Commemorate and Celebrate

We're racing towards the busiest month of all -- October -- for Filipino Americans, but before that we pause to commemorate and celebrate.

Forty five years since the proclamation of martial law on September 23, 1972, a day and an era we can never forget. Read Again Patricio Abinales' personal essay, "Note from the Underground" to get an idea why the current rumbles of history redux are not to be taken lightly. 

There are of course reasons to celebrate: Philippine dance and culture take a front seat in San Francisco this weekend, as LIKHA Folk Ensemble, the most called upon Filipino folk dance troupe in the Bay Area, celebrates 25 years with KARANGALAN, a one-of-a-kind event. Manzel Delacruz features this amazing ensemble.

Filipino cuisine likewise gets the headline as the five-city North American tour of Chef Romy Dorotan and culinary historian Amy Besa takes place in Seattle this Friday. We are honored to feature as our Happy Home Cook recipe this week, Dorotan's signature dish for their tastings and lectures - Beef Shortribs Adobo.

As always, a touch of nostalgia, this time for the Manila of our memories. Veteran journalist Philip Lustre Jr. writes about Arsenio Lacson, the late, unforgettable mayor of the Philippines' premier city, whom he calls "the best president the country never had."

Our Toronto-based contributor Maripi Leynes recalls how it was to grow up in Santa Cruz, Manila before it became a crazy metropolitan district with lumpen sensibilities.

I haven't posted on my blog for a while now so here's my way of atoning for my negligence (aka laziness): The Fine Points of Aging (or things you won't know about being a senior until you're actually one). 

Our links for In The Know this week

The Philippines’ greatest female philosopher has died

Special Report: Police describe kill rewards, staged crime scenes in Duterte's drug war

Caloocan Bishop Pablo David: Shepherd of his slaughtered sheep

ISIS Recruits Fighters for the Philippines Instead of Syria

For our Video of the Week, Filipinos have been sharing a tagalog version of the “Les Miserables” song “Do You Hear the People Sing?” on the 45th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino


The Trump administration's cancellation of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the Obama administration's immigration program that protected young people without legal status who were brought to the country as children, triggered a firestorm of resistance and protests not only by the DREAMers (as DACA recipients are called) but also from civil society groups and immigration lawyers like Lourdes Santos Tancinco, Esq. Her exclusive piece for Positively Filipino, "What DACA Recipients Should Know Now and the Rights They Have," reassures and encourages those negatively impacted by this cruel and inhuman act of the current government. Attorney Tancinco also lists five tips on what NOT to do, now that DACA is under assault.

We are also posting, with permission, the opinion piece of Jose Antonio Vargas in the New York Times' Sunday Review entitled "'Dreamers' Put Their Trust in DACA. What Now?"

Returning to the national trauma of 16 years ago, Major General (Ret.) Antonio Taguba goes public for the first time about his extremely close call on September 11, 2001, when he was just about 75 feet away from the American Airlines Flight 77 that plowed into the Pentagon. Read his heart-stopping account of the tragedy and its aftermath.

On a lighter note, we have another Hometown story, this time about Isla de Convalescensia on the Pasig River and Parañaque. "Island in the Stream" is poet/writer Victor Peñaranda's memories of his boyhood. 

For our Happy Home Cook, we are sharing PF Correspondent John Silva's personal recipe for Adobong Antigo, which includes an ingredient that could make any cook happy.

In our In the Know links this week, we try to balance serious with levity:

War Machine: Will Goyo be the Biggest Filipino Film of All Time?

The Legend of Ma Mon Luk mamonluk/

“Hiding and Hiding”: Undocumented Filipinx Americans Living in the Shadows migrations-undocumented- filipinx-americans-hiding-and- hiding

Bayanihan Project gives contemporary Filipino art chance to shine 2017-09-09/bayanihan-project- filipino-art-gets-chance-to- shine/8843982

Our Video of the Week Miss Saigon US stars Eva Noblezada and Rachelle Ann Go perform this exclusive, reimagined version of "The Movie in My Mind."

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino


We've seen it happen many times -- from unimaginable tragedies spring unbelievable acts of kindness.We saw it in Houston, in Paris, London, Leyte, New Orleans, even in the war-ravaged countries of the Middle East. And we can never forget how the world became one in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack in New York. On the 16th anniversary of this tragedy of tragedies, as we reel from nature's wrath and political tsunamis, we are reposting first-person accounts that will forever be etched in our hearts. Remember 9/11 with "The Anguish Lingers," G. Mayumi Querubin's interviews of Filipino families who lost loved ones.

Read Again the memories of those who were there that day: http://www.positivelyfilipino. com/magazine/9-11-day-of-days.

We continue our Hometown series with writer/author/teacher Oscar Peñaranda's compilation of heartwarming stories of his boyhood days in Barugo, Leyte and Manila, where he and the Pasig River are "old friends." Peñaranda claims his share of oddball relatives and misadventures that spice up his recollections, making this one of the most potent distillations of childhood memories we've published so far.

And for this issue of memories, Manila-based writer Menchu Aquino Sarmiento tells us about her close encounters with the most famous Filipino writer of all time in "Love, Youth and Nick Joaquin." That those chance meetings with the inimitable -- and unpredictable -- author made an indelible impact on the aspiring writer is an understatement, and you'll see why.

A fitting back-to-school dish for your children is Misua Soup, where our resident foodie Elizabeth Ann Quirino added a few of enhancements of her own to make this rendering not quite your Nanay's recipe.

And for your reading pleasure, our In the Know links:

Problem: A Massive Teacher Shortage. Solution: The Philippines cs/politics-news/problem- massive-teacher-shortage- solution-philippines-n793831

This Pinoy athlete had the SEA Games gold in the bag, but he happily settled for a silver.

What it means to be a Palanca winner life-a nd-style/arts-and-culture/1808 66-carlos-palanca-memorial- awards-2017-butch-dalisay?utm_ source=facebook&utm_medium= social&utm_campaign=life-and- style

Zobel brothers share insights on surviving, thriving 36223/zobel-brothers-share-ins ights-surviving-thriving

Last but not least, our Video of the Week: go back in time to the Philippines in 1950s through a promotional documentary by Coca-Cola.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino