Violence and Hope

People with guns kill people. This, in the wake of the mass shooting by one man in Las Vegas that killed 58 victims and injured 546, should no longer be debatable. While gun control is a long time coming from Washington, a grieving Filipino American mother is already doing her part in preventing gun violence. Journalist Pati Navalta Poblete (“My Story of Hope”), who lost her son, Robby, to gunmen in Vallejo, California, nudged herself out of her grief by writing again and, most importantly, setting up a foundation in her son’s name that buys back unwanted guns in her city to be used by artists in their art work. The foundation also sponsors vocational skills programs for young adults and ex-offenders to steer them away from a life of violence.

Armed violence has also disrupted the lives of thousands of residents of Marawi in the Philippines when local adherents of ISIS took over the city, triggering an ongoing battle with government forces that has killed about 700 combatants and civilians and reduced nearly everything to smoking hulks. PF correspondent Criselda Yabes visits the ruined city, peeking through sniper holes at the destruction that has brought its inhabitants, now all refugees, to despair (“In the Rubble of Marawi”).

On a cheerier note, PF correspondent Rene Astudillo writes that Filipino senior citizens are receiving the respect that they deserve in their sunset years, in “A Haven for the Elderly – the Philippines.”

To mark both Filipino American History Month and Domestic Violence Prevention Month, we hope you will Read Again “The War Brides” and “Behind the Charmer May Hide an Abuser” 

And as a fitting countrapunto to the theme of this edition’s lead articles, our “Happy Home Cook” Richgail Enriquez offers bloodless—yes--Vegan Dinuguan.

For this week's [In The Know] links:

Thurgood Marshall's Interracial Love: I Don't Care What People Think, I'm Marrying You

The Best Island in the World Goes To...

Confronting Anti-Blackness and White Supremacy in the Pilipin@ Community with Acts of Decolonization

Baguio-Sagada-Banaue Itinerary: See The Cordillera Region in 6 Days

For Video of the Week, AJ+ celebrates Fil-Am History Month by featuring the 3 ways Filipinos contributed to America.

An Untold Story

First a love story.  When Erwin Tiongson and Titchie Carandang-Tiongson, history sleuths by avocation, chanced upon an old but well-preserved book on the Philippines, it inadvertently opened up an entire pandora's box of information on a lady lawyer named Nina Irene Thomas of Washington DC. Her connection to Philippine history? She was engaged to Manuel Luis Quezon, president of the Philippine Commonwealth, and would have married him before the politics of (Philippine) independence got in the way. "The Untold Story of Nina Thomas: The American Woman Who Could Have Been First Lady of the Philippines” is not just a profile of an accomplished woman; it's also a look into the thrill of finding history in unexpected places.

Considered one of the wisest and most beloved sages in the Philippines, Washington SyCip passed away a few days ago at the ripe age of 96. PF Correspondent John L. Silva remembers his time with the businessman philanthropist.

An outstanding example of creative nonfiction book that was recently published in Manila is FilAm Laurel Fantauzzo's The First Impulse, a superbly written account of the treacherous murder of two young people in Quezon City. New York-based  Marie La Viña writes a review. 

The tricky issue of assimilation assumes a timely import in this time of overt racism in the Trump era. History professor James Zarsadiaz gives context and his take on the issue in "Playing the Assimilation Game."

Our In The Know links this week:

Stockton’s Little Manila Center Vandalized in Possible Hate Crime

Josie Natori: Thriving: Fearlessly Growing a Fashion Empire

Exploring an Abandoned Theme Park

How a world concert pianist, with a master’s degree in statistics, helped move CCP forward

And for our Happy Home Cook recipe: Calamares a la Trillanes, the recipe of the controversial senator of this bar favorite when he was in prison (along with many others) for mutiny. This is among the many compiled in a book called Pulutan: From the Soldiers' Kitchen,recipes concocted by the detained mutineers who had too much time on their hands and an unhampered appetite for food and drink.

For our Video of the Week: Asian American Life's Ernabel Demillo explores the lives of Filipinos who made their way to Ellis Island in New York.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino

Let the Celebration Begin

Filipino American History Month this year promises to be chock-full of events, starting with the 4th Filipino American International Book Festival taking place this weekend in San Francisco. Throughout the month, there will be a Filipino film festival, several corollary events from Filbookbest (author talks, book launches in various states), art exhibits and the momentous awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal to Filipino WWII veterans in Washington DC before the month ends. Be sure to check out your nearest Philippine Consulates and local Filipino newspapers to keep up with these happenings. Of course, you can keep abreast in Positively Filipino too, so make sure you subscribe (it's free) by clicking on the Subscribe button. 

Why was October chosen as FilAm History Month? Read Again "Where Exactly Did 'Filipinos' First Land in California?", a well-researched piece by author/librarian Abraham Ignacio Jr., which traces the beginnings of Filipinos in the US.

In keeping with this month's theme, our Video of the Week is "A Filipino American Story," a capsule history of how Filipinos have made their presence felt in the greater American society. This video was made possible by the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) and AARP. 

One FilAm who is making waves in her chosen field is Chicago-based stage actor Christine Bunuan, introduced here in a profile by PF Correspondent Serina Aidasani. Bunuan staged her first solo show last December which she describes as both an immigrant story and a love story.

From the Philippines, contributor Bella Bonner extracts some colorful revelations from celebrity chef Sandy Daza and writes about it in "Delicious Sandy Daza." Daza whose culinary creds begin with being the son of the country's first celebrity chef, Nora Daza, has led an interesting life and has carved his own niche in that select circle that his mother started, with his own successful restaurants and his own TV show.  For Positively Filipino's Happy Home Cook, he shareshis recipe and technique in making that beloved Filipino dish, Kare-kare.

As always, our lineup of In the Know links provide you with a variety of stories that you may have missed:

Muslim solon resigns to return to community work

Israel Honors The Philippines for Saving over 1,200 Jews during WWII. Thank you, Philippines!

Lange Luntao on Education and Politics

8 of the Most Bizarre, Exotic Food in the Philippines

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino