Friday, February 29, 2008

The Pinoy version of you can be good again...kaya mong maging dakila.

Two years ago I had lunch with Prof. Jun De Leon (UP Humanities) and he said he has never and will never give up on the Filipino. He said something like this:

The greatest civilizations went through horrendous suffering. It is the suffering that made them great. Our people are in the midst of this suffering and they are learning their lessons. We will be great. Just wait and see.

So I wait to see what becomes of the latest uprising against those who can't "moderate their greed."

In the meantime, today I went for a long walk with one of our community volunteers organizing the June fiesta. She wants to do something different to raise the level of pride, awareness, and empowerment of the local community. Aside from the usual fiesta fare of food and tinikling, she wants to add an essay writing contest, mobilize the youth and let them provide input in the day's events, have an ethnographic display, etc. I am so glad she's super-motivated!

Been around long enough now to know that these are the same refrains I hear year after year. Sometimes I, too, feel like giving up. And then something happens to make me hopeful again...a memory of a lunch date with Prof de Leon, a Joey Ayala song, sharing native lunch with a friend. It doesn't take much really to feel good about being Pinay over and over again.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Received a second Fulbright Hays Grant. We will be able to bring another group of K-12 teachers to Ateneo De Davao in Mindanao.

See http://www.sonoma.edu/projects/nbisp/
See http://www.sonoma.edu/projects/nbisp/calendar.html

A Fulbright-Hays Study Abroad Program

July 10 to August 9, 2008

For - K-12 Teachers
Cost - $1100 per person
Credit - Up to 4 units available at additional cost

The North Bay International Studies Project - NBISP - is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a Fulbright-Hays Grant to take 12 teachers to Davao City on the Island of Mindanao in the Philippines.

The program includes study at Ateneo de Davao University with coursework developed for our American teachers, roundtrip travel, housing, per diem, and travel within the country. Tagalog classes will begin at SSU before we leave.

Contact NBISP at Sonoma State University for further information and to request an application: Ph. - 707-664-2409, or email Miriam Hutchins at miriam.hutchins@sonoma.edu.

Mail Applications To: North Bay International Studies Project, Sonoma State University, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park, CA 94928, or FAX to: 707-664-2053.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Adding Ed de la Torre.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Water Cure.

I was just at the former Clark Air Base, now an economic freezone, where the VFA forces are, I was told, conducting Balikatan exercises.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

High School Reunion highlights:

  • Grand Alumni Homecoming: I don't know how I got nominated to receive an "outstanding alumna" award for Arts and Culture. And I don't know why more folks from my class who are equally deserving were not nominated.
  • Sumptous luncheon and dinner hosted by a classmate on his farm resort.
  • Booklaunching of the little book that could. Highlights: the priest blessing the books, signing books for the teachers and counselors, ceremonial signing of the "deed of donation," presenting the book to the governor, Among Ed.
  • Trip to Bohol, Panglao Island: chocolate hills, tarsiers, "blood compact" site, ancient churches, river boat cruise, karaoke, winning the raffle grand prize, the circle of candle, closing circle, walks by the beach, massages, late night chat.

I'm back now. Or am I?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Introducing Marisol! via Karen.

I was able to visit Karen in Madapdap where she runs the Kamay at Puso program. Since it was non-therapy day, Karen was able to come with me to Paradise Ranch for a couple of hours. This was the only day that was not about the high school reunion events. more on these later.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The cost of war

What I'm afraid Bush will do before he leaves office.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

This question was emailed to me:
Professor, whaddya think about RP-statehood-USA as panacea ofpractically-ALL Philippine ills?

After preliminary introductions, I offered these questions as a quick reply.

B -
I'm getting ready to go to the Phil for my high school reunion and will be away for two weeks. But since you are asking for a quick reply, let me offer this:

Here are some questions:
1. What makes your group think that the US will be willing to take the Philippines as a state?
2. If part of the ills besetting the Philippines is a result of the colonial and imperial legacy of the the West (US and Spain), how does going back to the "Master/colonizer" resolve the illness?
3. Do you really think that the Filipino people are incapable of self-rule that they need an external strong man? Are we so bereft of values, resources, and imagination that we can't come up with our own resolve to stand on our own two feet? (Please read David Martinez'
A Country of One's Own for a perspective. Also my book, Coming Full Circle: The Process of Decolonization Among Post 1965 Filipino Americans).
4. Are you sure there are no "third world" conditions within the U.S.?
5. Are you sure that the US justice system is just and equal? (Please think Enron scandals, the Tom Delay scandals, etc -- corruption at the highest levels of US government).
6. Are you sure that the US is the best nation to emulate? (Please read Howard Zinn's
People's History of the US? or read Walden Bello's critique of the North, or read The Sorrows of Empire by Chalmers Johnson, or Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins).

I appreciate the sincerity of your vision to find a panacea for what ails the Philippines. But I hope in seeking my opinion, you are also open to alternative points of view. So I offer the above as preliminary questions of inquiry.

Also please interview these folks in the Philippines: Fr. Albert Alejo of Ateneo de Davao who runs anti-graft and corruption workshops nationwide; Professor Jun de Leon, Humanities, UP; Walden Bello, UP, Nicanor Perlas, etc.

I also have an online article that you can read here:

Okay...now back to packing my balikbayan box,

Let's see if this conversation evolves...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I think this is important. I get tired of the endless spin of the pundits on the major networks. I didn't mind the late hour that this aired on C-Span. It was worth it.

Maybe I'm catching the Obama fever...

Fired up and ready to go

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