Two Noteworthy Filipinas, Two Different Paths

Two noteworthy Filipinas, two very different paths.

Fil-Am Juslyn Manalo caps her distinguished career in government and nonprofits with the coveted position of mayor of Daly City, California, home to the biggest concentration of Filipinos in the San Francisco Bay Area. PF Correspondent Cherie Querol-Moreno introduces us to Manalo and collates some advice for her from her "sister predecessors" -- Filipino women who have become mayors of various cities in northern California.

On a totally different track, PF Correspondent Myles A. Garcia hears Nat King Cole's classic rendition of "Stardust" and waxes nostalgic with memories of his childhood in San Juan and a woman he knew then as Ginny. To his surprise, Ginny eventually became well-known within certain circles as Viring de Asis, the leading seller of antiques in Metro Manila. "Ginny, the Jukebox and Nat" is a step back in time with the beloved song setting the mood.

Back to the present, our Philippine-based correspondent, Rene M. Astudillo gives us a primer on understanding the current Filipino slang and memes. A useful guide when you are in our motherland and encountering millenials. 

Our In The Know compilation for this week:

Toyo Eatery bags coveted award from Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2018—a first for Filipino dining

Filipino Food Finds a Place in the American Mainstream

Uber to Exit the Southeast Asian and Philippines Markets

The last and definitive op-ed to shut down the Bruno Mars cultural appropriation nonsense

Aileen Suzara Is Flipping the Script About 'Unhealthy' Filipino Food

Disney's A Wrinkle in Time's Deric McCabe Interview

Our Happy Home Cook recipe is for that addicting munchies: Adobong Malutong or Crispy Adobo Flakes.

For our Video of the Week, here's the popular infomercial that won the top prize for its director, Lyle Sacris, in the 2018 Kidlat Awards. Full disclosure: Lyle is my nephew so please indulge my auntie pride here. 

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino

Yes, Women Can

We join the entire world in celebrating Women's History Month 2018, well aware that through persistence and unity, women are making their voices heard loud and clear against their oppressors. We will be featuring stories of Filipino women who have made their mark in various fields, among them Armida Siguion-Reyna, whose long-running TV show Aawitan Kita kept the kundiman tradition alive through the generations. Armida isn't just an entertainer; during her heyday, she was also a feisty cultural activist, a producer of shows, and most of all, a doting mother and grandmother to her brood. In "We Call Her Mahal," Sara Siguion-Reyna writes lovingly about her beloved grandma.

PF publisher Mona Lisa Yuchengco recalls a visit to the small town of Amagi in the Tokunoshima island in Japan and tells of the historic role Filipino women played in keeping the town alive.

For my blog this month, I focus on the poet Angela Manalang-Gloria, one of the leading lights of early Philippine literature in English, whose famous poem "Soledad" captivated me when I was younger, and titillates my imagination to this day.  

It's official, folks. And it has been official since it was enshrined in the 1987 Philippine Constitution: the national language of the Philippines is Filipino, not Pilipino. How did the F win out? Poet/translator and language expert Marne Kilates gives us the backstory on how the F, along with C, J, Ñ, Q, V, and Z have now been added to the previously 20-letter Filipino alphabet.

Our Happy Home Cook recipe this week comes from graphic artist/writer Alex G. Paman who just came out with his second book, Filipino Barbecue. Enjoy Alex's version of Chicken Inasal.

Here's the In The Know line-up:

The 19 Best Filipino Restaurants in Los Angeles, 2018 Edition

Oscars 2018: Robert Lopez becomes the first person in history to double EGOT

Rita Moreno wears the same Pitoy Moreno dress she wore to Oscars in 1962

To design costumes for 'Black Panther,' this artist drew on his Filipino upbringing

For Video of the Week, CNN Philippines The Story of the Filipino looks into lives of 3 women: Aya Fernandez (founder and head of Project Lily PH), Cha Roque (a filmmaker and Dakila Communications Director) and Kelsey Hadjirul (a young LGBT and Women's Rights Activist).

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino

Culture and Spirituality

Heritage awareness, history and spirituality are the focus of our offerings this week as we try to slow down the too-quick turnover of days (or so it seems, this year already two months gone).

At the forefront, our Manila-based writer, Menchu Aquino Sarmiento profiles the esteemed conservation architect and heritage planner, Augusto Villalon, recently awarded an Honorary Membership to the International Council for Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), one of only 84 in the world and the first Filipino endowed with such stature. Villalon is a long-time advocate of cultural and eco-tourism that goes beyond monuments and artifacts. In "Nation-Building with Suman and Stone," Villalon's world view is given a proper airing.

Veteran journalist Sylvia L. Mayuga gives us the history of the tarot, the ancient art of divination, as a way of introducing Cartas Philippinensis, a set of 22 tarot cards created by Saul Hofileña and painted by Guy Custodio that interprets archetypes in Philippine colonial history. 

And from independent filmmaker Collis H. Davis, Jr. comes a book review of jazz artist/historian Richie Quirino who wrote The Amen Vibration Volume II about his mystical journey towards spiritual enlightenment.

For more secular concerns, here is an updated list of benefits for senior citizens (both resident and visiting) in the Philippines.

We are also posting Wikipedia's latest list of fake news sites in the Philippines.

And our Happy Home Cook recipe this week is a version of Pinakbet from New Jersey-based Melanie Q. Suzara.

Here's our In The Know links for this issue: 

The Bolo Wielding Peasant: The Biggest Misconceptions About Andres Bonifacio

Conversations at the Edge of Carnage

The struggle for Marawi has only just begun

House panel approves divorce bill

For Video of the Week, GMA's I-Witness uploaded a video featuring the revelations of the Duterte family during Martial Law.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino