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Sandie Gillis Photo-about.jpg


Welcome and thank you for visiting the website. 


My Story

It was two decades ago, in 2002, when I first organized an art exhibition for my cousin who flew to Vancouver from Toronto. In attendance was a group of Filipino Canadian artists led by their “maestro” SYM (Sofronio Y. Mendoza). They called themselves the Dimasalang artists. Although I was the least artistic person in the group, they welcomed me into their circle. We exhibited together–well, they showed their works–and, I was happy to assist with organizing exhibitions, workshops and lectures to raise awareness of Filipino artistry here in Canada.

The coffee table book SYM The Power of Struggle, which I co-wrote with well-known artist and author Alfredo Roces, brings SYM’s life story to light. It features the evolution of his best works, from the earliest until 2010, when it was published.

In the book Weaving Our Dreams, The Tboli People of the Philippines, the project was initiated by Francis Herradura. She is a Dimasalang III International Artists Group member, our emerging Mindanaon artist. This book celebrates the Tboli culture and traditions passed down through generations.

I find joy in writing about topics related to the Philippines. The province of Pangasinan is where I was born. I studied in Manila at St. Scholastica’s College in elementary and Maryknoll High School. My last year of high school was spent in Slayton, Minnesota, as a Youth For Understanding exchange student in the USA. I studied at the University of the Philippines and received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Broadcast Communication in 1981. Two years later, I moved to Canada.


The stories I like writing about touch on the Filipino way of life, culture, and heritage. It is the human-interest piece that truly inspires me. The Narragila Culture and Arts Foundation, which I co-founded, aims to celebrate diversity and encourage artists and cultural bearers to continue their mission. This not-for-profit society inspires women and youth to pursue their dreams.


I am fortunate to be living in this beautiful city of Vancouver, Canada, with my husband and minutes away from my family.


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