Blazing Trails and Digging Up Memories

If you're in Washington, D.C. next week (January 27-31), consider yourself lucky to be able to watch Stella Abrera, the first Filipina American principal dancer of the American Ballet Theater. Stella will be dancing in "Sleeping Beauty," Tchaikovsky's well-loved creation, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts. For those who will miss this star performance, we have Anthony Maddela's feature, "Stella's Star Turn" for you this week.

Another must-see, if you're in New York, is "Allegiance," the gripping musical about a little known tragedy in American history -- the internment of Japanese Americans in remote camps during World War II simply because they were of Japanese heritage and therefore suspected of not being loyal Americans. This is George Takei's story and he appears here with Lea Salonga who gives another masterful performance in Broadway. Joyce Ibardolasa, who flew to New York to watch the musical, gives us her take on this memorable -- and timely -- piece of theater. Something not to be missed, if you're in the Big Apple.

Speaking of memories, Isabel Taylor Escoda shares one she can never forget: her meeting with Hollywood hotshot Tyrone Power when she was 12. It was 1950 and the dashing star was in the Philippines to film the movie, "An American Guerrilla in the Philippines," another story that emanated from WWII.

And still another commemoration: the centenary of literary giant NVM Gonzalez brought together 17 writers, educators and cultural workers to the Philippines for a workshop organized by NVM's son, Myke. In "Pilgrimage to a Literary Legacy," Lisa Suguitan Melnick takes us with her to UP Diliman and Mindoro for a week she'll always remember.

Our Happy Home Cook feature this week: two recipes for Bicol Express from the book Pulutan: From the Soldiers' Kitchen by Elmer Cruz and Emerson Rosales. The two were Navy ensigns when they were incarcerated for participating in the 2003 "Oakwood mutiny," a failed military rebellion. With the considerable free time they had in prison, and fueled by their love for food and drink, the two compiled recipes from various sources into this one-of-a-kind book.

And our Video of the Week: we can't get enough of Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach's media blitz, this time on New York's Hot 97 radio where she talks about how she trained for Miss Philippines, admits to a big crush on James Franco and hints at a future political career. Quite a witty and delightful subject, this Pia. 

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino