When It's December in Our Soul

For Filipinos outside the Philippines, the onset of December triggers a focus on the homeland. By this time, balikbayan boxes for Christmas should have been packed and shipped, Christmas cards mailed to international addresses, and tickets for the annual visit to the Philippines in January or February booked. If you're one of those, like me, who have dilly-dallied on these things, we have to get our act together quite soon because 2016 is galloping by fast. And not a moment too soon, I'd say. 

For those intending to visit Cebu or Bohol, read this week's story by occasional contributor Gia R. Mendoza, "Two Side Trips and a Wedding." You might want to get in touch with the guides she hired and the sites she saw to make your visit hassle-free and productive.

And from the Diocese of Legazpi, Albay, Bishop Joel Z. Baylon issues a stirring call for prayer for enlightened leadership, through an open letter to President Rodrigo Duterte. Every night at 9, the church bells of Legazpi will be ringing to call the people to pray. This will go on "for as long as it takes," the Bishop writes.

A cautionary tale from literary stalwart Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard on her near-fatal encounter with the pneumococcal vaccine, "The Pneumonia Shot That Sent Me to Urgent Care," underscores the need for each one of us to be an active participant in our health care.

As Cuba hits the headlines worldwide with the death of its leader, Fidel Castro, Read Again "Eternamente Cuba," Chibu Lagman's travel piece on the island nation that shares so many similarities and history with the Philippines.

A major part of that history is Andres Bonifacio, whose 144th birthday falls on November 30. As the Philippines grapples intensely today with the definition of a real hero, let's pause to remember what Bonifacio did for the country. Read Again Penelope V. Flores' article, "Andres Bonifacio, the Other National Hero."

For Pinoyspotting, Joe and Lynn Santos cruised the Mediterranean and met some kababayans.

Our Happy Home Cook feature this week: the comforting Ginataan from Chicago's beloved Uncle Mike's Place.

For our Video of the Week, TV host Lourd De Veyra and a panel of experts look into the myths of Martial Law.


Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino