News Capsules From Us and Advice from a Fil-Am Writer

If you're too busy to read online news sites daily, you can get capsule reports on Filipino-related news from all over the world in Positively Filipino's In Brief section:

And if you missed reading Filipino-related news in various publications, we have In The Know, a listing of links to interesting stories. This week, here are the stories you may want to read:

Philippine ambassador’s views on challenges and opportunities in bilateral ties

Fil-Am couple indicted for Medicare fraud, human trafficking

Filipino youth stage musical against Duterte's deadly drugs war

How a Photographer’s Work Helped a Homeless Girl From Quiapo Finish College

This Little Girl Cosplayed Jyn Erso So She Could Deliver The Death Star Plans To Princess Leia

Many people dream of being a writer, but very few actually become one. Award-winning fictionist Cecilia Mangguera-Brainard is one of those who followed her calling and has authored nine books and edited or co-edited 10 more. This week, she shares with us her story on the women who have influenced her writing as well as some advice for beginning writers.

PF Correspondent Myles Garcia researched the strange story of Lucio and Simplicio Godino, conjoined twins born in Samar in 1908 that became celebrities of sorts and were adopted by Filipino diplomat/businessman Teodoro Yangco. In "The Unusual Life and Times of the Godino Twins," Myles also traces the stories of conjoined twins in history.

Another PF Correspondent Rey de la Cruz introduces some Filipinos he met in Aruba in Pinoyspotting.

No Filipino knows French cooking like Nora Daza, the original chef superstar of the Philippines, who set up the first French restaurant in the country, Au Bon Vivant. Our recipe for the Happy Home Cook this week is Daza's Chateaubriand, a dish that originated in France.

For our Video of the Week, Our Awesome Planet Originals features their Top 10 Pampanga Restaurants. Do you agree?

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino

Farewell to Lisa’s Dad

To us who didn't really know him personally, he was simply "Lisa's Dad," an appellation that we uttered with reverence because we are well aware that Lisa's dad is Alfonso Yuchengco, a giant presence in Philippine contemporary history.

Known to his friends as A.Y., Lisa's father was a businessman-industrialist whose business interests ranged from insurance (Grepalife, Malayan) to banking (RCBC) and education (Mapua). He was also known for his philanthropy; he was a generous supporter of a wide variety of causes (among them, the Bayanihan Dance Company and the Bantayog ng mga Bayani, a foundation dedicated to memorializing victims of martial law). Moreover, as Lisa herself revealed (see "How I Knew My Father's Love"), A.Y. was a secret financier of "subversive" activities, particularly during the Marcos years. His most exalted title of course is Ambassador, a statesman's role he fulfilled with honor and dignity -- in Japan, China and as Permanent Representative to the UN. Ambassador Yuchengco passed away on Easter Sunday in Manila, at the age of 94.

We join the Yuchengco family in mourning his passing and celebrating his extraordinary life. We speak for a grateful nation in thanking the Ambassador for his distinguished service to the country and to the Filipino people.

No one can convey the man's greatness better than his daughter so we are re-posting our publisher Mona Lisa Yuchengco's tribute to her dad on his 90th birthday four years ago.

On other news, it's Earth Day once again and our climate specialist, LA-based journalist Dorian Merina, discusses the clear connection between climate change and food production in "Wanted: A New Agriculture to Face Climate Change."

And for a touch of levity, PF correspondent Rey E. de la Cruz writes about the troubles he would get with his name.

I'm sure the De la Cruzes out there can relate.

Here's our compilation of interesting stories from various publications in our In the Know section:

The Philippines faces a very serious security challenge in two fronts and how it plays out could critically affect the balance of power in the Asia Pacific Region and beyond

Where does the military stand with Duterte?

This legit Filipino eatery is hiding behind an unassuming name

Pinay Chef Snubs Ivanka Trump

For our Happy Home Cook, PF Correspondent and foodie Elizabeth Ann Quirino shares her Peach-Mango Pie, a handcrafted (therefore better) version of the one from the famous hamburger chain.

Our Video of the Week: BBC's Human Planet features the amazing yet dangerous trade of underwater reef fishing in the Philippines.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino

Week of Age-Old Rituals

At one point in my young life, I was a researcher for a UN-funded project on folk media in the Philippines, tasked with documenting traditional forms of expression and events all over the country. That was how I witnessed the various rituals that make Holy Week unique and special among our people -- from the meditative cadence of the pabasa that brought a community together to the disturbing flagellants and the sacrificial re-enactments of Jesus' nailing on the cross in Pampanga. There too were the pageantry of the Moriones festival in Marinduque and, of course, the Seven Last Words, the Visita Iglesias and the long Easter masses of the Catholics -- all of them traditions that showcase the richness of our culture.

Some of our contributing photographers sent in some images of Holy Week in the Philippines. Enjoy them again in "Images of Semana Santa."

For the undocumented in the US who are currently going through their own personal tribulations due to the Trump administration's anti-immigrant policies, here's a useful legal guide from immigration lawyer Lourdes Tancinco, "Undocumented's Options: Depart Voluntarily or Be Detained."

Advice on an equally significant topic is given by Dr. Glenn Vives, a cardiovascular specialist of Kaiser Permanente in Martinez, California. Regular contributor Manzel Delacruz mines the doctor's insights on why Filipinos and Fil-Ams are prone to cardiovascular problems, in "He Wants You to Have a Healthier Lifestyle."

Positively Filipino Correspondent and food expert Elizabeth Ann Quirino provides us two pieces this week: a feature on Tanya Maynigo Louks, founder and owner of Craft Kombucha, a healthy tea-making entrepreneurship in Washington D.C.; and her Good Friday recipe for Baked Tilapia, this week's Happy Home Cook feature.

For those who missed out on stories from other publications, here are the In The Know links for this week:

Dealing with Duterte's Philippines

Drug war sends OFW rushing home for son who ‘couldn’t run’ 

Inside a Filipino cybersex den

So Beats Onischuk To Win 1st U.S. Championship

Philippine invasive plant could fuel the country's kitchens

And our Video of the Week: “Bibingka” a 2015 short film by Kay Cuajungco, who explores the lives of Filipino migrants through the foods they grew up with and the recipes that were passed through them.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino