20 Filipinos to Watch

by: Kathleen Cerrer and Karla Atanacio

Tell us about yourself (personal, business, and passions).
Music is my business and I’m going full throttle with it. I’ve been doing music since the age of 15, and have been taking it seriously. I’m a producer, composer and singer songwriter from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

What excites you most about what you do?
What excites me the most is the artistic aspect, and the creative process such as creating something out of nothing.

What impact have you witnessed from your work?
With my music, I make people dance and cry.

Tell us a story about an obstacle you faced and conquered.
Doing what I wanted to do and finding myself. It’s important to know what you want to pursue in life regardless of what people say.

What would you want to see in a potential Filipino District in Winnipeg?
I would want to see a lot of celebration including food and dance. Too many things in life put us down, and what we need as a culture is to unite, and to put our differences aside and bless each other with our presence and vibes.

ANAK Publishing

ANAK Publishing is a cooperative based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, whose goal is to connect the Filipino diaspora to their roots and encourage them to define their own story. Some of the most notable books that ANAK Publishing has put out include the oral history book From Manila to Manitoba Volume 1, Sandok: A Filipino-Canadian Oral History Cookbook, Where is Winnipeg?, and The Kapre in Kildonan Park. These books can be purchased from anakpublishing.ca.

Tell us about your business and passions.
ANAK Publishing produces thought provoking Filipino-Canadian content. Our works bring together authors, educators, students, and readers to bridge cross-cultural understanding. Founded in 2010 to address the cultural gap found in educational resources, ANAK Publishing produces quality works notably in oral history and children’s literature.

We believe in building important social capital for our members and community. As a worker cooperative, each member plays a valuable role as an equal partner of the enterprise. Members prescribe to Community Economic Development (CED) principles, which observe the operational needs of the enterprise and the wider interests of the community of which we are an active part.

What excites you most about what you do?
What excites and motivates us most is working with such talented creatives – writers, poets, researchers, artists, and illustrators, and being able to create a platform to feature these Filipino/a/x perspectives and experiences in Canada. We believe it is important to write and document our own histories and realities, and to create educational resources so that future generations of Filipino-Canadian children are able to learn about the stories of the formation of their community.

What impact have you witnessed from your work?
There is nothing more rewarding for our collective than witnessing the look on a child’s face when they see a book cover featuring a character who looks like them. We see fascination with wanting to learn more about something they can connect to, excitement about being able to explore themselves and their roots, and most of all, pride and wonder in being represented in the depiction. This is why we love providing alternative and engaging educational resources and spaces, not just for Filipino children but also young people and adults to learn about their heritage, history and culture.

Tell us a story about an obstacle you faced and conquered.
ANAK Publishing has endured a slow and steady growth over the decade. In the beginning, much confusion existed as to the works of a publishing company versus a book printer. Some Filipino artists and writers have likened us to self-publishing and did not understand the necessary editing and legal structures that also take place in publishing. As a serious and new publishing house, it is important for us to reflect works that support our mandate, not only for the Filipino-Canadian community, but the Arts and Literature community as well. Our focus has and will continue to be on quality work.