Saturday, 25 August 2012

Japan in Philippine History

Japayuki and comfort women… these are the usual words associated when we talk about any connections we have with Japan in Philippine history. Ambeth Ocampo, a public historian and currently a visiting professor in Sophia University, Tokyo says that history is all about connections. In his talk Before the Japayuki: Japan in Philippine History, it is in every little bits of information that Japan and the Philippines in common we connect each other’s history.

Japayuki
is a term referred to Filipina women in 80’s and 90’s who went to Japan as cultural entertainers however later on it had a negative connotation that when one is referred as this it meant a prostitute. Comfort women, are those who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II and the majority are from the Philippines and a few Asian countries.

Ambeth also says that to find connections it requires appreciation of useless information. We call a bottled cap of any kind “tansan” in Tagalog. In Japan, there is a brand called “Tansan” which is a bottle of carborated water. The mosquito killer emitting a pungent smoke we call it “katol”. Japan call it katori-senkou. We believe we are the ones who invented the halo-halo but as early as 16th century they already have this kakegori – shaved ice topped with sweet kinds of syrup. The scissors and paper game, we have a local version of it we call “Jack en Poy “. Japan call their version “Janken Pon”.

Many local historians and history lovers reacted when our current P1,000 bill’s back part showed the map of the Philippines not including the Spratly’s islands and Sabah, Borneo which we have dispute territory claim against China and Malaysia. Indonesia however in one of their money bills they show their map with some islands which other countries own but they say “traditionally this land is ours”. So how can we teach the young ones of today to fight for what is ours historically when we are too polite and playing safe for things we need to stand for no matter what? Why is it that the story of comfort women are not found in textbooks and not even mentioned in Wikipedia when they are also part of Japan in Philippine history?

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

My Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2012


In the eight online hours I spend five days a week at the office and a few more on weekends at home, there is no single day that I haven't stumbled upon a blog of any kind whenever I google stuff for reliable information and up-to-date reviews. As a matter of fact I have several blogs I literally stalk and check everyday sometimes more frequent than my own blog! 

While I admit up to now I still struggle about the technicalities of blogging and the challenges of keeping "afloat" I admire the bloggers behind these who are starting to make big waves out there. These blogs can be compared to a few good books though stashed in the highest space on top of the drawer, the readers never get tired of reaching those because of the worth. These blogs are ot all from the pioneers who knew the tricks already but a good number are from the new ones who exactly knew how to take advantage of the immeasurable privileges of blogging and social media today. Below is my top ten emerging infuential blogs of 2012:

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Raining in Manila

"I envy you a lot Rona! You have all the time to enjoy life." says a friend after telling to her how my recent trips are giving the best times of my life,  meeting like-minded people in events and now looking forward  to go to Negros this Sept   23 - 27 . I have been to IlocosCebu, BicolCagayan de Oro and will be going to  again for an international conference about cultural tourism. "I envy you more." I replied. "You have your own family you come home to while me I am living an independent life so I have no pressure for me to stay at home." It has been raining in Manila and many are affected by the flood for the past few weeks. It is at this moment I find myself "dramatic"and my hand gets itchy to start writing again.

As I watch the thick dark clouds enveloping the sky from the 24th floor where I stay, the winds keep on blowing in spread out directions causing the rain to spill some drops to my face. I did not bother though wiping out these as my attention is focused more listening to the whizzing sound of the wind. I realized that a moment like this, you will be longing to stay in bed longer. Just lying there, sank half over the soft, tempting and cottony mattress.

What else could be much better to wish for at this very moment is having someone lying next beside you. Giving each other the hottest kiss, warmest embrace as if no one wants to let go and sharing another unforgettable summer bliss. Spending that moment as if you two are the only people left in this world. The slightest whisper to each other's ears, the air from breathing in and out from each other's nose and mouth and most especially is the beating of each others heart. These are the only dominating sounds you will hear as if these are as loud as your boss is shouting at you for your just another honest mistake in the office.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Reasons Why I Keep on Blogging


This July I commemorated my third year of blogging silently with no giveaways, promos or some nasty celebrations that most of my fellow bloggers do in this same day. I spent it reflecting for how long I have been blogging now. Somehow I am still in the process of realizing that the art of blogging is a combination of a little lie, a bit of bragging and a sprinkle of exaggeration. My passion though for blogging is still burning like hell after all these times. Never did I had any means in my life that I was able to document everything that I do for years and blogging really helped me a lot to know what has been eating my time, what are my interests, what drives me crazy, what ignites my creativity, what else I am missing and who are the ones who helped me shape for what I am now.

That in every words I blog I should possess a character who knows-it-all, fearless, ever-courageous and a model of righteousness. But in fact I am just the same as everyone online who commits mistake like wrong spelling and wrong grammar. That behind these encouraging words I share I am just another human being who hides behind my posts and trying to be the words I write. And who would have thought that through this blog I fell in love, fell out, got inspired, continued dreaming like a 16 year old, meet amazing people, enslaved by the online world, helped me know my advocacies and taught me to stood up for something.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

The Museum of Three Cultures in Capitol University

The Museum of Three Cultures for me is the best place to get a snapshot of history about Cagayan de Oro and the Northern Mindanao. I have seen the place, talked to the locals and why not get the glimpse of its heritage? It is quite sad when one goes to a place, returns home would  probably have a hundred stories of what is the best food to eat, the best pasalubong to bring and where’s the best spot to hangout in that place. But ask what that place was named that way. Most of the time, the answer is a nod.

My curiosity of knowing Cagayan de Oro sans the image of white water rafting was somewhat fulfilled through this visit. The Northern Mindanao’s history is told mostly through the six tribes that thrived in it. These are the Higaunon, Higaunon Manobo, Matigsalog, Western Bukidnon, Southern Bukidnon and Manobo. It is very interesting to know that some if not all of the indigenous people remained “untouched” against the Spanish colonialism. From the late Paleolithic period or Old Stone age until early American time, they do NOT wear woven clothes but use the barks from the trees. Proof is the Andesite bark beater which is a piece of wood used to smash the barks from the trees to make it thinner and lighter to wear.


Cagayan De Oro Tourist Spots


Source : bootsnall.com
Cagayan De Oro is like a chunk of Manila: shopping malls and fastfood chains sprouting everywhere, annoying air pollution from the mufflers of cabs, jeepneys and private ones all contributing to traffic in the roads. However there is one mode of transportation that caught my attention during my three-day stay there. The motorela or "rela" is only found in Cagayan de Oro and in Northern Mindanao but no other versions of this anywhere in the Philippines. It is somewhat a combination of Thailand's tuktuk and our very own jeepney. It can fit 10 people inside and I am just a little amazed of this because it is three - wheeled (1 wheel in front & 2 wheels in the rear) vehicle used for short distance transportation and it has a slanted appearance which the rear part of it appears to be heavier than the front. Not many Filipinos know this unless those who have been here!

Malasag Eco-tourism Village


Malasag Eco-tourism Village is a tribal community nestled in the slopes of a hill. This place showcases the ecology and ethnic culture of Northern Mindanao. Representatives from the six tribes in this part of  Mindanao live and work here. They do handcrifacts, perform rituals, dances, make ethnic instruments and other art forms. This was conceptualized in 1991  and inspired by the picturesque gardens of Granada in Spain and the Bouchart Gardens of Canada.

If you want to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the main Cagayan de Oro area, you may rent a space here. Cost of the cottages range from P1,1850 - P 2,200 with free breakfast. You will have a view of Macajalar bay, Cagayan Pier and if the weather is fine you will see from the distance the island of Camiguin and Agutayan island. According to Department of Tourism (DOT) the Malasag Eco-tourism Village is the only theme park of its kind in Minadanao. 

You may watch every 4pm the tribes perform their  Daily Street dancing inside the village.  Pitch a tent at the campsite, take a splash at the swimming pool and more.

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