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Si Kumander*

3 Nov

by Daniel Infante Tuaño

Pre-colonial history will tell us the important spiritual and political positions held by Filipino women in villages. In a traditional Filipino family, the mother serves as  ilaw ng tahanan (literally translated as light of the home) while the father is the haligi ng tahanan (post of the home), which reflects the equal sharing of functions unless the‘padre de familia’ asserts his exclusive right in decision making.

Having a woman boss in las Islas Filipinas is neither new nor a fad amidst the current trend of affirmative action employed by some countries and international institutions to distribute job opportunities.  As we all know, we already had two commanders-in-chief: the late President Cory Aquino and President-turned-Congresswoman Arroyo. We had a woman ambassador and currently, women occupy the top positions of the Madrid Consulate. Just recently, I got the chance to meet the leaders of Filipino associations from Madrid, Milan and Rome and 95% of them are women.

In Spain, Filipino migration has been considered for many years feminine until the hotel and restaurant sectors opened its doors to Filipino men. Migration is certainly bringing changes to gender roles both in the country of origin and the host country–women migrants, having an improved buying power, are taking the role of provider, which is the society-dictated role of Filipino men. These women migrants who usually take charge of ‘domestic’ roles, in turn, facilitate the entry of women of the host country to labor market.

Recently, a report on gender equality has been released by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The report puts the Philippines in the top 10 among 134 countries in terms of gender equality.

“The WEF said that the Philippines continues to set the example in Asia, ranking ninth overall because of a strong performance on all four dimensions of the index: health and survival, educational attainment, economic participation and opportunity and political empowerment.”

Iceland and other Nordic countries top the list; United States is at top 15 while Spain is at top 11.  Here’s the top 15:

To see the complete report, click The Global Gender Gap Report 2010

However, gender inequality still exists and it is not solely the fault of ‘evil’ men but the ‘patriarchal’ society in general, which by the way includes women. Certainly, there are women who are more chauvinist than their macho counterparts. And then there are those who pursue their self-serving interests in the guise of feminism, which eventually contradicts the very essence of equality.

*the Commander. Ironically, it can be interpreted as a term of endearment sometimes used by Filipino men to tell to  OTHERS that their wives are powerful and the ones in control.

 

Ang kuwento ng mga Nauna at Nangunang Migrante sa Espanya

29 Oct

Pabalat ng ika-6 na isyu ng Ang Bagong Filipino. Para makakuha ng kopya, i-click lamang ito: Ang Bagong Filipino número 6

EDITORIAL

Ang paglingon sa pinanggalingan ay labis na pinahahalagahan sa kulturang Filipino. Hindi tayo maaaring lumimot, lalung-lalo na sa mga nagawa at nakamit ng ating mga magigiting na ninuno. Hindi kailanman tayo makakalimot lalo na kung ang galos ng nakaraan ay siya pa ring kumikirot at sanhi ng hindi pag-unlad ng bayan. Sa ating pagkilala at pagtanggap sa pinagmulan, pinatitibay din natin ang ating pagkatao. Pinaalalahanan natin ang sarili na ang ating nakaraan ay hindi naging madali, at ang siyang nagbibigay ng kabuluhan sa ating kasalukuyan.

Ngunit maaari rin kaya na ang kasalukuyan at ang kaniyang patutunguhan ang siya namang magbigay ng kabuluhan sa ating nakaraan? Maaari kaya tayong lumingon nang paharap, matapos matuto sa nakaraan, at piliing sumulong sa halip na magpabalik-balik sa mga panahong nakalipas na?

Ang ating kasaysayan ay napupuno ng iba’t-ibang Pilipinong pumili sa direksiyong ito. Mga kahanga-hangang Pilipinong nanguna sa kanilang mga larangan at kapanahunan sapagkat ninais nilang abutin ang mga pangako ng hinaharap. Walang takot, walang pag-aatubili, na nangarap at kumilos upang tulungang maiangat ang kanilang kapwa tao. Walang tigil silang nagmasid sa higit pang malayo upang mas mainam na maihanda ang kasalukuyang landas patungo sa isang maginhawang bukas. Ang mga PIONEERS, o ang mga nanguna, kung sila ay tawagin, ang mga karapat-dapat na halimbawa sa patuloy nating pagsulong, at siyang makapagbibigay ng kahulugan sa lahat ng ating napagdaanan. Ang isyung ito ay isang pagkilala sa lahat ng mga Pilipinong matapang na nauna at nangunguna sa pagtahak sa hindi tiyak na hinaharap.

Lubos na nagpapasalamat ang Ang Bagong Filipino sa suporta ng mga sumusunod:

CBN Grupo BDO Remit

Platinum Care

Bar Taberna La Paloma/Supermercado M & M

Madz in Madrid!

5 Oct

At the UNESCO Auditorium in Paris during the ceremonies designating the group as “Artists for Peace” on 27 July 2009.

A night of world-class Filipino talent, for free.

The Philippine Madrigal Singers or ‘Madz’, named ‘Artists for Peace’ by UNESCO in 2009 and conferred recently with the ‘Guidoneum Award’ in Arezzo, Italy will give a free concert in Madrid, Spain.

The concert will be held on  19 October 2010, Tuesday, 8 p.m. at Templo Eucarístico Diocesano de San Martin, Calle Desengaño, 26, Madrid.

This event is organized by the Philippine Embassy in Madrid in collaboration with ANFE San Martin.

Thanks to Ms. Connie Marquez of OWWA Madrid for the alert.

Tsino tayong lahat

21 Sep

Sige na, lahat na ng Tsino kamukha ko.

O lahat na ng mga Pinoy kamukha ko rin. Alam kong hindi ako nag-iisa. Narinig ninyo na siguro ito sa inyong mga katrabaho, kapitbahay, o kaibigang hindi Pinoy. Lahat daw tayo magkakamukha. Kaya noong may Korean-American na nag-amok at namaril sa isang paaralan sa US ilang taon na ang nakalilipas, kadarating ko pa lang sa opisina ay dali-dali akong sinugod ng aking katrabahong Espanyol para sabihing kamukha ko raw yung nasa dyaryo.  Sabi naman ng klasmeyt ko kamukha ko raw yung nasa pelikulang Anna and the King, si Chow Yun-Fat. Ang sigaw sa akin ng mga katrabaho ko kung minsan ay Jackie Chan. Noong Pilipinas ang tampok na bansa sa Festival Asia noong 2006, nagtitili ang practicum supervisor kong Catalana kasi pinsan ko raw yung nasa poster ng Casa Asia.

Noong nakaraang Biyernes lang, na-dyaryo na naman ako. Ipinakita sa akin ng katrabaho ko ang dyaryo at sinabing kamukha ko raw yung DJ na may konsiyerto sa Barcelona.  Hindi, ang sagot ko sa lahat ng mga kasong ito ng mistaken identity. Sabi pa niya baka Pinoy raw yun. Hindi rin ang sagot ko. Ang sabi ko kapag ang isang Pinoy kasi ay sikat kahit ‘ starlet’ pa lang siya sa ibang bansa, superstar na siya para sa mga proud Pinoys sa buong mundo. Pinadalhan niya ako ng link para patunayan na Pinoy ang DJ na ‘to at nadiskubre kong isa nga siyang superstar.

Tinaguriang pinakamagaling na turntable DJ sa buong mundo ang Filipino-American na si DJ Qbert. Ang nanay niya ay galing Bacolod City at ang tatay niya ay galing Ilocos Sur.  At malayong mangyaring si DJ Qbert ako.  Daniel Infante Tuaño

Cine filipino en Barcelona

1 Sep

Una de las peliculas que mostrarán

Barcelona, 30 ago (EFE).- La Filmoteca de Catalunya proyectará entre el 1 y el 19 de septiembre una panorámica del Nuevo Cine Filipino que repasa lo más destacado de esa cinematografía desde 1978 hasta la actualidad.

Autores como Brillante Mendoza (Serbis, 2008), Jeffrey Jeturian (Kubrador, 2006) o Laurice Guillen (Santa Santita, 2004) son algunos de los nombres más recientes de una tradición que se remonta a la figura histórica de Lino Brocka, informó la filmoteca.

De Brocka se proyectará el filme Insiang (1976), un melodrama sórdido que muestra las barriadas pobres de Manila y con el que el autor se dio a conocer en el festival de Cannes.

Ese mismo año significa también la irrupción de otros cineastas de renombre como Eddie Romero con “Así es como éramos…como serás tu hoy? (1976), un retrato de la historia reciente del país desde el punto de vista de un joven campesino.

De Mike de Leon se proyectará “Rito de mayo” (1976), un estudio sobre la culpabilidad y la violencia a partir de las supersticiones y creencias populares.

Otros nombre clave que se recuerda en el ciclo dentro del mapa de autores filipinos de los últimos treinta años es Ishmael Bernal con “Manila by Night” (1980), retrato descarnado de la miseria y de la corrupción en la capital del país. EFE. Articulo del periódico ABC

Entrevista con Nata: The House of Trining

31 Aug

Ed. Note: In Spain, whipped cream (Nata in Spanish) is used to make a pile of strawberries look more delectable like Fresones con Nata (Strawberries and cream) or to make a bowl of mixed fruits taste creamier like Macedonia con Nata (Fruit salad and cream) or just to garnish a cup of café con leche.

Here in Ang Bagong Filipino, we have a correspondent named Nathaniel (he calls himself Nata) who has interviewed some of our kababayans and has written about their interesting life stories.  Starting today, we’re dedicating a section for these interviews and we will call it Entrevista con Nata. In this section, our resident interviewer Nata will continue to share us his creamy and delectable stories, 100 % inspiring yet zero in fat.

THE HOUSE OF TRINING

by Nathaniel Sisma Villaluna

I take a swig of Coca-Cola as I listen  intently to  Tita Trinidad or Tita Trining for those who know her.

“May ikukwento ako sa iyo.  Noong nasa Bahrain pa ako may nangyari sa akin. Nasa labas kami ng alaga ko nang biglang humiwalay sa akin at tumakbo sa kalye.  Ang bilis ng pangyayari.  May dumaang kotse at hindi nakita ng driver ang  bata.  Hindi na ako nakatakbo para kunin siya.  Ang sunod ko na lang nakita ay ang kamay niya na nakalabas  tabi ng gulong ng kotse.  Ang katawan niya nasa ilalim nito.  Hindi ko alam ang gagawin.  Sobrang nerbyos ko noon. Dasal ako ng dasal habang papalapit ako. Diyos ko, tulungan  ninyo po ako, ang sabi ko sa sarili ko. Dali kong kinuha  ang bata sa ilalim ng kotse, kinarga ko.  Akala ko mamamatay na siya pero ilang minuto  lang  dumilat  at para bang nagdahilan lang  at wala man lang sugat ni naramdamang masakit.”

Her calm and soft voice  no longer  reflect the intensity and tension of her story.  It is because it  happened almost two decades ago and whatever trauma she had from that episode had long been gone.  Listening to her   though makes me  imagine the incident  eighteen  years ago. I can  only shake my head in awe and  disbelief.  Miracles really do happen.

That was before she came to Barcelona.  Tita Trining  or Trinidad Rodeles worked  first  in Bahrain for a German family.  In 1992,  she  came to Barcelona where her sister was already based.  Seeing the better living and working conditions  of Pinoys here, Tita Trining seized the opportunity of her visit and finally decided to stay.   Her first months in the city saw her looking for jobs and trying to survive with her non-existent Spanish and  at the same time battling homesickness.   

“Isa, dalawang trabaho  ko sa isang araw. Ang dami kong extra noon. Basta kaya ko, okay lang. Tiyaga lang at tiis.”

Left behind in  Mabini, Batangas back then were her husband, their seven children and  their small sari-sari store. Managing her store in the Philippines at least honed her entrepreneurial skills which she would later  use  in her pursuit to embark to not only one or two, but three businesses in Barcelona.  After six years, her hardwork paid off. Together with a Spanish business partner, they put up a real-estate business helping Pinoy clients find  affordable flats and apartments in the whole of Catalonia.

“Nakakilala ako ng isang Spanish na nag-alok sa akin na makisosyo sa negosyo. Inmobiliaria. Benta at renta ng apartment  sa buong Catalonia. Sa simula, parang ayaw ko pa, pero napag-isip isip ko na  pwede ko itong gawin. May naipon naman ako kahit papano.  Kaya ginawa ko para sa mga anak ko. Bahala na ang Diyos sa akin, kako.”

Making the right decision: Casa Nostra

Catalan cuisine served at Casa Nostra Restaurant

So did she make the right decision?  Yes, Tita Trining did.  Judging  from the array of neatly arranged cutleries on top of white clothed-covered tables in this quaint and classy restaurant somewhere  in calle Parlament, Tita Trining is the owner of Casa Nostra. Casa Nostra, Latin for Our House, is one of those expensive restaurants in Barcelona.  An online tourism guide of the city  describes  Casa Nostra  as  stylish. Dishes range from 20-40 euros.  A Spanish blogger  gave the restaurant three and a half stars out of five,  describing the place as traditional, soothing and well-decorated.

“Stylish”

“Traditional, Soothing and Well-decorated”

Not only the physical aspect of the restaurant  exudes a unique appeal to its clientele but also the friendly and devoted staff that the place has.  Spanish politicians sometimes hang out in this place to dine and wine. Pinoy celebrities too visit  Casa Nostra  every time they come to Barcelona.  The restaurant has two levels. The food is mainly Spanish dishes and a wide range of wines to choose from.

“Hindi naman puro artista lang at pulitiko. Meron din tayong mga ordinaryong kababayan na nagdadaos ng birthday parties dito, kasal o binyag o kumpil.”

It is a family business altogether. Her children help out in the kitchen and wait on tables. Tita Trining considers Casa Nostra as one of the best gifts  God  has given her.

“Nakikita ko itong restaurant na ito palagi  sa harap ng office namin. Kumakain din kami dito paminsan-minsan. Isang araw, inalok sa amin ng may-aring Espanyol kasi binebenta na daw niya.  Hindi ko akalain na magiging amin pala ito balang araw.”

Taking risks

Her tough stance at taking risks is one of the reasons why Tita Trining’s three businesses are going strong.  Her first venture, the real-estate business is still alive and kicking. In a span of twelve years, she  has sold and rented out 300 apartments. Not bad for someone who came from scratch in a foreign land armed with only faith in God and hardwork.

Where does she get the courage and braveness in  taking risks and deal with uncertainty in her business ventures?

“Siguro  yung nangyari sa akin sa Bahrain nagbigay sa akin ng lakas ng loob. Mahal ako ng Diyos. Hindi niya ako pinababayaan. Alam niyang ginagawa ko ito para sa pamilya ko kaya tinutulungan niya ako kahit noon pa.”

The humble and simple Tita Trining, co-owner and manager of Casa Nostra Restaurant

She has also a grocery store selling Filipino and other Asian products in the heart of Barcelona.  In the Philippines, one of her sons is also running a family business.  But with all these successful business ventures that Tita Trining has, I can’t help but admire this lady for her humility and simplicity.  She may now no longer active in the Filipino community yet  she never fails to help whenever and however she can.

As I am about to end the  interview, I glance at the simple yet elegant interior of the place. I imagine the Bahrain incident. I imagine Tita Trining in her first years in Barcelona  doing those two to three odd jobs in order to send  money home and save some for  herself. Little did she know that soon she would be an owner of three successful establishments and enjoy the company of her children who are now settled here in Spain.  Learning from Tita Trining’s experience, it somehow affirms the old adage that yes, life is full of mysteries and surprises.  In just a  snap, anything can happen  that either  makes you a better person or otherwise.   The incident made Tita Trining  become  stronger and braver.

I prepare to stand and reach for  Tita Trining’s cheeks to say goodbye.  She gives me a shy smile and offers her cheeks.  But not  after telling me to finish my Coke first. PHOTOS BY FREDA CHANGAT

Major, major, waging-wagi!

24 Aug

Who cares if Maria Venus Raj, Philippines’ representative to the Miss Universe 2010 beauty pageant, didn’t get the crown? She is still the fifth most ‘beautiful’ lady in the universe. Bonggang-bongga pa rin ang Bicolana!

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