Women of Character, plus Tattoos and Martial Arts

Caridad Sanchez, one of the most revered personalities in Philippine movies, broke the mestiza "glass ceiling" through sheer talent. Sanchez has won multiple acting awards in the more than five decades of her career. She's one of the few who can do both high drama (usually as villain) and comedy with equal intensity and authenticity, in both TV and the movies. But, as she related to her daughter, Positively Filipino contributor Cathy Sanchez Babao, her career began with heartbreak and humiliation, which only propelled her to become one of the greatest character actresses of her generation. Read her story in "A Lesson My Mom, the Actress Caridad Sanchez, Told Me."

Another extraordinary woman tells us her own story of courage and resilience. Celia Ruiz Tomlinson, a New Mexico-based engineer and author, was stricken with cancer a few years ago but, just as she fought her way to success as a woman in a field dominated by men, she proved that the Big C is no match to her determination and zest for life. In "Cancer, Be Not Proud," Celia is her usual inspiring and funny self.

Still another interesting woman is our resident Rizalista, Professor Penelope V. Flores, the subject of a tribute by Sir Rainer J. Weber, a Grand Officer of the German branch of the Knights of Rizal, an international organization. Penelope has been enjoying her retirement years retracing the journeys of Rizal in Germany and Switzerland. Read "Penelope V. Flores Lost Her Heart in Heidelberg."

Tattoos may be a hot trend now, but Filipino indigenous tribes have been decorating their bodies elaborately long before the Spaniards colonized the country. In "Mark of Four Waves," historian-activist Mel Orpilla, known as Amang Red of the US-based tribe, Tatak ng Apat na Alon, gives us an overview of indigenous tattoos and why they’re catching on among Filipino-American tribe members.

Tai-Chi practitioner/acupuncturist and poet Rene J. Navarro discusses how Chinese martial arts began flourishing in the Philippines in "Getting A Kick Out of Martial Arts.” Rene knows the subject matter by heart since he was one of the first Filipinos who studied with Chinese masters in the '60s.

Don't miss our Video of the Week on Sheila Condino, an outstanding Filipina science teacher in remote Presidio, TX, who was about to be deported but for the intercession of a legislator. We picked up the video from CBS News. 

And my blog is about my “Memories of Rain” in our homeland.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino