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In memory of Mr. E

31 Oct

by Karen Caro-Trujillo

Someone once said “I’ve spent half of my life here in Spain”.  Two days after, he left this world – never to return.

His wish was to write about his latest trip and send it to Ang Bagong Filipino.    Who would have expected it would be his last?

Let’s call him Mr. E.

Mr. E came to Spain in his youth with high hopes of making it big in Spain, seeing what-have-you in many countries while learning about them, and as he had honed himself, serving as a guide to many of those who wished to see the wonders of Spain and Europe and, of course, promoting the beauty of the Philippines and warmth and hospitality of its people.

He was a man of God and a master of public relations with solid connections to several high officials of the Philippine government and the Foreign Service.  He was even awarded a Presidential Order of Merit in recognition of his professional dedication and for being among the prominent ones.

Mr. E (second from right) with Filipino and Spanish members of Caballeros de Rizal

Credit given to his original research was understated.  His work in gathering together the descendants of  “Los ultimos de Filipinas”, a group of Spanish soldiers who bravely fought and defended their post in Baler (now the capital of Aurora province) almost a year after Spain lost the Philippines to the United States, became the basis for the celebration of the first Philippine-Spanish friendship day on June 30, 2003.

It was Mr. E who visited each of the concerned families and made friends with present mayors and leaders of the cities where the soldiers came from, thereby tracing their origins and linking them to a network of people interested in moving Philippines-Spain relations forward.

Mr. E’s research delved into the intricacies of historical details and genealogical issues and finally he presented them to people who showed great interest in his project.  It eventually intensified awareness on the significance of the siege of Baler among the Filipino and Spanish peoples. The story of the Los Ultimos de Filipinas even inspired a movie in the Philippines which gathered numerous awards and honors.

I first met Mr. E nearly a decade ago in one of his organized trips to the outskirts of Madrid, together with other Filipinos interested in seeing more of Spain.  He was jovial, inspiring and meticulous (especially in observing the tight schedule) during the excursion.  It made me wonder about his keen interest in establishing links between cultures as diverse as that of the Philippines and Spain and he even offered to do the same for my Latin American friends.  His ardent devotion to promoting the Philippine culture must have been a personal commitment to pay back a scholarship he earned when he came to his second mother country.

I was surprised to see him going to a school one day to cast his vote for the Spanish elections. He was 100% Filipino to me except that he carries a Spanish DNI. Despite acquiring Spanish citizenship, he remained Filipino at heart and mind.

Mr. E explaining José Rizal’s legacy in Rizal Park, Madrid, Spain 

In his last trip before his journey to the after life, he was ecstatic in explaining the past events associated to his beloved Philippines while we hit the road to a city with a Santo Niño on top of one of its church, a road called Paseo de Filipinos and a seminary-museum holding the biggest collection of ivory statues of saints – with attribution to the Philippine status of being the only predominantly Catholic nation in Asia.  It was sad I didn’t concentrate on his other words for I was busy taking pictures of the surroundings.  I wasn’t aware Mr. E was suffering.  After the trip I bid him goodbye and thanked him for guiding us through a wonderful outing.  It was his last  – a really memorable one for all of us.

(In memory of Mr. Exequiel Sabarillo, a true-blooded Filipino)

Baler en Barcelona

27 Jun

Con motivo de la celebración del Día de la Amistad Hispano-Filipina, Casa Asia y el Consulado General de Filipinas en Barcelona presentan la proyección de esta película cuyo argumento mezcla drama romántico y cine bélico ambientada en el asedio de Baler.

A través de la historia de amor entre una joven filipina miembro del movimiento rebelde y un soldado hispanofilipino, el director Mark Meily nos transporta a los acontecimientos históricos de 1898 vividos tras los muros de la iglesia de Baler donde los últimos de Filipinas, que ignoraban que la guerra había finalizado, defendieron Baler durante 337 días.

Palabras de bienvenida a cargo de:
Catalino R. Dilem Jr, cónsul general de Filipinas en Barcelona
Carmen Pi Sunyer, directora de Relaciones Institucionales de Casa Asia

Proyección de la película:
Baler, de Mark Meily (2008) 150’ VOS en tagalo con subtítulos en inglés.


Sábado, 30 de junio de 2012, de 10.00 h a 12.30 h

Sede de Casa Asia
Auditorio Tagore
Av. Diagonal, 373
Entrada libre hasta completar el aforo.
Casa Asia y el Consulado General de Filipinas en Barcelona.

The Other Side of Jose Rizal

21 Jun

A new documentary about the human side of Philippines’ national hero José Rizal and the mystery that enshrouds him.

‘Jose Rizal, the First Hero’ will be screened tomorrow, Friday, 22 June 2012, at 7 p.m. at Rizal Room of the Consulado General de Filipinas, Av. Diagonal 497, 5 planta.

Mr. Jourdan Sebastian, the documentary’s producer, will be present during the screening to give background on the project.

The film runs for an hour and has English subtitle.

Here’s the trailer:

For more information about the movie, please visit this website:

Jose Rizal, namasyal, tumira, ikinulong sa Barcelona

7 Jun

Kung bibisita kayo sa Barcelona, Spain ay baka mag-check in kayo sa hotel na ito, ang Hotel Fonda España.

Dito rin nag-check in si Jose Rizal mahigit isandaang taon na ang nakararaan.  Isa lamang ito sa mga lugar sa Barcelona na binisita ng pambansang bayani.

Bago pa man umabot sa mahigit na 20,000 ang mga Pilipinong nasa Barcelona, nauna na si Rizal na mamasyal, tumira, maging bahagi ng pahayagang La Solidaridad at makulong dito.

Upang malaman kung anu-ano ang mga makasaysayang lugar na ito, ang National Historical Commission of the Philippines kasama ang Konsulado ng Pilipinas sa Barcelona ay naghanda ng mapa na pinangalanang Ruta Rizal.

Ang Ruta Rizal ay inihandog ni Consul General Catalino Dilem Jr. kasama si National Historical Commission Chairperson Maria Serena Diokno sa iba’t ibang institusyon sa Barcelona katulad ng City Hall ng Barcelona, Casa Asia at University of Pompeu Fabra.

Ang paghahandog ay isinagawa sa isang seremonya kamakailanlang sa Sala Cronicas sa City Hall ng Barcelona kasama ang mga pinuno ng iba’t ibang asosasyong Pilipino sa Barcelona.

Anu-ano ba ang mga lugar na ito? Panoorin ang video na inihanda ni Consul Arman Talbo, Bb. Elizabeth Ramos at G. RJ Placino:


Viaje, Barcelona-Manila: A Conversation With F. Sionil Jose

3 Feb

I had forgotten all about it-Manila traffic. And I’d forgotten all about those 3 important Filipino traffic factors: that it was raining, that it was 3 days before Christmas, and that it was Wednesday, Baclaran day. If one wishes to arrive anywhere on time on this side of Metro Manila, these 3 things must be very well considered. I called to apologize and say that I would be late. ¡Que Vergüenza!

We were on Sucat Road in Parañaque on our way to Padre Faura Street in Manila, and traffic moved lethargically. So, I observed, just as I used to. Only this time I was observing with new eyes, ones that had been away for several years. There were street vendors selling peanuts to bored passengers, people getting on and off crowded jeepneys, others randomly crossing the street, zigzagging honking cars and totally ignoring the pedestrian overpasses built by their generous city councilor or mayor (prudently announced with big and bold letters painted on them.) There were also children playing games on the sidewalk, joyful and unmindful of the holiday rush and smoke of vehicles just a few meters away from them. Everything looked oddly familiar; nothing much seemed to have changed.

Traffic ebbed and flowed and suddenly we found ourselves just behind the CCP, in that cultural complex built by a woman with a once-famous edifice complex. I was getting more and more nervous as we neared Padre Faura Street. Ten minutes more and we were finally walking towards Solidaridad Bookshop, where I was to have an interview with a truly inspiring Filipino thinker-lover-critic, a prolific writer I deeply admired— Francisco Sionil Jose.

After profuse apologies, I was kindly taken up to the office of Mr. Jose- Manong Frankie to many. I was warmly welcomed by the publishing house staff, Manong Frankie’s wife, and later, Manong Frankie himself. He asked me to sit down, and with very little introductions, I began my interview. What ensued in the next hour was in fact more like a friendly conversation, given the ease with which Manong Frankie generously shared his thoughts and feelings to this ‘balikbayan’ in search of some answers.

The writer with Manong Frankie and a copy of his novel Viajero.


Of course, the very first thing I wanted to hear from the author of Viajero, a brilliant book about the physical and moral journey of the Filipino people throughout history, was his very thoughts on the Filipino Diaspora…

“It should never have happened!”

“It started when Marcos took over and he was faced with this problem of so many Filipinos educated and unemployed…all dressed up and nowhere to go…They saw to it that the Diaspora would be encouraged.”

“Kaya galit ako sa Ilocanong iyan, eh. (That’s why I’m angry at that Ilocano) He wasted two decades, which would’ve enabled us to progress like Korea, Taiwan, even more so than Singapore…What should’ve happened was, he should’ve hastened the development of this country, industrial development. Just like Park Chung Hee. And for sure, we would’ve absorbed all these Filipinos who went abroad in innovative export industries…because we’re a very talented people. As you can see, when they leave the country they are very industrious, very enterprising, because they get out of their old comfort zone…they know they have to. They work hard. You know, the immigrant culture.”

He spoke of this in his book— the immigrant culture, ours.  Also, in Viajero, he suggested that we’ve had this long history of leaving. I wondered, is it really in our blood?

“Traditionally, yes… well, because we’re an archipelago, we’re a seafaring people… And that’s another thing, we’re a maritime people but we didn’t build up a maritime industry. So we end up working as captains, stewardesses, sailors, but we are not building our own ships.”

Hay naku hija, I get very angry when I think of all the opportunities that we missed because of lousy leadership…Nagagalit ako, I get so angry and frustrated. Matanda na ‘ko…”

“One time I was talking to Nanding Roces, a contemporary of mine. He would’ve been 87 last July…We were talking 2 or 3 years ago, he told me— Frankie, isn’t it sad, we are living in a country in far worse shape than when we arrived. Which is true… very, very true. Ten years ago nobody was sleeping in front of our bookshop, now occasionally there’s a family there. Some people…many people now eat only once a day. There’s hunger in Manila, even in Manila there is hunger.”

“I grew up in a village. Now, when I was young, the poorest farmer there ate twice a day during what we call the Gawat. These are the months of June, July, and August, the planting season. It is in these months when there was still no harvest, because the first harvest comes in September. These 3 months were the most difficult for the farmers because they only ate twice a day— at 10 in the morning and at 4 in the afternoon. Now, many people, both in farms and cities, eat only once a day… do you know what it’s called? ALTANGHAP- Almusal, Tanghalian, Hapunan (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner). That word has been used for almost 10 years now…In other words, for the last 10 years people have been eating only once a day!”

“And then this Diaspora…you must’ve been told about the many social problems this Diaspora has created… dysfunctional families… it’s been worsening. Earlier I was given a report, results of a survey… It’s worsened, it’s worsened…”

“Yes, they keep the country afloat. But then what is happening? The money sent here is not spent wisely.  They want to come back… but how can they come back here if they don’t have money? They don’t have jobs here. Eventually, the solutions must be here not abroad.”

What will happen to all these uprooted Filipinos scattered all over the world? Will Filipinos just keep leaving the country?

“I think so…but you know, it’s not so much the Diaspora I’m worried about. I wrote about it the other Sunday…I’m worried about the specter of an implosion, hija… it will collapse, not explode…but it will implode. And one morning we will wake up to find that we no longer have a country, because it has imploded. All the institutions have been destroyed…anarchy, murder, rape, robberies… these will be commonplace, because we have become a failed state…like Somalia and these African countries that were first destroyed by corruption, then dictatorships. That’s the fate of so many of these countries in Africa…and the symptoms are here. The widespread anarchy, the absence of confidence in the police, the moral malaise…”

I remembered all the Occupy movements in the West, the beginnings of which were not very far away from my current home. Barcelona, Madrid- Los Indignados…then there’s the Arab Spring. People are fed up, people are tired and speaking up and will not let such darkness take over…What about us Filipinos?

“I wish there were more social unrest because that means people care…that they are fighting.”

“But it’s apathy… And when that’s what is happening, that’s it, it will collapse…and people will know how to adjust to it because they know that if you act morally or according to the rules, nothing will happen to you. So people act and adapt to the conditions…”

“Reading the letters of the exiles, particularly del Pilar’s, he recognized their anguish, the stringent pull of memory that Buddy himself felt for those fractured images of his early boyhood. How he wished that del Pilar had kept some journal…” ** MEMORY… is this unique to the Exile? Does one need to be away to remember?

“No, we all need memory- it’s memory that bonds a nation together. Racial memory. To keep this memory, to rejuvenate it, that’s the function of writers and teachers…”

“Memory is very important! It’s important for all Filipinos, whether you are here or abroad…because your nationality is where your heart is.

I’ve met Chinese who go to China thinking they are Chinese, and then they discover they are really Filipino after all…they get homesick for the Philippines, for wherever they come from. One time in the 60s I attended a conference, there was a Chinese writer, I kidded him saying that his loyalties were to the mainland and not to Malaysia. He corrected me, he told me- you know when I’m homesick I don’t think of China, I think of the palm trees of Penang, Sate Babe, the beaches where I swam as a boy… no, I don’t think about China… I speak Chinese, but you know…”

“This is a true story, ha… in Hong Kong when we were living there in 1960, there was a Chinese girl named April Velasco, who was staff artist of the magazine I edited. It turned out she grew up in Binondo…She was a Binondo Chinese. We talked in Tagalog. She told me, when the communist took over China, she returned to help in rebuilding the homeland…She thought she was Chinese. So she went. Then of course the communists were there, and she had to work in a commune. She said life was very difficult. She said—‘you know Frankie, I was so homesick for Binondo…So, I took a trip to Manila, then when I got to Manila, I climbed to the tallest part of the ship… up to the very top. And I looked over to Intramuros and Binondo. But I didn’t go down, because if I went down I’d be arrested as a communist. So after that I went back to Hong Kong. I just wanted to see Binondo…’ sabi niya. ‘I speak Chinese I look Chinese, pero hindi na ‘ko Intsik, Frankie, I’m Filipina!’ So, things like these…”

“…at least these are people who can still identify with this country, because many Filipinos cannot. And that’s why we’re like this. The Zobel-Ayalas, do you think they’re Filipinos? NO, they are Spaniards. Some of these Chinese who send their money to China, they are not Filipinos they are Chinese. And Marcos, he wasn’t Filipino, he sent his money abroad…They are here but they are like the old imperialists. What is the logic of imperialism? You exploit the country and send the loot to the mother country. That’s the logic of imperialism. So in a sense, that’s why we’re like this…We are colonized by our own people, by our own leaders. And the reason is first, we don’t recognize this form of colonialism, and second, we don’t have the patriotism to love this country as we should.”

Speaking of patriots, aren’t all OFWs the best of them all? The new heroes of our time? The BAGONG BAYANI?

“The overseas workers are not bayanis, they are just poor people trying to make a living, you know…That’s consuelo de bobo (a fool’s consolation). They are just ordinary Filipinos.”

“But this I tell them, ok— when Sun Yat Sen mounted the first revolution in China in 1911, the greatest help came from the overseas Chinese… they gave the money.”

“But what I would like to see is that the overseas Filipinos get ORGANIZED… really get organized, to pressure this government, to see to it that the money they remit home is used properly, for infrastructure, and not to buy the luxuries of the rich. And that can be done through proper organization… through political clout! Because the rich Filipinos, our leaders, will not move unless they are forced…that is the common attitude of people in power. People in power- they won’t move, they are enjoying it…unless they are criticized or pushed…So if overseas Filipinos are organized and they have a strong voice in government, they can make a difference…”

“But that’s the problem. Filipinos tend to divide. Too much ego…ego, hija, ego…in San Francisco there are about 300 Filipino organizations. I suppose you can say the same thing in Spain.”

“In San Francisco, out of these 300 Filipino organizations, from my hometown of Rosales there are 2 organizations. I told them- our town is so small why can’t you just work together…No answer. I told them they were too arrogant.”

“So, now, that illustrates the diversity in this country. That’s OK, but there should be issues wherein this diversification should be avoided.”

“Why are Filipinos united when Pacquiao fights?”

“So, maybe those who are in charge of organization should look for the commonalities that would bind people together rather than emphasize the diversities. Because those diversities will not disappear…They are ingrained in society… but it’s possible. EDSA 1 is an example of diversities uniting together…”

“It’s a difficult problem because it’s ingrained in Filipino culture. But like I said, these are issues that people like you should look carefully into. What are the issues that unite us rather than divide us?”

Questions, questions…all of Manong Frankie’s questions reminded me of his writing, the ideas found in his eloquent prose that had kept me company in my own share of loneliness abroad. “…the epic diaspora needed to be recorded if only to show how the Filipino had become the proletariat of the world.”**  What more did he have to say to Filipinos abroad?

“Huwag nilang kalilimutan ang malungkot na bayan nila. (Don’t forget your lonely country.)”

“But usually they don’t, eh. And many of them realize how Filipino they are when they are abroad than when they are here. So you feed on that, that hungering for identity, which grows among the loneliest of people. This is where a sense of community will help very much.”

Manong Frankie, the writer Kay Abaño, and her mother Barbara Abaño.

We said our goodbyes, and after buying some books from the bookshop – like rations for the next few years abroad – my patiently waiting mother and I made our way back to where we’d parked our car. Walking down Padre Faura Street and through Robinsons Galleria mall, I silently observed my fellow Filipinos. Manong Frankie’s words echoed in my thoughts.

Getting out of that part of Manila had always been quite a task. The streets were full of people and jeepneys, equal owners of the narrow road! But we slowly found our way out, crossing Taft Avenue and going up Leon Guinto Street, then making a turn at Vito Cruz which, after a few more narrow turns, finally led to the South Luzon Expressway. It all started coming back to me, this route I used to take.

I began to remember. I could remember it all.


F. Sionil José or in full Francisco Sionil José (born December 3, 1924) is one of the most widely-read Filipino writers in the English language. His novels and short stories depict the social underpinnings of class struggles and colonialism in Filipino society. José’s works – written in English – have been translated into 22 languages, including Korean, Indonesian, Russian, Latvian, Ukrainian and Dutch.

His many awards include the Pablo Neruda Centennial Award, Chile, 2004; (Kun Santo Zuiho Sho) The Order of Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, Japan, 2001; and the National Artist for Literature, Philippines, 2001. (Lifted from Wikipedia)

F. Sionil Jose signing copies of Viajero for Ang Bagong Filipino

** Quoted text from Viajero, a Filipino Novel by F.Sionil Jose (link:

** Interview was held last December 21, 2011 at the Solidaridad Bookshop in 531 Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila.

** Solidaridad Bookshop Facebook page:

Maligayang Pasko po!

24 Dec

A Romanesque ‘Belen’ in Plaça de Sant Jaume in Barcelona, Spain.

The classic Christmas installation pays tribute to the culture and tradition of Catalan art.

The custom of representing the birth of Jesus through figures during the Christmas period is a deeply rooted tradition in Catalonia. True to this tradition, a Christmas nativity scene is put up every year in Plaça de Sant Jaume, a big occasion in Barcelona.

This year, the culture and tradition of Catalan art, Romanesque art in particular, provide the main source of inspiration. This is hardly surprising, when you remember that MNAC has one of the best collections of Romanesque art in Europe.

This year’s nativity scene reproduces part of a Romanesque chapel in ruins, with its cloister set in a very Mediterranean landscape. You will find classical scenes such as the annunciation before the shepherds, the fishermen in their sea environment, the Three Wise Men and the birth of Jesus. Text lifted from the official website of the City Government of Barcelona:


Rizal, el escritor en la Biblioteca Nacional de España

24 Dec

La Exposición estará en la Biblioteca Nacional de España, Madrid hasta el 12 de febrero de 2012. Para más información sobre la exposición y el ciclo de conferencias acerca de Rizal, visita este link:

La Biblioteca Nacional de España acoge la exposición Entre España y Filipinas. Jose Rizal, escritor, organizada por la Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo, con la colaboración de la Biblioteca Nacional de España y comisariada por Dª. Mª. Dolores Elizalde, investigadora científica del Instituto de Historia del CSIC. La muestra que coincide con el 150 aniversario del nacimiento del héroe filipino y se encuadra dentro del programa del Tricentenario de la BNE.

José Rizal (1861-1896) fue un gran líder político y social, hombre ilustrado y humanista, profundamente comprometido con la sociedad filipina. Fue considerado impulsor de la modernización y de la construcción nacional de su país. Se licenció en Medicina y en Filosofía y Letras, y ejerció como médico oftalmólogo. Fue investigador de historia y gramática llegando a hablar más de diez lenguas y un incansable viajero.

Más allá de su dimensión política y social, Rizal fue un destacado literato, autor de dos grandes novelas, Noli me tangere y El filibusterismo. También cultivó otros géneros: poesía, ensayo, artículos periodísticos, libros de viajes y fue autor de un amplio epistolario.

El objetivo de esta muestra es profundizar en su faceta como escritor de las letras hispánicas, valorándole como un Galdós de los trópicos y contextualizándole en el ambiente intelectual de aquellas Filipinas ilustradas del siglo XIX. Con ese propósito, en la exposición se desarrollan las siguientes áreas: El marco colonial, Memorias de juventud: los años de formación, Un mundo ilustrado, La sociedad de Rizal, Argumentos para un escritor y Mi último adiós. Revolución y ruptura. Texto de la Biblioteca Nacional de España.

Reyna Elena sa Barcelona Smile of the Week

8 Jun

Marjorie Ilao Unciano, bilang Reina Elena, mula sa grupong Block Rosary ng Filipino Personal Parish sa Barcelona, kasama ang Emperador Constantino at kanyang mga konsorte.

‘Parang nasa Pilipinas lang ako’.

Ito parati ang komentaryo ng mga Pinoy na bumibisita sa Barcelona. Bukod sa maraming Pinoy rito at makakabili ka ng longanisa at Boy Bawang sa may kanto, marami-rami na rin ang mga pagdiriwang na likas sa Pilipinas ang isinasagawa na rin sa Barcelona. Noong nakaraang taon nga ay nagsagawa ng kanilang Fiesta de Peñafrancia sa Rambla del Mar ang mga Bicolano, ang mga debotong Katoliko naman sa tuwing sasapit ang Mahal na Araw ay  nagsasagawa ng Via Crucis sa Montjüic, kahapon lang ay ipinalabas ang pelikulang Pinoy na ‘Kinatay’ sa Casa Asia, nag-Kundiman at nag-Harana na rin ang Ang Bagong Filipino, ang taunang Independence Day sa Barcelona, at marami pang ibang kaganapan na magpapatunay na kahit saan man mapadpad ang mga Pinoy, nandoon pa rin ang mga kaugaliang Pilipino. Isama na natin ang chismisan.

Isang magandang chismis ay ang idinaos na Santacruzan noong ika-29 ng Hunyo sa Raval. Lumahok ang iba’t ibang asosasyon na napapaloob sa Filipino Personal Parish sa Barcelona. Makikita sa mga larawan ang ipinakitang kagandahan: mga Filipina at ang kulturang Pinoy.

Sino ang Reyna Elena? Iyan parati ang tanong sa tuwing may mga Santacruzan. Ang Reyna Elena kasi ang itinuturing na pinakatampok sa Santacruzan. Ayon sa leyenda, si Santa Helena, ang ina ni Constantino, ay nagpunta sa Kalbaryo pagkatapos ng 300 taon ng pagkamatay ni Kristo. Nagtagumpay siya sa pagtuklas sa Krus na siyang nakapagpagaling sa isa sa mga nagsisilbi sa kaniya.

Hindi lamang ang mga barrio sa Pilipinas ang nagsasagawa ng Santacruzan, pati na rin ang mga Filipino sa iba’t ibang dako ng mundo ay nagsasagala na rin. Ang Santacruzan ay ang pinakatampok na pagdiriwang sa Flores de Mayo at isa sa mga naiwang impluwensiya ng España sa Pilipinas. Maraming salamat po kina AC Molera at Marjorie Ilao Unciano para sa mga larawan.

Harana, o cómo cortejar a las mujeres filipinas, en Barcelona

11 May

Las mujeres filipinas podrían enamorarse de ti si sabes cómo cantar una Harana.

Así se interpreta la Harana


Harana es el nombre por el que se conoce a las canciones populares líricas filipinas procedentes de la época de dominio español. Estas canciones tradicionales de cortejo derivan sus elementos rítmicos del tango o la habanera española. Mientras que la versión española tiene un ritmo alegre y seductor, la versión filipina es romántica, lírica y lenta.

En la forma tradicional de cortejo en Filipinas, un hombre corteja a una mujer, siempre por la noche, cantando debajo de su ventana. Era ventajoso por tanto para un hombre joven poseer talento musical ya que a menudo debería usarlo para cortejar a una mujer. Sin embargo, si el interesado carecía de talento,podía recurrir a amigos que supieran cantar bien la Harana, o bien contratar a los mejores músicos de la ciudad. Por lo tanto, la Harana no siempre es un esfuerzo realizado en solitario.

Sin embargo, en nuestra época y debido al uso generalizado de la electricidad, la práctica de la Harana ha muerto. Tristemente, la Harana sólo puede ser efectiva en un entorno rural donde suele haber una noche tranquila,  sin viento, con la luna bien visible y las estrellas centellando, sin olvidar la necesidad de que la casa de la amada disponga de una ventana o balcón suficientemente altos.

Rescatando un repertorio de esta práctica tradicional filipina, será posible escuchar la Harana en la ciudad de Barcelona el próximo sábado 14 de mayo, a las 21h., en la Iglesia de San Agustín sita en la Calle Hospital. Las entradas sólo cuestan 5 euros.

El acto servirá para recaudar fondos para sostener la publicación Ang Bagong Filipino (El Nuevo Filipino), así como celebrar el mes del Patrimonio Cultural de Filipinas. Se trata de un proyecto organizado por Asociación Filipina de Escritores e Investigadores en España con la colaboración de la Parroquia Personal Filipina y el Consulado General de Filipinas en Barcelona.

Harana en Barcelona este sábado, 14 de mayo, a las 21h, en la Iglesia de San Agustín, Calle Hospital, Barcelona.

Love Letters

26 Apr

Casa Asia has invited the young Filipino writer Lobregat Balaguer (Manila, 1980) to present TenNet, her last poetry book. Together with another Filipino writer, Kaz Castillo (Los Ángeles, 1977), she will perform a dramatic reading of the poems.

Love Letters is the title of the activity which will be completed with a videoart program presented by the Filipino art critic and curator Yason Banal (Manila, 1977) and Lobregat Balaguer herself. Poetry and visual narratives come together in this event, to pay tribute to a popular writer and film critic, Alexis Tioseco (Philippines, 1981-2009), who was murdered along with his partner during a bizarre assault at his home, which has never been clarified. The event will be held at:

Wednesday, 27th April 2011, at 7.30 pm
Palacio de Miraflores
Carrera de San Jerónimo, 15 · Tagore Auditorium, 3rd floor
28014 Madrid
Free entrance · Limited capacity

Thanks to Neil dela Cruz Gadiano for the alert.