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(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

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 thematic (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 

Join Us


Early-bird registration will be available from May 6 through June 7, 2024


Attendees who register before June 7 are guaranteed a discounted rate of $75 off regular pricing.

At the Maryville Retreat Center in Holly, Michigan, we are pleased to offer several lodging options. Listed below are early-bird rates, which include programming, 2 nights of lodging (Friday and Saturday), meals, and snacks.

  • Full Bed/Private Bath (One person per room): $390

  • Twin Bed/Private Bath (Two people per room): $335

  • Twin Bed/Shared Bath (One person per room): $324

  • Twin Bed/Shared Bath (Two people per room): $279

In addition, a "commuter" option is offered at $208. This ticket type does not include lodging, but meals are provided. 

Please plan to arrive to the retreat center after 4pm ET on August 23. The symposium concludes after lunch on August 25.

Fill out the Participant Interest Form before May 6 to receive the $75 discount code via email. 

Questions? Email the Center for Babaylan Studies Core.

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

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