Tin Gamboa

 tin gamboa - dance artist

Photo by Lily Cryan

Photo by Lily Cryan


Photo by Kat Norris, Performance with Kathara Arts Collective

Photo by Kat Norris, Performance with Kathara Arts Collective

Tin Gamboa is a professional emerging artist who was born and raised on Indigenous land of Austronesian people, in a place now commonly known as Manila, Philippines. From 2010-2019, she has been based in the traditional land of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations now known as Vancouver, Canada. With her Filipino blood rumbling through her tapping toes and dancing body, Gamboa is excited to tackle questions surrounding community and culture through art, whether in live performance, group discussion, or guided improvisations. She has had the privilege of surrounding herself with strong women and works that are genuinely aligned with her heart and interests. She is honoured to have opportunities to dance with Kathara Arts Collective and Raven Spirit Dance, two organizations that work to support the global indigenous and she is grateful for the individuals and mentors whose examples and hearts have supported her growth, such as: Pulxaneeks, Michelle Olson, Babette Santos, and Rob Kitsos.

From July 2019-July 2020, Tin will be enriching her felt and experienced knowledge with movement and cultural research in the Philippines, with the support of the Canada Council. Tin’s focus has been on the effects of colonization as well as ancestry. She is curious about blood memory and present daily Filipino gestures that are laden with Filipino culture. With this practice-based research, she hopes to create work and spaces for cultural resurgence, audience participation, and rooted, positive change. 


Photo by Andi Mcleish, Raven Spirit Dance | photo featuring a tattoo by Butbut mambabatok and elder, Apo Whang Od

Photo by Andi Mcleish, Raven Spirit Dance | photo featuring a tattoo by Butbut mambabatok and elder, Apo Whang Od

 UPcoming Projects: Gestural Lineage

Gestural Lineage (Phase 1: Research) will work to share informational and emotional details in my search for my roots and ancestry, to empathize with the many people in Diaspora. I will delve into experience-based research in my motherland with the goal of immersion in traditions, cultural festivals, and daily tasks of its people. This research will delve into the daily gestures that are laden with Filipino culture. I will perform research in five ways- experiencing, filming, writing, movement research, and conversing with tribe members, locals, and academics. I will participate in immersion with the Kagan Tribe tribe in Mindanao, as well as the Kankanaey Tribe in Luzon. I will visit the lands that my parents were born and raised in. I will also be attending Pamati, in Visayas, and Kadayawan Festival in Mindanao, to connect with motherland through learning about various Indigenous practices, current issues experienced by Indigenous tribes, and various steps towards cultural resurgence. Jr Guerrero and Babette Santos are two adopted members of the Bagobo tribe and are board membrs of Kathara Arts Collective here in Vancouver. I currently join them in their vocation for cultural resurgence through performance of traditional dance in schools and festivals. Jr and Babette have respectful ties with the Bagobo and T’boli tribes and advise me on protocols and procedures to pursue respectful immersions between July 2019 and June 2020.

Photo by Forest Borch

Photo by Forest Borch


 maria clara project



about the project

Who is the Filipino woman? This is a question no single Filipina can answer alone. I aim to work with  other Filipino women to collectively reflect on this question and create movement that expresses our celebrations of being a Filipina/Filipinx. 

Maria Clara has become a byword in Filipino culture for the traditional, feminine ideal. She is a character in our National hero's book, "Noli Me Tangere," and is known to be demure, modest, loyal, and self-effacing.  I would like to depict her “soft” qualities with its mix of beauty and strength, as well as challenge the preconceptions and expectations of pinays. Picture the liberating image of a group of female bodies in a vast Filipino setting- celebrating their own ideas of womanly ideals as well. This project will use the medium of film to celebrate the Filipina/Filipinx in their tenderness, beauty and strength.

- Tin Gamboa, project creator 



what we did


local filpina dancers 

In January 2018, we held an open jam and call for dancers to join the film project. All 10 women were accepted into the cast.


After two weeks of rehearsals (with studio space generously donated by Nina Anonas), the dancers and crew travelled to a coconut farm in Lipa, Batangas to film the work over 3 days, utilizing local Filipino videographers. 

international reach

While employing artists in both Canada and the Philippines, this cultural and compositional research has both Filipinx’s and Canadians in mind. Each country’s unique history affects its people in various and specific ways. Both have experienced colonization and are still affected by it today— we are all affected by colonization and one of the ways Filipinos have been affected is in the confusion in identity. This work hopes to express and empathize with Filipino journeys and international journeys of that search. This work honours one’s country of origin in relation to being an uninvited guest on stolen indigenous land. In this way, Tin hopes to honour the land she is currently on, by deepening into the culture, lineage, and land that she is from and is forever tethered to.

Pinararangalan namin ang kababaihang naninindigan para sa atin. Pinararangalan namin ang kababaihang naghawan ng landas para sa atin.

We honour the women who stand behind us. We honour the women who have come before us.


how you helped


Thanks to your generous donations, your contributions ensured that we were able to pay artists at industry standards, and assisted in providing meals, transportation and accommodations during the film shoot!

if you joined us at despedida

more thank yous from us to you! This night of film and food was a wonderful time of community and helped to spread awareness about the project!



despedida: a night of film, food & music

(to benefit the mariaclara project)

despedida: to send someone off


When: December 17th

Where: Left of Main, 211 Keefer St. 

bar opens at 7:30pm

films start at 8pm 


- a selection of short films by Tin Gamboa, with additional films commissioned by Festival of Recorded Movement from Ralph Escamillan, Heather Lamoureux & Jamie Robinson

- musical guest Wallgrin

- traditional Filipino food


Find us on social media


The MariaClara Project would like to thank the BC Arts Council, Left of Main, MACHiNENOiSEY Dance Society, and Postmark Brewing for their generous support.



tin gamboa, project creator // rob kitsos, project mentor // kayla de vos, project manager // tegan wahlgren, composer // Directors of photography: Deej fabian, sami arboleda, john michael huang // dancers: paui reyes, deborah fuang, dane fuang, mika fabella, madge reyes, carissa laurel, montsie guerrero, aisha polestico, pipay era, sofia costales //



Cast & crew


sofia costales


  • senior graphic designer and creative head at Octomedia Australia

  • taking up Masters in Communication Applied Media Studies at DSLU Graduate Studies Program

  • part time ballet instructor at Rhythm Works

  • Dance School

  • former first company artist at Ballet Manila

  • travel vlogger and YouTube partner (#SofCoTravels)

  • passionate about dance and photography

  • is a beach bum...and multimedia artist


Deborah Lynn AFuang


Deborah Lynn “Debbie” Afuang started with a dream of becoming a bunhead. 

She started learning ballet from Ava’s School of Dance then got accepted as a scholar at the Philippine High School for the Arts and CCP Dance School. During those years, she realized that dancing solo on pointe wasn’t the goal for her. Eventually, she studied at the University of the Philippines and was exposed traditional arts practice and research. It was also there that she fell inlove with collaborations and travelling for work. She graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in music (major in dance) and a whole new perspective and heart for the arts.

She is now a dance mentor, fitness trainer, collab artist, wellness advocate, fusion junkie, and an adventurous commuter ready to find meaning and beauty even in the daily jams of metropolitan traffic. 

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paulina reyes


Having worked with various artists in the Philippines and abroad, Paulina has grown to become passionate in teaching, creating movement, as well as inspired to never stop learning and experimenting. Fresh out of university, she is diving into the performing arts head on. Beyond teaching in the studio, she is currently involved in a musical theater production and has recently been accepted to the Royal Academy
of Dance Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS) program. Paulina aspires to give back, teach students, and create pieces that would not only make an impact in
the dance community but would also be useful to society.


mika fabella


Mika graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines Diliman with a Major in Dance. Taking her first ballet class at the age of 17, her training began with Male Claravall and Breshnev Larlar at the Claravall School of Classical Ballet, and then later with Nina Anonas at Ecole de Ballet Manille. Mika later joined the CCP Summer Dance Workshop in 2007, and joined the CCPDS and Ballet Philippines season the following year. She has since danced for both the school and the company, becoming a part of several Ballet Philippines productions, including Alan Hineline's Coppelia, The Nutcracker and Xon Quixote, among others. She has since guested for the contemporary dance company Airdance in the recent ASEAN 2017 Closing Gala, held in Manila. 

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Anna Guerrero


Anna graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Barnard College of Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. While studying full time, she continued her ballet training at Valentina Kozlova’s Dance Conservatory of New York. She is a recipient of several awards from prestigious international ballet competitions, including a Gold medal at the 2017 Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition held in St. Petersburg, Russia, Bronze Medal and Special Award for “Best Interpretation of Compulsory Contemporary” at the 2016 VKIBC, and Silver and Bronze Medals at the XI Tanzolymp International Dance Festival in Berlin. Moreover, she was selected to perform in competition galas in Berlin, New York and St. Petersburg. She is currently dancing with American Repertory Ballet.


pipay era


Pipay Era is an independent movement artist. Recently, she entered the flow arts community through Legato Visual Performing Arts. 


John Michael “mIkey” Huang

Director of Photography

Director. Cinematographer. Screenwriter. Hobbit.

Mikey is a freelance filmmaker and photographer who grew up surrounded works of fantasy and science-firction. inspiring his approach to visual communication and content creation. Over the years, he has worked with various productions teams on a diverse range of projects. from commercials and events coverage to short and feature films.

Mikey is most passionate when it comes to delivering inspiring ideas through cinematic storytelling, especially when working with actors, designing camera shots, and conceptualizing original stories. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling the multiverse, and he hopes to share these experiences with others and create his own worlds of inspiration.


aisha polestico


Aisha Josephine Polestico majored in Ballet in the Philippine High School for the Arts and graduated with high donors. She pursued dance as a career and entered the dance program in the College of Music, University of the Philippines Diliman. She is currently a graduating student and a senior member of the University of the Philippines Dance Company. She won 3rd place in the 2016 CCP Ballet Competition, choreographed and danced in "Juana and the Sacred Shores", a dance film by Antonne Santiago featured in the 2017 Cinemalaya Film Festival Shorts Category, and recently performed in Gebbvelle Selga's "Alas Tres" in the Macau Contemporary Dance Exchange Springboard held last September. 


madge reyes


Dance and other miscellany, Madge is a multi-hyphenate in the creative industry. A former Soloist with Ballet Philippines with a degree in Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines, she continues to embed movement into her work as a graphic and web designer. Her latest venture as founder and artistic director of Entablado (https://bit.ly/2K182ns), merges her passion for both dance and film. Her goal is to bring art closer to the people by means of projection mapping and large scale installations. It had its first successful run at the BGC Arts Center Festival last June 2017.


sam arboleda

Director of Photography

Sam Arboleda is a 25 year old musician and photographer, based in the Philippines. She is looking forward to taking part in the creation of MariaClara as she too is interested in discovering and sharing who the "Filipino" is. "I may not be a dancer, but I can help relay the message by being one of the people making the film,behind the scenes". 


tegan walgren


Tegan Wahlgren is a composer, musician and performer based in Vancouver, Canada, with a BFA in Music Composition from Simon Fraser University. Her scores for film, dance and theatre have been featured in TIFF Top Ten Student ShortsFestival of Recorded Movement, and Vancouver Fringe Festival, among others. She is a regular session violinist in the New Music/experimental and pop/folk scenes in Vancouver, with credits on a variety of locally-produced records (Sam TudorHarley SmallREBECCA FLOOD). Tegan’s diverse musical influences —including a background in Celtic fiddle and choral singing— have aided in the development of Wallgrin, her experimental art-pop solo project. As Wallgrin, she has opened for critically-acclaimed artists such as Jenny Hval and Flock of Dimes, while spending the rest of her time circuiting Vancouver’s underground venues. Tegan is currently working on Wallgrin's debut album, Bird/Alien, due for release in 2018.


dane afuang


Dane Afuang is a BS Development Communication graduate at the University of the Philippines Los Banos. Even before having a science degree, Dane has been performing in theater and film- as an actor, dancer, and overall performer. She was a theater major at the Philippine High School for the Arts where she also got a scholarship to study in Japan in 2012. She is now working with artist-advocates at the Active Vista Human Rights Center, the education arm of DAKILA Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism.

Headshot — Carissa Victoria Laurel.jpg

carissa laurel


Carissa Laurel graduated from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) with the degree of Bachelor of Performing Arts, major in Dance. She was a recipient of the DLS-CSB Ballet Philippines Full Scholarship. Carissa has worked with Lori Belilove & The Isadora Duncan Dance Company, The Ballet Club, Aries In Flight, and Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre, all of which are based in New York.
Carissa recently performed in Silvana and Gabriella Mangano; There is no There” which was part of the “Re-enactments” exhibition in DLS-CSB’s Museum of Contemporary Art and Design. She is also a guest artist of Manila-based Seven Contemporary Dance Company. 


deej fabian

Director of Photography

Videographer. Editor. Photographer. Twix Monster. 

Anyone who knows Deej will agree that he's the go-to guy if you want somebody who knows their way around the local urban culture scene. Always in the loop, whether it's for music, fashion, or lifestyle, and great at candidly capturing persons and moments, he is able to put these things to use in order to connect people and bring brands closer to the market the want. his work has led him to collaborate with brands like SM Youth, Diageo, and Palladium. 


kayla de vos

Project Manager

Kayla De Vos is an emerging dance artist and administrator currently based on the occupied and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples (Vancouver, BC).

Graduating from Simon Fraser University with a BFA in Dance in 2017, Kayla has since had opportunities to train nationally and internationally, most recently presenting a work in progress by choreographer Allan Falieri at the Larnaca Biennale on the island of Cyprus in November 2018.

She is also the General Administrator of Co.ERASGA, sits on the board of the Training Society of Vancouver, and guests as an associate producer for plastic orchid factory.


tin gamboa


“As an emerging artist I hope to explore movement vocabulary that tackles questions surrounding community and culture, whether in live performance or transposing that movement onto film. Since graduating from Simon Fraser University two years ago, I have had opportunities to collaborate with other Vancouver artists, create numerous choreographic works, develop a deep-rooted interest in dance film, and engage with the community in the process.”



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