Posts Tagged ‘Philippines’
I know it’s a bit late to celebrate Independence Day but I wanted to post this video’s different take on the national anthem. I saw it at the event Rocio and I hosted last week. (You can see some pictures of that here).
Anyway, I should warn you that if you’re PMS-ing and feeling patriotic this might make you well up. I think compared to the cookie-cutter videos which show historical monuments and past presidents, this one sends out a stronger message about where the Philippines is today and where we need to go. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!
A tad melodramatic perhaps but I like it.
So there’s a new brunch place in town. This one is a little closer to our hearts as it Filipino.
It’s a pop-up in the East Village that serves brunch platters of our traditional Filipino grub. Of course the ubiquitous sisig is served as well as pan de sal and quesong puti. All served by creatively fusing contemporary and exotic ingredients. I have yet to try this place dishes and I cannot wait because their menu is making my mouth water and homesick. Check out the menu here. Yummy!
Oh and did I mention that Maharlika is the baby of Enzo Lim?
If you remember, the movie is about these Jesuits evangelizing indigenous people living above a waterfall in the rain forests of South America. These Jesuits chose to be teach not by the sword but by immersing in and embracing the rich, raw and untouched culture of these indians. This strategy resulted in a productive and bustling system of missions built for and with the locals. Doesn’t this sound so much like Gawad Kalinga?
Jeremy Irons stars as Gabriel, the fearless Jesuit priest who believed that nothing but love could conquer hatred and violence.
Robert de Niro stars as Mendoza, a mercenary who became a Jesuit.
He taught the indians how to fight for their territory against the Portugese. He ended up fighting alongside the people he trained to save the land that rightfully belonged to the locals.
Everything about this film was excellent – the actors, the music, the beautiful scenery. It’s as relevant as it was centuries ago as it was in 1986, when the movie was made, as it is today. It’s interesting to observe that the issues that plagued their world then are the same sources of conflict we see in our world today. The politics between church and state, the inflexibility of the Church, the taking of land from its rightful owners, the subordination of people who are thought to be less sophisticated – ALL THE SAME ISSUES. We have not learned…
After watching this movie I remembered that I had a book resting in my shelf that might be related to this movie. Do you remember this book?
Light Cavalry was written by the great Horacio de la Costa, S.J. While this book only talks about how the Jesuits established the Society of Jesus in the Philippines, I thought that it touched on the same themes tackled by The Mission. Reading this book now has been a richer experience for me. As you are the bigger history nerd between us, you might wanna watch the movie and read the book. I’m enjoying myself.
I thought it would be a good idea to use Kiki & Lala Land as a good platform to launch this.
After you directed me to Carlos Celdran’s ever engaging blog, I decided to heed his call and spread the word.
For the sake of our 5 loyal readers, Carlos with the help of Team Manila started this volunteer campaign to help the Philippines’ Department of Tourism promote the country online and in other social media, non-traditional venues. Read about how this all came to be in Carlos’ blog.
So in the spirit of promoting the beauty of the Philippines (shining through) check out these awesome posters designed by Team Manila of the numerous must-visit locales scattered around the 7,100+ islands we all call HOME.
Of course I had to save the best for last. To our 5 loyal readers, this majestic falls happens to be in the province Lala and I hail from. So if you find yourself wandering around Antipolo, Rizal, you must must visit Hinulugang Taktak.
This was emailed to me today. And it is simply too good, too true not to share. So reproduced here, without permission but with great humility, are the words of the very wise Tony Meleto.
The Challenge of a Hundred Days: Believing that Filipinos can End Poverty and Corruption in the Philippines
by Tony Meloto
Is it possible for Filipinos within my lifetime – I just turned sixty – to unite and raise a great President who can
make us believe that ours can be a strong nation?
I believe we can.
That leader can be President-elect Benigno C. Aquino III. The historic moment can be now.
Hopefully, we don’t squander this chance. Time is running out on my generation and I don’t want my children
to inherit a country that they cannot be proud of, that will not guaranty them safety and opportunity for a
The first 100 days after June 30 is not just for the new President to prove to us that he can lead but, more
importantly, for all of us to prove to ourselves that we love this country enough to set aside our differences and
interests to help him succeed and finally show the world that we are not too selfish and self-serving. .. and
downright stupid… in the practice of our faith and freedom.
The first 100 days is our test if we can do things differently given this new window of opportunity. We not only
need a good leader but we have to prove to ourselves that we are deserving of a good one.
The new President has feet of clay who has yet to end his nicotine addiction and he will most likely fail us if we
do not give him the strength he needs to overcome his weaknesses. He needs us as we need him to be strong as
a people. Let’s try our best not to fail one another. Now that elections are over it is time to come out and
express solidarity with our chosen leader for the good of all by being what we demand him to be.
I deliberately hid from sight in the last election to remain non-partisan and respect the choices of friends with
their multi-colored political loyalties. While I prayed for good leaders I personally knew to win, I kept my
silence… and peace, and waited for winners to be proclaimed, eager to get back to work with those who want to
work with us.
I saw no candidate as adversary or enemy. I engage those who respect our terms of engagement. Anyone
who is a friend of the poor is a friend. Anyone who loves my country is family. I regret the defeat of good
leaders I know, but look forward to working with the victors that I have yet to know. Leadership after all is not
about winning elections or staying in power but about going beyond self-interest and rising above rivalries for a
higher cause, even working with political opponents – call it balimbing or whatever name you like – for the
To build a strong nation, we must learn to engage everyone, bridge gaps that divide and leverage limited
resources by encouraging those who have, to give more to those who have less.
While we must engage every politician without judgment and without compromise, our cause of nation-building
must transcend politics. Politics is for politicians, nation-building is for everyone – from the highest leader of
the land to the weakest squatter in the poorest slum. It is for ordinary citizens like me to help provide
connectivity to the un-reached, build trust among the wary and give hope to those in despair.
In the first 100 days, let us be a people of faith.
First, it is good to start by having faith in our leader. We must accept him wholeheartedly as the President for
all Filipinos, including those who did not vote for him.
Given the circumstances of his miraculous ascendancy to power, reluctant in the beginning yet resolute with an
overwhelming mandate in the end, we must accept that it is his divine destiny to lead us. If he is God-sent then
we must treasure the gift and provide him all the support and encouragement to build a just and prosperous
Let us not trivialize the opportunity to start right with our petty politics nor be influenced by ugly cynics who do
not see anything good in this country or in this life. Let us be radical optimists and hope-weavers for a change,
to give our new leader and our country a chance.
It is imperative for those who worked hard for his victory to remain noble and true by not expecting any favors
in return for their efforts. Great leaders are often pulled down by followers who demand their share of power.
Great chances to do great good are spoiled when nobility is exchanged for the spoils of victory. On the other
hand if asked by their leader to do a crucial task, they must also be humble enough to accept.
From our new President, let us demand nothing but faith in himself that he can be faithful to his covenant to
govern with integrity, courage and justice.
From every Filipino, let us also demand nothing less than faith in ourselves that we can transform an entire
nation – slum after slum, barrio after barrio – by transforming ourselves first. Let us not simply depend on the
awesome power of the President and blame everything on him if he fails to deliver. Rather, let us harness the
awesome power of the people, united and committed to do good, to help the President deliver.
Concretely, what can we do?
Start by believing that every Filipino can help, even the poorest among them.
Like the poor in Payatas (Quezon City) who did not sell their votes but even contributed their meager resources
to his campaign or carried his yellow ribbon in their tricycle without getting paid. We must see the poor as a
blessing, not a burden… as assets, not liabilities.
The poor are starting to see him as hope. This was their statement in the last election when they chose
Noynoy. We must therefore help him champion the rising Filipino poor for their hope not to be dashed again.
Help him help them out of extreme poverty and give them middle-class aspirations. That will motivate them to
work and send their children to school. The rejected stones can be the foundation of a strong nation. A true
leader is one who will make this happen.
To usher in a season of hope, we can do many things in the next 100 days.
* Give unproductive land to the squatters.
* Build a home for the homeless.
* Start a business.
* Join a medical mission.
* Plant a tree.
* Send a poor child to school.
The list of good things to do is endless. The list of things to complain about is also endless. Better to walk the
talk than preach and bitch.
To start a period of grace for corruption to end, we can also do many honest things in the 100 days.
* Do not cheat the wife.
* Do not give or accept a bribe.
* Do not rob the poor of just wages.
* Do not pad the expense account.
* Do not cheat in exams.
Again, it is a long list but it always begins with me.
I cannot demand honesty from our government leaders if I cannot be honest myself.
As for me and my household, we will offer the 100 days in simple and sincere service to our poor countrymen.
We will pursue our drive to build sustainable and empowered communities in every barangay in
the country. The Gawad Kalinga People Power Over Poverty campaign we launched in 2004 with Tita Cory
will be a great legacy for the son to continue 6 years later. Continuity is key to development which does not
Many social initiatives that bloomed during the term of the mother may finally bear fruit and be ripe for harvest
during the term of the son. But they must be willing to work with one another to make things work for the good
of an entire nation.
This is key to the first 100 days. It must send the signal to everyone, starting at the top all the way to the ground,
that the interest of the country is first.
To have impact, it must be supported by those who placed him in the highest office of the land. Imagine the
power of the 14 million Filipinos who voted for Noynoy to lead in being good citizens – obeying traffic rules,
avoid polluting our waterways, staying away from drugs or simply not pissing in public.
We must be first in showing discipline and character in defining our own 100 days. An important statement needs to be made.
The Yellow Power is not just about waging a political campaign to win an election. It is about winning the campaign to build a nation.
This is also true for Filipinos abroad who gave Noynoy a big vote of confidence. They must have enough
confidence in him to match this with action. They can visit, volunteer, remit, donate or invest or whatever they
can do for the country’s benefit – things they have been doing before, but must now do so, more than ever. Most
importantly, they must herald the advent of hope for a beloved Mother-land and the emergence of the Global
Filipino who will no longer allow himself to be defined by poverty and corruption.
I’m writing this piece at 4 am in Washington DC on the third leg of an eight city tour to rally Filipinos in
America through GK USA to build our Filipino Dream in this new springtime of hope with our People Power
For this to happen, this must be clear to me. Noynoy is no longer just the son of a great mother and father; he is
now my President who deserves his shot at greatness with every Filipino’s support and prayers.
Pardon the musings of a senior citizen who is tired of waiting for the right leader to come. This time I cannot
afford to fail. I owe it to my six grandchildren and those who are still to come to give my all to make my new
President the right one, for them and every Filipino to have a future full of grace in this cherished Pearl of the
Before I sleep let me end this with a prayer.
Dear GOD, bless us with a leader who will be bold, able and true and grant us the faith to believe that the
Filipino’s time to shine has come, that the Philippines is finally treasured as a precious gift… from YOU. Amen.
I have to commend a Presidentiable on his (or his camp’s) choice of music in his latest ad. The song, Posible, by Rivermaya and written by (sigh!) Rico Blanco gives me goosebumps. Certainly not in the form of the afore mentioned campaign but in this telecoms as I told you about years ago. I’m not sure if you ever got to see it. Globe came out with this as sponsors of the (2005?) South East Asian Games.
So I’m going to sing this song and think of Noynoy.
I really hope his camp churns out something fresh soon. And it better not be as ridiculously contrived as this migraine-inducing drivel which inspired nothing but annoyance. Am posting for those who haven’t see it yet. If you’ve seen it, I say skip it.
Our man’s gotta get people on his team who know better than to make a President (try to) look like an artista.
There’s a big forum on my side of town this Saturday. I’m excited! Will let you know all about it.
I’m not sure if you ever saw this. It was a News Central special about Manila sponsored by Nokia – about two years ago.
I know this is narcissistic of me buy hey, it is – in all objectivity – a good feature. And it stars our fave tour guide and friend, Carlos Celdran aside from yours truly.
So here, the City and twin you love most…
And since I can’t imbed the darn video… just click this link.
I’m not sure if I told you about the art of a certain Dominic Rubio that I hope to one day acquire.
There’s really no need to explain why…
I love the subdued pink sky! But I suppose it’s really the subject matter that touches me. His modern throwback to the romanticism of the 19th century could give any art “appreciator” whip lash. I literally held my breath the first time I laid eyes on these. The craning necks and the oversized heads are his way of expressing his wish that Asians – Pinoys especially – take pride in their heritage and hold their heads up high.
In contrast to the pink sky, here’s one with a hot orangey yellow sky…
But here is my true favorite because it represents so many things I love and believe in – the Philippines, breast feeding and baby wearing…
This will hang on a wall in MY house – one day…