Tough Ladies

Before anything else, we would like to congratulate our colleague in the journalistic profession, Maria Ressa, the embattled but undaunted CEO and editor in chief of Rappler, for the string of international awards and accolades she has been receiving. The latest one, just announced yesterday, comes from Time magazine whose year-end issue includes Ressa on the cover as one of "The Guardians" of press freedom. In this era of fake news, unbridled trolling and political intimidation, Positively Filipino stands alongside those who courageously fight for truth, honesty and the rule of law.

A welcome break from the frenzy of the season is first-time contributor Pia Guballa's feature on some movie stars of yesteryear. "The Muses of LVN Pictures" spotlights Caridad Sanchez, Marita Zobel and Luz Valdez who "grew up" under the wing of the formidable Doña Sisang de Leon, the grand matriarch of the movie studio.

In Chicagoland, a Filipino singer named Ester Hana, has been making waves, as attested to by PF Correspondent Rey E. de la Cruz in "A Cebuana Songbird in the Windy City." 

In keeping with the holiday spirit, Read Again Elizabeth Ann Quirino's "Lulu's Fifty-Peso Christmas Gift," her tribute to her mom, Lulu Reyes Besa who was awarded the US Medal of Freedom in 1947 as one of the heroines of WWII.  

Here are some of the stories from other publications that you may have missed:

Time Person of the Year, Maria Ressa: She Reported From War Zones. But Covering Philippine President Duterte Might Be Her Most Dangerous Job Yet

Vallejo-Raised Singer H.E.R. Snags 5 Grammy Nominations

This Tribe Saved My Family and US Soldiers Decades Ago – Miles and Points Made It Possible to Say Thank You

Rolando Peña: portrait of a rock scientist as a rare gem

Before we indulge the annual food gorging that is Christmas, take time for a lean, healthy recipe from PF Correspondent Rene M. Astudillo, Chilled BroCauli Salad.

 “Forgive Us Our Signs” makes a comeback for its 12th edition. More funny Pinoy signs and memes.

For Video of the Week, the BBC News Service features Nanie Guanlao, who opened  the Reading Club 2000, a community library with no rules, open 24 hours a day and children can bring home the books if they wanted to.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino

Baguio, What the Hell?

If you've been to Baguio recently and can remember the Baguio of yesteryears (peaceful, romantic, the air replete with the aroma of pine trees), you know that the Philippines' summer capital has some big, big-city problems (traffic, crime, congestion, pollution). But banning cussing in public? Baguio-based PF correspondent Rene M. Astudillo reports on the recent city government ordinance -- questionable, unenforceable -- that  makes one wonder if taxpayers' money is truly wasted on legislators. (Read "Baguio City Goes Cuss-Free, or Will It?”)

Speaking of nostalgia, PF Correspondent Myles A. Garcia shares his memories of a trip to a London suburb he won't forget, and how he racked up mileage miles on the late, lamented Trans World Airlines (TWA). ("The Night I Drove to Bexleyheath")

We missed out on commemorating the 145th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio last week so here's a fitting Read Again from cultural historian Penelope V. Flores on the Philippines' other National Hero.

Our In The Know links this week:

Filipino-American Vet Says Starbucks Barista Wrote Racial Slur On His Cup

The hardest job in Silicon Valley is a living nightmare 

This year’s buffet of Fil-Am and Fil-Canadian cookbooks 

Meet a history-making White House executive chef 

If you're starting to stress out with your planned Christmas menu, here's something to ease the tension somewhat: our Happy Home Cook recipe for Instapot Leche Flan, another of Elizabeth Ann Quirino's time-saving shares. 

In our video of the week, the story behind the well-loved Filipino Christmas carol “Pasko na, Sinta ko.”

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino

Born That Way

There’s proof that American-born or raised Filipinos inherit the humor genes of their immigrant parents. Our correspondent Anthony Maddela writes about Filipino AF, a year-old comedic ensemble that uses sketch humor, dance, film and yes, lumpia, to tickle its mostly Filipino audiences (see “Comedy That’s as Filipino As F__.”)

On a sober note, Lt. Patricia Teston, a young Filipina officer in the U.S. Navy, safely guides her ship through the dangerous waters of the Persian Gulf and feels she has fulfilled a vow she made as a child when a devastating typhoon battered her island (“My Vow for Undang.”)

Slow down with writer Criselda Yabes (“Kyoto Days”) as she serenely bikes her way around Kyoto, the former imperial capital of Japan. Meditatively feast your eyes on its temples then mercilessly chomp down its French-inspired croissants.

Cookbook author Liza Agbanlog is back with her take on Adobong Dilaw.

For this week’s in The Know links:

Desperate victims of Philippines landslide that killed 29 send texts for help from under the rubble

An American And Her Filipina Translator Exhume A Massacre In 'Insurrecto'

Rizal and the Creatures of Dapitan

Google pays tribute to Dr. Fe del Mundo with a doodle

For Video of the Week, CNN Philippines features Lea Salonga as celebrates her 40 years in show business.