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 //