to keep this blog just very light and invite y'alls to converse with me a little.

ALSO! MORE GIGS TO BE POSTED! Those flyers are coming in...and it's April, y'alls! GIG SEASON is upon us.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Brand new heavies.

COME OUT TO FIND AND THE Stop the Killings SHOW! I am really excited to share the stage with some dope folks.

NYC // March 17 fri - STOP THE KILLINGS: NYC EDITION @ M1-5 Bar
NJ // March 18 sat - FIND @ Ramapo College

Might be a good starting point for those of you who work with younger Asian-Am youth who are interested in learning what to unlearn.

Check it out, let me know.

Thursday, March 8, 2007


Here are some of my upcoming gigs:

NYC // March 17 fri - STOP THE KILLINGS: NYC EDITION @ M1-5 Bar
NJ // March 18 sat - FIND @ Ramapo College
NYC // April 4 wed - Sulu Series @ the Bowery Poetry Club
NY // April 5 Thu - SUNY: Albany
AL // April 10 Tue - Featuring with Stephen Bor and iLL-Literacy @ Auburn University
NYC // April 27 fri - 2nd Avenue Poetry reading series --- @ Lolita

and a new piece i wrote and performed at the KABALIKAT workshop at Philippine Forum:

Miles Away
By Hanalei Ramos

On the days her body knows
She is now used to snow
And accustomed to a wind chill factor
She envisions the warmth
Of her mother's smile
Whose second death anniversary she
Will commemorate with a novena.

She leaves gray thumbprints
with haloes of steamed sweat
on the glistening black of lacquered wood
beside the miniature cluster of clouded fingerprints
belonging to children who are not her own
but is paid to mother
in the absence of absence of absence.
In the last fifteen years,
It has become a pastime to
search through the desert mirages
that move like the waved surface of heat
through the high-end end concrete of the Upper West Side

The pearl that hangs off a fingernail
Digs into the seedy pulp of a tomato
Her hands see rows
Of just the bellies of fish
The smell of stewed coconut milk
Popping out between a table's
urgent panoply of reds and oranges.
She hears the neighbor's children fight over the lechon tail
her mouth waters for tamarind
and the contrast of green mango and shrimp paste

On the freshly cleared breakfast table,
Across from her, she sees the familiar face of her son,
still 8 years old after all this time
asking permission to play basketball
fully knowing he is not allowed to do so in his tsinelas,
fully knowing that he is the spitting image of his father
fully knowing that she will say yes as long as he helps clear the table.
She cannot even imagine what his life must be:
Him in a white smock maneuvering through
physical therapy school,
engaged to a classmate from Davao
whom she has never met.
He doesn't know it yet,
but she has already bought the wedding rings on her son's behalf.

she tries to imagine her daughter at the upcoming wedding.
But she can't picture a face
Outside of the still profile
in a tattered photograph
her daughter who she left an infant of 8 months after her husband died
her daughter who has learned to recognize a mechanical dilution
of a voice thousands of miles away
her daughter, who finds the only imprint of her mother in a queue
at the Western Union
in the center of Paranaque.

In trying to avert her memory
She wonders why
everyday here begins like this:
The battle between expectation and prayer
The hopes of her family
Living in her hands
To the point where
She looks into a mirror
And no longer sees her reflection
Instead, it is replaced by the amalgam image
of the family she has left behind for fifteen years:
the bellies of fish, her son in his smock,
and the daughter she has nurtured and advised in her imagination only
who will be here in about five years.

Quick Bio

Hanalei Ramos is a very nice person and a stereotypical aquarius. FACT: while it is a common misconception that “aquarius, the water bearer” is a water sign, it is not. It is actually an air sign! Other than that, she is a proud founding member of Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment, a mass-based organization for Filipinas in the NYC area. Hanalei has also toured around the country as a performer and is the author of Foiled Stars, Letters to Martha, and the one-woman show, Guns and Tampons: A History of Violence Against Women I Know. Hanalei currently lives and works in her native Jersey City, NJ. For more information about her, please visit

Hanalei's Google Reader