Dominique de Guzman
Glenmore Custom Print + Packaging Award – Honourable Mention
Eat Gulay is a publication focussed around the lived experiences of young Filipino-Canadians. Inspired by my own experiences growing up in Canada, this project is a collection of stories and shared experiences and an attempt to highlight the voices of young people within our vibrant community.
At the beginning…
This project was heavily inspired by my own experiences growing up as a Filipino-Canadian. Since I was young, understanding and learning about my culture was something I struggled with. I often felt alone in my struggles being both Filipino and Canadian.
Because of this, I knew that for my capstone project, I wanted to create something that the younger me would’ve wanted: something that allows Filipinos to share their experiences with others and help build community.
Conversations with the Community
“I can’t change that I’m Filipino and I wouldn’t change that I’m Filipino”
– Monica Manuel
I probed the concept of what it means to be a Filipino individual within Canada and/or the diaspora and how aspects of Filipino culture have affected people’s journey in forming and understanding their cultural identity.
I was fortunate enough to speak to Filipino Canadians across Canada and learn about their experiences residing here. They provided me with many insights through their lived experiences and informed the bulk of this project from start to finish. From university students to working professionals, first and second-generation immigrants, friends, and strangers, these conversations allowed me to learn more about the Filipino/a/x Canadian community and what being Filipino means to these individuals.
Maraming Salamat Po!
A huge thank you to Jae, Julianne, Monica, Gaby, Jared, Joshua, and Brylo for taking the time to chat with me!
Reflecting on Representation through Zines
As one of my first attempts working with the community, two of my close friends and interviewees collaborated with me to create “filipino representation is not inclusive”. This is a zine that expresses our thoughts on Filipino representation by providing examples and explanations as a way to organize our strong opinions on this topic. This was inspired by some of my first interviews, as a common topic was representation and what it means for our community.
The illustrations in this zine were provided by Jae. The examples and opinions were written by Julianne and Jae. Edited and organized by me.
Printed on risograph printer at Emily Carr University, 5″ x 5″.
Reflecting on Culture and Identity
To further work with the community, I created two workshops/activities that focus on allowing individuals within the community to reflect on their relationship/journey with their cultural identity.
The first activity was a drawing activity in which participants were asked to answer 5 prompts with any sort of illustrations. The drawings could be anything: an object, memory, colour, etc.
A Letter to…
In this second activity, participants were asked to write a letter as a way to reflect on their relationship with Filipino culture and their cultural identity. The letter could be written to themselves, another person, or a group of people. The contents of the letter could be anything, what participants feel, their memories, their observation about being Filipino in Canada, and so on.
A Project for the Community by the Community
The name of this project came from an expression my friends’ mother would tell them, “Eat gulay for long buhay”, which translates to “eat vegetables for long life”. I felt this phrase encapsulated the values of family, care, and kindness that are present in Filipino culture and people.
I created a set of five prints to give to my participants as well as the general public. The prints are illustrations of things within Filipino culture such as food, national symbols, meaningful phrases, traditional clothing as well as an illustration relating to the publication.
I created this publication to celebrate and share the stories of the people I met as well as give back to them. The contents are transcriptions of parts of the conversations I had with my interviewees. It was made in an effort to commemorate their stories and allow others to reflect, relate, and discuss their own experiences. The prints and book are to be given to the participants of this project.
Below are a few spreads of the book.
Eat Gulay for Long Buhay!