Days of Reckoning

In two days, the United States will transition peacefully to a new administration, practically 360 degrees different from the outgoing one.

It's not quite clear how the new one  will set in motion its announced denial of climate change as a real and serious issue, a stand that defies about 95 percent of science. However the politics of it will play out, Fil-Am journalist Dorian Merina categorically warns us, "Attention Filipinos: Climate Change Is Here. Now." Wherever we are, he states, we will be affected, the impact intense unless we each do our part in working to reverse it. A timely warning, this piece is.

Another reality-based admonition comes from Manila-based contributor Cathy Sanchez Babao, who contends that now is "A Time for Kindness." With this initial volley into the #kindnessrevolution, we ask readers to send us their personal experiences with kindness -- as giver, receiver or witness. Write us at and we'll post your stories.

San Francisco Bay Area-based artist France Viana profiles another artist, Johanna Poethig, who identifies herself as American-Filipino (she spent her childhood in the Philippines with her American missionary parents). Poethig's works are eloquent statements of her Filipino background and passions.

For those who are preparing for Chinese New Year on January 28, here's what to do with that always welcome gift of tikoy (gooey rice cake), from Correspondent and food expert Elizabeth Ann Quirino.

For Video of the Week, we feature the Kahayag Dance Company, which won the 2015 World Cultural Dance Festival. 

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino

Our Extended Family

Every week for the past four years, Lisa, Rene, Raymond and I do the editorial and technical work to bring you new stories and this newsletter. But we couldn't have done it without the commitment and the good work of our contributors who have been relentless in digging up stories and writing them up for our readers worldwide to enjoy. 

Those who have written at least 10 pieces we have designated as Positively Filipino Correspondents, and composing our latest batch are: Cherie Querol-Moreno; Penelope V. Flores; Rene Astudillo; Serina Aidasani; Lisa Suguitan-Melnick; and John Silva. Read about them and the previously designated correspondents in About Us

And speaking of Positively Filipino Correspondents, we have two of them writing for this issue:

Criselda Yabes submits "Portrait of Patriotism As a Ship Aground," a feature on the celebrated artist Jose Tence Ruiz's much heralded installation -- and political statement -- called Shoal.

Myles A. Garcia discusses the often-funny, always-perplexing "Filipino Terms of Endearment."

This week we begin a new section: In The Know. We will be compiling stories from various legitimate news sources/publications that we think you, our readers, will find interesting, informative and instructional. 

Our Happy Home Cook recipe: Tinapa Spaghetti from Rene Astudillo.

And our Video of the Week comes from an enthusiastic millennial about Iloilo.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino

We're 5 Years Old!

Our first issue for 2017 also marks the fifth year of publication of Positively Filipino.To all of you who are still reading us and helping to spread the word about this site, our heartfelt thanks. It has been an exhilarating ride putting together writers and readers under a banner that is credible and deeply informative of things Filipino. We have learned as much as we have shared, and for this we thank our contributing writers. To those who are curious about who we are, please click on About Us. We'd like to hear more from you, and one way to do that is to just click on Reply to this email posting and we'll see your message. We hope to have your continued support in the years to come.

We have just gone through a very interesting year and here's our compilation of 2016's most popular stories:

10. A Home For Filipino Food In the Capital By Elizabeth Ann Quirino
9. And You Thought You Knew Everything About Beauty Pageants By Myles Garcia
8. An Open Letter to Mayor Duterte By Monique Wilson
7. Limeuil By Ofeila Gelvezon Tequi
6. She Keeps The Defense Agency Shipshape By Anthony Maddela
5. Opinion: What Happens If Bongbong Marcos Becomes Vice President By Myles Garcia
4. The Stunning Isabel Preysler By Mona Lisa Yuchengco
3. Jordan Norwood: Carrying the Ball for Filipinos at the Super Bowl By Lloyd LaCuesta and Ken Guanga
2. The Political Outsider By Randy S. David
1. How Filipinos Got Their Surnames By Penelope V. Flores

The recent award by the U.S. Congress of the Congressional Medal of Honor for Filipino veterans of WWII prompted Washington, D.C.-based community leader Jon Melegrito to write "Honoring My Dad, a War Veteran." The piece brings home the very personal story behind the long fight for veterans' recognition and equity, a cause that Melegrito himself tirelessly worked for.

Positively Filipino Contributing Writer Rey de la Cruz sent in a nostalgic story about his hometown -- Ballesteros, Cagayan, of which he has fondly written a children's book. If you grew up in a small town in the Philippines, "Ballesteros On My Mind," will trigger fond memories of childhood joys. 

After a holiday season that, of course, involved food binges, how about stepping back and making some vegan longganisa. Our vegan maven Richgail Enriquez tells us how.

For our Video of the Week, we feature a wonderful blend of spoken word, cultural beats and ethnic dance from Filipino Canadian artists Han Han, Datu and Hataw.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino