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Siya si Jordi, siya naman si Jordi at siya si Jordi

23 Apr

Jordi Pujol, dating presidente ng Generalitat de Catalunya at isa mga pinakamaimpluwensiyang pulitiko sa Catalunya

Jordi Hereu, kasalukuyang alkalde ng Ajuntament de Barcelona

Jordi González, kilalang TV host at anawnser sa radyo sa España

Ilang Jordi ba ang kilala ninyo?  Bakit ba ang dami-daming Jordi sa Catalunya? Isang eksplikasyon ay dahil sa maraming magulang ang sinusunod ang pangalan ng kanilang mga anak na lalaki sa patron ng Catalunya: si Sant Jordi.

Ayon sa tradisyon, si Sant Jordi o San Jorge (sa Espanyol) o St. George (sa Ingles) ay isa raw sundalong Romano noong siglo III sa Cappadocia (Turkey). Hindi niya raw sinunod ang utos ni Emperador Diocleciano na usigin ang mga Kristiyano kaya siya pinahirapan at pinugutan ng ulo. Simula noon ay itinuring siyang santo sa silangang bahagi ng Imperyo Romano at biglang naglabasan ang mahihiwagang kuwento tungkol sa kanya.

Ayon naman sa leyenda ng Catalunya, mayroon daw nakatirang nakasisindak na dragon sa Montblanc (Conca de Barberà) na pumipinsala sa mga tao at sa kanilang kabuhayan. Para raw patahimikin ito, nag-aalay sila ng isang tao na ipapakain sa kanya. Pinipili ang taong iaalay sa pamamagitan ng palabunutan, ngunit isang araw napili ang anak ng hari. Mabuti na lang at dumating ang isang guapong kabalyero na nakipaglaban at pumatay sa dragon. Ayon pa sa leyenda, mula sa dugo ng dragon ay umusbong ang mga kulay pulang bulaklak.  Dahil si Sant Jordi ay patron din sa ibang lugar, may kanya-kanyang bersyon din ng kwento ang Aragon, ilang bahagi ng Valencia, Inglatera, Portugal, Gresya, atbp.

Ang Diada de Sant Jordi na ipinagdiriwang tuwing ika-23 ng Abril ay maituturing na bersyon ng Araw ng mga Puso ng mga Catalan. Nagbibigay ng rosas ang mga lalaki sa  mga babae at ang mga babae naman ay nagreregalo ng libro sa mga kalalakihan. Kasabay rin nito ang pandaigdigang pagdiriwang ng Araw ng Libro.  Daniel Infante Tuaño, Hinango mula sa

Mas marami pang kuwento at balita sa pinakahuling isyu ng Ang Bagong Filipino.


Bawal bang mahalin ka?

7 Apr

Pinoys just like any other may engage in love types which may challenge sanctified societal conventions. The distance from the nuclear family and the ‘openness’ of the host country foment an opportune climate for experimenting a new way of expressing love. Some of them are embroiled in forbidden love, some engage in same-sex affairs and others in interracial relationships. There are those whose way of coping with love is to demur and defer it opting for single-blessedness. Some of these are well-taken while some others view them with supercilious contempt.

The Pinoy lover, just like nature, abhors vacuum. There’s got to be love one way or another. And they cope with it either by approach-approach whether acceptable or not or they may try the avoid-avoid. After all, love still makes the world go round. The Pinoys abroad are no exception. The emotion of love draws out the genius in every Pinoy. They love all they will and they love all they can.

Pabalat ng ika-7 isyu ng Ang Bagong Filipino. Upang makakuha ng kopya, i-click lamang ang link na ito: Ang Bagong Filipino numero 7

Maria Aragon now sings with Canadian PM

6 Apr

Fil-Canadian YouTube sensation Maria Aragon sings “Imagine” with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Screen grab from YouTube)

YouTube singing sensation Maria Aragon’s luck continues to blossom,  with her recently performing with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Harper, who is seeking federal re-election in May, surprised the Aragons with a visit to their Winnipeg residence Monday (Tuesday, Manila time) with his wife, Laureen. The visit drew a lot of paparazzi, who prodded Harper to sing with the eleven-year-old celebrity. The PM acquiesced by performing John Lennon’s “Imagine” on the piano together with Aragon. Read Alex Valentin Brosas\’s Manila Bulletin article. Thanks to Mr. Exequiel Sabarillo for the alert.

Wow Titser!

30 Mar

(Ed. Note: Entrevista con Nata. In this section, our correspondent Nathaniel Sisma Villaluna shares with us his creamy and delectable stories, 100 % inspiring yet zero in fat.)

“Ms. Delos Reyes, when are you getting married? You might turn into an endangered specie.”

Resisting not to laugh, Wowie  gave the curious owner of this question a wide smile.    After all, being a teacher of young innocent and imaginative minds, questions like this can always turn up unannounced. And she always comes prepared.

Wowie or Rowena Isabel Delos Reyes, who hails from Puerto Princesa City, Palawan,  graduated Psychology at the Silliman University and  took up Professional  Education at the University of the Philippines.  Later on, she decided to take a Master in Special Education at the University of Southern Philippines.  In 2001, she got a scholarship to study in Valladolid, Spain.

She has always wanted to be a teacher.  It was her maternal grandmother who inspired her to pursue her dream of becoming an educator. For her, her grandmother did not only teach her how to read and write but also handed her down values.  This time, it is her turn to share and teach those values to her students.

“I come from a family of educators. My grandmother taught me to read and do arithmetic in a very fun and easy way.”

She has been teaching for 18 years now,  where she has  taught in the pre-school, elementary and high school in Manila and Cebu. She also taught Spanish at Poveda Learning Centre in Manila.

Wowie with her students at Southville International School, Philippines

What kind of a teacher are you?

“I always try to be fair and firm with my students. It is my responsibility to encourage my students to continuously develop and improve their knowledge and skills about things they’re interested in and good at, to become lifelong learners.”

She can no longer count with her fingers those memorable moments she had with her students inside or outside the classroom.

“I always have a class that giggles a lot. One of my favorites is when one of my students came to class and exclaimed, “I heard a bad word said in the play I watched yesterday!” To prevent a bad word to be said in my class, I reminded my students that bad words aren’t appropriate. They’re not accepted in my class. But one of them insisted, “Come on tell.”  Before anybody could say something I declared, “No bad words should be said here. This is my domain. You do what I say.” One asked, “What is domain, Ms. Delos Reyes?” and before I could say something another one said, “I know that! That’s the barber of my grandfather. That’s Mang Domeng!”

Giggling students, Cebu International School

In  2008, she moved to Ankara and worked for the Bilkent Laboratory and International school.

“I have a Filipino friend who used to teach in an international school in Istanbul and told me lots of beautiful things about Turkey. This was  my first overseas teaching job .”

How were your first days in Turkey?

“Turkish people are hospitable and sweet. It was so easy to fit in. Although it was miserable on my first Christmas in Turkey, because we Filipinos spend Christmas with so much festivity and there were no carolers, no Christmas trees, no Christmas decorations at the department stores, no Christmas songs over the radio and  no Christmas cards!, I decided to get my family and friends birthday cards.  For me, one reason why we celebrate Christmas is because we celebrate Jesus’s birthday. Some of my friends find it hilarious receiving a birthday card for Christmas!”

There are about 6,000 Filipinos in Turkey. Most of them are employed as household staff of diplomatic communities and rich Turkish families.  Furthermore, around 600 Filipinos are skilled workers and professionals working as architects, doctors, engineers and teachers. The greatest number of Filipinos can be found in Istanbul.

How were your students?  Your colleagues?

“I always have awesome students! I had great coworkers at Bilkent Laboratory and International School. We partied and traveled a lot! We still keep in touch. One of the things I like about teaching in international schools is people have mutual respect and tolerance for each other. “

How are Filipino students different from other international students that she has handled?

“Students are all the same in the classroom in any country. They’re enthusiastic, sweet, smart and fun to be with. Some of my students keep in touch with me and I have a very friendly relationship with them.  I treat them like my own.”

Did your students ask about the Philippines?

“Students are always curious about how is life in their teacher’s country. They asked a lot of questions about the Philippines.  I have a student who made me listen to songs of Black Eyed Peas because according to her one of them is a Filipino. I have one who asked me if she could come spend her summer holiday with me because she wants to go to Amanpulo Island in Palawan.”

How did Ankara treat you?

I didn’t have a hard time adjusting when I was in Ankara even if it was my first overseas job or even if I was the only Filipino in my school because I had helpful, accommodating, and very supportive colleagues. Because of this I had a super hard time leaving Turkey. You can get the best of both worlds in Turkey: it’s quite ancient and very modern at the same time. Traveling is another thing I enjoyed in Turkey.  I had a wonderful and awesome time in Turkey! My very close Turkish friend said she thinks Filipinos are kind, sweet, resilient and smart. I guess the others see Filipinos the same way.

Wowie in Ankara, Turkey

Are there Pinoys in Ankara?

“Yes, I see them when I go to church. Most of them are nannies. A few were my students’ nannies. Some were married to Turkish and a few work in the Philippine Embassy.

Did you have any chance of integrating with the locals, getting to know their culture?

Yes. I’m always lucky to have very kind and accommodating friends in every country that I live in. I get invited by them and get to experience their celebrations and we traveled together. I get to learn more about their country, their language. I become very close to them and they become my best friends.

With her students at Bilkent Laboratory & International School, Turkey

Why didn’t you plan to extend your stay in Turkey?

“I’d like to work closer to the Philippines because of my mother. I’d like to be able to go home anytime I need to.”

Was it worth it, teaching in Turkey?

“YES! I had a great experience in Turkey.  I liked the people a lot they’re very warm and sweet.”

Any plans of going back to the Philippines to teach again in the near future?

“I have already taught in the Philippines for 15 years. I’d like to travel this time and learn about the culture of other countries.”

Do you have a dream country where you see yourself teaching for a longer time?

“Good question. I should start thinking of one already. I think I’d like to teach in an international school and stay long in New York.”

After her stint in Ankara, Wowie got another teaching job in Busan, South Korea where she is a Grade 4 teacher at Busan International Foreign School teaching English, Mathematics, and Unit of Inquiry (combination of Science and Social Studies). But be it Ankara, or Manila or Busan, Wowie doesn’t mind.

“I always get hugs and sometimes letters and certificates (awards) from my students for being a great teacher to them.”

There has been a running joke about teachers that they end up single because they spend most of their time inside the classroom or preparing lesson plans and activities for their students. Does this worry you a bit?

“I am just different and very picky that’s why my soulmate and I haven’t met yet. I am not worried at all.”

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” An American  journalist and academic, Henry Adams once said. Endangered or not, to her students, a teacher like Wowie will always be a special kind of specie.

¿Cómo suena Chavacano?

28 Mar

Daniel Infante Tuaño

A veces me preguntan los españoles si nosotros los filipinos aún sabemos hablar español, dado que Filipinas fue colonia española durante trescientos treinta y tres años.  Siempre les contesto que sí, que hay muchisimas palabras que aún están presentes en el vocabulario filipino. Sin embargo, ya no hablamos el idioma porque el español dejó de ser un requisito en la universidad y otros colonizadores nuestros, los estadounidenses, impusieron el inglés como lengua oficial durante los años de ‘asimilación benevolente’.  El inglés es ahora la segunda lengua oficial de Filipinas, y todos los filipinos pueden comunicarse, es decir, pueden entender y conversar, en inglés, aunque sólo hayan estudiado educación primaria o no tengan estudios.

Sin embargo, algunos filipinos, sobretodo los que habitan en Zamboanga y en algunas zonas de Mindanao y de Luzon (tales como Cavite y Manila), hablan una especie de criollo español conocido por el nombre de Chavacano. Al contar esto, siempre recibo una mirada extraña o incluso algunas risas, ya que la palabra Chavacano (escrita Chabacano en español) tiene un significado peyorativo, a saber, dícese de algo o alguien de mal gusto, vulgar o grosero. De hecho, el Chavacano es fruto del contacto entre la población indigena y los colonizadores hispanohablantes (españoles peninsulares y los novohispanos o mexicanos). En aquellos momentos, era tal el número de dialectos e idiomas que se hablaban que, aunque los hispanohablantes consideraban como ‘vulgar’ esta manera de hablar español, les bastaba y la consideraban de gran importancia para hacerse entender con los habitantes autóctonos.

Algunos me han manifestado su interés en saber cómo es, cómo suena. Casualmente, en la actualidad uno de los grandes éxitos en Filipinas es una canción titulada ‘Porque’,interpretada por un grupo de jóvenes cantantes que se hacen llamar ‘Maldita’. Este grupo de la ciudad de Zamboanga ha logrado promocionar en Filipinas el Chavacano. Aquí tenéis un video y abajo están las letras. Ya diréis si suena vulgar o si suena bien. ¡Muchas gracias al Sr. Arnel German por compartir esta noticia!

Video Courtesy of MAD MEDIA WORKS

by Maldita

Solo-solo na mi cuarto (Alone in my room)
Hende ta puede durmi
(I could not sleep)
Bira-bira na cabeza
(In my mind it keeps coming back)
El dolor yo ya sinti (The pain that I felt)

Porque pa contigo yo ya quiere?
(Why was it that I liked (or loved) you?
Como bula lang tu ya perde (Like bubble you disappeared)

Porque contigo yo ya escogi?
(Why was it that I chose you? )
Ahora mi corazon ta sufri (Now, my heart suffers)
Bien simple lang yo ta pidi (What I ask for is too simple)
Era sinti tu el cosa yo ya sinti (That you feel how I felt)

Ta pidi milagro bira’l tiempo (I ask for a miracle to turn back the time)
El mali hace derecho (For this mistake to be corrected)
Na di mio rezo ta pidi yo (In my prayer I ask)
Era olvida yo contigo (That I forget you)

Todo-todo yo ya dale (I have given everything)
Ahora ta arrepenti
(Now, I am regretting)
Sobra-sobra el dolencia (Too much pain)
Tormento para vivi (It is difficult to go on (or to live))

Repeat Refrain and Chorus

No tu distorba
(Never bother me)
Y no atraca kay baka (Or even come near me)
palmadia yo contigo (I might be able to slap you in the face)
Nunca accepta (Never accept)
Si tu ay bira por dolor ya sinti (For if you come back, it is pain I feel)

Porque contigo yo ya escogi? (Why was it that I chose you? )
Ahora mi corazon ta sufri (Now, my heart suffers)
Bien simple lang yo ta pidi (What I ask for is too simple)
Era sinti tu el cosa yo ya sinti (That you feel how I felt)

Repeat Chorus

Porque contigo yo ya escogi?
(Why was it that I chose you? )
Ahora mi corazon ta sufri…(Now, my heart suffers)

Traducido por Eldon B. Tenorio

Fairyland Smile of the Week

26 Mar


We thought Ronda San Antonio, Barcelona was a fairyland after we bumped into a cute 4-year-old fairy named Trisha Mae Abanador and an equally adorable dwarf named Danica de la Peña. It is a tradition in Spain, especially in Canary Islands and Cadiz, to walk around in costume to celebrate  the  Carnival season.

Cebú, ipinalabas sa Cuatro

23 Mar

Pagkatapos ng Manila, ngayon naman ay Cebu ang itinampok sa programang Callejeros Viajeros ng Spanish channel na Cuatro noong Lunes ng gabi. Halos pareho ang ipinakita–kahirapan, karangyaan, ang malaking kaibahan ng kalagayan ng mayayaman at mahihirap sa Pilipinas at ang impluwensiya ng Espanya roon. Ngayon nga lang ay may beaches at bird sanctuary. At hindi rin nawala ang mga street food kung saan makakakuha raw tayo ng diarrhea!

Sa mga hindi nakapanood, i-click lang ang link na ito: Callejeros Viajeros: Cebú