More History for Filipino American History Month

Filipino American History Month continues and PF Correspondent Lisa Suguitan-Melnick introduces us to "The Al Robles Express," a documentary film of a journey to the motherland initiated by esteemed FilAm author/professor Oscar Peñaranda. An interesting concept, this gathering of FilAm writers and artists visiting the Philippines for the first time and watching how the visit affects their works. ("'The Al Robles Express' is on the Right Track")

This month also marks the 75th anniversary of General Douglas MacArthur's return to the Philippines during WWII via Leyte. Journalist German Palabyab gives us a brief history lesson in "Better Leyte Than Never - The 75th Anniversary of General MacArthur's Return to the Philippines," on which his book, The Saga of Leyte Gulf, is based. 

Continuing with the WWII topic, here's a timely Read Again of a story that happened in October 1942: "The Spies Who Came In From the Sea" by Virgilio N. dela Victoria.

And from PF Correspondent Cherie Querol-Moreno, a feature on a new restaurant in Makati called Mijo and its chef, her nephew Enrique Moreno. ("Chef Cooks Up Tribute to Two Grandmas")

From Chef Enrique Moreno comes our Happy Home Cook recipe this week, Oyster Kilaw.

Here are some In The Know links that you will find interesting:

LOOK BACK: Amalia Fuentes, Philippine Movie Queen

The Phrase “Go Back Where You Came From” Has a Long, Violent History

How the early Pinoy films found a second home in Hawaii and ignited an industry

‘The Hanapepe Massacre Mystery’

After a “one-man effort” over nine years, October is Filipino American history month in Washington

5 Books By Women To Read During Filipino American History Month

For our video of the week, Vox featured a story on peacock chairs which were widely-used as photography chairs. The popularity of these throne-like wicker chairs can be traced back to the 1910s-20s when they were built and sold from Bilibid Prison in the Philippines, then a colony of the United States.

Don't Know Much About (Fil-Am) History?

October is when Filipino American organizations stage some high profile events to celebrate Filipino American History Month. In San Francisco alone, two international events, involving participants from the Philippines, the US and Filipinos based in countries other than the two, are happening: the 5th Filipino American International Book Festival (Filbookfest) on October 12-13 and the 26th annual Filipino International Cine Festival (FACINE) on October 18-20. These in addition to several other happenings in other places where a substantial number of Filipino Americans are based.

So mark your calendars or set up your own celebration of Filipino presence in the US. When we started Filipinas magazine in the early '90s, we were faced with the problem of a very quiet community. Now we can't keep up!

Have a meaningful Filipino American History Month, everyone.

In keeping with the focus on art and literature this month, we feature two authors and a relatively unknown but definitely significant Filipino artist. 

Veteran journalist/columnist Benjamin Pimentel writes about journalist/author Criselda Yabes, a PF Correspondent herself, who has very impressively melded the skills of a journalist and a fictionist in her books. She will be one of the featured authors in Filbookfest. ("Criselda Yabes, Master Storyteller")

PF Correspondent Elizabeth Ann Quirino focuses on Cinelle Barnes, a Filipino American author who is coming out with a book of essays this month, following her acclaimed first novel. ("Watch Out World: Cinelle Barnes, Essayist Empowered by Endurance")

From the 19th century, PF Correspondent Myles A. Garcia digs up info on the life and works of Filipino master watercolorist whose recently discovered works have fetched high prices in the art world. ("Discovering a Long-Lost 19th Century Filipino Master Painter")

And to inspire you to reflect on the significance of this month, Read Again Abraham Ignacio Jr.'s historical piece on "Where Exactly Did 'Filipinos' First Land in California?" 

Our Happy Home Cook recipe this week is Gluten-Free Vegan Palabok from vegan chef Richgail Enriquez.

Here are our In The Know links to stories you may have missed:

Retiring in the Philippines: Pros and Cons

7 Filipino dishes you've probably never heard of (and where to find them in Manila)

Magellan was first to sail around the world, right? Think again.

7 Breathtaking Secret Airbnbs in the Philippines That Feel Like Paradise

How Building Churches Out of Egg Whites Transformed Filipino Desserts

Our Video of the Week is about a little-known yet very significant fighting unit during World War II -- the Aeta Squadron 30, a historical documentary from GMA Public Affairs. 

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino

Celebrating Life, Remembering September 21

A celebration of original Filipino music and the man who has done so much to elevate it to world class. That's what PF contributor Manuel Hizon has focused on in "Ryan Cayabyab's Celebration of Life," a fitting tribute to the 2019 National Artist for Music who has recently added the prestigious 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award to his collection of accolades.

And as we say goodbye to another September, here are stark reminders of a grim September in our history:

Dr. Patricio N. Abinales' "Freedom, She Wrote" is a review of Press Freedom under Siege: Reportage that Challenged the Marcos Dictatorship, a collection of the best reporting of that generation (especially by women writers) compiled and edited by ace journalist Ceres P. Doyo.

"Being Lucia Makabayan" is a first-person account by Luchie Maranan of her family's harrowing experience in 1973 and how it influenced her choices later.

"Days of Dread" by Risa Lansang-Reyes is a straight-up and personal account of her family's ordeal in those days of arrests.

Here is this week's compilation of stories from other publications that you may have missed:

America's Newest Outsourced Job: Public School Teachers

Amazing Filipina teacher crosses 5 rivers and walks for 2 hours just to reach her students

FALSE: 'No massacres' during Martial Law

FALSE: Philippines was ‘richest country in Asia’ during Marcos years

A History of Forbes Park, the Philippines' Wealthiest and First Gated Subdivision

This Prized Filipino Fabric Is Made From Pineapple Leaves 

For the Happy Home Cook, Baguio-based PF Correspondent Rene Astudillo shares his own innovation, Strawberry Champorado.

For Video of the Week, Fil-Am comedian Kevin Camia performs on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino