Art, Nostalgia and Self-Identity

When I was growing up in the lowlands of Quezon City, Baguio City was a magical place for me, my personal Shangri-La, with its cool and fragrant air, the hills promising mysteries and romance. Visits there were always exciting and memorable, and the lovely memories have stayed with me all these years. Thus, it was quite a shock and a massive letdown when we visited Baguio a few years ago and saw how it has become a crowded, polluted metropolis. It was no longer the Baguio of my imagination and my memory, and it made me so sad.

Reading PF Correspondent Rene Astudillo's report, "When Art Conquers the Hills," on the plans of Baguio City to beautify the densely populated Quirino Hill provides some relief and hope. It's a small step and a pyrrhic victory for Baguio lovers but nonetheless a welcome one. We hope it will really happen.

One of the most important filmmakers today, the consummate artist formerly known as Auraeus Solito, Kanakan Balintagos, is the subject of PF contributor Agatha Verdadero feature piece, "A Palawan Artist Finds His True Self in Amsterdam." Verdadero was part of the student theater group then-Solito founded at the University of the Philippines, and she has followed his artistic and career trajectory since. 

Since we're on the subject of nostalgia, how about Reading Again "12 Mind-blowing Facts About Metro Manila," from list site Filipiknow.net. Things there that will surprise you. 

For our In the Know links this week, two items about the Philippines:

Fascinating Map of the World, Tagalog is the second most spoken language in Saudi Arabia
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4216084/World-map-reveals-country-s-second-language.html

One of the World's Biggest Fisheries Is on The Verge of Collapse
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/08/wildlife-south-china-sea-overfishing-threatens-collapse/

For our Video of the Week, APEC Philippines released its “Invest Philippines” video during its 2015 conference to entice businesses to come to the country.

And for our Happy Home Cook recipe this week: Elizabeth Ann Quirino's Shrimps and Vegetables with Quail Eggs, a delicious and easy-to-make meatless Lenten dish.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino

Travel for the Soul

If travel for you also means doing something good for humanity, how about including the Davao School for the Blind in your itinerary? Mona Lisa Yuchengco, our publisher who also founded the Philippine International Aid (PIA), the oldest running Filipino American charity in the United States, recently visited the place and was duly impressed. Read her report, "That Hands May Learn to See," and understand why.

And speaking of travel, have you thought about the best way to document your experiences? Noni Mendoza, our second contributor to do travel sketches (the first one is Jojo Sabalvaro-Tan), shows us his way in "A Sense of Time and Space -- Travel Sketches."

As we continue celebrating Women's Month, here are some interesting Filipino women who have made their mark in their respective fields:

Carol Varga, the fave kontrabida (villain) of Filipino movies of yesteryear, paid tribute to by Rey de la Cruz;

Dr. Reina Reyes, an astrophysicist, introduced to us by Carleen Sacris;

The Untold Story of Sugar Pie DeSanto, jazz singer, as told by Benjamin Pimentel;

The Thoroughly Modern Sofia de Veyra, a feminist before her time, as profiled by Titchie Carandang-Tiongson.

And as we do every week, we compile stories from other publications that may be of interest to you:

How the Philippines Got Asia's Worst Internet Service
https://www.forbes.com/sites/ ralphjennings/2016/02/23/meet- asias-internet-laggard-the- philippines/#55fb73c63df7

British Man on Mission for Justice After Wife Gunned Down in Philippines
https://www.theguardian.com/ world/2017/mar/08/british-man- on-mission-for-justice-after- wife-gunned-down-in- philippines

Ube Cheesecake Is a Fabulous Filipino-American Fusion
http://seattle.eater.com/2017/ 3/3/14802540/hood-famous- bakeshop-ube-cheesecake-fusion

Definitive Philippine Food Map
https://www.buzzfeed.com/ isabellelaureta/pak-na-pak- ang-freshness?bffbphilippines& utm_term=.ajeABAeJj#.jlO5m5l7q

15 of the Best Restaurants in the Philippines Strictly by Reservations Only
http://ph.phonebooky.com/blog/ by-reservations-only- restaurants-philippines/?utm_ source=facebook&utm_medium= social&utm_content= reservations-only-030817&utm_ campaign=social-content

Our Happy Home Cook recipe continues meatless days for Lent. Elizabeth Ann Quirino shares with us her son's recipe for Manila Clams with Pinot Grigio

For Video of the Week, one minute video maker Nas visits the Philippines and discovers the Spanish influences on Filipino culture.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino

Honoring Women the World Over

We join the worldwide celebration today of International Women's Day and affirm our commitment to the right to choose; the right to equal pay for equal work; to be respected not objectified; to be protected by law against discrimination, violence and injustice; to create a life of our choosing; to make independent decisions; and most of all, the right to have our voices heard in protest against incursions on human rights. 

This week, we compiled a trio of interesting reads for you:

PF Correspondent Serina Aidasani profiles Switzerland-based Filipina artist Pamela Gotangco in "Pamela Gotangco's Art in Waiting;"

Contributor Rafaelito V. Sy shares his heart-wrenching reaction to "Moonlight," this year's Oscar Best Picture awardee; and

Historical sleuth Erwin R. Tiongson gives us the back story to a rare 3D image (aka stereograph) of the Philippine Scouts marching in Washington, DC circa 1905, during the inauguration of President Theodore Roosevelt. Tiongson, along with his wife Titchie Carandang-Tiongson and their two sons, spend their time digging up stories and artifacts of Filipino presence in the Washington, DC area. We have shared some of these stories with you (check out Titchie Carandang-Tiongson's articles in our archive) and we await more from them. 

In my blog this week, I write about how it is to wake up (once again) in our Motherland. 

Here are some articles from various publications that you might want to read:

'Have We Opened the Gates of Hell With Our Images?'
https://www.theatlantic.com/ international/archive/2017/02/ rodrigo-duterte-philippines- drugs-reporters-siaron/517650/

For Some Filipino-Americans, Language Barriers Leave Culture Lost in Translation
https://ww2.kqed.org/news/ 2015/12/08/for-some-filipino- americans-language-barriers- leave-culture-lost-in- translation/

Manila is the most crowded city in the world — here’s what life is like
http://www.businessinsider. com/manila-worlds-most- crowded-city-2016-8

Asia's Ugly Duckling of the Year Is the Philippine Peso
https://www.bloomberg.com/ news/articles/2017-03-03/asia- s-ugly-duckling-of-the-year- is-the-peso-thanks-to-duterte

Our Happy Home Cook recipe this week for Lumpiang Tinapa comes from our food expert and correspondent Elizabeth Ann Quirino, who will be supplying us with recipes throughout the Lenten season.

For Video of the Week, Scroll.in reminds us why we celebrate International Women’s Day.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino