Looking Back

We visit several periods in Philippine history with our stories this week:

First, a little known side of Jose Rizal, this time as an oracle. Our publisher, Mona Lisa Yuchengco, unearths a rare book called Haec Est Sibylla Cumana or A Book of Oracles, which is essentially a fortunetelling parlor game handwritten and drawn by our national hero while he was in exile in Dapitan between 1892-1896. In "Jose Rizal, The Oracle," we are once again awed by this multifaceted genius whose talents seem endless. 

A few years after Rizal was executed, the Philippine-American War broke out and one of the celebrated booties for the victor America were the bells of Balangiga, Samar. Prominently displayed in a military base in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the bells have been the object of several unsuccessful campaigns for their return to Samar. This time, some Hollywood celebrities headed by actor/private investigator Logan Clarke have banded together with some prominent Filipino Americans to establish the Committee for the Return of the Bells. Carlos Zialcita, one of the board members, writes about the launching of the campaign, which promises to harness public support so that the bells can be returned to Balangiga. Read "The Bells of Balangiga Make It to Hollywood" and its sidebar, "Logan Clarke, Retriever."

To commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the Fall of Bataan, we encourage you to read again two of our stories on World War II: "Remember Bataan" by Cecilia I. Gaerlan and "The Spies Who Came In From the Sea" by Virgil N. De la Victoria.

Moving on to the present, we take pride in featuring a Filipino American artist whose medium goes beyond painting. Maria Apelo Cruz Jonavonic also sculpts, restores, designs, cooks and runs a high-profile business, among other talents that Rey E. de la Cruz tells us about in "Art is Life, Life Art."

And speaking of cooking, we have two recipes of bistek for you this week -- the regular Bistek Tagalog and its vegan equivalent. 

Our Video of the Week features Lea Salonga showing high school kids what good singing is all about.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino