Fried food is coming, the beer is flowing, it’s just before 11am, and the wait for the hero to arrive is well underway. Troy Aiken an American NFL sports hero is watching, so that brings up the question, “who else is watching”? American icons watching the boxing pride of our people. Pacman brings Filipinos into the world spotlight, as the world pays attention to Filipinos as powerful skilled warriors. And if Manny can be viewed as strong, so too can we be considered, coming from the same country (if you feel that sort of thing), and dang it if that doesn’t help you feel a bit of pinoy pride in your heart. Continue reading
It ended with us in interrogation. Apparently they didn’t much appreciate outsiders seeing (let alone shooting photos and vids of) the random bits of human remains just lying about. Continue reading
Last weekend Vince and I joined Salinlahi (a child’s rights advocacy org) in providing a photo workshop to out of school youth from 12 to 17 years old in a fishing community in Bacoor (just outside Manila).
This is part of the photography program Salinlahi is bringing to different impoverished communities in the Philippines to explore the serious and common situation of child labourers. The chronic and worsening hardship in the country (not to mention the shrinking budget for education) leads to more and more youth dropping out of school in order to help make ends meet for their family. Continue reading
the group gathers for the tour start, photo by a.felipe
Transitio, a celebration where the world comes together. Well where various travelers, balikbayans, and Filipinos living in and around Manila come together to commemorate the end days of World War II in the Philippines. The event starts out with taking a large number of people through an amazing tour of the Intramurous area of Manila, and then ends at Fort Santiago with numerous performances, readings, art pieces, and installations on display. Carlos Celdran is the veteran tour guide and mastermind behind this well attended event. I have to say that I really admire and respect the work of Carlos and his tours. I find that his tours allow people to see an aged city in a brand new light, and I really dig that. People tonight came from all over, like Germany, Canada, Israel, and U.S. to name a few of the foreign countries I saw being represented. Continue reading
Vince and I split up today to film the Pacquiao vs Clottey match in two different locations. I went to watch it in a covered basketball court with a thousand or so others in Taytay (1hr east of Cubao), Vince went to see it in a classy Quezon City bar. We figured the contrast would be interesting. Continue reading
Graciousness. I think that’s one way to describe every home I’ve visited being here in the Philippines. When I last visited in 2004, I was able to visit my friend’s family home in Los Pinas. I remember that when we slept, there were about 6 of us to one room, and climbing the stairs required some caution being extremely steep, like 12-inches high, 3-inches deep type steep. But aside from the shared space and the mountainous stair climb, the main thing that stuck out in my mind was how gracious and hospitable the family was. The lola of the house served for dinner an amazing spread of sinagang and beef steak adobo, with mangos for desert. Very tasty.
Halo halo with Alex's family in Quiapo. -photo by a.felipe-
When we visited Alex’s family in the Quiapo, they were super hospitable serving us halo halo fresh from the corner vendor. What I find interesting, is that wherever we go, whichever home we visit, the people always have the biggest smiles on their faces when they speak with us. I find that giving off the warm welcome vibe is an essential part for Filipino homes here. Of course I get the requisite questions regarding my lack of Tagalog speaking abilities, but it’s all in good fun as they say “Mabebenta ka” meaning “you will be sold” by people speaking tagalog right in front of you. Continue reading
One style of dress the Spaniards saw when they arrived in the Philippines. Note all the gold they're wearing.
They called us “indios” back then. They considered us savages. But what were we?
Vince and I, with new friends from Manila [*thanks for the introduction Anjo!], went to the Ayala Museum to see the display of pre-hispanic indigenous gold.
You see, before the Spanish we were a people with a rapidly developing culture. We were not only bahag (loincloth) wearing, hunter-gatherers. We were also a group of stratified societies with it’s own textile, gold, steel-making, cannon-using industries. We traded with several neighbouring empires among them the Malay Sri Vijaya, Javanese Majapahit, Brunei, Melaka empires. Our peoples traded with Sumatra, Borneo, Thailand, Java, China, India, Arabia, and Japan.
When the Spanish arrived they would have met well dressed, gold clad, warriors and noblemen. This gold drew in the Spanish coloniser, and even to this day remains a major draw for the current world powers that be. Read up on the Boxer Codex for more info.