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A space to encourage writing of Filipino American literature and the arts



Philippine American Writers and Artists blog for lit/arts events, reviews, news, and opportunities.

07/02/2012: M. Evelina Galang at Bindlestiff Studio (SF)


PAWA and Bindlestiff Studio present "Living with the Lolas," An Evening with M. Evelina Galang

Monday July 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Bindlestiff Studio, 185 6th Street, San Francisco

Join us to hear award-winning author and activist M. Evelina Galang talk about the Filipina Comfort Women of WWII.

From the author's website:

Lola is the Tagalog word for grandmother. And on Matimtiman Street in Quezon City, Philippines, Lolas’ House is a community center for a special kind of grandmother. The women of Lolas’ House are survivors of WWII. In South East Asia, 200, 000 young women like Pilar Frias were taken hostage by Japanese soldiers to serve as military sex slaves. The Japanese called them Comfort Women. Lolas' House: Women Living with War, a book of essays and portraits, focuses on 15 surviving Filipina comfort women, the spirit of each woman and the lessons they have shared with me, an American of Filipina descent who has much to learn about the legacy of the Filipina living in war.

The stories begin in the quickness of the tongue. Formal, unforgiving, the lolas of LILA Pilipina have been taught how to give their testimony –especially to the media. They follow the script. After ten years, they can look right into a camera lens and state their name, their age, where they were born. They do it the way prisoners of war are trained to give away their name, rank and serial number. But that is only how they begin because soon afterwards an eye wanders from the camera and glances at me, the one beside the camera, the one behind it. And then the script alters. Sometimes a lola pats me on the arm or leg to make a point; sometimes she grabs my hand as she speaks. Right in the middle of an interview, lolas have been known to lift my palms up to the light and read the signs.

Named one of the most influential Filipinas in the United States by Filipina Women’s Network, M. Evelina Galang is the author of the novel, One Tribe (New Issues Press), the story collection, Her Wild American Self (Coffee House Press) and the editor of the anthology Screaming Monkeys (Coffee House Press).  The recipient of numerous awards, including the 2004 Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Awards Advancing Human Rights and the 2004 AWP Prize in the Novel, she has worked as an advocate of surviving Filipina "Comfort Women" of WWII since 1998. Galang directs the MFA Creative Writing Program at the University of Miami and is one of the core faculty members of VONA.  Her second novel, Angel de la Luna and the 5th Glorious Mystery, is forthcoming with Coffee House Press in the fall of 2013.

Find Evelina online at and

This event is free; donations are gladly accepted.