meet some of our members:
FROM: MANILA, PHILIPPINES | JUNEAU, ALASKA
FAMILY FROM: MANILA, PHILIPPINES
Trisha Fey Lazo-Elizarde Miller was born in Manila, Philippines and migrated to Juneau, Alaska before she was one year old. She grew up in an immigrant and Alaskan Native community, and was always surrounded by water and mountains. In this community, she understood at a young age the impacts of capitalism and police brutality on people of color and poor communities.
A church-goer growing up, Trisha felt a natural leading for her to organize youth and students to stand up against systems of oppression. Through a series of events challenging her racial identity as Pinay, she found herself rejecting her identity. By attending a predominantly White university, she realized the need to connect with other Filipinos and people of color. It was at this university where she further developed her skills in organizing people.
After graduation, Trisha married her partner, Drew and together joined Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines where she experienced her first mobilization on the streets on May 1st, 2015. Trisha is a founding member of GABRIELA Portland. Today you will see Trisha organizing women, youth, and students through cultural work and educational discussions to support the National Democratic Movement of the Philippines. Trisha believes that art and cultural work are the best tools in organizing any and all people for the genuine liberation of her homeland. She teaches Zumba at the local Filipino American Association in Portland every 2nd & 4th Thursdays at 6pm. Come engage in revolutionary dance and sweat off capitalism with her!
FROM: WAIPAHU, HAWAII
FAMILY FROM: LANIPAO NARVACAN ILOCOS SUR
Merrie-Chris “MC” was born and raised in O’ahu and moved to Oregon in 2010 to attend college. She organizes with GABRIELA Portland because she values the hardship, sacrifices, and love for her people. MC is currently studying for her Master’s in Social Work at George Fox University. She advocates for Refugees and Immigrants and women who come from a Domestic Violence background. Her passion is to have her own grass root organization that serves the people who are unable to access basic resources. MC will one day change policies to make sure that the underserved and underrepresented communities have equal rights.
FAMILY FROM: PANGASINAN, VILLASIS, PHILIPPINES
A little over two years ago, Veronica had gone on a trip with her mother back to the Philippines and could not help but notice that that trip was different, during that trip, she got to truly engage with her culture for the first time and made her first real attempt to try to speak to her Lolo and Lola in Tagalog. Once she returned to Portland in 2015, she got connected with PCHRP’s Womxn’s Desk, their Tagalog Lessons and soonafter, was involved in their launch to GABRIELA Portland. During the launch, GABRIELA was honoring the day of action for One Billion Rising and one of the themes that year focused on migration. Veronica had the opportunity to interview and write her mother’s migration story, which greatly moved her. Her mother, stories like her’s and her mother’s, and the systems that create our conditions are reasons that Veronica joined GABRIELA Portland. Serving the people and her community filled with amazing, courageous and sharp pin@ys and kasamas is what drives her forward.
FROM: SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA
FAMILY FROM: BOHOL & ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR, PHILIPPINES
I am a modern day GABRIELA because the love I've developed for myself is tied to my love for the people. My path has been defined by a series of compassionate, powerful pinays, and I attribute my politics, my strength, my empathy, and fondness for furry animals to them. I do this work for my sister, my parents, my grandparents, my cousins, and my WOC friends who challenge me to re-imagine true liberation within social structures that were not meant for us.
FROM: ANCHORAGE, ALASKA
FAMILY FROM: BOOT, TANAUAN, BATANGAS | TAYUG, PANGASINAN
He never complains, sits silently, and observes.
He doesn’t have a lot, but always gives his everything.
He is humble and works to the best of his ability no matter what.
During times of hardship, you can see it
In his eyes that he is struggling, he’s tired, he wants to give up.
The thought of his family fuels his determination to do better.
My dad’s determination to do better for our family is the same drive that I hope to bring to GABRIELA Portland. The traditions of my Filipino culture and my family are things that I cherish wholeheartedly and this is why I fight to keep our culture alive. I fight to have our peoples’ voices heard. I fight for my family who have gone through so much, but still work hard and stay humble. I fight for my kasamas who motivate me to be a better person. I fight to make sure I’m doing my part for the liberation of all oppressed people in the world.
Being part of GABRIELA Portland has enabled me to be my true self and not to let peoples’ judgements get in the way of what I am truly passionate about. The powerful, creative, and intelligent womxn of GABRIELA Portland are my true role models and I believe that I am extremely lucky to have found my community.
#sulong #abantebabae #parasamasa
FROM: CORDOVA, ALASKA
FAMILY FROM: SAN MANUEL, PANGASINAN
Hello, everyone! My name is Sharlynne and I was born in Dagupan City, Philippines. After my mother gave birth to me, my parents had to leave me and my sister in the Philippines. My parents had to go back to Alaska to work in the cannery. My sister and I lived in the Philippines with my grandparents before moving to Alaska with my parents. For the first six years of my life, I didn't acknowledge my parents as my parents. When I was in the Philippines, I was very close with my uncle. I saw him as both my mother and father figure. At six years old, I left the Philippines to live in Cordova, Alaska with my parents. After highschool, I moved to Portland, OR and ended up at Portland State University where I met Kaibigan, the Filipino American Student Association. Through Kaibigan, I was encouraged to attend Anakbayan USA's Kabataan Magkaisa conference. At this conference, I found folks who had so much love for the Filipino people. I decided to join the Portland Committee of Human Rights of the Philippines and became part of the women's desk. We eventually branched off into GABRIELA Portland, and now I am a Gab!!
FROM: POMONA, CA
FAMILY FROM: MANILA, PHILIPPINES
Aleris was raised by a dominant white parent in majority white communities in Oregon. Internalizing her white privilege, she actively denied her pinay (filipina) heritage for almost thirty years.
Coming to GABRIELA Portland felt like coming home. Warmth, camaraderie, and love was felt upon the first meeting. Along with a sense of rootedness, the organization introduced her to the political and historical context of the Philippines. With this awakening, her heart was continually broken as she learned of the history of violence enacted on the Filipino people. During her exposure trip to the motherland, this level of agitation only increased as she witnessed first-hand the Filipino people’s suffering along with their active resistance.
Being a GABRIELA empowers her to tirelessly fight for the values she believes in, those of self-determination and liberation. As a member, she is always encouraged to take risks, use her voice, and engage in creative solutions toward genuine and lasting change. From breath to action, she is continuously remolded in the fire that bore the revolutionary warriors before her.
FROM: JUNEAU, ALASKA
FAMILY FROM: WAIPAHU, HAWAII | LANIPAO NARVACAN, ILOCOS SUR
Angelica A. Lim is the daughter of Lillian and Mario Lim, Filipinos who immigrated from the Philippines in the late70's and early 80's. She grew up in Alaska, raises her son, Kai, in Oregon and has rooted herself among her community in Portland. She currently serves as the Chairperson of Gabriela Portland and the International Relations Officer of Gabriela USA. Her commitments to the Filipino people run deep and have been awakened through the National democratic Movement and her experiences as a filipina in portland. She believes in the fundamental power of the people, and the need to continue to fight on a daily basis towards liberation. She is committed to linking the struggles of Filipino people with the struggles of all oppressed people of the world.