I’ve been busy. For the past three years, mostly with motherhood. For the past couple of months, also with work. For the past thirty minutes, with reading old personal entries on this blog. This one stood out to me:
"There are very short periods of time when I’m not really here. Mostly, it’s when I’m walking from one point to the next, passing in between people rushing, walking leisurely, and standing still. The other day, I ordered my regular drink from Starbucks - or what was my regular drink back in San Francisco - and at the first sip, I completely disappeared from Ayala Avenue and was somewhere in between Sansome and Bush.
It is a little bit peculiar, this sporadic feeling of walking the invisible streets of elsewhere. Perhaps we take with us wherever we’ve been, and Home, slowly but surely, becomes not a place, but something that exists within us, something we keep inside our very selves wherever we go.”
That was August 2009. Almost five years ago. And I can certainly recall the feeling I described, but I can no longer feel it. Wherever I am now, that is where I am. I am in the Philippines, my heart and my mind are. The journey from August 2009 to January 2014 has been eventful, mostly great and happy events, with a sprinkling of major disappointments and disillusionment.
It would be easy to say that there’s a thin line between idealism and cynicism, but the truth is, there is a wide open space of apathy, ambivalence, and vague emotions between idealism and cynicism. Being away from the Philippines, my idealism was comfortably cushioned by the distance, by romanticism, by being away from it all. Coming back home, where the reality I only wrote about before actually is reality, my idealism was exposed to the elements. Reading my older entries, I realize now how romanticized my writing was, how cloaked in blissful ignorance, how naive. Perhaps that was important though, to build enough momentum for me to have come home, and at points of disappointment, for me to not completely give up.
So yes, my feet are planted firmly on Filipino ground.
What is it that you do with passion, conviction, and determined purpose? Why do you do it? (This doesn’t have to be your day job, of course.)
I am passionate about education, definitely a more multifaceted view on learning and teaching that goes beyond the classrooms. I am interested in the different ways that we achieve education, the different foundations and sources of learning. For me, it is important that I acknowledge and validate the diversity and complexity of ways in which people learn. This might be through personal experience, family history, sharing narratives and stories, through creativity and experimentation, discoveries, travel and journey, introspection, from making connections and interpretations, subversion and dissent, inspiration from art, music, literature, and pop culture. Too often, I realized, these important sources of knowledge are undermined if not stifled. I think this is what attracts me to museum education, not just as a supplemental tool in learning and teaching but an important and powerful tool. The powerful and empowering questions, ideas, surprises, and discoveries sparked by museum visits/experiences are limitless and lifelong. So many of the valuable life lessons I have learned have come from my own museum visits. Why do I do it? I love being a part of a student’s museum experience. For kids to be able to see themselves reflected within the rich diversity and tradition of art. To bridge the gap between the objects and art on the wall to what is relevant to their lives. To help guide students to deeper understanding and making connections through different perspectives; allowing them to weave their own narrative and interpretation. To bring their own experience, history, and identity inside the museum and at the same time recognize our shared humanity. I want students and youths to discover the power of our cultural identity through art. To spark enduring conversations that transcend. A more selfish reason would be that I simply love working in a museum environment. The beautiful architecture, creative colleagues, being surrounded by awesome works of art everyday. It’s my dream job, really.
When and how did you know about this passion of yours? Was there a person who influenced you? If so, who and how?
Education is probably in my blood. My parents actually met as teachers in the Philippines so being a teacher/educator kind of runs in the family. I was an eager student. Never really aimed to be the top of the class, but always sought a more well rounded academic experience. It wasn’t until I came to America, when I realized the importance of education as a person with little or no privilege. This was also the time when I realized what good education is and how important great teachers are. In high school, I was a part of a program that had a completely different approach to education. The program used narratives, arts, literacy, and the outdoors as tools to teach the core subjects of English, History, and Science. This means we weren’t limited by the walls of our classrooms. For a lesson on US History for example, we traveled and camped in Lake Tahoe to meet and be with Native Americans (who weren’t in costume) and talked to them about their concerns for their dying language. We surveyed their land and learned about their culture that is very much tied to the land. It was all powerful education. Everything that we learned inside the classroom had real relevant impact on our lives as students, people of color, living in America. Being in this learning environment and having great teachers definitely influenced me to be an educator and develop similar views on education. Of course, other experiences have only reinforced this interest and passion for education. I think about my travels and studies abroad as important influences. To be able to have classes in the Prado and Reina Sofia in Madrid is such a surreal experience. I can also say that informal education has had a profound effect on myself. Traveling throughout Southeast Asia has definitely opened my eyes to the lives of others, to empathy, and finding my place.
Who/What are your current influences, role models, inspirations?
I’m constantly inspired. I’ve always looked up to our National Hero Jose Rizal, and the fact that he was so ahead of his time. I feel a kind of special kinship with Rizal having studied and lived in Madrid too. I think my idea of a global, intellectual Filipino comes from studying and learning about Jose Rizal and his fellow ilustrados. I still believe in Barack Obama. Not so much as transformational figure (although he is that too) but as a pragmatist, working with very real issues today. His narrative is just so unique in American culture and politics. Reading about Michelle Obama the other day, I find it inspirational that we have two dynamic and intelligent equals in the White House. Often, I also turn to literature to make sense of the world around me and see things in different perspectives. I’ve found strong resonance in the works of Jhumpa Lahiri, Sherman Alexie, Junot Diaz, and Jessica Hagedorn among others. Once in a while, I also stumble upon words or poems by Pablo Neruda, Langston Hughes, Audre Lorde, Arundhati Roy, and Rumi that I contemplate on and come back to. Visuals, a photograph, art, graphic design can also spark inspirations. Music. Stories. Most of the things you can find on my online brain: http://followyourbliss.tumblr.com/archive. I hope to travel again soon and find inspiration in that. Obviously museum visits. Someone in the museum world, I admire deeply is Melissa Chiu from Asia Society. Her knowledge and expertise is enviable and inspirational. (http://bigthink.com/melissachiu#!video_idea_id=5084) Lately, I’ve been enjoying and really taking in Connections (http://www.metmuseum.org/connections/), an online project by the Metropolitan Museum of Art that asks museum staff to talk about the connections and relevance of the art in their lives. Each one is so unique and interesting. Living in the city is also a great inspiration. Always, I come back the great teachers and mentors in my life. They continue to inspire and influence me.
1. What is it that you do with passion, conviction, and determined purpose? Why do you do it? (This doesn’t have to be your day job, of course.)
» First off, my passions revolve around Philippine history, ethnic culture, and art in general. I’m actually a varied artist because my mother is a painter and a frustrated draftsman — she lets me dabble in all kinds of art, but I’m more adept in writing and photography; these have become passions as well. Now, what do I do with this passion? I share it with other people. I don’t want to be selfish and use big words and scholarly ways of getting my point across. Since I am in love with history, arts, and culture, I share my love. This passion diverts me from mediocrity — and it brings me closer to the god I believe in (I’m Catholic, if that is important to know).
But my real cause is deeper than finding a diversion. I’ve noticed that our youths have become blind to art, culture, and history. They take everything and they don’t filter out what is truth and what is fiction. They believe that art is for the rich, when art stems from all walks of life! At the same time, children living in Manila do not know what lies beyond the city, or what treasures lay within the city. From my childhood until today, it is a contagious social illness. My writing, from simple expression of opinion, has turned into a small propaganda to re-educate children of the diversity, the historical richness, and the artistic genius of the Filipino people. This is why I write: I write to educate. This passion of mine is part of the “cultural revolution” I believe should be happening right now, and it has to start with teaching everyone about the Philippines.
2. When and how did you know about this passion of yours? Was there a person who influenced you? If so, who and how?
» I’ve always had a love for indigenous people and history, though through standardized schooling, I almost forgot about them. I’ve always been immersed in art, and I consider myself as a student of the Cubism movement. However, when I started becoming more serious about my passions I was a senior in college. An event, not a person, inspired me. I was on an immersion trip to an Aeta community in Capas, Tarlac, and at the same time I was also taking Cultural Heritage classes under Fernando Zialcita. I did not realize it then, but I was returning to the things I love, and I regained my passion for all things culture. I just put two and two together.
It was not in senior year, technically, that I became more aware of what I used to love. It was actually way back in 2007, when I was a college freshman. I joined an org called Ateneo Lingua Ars Cultura (ALAC), and because of that org I became a student leader and my passion for the arts and culture grew. Since then I slowly began to remember my love for other cultures, but I used the org as an output. I blogged on typepad and wordpress but I didn’t really enjoy the blogging experience there, and during my senior year, I registered on Tumblr. This account is actually my third one since the first one was deleted by some hacker, and I had to leave the second one since I had a falling-out with a once-friend who I met on the site.
3. Who/What are your current influences, role models, inspirations?
» Influential people? My mom, of course. Being a retired filmmaker, painter, frustrated draftsman and frustrated architect, she really made sure that I am exposed to art as much as possible. Then my professors in university: Irwin A. Cruz (who taught me Cross Cultural Communication) and Fernando N. Zialcita (who taught me Intro to Cultural Heritage and Culture and the Senses). Persons such as Manning Garchitorena (PR Head or something of The Peninsula) who instructed me to take Spanish at the age of three or four, and Sonia Ner, a historian and lover of art. Online, of course, There’s iwriteasiwrite, ellobofilipino, and panchodelaluna.
My role models are the latter three. I wish to be more like them, more enlightened, and more cultured (and more intelligent!). The Philippines herself inspires me. Whenever I look out the window or step outside, I always feel that I’ll be on a great adventure. There’s so much inspiration emanating from the country, and I always see it. I see so much beauty here.
Panchodelaluna is most influential in how I conceptualized my blog. The title and its description came from an article he wrote for me recently. However the three bloggers are equal in terms of inspiring me to continue writing.
Other influences would be Andre Malraux, Picasso, William Henry Scott, Gandhi, and Wade Davis.
What inspires me… first of all it’s the Philippines (for apparent reasons), art in all its forms, beauty, and love. Really. I am not kidding.
The following posts are long overdue. While I’m still not sure what direction this tumblr is heading towards, the three interviews I will be featuring are worth reading for the passion and commitment of three inspiring individuals.
1. What is it that you do with passion, conviction, and determined purpose? Why do you do it? (This doesn’t have to be your day job, of course.)
I call myself a youth advocate for two reasons:
a.) Youth Advocacy/Engagement for me is a personal experience. A concept that was put into action.
This started during my high school years when my fellow classmates would elect me as officer of the class. Personally, I
don’t seem to understand what they have seen in me and why they continue to believe that I can be one of the officers.
This was even re-affirmed when I entered college and the process of being elected and appointed for several position. My being an active in several youth engagement was not only limited to school but also to my own barangay (community).
In my personal reflection, I also want to make a sense why my fellow saw me as always the “leadership” potential type of person. And in my process of reflection I seem to get a sense that I think this comes along with my being the eldest among sibling of four in the family. Being the eldest would mean more responsibility, taking care of your brothers etc.
b.) Youth is equal to a sector which can shape society, community or even the nation
Why do I believe that youth is the sector that can shape society or even the nation because young people are so energetic, so open to new ideas, and most of all young people loves discussion. Meaning young people are so open to dialogue which can influence a lot of people.
There is a need to shape society because I (or the youth) feel that we have a lot to mature as a nation and as citizen of this nation.
2. When and how did you know about this passion of yours? Was there a person who influenced you? If so, who and how?
I think the passion was within me ever since. Something very innate I just responded to that passion because of the 2 reasons stated above.
I believe my greatest influence in terms of my advocacy/passion is when I was chosen to be part of the Ayala Young Leaders Congress in 2001. This 3-day congress was life changing for me and has brought about significant changes in my life.
How? The 3 day congress help me personally clarify my personal values, strengths and also open my mind where I can improve are what are failures/mistakes at the same time. It has also help me understand that the belief of youth engagement is not only personal to me but a resounding call especially for the other 74 delegates in the congress.
It has help me understand the word SERVICE…the concept of SERVANT LEADERSHIP. Thus it has aligned so many things in my life.
3. Who/What are your current influences, role models, inspirations?
Very close to my heart are of course my several engagements:
- Asia America Initiative where I serve as an adviser/consultant in their AAI -catalyst for peace (this is their volunteer arm run mostly by young people) -
- Involvement in so many leadership training and other formation activities of the ayala young leaders alliance (alumni group of aylc graduates)
- of course my being part of the Text2Teach team in ayala foundation which allows me to reach areas by providing access to young minds who will eventually enter the youth group
With some friends, we also try to build a group of young people influencing young people to be pro active leaders but now a social enterprise.
Check out JAVC Printshop for original handmade art (made by a Filipina!) to decorate your home or workspace, to gift to a friend, or to commemorate a special event. You can even have a custom print made featuring something that means a lot to you or to a special someone.
The magic of possibilities by Jo Anne Villarosa Coruña
It was a clear Sunday morning, but over the Philippines, the clouds seemed darker than usual, despite the glaring sun. The impossible seemed to have happened: Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao got knocked out on the last second of the sixth round in his match against Juan Manuel Marquez. That split second replays in my mind and chokes me a little every time. We all felt that punch, we all felt our knees buckle, and we all fell down, face flat on the floor. Even if it just happened yesterday, in our minds, it has already been immortalized as being “that day” - that day when The Pacman fell, that day when the whole nation was stunned and in shock, that day when the impossible happened.
But. The reality is, Manny Pacquiao has given us more - so much more - than that day. To begin with, let us not forget the ten world titles in eight divisions that The Pacman has brought home. More than that, let us not forget the high-fives, the pulutan and the beer for breakfasts, the silent streets bursting with cheer and shouts of victory, the family time spent together watching the Filipino icon land every mighty punch, the high of the knock out on that second round, those long and suspense-filled twelve rounds, the unbelievable speed in every fight, the rush of hearing the Eye of the Tiger blast in the arena, in restaurants, and in our homes. Even more than those, for every match, there was always the anticipation of a good fight; the excitement shared by every Filipino everywhere - in the Philippines, in the US, in Italy, in Dubai - literally everywhere; the hope that permeated each and every Filipino heart; and the solid belief that we can win, that it can be our fight, and the countless times The Pacman has made that belief an actual reality.
The true magic of The Pacman is his ability to bring Filipinos together. The magic that for one day, wherever and whoever you are, whatever your station in life, if you are Filipino, you are rooting for the same man, you are hoping for the same win, and you are feeling the punches, both given and received. For one day, for a brief few hours, a pedicab driver has his eyes on the same prize as the guy who drives a Porsche. For those few hours, it doesn’t matter if you’re watching the fight in a room full of strangers, or in the comfort of your own home, or in a gymnasium with a projector. For those few hours, we are all watching as Filipinos and as one nation. And we are all hoping for the same thing, the same win.
And if the win doesn’t come - like it didn’t yesterday, we are all indeed heartbroken, yes, but we are also all still holding on, not giving up, slowly getting up. And this, this shared mindset across the nation and across seas, among Filipinos, this is the true magic, this is what we truly need. The pride of being Filipino must come with the pride of being one with Filipinos. It must come with the pride of sharing a culture with fellow Filipinos. This shared mindset must extend to shared hearts - amidst tragedy, calamities, poverty. To be a proud Filipino is to be compassionate towards your fellow Filipino. To not only sympathize when bad things happen to the country and our people, but to empathize and actually feel those bad things ourselves and do something about them, however small. To be a proud Filipino is to be proud of a fellow Filipino’s accomplishments, to offer support and root for your fellow Filipino’s success, without any hint of envy or destructive criticism. The pride of being Filipino must not focus on the individual, on the self, but on the collective experience of all Filipinos everywhere.
The magic of The Pacman is this shared experience that brings all Filipinos together. The magic of The Pacman isn’t that he always wins every fight; the magic is the way he fights - all heart, with much humility, and grace in the end, whatever the outcome. The magic is the truth that every Filipino is capable of such. Beyond politics, profits, and promoters, The Pacman teaches us all one thing: when you fall, you get up, and you go back to training, you go back to fighting.
I would like to think that the seeming impossibility of Manny Pacquiao’s defeat has paved the way for the possibility of a more unified nation, a deeper bond among all Filipinos, and even more strength and hope to carry on and face every fight. Let’s root for each other. Until we can all share in one sweet victory, in and outside the boxing ring.
The Philippine Development Foundation (PhilDev) is on Tumblr! Follow them for posts on science and technology, startups, innovation and entrepreneurship.
[PhilDev is a nonprofit organization registered in the US and the Philippines. PhilDev helps create a robust ecosystem of science and technology in the Philippines for long-term economic development. Their strategy: Education, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship.]
Thanks to @ageofbrillig’s tweet I had the opportunity to read The New Republic’s takedown (“Mitt Romney, Latter-Day Neocon”) of Romney’s wayward and antiquated jingoism-tinged view of the United States imperial history. For any student of US imperial history, or at least in my case Philippine history, it’s a groan-inducing, headache-creating, jaw-dropping (yes seriously) presentation of US myth-making at its worst.
The relationship between Americans and American imperial history is a curious one, though unsurprising when taking into context the Cult of American Exceptionalism. However, for those countries (such as mine) that have been on the receiving end of America’s fight for right (as if ‘right’ and ‘good’ is the sole province of Western values). It is hard to deny that while all nations are guilty of delusions of grandeur, only a select few have perfected it as a public art-form to the extent of the United States; and especially by their current crop of neo-conservatives.
While the TNR article focuses specifically on Romney’s repackaging of Henry Luce’s “American Century” ethos, the more worrisome part is the parallels that can be drawn between Romney’s current fervent belief that it is the right of the US to intervene by any means in the affairs of other nations, and public declarations in support of Philippine campaign in the past. Romney goes so far as to recast American imperial history as non-existent, claiming “We have never sought to impose ourselves on others, to seek colonies or to engage in conquest.” For the Philippines and Filipinos that is a patently ludicrous statement that ignores the profound cultural and social injustices that were visited upon us at the turn of the 20th century. It would be laughable if the damage done to our country wasn’t so egregious.
Additionally, Romney’s curious evangelical leanings concerning America is ‘good’ calls to mind the exultations of William Howard Taft and other American politicians that the role of the US is to ‘Christianise” and “uplift” Philippine savages. Kipling infamously referred to it as the ‘white man’s burden’ while American propagandists referred to that mission as ‘benevolent assimilation.’
Most disturbing of all is the sense that Romney and his ilk have not only failed to learn from American history, they are hell-bent on re-casting it as a constant march of American goodness and nobility throughout the years. Margaret MacMillan’s warning that history has been used and abused to..”justify treating others badly, seizing their land…or killing them” rings true.
I have long suspected that the American experience in the Philippines has been carefully edited out of textbooks and American public consciousness because it is one of the glaring examples of the sheer damage that American exceptionalism run rampant can cause. Romney is clearly the ideological heir to Roosevelt and Taft, Luce and others. These are the same men who saw nothing wrong with turning Samar into a ‘howling wilderness’ because the ‘natives’ dared resist foreign intrusion and imperialism.
It seems that the dangerous politics of the 19th century are alive and well in the 21st.
“I suppose what I’m really trying to get at is how we Filipinos must reflect on how we relate to one another, especially to others who may not be within our social circles. Or rethink how we determine who gets to be included in those circles in the first place. I think it would benefit us all if the next time we do our groceries, or enter a parking lot, or buy something at a store, or order something at a restaurant, we remember that we are not merely talking to someone who ‘works for us’ but someone who, just like the rest of us, is earning a living for themselves and their families, who has the same need for rest and recreation, for a vacation, who laughs at jokes and enjoys the company of good friends. Let’s take down the barrier we’ve been putting up with for so long, whoever put them there (ourselves or history). Let’s treat each other as Filipinos, whatever shoes we wear, whatever car we drive or jeepney we ride, whatever accent we may have. Perhaps that is one of many simply good beginnings to a better and more egalitarian nation for all of us.”—JAVCnotes: Target-inspired
A summer program for incoming high school sophomore girls who want to be in tech! Application deadline: May 15, 2012.
From their site: “Founded in February 2012, Girls Who Code is working to educate, inspire, and equip underserved girls aged 13-15 with the skills and resources necessary to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The Girls Who Code program is an eight-week summer program in New York City designed to introduce high school girls to basic software development skills and is accompanied by yearlong outreach initiatives, mentorship programs, and internship opportunities to realize each participant’s potential.”
The official tumblr of the Philippine Development Foundation or PhilDev. Follow them for current news on science and technology, scholarships and other programs for scientists and engineers, and interesting bits of info related to S&T in the Philippines and elsewhere.
The power of well-written and researched history, by professional historians aware of their vast responsibilities, is that it provides the tools needed craft a better future for all. In Margaret MacMillan’s conclusion in The Uses and Abuses of History she wrote “…a citizenry that cannot begin to put the present into context, that has so little knowledge of the past, can too easily be fed stories by those who claim to speak with the knowledge of history and its lessons.” That is the situation extant in the country today. It is a situation that fuels many of the social, cultural, and political problems that we still face. One of the things that history teaches is to challenge dogmatic and sweeping generalizations, especially those that purport to have all the answers, to be the one true interpretation of the past. History provides us with the tools necessary to question and question some more, while bad history (and its application) does little more than mislead and obscure; usually for purely political or selfish interests.
A little self-serving is allowed now and then right? Please click through to read my little essay on bad history and how it is affecting our understanding of EDSA 1.
Hello, everyone. I have been busy with “real life” as of late, so my apologies for not keeping up with the ‘resolution’ of bringing you interesting randomness regularly. Also for not having a ‘passionate person profile’ up yet (that one I hope to remedy by next week; title for the feature included in things to fix).
Knee deep in researching and analyzing how to present a case involving organizations I care about, I find it apt to post about a few groups that instantly come to mind when I think of the Philippine Third Sector:
World Wildlife Fund Philippines (WWF-Philippines)
Not really needing a description (since anyone who doesn’t know what this organization does must be living under a rock - and maybe should stay there to save the planet), let’s just say that WWF-Philippines works to conserve and protect the natural beauty our country possesses. From the Donsol Whale Shark Research and Ecotourism Sustainability Program (w/c contributed to TIME Magazine citing the Bicol Region as ‘best animal encounter destination in Asia’) to the Coral Triangle Support Partnership Project, WWF-Philippines has programs that you may want to support.
Here’s a WWF video that went viral a few months back:
Philippine Eagle Foundation
I have yet to go to Davao to see this organization in action in person, but I’ve talked to one of their staff more than a couple of times and a few other people who’ve been to their facility, to know that they’re doing great work. I believe I’ve featured this organization here already before, but I have to mention them again, if only to have you go to their website and see how you can help an eaglet.
TEN Moves! (The Entire Nation Moves) Campaign
While not an organization per se, this campaign was brought to my attention by a director at the Ayala Foundation, where I used to work and the org that manages this campaign. Its strategy is to have 2 million people donate P10 per day for 10 months. For a population nearing 100 million, the Filipino people shouldn’t find it too hard to make this public fundraising initiative a success. And what’s the money for? To build 10,000 classrooms for public schools all over the Philippines. Sabi nga nila, “Barya lang po. Para sa classroom ng mga bata.”
Hello, dear readers. Part of regularly and more thoughtfully updating this tumblr, I would like to interview (via email exchange or g-chat) “ordinary” Filipinos/Filipinas who are passionate about what they do, whether it’s their day job or otherwise. Musicians, executive assistants, event planners/coordinators, HR managers/recruiters, historians, writers, academics, engineers, pilots, soldiers, nonprofit worker bees - basically ANYONE out there who would like to share their love for their craft/job/art/calling/vocation.
I will be approaching people I know, but if YOU are who I’m looking to interview, please send me an email (allthingspilipinas at gmail dot com) or a message.
Frankly speaking, I am pretty tired of seeing the same old people everywhere, on billboards, magazine covers, the newspaper, tv (on the very rare instance I watch). The celebrity culture in our country has got to end somewhere. Please remember: YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A CELEBRITY TO MATTER. You love your job or your hobby? You do it well? Then we need to know more about people like YOU.
So, if you know someone (including yourself) who’s up for a little email exchange or chitchat, let me know. Thanks!
To usher in 2012, here are five things from/about/in the Philippines that make me smile. They definitely do not have the same weight of significance for me, but these are the first five things that came to mind (in order of their appearance in my head), thinking about all things Pilipinas that are, to put it simply, good.
Benedicto Reyes Cabrera, more famously known as BenCab, is a Filipino National Artist who is a painter and a printmaker. When I think of BenCab, I think of Sabel, his muse. From his bullet biography on the BenCab Museum website:
Observes and sketches from his window in Bambang a bag lady/madwoman/scavenger named Sabel. To him she is a symbol of dislocation, despair& isolation – the personification of human dignity threatened by circumstances. Undergoing numerous transformations over the coming years, she becomes a landmark for every stylistic painting transition.
The lobby of one of those condominiums in Rockwell is graced by a BenCab painting. And a home somewhere in Negros has artist proofs from the master printmaker himself. Nothing quite like his work, especially these days of modern conceptual art. As he himself puts it in this Wall Street Journal feature, “Skill: That is what is missing now. A lot of modern art now is mostly conceptual. It is sloppy. I’m old school. I look for good composition… and I like artists who are innovative.” I tend to agree.
For full disclosure, I’ve worked (and still work every now and then) for PhilDev (formerly Ayala Foundation USA). I loved the work that I did there, connecting the Filipino diaspora to worthwhile development initiatives in the homeland. Now, their focus is more strategic - zeroing in on science and technology and the field’s impact on the Philippines’ economic growth and development. All the same, I respect the work that they do and look forward to the coming years as they carry out their new mission.
You can read about PhilDev’s work on their website, but here’s a video of Filipino/Filipino-American artists, Lea Salonga included, talking about the concert they held for PhilDev:
I’m pretty sure I featured Panlasang Pinoy on this tumblr already, but when you talk about the good things in the Philippines, you cannot - just cannot - leave out food. And when I thought of Filipino food, Panlasang Pinoy popped into my head. Just look at his list of Top 10 Filipino Christmas Recipes. I know Christmas is done, but hey, with this menu, it’s never too early to practice for Christmas 2012.
Interaksyon | TV5-MMDA Traffic Monitoring System
Yes, I’m including this one. Because it is pretty cool to have this system in place, updated every five minutes or so. My husband and I are guilty of checking this even if we’re not driving anywhere, just because it’s so nifty.
And of course, my fellow Tumblrers who post about the Philippines. A few that I enjoy:
The Wolf: A thirty-something writer who has mellowed down from the broadcast news industry. After that, he taught high school kids history and economics. Using the skills acquired in journalism, he gets involved once in a while with farmers, environmentalists, and human rights activists.
“There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember, time is short, and suddenly, you’re not here any more.”—The Ghost of Christmas Present (via zhipwreck)
“There are no exact guidelines. There are probably no guidelines at all. The only thing I can recommend at this stage is a sense of humor, an ability to see things in their ridiculous and absurd dimensions, to laugh at others and at ourselves, a sense of irony regarding everything that calls out for parody in this world. In other words, I can only recommend perspective and distance. Awareness of all the most dangerous kinds of vanity, both in others and in ourselves. A good mind. A modest certainty about the meaning of things. Gratitude for the gift of life and the courage to take responsibility for it. Vigilance of spirit.”—Vaclav Havel
Early dawn today, two areas in Mindanao (a southern island of the Philippines), were hit with sudden and unexpected flash floods from Tropical Storm Sendong (international code name Washi). The floods hit Iligan and Cagayan de Oro around 2AM — when everyone was asleep. Many villagers were caught and trapped wherever they were, with little preparation and no forewarning.
A bloated Pulangui River (photo from Francis Awiten, a blog reader of mindanaoan.com and posted via Twitpic)
A young Sendong victim (photo posted by @mindanaoan via Twitpic, with credits to Atoy M.)
(UPDATE: Bukidnon and Dumaguete likewise need assistance so I will be including in my list donation info for these places as soon as I get them.)
I am creating this post for you, my dear readers, wherever in the world you are. If your heart is touched by some of these pictures, there are many ways you can donate, either in cash (PayPal included) or kind.
Please note that I will try to list as many as I can. I have been listing based on posts in social networking sites, some news sites, government agencies, etc. If I miss some, please leave me a comment at the bottom so I can add to this list.
LAST UPDATE – DEC. 18, 2011 (5:30 PM)
Blankets Bottled water (VERY URGENT!) Canned goods Clothes Food Mats (banig) Medicines Off lotion Rice Toothbrushes Towels Utensils
Ateneo School of Government and Kaya Natin! - will accept donations from Dec. 19-21 only, 10am to 10pm. Clothes, blankets, ready-to-eat food, toiletries and bottled water accepted. Bring to Fr. Ortiz Hall, Social Development Complex, Ateneo, QC.
GMA 5 (Davao) – Please leave donations at Shrine Hills, Matina, Davao (info from @mindanaoan)
Kristohanong Katilingban sa Pagpakaban (coordinated with Xavier University) – call (088) 8583116 loc 3210 for details
La Salle Greenhills - will start accepting donations Monday, Dec. 19 (info taken from HERE) Donations in cash and kind will be received at Gate 2 of La Salle Green Hills at 343 Ortigas Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550. You may call any of the following telephone numbers for further inquiries: Alumni Office — 721-2729, 722-7750, 725-4720 GS Principal — 721-2482 HS Principal — 721-8914 Buildings and Grounds Office — 721-8904 (Telefax) La Sallian Mission Office — 726-5851 (Telefax)
LBC Foundation – bottled water, food, blankets, clothes, etc. Drop off your donations at the nearest LBC branch nearest you, nationwide. Call (632) 8585-999 to find the closest LBC branch.
Mercato Centrale (BGC) / Soderno (Alabang) - bottled water, rice, canned goods, bottled water, utensils, toothbrush, mats, used clothes, blankets
Sen. Kiko Pimentel – accepting donations starting Dec. 19 at Room 512, GSIS Building, Senate of the Philippines. Contact person: Ron Munsayac (new media group)
TV5 Kapatid Foundation Inc. - Donations in kind like food, clothing, utensils, blankets, mats, water containers, and medicines may be sent to News5 Aksyon Center, TV5 office in San Bartlolome, Novaliches, Quezon City. For inquiries, please call News5 Aksyon Center hotline – 938-6393.
Xavier University KKP-SIO – cash, food, bottled water, clean clothes. You can drop them off at the Xavier University KKP-SIO.
CASH DONATIONS (INTERNATIONAL)
Ateneo de Manila University – please see how to donate HERE
HELPCDO (PayPal Donations) – Proceeds will be donated and delivered to Xavier University Cagayan de Oro where the members of CDOBloggers are planning to volunteer. (Note: Info received c/o Ria Jose) Email Address for PayPal donation: email@example.com
Simbahang Lingkod (info taken from HERE) Direct deposits may be made online from any BPI branches, pay to: Account Name/Payee: SIMBAHANG LINGKOD NG BAYAN Bank Name: Bank of the Philippine Islands (Loyola-Katipunan Branch) Dollar Savings Account Number: 3084-0420-12
TV5 Kapatid Foundation Inc. BDO Savings Account No. 005310-410164 Bank of the Philippine Islands Savings Account No. 1443-05333-2 For inquiries, please call News5 Aksyon Center hotline – 938-6393.
CASH DONATIONS (WITHIN THE PHILIPPINES)
For Globe subscribers: via SMS, c/o Red Cross – text RED <amount> and send to 2899 – valid donation amounts are P5, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500 and 1000 (For ex, RED 10). Transaction is free. via GCASH, text DONATE<space><amount><space><MPIN><space><REDCROSS> and send to 2882
For Smart subscribers: via SMS, c/o Red Cross – text RED <amount> and send to 4143 – valid donation amounts are P10, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500, 1000 (For ex, RED 10). Transaction is free. via Smart Money acct. no. 5577-5130-6822-1104 (Baha Fund for Typhoon) at any BDO, Hapinoy or Cebuana Lhuiller outlets. P2.50/text
Ateneo de Manila University – please see how to donate HERE
Red Cross (cash/check) Account Name: Philippine Red Cross Bank Name: Banco De Oro Peso Savings Account: 453-0018647
Simbahang Lingkod (info taken from HERE) Direct deposits may be made online from any BPI branches, pay to: Account Name/Payee: SIMBAHANG LINGKOD NG BAYAN Bank Name: Bank of the Philippine Islands (Loyola-Katipunan Branch) Peso Checking Account Number: 3081-1111-61
“You’ve been halfway living your life for too long. When it’s time to die, go ahead and die, and when it’s time to live, live. Don’t sort-of-maybe live, but live like you’re going all out, like you’re not afraid.”—Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees (via thoughtsdetained)
It is humpback whale season again and we are seeking enthusiastic volunteers to join the research expedition to the Babuyan Islands, northern Luzon, Philippines this coming Marchand April 2012! The research will be led by researchers from Balyena.org [http://balyena.org/] and the Center for Rural Empowerment and the Environment (CREE)[http://www.conservationforpeople.org]. This survey has been conducted since 2000, making it the longest running, continuous cetacean research in the Philippines!
The aim of this research is to monitor the status of humpback whales in the islands through photo-identification and vocalization recordings. Through photo-identification we will be able to monitor the number of whales coming to the Babuyan Islands, their movement between other breeding grounds in the western north Pacific and their feeding grounds. The interaction between cetaceans and humans (particularly fisheries) will also be monitored. Research volunteers will assist in sightings of cetaceans, recording data, taking photographs and recording humpback songs. Working hours are long. Most of the daylight hours are spent on a small wooden outrigger boat searching for and observing whales and dolphins, exposed to the sun and sea sprays while evenings are spent encoding data. The team goes out every day as long as the weather conditions permit it. At least one day will be spent to conduct an environmental education youth camp for a school in the islands.
The expedition will be run based partly on funding collected from the contributions of volunteers. We ask volunteers to contribute to cover for food, accommodation and vehicle rental. Volunteers are also expected to pay for their travel expenses to and from the research site on Camiguin Island, municipality of Calayan, Cagayan. The team will travel together by bus from Manila to Sta. Ana, Cagayan, the jump-off point to the Islands.
Camiguin Island, the main study site is one of the five main islands in the Babuyan group (approximately 32 kms from mainland Luzon). It is a beautiful and idyllic volcanic island. We will be living with a small community with just the basic necessities. The team will be based in a modest house on Camiguin where volunteers will share daily household work. Sleeping quarters are shared and cooking or food preparation will be the responsibility of volunteers. As meals are shared and food variety is limited on the island, one must not be picky with food. Electricity is only available for 4-5 hours in the evenings and telecommunications are quite limited (i.e. mobile phone coverage intermittent).
Volunteers are needed for three trips: the surveys will be running for about 12 days plus travel time of 5 days (return), making each trip a total of 17 days. Please do keep in mind that ability to cross to and from the island is dependent on the weather hence, the dates are not fixed. Volunteers must be prepared to be stationed on-site for 2-3 days longer than the scheduled trip. The first trip departs Manila on the 29th of February 2012.
The expedition dates are as follows; Team I: 29 Feb – 19 March Team II: 17 Mar – 5 Apr Team III: 9 – 28 Apr
We are inclined to accept volunteers who can commit to the entire duration of the research trip. Previous cetacean research experience is not required but preferred. Flexibility and ability to work in a variety of conditions at sea is a must. You must have good sea legs, high tolerance for the sun and heat, and patience for hours looking out at sea.
We would like to emphasize that this is a research trip and NOT a holiday. Volunteers are expected to participate in all project activities of the day. This is a good opportunity to help in the research and conservation of humpback whales and other cetaceans in the Philippines while learning about them. This annual monitoring of the whales is very important in understanding the status of the species and the marine ecosystem of the Babuyan Islands. The data collected every season is crucial in completing a long-term study of the humpback whales breeding and calving in the Philippines. You will also get the chance to visit a gorgeous island in the northern Philippines and experience all its biodiversity!
“The measure of achievement is not winning awards. It’s doing something you appreciate, something you believe is worthwhile. I think of my strawberry souffle. I did that at least 28 times before I finally conquered it.”—Julia Child, Esquire’s The Meaning of Life