Monday, September 14, 2009


When the 1901 Philippine Commission was selecting for us our National Hero, the initial winner by a unanimous vote was Marcelo Hilario Del Pilar.
The said patron saint of Filipino journalist -- who founded Diarong Tagalog in 1882 and edited La Solidaridad which he co-published in 1889 -- lost to Jose Rizal.
All because he died -- on the fourth of July in 1896 – in a pathetic fashion?
Compared to the latter's dramatic death by firing squad, his was due to tubercolosis!
Now, nevertheless, this poet hailed for his parodies is immortalized, for the sixth time, not by his alma mater, University of Santo Tomas where he finished law in 1880, but by another national, the University of the Philippines through its College of Mass Communication.
His ideas and ideals inspired them to give the annual award that honors a Filipino media practitioner whose professional integrity and commitment to public service are reflected in his or her exemplary achievements in print, film, radio, television or the new media.
Named after his most famous penname, the UP Gawad Plaridel for this year will be awarded to the independent filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik for his outstanding contributions to filmmaking via some of his classics like Mababangong Bangungot [Perfumed Nightmare] (1977), Turumba (1981), Sinong Lumikha ng Yoyo? Sinong Lumikha ng Moon Buggy? (1982), Why is Yellow Middle of Rainbow? (1994), Japanese Summers of a Filipino Fundoshi (1996), among others.
The artist formerly known as Eric de Guia, this self-taught cineaste – who is a former U.P. Student Council president -- has a Master in Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business before serving as a researcher for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris from 1968 to 1972.
A recipient of the Berlin Film Festival International Critics Award (1977), Mannheim Film Festival Top Cash Award (1981), to name a few -- Kidlat Tahimik joins past UP Gawad Plaridel awardees Eugenia Duran-Apostol (2004, Print Journalism), Vilma Santos (2005, Film), the late Fidela “Tiya Dely” Magpayo (2006, Radio), Cecilia “Cheche” Lazaro (2007, Television) and Pachico A. Seares (2008, Community Journalism).The awarding ceremonies is scheduled on July 10, 1:30 pm, at the Cine Adarna of the UP Film Institute where UP Pres. Emerlinda Roman, Chancellor Sergio Cao, and CMC Dean Roland Tolentino and other officials will hand his trophy sculpted by National Artist Napoleon Abueva.
Double-gifted, indeed, is our Philippine indie cinema lately since Kidlat Tahimik, its Father, also won the Natatanging Gawad Urian Lifetime Achievement Award last year while its Grandfather, Manuel Conde is reportedly one of the latest National Artist for Film.
Same day, at 8pm, you can watch Philippine Ballet Theatre's interpretation of the Maranao epic, Darangen ni Bantugen at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Up to July 12, at 3pm, the PBT will be dancing a full-length production of the pre-Islamic epic that tells the story of the Maranao people and the odyssey of their local mythical hero, Bantugen.
Even before the ballet’s premiere in May 2008, Darangen ni Bantugen has been declared by UNESCO as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritages of Humanity. This time, the epic, portrayed in classical dance form, is choreographed by Gener Caringal and Ronilo Jaynario, with music by Jesse Lucas and set and costume design by National Artist Salvador Bernal. PBT is offering a 50% discount on ticket sales for students. If you have any questions, and if you want to avail of the said offer, you may contact the PBT Office at 09178422392. On Saturday, July 11, start your day as early as 8 a.m., by joining students, teachers, others for a storytelling workshop with South African writer/artist/storyteller Gcina Mhlophe. Ms. Mhlophe will share her views on what makes a good storyteller. Make it an opportunity to learn or, perhaps, earn from your untapped skills and talent. Workshop fee of P300 includes a workshop kit, snack and coffee, tea or juice. For details, kindly contact Maricel Montero or Liza Lim or Charlot Cachuela at 523-1797/98, 536-0595 or email This special event is held in partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa.
Eventually, at around 3 p.m., in celebration of the 7th birthday of our angel, Awit, artist/inventor Paz Abad Santos will inaugurate her interactive gallery for expressive arts therapy – which we baptized as “Arterapi” -- at the TILAMSIK NG SINING at 119 Scout Limbaga and Scout Ybardolaza Streets.
Tita Ching, as she is fondly called, is part of a one-of-a-kind exhibit entitled Draped in Silk that opened last July 1 at the Yuchengco Museum, RCBC Plaza, Ayala corner Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenues in Makati City.
Other artists featured are Ambie Abano, Amina Aranaz-Alunan, Marina Cruz, Araceli Dans, Steve de Leon, Dopy Doplon, Margarita Fores, Danilo Franco, Jeannie Goulbourn, Katrina Goulbourn-Feist, Dan Lichauco, Tats Rejante-Manahan, Maxine Syjuco, Michelline Syjuco, George Tapan, Patis Tesoro, Wig Tysmas, Ann Wizer, and Tesoro's Philippine Handicrafts. Subtitled The Journey of the Manton de Manila, it narrates the story of a 16th century precious cargo, of Chinese silk embroidery, and of a maritime trade between Asia and Europe. Its curator, artist Jeannie Javelosa, cannot help but wax historic: “The Philippines, then a Spanish colony, was a port of call for galleons that sailed to and from Mexico. One of the many coveted merchandise brought by these galleons were embroidered silk shawls from China, which were to become known as the Manton de Manila. The dainty and bright embroidery of these Chinese-made shawls captured the imagination of Spanish from all walks of life, and adapted as part of their fashion and costumes for dance and music. The exhibit explores the many anecdotes surrounding these captivating shawls, including the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade and the manton's influences on Philippine embroidery traditions. In contrast, artists and designers from various creative fields showcase contemporary works inspired by the manton -- from illustrations, painting, and photography to couture, installations, and décor. It runs until December 29.”
If you prefer telliing tales that are read, you may submit to Patubas: An Anthology of West Visayan Literature your poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, drama (preferably one-act), excerpts from longer works like novels and full-length plays and screenplays, with translations for non-English or Filipino pieces. You are encouraged to submit three to five short pieces or one to two longer pieces (excluding translations for non-English/Filipino pieces) to allow the editor as well as the project coordinators to decide which pieces to include in the anthology. Submissions should also be accompanied by a 150-200-word narrative description of the author as well as a picture. Ten years after the release of Patubas, published by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and edited by Palanca Hall of Famer, Dr. Leoncio Deriada, the Capiz Council for Culture and the Arts (CCCA) headed by Bryan Mari Argos, through its literary division, Yanggaw Capiz Writers' Group (YCWG), headed by Marcel Milliam will accept all submissions which should be in .doc or .rtf format and should be sent as an email attachment to patubas2@ not later than July 15. Only submissions sent via email will be entertained.
If the bird of knowledge is the owl
if the bird of freedom is the dove
and the bird of strength is the eagle --
what is the bird of birth control?
Destiny belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams and have the courage to pursue it. Do not stop when you are tired. Stop when you are done.

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