A Writeful National Artist

We're a few days late but we nevertheless celebrate the 90th birthday of another National Artist for Literature, F. Sionil Jose, who had a big bash at the Cultural Center befitting a Filipino of his stature. World renowned as a novelist, essayist, short story writer and columnist, Mang Frankie, as he is fondly called by friends and admirers, is also a successful entrepreneur, which puts him in a class apart from his literary peers. He owns the famous Solidaridad Bookshop in Manila, which our contributor from Australia, Larry Ng, writes about with affection in "A Bookstore of Filipino Aspirations." Complementing Larry's piece, San Francisco-based journalist Ben Pimentel writes about his dinner with the National Artist during the latter's recent visit to California. 

The current furor over the CIA's torture practices brings us back to our exclusive interview with Major General (Ret.) Antonio Taguba who was tasked by the US Army to look into allegations of torture in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and was consequently sacked for telling the truth. Read again "The General At Ease."

As Christmas gets closer, food -- and those who cook them -- is on our minds as we anticipate the sumptuous dishes that always mark our holidays. Our food writer Elizabeth Ann Quirino profiles Yana Gilbuena, a traveling chef, in "Have Filipino Food, Will Travel." And, to whet your appetites even more, we're re-posting "Our Christmas Table," also by Elizabeth Ann, which reminds us of what we loved to eat back home.

And we take time to laugh with another compilation of Funny Signs.

For my blog this week, I thought of a cautionary tale before we all gorge ourselves with goodies this season: The Gravity of Vanity.

And our Video of the Week: Filipino Side Up, Lara Ortiz-Luis shows her American friends her Filipino side.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino