Sorry that this blog has not been updated lately. Blame Facebook:-)

The Babaylan book will soon be out of print and we may or may not go into an e-book version. In my experience, it may take years for a book of this kind to get any kind of attention. When I published Coming Full Circle: The Process of Decolonization Among Post-1965 Filipino Americans in 2001, it took five years or more before it got picked up as a textbook and reference. Now the word decolonization is circulating in our communities and even in the Occupy movement. Definitely a good sign.

The next word that will circulate is indigenous. Mark my word.

If you would like to get a copy of the book, contact us on our FB page.

Bahay Nakpil in Quipo, Manila was the venue for the Philippine launch. Thanks to Tess Obusan, Mini Gavino, Reimon Cosare, and Melotte de Castro for organizing the event.

Here are some photos from the event:

Thanks to Sister Mary John Mananzan, Katrin de Guia, Prof. Fe Mangahas, Prof. Grace Odal and the many others who graced this occasion.


September 11 and 12, 2010



Babaylan Book Reading and Booksigning at the PAN Pavillion on 9/11 from 12 to 1pm and at Philippine Expressions Booth from 2-3pm.

Visit the Center for Babaylan Studies Paviliion at FPAC. Mini talks and workshops with CFBS folks plus Reyna Yolanda and other healers.

The Babaylan group will be presenting at the following times

Saturday 2:00pm

Sunday 1:00pm Book signing

2:00 pm – Babaylan and SHEroes & Legends
Pistahan masthead

Leny Mendoza Strobel, an eminent Filipina-American scholar, was recognized by the University of San Francisco’s School of Education as its “Most Outstanding Student” in 1996 for the research project that resulted in Coming Full Circle. Her recent writings have appeared in the anthology, Postcolonial Theory and the US: Race, Ethnicity and Literature (University of Mississippi Press, 2000); Encounters: People of Asian Descent in the Americas (Rowman and Littlefield, 1999); Amerasia Journal (1993, 1996); The Other Side (May/June, 1995, Jan/Feb 2000); and the Paterson Literary Review (Issue 27, 1998). She holds the 2001 Gamaliel Chair for Peace and Justice of the Greater Milwaukee Campus Lutheran Ministry.

How can Filipinos in America begin to consciously unlearn and undo their colonized mentality? In Coming Full Circle: The Process of Decolonization Among Post-1965 Filipino Americans, Leny Mendoza Strobel offers a framework for decolonizing the Filipino mind through the recovery and re-imagination of Filipino identity and culture. The Filipino’s emergence from the culture of silence to the development of critical consciousness enables him/her to reconceptualize the Filipino American experience in liberating and empowering ways.

Coming Full Circle highlights the importance of: naming and telling our stories; opening the doors to our memory and imagination; using Filipino language/s to express our deepest values; replacing colonial knowledge with Filipino cultural and historical knowledge; building community institutions; and integrating indigenous spirituality in our lives.

COMING FULL CIRCLE will be available at National book stores in Manila, and from Giraffe Books (tel/fax 632 928-9269 or GiraffeBooks@AOL.COM) in Quezon City

In San Francisco, it is available at ARKIPELAGO The Filipino Bookstore 953 Mission St. @The Mint Mall San Francisco, CA. 94103 Tel 415/777-0108 and FAX 415/777-0113 Hours: 10am-6pm EMAIL: URL:

by Leny Mendoza Strobel
by Helen C. Toribio

From the poignant to the abstract to the transformative, Coming Full Circle is an intricate and empowering discourse on Filipino decolonization.

Drawing on a host of postcolonial scholarship, Dr. Strobel narrates a psychological process that has frequently been felt and acted upon by communities with histories of colonization, but rarely given a name.

Coming Full Circle brings to bear Paulo Freire’s pedagogy of liberation and Virgilio Enriquez’ indigenous psychology on the Filipino American experience. Utilizing the methodology of “pagtanung-tanong” (participatory research), Dr. Strobel leads a cohort of participants on a dialogical journey of transformation. By talking, sharing, and journalizing, participants manifest orality as a praxis for uncovering shared experiences and sensibilities, identifying many themes that constitute the decolonizing process. The participants thus create their own narratives and come to terms with their own Filipino-ness, revealing stories that had been repressed, acknowledging feelings that had been mis-directed, and appreciating what had been taken for granted: the languages, behaviors, rituals, and myths that comprise Filipino life in America.

While the decolonization process begins as an inner dialogue it is also shared, thus the process moves on to transform every aspect of one’s life (families, communities, friends), resulting in growing collective community consciousness. While ethno-culturally centered in the Filipino experience, its spatial location is not necessarily geographic, i.e. the Philippines. Strobel recognizes that the center lies in each Filipino, wherever he/she may be in the diaspora, thus making Filipinos “bordercrossers” not only of national boundaries but also of cultures and historical narratives.

Helen C. Toribio is a lecturer in Asian American and Filipino American studies at City College of San Francisco and at San Francisco State University. She is active in Filipino American community affairs as a member of several volunteer organizations such as the East Bay Chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society.

The launch of the Babaylan book took place  at the Babaylan Conference at Sonoma State University.

A handful of the contributors who shared this labor of love, finally celebrated the long awaited induction of Babaylan Book along with the 150+ conference delegates!

Sharing a moment with the book cover illustrator – Perla Daly

The amazing cake with the Babaylan book cover!

From Left: Perla Daly, Venus Herbito, Lily Mendoza Leny Strobel, Lisa Romero, Eileen Tabios, Karen Muktayani Villanueva

Table of Contents


Introduction: Babaylan Work Begins in the Body: Where is Your Body?
Why Babaylan in the 21st  Century?

Chapters: Our Babaylan-Inspired Stories

I.          The Babaylan in Me
Sister Mary John Mananzan, OSB

II         An Ancient Reed of Wholeness: — The Babaylan
Katrin de Guia

III.       She Dances in Wholeness
Agnes N. Miclat-Cacayan

IV.      To Our Lola’s House: A Pilgrimage to the Place of Beginnings –       A Collective Family Album
Ceres Pioquinto

V.        Babaylan Urduja, Imperial Memories, and the Filipina Diaspora
Tera Maxwell

VI.       Katibuk-an: My Journey Towards Wholeness
Venus Herbito

VII.     Babaylan – Our Filipino Spiritual Heritage
Teresita Obusan

VIII.    Accessing My Filipina Spiritual Authority
Trisha Agbulos Cabeje

IX.       A Deep Listening: Inang Bayan Calls me Home
Karen Villanueva

X.        Fusion and Fission
Michelle Bautista

XI.       Dawac/Action: A Babaylan Poetics
Eileen Tabios

XII.     Decolonization and the Filipino Arts Community in Los Angeles
Marjorie Light

XIII.    Re-imagining Possibilities: Before their words
Maiana Minahal

XIV.    A Babaylan in Rome: An Interview with Charito Basa
Marianita Villariba