October is chock-full of commemorations; Wikipedia lists 17, among them National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, LGBT History Month, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Breast Cancer Awareness and National Bullying Prevention Month (which we should probably celebrate more, considering what's happening all around us). The big one for our community is Filipino American History Month, officially declared by the US Congress in 2009. We mark this annual celebration with the first of a four-part documentary entitled "Filipino Americans: Discovering Their Past for the Future" in our Video of the Week.
Award-winning Filipino American author Marivi Soliven writes about domestic violence in mail-order families, "Carino Brutal - Plain Talk About Domestic Violence," after getting angry about NBC's planned sitcom on the topic. NBC has since scrapped the series following massive protests from the Fil-Am community, but as Marivi reminds, the problem of domestic abuse remains a festering wound.
Celia Ruiz Tomlinson, life lover, cancer survivor and compelling raconteur, makes hospice real for us in her piece about her late husband's last days, "A Ringside View of Hospice." "After eight years of [second] marriage," she says, "I became a serial widow."
And speaking of deaths, Positively Filipino mourns the passing of three giants in their respective fields:
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, she of the quick wit and acerbic tongue, "the best president the Philippines never had" (according to an avid supporter), on September 29 in Manila, from complications of cancer;
Danungan "Danny" Kalanduyan, a master musician and teacher from Maguindanao who introduced and taught the tradition of kulintang to a new and appreciative generation of Filipino Americans, on September 28, in California, from a heart ailment; and
Ceres Alabado, esteemed author of children's books and young adult literature, on October 3. Mrs. Alabado's most famous book, Kangkong 1896, about a 15-year old Filipino who joined the Katipunan, introduced the Philippine Revolution to generations of young Filipinos.
On a lighter note, our Happy Home Cook feature this week is from LA-based chef and cookbook author, Marvin Gapultos: Sweet Corn and Coconut Panna Cotta, his own twist to the traditional maja blanca.