Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pinay Artists in Diaspora

To be launched on June 4, Saturday, at the University of the Philippines Theater lobby, Diliman campus. Features, among other women, iconic Imelda Cajipe Endaya.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Missouri Breaks

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad." --Psalm 126:3

This quotation came from an email received early today from a family member in a US territory closely monitoring developments in tornado-hit Joplin, Missouri. It said it all for The Clan Lolarga. We are with the Johnston family as they rebuild their lives that were spared anew.

Good Sunday, all.




Photo shows grandmother Telesfora Carino Lolarga (far left) at the former Lolarga ancestral home in Lower Brookside, Baguio City, when it served as original Sunday worship place of members of the United Methodist Church there. Beside her is daughter Pacita Lolarga Romero. (undated photo from the early 1960s)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Waters of March Flowing to May

Here are a few photos, except for that of violinist Gina Medina, taken by Anna Leah Sarabia, suki and unofficial photographer (a.k.a. cultural volunteer) of Intimate Concert Series at the fourth such event featuring baritone Andrew Fernando, flutist Christopher Oracion and pianist Mary Anne Espina.
Andrew adjusted his repertoire on March 13 to include popular songs like "Moon River" "What Kind of Fool Am I?" and "Some Enchanted Evening.". Friday after that Sunday, he was one of four vocal stars in Verdi's "Requiem" at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater, almost stealing the show from the Caucasian soprano and mezzo. Drew,ang galing mo!
From Kiss the Cook Gourmet (thank you, Waya Araos Wijangco, for being brave enough to embark on this adventure with us), where the concert series had its beginnings, the series moves to a bigger venue, Balay Kalinaw, at UP Diliman campus beginning today, May 28.

The hall can comfortably seat 150 people. Performing artists are Gina Medina on the violin and Mary Anne again on the piano for an evening of Western and Filipino classics.
The repertoire for this evening's concert includes Antonin Dvorak’s Praeludium and Allegro, Fritz Kreisler’s Rondino on a Theme of Beethoven, Libeslied Schon Rosmarin,Spanish Dance in E Minor by Enrique Granados and Danse Espagnole from La Vida Breve by Manuel de Falla. Filipino favorites will end the program, among them Constancio de Guzman’s Bayan Ko.

Dinner buffet starts at 6 p.m., concert at 7. There are still a handful of P500 concert-only and P300 student tickets left.

Balay Kalinaw is on Guerrero and Dagohoy Streets near the Ilang-Ilang Residence and the University Hotel.

Top photo shows this evening's main act Gina Medina.

Second photo shows accompanying artist Mary Anne Espina at work.

Third photo shows freelance writer-concert organizer Pablo Tariman.

Bottom photo shows baritone Andrew Fernando. Anna Leah labels this shot "Passion is where you take it."

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Master of Kutyapi Dies Today, the Music Lives On

Samaon Sulaiman, master of kutyapi and Manlilikha ng Bayan (or National Living Teasure, a rank equal to a National Artist), died today. Cause of death: aplastic anemia.
This text message came from Felipe "Jun" de Leon Jr., chair of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, just as the artist's talk of Gilda Cordero Fernando was starting at Silverlens Galleries' SLAB with panelist Patrick Flores, UP Diliman art studies professor and curator of Vargas Museum, discoursing on what is quality in art.

Jun calls the recently deceased "one of the shining lights in the non-Western musical heritage of old Philippines. It will be hard to develop another one like him."

Sulaiman's passing is a great loss to Filipinos. I had to stand up from where I was seated to absorb the message. Friend Anna Leah was taking a water break at about the same time. She inhaled deeply when I broke the news and said how her son Diwa owes so much of his music-making to this Maguindanaoan.

As I texted back and forth with sympathizers in media who could possibly share the news of this latest loss to the nation, Jun gave more details: that the deceased's body is in Magonoy, Maguindanao, and "his family took him home when doctors in Cotabato City hospital gave up all hope on him as his body could no longer accept any blood transfusion. In a few hours after he was brought home, he died. According to Islamic practice, he will be buried within 24 hours."

It has been a season of departures.

But as I watched Gilda in widow's weeds and an off-white vest with shoulder accents that looked like wings about to sprout, her gesture of spreading her arms as though to embrace this new phase in her life assured me at least that painting, writing, music and the things that make living worthwhile will go on.

Photo of Samaon Sulaiman from http://www.ncca.gov.ph/about-ncca/org-awards/gamaba/samaon_sulaiman.php

Monday, May 16, 2011

One Baptism and Two Wakes

Sunday, May 15, -- yesterday once more -- was fully dedicated to family in this Auntie Social's life (thanks pal Gou for the term). My assignment: bring the Green Daisy tablea chocolate cake, flour-less and with no preservatives, to Kai Mykonos L. Fernandez's baptism into the Roman Catholic religion.
I skipped the rites, the way I'm wont to do in the noontime of my life, but I stayed for lunch to be around family mostly. When things got too hot (38 degrees even in the shade), I slid a disc of a black and white Audrey Hepburn movie, "Love in the Afternoon," just to watch the star and my heart-throb Gary Cooper, in the family DVD player.

I never got to finish the movie because by then the sun was setting, it was starting to cool, and the white-haired grump in my life, who's growing his hair (I have visions of a pony-tailed Wowo pushing a pram down Session Road in the months to come), demanded that I shower and dress up to accompany him to two wakes. How can I say no when the spirits of Chit Estella and Atty. Marcelo Fernando hovered on both shoulders of Wowo?
Earlier, there was a chance to play with the first grandchild Butones who can recognize colors, hold her head up, listen well when her babushka sings "What a Wonderful World," "Time After Time," Fallen", even the school hymn of St. Paul College.
And because the breastfeeding mother of Butones declared weeks earlier that we would have that four generations photo, finally, once her daughter was baptized, we posed before the camera of another auntie, Ruth, on the steps of our 36-year-old split-level bungalow for a personally historical shot.

Meanwhile, Chit and Atty. Elo, you can leave in peace, all is bright, all is calm, at least in this blogger's part of ze world. Adieu!

Source of photo of journalist Chit Estella: Vera Files

Source of photo of Marcelo N. Fernando bust by Julie Lluch: www.manilaartblogger.wordpress.com

Source of photo of Gary Cooper and Audrey Hepburn in "Love in the Afternoon": www.flixster.com

Monday, May 9, 2011

Valley of Tears

Text and photos by Elizabeth Lolarga

FLYING into and out of Davao City has always been meaningful to this contributor. From 1984 when I first took off from its tiny airport with memories of Barrio Obrero to the 1990s when I joined the first durian festival and later covered the opening of The Royal Mandaya Hotel, the city has grown, to use a cliché, in leaps and bounds.

Once, it was THE largest, but now ranks third after Shanghai, China, and Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Don't know much about geography, but Asian cities, especially those in the Philippines, have a fascinating way of enlarging territories.

Gus Miclat, who I met in the '80s and who, when I last saw him in '98, was busy advocating peace and solidarity tourism, is flying out on the day I land so we exchange a quick hello on SMS. He tells me to enjoy his city's rapid urbanization, texting, "Enjoy the iba-ness (difference). Have coffee at Coffee for Peace in Matina. Run by Menonite Fil-Canadian couple. Good friends Dann and Joji Pantoja. Come back when am there. Ayo ayo."

Ayo ayo is the city's and the Davao provinces' parlance for "keep well, take care," according to Gus.

I store his message, hoping that before the media group of three (one young man from a business paper, another young man from a major daily and this middle-aged working stiff old enough to wipe their noses should they weep) leave for Manila again, I can have some free time to look for the coffee shop. "Fat chance in hell," to use another friend's expression.

The tour's itinerary is supposedly hectic with no time wasted, but after breakfast, the agony of anticipation begins. Tourism officers, including from the private sector, come and go to introduce, then excuse, themselves, saying they can't join us on the Compostela Valley (ComVal) tour. Easily an hour and a half's wait goes by, time enough to buy extra meds in case of getting stranded.

When we push off for ComVal's provincial capitol, it was just me (Mama Bear), her two cubs, the driver of a hired van and a quiet guide. The cubs catch up on sleep as we had taken an early-morn flight. They had decided to stay up the night before so as not to miss the plane.

The guide says a total of one sentence as we take a fork on the road: "That other road leads to Tagum City, site of the First International Rondalla Festival." Then silence reigned once more as drive continues.

Once off the van at the capitol in Cabidianan, Nabunturan, we are welcomed with a necklace each of dried coconut shells. The cubs, newly wakened from sleep, have that where-in-heavens-have-we-been-brought-to look.

A provincial tourism officer briefs us about how young a province ComVal is (it has turned 13 in March) with coastal and highland destinations, the latter places offering climes as cool as Tagaytay and Baguio.

ComVal is celebrating its Bulawan Festival the day of our arrival. There's no explanation about what the feast is all about, except from lay person's knowledge that the word means "gold" and is also the name of a refereed Philippine journal.

ComVal is mineral country. Rebels, private companies and individuals, and the government all earn from this geological resource. So fecund is the valley that it can be said to be over-mined.

ComVal boasts of clay in red, green, blue and white. Perky officer says white is the most expensive because it has to be heated at three times higher than the temperature for red clay.

ComVal has won the Civil Service Commission's (CSC) seal of excellence in governance and is, according to Ms. Perky, the only local government unit complying with the Anti-Red Tape Act. For example, if one applies for a license, government services are so calibrated that the license is produced quickly. Ms. Perky is so thrilled about this CSC award that "we have to maintain it so we can't go anywhere but down."

We are ushered into Gov. Arturo "Chiongkee" T. Uy's office on the fourth floor. He tells us about how, in the province's early years, it was Wild Wild West: "Magulo (chaotic). Di magkasundo ang mga congressmen at mayor (the congressmen and mayors couldn't get their act together)."

Upon his election in 2007, he says he reached out to all provincial board members. By his 100th day, the province was united.

Its symbol of unity: a huge gold and silver ring put together through donations of from one to 50 grams of the precious materials.
"It's the unity we've been dreaming of," he says as he lets us behold the ring.

This ring, worth more than a million pesos, is displayed within a glass case at the capitol lobby during working hours. It is stored in a vault, we suppose, once the five o'clock siren blares out.

Uy is ensuring that provincial and national roads leading to the municipalities will be done within three years.

As for security problems, he says, "There are six guerilla fronts here, but they don't bother tourists. The rebels' issue against us is not eliminating poverty fast enough, not providing the basic needs of our constituents, especially those in far-flung barangays."

What he does is to tell the Armed Forces assigned there not to crush the insurgency through guns but "through good governance. The military is shifting its direction. In the past, it was all-out war. Now it's community building."

He doesn't discount the strength of the New People's Army: "Buhay na buhay ang NPA (The NPA is very much alive) because ours is a rich province. We have small- and large-scale miners. All give to the NPA so they won't be touched. This is the NPA's bread and butter when it comes to funds. Their propaganda says public education is not entirely free. I say, it is free, just pay the miscellaneous."

For the second quarter this year, his province will open 32 new classrooms and obey President Aquino's order that whatever the national government puts in ComVal (e.g., P10 million), ComVal will match.

Uy is turning hospitals into an "economic enterprise" because "it is hard to hire doctors and other medical personnel if we don't have a corporate structure."

After the short interview, we are dismissed but not before we sign an attendance sheet. At the dining hall, another attendance sheet is presented to our group.

I protest, "I signed one there in the gov's office."

The clerk replies, "It's for our HRD. It's SOP."

Ms. Perky introduces us to the person assigned to us, a man named "Manay." Manay leads us to the tourism office below, then tours the cubs around the capitol grounds where there is a fair and some dancing going on.

Another guide, this time from Davao City, brings me to a display of local products. I find a booth selling place mats, coasters and similar local crafts. I buy coasters at five pesos each and ask how much the set of matching place mats cost. The stall minder says the place mats had just arrived. She doesn't know the price. I ask gently, "Maybe you can text or call your employer to ask." She starts texting. I am willing to wait.

My guide from the city whispers, "Huwag ka na diyan (Don't buy there). When you return to Davao City, everything you need is at Aldevinco." Aldevinco is a strip mall near the Marco Polo Hotel where one can find products from the Davao provinces, including ComVal, with nearly 200 percent markup.
Sigh, so much for One Town, One Product and patronizing the locals to be rid of middlemen. That guide is loyal to her city at ComVal's expense.

After an afternoon wasted in the tourism officer's office checking mail, answering urgent letters and finally, Facebooking, while a cub plays his video game, the other cub looks pissed off--it dawns on us that we've been had.

We tell Manay and the silent guy in the van that our time is being wasted. Can we please move on to the next destination if there's no one else to interview? Both answer that we have to wait for dinner hour to begin.

Cub No. 1 says, we can buy our own food on the road. By this time all three of us are ganging up on Manay and Mr. Quiet Nice Guy who are flustered by our reaction to time wasted and lost.

I ask candidly, "May I know what's after dinner? Is there a program that we have to see to explain the delay?" No program.

Manay's feathers are ruffled. He addresses Cub No. 1 pointblank, "Are you a tour operator?" Cub's face darkens in fury as apparently, Manay has not been briefed that we are information seekers. Manay adds, "We are not prepared to receive media."

Hurriedly swallowing dinner before our combined irritation forces us to turn Manay and quiet guy upside down, we head for a beach resort in Pantukan after signing another attendance sheet That is where the trip takes on the atmosphere of a theater of the absurd.

We stagger to our rooms, tired, lacking in sleep and information. The local tourism officer daintily knocks on my door. I am in a state of modest undress, ready for bed. He issues a piece of paper that states we still have to do one last thing at the resort at 11 p.m.: "Relax…relax…relax…" He adds that drinks and a videoke await us at that time of the night. "Thanks but no thanks," I say. "Let's do the work we came here for in the morning."

I prepare to take a shower. There is a standby pail. Twist shower knob, out comes trickle of water with the quantity and force of ants' urine. Sigh.

After having breakfast alone, early riser that I am, the resort owner tells me how her place is "pang magbubukid (for the farmers)" which is why they have no website, just some cell phone numbers on her business card.

This will be the pattern of answers in the two more resorts we visit--they have not much to show as their beach enterprises are mainly for the locals. By then, our party is being trailed by a convoy of six Philippine National Police carrying long arms and an ambulance. At almost every stop, resort owners lay out snacks. The policemen and ambulance driver help themselves to food and drinks.
At one point, dainty tourism officer says, "Ma'am, tignan mo naman, may pagkain every stop (Look, there's food at every stop)." I inhale deeply, exhale through my mouth and through the corner of lips, say, "We had breakfast already. We came here for information. Is there someone who can tell us about this place?"
He stands back, asks the cook if she can answer our queries. She declines and frantically looks for someone else.

Tourism officer leads the convoy as Mama Bear and her cubs text their respective editors, please prepare to ransom or airlift us in case we get caught in the crossfire between the NPA and the PNP.
Tourism officer assures us that we're getting the VIP treatment. Mama Bear and cubs turn to each other and our unspoken thought bubble is: "If this is VIP treatment, what more if our skin is white as driven snow? You mean it isn't safe to travel along the highway?"

Towards our second to the last stop in ComVal, tourism officer overdoes his duties, "To your right is our Shell gas station. To your left is our talipapa."

What keeps me from bursting out laughing is when he points to his town's newest travel agency. Its name? There is no typo here: YOU MUST TRAVEL AND TOURS!
Originally published in Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 8, 2011, page B-3, but with a different set of photos not of Compostela Valley but of Davao Oriental. Topmost photo shows Compostela Valley Gov. Uy with unity ring; bottom photo shows terrain of Compostela Valley taken from the vehicle's window as we head towards Davao Oriental. Photos in between are self-explanatory.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Tiger Mama of a Governor

THE province of Davao Oriental is the oldest in the Davao region, even older than the city of Davao. It is fortunate to have for its governor Cora Nuñez Malanyaon, a good poster girl for she knows her province's historical and natural riches well.
Like a fierce mother, she protects these riches, especially the mineral-rich forests, keeping them from abusers and marauders. At the same time, she is willing to share them given these conditions that follow the environmentalist's credo: take only pictures, leave only footprints and kill only time.

The national highway is "very defined and beautiful with mountain and sea on opposite sides," she says. View decks and signs are going up, but development is being kept at a minimum to preserve the beauty she is so proud about.

"We want to keep it as natural as possible so we're getting professional experts in developing the province as a destination for soft and extreme adventure. We complement this with the work of the local government units so everything is in sync. We're promoting the province piece by piece, putting everything in place," she says.
Coves, inlets, caves, falls, trails, diving spots, Katil River (the cleanest in Mindanao), the rare pitcher plant, the Philippine eagle in its natural habitat, dolphins, dugongs, whale sharks--name the flora or fauna, Davao Oriental has it. Slowly, the ecotourism potential of the province is being unraveled.

She feels abashed that "more foreigners have written about our butterflies, even our rodents here. They compare our abundant biodiversity to that of Costa Rica."

She and the LGUs are ensuring that from their level down to the habal-habal (tricycle) driver, they can all talk knowledgeably and confidently about where to go, where to stay, what to eat, what to do.

Gov. Malanyaon, whose handshake has the strength and sincerity of a proletarian leader but whose aesthetic taste is that of an aristocrat, dares to declare to the rest of her country and the world: "Come see what we have to offer."

Originally published in Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 8, 2011, page B-2, except for the photos.
Top photo: Gov. Manlayaon presiding at a Sandigang Panlalawigan meeting
Middle: Dinosaur Hill, view along the highway while entering or exiting Davao Oriental
Bottom: The restored Menzi Mansion, now serving as the governor's official residence

Waking Up to a Fab Davao Oriental Morning

Text and photos by Elizabeth Lolarga

It IS ONE of life's ironies to put you through hellish purification rites, then to reward you with something to sing and dance about, and, within 48 hours at that.

You discover the stark contrast between Compostela Valley, which is waking up to the possibilities of community tourism, and Davao Oriental, which has long been ready for low-impact, environmentally conscious tourism.

When you think of the latter province while stewing in Manila, the sea breeze is softly kissing your age-worn cheeks again. So soft you chase after several other memories of gladness:
* Slipper-shod feet sinking in the sand by Eva Botana's beach resort in Dahican as your shaded eyes squint at the bluest blue skies meeting the vast horizon;
* Sightings from afar of dugongs at play while fisher folk, Christians and Muslims alike, gather in a community hall to decide how best they can protect these creatures from their fishing nets and how to source other forms of livelihood for their families;
* Meeting Peter Plaza, only a year and a half old, already surfing the waves, able to stand on a skim or a surf board, a model for surfer wear and with a promising future in a sport where Filipinos have a fighting chance to excel;
* Witnessing for yourself how on the boardwalk of Mati there is no plastic floating on the nearby bay the color of turquoise despite settlers living on lean-tos on stilts;
* Tasting durian again in situ under an evening sky;

* And, before departing, being thrilled to find you still have a romantic bone left in your sagging body when your colleagues in media, two bachelors, announce their intention to return to the province within the year.

Their determined purpose: to propose, on bended knees, to their respective sweethearts. The governor, Cora Nunez Malanyaon, and her tourism consultant, Cynthia Rodriguez, join in the planning and agree, yes, it must happen on a night by the beach, on a pier or by a light tower on a full-moon night!
That is Davao Oriental's enchantment, the true meaning behind its expression of balik balik baya ha! Come back!

Originally published in Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 8, 2011, page B-2, except for the first photo which came out in black and white in said paper

Saturday, May 7, 2011

On a Saturday Night, Thinking of Dodo, Rico, But Especially Rico

What to make of these past weeks, even of only yesterday when the force of the news first hit you?

Over a glass of red wine in a garden hospitable to confessions, a friend who had just come in from the south tells you, "By the way, tenor Dodo Crisol is dead. Immediate cause of death is complications from diabetes."

Same friend tells you that his life is complicated and sad enough for him to end his Friday by composing an obituary and sending it to a daily.

You switch the subject as is your wont when the suddenness of the news is just too much to handle, especially on an afternoon earlier marked with joyful joyful noises of children.

You each order another glass, and your night's conclusion is how blessed you both are to have grandchildren to keep you going. Otherwise, you'd each entertain thoughts "na hindi maganda," was his own wry assessment of your respective situations. That was yesterday.

Tonight, a Saturday, back from the hours of light and laughter spent celebrating with a couple married thrice (first in underground rites during their activist years, next in civil rites when they returned from exile and this morning, church rites, finally), you remember another guy with whom you spent some time during a dark period in your life--almost a month at a hospital basement when you were being treated for ye old depression. (Not Dodo whom you associate with his sister Gigi Dueñas but somebody else.)

It was the first confinement for you (other times you were being treated for same-old same-old ailment in your youth on an out-patient basis; the depression would hit you hard again in your early 40s, an episode that no amount of medication could relieve).

For that fellow Rico, the basement he had already long considered home. There he was sure of where his next meal would come from, where his next dose of medicine would also come from so he could have a full night's rest or some lucidity. When the government official who was paying for his confinement lost the resources to keep him there and the bills started to pile up, Rico was released to a family reluctant to receive him back.

By then, you were long released to the world, a year or so ahead of Rico, and you had rejoined the work force and re-integrated with family in the lowlands and in the highlands. You'd drop by now and then to visit him, claiming you were his sister or cousin in order to be granted a few minutes with him at the visitors' lounge. He appreciated reams of bond paper, reams of old smokies (Marlboro reds); he'd slip a pack into his back pocket and surrender the rest to the head nurse.

You'd share anecdotes like this with old comrade in arts and letters, Amadis de Guerre, a.k.a Sluggo, about how boring it was until your psychiatrist pointed out Rico's presence to you and suddenly, confinement didn't seem like such a raw deal anymore. Rico remembered you from the days when you both contributed to the same magazines in the '70s and '80s.

At the basement, you'd throw lines of poetry at each other and when you ran out, recited song lyrics, particularly "Windmills of Your Mind." Rico knew every line of that song by heart and sang in perfect pitch, not too loudly though or else you or he would be made to spend another time in the room with padded walls that locked from the outside.

Old Sluggo's shoulders would rise and fall as he giggled and said, "So, was it like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest?"

Better than two hours in a movie house, you should have said.

Rico remained to his last moment a very considerate fellow. Federico Licsi Espino Jr., poet-playwright-fictionist, quietly passed away on Holy Wednesday this year with no one noticing somewhere in the city of Pasig. A relative remembered to call up Solidaridad Bookshop on the morning of April 28 to inform Rico's friends, Frankie and Tessie Jose, that Rico was gone. All the information they received was that his mortal remains were immediately cremated; there was no wake nor a funeral either as even the cemetery gatekeeper took a leave on Holy Thursday and Good Friday.

Rico had enjoyed renown for being able to write and publish literary works in several languages. Some of those languages he had taught himself to speak with and write in like Spanish and Iluko.

You remember him most especially for his infrequent angel visits to 39 M. Viola street, UP Diliman campus, when the Epistola couple were still alive and played vibrant hosts there. One time, Nieves served him slices of pear. Rico politely ate them, paused and said, in that same gently chiding tone, "But they're tender."

When he left, an abashed Nieves said, "That's the last time I'm gonna serve canned pears!"

What's the point in this delayed obit (at least for Rico)? Well, Dodo and Rico are connoisseurs of life. Dodo deserves a longer piece. You can almost hear his sister Gigi screaming across the ocean: "Manash, kuno syur!"

Too weary from this Saturday's and last month's unrelenting grieving in private moments, you search for something to sort of salute the guys you once knew. May this other connoisseur bite more greedily of life's dew.

The Connoisseur

When it came to happiness she was a gourmet,
a connoisseur of small moments and extravagance.
Like a hummingbird, free as jazz, she floated away.

She wasn’t immune to love. But her need to stay
on top of things meant she didn’t rate romance
when it came to happiness. She was a gourmet

of the ungraspable now, savouring on the spot, without delay,
what the rest of us reheat at a bitter distance.
Like a hummingbird, free as jazz, she floated away.

I envied her of course, which isn’t to say
her dance, her casual way, didn’t leave me in a trance.
When it came to happiness she was a gourmet.

To recognise contentment was her gift, her forte,
sipping the nectar from selected instants
like a hummingbird. Free as jazz, she floated away

from me with the old line: Is there anything I can say
to make this easier for you?
Not a chance.
When it came to happiness she was a gourmet.
Like a hummingbird, free as jazz, she floated away.

by Billy Ramsell
from Complicated Pleasures
publisher: Dedalus, Dublin, © 2007

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Nelson Mandela (or Whoever the Real Author Is & It Truly Is a She) & the Boys of Maginhawa Street

One of the last exercises done by the first batch of workshop participants of "Writing and Loving It," a summer workshop on creative living, was to translate from English to Filipino this oft-quoted inspirational and inspiring quotation that is attributed to Nelson Mandela.
The boys of that first batch who worked on their individual poems and essays throughout the six-day long workshop at the function room of Kiss the Cook Gourmet at 65 Maginhawa street, UP Village, Quezon City, had their closing program yesterday.
Today, this workshop facilitator and her able assistant, Nina Victoria Araos,a comparative lit major when she enters UP Diliman in June, take a break on Labor Day. The second batch of workshop participants meets from May 2 to 6 at Daisy Langenegger's Green Daisy at 20 Maginhawa st., same village in QC, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as
children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." --quotation often attributed to Nelson Mandela of South Africa
"Ang atin kakulangan ay hindi natin dapat katakutan bagkus ang katotohanang tayo ay may angking kapangyarihang maaring hindi lang natin nalalaman. Madalas nating kinakatakutan ang mga bagay na alam natin, hindi ang mga bagay na hindi natin alam. Tinatanong natin sa ating sarili, Sino ako para maging matalino, maganda o guwapo, magaling, pambihira? Pero bakit hindi? Ikaw ay anak ng Diyos. Ang iyong pagpapakumbaba o pagpapakamaliit ay hindi kailanman makakatulong. Ang iyong pagkukunwaring hindi ka magaling para lamang ang iyong kapwa ay hindi makaramdam ng kawalan ng katiyakan ay hindi rin mainam. Katulad ng mga bata, tayo ay ipinanganak upang magningning at lumiwanag. Tayo ang isinilang upang ipahayag ang kagalingan at kaluwalhatian ng Panginoon. At kapag pinahintulutan natin lumiwanag ang ating ilaw, lumiliwanag din ang ibang katulad natin. At kapag ating napalaya ang ating sarili mula sa ating mga takot, tayo rin ang nakakapagpalaya ng ating kapwa."--Translated by Milo Lofranco, Rudolf Songcayawon and Rex Tan

Photo of workshop participants at Kiss the Cook Gourmet's function room taken by NINA VICTORIA ARAOS
That quotation attributed to the great Mandela has this interesting history. The source is: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Marianne_Williamson

* "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." (A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles", Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3])

o The famous passage from her book is often erroneously attributed to the inaugural address of Nelson Mandela. About the misattribution Williamson said, "Several years ago, this paragraph from A Return to Love began popping up everywhere, attributed to Nelson Mandela's 1994 inaugural address. As honored as I would be had President Mandela quoted my words, indeed he did not. I have no idea where that story came from, but I am gratified that the paragraph has come to mean so much to so many people."

o The poem was also included in the movie, "Invictus," about Nelson Mandela and the South African Rugby team.

o The film Akeelah and the Bee includes this quotation without citing its source. Some viewers have inferred that the source is W.E.B. Du Bois. There is a later scene in the movie in which Akeela reads a passage from The Souls of Black Folk written by Du Bois ("He began to have a dim feeling that, to attain his place in the world, he must be himself, and not another”).

o The film Coach Carter includes a variation of this quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

o The Israeli bestseller "Badulina" by the author Gabi Nitzan opens with this quote, also attributing it to Nelson Mandela.

Photo of Mandela by BENNY GOOD

It's the First of May. Remember: All Wives & Mothers are Working Wives & Mothers, Even & Especially on Labor Day

This came in the email box again. It got me laughing to the point that I needed to go to the bathroom. Thank you to the manashes out there who sense when you need to laugh a little more.

The Cremated Husband

Martha recently lost her husband. She had him cremated and brought his ashes home.

Picking up the urn that he was in, she poured him out on the patio table.

Then, while tracing her fingers in the ashes, she started talking to him,

"You know that dishwasher you promised me? I bought it with the insurance money!"

She paused for a minute tracing her fingers in the ashes then said,

"Remember that car you promised me? Well, I also bought it with the insurance money!"

Again, she paused for a few minutes and while tracing her fingers in the ashes she said,

"Remember that diamond ring you promised me? Bought it , with the insurance money!"

Finally, still tracing her fingers in the ashes, she said, "Remember that blow job I promised you? Here it comes."

Photo shows new royal wife getting initiated into one of the rites of "wifehood." Source: From all over the Internet