Initials of Greatness

A few years into our immigration to the US, my elementary school classmate and fellow UP campus brat Michael Gonzalez asked me if I could house-sit his parents' Hayward, California home while his dad was teaching in Southern California. It was a no-brainer for me. My children and I would have a whole house to ourselves and, best of all, we would be in the close orbit of the literary giant, NVM Gonzalez, Michael's father, who was then on this way to becoming a National Artist for Literature. Being able to have conversations with NVM was a great gift, as writer Lorenzo Paran III discloses in "Remembering NVM." On his centenary this year, NVM Gonzalez remains a formidable presence in Philippine literature, but my kids will always remember him as Lolo NVM who had a lot of stories to tell.

Another artist -- this time a painter -- also known for his three-letter initials is Vancouver, Canada-based SYM. Sofronio Ylanan Mendoza is known for his "neo-classical cubism" style and has earned a generous collection of accolades in his lifetime. Sandie Gilles tells us about this respected Cebuano who has made it big in Canada.

Positively Filipino correspondent Myles A. Garcia does another gem of a sleuthing job with "The Story Behind the Philippine Gold," the exhibit of which has been wowing Ayala Museum visitors for years. The priceless pre-Hispanic gold treasures have now been transported with extraordinary care and security to the Asia Society Museum in New York where it will be on exhibit through January 3, 2016. Behind the glitter however is a cloak-and-dagger story, so read it before you go.

We remember September 21, 1972 when Philippine history was changed forever with the imposition of martial law. Read again Patricio Abinales' account of his harsh coming-of-age in politics, "Note from the Underground."

Our Happy Home Cook recipes this week: Beef Pochero from yet another Positively Filipino correspondent Elizabeth Ann Quirino, and Rainbow Gelatin from Goldilocks.

Our Negrense readers will love our Video of the Week -- a loving tribute to island of Negros.

And some sad news: another Positively Filipino contributor, Aries Rufo, passes on. Aries, 45, was a staff writer of Philippine newsmagazine, Rappler, and a noted investigative journalist who covered church issues, among others. We join the Rappler folks in honoring the memory of Aries.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino