Over time, as development worker and consultant, I have woven different practices using whole systems thinking and regenerative design with creative practices. I have applied these in formal and informal contexts with grassroots communities, governments, the private sector, and in participation in UN climate conferences. In 2017, I co-founded an organisation called Green Releaf which supported communities affected by disasters and displacement in climate and conflict vulnerable communities in the Philippines
A DEEPER STORY
I have been a changemaker for around 15 years as a development worker, cultural creative, and design strategist.
The seeds of my work however, may have started as a child. I remember being 6 or 7 when I saw an iceberg out at sea, under the hot afternoon sun, on tropical waters while on a ship. As I was growing up, I didn’t realize this could have been a vision or a dream. This wouldn’t mean so much to me until I turned 23 and sailed on the Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior for climate change campaign. Sailing out on the open sea reminded me of this vision while I would encounter the story of the rising of sea levels, climate change, and the looming reality of climate refugees for the first time.
It would be 7 years later that I would encounter my first witnessing of climate displacement, working with psychosocial support for children affected by Typhoon Washi and its deadly flash-floods in 2011. I would continue on this path to this day working with climate and conflict vulnerable communities in the Philippines while supporting other initiatives around the world through networks I belong to.
Beneath all this work, I source deep into my inner world where I encounter a different way of seeing change. It is that part of me that has seen this iceberg, and continues to foresee disasters ahead of time in my dreams. It is that part of me that also foresees a future with hope, if we make choices from a holistic approach, guided by the next 7 generations after us who also reveal themselves to me in my meditations. Rooted in this dreaming and vision, my life-work is inspired by how we design with nature and how circular worldviews inspired by indigenous and sacred ecology can return us back to our wholeness.
My field of study and practice are in whole systems thinking, trauma - informed transformative art making, ecovillage and permaculture design, ecopsychology, and ecosystem leadership from different learning institutions and organisations locally and globally. The fields I navigated spans across cultural heritage conservation, interfaith peace building, environmental management, and humanitarian assistance. However, my true learning is directly from wisdom keepers, communities, the people, and places I have interacted with over time through my work. At heart of it all, I unlearn and learn lessons from my own life story.
This is a space I created where I can honor both my inner and outer worlds and offer it to others who are on the same pathway. It is the part of me that can speak at the UN climate talks yet share the work of shamans and elders having witnessed them work with nature to stop a storm or heard them generate abundance in harvest. It is that part of me that can design and facilitate platforms of collaborations across government, civil society, and businesses; yet still hold space for ceremony and inner leadership work. It is the part of me that is a changemaker yet continues to inquire deeper on how we change the way we change, sourcing from a deeper and higher place to shape restorative, reflective, and regenerative means of responding to the challenges we are facing today.
I had this powerful dream once about a woman elder who showed me two hoops - one was brown woven with animal hide and one was colored with the colors of the rainbow. She said that there is a difference between a shaman and a leader. I could never really understand this until now. What is clear is that both archetypes have profound influence on my path weaving soil and soul work together. Both hoops offer me the wholeness that I seek in the lives I used to live separately but rarely together. This platform is my space to weave them as a whole. Thanks for visiting and for seeing me.