Earth Hour 2011: Let the Philippines be Top in Global Participation Again


“Over a billion people from 128 countries participated in Earth Hour 2010 – marking it as the largest environmental event in known human history. The Philippines for the last 2 years in 2009 and 2010 topped the global Earth Hour participation: 10 million Filipinos in 647 towns, cities and municipalities switched off in 2009, while 15 million Filipinos in 1076 towns and cities joined the 2010 switch-off ”, according to the official website of World Wild  Fund (WWF) Philippines.
Now in its fourth year in the country, on March 26th Earth Hour 2011 will be observed from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  Earth Hour invites Filipinos from Batanes to Tawi-tawi to switch off their lights and appliances for an hour of darkness and saving our energy. Earth Hour started in Australia in 2007 and the Philippines joined in 2008.  Director Atty. Gia Ibay who leads WWF-Philippines Climate Unit says “If we want lasting and effective results, then we must inculcate the true spirit of the event into our lives – which is to reduce our consumption of power, water and other critical resources. We want Filipinos to pledge to a year-long commitment to reduce their energy usage. Pledges can take the form of biking to work, choosing to fly less, planting native trees, going on a no-meat diet and so on. It all depends on what the individual is willing to do. In the same fashion, corporations and communities can make commitments to be more resource efficient and environmentally responsive. Remember, it starts with nothing more than a conscious decision.”
Earth Hour Philippines calls for individuals, businesses, groups, schools and the whole country to participate in this year’s event by switching off lights from 8:30PM to 9:30PM on 26 March 2011.  Earth Hour Philippines is “No longer aiming for numbers, the switch-off aims for meaning. With climate change issues becoming more critical, WWF-Philippines aims to go beyond Earth Hour by launching a year-long information and education campaign on climate change for Filipinos, revolving around the themes of energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate adaptation.” Concerts will be held in different parts of Manila during the Earth Hour, for more information you may go to their website or please click here.
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Philippine History in the 19th Century Told Through Rare Photos


“The only known photo about José Rizal’s execution was actually taken by a Spaniard who happened to have a bookstore that time selling a copy of Noli Me Tangere novel too. This same photo by Manuel Aria showing Rizal, behind him are Filipino soldiers holding rifles forced to shoot him if not the Spanish soldiers behind them will shoot them too, later became a serious mistake that stirred a rallying cry and ended the Spanish rule in the Philippines” says John Silva, a writer, arts & culture consultant, tour guide and blogger in “OUR VISUAL HISTORY Discovering the 19th and Early 20th Century Philippines through Photographs” talk in Ortigas Foundation Library.

Silva has been an avid photo collector for the past 8 years about the works of early photographers in the Philippines he acquired from travels and his work. He narrates about the first recorded photographs in the country that came from Sinibaldo de Mas, a Spaniard who always had numerous complaints about the insolence of the natives like not removing their hats or not giving their way whenever he pass by to them in the sidewalks. The camera he used is the daguerreotype and later wrote the Informe sobre el estado de las Filipinas en 1842 (A Report on the Status of the Philippines in 1842).
Jose Rizal’s Execution
Félix Laureano’s photo the Lavando la ropa, may be the earliest account of a homosexual / gay ever existed and recorded in the country. In 19th century since there are no malls yet, after the people attended the mass in the early morning, the town becomes half-empty and during mid-morning everyone goes to the river to socialize while bathing,  washing clothes,  to make chit-chats or see the apple-of-their-eyes. In his photo, he mentioned “Three dalagas and a tauo, sitting on the green grass beside the river and washing clothes, their minute feet being lapped by the crystal clear current. The tauo, who can be identified by his manners, is binabayi, agui, and has the balutan of dirty clothes near him.” Here, binabayi, means effeminate”. Only a local could identify a homosexual in context using local expressions.
Silva also shows a photo of a woman in a carriage beside her groom to church and a band after them with a purpose to cheer her up since it is an arranged wedding.Francisco van Camp’s Indígena de clase rica, a photo of a Mestiza Sangley-Filipina (of mixed race) in a long curly hair with coconut oil or just came from a shower holding a fan half-opened which meant the girl is single and a lady of pleasure. Photos of the St. Louis World Fair in 1904 which brought 2,000 of our tribe men was marked as a fetish display of Filipinos that one of the fair’s highlights is an Igorot roasting a pig daily throughout the exhibition. Rizal himself condemned the unfair or rather inhuman treatment of them abroad.
These photos from his 5,000 pieces of collection are so rare that Silva says should be seen by every Filipinos since we seemed to be only Filipinos by name, we can recite and sing our national anthem but we don’t know our history this much. He shares a few sentiments over historical sites that are being destroyed like the Jai Alai, one of the most beautiful art deco in the Philippines which was destroyed because of a mayor of Manila was maybe having a bad hair day at that time. No article can be fit enough to express the meanings of these photos instead the images itself should be shared to everyone. He is also looking for a sponsor of these priceless photos for future publication.

Felix Laureano’s Recuerdo de Filipinas book about a woman in an arranged marriage
 Indigena de Clase Rica
St. Louis  World Fair 1904
If you want to check out Silva’s blog entitled  JOHN’S THOUGHTS AND DEEDS you may click here  

Philippine History in the 19th Century Told Through Rare Photos


“The only known photo about José Rizal’s execution was actually taken by a Spaniard who happened to have a bookstore that time selling a copy of Noli Me Tangere novel too. This same photo by Manuel Aria showing Rizal, behind him are Filipino soldiers holding rifles forced to shoot him if not the Spanish soldiers behind them will shoot them too, later became a serious mistake that stirred a rallying cry and ended the Spanish rule in the Philippines” says John Silva, a writer, arts & culture consultant, tour guide and blogger in “OUR VISUAL HISTORY Discovering the 19th and Early 20th Century Philippines through Photographs” talk in Ortigas Foundation Library.

Silva has been an avid photo collector for the past 8 years about the works of early photographers in the Philippines he acquired from travels and his work. He narrates about the first recorded photographs in the country that came from Sinibaldo de Mas, a Spaniard who always had numerous complaints about the insolence of the natives like not removing their hats or not giving their way whenever he pass by to them in the sidewalks. The camera he used is the daguerreotype and later wrote the Informe sobre el estado de las Filipinas en 1842 (A Report on the Status of the Philippines in 1842).
Jose Rizal’s Execution
Félix Laureano’s photo the Lavando la ropa, may be the earliest account of a homosexual / gay ever existed and recorded in the country. In 19th century since there are no malls yet, after the people attended the mass in the early morning, the town becomes half-empty and during mid-morning everyone goes to the river to socialize while bathing,  washing clothes,  to make chit-chats or see the apple-of-their-eyes. In his photo, he mentioned “Three dalagas and a tauo, sitting on the green grass beside the river and washing clothes, their minute feet being lapped by the crystal clear current. The tauo, who can be identified by his manners, is binabayi, agui, and has the balutan of dirty clothes near him.” Here, binabayi, means effeminate”. Only a local could identify a homosexual in context using local expressions.
Silva also shows a photo of a woman in a carriage beside her groom to church and a band after them with a purpose to cheer her up since it is an arranged wedding.Francisco van Camp’s Indígena de clase rica, a photo of a Mestiza Sangley-Filipina (of mixed race) in a long curly hair with coconut oil or just came from a shower holding a fan half-opened which meant the girl is single and a lady of pleasure. Photos of the St. Louis World Fair in 1904 which brought 2,000 of our tribe men was marked as a fetish display of Filipinos that one of the fair’s highlights is an Igorot roasting a pig daily throughout the exhibition. Rizal himself condemned the unfair or rather inhuman treatment of them abroad.
These photos from his 5,000 pieces of collection are so rare that Silva says should be seen by every Filipinos since we seemed to be only Filipinos by name, we can recite and sing our national anthem but we don’t know our history this much. He shares a few sentiments over historical sites that are being destroyed like the Jai Alai, one of the most beautiful art deco in the Philippines which was destroyed because of a mayor of Manila was maybe having a bad hair day at that time. No article can be fit enough to express the meanings of these photos instead the images itself should be shared to everyone. He is also looking for a sponsor of these priceless photos for future publication.

Felix Laureano’s Recuerdo de Filipinas book about a woman in an arranged marriage
 Indigena de Clase Rica
St. Louis  World Fair 1904
If you want to check out Silva’s blog entitled  JOHN’S THOUGHTS AND DEEDS you may click here  
 
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A Glimpse of UST and its Lumina Pandit 400-year old Exhibit

University of Santo Tomas (UST) located in Sampaloc, Manila is Asia’s oldest existing university even older than Harvard’s. In its 400th annivesary it showed the Lumina Pandit: An Exhibition of Historical Treasures” which offered the rarest and most valuable items in the archives of Miguel de Benavides Library. Contrary to the usual negative connotation of friars during Spanish time, it was a moment worth acknowledging about these Dominican missionaries who did priceless efforts to help the Filipinos to enrich the knowledge about education, science and language particularly at that time.

These books, documents, photos, retablos, sculptors, maps that are completely sealed were exhibited since June 2010 and just last Friday it was officially closed. It will be returned to their safe and temperature-controlled vaults which will be opened in perhaps in another hundred years.

Among the books that intrigued me the most are Nicolaus Copernicus 1st edition of book that explains geocentric idea that the Sun not the Earth is the center of the universe. His book was published a year after he died so it was Galileo Galelei who was persecuted by the Catholic Church which supports heliocentric idea the opposite of that of Nicolaus principle. The only existing sample of a real estate transaction in the 16th century written in “baybayin” or the alphabet used by our ancestors which is about a document selling a house. A picture of the first rector of UST was there too and he is in fact still alive, a bishop in Naga said by the student guide. Rosaries from 16th century looked so colorful and I regard them as jewelries




           World Map in 1507 that does not include yet the Philippines .



Baybayin Document





Any idea how old are these books?

University of Santo Tomas (UST)


Of Wishing Lamps and The Battle of Manila

The rain which Carlos Celdran called rather as “climate change” may have forced the Manila Transitio 1945 event to change venues but it didn’t stop those glaring paper wishing lamps to fly up the Manila Cathedral and above the sky.  Sixty-six years ago, one hundred and twenty thousand Filipinos lost their lives during the battle between Japanese and Americans for a month. Believed to be the worst urban fighting in the Pacific during WWII, these wishing lamps were lit up in memory of these people.

From La Castellana where the concert was held, at around 10PM the participants started walking to Plaza Roma. Those who don’t have umbrellas, they put these still plastic-enclosed wishing lamps on top of their head to cover them from the drizzle.  Their eyes show a bit doubt if they can light themselves these lamps up. But  the spirits of these 120, 000 people may have helped to clear the sky because after 10 minutes or so the drizzle stopped.

One man started to light his wishing lamp. Another hand helped him to turn it upside down so slowly not to  burn the sides of the lamp. Then these hands should hold this lamp for a while until it floats up. The crowd clapped their hands like little children so eager to do for themselves too. One by one, these glaring lamps all going up slowly creating a soothing sight to those watching.

The instruction says one should write a wish to the lamp first but I guess everyone forgot to because they are so eager to let theirs fly quick. I have one in mind though, that I was thinking while holding my wishing lamp that if ever this got bumped to the trees like a few others and won’t be able to fly up above, this wish won’t come true. At first it went up but went down, but thank you to a hand who helped me hold it until it did went up and up the sky.  I hope my wish would turn this way up too soon…








Join Carlos Celdran in Manila Transitio 1945

Special Sunset Tour and a Concert will be held in Fort Santiago in commeration of the battle between the United States Armed Forces and the Japanese Imperial Army in Manila which an estimate of 120,000 people died in February of 1945.

This event marks the 66th Anniversary of the Battle of Manila. One hundred twenty (120) spirit balloons will be released and a concert will follow.
Since this event is lead by an RH bill advocate, condoms will also be given away.