top of page
(Becoming Good Kin)
Center for Babaylan Studies Symposium

Recovering Our
Traditions of Spirituality

August 23-25, 2024
Maryville Retreat Center | 18307 Taylor Lake Road | Holly, Michigan

At this time, we are sold out of all registration slots.
Complete this form if you would like to be notified when tickets become available.

Once upon a time

We scarcely now can remember

We were a people

Living well on the land

Each tribe—Ayta, Manobo, Ifugaw, Palawanon

(and lots more)

 Rooted in our places of habitation

Knowing the languages

 Of birds, plants, animals, rocks, and sky

Who taught us

Our songs, stories, dances, prayers

The unique particularities

Of our ways of being (human)

They were our Elders, our Kapwa Nilalang

 These more-than-human kin

Coming to us in dreams

Sharing their secrets, teaching

Not only respect, courtesy, generosity

But the wisdom of limits

Thus, as humans, we were never alone

Generation after generation

They lived among us, our Kapwa kin

 Keeping the seeds

Of real culture alive

Calling us back one more time

Into sacred relationship

About the Gathering

In this Symposium gathering, we invite you, our Kapwa in the diaspora, to join us as we open our hearts to re-learning once more this original way of being, its recovery, our only hope for the future.

Together, we will delve into the following thematics (and more):

Our Seed Inheritance

What is it that we have lost and how did we lose it?

  • Exploring our Kapwa wisdom traditions of spirituality

  • Understanding the trauma of colonial conquest and modern alienation and its impact on our sense of self and community

Regrowing Our Ancestral Seeds

What are ways to nurture the seeds of Kapwa indigenous understandings in the diaspora (on stolen land)?

  • Nature/the “Wild” as our teacher

  • Ethnoautobiography: Ceremonial steps to recovering sacred connection with our Indigenous Soul

  • Honoring the animacy of all beings (including the tools we use in everyday life) and shifting our relation from one of enslavement to kinship respect and honoring.

Guest Teachers


Ate Leny Strobel

CfBS Co-Founder and Elder

Wild is our Teacher (Instagram Story).jpg

S. Lily Mendoza

On "Becoming Good Kin"


Lane Wilcken

Author & Cultural Tattoo Practitioner

Lily photo_edited.jpg

S. Lily Mendoza

CfBS Executive Director


Lukayo Estrella

Wordslinger and Healer


Jim Perkinson

Educator, Activist, and Poet 

Walden Hornbill_edited_edited.jpg

Lodging for the symposium is limited to about 60 participants. At the Maryville Retreat Center in Holly, Michigan, we are pleased to offer several lodging options. Early-bird and regular rates are listed, and they include programming, two nights of lodging (Friday and Saturday), meals, and snacks.


In addition, a "commuter" option is offered. This ticket type does not include lodging, but meals are provided. We have the capacity for 20 commuter attendees. 


Please plan to arrive at the retreat center by 4 p.m. ET on August 23. It takes about an hour from the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) to get to the site. The symposium concludes after lunch on August 25. 

For registrants, we will provide support for coordinating rideshares from DTW. More logistical details are forthcoming.

Questions? Email the Center for Babaylan Studies Core.

Photo credit: Writhe-Billed Hornbill (Rhabdotorrhinus waldeni) | © Lorenzo Vinciguerra via eBird. 

Join Us

CfBS Symposium Comparison Chart Graph (17).jpg
bottom of page