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Showing posts with label Heritage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Heritage. Show all posts

“Nation and Culture” by F. Sionil Jose at Ortigas Foundation Library

F. Sionil Jose, a National Artist for Literature, Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Awardee and Pablo Neruda Centennial Awardee  once again will give a talk entitled:  “Nation and Culture”, on Friday, March 16, 6pm at Ortigas Foundation Library.

Mr. Jose’s new books “ The Feet of Juan Bacnang” and  “Gleanings From A Life in Literature” as well as his other books will be on sale. 

To register and for more details please call 631-1231 locals 222 and 228 or email
Admission is FREE!

400 Shots to Immortality: Timeless Photographs of the University of Santo Tomas Towards its Neo-centennial Photo Exhibit

Asia's oldest existing university even older than Harvard, University of Santo  Tomas is having a photo exhibit "400 Shots to Immortality: Timeless Photographs of the University of Santo Tomas Towards its Neo-centennial" that starteded last  January 20 at the UST Museum of Arts and Sciences and will run until February 10.

According to  UST official website: The exhibit, which will feature 40 rare photos of UST and 360 documentations of the UST life at large, is divided into eight sections. "We Are the Champions" shows the thrust of the UST athletes to remain in the pedestal as it guns for its 14th consecutive general championship title this year. "Unguarded Moments" documents day-to-day vignettes of the Thomasian campus life.
"Showcase of Thomasian Culture" displays photos of annual affairs in UST, such as Paskuhan and the Baccalaureate Mass. "Record Breaker" reviews the memories when the Philippines’ Catholic university formed the Largest Human Cross and eventually entered the Guinness World Records last year. "Royal, Pontifical, Spectacular," meanwhile, maps out the UST campus, showing all the UST landmarks at their most spectacular angles. "UST in Paris" documents last year’s event when UNESCO paid tribute to UST's Quadricentennial. "Our Fathers" will give a glimpse of the Domicans’ life inside the university and "Quadricentennial Celebration" recaps the yearlong celebration of UST’s 400th anniversary.

Photos in the exhibit will be available for sale. Part of the proceeds will be donated to the victims of typhoon "Sendong," and "Simbahayan," the centerpiece project of the Quadricentennial celebration where UST will rehabilitate 400 villages through medical, literacy, community and peace "interventions."

FREE Villancico concert at San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Dec 6 at7:30 pm

    • The historic San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila will be the venue for one the most special Christmas presentations of the year. This is "Villancicos ng Paskong Pilipino," a concert featuring Spanish and Filipino "villancicos", December 6 at 7:30 p.m.

      The "villancico" is an old music form from Spain and Portugal that has come to be associated with Christmas. "Villancicos ng Paskong Pilipino" hopes to create awareness about the Filipino villancico heritage and to bring back memories of Christmas celebrations in the Spanish era.

      Performing the villancicos will be the Tiples de Santo Domingo and the Santo Domingo Male Chorale known as the oldest boys' choir in the Philippines conducted by Eugene de los Santos and the Novo Concertante Manila with Arwin Tan as conductor.

Doble Kara: Rizal In Art and Monuments

What is the significance of  The Rizal Monument in the Luneta today?  Let us look back the story behind the monument from its origin in Switzerland to Manila, the bloody history of Luneta or  Rizal Park and listen how  Rizal is re-presented in art and history. Noted historian Ambeth R. Ocampo will give a “ Doble Kara: Rizal In Art and Monuments” 

This will the fourth and last lecture this year by  Dr. Ocampo  on  Dec 3 at the Ayala Museum lobby. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tickets are P350 for adults and P200 for students, senior citizens, teachers and Ayala Museum members. You may call 757-7117 to 21 local 24/25/35 or email

Philippines aims to attain Guinness World Record for Longest Line ofCoins

There is more to look forward this coming Nov. 30 aside from it is Bonifacio Day, a non-working holiday. Lead by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Officers Club and Employees Association, Philippines aims to attain a Guiness World Record for Longest Line of Coins in a project called "Barya ng mga Bayani: The Power of Small Change". At least 5 million of pieces of 25 centavo coins will be lined up and estimated to measure up to 70 kilometers at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park on Bonifacio Day. ------------

Filipinos are invited to volunteer to line up the coins, bring 25 centavo coins and other coin denominations or be a sponsor to one of hte kilometers for only P12, 500. The organizers hope that through this event not only Philippines bag another Guiness title but to "unify Filipinos to unleash the power of small change and the power of unity through small acts starting at collecting and donating coins for nation-building. The collected amounts will then be used to fund construction of classrooms for public elementary schools in the country.------------

Ever wonder why Quirino Grandstand? Well last year's tragic incident about  the hostage of ex-police that killed Hong Kong tourists gave this place a bad impression so hopefully with this event the image will turn to be a lot better. [Image of the  25 Philippine Peso coin taken from Wikipedia]

Jose Rizal and Switzerland

    • “Nothing more than a free spot for making out”, this is what Historian Ambeth Ocampo joking as he describes Luneta Park today. This place used to be valued for its historical significance but people seemed to have lost appreciation for “useless” things like this. In Jose Rizal and Switzerland talk, Ambeth shared though Rizal stayed for 3 weeks, nothing much has been written about it in his diaries. However, one link that Switzerland has to the Philippines is that the Rizal Monument was made by Richard Kipling a Swiss who won the second prize for the design competition of this monument.

      Manila was very boring in the 18th century that after the early morning mass every Sunday, going to Luneta Park and watching a human execution is considered an amusement! Rizal was not the only hero executed in Luneta Park. The three priest martyrs Gomburza whom Rizal said “if not because of what happened to them I would have been a Jesuit” was also executed there through a garrote in 1972. That time Rizal was 11, Bonifacio 9, Mabini 8, Luna 6 and Aguinaldo was 3 years old. Jacinto and Del Pilar were not even born!

      One would notice that at the very back end of Luneta Park is the Lapu-Lapu Monument that is even taller and bigger than Rizal Monument! What is the point of calling it as Rizal Park or when it is shared by other personality? Ambeth said he has nothing against with this brave warrior from Cebu but it is just geographically right to relocate this anywhere not just here in Luneta Park.

      Gomburza and Rizal not only shared same place where they were executed but also the place where they were buried in Paco. Rizal is said to have prepared his death very much that he even told the soldiers to hit him with the riffle bullets in the backbone so he can be quickly killed that shortening the agony of being killed! He instructed to be buried in the ground, place a stone and cross in his tomb, fences ok with him and NO anniversaries please. All of these are were followed except the last one that even the country’s presidents do it.

      As Ambeth ends his talk, he said “Rizal was only 26 when he wrote his novel El Filibusterismo. He wrote 26 volumes of books to sadly… a nation that does not read those.”

"Jose Rizal and Switzerland" at Yuchengco Museum

RIZALizing the Future Culminating Event
Jose Rizal and Switzerland
Saturday, 29 October 2011

3:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Guest speakers: Ambeth Ocampo, Ambassador Maria Theresa Lazaro, and My Rizal 150
Presented in partnership with the Swiss Embassy

Symbolically linking Switzerland and the Philippines are the emblematic figures of two national heroes, Wilhelm Tell and Jose Rizal. Rizal translated into Tagalog Friedrich Schiller’s drama Wilhelm Tell, who embodied the values and ideals for which Rizal gave his life. In his lecture on “Jose Rizal and Switzerland,” Ambeth Ocampo will talk about Rizal’s links to Switzerland. Relations between the Philippines and Switzerland can be traced back to the early 19th century, when Swiss traders, missionaries, and travelers ventured into Southeast Asia. Since the establishment of a Swiss consulate in Manila—the first official representation of Switzerland in Asia—in 1862, exchange between the two countries has flourished. In her lecture on “Switzerland and the Philippines,” Ambassador Maria Theresa Lazaro will discuss the 150 years of diplomatic and trade relations, development cooperation, and cultural exchange between the two countries.

To Read My Review of this Talk "Jose Rizal and Switzerland" Please Click Here

Open to public and with admission (P100 for adults, P50 for students, P25 for children and senior citizens). Ambeth Ocampo's books on Jose Rizal will be available for sale, and a small reception to meet the speakers follows the program.For details, call Yuchengco Museum at 889-1234 or email

The Filipino Twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins

Sharing you a children's book now a collector's item The Filipino Twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins published i n1923. It is very well researched as if it had been written by someone who had visited the Philippines when the author has never been here! Like “It was a busy place,” she wrote about a dock along the Pasig River. “Men were unloading fish and vegetables from other boats…. Other men were piling the produce on carts drawn by carabaos and hurrying away to the markets. Scores of boats were tied along the banks, and in and out and up and down the waterway busy tugs plied back and forth, filling the air with the screams of their whistles and with smoke from their stacks…. There were also ships just sailing away loaded with sugar, tobacco, lumber, hemp, and coconuts.” Except that the family carabao is named Bobtail and the dog Dingo.

The Filipino Twins is part of a series of 26 children's books (1910 - 1930) known as "The Twins Books" about the usual topic always attached to a Filipino setting - struggles of a family to overcome the poverty that threatens them. Most of the stories are twins (The Dutch Twins, The Japanese Twins, The Irish Twins etc) composed of one boy and one girl, the only exception is The Spanish Twins , which is about two boys. Each book took place in a different country or time in America's past. These books are now hard to find now hard to find You're lucky if you have one of these!

New Philippine Peso Bills as One of the Best Currency Series in theWorld

Yahoo News Philippines reports despite its design errors, the new Philippine peso bills called the "New Generation Currency (NGC)" series has been judged as one of the best currency series in the world in an international design competition by the International Association of Currency Affairs (Iaca). 

Sri Lanka bagged the Best Currency Award. Uganda's new series of rupees is one of the finalists as well. IACA is an international organization of central banks, currency-issuing authorities, currency producers and suppliers.  To read more of the news you may click here

An Introduction to Writing About Arts & Culture Writing Workshop

With the growing art scene in Manila and the increasing number of Filipino artists receiving international attention, it is only appropriate to shine the spotlight on Philippine arts, culture, and heritage. Learn how to share and write about these topics to a wider audience. Get an overview of the different fields and opportunities in writing about arts and culture–be it visual arts, architecture, theater, music, or design.” - Writer’s Block Philippines 

An Introduction to Writing About Arts & Culture
October 8 (Sat), 9 am-6pm
November 7, 10, & 14 (Mon-Thu-Mon), 6-9pm
Workshop Fee: P3,500 (10% off WBP members & 15% off for students)

The Yuchengco Museum and Writer’s Block Philippines are offering “Writing About Arts and Culture,” a series of writing workshops that bring together writing skills development, cultural information, and art appreciation. The first workshop in the series will be facilitated by Yuchengco Museum curator Jeannie Javelosa and administrator Dannie Alvarez, alongside Writer’s Block founders Ana Santos, Nikka Sarthou, and Niña Terol-Zialcita. Interested participants can choose either the weekend workshop on October 8, or the weeknight series for three nights of November. This will cover:

  • An overview of Philippine arts, culture, and heritage in contemporary life
  • Telling the story of arts and culture
  • Asking the right questions
  • Q&A, case studies, and a writing exercise

Slots are limited to only 30 participants. The workshop fee is P3,500, which includes snacks, workshop materials, and a certificate. For registration and more details, contact Yuchengco Museum at 889-1234 or email

Uncovering Controversial Facts about Jose Rizal

“Rizal’s first reason when he entered UST is to study for priesthood.” says Dr. Paul Domol, a playwright and history professor at the University of Asia and the Pacific. Rizal took Metaphysics as a first year student which is a prerequisite course for anyone wanting to be a priest at University of Santo Tomas at that time. But when his mother’s eyesight starts to fail, he shifted to Medicine on his second year to cure hers. And when he went to Spain, he continued to study Medicine and at the same time Humanities, so basically Rizal at the start seems like he does not know where his heart is.

The Beginnings of Rizal’s Anti-Friar Sentiments                                               As early as he is a first year student, Rizal really wanted to be known as a writer and the only way he can be is to learn and write through Spanish language. The very first time Rizal is known to viciously attack the friars is through his exchange of letters to his brother Paciano, whom the latter informing Fr. Leoncio Lopez the Parish Priest of Calamba at that time just died. Ambeth Ocampo, another historian shared a similar revelation about Fr. Lopez, is actually the biological father of Antonino Lopez, the husband of one of Rizal’s sisters, Saturnina. Antonino used to be introduced as a nephew of the priest in public.

Rizal the Apostate                                                                                                                         In 1883 Rizal while in Madrid, he received a letter from his mother asking him if the rumors that she heard is true that he has stopped attending mass, receiving sacraments and stuff. Rizal replied as though he is lecturing his mother. He said that technically he is not a Catholic anymore, does not believe in Bible and the God that the Catholics believe. The God that he believes is the God that his human mind can reach.

Rizal the Party Pooper                                                                                                             There was an incident during New Year’s Eve that each one in the celebration is asked what food to share but when he was told what specifically he can bring, he took off his hat, and approached everyone like a beggar extending his hand and asks them to drop a coin inside his hat. In another party, Rizal also scolded Filipinos in Madrid who spend more time womanizing, gambling etc. instead of studying and making something worthy to their country.

Visited the house replica of Rizal in Dapitan where he lived and met Josephine Bracken. Click here for details

The untitled last Chapter of El Filibusterismo                                                         All throughout the chapters of Fili are all about against the Spanish government and friars but the last chapter is the opposite. Not only it is untitled but it tells something against the Filipinos themselves. He said Filipinos should not be given freedom until they’re worthy of it.

Rizal as a Playboy                                                                                                                            He is not, but it is true that he loved a lot of women. In one of his letters, he shows his brotherly care to one of his sisters whom he heard always going away with his boyfriend and reminding her to be careful.

Rizal as Hero                                                                                                                                    There was no 'hero'  word nor a meaning of it ever existed during his time. It was through him that he defined his word which is giving one's life to a bunch of people whom most of them he does not know. The term 'hero' only started to exist in the early 1900's.

Photowalk with my brother in Rizal Park and Intramuros, please click here for full story

Rizal and his Retraction to Anti-Catholic ideas                                               Yes, he retracted and went back to his faith. When he wrote his retraction, he signed a Catholic prayer book, recited Catholic prayers,  and a few eyewitness saw him kiss the crucifix before his execution.

Rizal's Relevance Today                                                                                                      While in Dapitan, he opened a school and gave free education to 18 boys. He also setup a free clinic for those with eyesight problems. He made a lighting system, water system using bamboos, adding benches and made a map of Mindanao.

Taken from Dr. Paul Domol's lecture "Controversial Facts About Rizal: Notes Towards a New Rizal Biography" at the Yuchengco Museum September 17, 2011 (Saturday) 3pm. Dr. Domol is also best known for his play "Ang Paglilitis ni Mang Serapio" as his best if not one his bet literary masterpieces. Part of RIZALizing the Future, in celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Jose Rizal and the 100th anniversary of the Yuchengco Group of Companies (YGC).

Photo source:

The Parisian Life Painting of Juan Luna

"The Parisian Life" painting is also known as Interior d’Un Café or "Inside a Café", even titled in some books as "The Maid" and "Un Coquette" or literally someone who is one step lower than prostitute painted by Juan Luna. He is known to use prostitutes as models in his painting sessions for a very obvious reason - they're paid cheap. In 1904 at the World Fair’s Saint Louis Exposition in the United States, this  painting won Silver Medal.

Forty-six million pesos! While we see homeless families living under bridges and beggars everywhere, how could the GSIS able to bear buying a painting which in any moment could be in a foreign hand and could never be given back to us through an auction so expensive like this? "The Parisian Life" painting is one of Juan Luna’s obra maestras done in Paris, France year 1892. This is not Juan Luna’s most popular painting – it is the “Spoliarium” but the story behind it is very unusual. This painting is showing a lady wearing a flamboyant hat, in a French dress with long sleeves, ruffled ends and length reaching beyond her ankles. Not so far from her back are three men who look like making gossips about her.

The three men in "The Parisian Life" painting are actually heroes in Philippine History: Jose Rizal, Ariston Bautista Lin and Luna himself. A "Kwentong Barbero" version of this painting explains the story behind which is about these men in a coffee shop exchanging glances over a prostitute: two of them planning who will be the first to hook her up tonight and the other one sharing he just actually gone to bed with this same girl a night ago. What a story all worth of a historical value and international award! But if one has an eye that can see beyond this painting made in oil, this lady actually has a "geographical likeness" to the mirror-image or the map of the archipelago of the Philippines. You put a map of the Philippines over her and it seems she is really the Philippines at that time. Her knees (we kneel when we pray) matched to Cebu in the map where Roman Catholicism started and on her navel (means birth) is the Kawit, Cavite map where our First Independence was declared and a lot more coincidences! Her left arm a bit detached in a downward slant signifies the Palawan islands! She appears to be strangled too as there is a line on top of her head because that time Philippines is under colony.

One very interesting fact about Luna is he is a man of temper and known about his jealousy over his wife's alleged infidelity. After killing his wife, mother-in-law and wounded his brother-in-law by gunshots he was never jailed for long in France because the Queen Regent of Spain helped her as she is regarded as a "National Treasure" at that time because of his paintings. In fact, he remains to be until today. Our previous administrations tried to ask his “La Batalla de Lepanto" painting displayed in Senate Hall of Spain to be given back to us until now but Spain insisted the painting should remain to them because it was done when Philippines is still under colony of Spain.

“The Parisian Life” painting according to GSIS Pres. Winston Garcia was brought back home for P46 million through an auction bid. This painting if divided to the 1.3 GSIS million members would only cost P36 each. Currently, the painting is now valued at P200 million or $8,000. Not bad at all for a purchasing a painting in the name of heritage. But wait there is a rumor circulating someone or a group of ready to buy this in its current amount. Should we or should we let go of this painting? We can feed so many people in this amount.

This talk The Parisian Life painting of Juan Luna was delivered by Michael Charles "Xiao " Chua,  historian at GSIS Museum last Aug. 6th, 2011. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Wohow! After four years, I have finally seen the Parisian Life Painting again in National Museum. It is now the permanent home for Juan Luna's masterpieces including the Spoliarium. It is located at the 3rd level, of National Museum's National Art Gallery. Entrance fee is Php 150 for regular visitors, less Php30 to senior citizens. The National Museum of the Philippines or Museum of the Filipino People Manila is located along Taft Ave, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila. You can click here my blog review of Juan Luna's Parisian Life 2016. 

What does Rizal’s Astrological Birth Chart Reading Says About Him?

"That he's never gonna get married and that's he's gonna die young. Rizal knew these would happen to him." says Filipino astrologer Resti Santiago, who talks about Rizal's life in accordance to certain planetary movements that may have affected him when he was alive. "Don't send him to school in Manila anymore. He knows enough and if he knows more, he will be killed." His clairvoyant mother even said one time to his father when he was 16 years old. Astrology is one of the oldest sciences and astrologers are also history-lovers. Honorio Lopez, the Father of Philippine Astrology even studied Rizal's life at some point in time he said.

Looking back at Rizal's Astrological Chart which is the map of the heavens when an event takes place, there are 12 people considered with insurmountable roles in his life. His parents, friends, critics, some family members, his first love Leonor Rivera and wife Josephine Bracken are classified according to what order of house they belonged under. These houses are called specifically like First House is Aries, Second House is Taurus up to Twelth House is Pisces.  There is a free downloadable software the Morinus 3.9 that could help anyone know his Astrological Chart and reading. Interesting! Yeah will download that soon.

Based on the the 3 Daughters of Fate and astrological technique he was predicted to die at age 33. Well, he died at 35. But what really happened when he was 33? Leonor died and at age 34 he said through a letter to Blumentritt 09/22/1891 "I am going to meet my destiny." At this age he felt that his vitality is waning already. Another letter to Blumentritt 10/09/1891 he said"It seems that I shall never marry." In a letter to the Women of Malolos, he might have accepted that he's never going to marry Leonor his first cousin as he mentioned there "not to marry a cousin." Rizal's love planet, Venus is not meant for him to be married. Fate is something that played so much in his life that after the merry times he spent in Europe and going back to Philippines he said he's got this feeling that the opposite will happen. He knew his life's pattern that "what follows after extreme happines is sadness". He  even believed in the theory of luck that he is known to have bought lottery tickets too.

Rizal is Pisces and Piscean people are natural artists, well-traveled and martyrs. Very few people knew he can sketch too, he traveled so much and who else does not know he is martyr? He knew his life is going to end early and he accepted it well that in Noli Me Tangere, Elias one of the character said "Next time don't tempt God too far." He knew he has weak body that he played fencing and swimming. "How about the many women in Rizal's life, what was their more significant role if there was?" asks one of the audience. "Balance. These women kept Rizal who is a superb intellectual to remain human... prone to emotions." Another one from the audience answers.  [Photo courtesy of Wikipedia]

Resti Santiago led this talk  as part of  Rizalizing the Future events  in celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Jose Rizal organized by Yuchengco Museum.

Watch "Amigo", a movie about Philippine-American History

Amigo is reportedly the first film ever made about the little-known Philippine-American War. But it is not quite a war masterpiece like Platoon, Apocalypse Now, or Saving Private Ryan because of its below-average production budget—$1.2 million, according to the Internet Movie Database. Amigo is created by the writer-editor-director John Sayles who is  acknowledged as one of the godfathers of independent cinema according to

The fictional story  happened in the year 1900 when US  just bought the Philippines from Spain. Filipino rebels are everywhere the archipelago ready to sacrifice their lives for independence. Rafael Dacanay (Joel Torre), is the town’s Kapitan del Barrio  who is torn between helping the US aides  trying to establish a garrison in his town and his brother who is a rebel not going to let another invader of his homeland happen again.

Amigo will be shown in US theaters August 19th, 2011. It is currently showing in five theaters - Glorietta4, TriNoma, Robinson's Ermita/Galleria and SM Bacoor.  To read the complete movie review by please click here.

To visit Amigo's Facebook Fan Page, please click here.

A Token of Our Friendship: Philippine Photos of Male Affection book byJohn Silva

"Is just the man who never met the right woman." That's what most would think what gays are, says John L. Silva who is a collector of old Philippine photos for 30 years. He recalls in 1985 when the New York Times publication forbids to mention the word 'gay' to any of its post but look at now when New York joins the states that legalizes same-sex marriage.

John worked as a  teacher for Fil-Am kids in USA in the 1970's. During his free time he visits  photo stands and studios to collect Philippine old photos that might have been unpaid or might got stuck somewhere never returned to the owner or to the one whom it is intended to be sent to. Of the thousands of old, black & white photos what caught his attention are those males posed in a very "sensual" way not the usual stiff and "macho" image.  He explains how a Filipino before in USA who works in a factory sweating all day would go to a photo booth have a picture taken of himself wearing a 3-piece suit and sends it  back to home just to show he is doing "oookay" when in fact it's not because he's sending almost his money to help his family.

His book  - A Token of Our Friendship, Philippine Photos of Male Affection, First Half of the 20th Century was greatly influenced by other writers like Wald Whitman - one of the most influential American poets and has colorful share of his sexual identity, Marguerite Yourcenar's Memoirs of Hadrian - the woman who wrote about an emperor who is so in love with a man, she later was found out that she is also living with another woman, Thomas Mann's Death in Venice - a man who falls in love with a young boy and E.M. Forster's A Great Unrecorded History who had diaries of his experiences of being homosexual.

The photos and postcards  have also dedication at the back that are as cheesy or mushy as an ordinary two people who have had great times together.  One dedication starts like this "Jose, Maliit at dahop na alay datapwat buhay at sariwa na kailanman..." and another one in pure heavy Spanish dedicating his picture to look at every time his lover would "play" himself since he is far.

Translation: For "Palaspas" (hand palm, suggesting the receiver masturbates) you are sexy and smooth, and a sweet talker, this is proof of my admiration.

The name of the sender is Fernando Flores. Written in Dec. 22, 1912. In a photo studio named  T. Kapulong. Back when we still call our homeland             Manila, I.F.  as in Islas Filipinas.

The Author signing books

These people came all the way from Calamba, Laguna just to attend the talk.
To view more photos you may click here. The book can be purchased currently at Silverlens Gallery, Makati. You may visit their Facebook Fan Page here

Photos of Male Affection through Philippine history Exhibit

"By the macho 1950’s such restrained but affectionate poses were not acceptable until the sixties and seventies when gay liberation ended all restrictions on male love." From John Silva's official statement who is the  author, curator and photograph collector of A Token of Our Friendship, Philippine Photos of Male Affection, First Half of the 20th Century, picture book and a photo exhibition to be shown at the Silver Lens Gallery on June 29, 2011.

To read the complete details you may click John's blog here. He is by the way a writer, a fundraiser, and an advocate for the arts and heritage preservation

Some snapshots from the exhibit:

Click The City's Jose Rizal Metro-wide Birthday Bash


A special screening of one of the most acclaimed biopics locally Marilou Diaz-Abaya's Jose Rizal, thirteen episodes of Noli Me Tangere and Mga Kwentong Rizal,  one hundred fifty people to recite the 70 verses of Mi Ultimo Adios at Instituto Cervantes Manila , a stage performance SI RIZAL AT AKO: Isang Pagpupugay at Pagkilala sa Natatanging Anak ng Biñanat his very own hometown in Binan, Laguna exhibits about him in different museums Metro Manila wide and a romantic stage presentation RIZALizing the future... all of these compiled by Click the City on how to be part of and feel what it's like in the personality and time of the Philippines' National Hero Jose Rizal who will be celebrating his birthday on Monday, June 219th. Yes it is holiday.

To read the whole details please click here

113th Philippine Independence Day Activities

It's been one hundred and thirteen years since we had our first taste of independence! Now in the age of social media and internet when only few people appreciates our Philippine History and often tagged as old and old-fashioned, let's make a difference. History is also for the young people. Because soon we will be part of history too and a bridge to the coming generation.

Here are some of the Philippine Independence Day activities the younger ones may not find it boring: Sinekalayaan (free movie shows) and Musikalayaan concerts, Martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal: A Lights and Sound Presentation (free guided tour at Rizal Park) and free LRT/MRT rides on june 12 (specific time). Anyway when your heart is into something, nothing is boring to do so have a heart that has passion for our past!

For complete details of activities, please click here from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines

“An Invitation to Malacañan” is 1 of Best Cookbook of the Year in Paris

A coffee table book about Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration, its state dinners, bilateral meetings and ceremonies honoring heads of state entitled “An Invitation to Malacañan” which is spelled in Spanish is nominated in Gormand Awards 2010 for Best Cookbook of the Year category. Shortlist from the fifty-seven (57) countries participants will be posted in January, the winner will be announced and his work be exhibited in March 2011.  The glamorous awards night will then be held in Paris, France.

Led by Bettina Araneta Aboitiz, “An Invitation to Malacañan” pages show “the evolution of the state functions, from the engraving of balls in the 19th century, the lavish parties of President Quezon, to the present, visiting dignitaries, samples of invitations, gift exchanges, and an ingénue Macapagal-Arroyo dancing in a Maria Clara outfit in the early ’60s, and recent moments with her grandchildren.”

A very interesting story about this “An Invitation to Malacañan”, the nipa hut, water buffalo and boat-place card holders done in sterling silver were given as presidential gifts to then UK First Lady Cherie Blair in 2002.  After sometime, Ms Blair contacted the Philippine Embassy in London to buy a similar set but unfortunately the company which made it already closed.

Malacañang is the official residence and workplace of the Presidents of the Philippines. It was built in 1750 in Spanish colonial style where Pres. Marcos and his family lived the longest. Pres. Cory Aquino's office was the bedroom of Pres. Marcos at the time her husband, Ninoy died in 1983. Her son, P-noy the country’s current president chose to live in a different place – the Bahay Pangarap residence which is located inside Malacañang Park.

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Source: Invitation to Malacañang, Marge C. Enriquez of Philippine Daily Inquirer

If Christmas is a Drink, It'll Be a Cup of Hot Tsokolate

Montezuma,  the great Aztec ruler and chocoholic, stored cacao  not gold in his treasury. His court is believed to consume as many as 50 pitchers of hot chocolate a day.  In ancient Aztec, cacao is so valuable that its bean is used as currency, and figured in the exchange of slaves and horses. To the ancient Mayans, chocolate was food for the gods, an indulgence reserved for nobles and warriors.  In the Philippines, it is the Spanish colonizers who brought cacao in 1600's.

If Christmas is a drink, it will be a cup of hot tsokolate... indeed I agree as what Clare Miranda wrote entitled "Cacao Loco" in Cebu Pacific's December in - flight magazine issue. A cup of hot tsokolate is perfect after attending misa de gallo in an early morning and pair it with suman or rice cake. In our hometown, Irosin, the best suman is made of squash combined with glutinous rice, coconut milk, sugar and salt.  Champorado, is another traditional Pinoy breakfast which is a chocolate rice porridge. It is best served hot and  a few tablespoon of milk makes it tastes better.  Or if you're a true  Pinoy at heart,  it will be incomplete if it's not served with a few pieces of tuyo or dried fish.

In our backyard, there is a Cacao tree which stood way before my parents moved in our home twenty five years ago. This cacao tree  along with the other older trees are the most honest witnesses of the joys and sorrows of everyday life our family had. My lola used  to gather cacao leaves  she uses whenever she makes maruya or banana fritters. It is my mom who makes the best tablea (pure cacao in tablet) out of dried cacao seeds and I remember seeing her how she patiently mixes these powder in boiling water to create a thicker tsokolate.  She then would keep jars full of tableas to store a few for the New Year's eve and share to our neighbors and visiting relatives but, these however does not reach the New Year's eve as we alway sneak out and eat it like a black chocolate bar.

 In Davao,  there is a chocolate factory made from cacao beans the Askinosie Chocolate and one of their best-selling is the "77% Davao Dark Chocolate" and is almost out of stock often. They have this Askinosie Chocolate Factory tour which costs $3 only and they have their Chocolate University too which heps kids in their neighborhood.  At Figaro, a 100% Filipino-made coffe shop you can drop by and try their three cocoa-inspired drinks. "Each sip is communion with history, a yielding to a magic spell that is thousands of years in the making." says Clare as I read the ending of her article.

Source:  Clare Miranda of"Cacao Loco" & Image from Lasang Pinoy 21: Champorado at Tuyo