"Feastivals" and Valentine Videos

A day after Valentine's Day, the social media universe of the Philippines – where some serious celebration of V-Day happens every year -- is still kilig over the three tear-inducing videos of Jollibee, titled Crush, Vow and Date. Watch them here and get your hankies ready.

Minola Oil (a Philippine product) underscores the progress of gay rights in the country with its V-Day commercial.

Another story of celebrations comes from Positively Filipino Correspondent Rene Astudillo, who has moved semi-permanently from the San Francisco Bay Area back to the homeland. “Feast-ivals of the North” introduces the food festivals of the Ilocos, a region famous for both healthy and strange dishes.

Another Positively Filipino Correspondent, Los-Angeles-based Anthony Maddela profiles Fil-Am Jeffrey Cirio, principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre in New York. Jeffrey, raised in Philadephia by his Filipino father and American mother, will be dancing in Don Quixote in May 2017.

For your expanded reading fare, here are the In the Know links for this week:

From Oprah to MoMA Catalog: Filipino Designer's Clutch is a Hit: http://www.townandcountry.ph/out-about/arts-culture/filipino-designer-carissa-evangelista-s-clutch-makes-it-to-moma-s-international-catalog-a00180-a00185-20170208

The Second Youngest Billionaire in the World is a Filipino-American:

Toronto Ube Desserts

Bongbong to DILG? Robredo allies, ex-Comelec exec weigh in:

We go vegan again this week with Richgail Enriquez's recipe for vegetable lumpiang shanghai.

A post-Valentine Watch Again treat: “66 Years, 2 Months, 21 Days…. and Still Counting,” produced and directed by our publisher, Mona Lisa Yuchengco.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino

A Valentine for Real Heroes

Tales of real ( as opposed to self-aggrandizing) heroism are always fascinating, and we have one this week. "Col. Edwin Ramsey's War" is Vancouver-based contributor Sandie Gilles' tribute to this American military official who volunteered for the Philippine Scouts in World War II, and who organized a 40,000-strong guerrilla force. His life story has been immortalized into a book and a movie, the better for the younger generation to appreciate his heroism.

Meanwhile, let's take a breather from the [political] passions that are currently consuming many of us, and celebrate an early Valentine's. Read Again some of our love stories:

Historian Ambeth Ocampo's titillating compilation of "Romances in History";

My story on acclaimed "balagtasan" king Jose Corazon de Jesus' daring and star-crossed love affairs, "The Poet and the Women He Loved;" and

Fil-Am historical writer Alex S. Fabros, Jr.'s chronicle of the inhumanity of US laws during the early - to mid-1900s, "When Hilario Met Sally: The Fight Against the Anti-Miscegenation Laws."

And our In the Know links this week:

What Filipino American History Can Teach Us About the Recent Executive Order on Immigration - Dawn Buhulano Mabalon
http://fanhs-national.org/ filam/what-filipinao-american- history-can-teach-us-about- the-recent-executive-order-on- immigration/

Henry Sy Jr., Dado Banatao Back Startup To Help BPOs Cope with Automation Threat
http://www.entrepreneur.com. ph/news-and-events/henry-sy- jr-dado-banatao-back-startup- to-help-bpos-cope-with- automation-threat-a36-20170126

Philippines: The Police's Murderous War on the Poor
https://www.amnesty.org/en/ latest/news/2017/01/ philippines-the-police- murderous-war-on-the-poor/

Below Deck [a report on Filipinos in the cruise ship industry]
https://story. californiasunday.com/below- deck

And then here are some Valentine treats you can make yourself, from Positively Filipino Correspondent and author, Elizabeth Ann Quirino: Flourless Chocolate Cake with Filipino Tablea and Calamansi Frozen Margarita.

Our Video of the Week: a Youtube channel uploaded a documentary on the 1945 Battle of Manila produced by the US Army Pictorial Center.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino

Standing Up to a Heavy-Hand

This is the worst of times; but it could also the best of times. President Trump disallows the entry of refugees from seven "terrorist" countries. Fortunately, people around the world would have none of it. They showed humanity’s best values of compassion and solidarity by staging firestorms of protests worldwide.

The vagueness of the order led to chaos in ports of entry that victimized even legitimate visa holders. An incident at LAX airport on the day of Trump's inauguration leads us to question whether immigration officials had already been given instructions to stop and question non-U.S. citizens even before the executive order was made public.

Meanwhile, many Filipinos are joining The Resistance as Positively Filipino Correspondent Cherie Querol-Moreno reports in "Marching for Justice Around the World."

On a calmer note, Correspondent Rey de la Cruz profiles Leonardo Cunanan, an artist-musician now based in Canada. Correspondent Anthony Maddela catches up with Stella Abrera, principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre.

Our Happy Home Cook recipe: Beef Chayote Soup from new Correspondent Rene Astudillo.

For our Video of the Week, Mikey Bustos presents the different reactions Filipino pageant fans exhibit during the Miss Universe contest.

Here are our In The Know links for this week:

From the New York Times: Duterte’s Free Birth-Control Order Is Latest Skirmish With Catholic Church


From The Asia Foundation, Steven Rood reflects on his 17 Years As Country Representative In The Philippines


From Yahoo, Philippines invasive plant could fuel the country's kitchens



Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino