“Different Views, Sensible News”
From Dust To Ashes:
Cremation gains more acceptance among Pinoys
Rico Hizon: Pinoy in BBC
Making a mark in tombstone engraving
Vol. 1 • No. 06
GONE TOO SOON...
Festival of tr ibes and giants
Santeros: A new breed of Unusual Filipinos
Pacquiao aims for 8th belt against Margarito
“MAHIGIT 7,000 COLLECTION POINTS SA BUONG PILIPINAS UPANG SERBISYUHAN ANG INYONG PADALA SA INYONG MGA MINAMAHAL” As we quickly approach the beginning of the festive season and the end of another year, MoneyGram International would like to wish all Global Pinoys a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous 2011. With millions of Filipinos living outside their homeland, the Global Pinoys are active in sending funds back to support their families and national development and MoneyGram is actively working to ensure that all over the world we provide our consumers many convenient ways to both send and receive funds. In the UK for example, MoneyGram is available in every Post Office branch and Thomas Cook and Going Places stores plus hundreds of independent outlets. Not only is your money typically transferred in just 10 minutes (subject to agent opening hours), but we also understand that value for money is important. Alex Torres, Senior Marketing Executive for MoneyGram comments “We know how competitive the market is and that’s why we have low fees starting from only £4.99. Since we are in every Post Office in the UK there is always a MoneyGram location near to where you live or work. The sender also has the option to send in US Dollars or Pesos with excellent exchange rates”. In the Philippines MoneyGram has increased its network to over 7,000 locations; MoneyGram is now available in BDO, SM, M. Lhuillier, Cebuana Lhuillier, KwartaGram and thousands of points all over the country, making it more convenient to receive MoneyGram transfers anywhere in the country. Alex Torres says “Because we have a well balanced network of bank and non-banks we are able to offer more choices to our customers. For instance, M. Lhuillier locations in 154 key cities offer MoneyGram global money transfer services 24-hours a day and we also have over 2,300 locations that are able to payout transactions in US Dollars.” Despite already having a strong network in the Philippines, MoneyGram
is always looking for ways to give customers more choice. One good example is the PERA CARD available at any of the 1,300 Cebuana Lhuillier locations. Alex Torres explains “The PERA CARD is a great option for customers in the Philippines who would like to keep their money safely stored on a card. The person receiving the remittance simply needs to go to Cebuana Lhuillier and enrol for the PERA CARD. The next time they receive a remittance via MoneyGram they can call Cebuana, provide the reference number and the funds will be automatically transferred to the card. The Cebuana PERA CARD is also a great option for people living in rural areas. In 2011 we will continue to introduce more innovative options for our Filipino consumers in the United Kingdom to send their hard earned money to the Philippines”. With MoneyGram’s demonstrated commitment to the Philippines, low fees (from only £4.99), excellent Peso and US Dollar exchange rates, typical 10 minute transfer times and a host of convenient locations both in the UK and the Philippines, MoneyGram is your best choice for sending money to the Philippines.
November 2010 U.K. Edition
Road rage hits the Philippines L been observed that a number of vehicle owners who are ike other global urban centres, traffic is so bad in Metro Manila. economically prosperous tend Despite the construction of so many vehicular flyovers and pedestrian to be “mayabang” because of their ability to own expensive footbridges, it would take about three hours to travel the length of vehicles. Incidents of road Epifanio de los Santos Avenue or EDSA on a weekday. rage incidents that involve private vehicles often become a case of two “mayabang” Like other global urban centres, traffic is so bad in Metro drivers crossing paths and refusing to bow down to each other Manila. Despite the construction of so many vehicular flyovers – although it seems not necessarily was the case for the Goand pedestrian footbridges, it would take about three hours to Maguan case. travel the length of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue or EDSA on a However, lately, road rage incidents have shifted from weekday. private vehicles to public utility buses. Almost every day, the Gridlock is no longer limited to the morning and afternoon evening news would report incidents of buses along EDSA hitrush hours. Because of 24/7 operations of call centres and other ting one another or other smaller vehicles as their drivers race business process outsourcing companies in the Philippines and for passengers. the truck ban which ends at 10 p.m., it would not be The proliferation of accidents involving PUBs, surprising to experience traffic indicate a bigger problem beyond the volatile temalong EDSA at 12 perature of the man or woman behind the wheels. midnight. It also tells of lopsided system of remuneration Vehicular congesfor road transportation industry employees, the tion is not limited to callous disregard for human life and poor state of EDSA. Motorists who road infrastructure in the country. travel through South Superhighway, Taft Avenue, Quezon Boulevard, Quirino Highway, Espana Extension, Shaw Boulevard, E. Rodriguez Ave., Quezon Avenue and other major streets all experience arriving late for an appointment or the office, or coming home with just a few hours left before the day changes. Thus, it is not surprising that road rage incidents are on the rise in the Philippines, particularly in the national capital region. There is probably no official data on the number of road rage incidents taking place in Metro Manila or other parts of the country because such incidents are listed as accidents or crimes, and the reason/s behind the incidents are not listed or classified. However, an analysis of headlines over the past few months and years shows that many motorists have lost their tempers and committed acts considered road rage or an The rising number of casualties and damage to public aggressive or angry behavior by a motorist. Manifestations of buses are yellow warning signs for society to take a deeper look the anger include showing rude gestures such as a dirty finger beyond slow-moving vehicles and flaring driver and passenger or clenched fist, verbal insults, deliberately driving in an unsafe temperatures. or threatening way such as cutting other cars, breaking suddenBus drivers involved in accidents, when apprehended, ly, overtaking or swerving which could cause injuries and deaths sheepishly admit to law enforcers they are racing with other to other travelers, or simply making threats. buses for passengers, particularly for those plying EDSA. The One such recent headline-grabbing incident involved FilAm, construction of the MRT, which provided Metro Manila residents Jason Ivler who allegedly shot the son of a government official with a cheaper and faster alternative to reach their offices and because of a road altercation along Boni Serrano Avenue in go back home, caused the passenger exodus to the mass transit. Quezon City. The case caught public attention because Ivler, Thus, during non-rush hours, buses often run half-empty. who once was a part-time actor, is the nephew of popular The situation is exacerbated by the boundary system in which Filipino folksinger Freddie Aguilar and is the stepson of a British the driver-conductor team turns over a certain fixed amount of diplomat. The case even grew bigger because Ivler engaged law money to the bus company, with the leftover amount equally enforcers who came to arrest him at the Blue Ridge Subdivision divided as the driver and conductor’s income, instead of a fixed house of his parents in a gun battle, which almost cost Ivler his monthly wage. Drivers are therefore pressured to get as many life. passengers to meet their boundary and have enough leftover Another case was that of businessman Rolito Go, who money for their family expenses. shot in 1991 a student – Eldon Maguan – to death because Go Bad driving habits are to be blamed also for the rash of bus insisted on driving on a one-way street in San Juan and Maguan accidents. Frustrated by snail-paced movement of traffic in key chided him. Like the Ivler episode, the Go road rage incident choke points such as Kamuning, Cubao, Crossing, Guadalupe made the headlines because of the cold-blooded manner and Ayala, bus drivers let go of their pent up anger over the Maguan’s life was taken and the fact that Go was the one who gridlock and race other vehicles in between these choke points committed the traffic violation. whenever they have the opportunity to do so. Go’s aggressive behavior highlights one of the likely reasons This is particularly practiced by Alabang-bound buses who behind the road rage incidents involving private vehicles. It has
celebrate the often spacey and traffic-free stretch of South Superhighway from Magallanes to Alabang. Drivers of these buses would put grand prix champions to shame with their speed. Although the bus drivers are aware of the dangers of overspeeding, a number of them have reached a point of callousness for human life that getting a “high” from speeding becomes more important to them than their passengers’ or their very own life. A manifestation of this is that when involved in a vehicular accident, when given a chance, the driver often leaves the accident scene to escape punishment for his driving mistake, not caring that lives have been lost or placed in danger because of wrong driving practices and apparent disregard for human lives. Related to this behavior is that drivers who sideswipe people crossing or walking the street would often abscond or worse run over the victim to ensure the pedestrian is dead to cut higher cost expected if the victim survives and has to be hospitalized. In some cases, the poor road infrastructure is to be blamed for the road accidents. In the rural areas, some roads with extreme curves such as the highways to Baguio or Bicol’s Bitukang Manok trail lack sufficient warning signs to motorists. In Metro Manila, drivers often blame the Metro Manila Development Authority’s pink fences for nighttime road mishaps because it is difficult to see the iron railings on certain stops and intersections. The rise is road rage incidents had many motorists asking if there is a solution to this phenomenon. One obvious solution is to reduce the number of private vehicles, but it is a chicken-and-egg situation because car owners would argue that with the high cost of gasoline they would not mind leaving their vehicles at home and taking public transport if there are sufficient public transportation facilities in the NCR. Try telling that to MRT commuters who experience the daily squeeze during rush hour and they will surely have their own versions of MRT rage stories to share. If it would be difficult to cut the number of private vehicles, the other possible solution is to spread the working hours so that not everyone rushes to leave the house at 6 or 7 a.m. and return home at 5 or 6 p.m. The rise of BPOs which have three shifts had somewhat helped reduce the number of travelers and commuters during the morning and evening rush hours. Another is the increasing acceptance of work-at-home jobs, which reduces the number of motorists on the road. On the driver side, stricter driver licensing rules should be imposed and enforced to remove the speed maniacs and road demons that have no regard for fellow travelers. Although a lot of improvement has taken place in the Land Transportation Office – the government agency tasked with issuing driver’s licenses – particularly in terms of the speed in the issuance of new and renewal of driver’s licenses. However, a lot of the driver’s licenses being renewed were issued under corrupt circumstances when the LTO was still in a mess. That means a significant number of driver’s license holders, both professional and non-professionals, did not take the practical driver’s test, failed the written test and are not knowledgeable about basic driving rules and regulations. However, despite these measures, there would always be a need for Pinoys to travel whether to go to school or work every day or to run different errands. Some people I know have learned not to be affected by the traffic, which leads to road rage, but to use their time on the road profitably. A number of them use the time to pray with the help of rosary or meditation music CDs being played on their cars. Other travelers, particularly those with drivers, use the time on the road to read their email, go over unfinished office work or to make phone calls, thanks to technology which permits people to be productive while traveling. Road travel would remain an essential part of living for many Filipinos. In the end, it would be up to the driver or commuter whether they would be affected negatively by the worsening traffic in the city or choose to spend their time on the road well.
by Vittorio Hernandez
November 2010 U.K. Edition
gains From Dust Cremation more acceptance among Pinoys To Ashes:
In 1991, when my mother passed away, a lot of eyebrows among our relatives and friends were raised when they found out that my mother would be cremated, not buried. Their attitude did not surprise us because cremation was a new concept then among many Filipinos. The Vatican amended in 1983 the Code of Canon Law which allowed cremation for Roman Catholics. Since my mother was a devout Catholic, our decision to follow her wishes to have her remains cremated surprised many people. Because of her heart ailment, my mother - when she was still alive minced no words in making it known to us that she wanted her body cremated. At that time, there was only one crematorium in the Philippines – the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque. So we had no choice except to travel all the way from our residence in Quezon City where the wake was held to the crematorium in Parañaque. The cremation process then was quite long, which lasted for six hours. Since then, we occasionally heard of other people also opting for cremation for their loved ones. Even some celebrities who passed away over the years have resorted to cremation. The recent list includes master rapper Francis Magalona, the son of actor Cesar Montano, Juancho Gutierrez who is the husband of Gloria Romero and the father of actress Maja Salvador, former actor Ross Rival. No less than the Catholic Church has observed the rise in acceptance of cremation among Pinoys. The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, in its newsletter, wrote, “Cremation has been constantly gaining acceptance, especially in urban areas where there are crematoriums. Reasons vary from practicality, hygiene, economic conditions of the family, or personal choice of the departed.” CBCP spokesman Msgr. Pepe Quitorio explained that while cremation has caught on among Filipinos, rural Pinoys still balk at the idea and prefer to stick to the traditional burial. Joseph Dychangco, president of the Philippine Mortuary Association, confirmed the observation of the CBCP that the growing acceptance of cremation is limited to urban areas where burial space is limited. However, he pointed out that in the provinces such as Cebu where he runs the Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes, about 98 per cent of burials are still done the
ANTHEMIC FUNKCORE TRIO DROP NEW SINGLE THIS NOVEMBER! “FFD are able to hone and focus their inﬂuences into a controlled, melody-driven sound, complete with positive lyrics and a smattering of restrained but punchy heaviness. This is fresh, summertime music.” Fast rising London three-piece FIREFALLDOWN pull from a hearty range of inﬂuences from funk right through to hardcore. Far from sounding cluttered though, the result is a band with lucid intent and a carefully honed sound. Imagine Sublime crossing swords with RHCP while battling early Incubus, and you’re heading towards the playground of Firefalldown. Firefalldown were ofﬁcially composed at the end of 2007 when all three members met while playing for their local church band. It was then that two Filipinos, Jon Blaylock (chief songsmith, vocalist and guitarist) and bassist Joel Sablayan joined forces with Brit and beatmaster Andrew Hodgson. It wasn’t long before their music swelled beyond the quiet containment of the church, guiding them towards bigger venues and more pulsating volumes. The result is a fresh and
he Vatican amended in 1983 the Code of Canon Law which allowed cremation for Roman Catholics. Since my mother was a devout Catholic, our decision to follow her wishes to have her remains cremated surprised many people. Because of her heart ailment, my mother - when she was still alive - minced no words in making it known to us that she wanted her body cremated.
traditional way. Definitely, cost is one of the considerations why urban Filipinos opt for cremation. Buying a lot in a cemetery would cost five to six figures, while a modest wake for a few days would cost several thousands of pesos. Mausoleums, which rich Filipinos, avail of could go as high as P4 million. With cremation, the bereaved family could prefer to skip the wake and have the body cremated right away, although because of tradition many families often hold a wake first to give relatives and friends of the deceased a last opportunity to view the mortal remains before the corpse is cremated. Inflation, though, has caught up with cremation services. In 1991, the cremation fee was about P6,000. When my father passed away in 2004, the cremation fee had gone up to P10,000. However, when I inquired from Loyola how much is the cost now, I was surprised to learn it has jumped to P25,000! Fortunately, the cost of urn has hardly changed. A marble urn still costs about P3,000. Another new cost to people who have their loved ones cremated is the vault where the urns are placed. In 1991, there were no columbariums in the country to deposit the ashes. That time, we just kept the urn with my mother’s ashes at home until the family learned the Catholic Church frowned on the practice. As the practice of cremation became popular several of them have cropped up in Metro Manila, in a similar manner that crematoriums have grown in number in the national capital region. So, that led me to scout for columbariums. I was shocked to discover a vault which could contain about four poignant sound that, on some tracks, trickles down your throat as smooth as a soul ballad, and on others, pummels through the chest as intensely as a hardcore anthem. With energetic live shows and songs that have been described as ‘dynamic, intriguing and underpinned by a refreshing intelligence’, the Filipino-British three-piece bring their own brand of alterna-funk-rock to the table. Their previous self-released single ‘Commissioned’ racked up wide critical acclaim from the nation’s media for its refreshing approach and cultured accessibility. The band now release their new single ‘Stand Tall’ which is a mouth-watering slice of anthemic angular rock. Supremely tuneful and sophisticated, it conveys FFD’s candid passion and showcases their nifty knack for delivering killer hooks while rousing relevant social concerns. Lyrically, ‘Stand Tall’ hopes to serve as a wake up call to stir people out of their apathy to ask the more important questions in life. The cut is produced and mixed by Chris Brown (Muse, Radiohead, Metallica) and is lifted from the band’s forthcoming debut album, out early 2011. Make sure to catch them at their last UK show for the year at the Dublin Castle in Camden Town on Wednesday, December 1st and download the single completely free of charge at www.ﬁrefalldown.com. www.ﬁrefalldown.com
urns costs also five digits. I got one in St. Therese Columbarium near the airport for almost P60,000. If you divide that into four urns, the cost is still affordable at P15,000 per urn. Memorial park operators in Metro Manila reported swift sale of vaults, as fast as lots. In 2006, the Loyola Memorial Park in Parañaque added 3,000 more vaults after its first 500 units were easily sold out in 2005. Similarly, Loyola in Marikina also built 3,000 units in 2006 after the 2,000 units were all sold the year before. Dychango, however, disputed that cremation costs less, particularly for rural areas. He estimated modest burial in Cebu would cost the family of the bereaved P25,000 for the wake and another P10,000 for a lot in a public cemetery. Dychangco said traditional burial would continue to be the preferred option for majority of Filipinos, not so much for lower cost but because of tradition. In the end, it is not so much the cost that matters to Pinoys, but acceptability of a burial option for their loved one. by Vittorio Hernandez
October 2010 U.K. Edition
t was mid-afternoon. My mobile phone was that ABS-CBN wasn’t the official station rings. ‘Who could it be?’ I thought. The of World Youth Day which means I have to number is withheld. I answered the watch GMA-7. It still hurts after 15 years. Yes, phone and a familiar voice speaks at it has been 15 years since I took some days the other end, ‘Your mission, should you off from my busy work designing PROMAC wish to accept it, is to design a sculpture to karaoke machines and spent it singing ‘Shine, be presented to Pope Benedict XVI when he Jesus Shine’ over and over again. It has been visits the United Kingdom in September. The 15 years since I was one of 5 million people sculpture should symbolise youth ministry who attended the Papal Mass at Rizal Park. in the country. It shouldn’t be too abstract. It Back to reality, I asked myself what was should be functional, something that can be World Youth Day in Manila was about. What used within a liturgy or a service. And finally happened to us? After two years there was and most imporanother World Youth tantly, what you Day and another after just have heard is strictly confidential. Good bye.’ I’ve hung up the phone. There was a moment of silence. A silence of disbelief and reflection. Then the message sunk in. I am designing Candle stand. photo by CYMFed for the Pope! that. Pope John Paul It wasn’t a II dies and another dream. It wasn’t a scene at the next Mission succeeded him. I searched ‘World Youth Day Impossible film. I am not Tom Cruise, alManila’ in YouTube and there were only 467 though the resemblance is close (I wish). My results while Susan Boyle had 162,000 videos. phone did not self-destruct. And the familiar World Youth Day Manila seems to be a distant voice on the other line is Johnny (whose num- memory. ber is always withheld for some reason), a I then realised World Youth Day, for me, has Board Member of the Catholic Youth Ministry gone full circle. It’s not a distant memory. It’s Federation of England and Wales (CYMFed), reality. It’s me living the dream. I’ve come commissioning me to design the sculpture for here to the UK to ‘tell the world of His love’. I’m the Papal Visit. living World Youth Day, Manila over and over Flashback! Suddenly, for a brief moment, I again. remembered the events of World Youth Day, On being commissioned, I felt honoured Manila in 1995. I remembered the official and humbled by it. I thought it was great affirsong ‘Tell the world of His love’. I started mation to be chosen out of many designers in humming the tune but managed not to do the country. As a designer, it has always been the actions. I remember how disappointed I my desire to be able to use my talents for the
glory of God and for people find it inspirational and enrich their lives. I’m also humbled by it because, as Mother Teresa said, ‘I am like a pencil in the hand of God’, so am I, I believe I am an instrument of God and that he has used me to show his love. Finally, on Saturday 18th September, after travelling overnight for 8 hours on a bus from Newcastle to London with 177 other young people and adults, 3 ½ hours waiting at the Piazza for the start of the Mass and 1 ¾ hours of Papal Mass, the doors of Westminster Cathedral opened and emerged His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
After a welcome from a young person, the Pope received the sculpture I designed and blesses it. The sculpture comes in the form of candle stand inspired by a lighthouse. I chose the lighthouse theme as I thought it represents youth ministry being ‘a beacon of light’ in the church and good symbol for the British isles. Each side is a panel of symbols depicting the stories of Incarnation, Resurrection, Great Commissioning and Youth Ministry. These stories were chosen because it tells the story about God’s infinite love to all of us. The Candle Stand has now been adopted as the national symbol for youth ministry in the
Undistinguished Ramblings of a Scarce Mind Designing for the Pope I could not believe myself that I was actually seeing the Holy Father just 10 feet away from me. This is the closest I’ve been with a Pope. I never saw Pope John Paul in Manila. I saw Pope Benedict at St Peter’s Basilica, Rome three years ago but I was too far away to be exactly sure that I really did see him. Everyone I knew who had seen a Pope in public or even in a private audience said that there’s something different about seeing the Holy Father in person that they couldn’t explain. I never believed them until now. It was a magical feeling, if not miraculous, to see the Pope up close and personal. Although I never had a chance to have an audience with him nor shook his hands and ask for a blessing, I always thought his visit was something personal.
by Xav Javier
country and will be used in various national youth events. The visit of the Pope, for me, strengthened my faith and convictions. The message he was telling me was loud and clear, not be afraid to express my faith and take time to pray. The Pope challenges us, ‘to spend time with him (Jesus) in prayer… Even amidst the business and stress of our daily lives we need to make space for silence, because it is in silence that we find God. And in silence that we discover our true self.’ The events of the last month has only given me strength and fervour to continue the work I do. Strive to be the best I can be, to share the love God to others, and to inspire others to do the same through the skill and talents he has entrusted to me.
November 2010 U.K. Edition
When should I retire? In love, age may not matter. But when it comes to retirement, age does matter. Citizens across the English Channel showed in recent demonstrations that it should not be higher than 60 as their president and parliament want it to be. They are saying non to 62 and the reason for it, which is to prevent the depletion of the country’s pension fund. Clearly, French workers want to retire by 60 at the latest. Countries put the legal retirement age between 55 and 70. In the United Kingdom and the Philippines, 65 is the age when a worker should compulsorily retire, though Filipinos who are 60 are already eligible to get pension. But who would want to turn 60 or 65 before retiring? Eric Gutierrez, general manager of Hooters in Manila, that restaurant popular for its waitresses in tank tops and short shorts, thinks retiring at 60 is fine. “It’s young enough to enjoy my kids’ youth,” he says. But when asked at what age he wants to retire, the 40ish Communications Arts graduate of UST says laughing, “My age right now.” Annie Laborte, a 36-year-old employee at the Philippine Supreme Court’s public information department, was asked when does she wants to retire over at Gmail chat before office hours’ end and her nanosecond reply was, “Yes, later, I can retire.” She just wants to enjoy her kids and run a business that will not tie her down. Retiring at a young age is easier said than done. At 42, Peter Tan says he can’t retire yet because he’s still saving money since turning into a salesman after graduating from college with an electronics and communications engineering degree. The seller of animal nutrition products in Bulacan plans to retire at age 53 to 55. For him, 60 is too old. “At 60, maybe you can no longer enjoy life because you have an illness or your body may already be weak,” he reasons. American Jeffrey Hauser, a former sales consultant who retired at 55 in 2004 and now a book author, advises that young people who are in good health should retire ASAP and then take time to enjoy their spouse, children, home, hobbies and other interests. Enrico Sanchez did just that in 2002, although he was already 50 years old then. The former American Express Co. employee’s wife also retired in the same year. Together, they went on a traveling spree touring many parts of the Philippines and also visiting other countries. They also visit their son and grandchildren in the U.S. once or twice a year.
mountaineering club and climbing different mountains in the Philippines. But traveling is expensive and could not yet be covered by pension money if the retiree is younger than 60 or 65. In such case, Hauser advises such retiree to take a second career like what he and his wife did when they created a website called the http://www. thenurseschoice.com and offered health information and doctors referred by nurses and patients to members for a fee. Such endeavor generated additional income for the couple. Engr. Romulo Agatep quit as country manager of a telecommunications firm during his 40s and put up his own company, Teleglobal Corporation. He was never again employed but calls himself semi-retired because he is still working when running his equipment supply business. Like Laborte, Tan plans to have his own business when he retires. Why? “You body will seek work and you may lose your budget if you don’t have a new source of income,” he says. For those who have yet to accumulate retirement wealth but wants to retire already, they may do so by availing of early retirement if their company provides such program. Under this scheme, employees who have worked for 20 or more years can retire regardless of their age in exchange for a lump sum amount. In the Philippines, such amount corresponds to the monthly salary for every year of service. The amount may not be so much a fortune but good enough to enjoy retirement before 60 and still have spare for putting up a business.
efinitely, most workers would want to retire early or at a younger age. But there are also those who don’t want to retire even after the compulsory retirement age.
“We like to travel,” says Sanchez, whose hometown is Marikina but now lives with his wife in Los Baños, Laguna. “So far, we are enjoying our retirement but do not see us going back to work even though we still can.” Sanchez also took up a new hobby in 2003 by joining a
Definitely, most workers would want to retire early or at a younger age. But there are also those who don’t want to retire even after the compulsory retirement age. Mike Ryterski is 90 but still works at Schaeffer Manufacturing Co. in south St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
Schaeffer manufactures specialised synthetic oils, fuel additives and other products for the construction, trucking, agriculture, marine, mining and high-performance racing industries. Ryterski is in his 70th year of working there as head of research and development with focus on engine oil and equipment lubricant. He retired as vice president in 1990 but his wife died and he didn’t want to stay home so he continued working at the company three or four days a week. Sydney Prior, aged 95, is a “meteer” and greeter of customers at the B&Q do-it-yourself store in New Malden in West London. He got the job there at age 76. He is probably the oldest worker in Britain now. Filipina Clarissa de Guzman, a senior carer in her 30s at the Pamela Barnett Centre in Ravenswood, Berkshire, doesn’t want to retire and wants to keep on working like Prior and Ryterski. “I don’t think I will retire because it’s boring at home when you’re not doing anything,” De Guzman says laughing. She said she will retire in her hometown in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija and continue working as a clinical instructor in a hospital or running her own business. by Windsor Genova
HANG-OUTS & GIMIK
November 2010 U.K. Edition
Paco Park: A cemetery that is now a favorite wedding venue
emeteries and deaths are two words associated with one another. Cemeteries, and the more modern versions of it such as the memorial park or columbaries, were built to house the dead. Thus, many people go to cemeteries for a death-related event such as a burial or to celebrate a milestone in the life of a dead relative such as birthday, anniversary or death anniversary. It has also been a tradition in the country to visit dearly departed on All Saints Day or All Souls Day. One cemetery in Manila, however, has since become a more popular venue for an event that’s associated more with life – weddings. This is the Paco Cemetery, also known as the Paco Park. The circular garden measuring 4,114.8 square meters was Manila’s municipal burial grounds during the Spanish colonial era. It is bound by General Luna, Padre Faura and San Marcelino Streets, located about one block away from the Light Rail Transit (LRT) United Nations Avenue station. The inner circular fort originally served as a cemetery for rich Spanish families and governor-generals who lived in the district then called Dilao but which is now known
as Paco. Built in the late 18th century, the cemetery eventually served as burial grounds for cholera epidemic victims from Manila. The park’s St. Pa
ratius chapel is The niches were placed on 10 wedding venu one of the top es in the Philipp ines walls of the cemetery, which eventually expanded to have a second wall with more niches, with special In 1966, Paco Park was sections such as one for infants. Right in declared a national park and it has since front of the infant burial ground is the Saint been restored to its old and historic beauty. Pancratius chapel, where the wedding cerThe park gained further public notice emonies are now held. in 1980 when it played host to classical concerts, initially to celebrate PhilippinePhilippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal German month. The concerts, which were was interred temporarily at the Paco Park televised over government station PTV 4, after he was executed by Spanish aubecame a Friday afternoon event called thorities on December 30, 1896. There is a Paco Park Presents. marker and cross of Rizal’s burial spot there. There is also a commemorative marker for When there are no concerts or wedthe three Filipino priests collectively known dings, the park is one of the favorite places as Gomburza – for Fathers Gomez, Burgos foreign tourists visit because it brings them and Zamora – who were also buried in Paco back to a period in Philippine history. The Park. Paco Park is also one of the recommended places for foreign visitors to see when in To add to the park’s historical past, the Manila. cemetery, which stopped receiving burials in 1912, was also used by Japanese imperial And here’s more: Young Pinoy lovers find forces as a depot for ammunition and supPaco Park a place for dating. It is also a good ply due to its high and thick adobe walls. place to seek shade during summer with The walls served as a good protective the old and wide acacia and frangipani barrier for defense. trees spread within. Entrance fee is a very affordable at P5 per head, but admission is free during Friday nights for the concert. The St. Pancratius chapel is being run by the Vincentian Fathers, who also operate the nearby Adamson
University. They charge P15,000 for the use of the chapel. Couples who marry in the chapel may opt to hold
Paco Park served as the cemetery of the rich Spanish families and governor-generals in the 18th century
lize married Dove, which symbo seen in couples, are often Paco Park their wedding reception at the park itself. To do that, all they have to do is make a separate arrangement with the Luneta Park office, which maintains the park. The chapel is popular as wedding venue, so couples who want to hold their union in the church are advised to book at least a few months before their planned wedding, especially if they prefer a weekend wedding ceremony. According to a wedding website, the chapel is among the top 10 favorite wedding venues of Filipino couples today. Among the Filipinos who recently tied the knot at the Paco Park, wearing black instead of the traditional white, were Kamikazee band frontman Jay Contreras and former child actress Sarah Abad who were married on February 12, 2009.
e Rizal Dr. Jos r he o r e h l afte ona ine nati aco Cemetery p ip 896 il h P in P ies in 1 it d r e r o r th te u was in nish a t by Spa was sho
The niches are on the circular walls of the cemetery
The park is now also a favorite location shooting for romantic movies such as the recent Miss You Like Crazy that starred Bea Alonzo and John Lloyd Cruz. With its historic value, romantic atmosphere and good location, Paco Park is one place Filipinos should visit even if they do not have any loved ones interred in its cemetery.
by Vittorio Hernandez
November 2010 U.K. Edition
SIMBANG GABI 2010 SCHEDULE OF MASSES DATE / TIME
Presider / Concelebrant
15 Dec., Wednesday 7.30 pm
Oval Filipino Community / Roehampton Filipino Community
Mr. Ben Ortiz-077 2331 8486; email@example.com Ms. Malen Raymundo-077 9100 0764; firstname.lastname@example.org
Church of the Holy Redeemer 20 Brixton Rd., London SW9 6BU Nearest Tube Stn: Oval Station
Presider: Fr. Jake Dicto, C.S.
16 Dec., Thursday 7.00 pm
Filipino Community in Acton
Ms. Maricel Rodrigo - email@example.com; 077 3058 2037
Our Lady of Lourdes Church Acton High St., London W3 8AA
Presider: Fr. Cirino Potrido, C.M.
16 Dec., Thursday 6.30 pm
Couples For Christ - Frimley
Mr. Jek Paler - 078 6929 3397 Fr. John O’Sullivan (Parish Priest) - 012 7650 4876
Presider: Fr. Gideon Wagay
17 Dec., Friday 7.30 pm
Oval Filipino Community
Mr. Ben Ortiz-077 2331 8486; firstname.lastname@example.org Ms. Malen Raymundo-077 9100 0764; email@example.com
Our Lady Queen of Heaven Church 111 Portsmouth Rd., Frimley, Surrey GU16 7AA Church of the Holy Redeemer 20 Brixton Rd., London SW9 6BU Nearest Tube Stn: Oval Station
17 Dec., Friday 7.30 pm
Couples for Christ (Maidenhead)
Mr. Rene Garcia - 079 0090 1343 Fr. Paul Mooney (Parish Priest) - 016 2877 1684
St. Edmund Campion Parish 40a Altwood Rd., Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 4PY
Presider: Fr. Paul Mooney
18 Dec., Saturday 3.00 pm
Filipino Club at Westminster Cathedral (FCWC) / Filipino Women’s Association /
Ms. Flora Kingscote - firstname.lastname@example.org; 078 7586 7739 Ms. Imee Pinto - email@example.com 020 8265 8368 Ms. Fely Ananayo - firstname.lastname@example.org 079 3939 3054 Ms. Becky Sarinas - 079 4985 7699, 075 0191 6572 email@example.com Ms. Lina J. - 077 6518 3724 Ms. Arlene - 077 8762 4349
Westminster Cathedral Clergy House, 42 Francis St London SW1P 1QW
Presider: Fr. Jake Dicto, C.S. Co-Celebrant: Fr. Slawomir Witon (FCWC Chaplain) Fr. Alexander Masters (Cathedral Clergy)
English Martyrs Church Chalkhill Rd., Wembley Park HA9 9EW Landmark: Lidl & BP Petrol Stn. Nearest Tube Stn: Wembley Park & Wembley Central Bus: 83, 182, 245, 297, 302 Our Lady of Dolours Servite Church 264 Fulham Rd., London SW10 9EL Closest Tube Stns.: Earls Court and Fulham Broadway Bus: 414, 328, C3, 14 and 211
Presider: Fr. Cirino Potrido, C.M. Co-Celebrant: Fr. Agustin Paunon
Igorot Organization UK
Presider: Fr. Jake Dicto, C.S.
18 Dec., Saturday 3.00 pm
Share Hope Outreach
18 Dec., Friday 6.30 pm
Filipino Community of Servite Parish Church
Mr. Manuel Cortinas - 079 0368 4263 Mr. Roland - 079 1288 4768 Ms. Flora - 079 8420 9857
18 Dec., Saturday 6.00 pm
North London Filipino Group
Fr. Gideon Wagay firstname.lastname@example.org
19 Dec., Sunday 2.00 pm
The Filipino Catholic Community Prayer Group (TFCCPG)
19 Dec., Sunday 3.00 pm
Filipino Community of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Wembley
Ms. Remy Villacruel - 079 0135 2381, 075 3366 8399 email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org Ms Jeanette Wiklander - 075 0228 5521 email@example.com Ms. Lilian Owen - 079 5755 0729; firstname.lastname@example.org Mrs. Tita Mendoza - 079 5107 8045
19 Dec., Sunday 7.00pm
El Shaddai DWXI-PPFI London Chapter
Sister Julie Lai - 077 3322 4613 email@example.com
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel & St. Joseph Church
19 Dec., Sunday 5.00 pm
Filipino Community in East London
Ms. Myrna Cunningham - 020 8534 3316; 077 8969 4152; firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Antony of Padua Catholic Church Presider: 56 St. Antony’s Rd., Forest Gate E7 9QB
19 Dec., Sunday 6.00 pm
Mr. Agui Galang - 078 9247 5127 Couples for Christ / Filipino Catholic Community in Our Lady of the Holy Souls Ms. Lita Galang - 077 5465 9580 Mr. Chris Mautsi - 079 5106 4688 Ms. Ester Limot Limot - 079 8494 7528 Philippine Centre Mr. Joseph Parinas - 079 8876 0784 Ms. Cory Babaran - 077 5986 1343
19 Dec., Sunday 6.00 pm 20 Dec., Monday 7.00 pm
Farm Street Filipino Community/ Aguman Kapampangan / Batangas Association UK /
21 Dec., Tuesday 8.00 pm
Order of the Knights of Rizal & Kababaihang Rizalista, Inc. Filipino Community of Roehampton
Ms.Josie Ramos-077 2302 4591; email@example.com Ms. Flora Kingscote - 078 7586 7739 Mr. Mario Magtoto - 077 2531 6059 Ms. Sally Montemayor - 079 5684 2009 Ms. Lorna Fortunado - 077 7622 3212 Ms. Cora Santos - 079 5627 1750 Sir Noli Ramos - 079 1013 3782 Lady Aurea Taguiang - 020 7724 7332 Fr. Jake Dicto, C.S. - firstname.lastname@example.org Ms. Gina Orillo - 075 3392 3159
Presider: Fr. Cirino Potrido, C.M. Co-Celebrant: Fr. Philip Allen, OMS Fr. Jim Mulherin, OSM
Presider: Fr. Gideon Wagay Sacred Heart of Jesus 62 Eden Grove, Holloway N7 8EN off Holloway Rd. Opposite North London University Presider: Fr. Cirino Potrido, C.M. Sacred Heart Church New Priory, Quex Rd., Kilburn London NW6 4PS St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Wembley Presider: Fr. Agustin Paunon 339 High Rd., Wembley, Middlesex HA9 6AG Nearest Tube Stn: Wembley Central Bus: 18, 182, 83, 92 get off at Wembley Triangle
Presider: Fr. Cirino Potrido, C.M.
Our Lady of the Holy Souls 68 Hazlewood Crescent, Kensal Rd. W10 5DJ
Presider: Fr. Jake Dicto, C.S.
St. Michael & Martin Church 94 Bath Rd., Hounslow, Middlesex TW3 3EH
Presider: Fr. Ting Ancajas
Church of the Immaculate Conception Presider: Fr. Cirino Potrido, C.M. (Farm Street) 114 Mount St., London W1K 3AH
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Presider: Fr. Jake Dicto, C.S. / 218 Roehampton Lane, London SW15 4LE Scalabrini Fathers
22 Dec., Wednesday 7.30 pm
Oval Filipino Community
Church of the Holy Redeemer Mr. Ben Ortiz- 077 2331 8486; email@example.com Ms. Malen Raymundo - 077 9100 0764; firstname.lastname@example.org 20 Brixton Rd., London SW9 6BU
Presider: Fr. Jake Dicto, C.S.
23 Dec., Thursday 7.00 pm
Stonebridge Filipino Community
Ms. Mervic Monocillo - 078 9463 6140
Presider: Fr. Cirino Potrido, C.M.
Church of The Five Precious Wounds, Stonebridge The Presbytery, Brentfield Rd., Stonebridge Park NW10 8ER off Harrow Rd (A404), a quarter mile east of the junction with North Circular Rd.
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Dias Solicitors, Amadeus House, 27b Floral Street, Covent Garden, London. WC2E
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Crystal Dias is a fully qualiÞed solicitor regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. She specialises in immigration and divorce law. She is a tagalog speaker. Dias Solicitors are based in central London, only 5 minutes from the Philippine Embassy. Tel: 020 703 11117 Mob: 07828 443484
DIAS SOLICITORS 130 SHAFTESBURY AVENUE LONDON. W1D 5EU. Mob: 07828 443 484 Tel: 020 7031 1117 email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.diassolicitors.co.uk
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November 2010 U.K. Edition
ecause of the OFW phenomenon, shipping corpses is one reality Filipino families with relatives working abroad had to face squarely. Before when Filipino workers got employed locally, matters such as shipping a corpse was a totally alien concept to Filipinos. The Filipino diaspora now changed that. Although a sizeable number of OFWs are contact workers who eventually return home to retire and die in the Philippines, the rise of abusive employers or medical emergencies crop up that videos of OFW corpses in boxes arriving at the airport has become a common footage in the evening news. Shipping a corpse is also less of a problem from Filipinos who migrate permanently to other countries, that their second country has also become their burial grounds. However, since death comes creeping into the still of the night at a moment when we least expect it, OFW families would inevitably have to face that issue whether they like it or not. The
process involves tedious paper work and a large amount of money, as well as making some decisions that are often difficult to make, especially during a period which should be devoted to grieving. To guide OFW families, Hello Philippines has come up with some vital information on shipping a corpse. Procedure & Documents Procedures and requirements will vary from country to country, and even state to state or province to province. However, among the procedures common to ship a corpse, which some funeral parlors usually assists in some aspects, are: • The securing of a death certiﬁcate • Securing a certiﬁcate of embalming issued by a local morgue • Providing a notiﬁcation to a local authority of plans to transport the body, which is usually followed by a doctor or authority sealing the casket. • Coordinating with the Philippine consul-
HILLARY CLINTON PAYS TRIBUTE TO FILIPINOS NEW YORK, United States — State Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton is probably the highest American official who has an intimate knowledge of Filipinos, their dreams, and aspirations. This was manifest during the signing of the $434-million US Millennium Corp. grant that she and visiting President Benigno Aquino III presided over last October 22 at Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Speaking extemporaneously, Clinton — who speaks openly of her close relationship with Filipinos, especially during her term as senator representing New York—gave a glimpse of how much she knows about the Filipino psyche. She said: “Millions of people in the Philippines have left their native land for a better opportunity. They love the Philippines. I know because I know many of them. They try to go home when they can afford to do it. They retire back to the Philippines. They want to be sure their children and grandchildren are raised in the Philippines.” Then Clinton, dressed in an elegant indigo blue suit, addressing the new Philippine president continued: “We hope that, Mr. President, the people of your country will be able to make a good living in their own country. And in order to do that, there must be a partnership that creates the conditions for economic opportunity.” But what endeared the charming state secretary to the Filipinos in the audience were these words: “I know how smart the Filipino people are. I know how hard they work. I’m not sure if there’s any group of people anywhere in the world that work harder than Filipinos. But let’s be very honest here. Too many of them feel that they cannot progress in their own country. Too many of them feel that the elite in business and politics call the shots, and there’s not much room for someone who’s hardworking, but not connected.
Too many of them believe that even if they get the best education they can, that there won’t be an opportunity for them. So they take that education and help build someone else’s economy, very often here in the United States.” Not too many top diplomatic oﬃcials would risk speaking these strong words in an oﬃcial function. But Hillary Clinton, because of her close relationship with the Filipino people has the inside track — and the charm and candor — to speak up. Even the usually skeptical media people covering the event were quite impressed by the gracious top American diplomat. Clinton’s remarks — and how she delivered them with graciousness and tack — were the topic for conversation during dinner among the Philippine media people who covered the event. Here is a powerful US official who knows and understands the dreams and aspirations of Filipinos, especially the three million Pinoys who have chosen the United States as their adopted country. For most of us who toil in the “land of milk and honey,” it’s really nice to know that Hillary Clinton is there for us. INQUIRER.net JUN MEDINA, FILAM STAR
ate or embassy where the body of the deceased OFW is located to secure more permits or to have official language translation of the documents accompanying the corpse. The passport of the The cost of shipping human remains includes the deceased is required to establish the weight of the casket and an outer box identity and nationality. • Coordination with the airline or it particularly if the dead overseas worker is the shipping company for the transport of the sole breadwinner and the rest of the family is body. dependent on the migrant worker. • Notifying consulates of the destination If the family is fortunate, the foreign emcountries for the transport ﬁrm to issue a shipployer could shoulder the cost, particularly if ping permit. the migrant worker died while on the job. The • Placing the body in a wooden, metal-lined, bigger problem would be for abused workers air-tight casket which is then placed inside a like those in the Middle East, whose employers standard wooden shipping box. would dispute that abuse was committed and Some American air carriers have more would insist the worker sustained injuries, which details of their corpse handling and shipment led to eventual death, while trying to escape. services available on their website. The air carriSometimes, the Philippine government ers with such services include American Airlines, would shoulder the cost of shipping the huContinental Air and Delta Airways. man remains, particularly if it is a high-proﬁle Costs case like that of Filipina domestic helper Flor Cost is dependent on the weight of the Contemplacion, who was hanged in 1995 in casket and destination, but usually the huSingapore for the death of a fellow Filipina DH. man remains are charged cargo rates, not But those cases are far and few in between. passenger rates. Added costs are incurred if By the way, the Overseas Workers’ Welfare a person such as relative or a funeral director Administration is supposed to have a repatriawould accompany the corpse. tion program under its Workers Assistance and A Greek website estimates the cost to On-Site Services. The program is supposed run from 1,500 to 4,000 euros (P90,000 to to include negotiations with employers and P240,000). agents, repatriation of distressed workers, huAmerican Airlines charges a minimum of man remains and belongings, airport assistance, $575 (P25,000) for remains weighing 1 to 75 OWWA Halfway House accommodation, and lb. to as much as $3,225 (P139,000) for those coordination with families. 501 lbs or more for Europe or Paciﬁc bound However, given OWWA’s poor record in corpses. Of course, outside the shipment cost performing its duty and limiting its services to there would be taxes and other fees to be registered OFWs, possibilities of OWWA assispaid along the way from airport or seaport of tance along this line would be a far-off thought departure to arrival. for many Filipino migrant workers. Continental Airlines computes charges for One alternative would be to have the human remains at 150 per cent of one-kilo remains cremate ﬁrst to cut down substantially rate, with a minimum of not less than 150 on cost. However, although cremation is gaining per cent of applicable minimum charge. For more acceptability among urban Filipinos, the remains between 500 to 700 lbs., Continental majority still prefer the old-fashioned way of charges 125 per cent of applicable rate, and burial so this option would only be good for 200 percent for human remains over 700 lbs., those who are open to another way of bringing including the container. home the body of their loved one. Royal Jordanian charges an average of For families with members in the Philip$2,000 to $3,000 (P86,000 to P129,000) per pines and abroad, another option would be to body from the U.S. to the Middle East, so to have just a bit of the ashes in a locket or small Asia, it should cost a bit more. container to be brought back to the country by In western countries like the U.S. where one relative and letting the bulk of the ashes be dying has become a big business, mortuary left abroad. services have specialized that there even exAnother alternative is to have them buried ists an organization called the American Asoverseas. This alternative will work for Filipinos sociation of Mortuary Shippers to cater to the who have some relatives abroad who could take special needs of families with dead relatives care of the funeral and burial. from another part of the state or the world. No doubt, shipping human remains is a big Cremated remains problem that many Filipinos are unprepared for, With the growing popularity of cremation partly because death remains a taboo. However, as an alternative, some air companies have for families which had become more open and also come up with separate guidelines for prepared for such eventualities, matters like shipping cremated remains. The guidelines those could be dealt with in advance such as are usually less stringent than those for shipthe OFW putting his wishes on how his remains ping corpse, such as the waiving of the burial should be taken home or buried in a document transit permit. often called “living will.” The ashes must be initially placed inside Under such circumstances, the migrant a polyurethane bag with a cardboard outside worker not only would have more “control” and packaging. Metal containers or urns are al“say” in his owner funeral, he could also spare lowed as inner packaging. his family of headaches and worries if he should Of course, shipping cremated remains pass away when abroad. costs much less. American Airlines charges Saying goodbye to a love one will always be $190 (P8,000) for ashes and container weigha hard step to take for the families of a migrant ing from 1 to 75 lbs. for all international worker, but sometimes the bigger problem is destinations. how to bid the dead adieu because his last morAlternatives tal remains are miles and miles away. Because of the generally prohibitive cost of shipping human remains, many OFW by Vittorio Hernandez families would have second thoughts about
BUHAY SA ABROAD
November 2010 U.K. Edition
“Pasalubong ko ha!” “Pasalubong” is a Filipino term for keepsake or travel present given to people back home that is close to the traveller, or in most cases, the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW).
uch one hears if he or she is about to leave the country for work in some foreign land, or either for business or leisure travel.
“Pasalubong” is a Filipino term for keepsake or travel present given to people back home that is close to the traveller, or in most cases, the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW).
“It really depends on the person. If it’s your hubby or wife or other family members, syempre mas mahal or minsan may bilin,” she said. In Chu’s case, “Actually they’re happy na with keychain, ref magnet and cheap shirts.” This attests the unwritten rule that everyone should have a piece of what you experienced in that country that you went to. But in most cases, chocolate pasalubong would already do the trick. “Chocolate is probably the most appreciated pasalubong that you can buy. In the Philippines, good chocolate is expensive, melted much of the time, and generally not very good quality,” was the respondents’ unified answer. Next would be local products from the country where the balikbayan OFW or traveller came from such. Others, travel sizes perfume or jewelry. However, not all OFWs or travellers like the idea of giving pasalubongs. Such as was the case for not-so-frequent traveller call center employee Liezel Morito.
“Giving away pasalubongs when you’re arriving from out of town or out of the country is a way to show how much we care for that person,” she said, adding that the thought and imagination of “those happy faces is why we overload ourselves with gifts.”
“I had this great feeling na obligado akong magbigay ng pasalubong. I ended up spending more on the pasalubong rather than my airfare and hotel accommodation. Tapos I got disappointed dahil few from those people will ask for more,” she said. Morito’s sentiments echoed the changing culture of giving pasalubong. These days, giving has become more of an obligation than an act of regard and most often than not, people back home are expecting too much to request a particular item from a balikbayan without being asked. Chu asserted that she knows of some people “who are really stressed out primarily because people would really expect pasalubong from them,” OFW JP Angeles noted that giving pasalubongs is already like second skin to the Filipinos.
Chu’s statement further corroborated the replies this writer asked from other people – with pasalubong, it is not the cost of the item that is important: “it is the fact that you thought of someone enough to bring something back.”
“Culture na ng pinoy yun… Budget ko not that big basta may maibigay lang… I feel na dapat ka talaga magbigay mahihiya ka kase galing ka abroad so expected na nila yun na may dala ka,” he said.
“I am lucky to be the giver,” said Anna Liza Mallari, wife to an OFW working in Singapore. She and her family are based there. Asked how much she spends for pasalubongs, “It doesn’t have to cost a fortune.” Mallari’s family comes home to visit the Motherland at least once every year.
AJ Larga, a nurse currently working at Abha, Saudi Arabia, echoed the concern most OFWs feel whenever homecoming is near.
Filipinos are known for their hospitality. They are also famed for being generous and thoughtful especially to families and friends, even to their whole community. These traits may very well reinforce the giving of of “pasalubongs.” Makati office employee Renalyn Conche- Chu confirms this trait. “I really like to bring pasalubong whenever I travel.”
Jem Ruiz, a freelance writer, said her budget depends on who the recipient of the pasalubong is.
“Ok lang naman if its it’s part na ng culture. Huwag lang sana ung iba sumasama ang loob kasi hindi nagustuhan ung binigay sa kanya, or kaya naman gusto ung naibigay sa iba.” Sad to say, materialism has played part in destroying the
true meaning of giving pasalubong. Banker Maire Viola said that when she was younger, she gives effort on giving pasalubongs. “When I was younger medyo affected ako dito. Whenever we traveled big chunk of the budget goes to pasalubong. Syempre, big chunk of our time is spent buying them. But for the past 5 years deadma na. I only buy for my kids and husband. Kung may makita for others, I might consider pero di ako mag effort,” she said, adding that recipients back home should consider how the OFW or traveller earned the money they spent for pasalubongs. “Mag move on na. Mahirap kumita ng pera,” she said. by Estee Misa
November 2010 U.K. Edition
HEALTH & BEAUTY
or octogenarian Nana Istina, rice and eggplant with sauce as relish is a complete meal be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. The matriarch of the Taruc clan of Cabiao town in Nueva Ecija even has aubergine planted in the backyard of her residential compound in Barangay San Fernando Norte. So the talong in her meal is always fresh. She eats the vegetable boiled or fried and unpeeled dipping it usually into a mildly salty burong isda, a Tagalog delicacy made from fermented rice and fish. Fried or boiled eggplant Nana Istina is still strong and healthy at 86. She washes her clothes, sweeps the compound clean everyday with walis ting-ting and occasionally visits her grandchildren in the neighboring barangay by riding a pedicab. Her fondness for talong may be her secret to long life and strength. After all, the purple vegetable is cholesterol-free and nearly devoid of fat, sodium, protein and carbohydrates. It is 92 percent water and contains fiber, calcium, folate, and other vitamins and minerals, particularly potassium. A half-cup boiled eggplant also packs body toxin busting phytonutrients, phenolic compounds and flavonoids. For those always on the go, getting eggplant energy is neither a luxury nor time consuming. It is cheap and ready to eat after a few minutes of boiling or frying. No need to
Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese dishes, usually stir fried and garnished with spices. The kangkong is rich in Vitamin A, protein, fats and carbohydrates. It also contains sodium, phosphorous, calcium and Vitamin C. Cooking adobong kangkong is quick. In fact, pulling the leaves off and snapping the hollow stems of bundled water spinach, as they are sold in the market, may take longer. The first step is to sauté garlic and onions in cooking oil. The kangkong leaves and stems follow until these are stir fried. Soy sauce and vinegar are then added as finishing touch.
Nana Istina’s daughter, Eya, the household’s kitchen captain, shares another easy cook vegetarian dish, the bulanglang or vegetable stew. This recipe can be done simple by using only one kind of vegetable. For example, the bulanglang na upo or stewed bottle gourd is as simple as chopping the vegetable into small pieces and boiling it in water mixed with sliced tomatoes and seasoned with salt or patis (fish sauce). Also known as calabash gourd or bottle squash, upo has similar nutritional value like that of the eggplant. It is rich in dietary fiber and low in fat and cholesterol. It is 96 percent water and contains iron, Vitamin B, Vitamin C,
Stir fried vegetable in oyster sauce If eating a one-vegetable dish is healthy, eating a dish with more than one kind of vegetable as ingredient is even healthier. One can try stir fried vegetables and tofu seasoned with oyster sauce. The vegetables here include chicharo or peapods and asparagus. Mixed with these are mushroom, and tofu or soybean curd. Preparation involves chopping the asparagus into twoinch strips, cutting ginger into thin strips, chopping onions and dicing the tofu. The first cooking step is to fry the diced tofu until they turn golden brown and crispy. Then separately sauté the
gulay! g l !
sy u rb e p su e th r fo s e h is d ie g g Easy cook ve peel the skin. An optional dip to go with it is a simple soy sauce with chili, kalamansi and minced onion. For those who prefer a more exotic talong dish, roast it and peel off the burnt skin before mixing it with chopped tomato, onion and bagoong isda or salt. If you have more time to spare before rushing to work, you may also turn it into tortang talong or omelet by mixing it with battered egg and frying it. Stewed bottle gourd At a time when everyone is more than ever conscious of their diet to avoid getting fatter or to mitigate a lifestyle disease, vegetable is the best option for a meal. Its price and nutrients make it already a winner. How easily it is cooked is a bonus. Busy professionals or those without a household helper to cook their meals can spare a little time to prepare such dish by themselves.
sodium, potassium and other minerals. If not upo, the bulanglang can also be sitaw (stringbeans) or sayote (chayote). Adobong kangkong From the turo-turo or makeshift eateries, the adobong kangkong has invaded the Philippines fastfood arena, a testament to the culinary and nutritional value of the water spinach or swamp cabbage. The leafy vegetable is also a common ingredient in Chinese, Singaporean, Malaysian,
ginger and onion strips before putting the vegetables. The fire must be low so as not to overcook the vegetable and keep them crispy. After a few minutes of stir frying, put the fried tofu. The final step is putting and mixing the stir fried vegetables with oyster sauce. This recipe is a complete meal even without hot rice. There are other simple vegetarian recipes worth trying for their health benefits such as vegetable okoy, apan apan, eggplant paksiw or sinabawang gulay. There is no need to buy a cookbook to guide you in cooking these as the simple steps are available on the Internet. One related website is www.filipinovegetarianrecipe.com. Happy gulay eating!
by Windsor Genova
November 2010 U.K. Edition
There is a spirit world. It exists in a dimension that cannot be easily detected and reached.
sychic and Spirit Questors member Michael Marlo Duque, who has the gift to sense the supernatural, describes that realm as a vibration. But the astral world is invisible to ordinary humans because its vibration is in a level higher than that of the physical world, which Duque says is another form of vibration. A person needs to attain or at least match that higher level of vibration to make contact with the other side, just as the energy and elements from that side can manifest themselves in reality by lowering and matching the physical world’s level of vibration. Duque explains the vibration more clearly using the electric fan as an analogy. If the fan’s blades are rotating slowly, part of the background is blocked and is not clear to an observer. But
The practical training aims to open the third eye. It includes ways on how to sense spirits and the paranormal. One way is to listen to white noise or static sound on the radio. “You will definitely hear something there,” says Duque. Another way to see the astral world is to look at a mirror inside a dark room with only a lighted candle in front of you. “Titigan mo lang ilong mo sa salamin, ‘wag kang kukurap. Magbabago ‘yung mukha mo sa salamin. Or may makikita kang dadaan sa likod mo,” says Duque. “Ginawa namin ‘yan. Ako, nakita ko nagpalit ang mukha ko.” At present, the Spirit Questors has about 200 members. There were trainees who quit because
Tapping your psychic power
when the blades are rotating fast, it seems transparent and the background is constantly clear. A person just needs to switch to the right vibration to see or feel the astral dimension. The likes of Duque, Spirit Questors and other psychics are capable of attuning to higher vibration. That is why they have the so-called third eye, which can see not only spirits and elementals but also a person’s future and past. The spirit world also contains the future and past since, according to Duque, what happens in the physical world is “imprinted” and “stored” in this realm. It is like a computer hard disk that records and saves digital files. The future is also pre-set in a “blueprint” so that all things that are bound to happen are there. The fact is, we are all psychics. Everyone has a third eye only that this astral travel capability is too weak to many of us to the point that it is almost non-existent or unbelievable. And, of course, not everyone would want to see ghosts everywhere just like the boy in the American movie “The Sixth Sense.” But for those who want to experience this “power,” it is possible through training. That is how Duque has developed and now activates his gift. The foremost psychic trainers in the Philippines is the group called Spirit Questors, which is composed of Filipino psychics who help earthbound souls rest in peace, communicate with the dead to find answers to questions from the living and appease elementals haunting households and homes. It was founded by psychic and Ateneo professor Tony Perez in 1996. Psychic training under the Spirit Questors starts with the trainee being an observer to the group’s “questing” activities. “You will join the group for about four or six times every week. Mag-o-observe ka lang, wala kang participation. ‘Pag nakita ng Council of Elders na ang intention mo ay okay naman, hindi naman malicious, they will encourage you to take further training. Sila na magte-train sa iyo. Magkakaroon ka ng practical training and they will guide you,” explains Duque. The Council of Elders refers to the senior questors who have assumed leadership of the group after Perez quit.
they grew impatient from observing, or were not satisfied with what they were being taught. Some others decided to form splinter groups. There were also trainees who were expelled when elders discovered that they were giving psychic services for a fee. Duque says a questor should not be charging fees because psychic ability has no cost, and readings may be biased or favorable to a paying client. When the third eye is not used regularly over a long period of time, the power to sense the supernatural weakens. Conditioning is necessary to reactivate the third eye. In the case of Duque, who has rarely practiced questing since working as a nurse in the U.K., his psychic friends helped him revive his power during his recent visit to the Philippines to launch his book on the paranormal entitled “Quests Beyond Existence.” His friends have given him scanning or reading works. The Spirit Questors are dedicated to the peaceful use of psychic power and its Council of Elders is cautious in training people who they sense as having bad motives. For their part, trainees should be ready to accept the consequence of activating their third eye and of questing. Duque reminds that the training makes one sensitive to vibrations. The sixth sense may be easily triggered by white noise or one may see something whenever he/she looks at a mirror. “Makakita ka na kahit ayaw mong makakita,” he says. Elementals like the tikbalang and kapre are among the supernatural beings that can be seen by the third eye. These creatures are actually spirits that got their form or description from the cultural interpretation of Filipinos. There are no tikbalang and kapre in other countries but they may be interpreted or symbolized by the unicorn or yeti. Questing may also pose dangers to the lives of psychics and others. Duque recalls the time when the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) sought the help of the Spirit Questors in solving mysterious crimes. He says that the group turned down nine out of 10 such requests because identifying killers may endanger the lives of the questors, whose security is not guaranteed by the NBI. A colleague told him that questors had tried to identify a murderer as a way of helping the family of a victim and they
sensed that the culprit was in the circle. The questors chose to be quiet so as not to provoke the killer. Duque explains the decision. “You have to choose the lesser evil. Kung sasabihin ang killer tapos ang mangyayari naman ay magwawala ‘yung spirit, tapos ‘yung family dito papatayin or kung hindi mo sasabihin, hindi masaya ‘yung spirit pero ‘yung andito masaya na sila,” he says. There was also the case of a 12-year-old trainee who became a Satanist after training. Although he did not pose danger to the public, his life was ruined because he quit school and became a bum. Since then, Duque says the Spirit Questors no longer train minors because they are physically vulnerable. Still, leveling with the spirit world is relatively safe. No psychic or medium has died during a quest or encounters with an elemental, though getting hurt and possessed are possible. When Duque and another questor visited a beauty queen to do a reading, they felt punches in their side belly. They later realized that a male fairy was guarding the lady and gets jealous of male visitors. To corroborate their findings, the beauty queen admitted that male visitors who had slept over at her flat would often wake up down on the floor or with scratches in their arms. According to Duque, while spirits are not physical, they can inflict injury by turning physical or leveling with the vibration of the physical world. There were those who fail to control the spirits in their body while questing. Slaps on the face brought them back to reality. Being a nurse and a psychic at the same time may present conflicting concepts for Duque because the former is an applied science while the latter is spiritual. But he is putting to good use his power in the practice of his nursing profession. Duque says his sixth sense gives him leads about a patient to enables him to make proper medical assessment. “’Pag may pasyente ako na comatose, minsan nag-se-send ‘yan ng thoughts na ‘let me go.’ Then I can talk to the doctor and family, ‘Let’s let him go. Wala na siyang chance of recovering.’ ‘Yung thought na nakuha ko sa pasyente, plus yung science ko, I try to find a way na brain dead na siya, hindi na siya magiging normal,” he explains. For both skeptics and believers, Duque’s “Quests Beyond Existence” is a helpful literature about the paranormal. The anthology serves to encourage those who are afraid of being called insane because of what they see to come out in the open and tell them that they are not alone. It also serves to guide people in understanding the paranormal better. He says, “Through my personal quests, I would like to share my experiences with them. I hope that they would gain inspiration out of it. The collection also wants to let people know what the Spirit Questors do, and why they do it. It is also hoped that they would be able to use the book as a starting point for developing themselves.” The book is now out in all outlets of Powerbooks and National Bookstore. To know more about the book, visit www. questsbeyond.com. You can also join thousands of psychics, paranormal and new age enthusiasts on Facebook; check out www.facebook.com/questsbeyondexistence. by Windsor John Genova
Illustration by joe alejo
November 2010 U.K. Edition
Festival of tribes and giants
hile November is primarily a solemn month because of the tradition of remembering departed loved ones during “Undas,” there are still other dates in the calendar for grooves. From the highlands of Benguet and Sultan Kudarat are tribal spectacles, while a literally larger-than-life celebration in Angono, Rizal is sure to give one the highs in the lowland. Adivay, Benguet, Nov. 23 Every November 23rd, the gongs and the squeals of pigs reverberate in Benguet’s provincial capitol grounds in La Trinidad as the province celebrates its foundation day. Last year, however, the catastrophic typhoon Pepeng silenced the annual Adivay fiesta. Scrapped altogether were the traditional dances, Igorot rituals and chants, a horse race, a cultural play, a beauty pageant and an agroindustrial fair out of respect for more than 200 people who died from the landslides caused by Pepeng’s heavy rains. This month, the Adivay returns with all the merrymaking and shows that made the festival a tourist attraction in Benguet since its inception in 2004. The Adivay is a rich ethnical experience especially for cultural adventure seekers. Each tribe from the towns of Atok, Bakun, Bokod, Buguias, Itogon, Kabayan, Kapangan, Kibungan, La Trinidad, Mankayan, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay start the celebration with members catching native pigs to be butchered as sacrifice and food for the occasion. Amid the pigs’ squeals, chants and prayers from the tribal priest called mambunong fill the air to bless the animal offerings and wish for the success and health of local leaders, the develop-
ment of the province, and a bountiful harvest. The mambunong also reads the bile of a butchered pig for any signs of fortune and misfortune to come. After the ritual, the show begins. A blanketcovered pair performs the native dance tayaw. Each tribe has its own version of the dance. The male dancer leads his partner to a circle hop-skipping to the beat of gongs and drums. Rice wine called tapey is distributed to signal the transition to the next pair of dancers from another tribe. After the tayaw, a group dance, the tinaktakyadan, follows. Men and women form separate circles and alternately dance within and outside the loop. While the dances go on, the pigs are prepared and cooked. The meal called watwat is then feasted on by all participants to conclude the event. Higantes, Rizal, Nov. 22-23 Pope St. Clement I is the patron saint of Angono, and his birth is celebrated by folks of the Rizal town every Nov. 23. But the celebration starts a day earlier with a novena mass followed by a dance in the church patio and ringing of the church bell. Marching bands and drum and lyres then parade from Rainbow Village to the church patio, where devotees again dance in praise and thanksgiving. In the afternoon, the giants or higantes parade in the streets together with local government officials and employees, commercial establishment employees, students and members of civic groups. The higantes are actually 12-foot effigies made from papier-mache and bamboo or wooden frame. The fiesta had its roots during the Spanish colonial times when Angono was still a
hacienda ruled by Spaniards. Some tillers were said to have protested against their landlords by fashioning effigies that look like their foreign masters with arms raised high up in the waist. They learned the Mexican art from Spanish priests who brought the technique to the Philippines. Gradually, the effigies were incorporated in the fiesta celebration but only featured three higantes representing a mother, a father and a child. In the 80s, more higantes representing each barangay of Angono, “Christ the King” and other personalities were introduced making the fiesta more colorful and attractive. On fiesta day, the higantes join the procession of devotees that follows a mass by the Bishop of Antipolo to kick off the celebration. Another attraction in the procession is the parehadoras or young girls holding paddles and wearing bakya or wooden slippers and costume. They remind that Angono was once a fishing village thriving from the bounties of Laguna de Bay. The procession leads to the banks of Laguna de Bay in Barangay San Vicente. There, the images of San Isidro, St. Clement and Blessed Virgin Mary plus the devotees, bands and other participants ride a pagoda for a fluvial parade. The fluvial procession ends at the other side of the lake in Barangay Poblacion Ibaba. There, the procession continues until it reaches the church.
Like in other fiestas, feasting happens in the homes of Angono folks with their guests getting a taste of sumptuous meals. Kalimudan, Nov. 21, Sultan Kudarat Parades of bands are not the only highlights of fiestas in the Philippines. Fiesta parades also showcase ethnic dancers and drumbeaters expressing different choreographies, costumes and theatricals. Among fiestas that incorporate this so-called street dancing in the celebration is the Kalimudan Festival in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat province in Mindanao. Kalimudan is a Maguindanao word meaning “to gather.” The festival is held every Nov. 21, the same day as the provincial foundation day, to highlight the culture of Sultan Kudarat. The parade dancers represent the different tribes in the province, the Manobo, Tiruray and T’boli. Also conducted during the fiesta are sports competitions, float contest, trade fairs, concerts and musicals. The trade fairs show the province’s food delicacies, processed food products, halal food, grains, fruits, vegetables and even furniture and clothes. Students primarily compose the street dancers and musicals. They also represent their schools in the sports and cultural presentations.
Making a mark in tombstone engraving
here are artists who make a living from the dead. Among them are beauticians who retouch cadaver faces, casket makers, graveyard landscapers and wake set designers. Not to be left out are tombstone engravers, who work behind the scenes at a cramp shop somewhere and are less likely to be seen during a burial rite. But inconspicuous as they are, these grave markers are very much part of the mortality business. Like Richard Tubas, 42,
of Antipolo City. Tubas has been designing and engraving tombstones for the past 30 years. “I made my first tombstone when I was 12,” he recalls. Tubas belongs to a family of tombstone makers. His father and uncles taught him the craft. At present, he has been working at a small tombstone shop in Quiapo, Manila. His siblings and uncles does the same thing in Antipolo City and Romblon, their home province. As a young engraver, he just did it for fun and not for the money. Tubas did not originally intend to make it a lifelong profession. He wanted to become an electronic technician. He took up such course in 1985, but had to quit because he got married. And to support his family, he returned to doing what he does best. Tubas works from Monday to Saturday at the Quiapo shop. His work includes taking orders from customers, designing the script and engraving using a chisel. He can finish 10 Romblon marble tombstones or three granite markers in one day. He explains that a granite stone is harder than Romblon marble so it takes longer to finish. Tubas remembers that before the new millennium, granite tombstones were rare because engravers do not yet know how to chisel it. By 2002, it started to become popular when engravers learned the right engraving technique. He now recommends tombstone made from granite
because it lasts longer than a Romblon marble. Slabs weighing seven kilos each are ordered from Balintawak, Quezon City. He earns 500 pesos for every granite marker he finishes. But he points out that if there is no work or no walk-in customer, there is also no earnings. Today, there are four existing tombstone shops in Quiapo’s Evangelista Street. There was a time when there were more similar shops and engravers. But Tubas says landowners took back their land and leased it to other renters each with a couple of engravers. Tubas proudly says his work is the finest. “Mas magaling ako sa kanila gumawa (I work better than them),” he says. “’Yun lang ang maipagmamalaki ko (That’s the only thing I’m proud of ).” He says the letters he engraves are uniform in shape and size. The lines of text are also aligned. “Kung susuriing mabuti ng customer, makikita nila ang kaibahan (If the customer will check carefully, the difference can be seen),” Tubas says. There’s nothing creepy about Tubas’ profession. The scariest thing he encountered on the job was that of a policeman customer who threatened to jail him for making him wait so long to have a lapida made. “The customer got mad. It was our fault,” he says. Not all tombstones are for the dead, he also found out. “May nagpagawa ng lapida. Siya mismo yung
nakapangalan (Someone asked me to make a lapida and the name engraved was his),” he says. He encountered five such cases so far. The reasons of the customers, who were senior citizens, were that their children may not get them a tombstone when they die or that they wanted their own design for their grave marker. Whether for the living or for the dead, Tubas will make the tombstone. The only customer he will refuse is a relative. “Bawal sa amin na gumawa ng lapida ng kamag-anak (It’s taboo for us to make the tombstone of a relative),” he says. Tubas says the reason is not superstition but more on impropriety. If a relative dies, his family would ask a non-relative engraver to make the lapida.
November 2010 U.K. Edition
SHOWBIZ & ENTERTAINMENT
GONE TOO SOON…
“Though I am about to kick the bucket I am as happy as ever. I am tired of this life so am going over to see the other side.” -- Author unknown. Death is more than conceived foreboding. It is a reality that looms. Once we get to reach a certain age or stage in our physical lives, we know we have to hand over the reins and join the netherworld. But that’s in cases where death can be classified as “acceptable” – when a person dies with a cause or reason. Either a person died by accident or murder, that person died with a reason good enough for family and kith to accept. Unlike suicide. Suicide means “to kill oneself.” A person intentionally inflicts pain to himself to cause his own death. Suicide is prevalent everywhere in the globe and in all social classes. It transcends age and gender. It is in fact the tenth leading cause of deaths worldwide. It has been reported that about a million people die by suicide annually. A death by suicide is present in almost all cultures. It is present in homes, schools, offices, goes beyond sectors, movements and even industries. INTERNATIONAL CELEBRITY SUICIDES Suicide deaths are all the more magnified and dramatized when it is a celebrity who dies because of it. There’s Kurt Cobain, lead singer and guitarist of the rock band Nirvana, who died with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in 1994. His fans, until now, were distraught over his death. Another celebrity who took his life was American soul musician Donny Hathaway, who jumped to his death from the 15th floor of New York’s Essex House Hotel in 1979. LOCAL PINOY CELEBRITY SUICIDES In the Philippines, a recent suicide death case was that of Marky Cielo. An actor and a dancer, Cielo is the first known Igorot-actor in Philippine
showbiz. Rising to fame after winning the 2006 StarStruck program of GMA 7, Cielo was found dead on December 2008 by his mother in his bedroom. He was rushed to the nearby Antipolo Doctors Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival about four hours after he arrived. Initially, his family reported he died in his sleep. Fans and showbiz and non-showbiz friends alike were deeply saddened and disturbed. His death continues to be a puzzle to this day. Official reports had declared the young actor died due to acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis. Cielo starred in several GMA television projects, such as Encantadia: Pag-Ibig Hanggang Wakas (2006–2007), Zaido: Pulis Pangkalawakan (2007–2008) and Joaquin Bordado (2008). More than twenty years ago, a young and mestizo actor also cut short his life. Dead at 22, Alfie Anido committed suicide through a self-inflicted gunshot wound. To this day, Anido’s death remains a mystery. Reports allegedly say Anido was murdered. The suicide angle was allegedly used to protect the names of those who were involved in the crime. Anido started as a ramp and commercial model before becoming an actor, joining the stable of Regal Films. William Martinez, Albert Martinez, Gabby Concepcion, Snooky Serna, Jimi Melendez, and Dina Bonnevie were his contemporaries. Anido is best remembered for the movie Temptation Island (1980) where he got romantically linked with Bonnevie. The 1980s saw the rise of sexy starlets in Philippine cinema. One notable name is that of young Filipino-American starlet Pepsi Paloma, who committed suicide by hanging herself. She was one of three starlets named after softdrink
It is not uncommon to hear the comment “Parang natutulog lang siya” (He/she looks like he/she is just sleeping) when Filipinos see a beautifully made up corpse. The comment is a tribute to the mortician who did the make-up of the dead. Because of the general public negative attitude towards death, the mortuary business has often been portrayed in movies as a source of laughter or fear. Often cast as the corpse in comedy films is the anorexic-looking actor Filipino actor Palito, who incidentally passed away recently. The morticians, however, recently were painted in a more positive light when comedy princess Eugene Domingo portrayed the role of a funeral parlor make-up artist in her last film, Mamarazzi. From a make-up artist, she graduated into a funeral parlor owner and successful mother to three teenage kids. In real life, not all funeral make-up artists end up as funeral home owners. Most of them remain faithful employees of the funeral parlors where they are employed, while some end up working abroad. Among the popular destinations for embalmers and morticians are the U.S., Australia and Canada where the population is rapidly ageing. According to Renato Dychangco, president
of the Philippine Mortuary Association, there are about 3,000 to 4,000 embalmers and morticians registered with the Department of Health. Here in the Philippines, the embalmer and the mortician are often just one person to save on costs. Being employed as a mortician and embalmer is a steady career, although most Filipinos would still shudder at the thought of working on cadavers. Since death is one of the sure things in life, a funeral parlor would always have business, and that equates to steady employment for morticians and embalmers. Dychangco estimates that across the 14 branches of Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes his company operates in the Visayas and Mindanao, they service an average of 300 to 400 funerals a month. To ensure that funeral parlors have enough supply of mortuary professionals, he set up the Translife Care, Inc. to provide training. Dychango stresses that one way to remove the stigma of working in the mortuary business is to provide professional services all the time that is why he decided to open a training school which offers courses on embalming, restorative arts, funeral directing and running a funeral business. The training includes reconstruction for
beverages. The other two were Coca Nicolas and Sarsi Emmanuelle. To this day, as with first Cielo and Anido, Paloma’s death was shrouded in mystery. Paloma’s film credits include: Matukso Kaya ang Angel (1984), Virgin People (1984), Naked Island (1984), Snake Sisters (1984), Room 69 (1985), and Virgin Forest (1985). SUICIDAL TENDENCIES Of recent months, showbiz personalities and fans alike are taking close watch over sweetfaced Drama and Dance Princess Kim Chiu. Reports have been circulating that the ABSCBN young star allegedly committed suicide sometime middle part of this year when she broke up with rumored boyfriend and perennial onscreen partner Gerald Anderson. The Cebuana young actress had denied the reports. Chiu was the first winner of Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition and is currently part of ABS-CBN’s Star Magic. Another local talent with suicidal tendencies is former 1980’s sexy star Lyka Ugarte. Considered one of the sexiest and most beautiful women in Philippine entertainment, Ugarte first appeared in 1984’s May Lamok sa Loob ng Kulambo opposite Eddie Garcia and Gloria Diaz. Ugarte, now a single mother of four, admitted her mental downward spiral started since 2007. She had committed four suicide attempts, the last of which was only November of 2009. Family conflict and failed relationships compelled Ugarte’s failed attempts. Hayden Kho, former lover of beauty specialist to the stars Dr. Vicki Belo reportedly committed two failed suicide attempts in 2009. The first time was allegedly when he was desperate for love. The second time around was when he got involved numerous cases against him for the alleged uploading of sex video scandals with different girls from showbiz. They were alleged sex scandal videos with Katrina Halili, Maricar Reyes, Ruffa Mae Quinto, Mariana Del Rio and others. This scandal made him lose his professional license as a medical practitioner. Initially better known as Belo’s lover, Kho carved a name for himself when he joined GMA 7’s program Celebrity Duets.
corpses that are victims of tragedy or accidents. Reconstruction procedures include using tissue fillers, gluing or stitching body parts on damaged faces or broken body parts. Embalmers and morticians who specialize in reconstruction for corpses are also known as plastic surgeons of the dead. Training period varies depending on the trainability and skill of the applicant. It could be for as short as 20 days. For beauticians engaged in the business, they could make the shift from making women beautiful in salons to making corpses look alive as morticians, but they still would need some amount of training. “When people see the remains of a person, that is often the lasting memory they will have of that person. Therefore it is important that the corpse should look good and as much as possible as if the corpse looks alive, only sleeping,” Dychangco explains. To help achieve that look, funeral parlors use different type of cosmetics from the standard make-up used by beauty parlors. They use oil-based cosmetics imported from abroad to help keep the “glow” on the corpse, whose blood circulation has stopped, and help keep the skin look fresh for several days of wake. Some funeral parlors ask for photos of the deceased when the person was still alive to help them achieve the “look” which will not only please the living family members, but help create the last impression that person will leave in the mortal world.
BASIS People who commit suicide are often found to have some underlying mental disorder that includes depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcohol dependency and drug addiction. Oftentimes, financial difficulties and interpersonal relationships fuel the desire to commit suicide. In a report by the World Health Organization, the countries with the most number of suicide rate in the top 20 included South Korea (No. 2), Japan (No. 5), Russia (No. 6), Finland (No. 14) and France (No. 18). No. 1 was Belarus, a country in Eastern Europe. The Philippines was at No. 89. A total of 106 countries were included in the list. Other rich and famous people who committed suicide over the years include Prince Alfred of Edinburgh, (1899), grandson of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Tsar Alexander II of Russia; Edwin Armstrong, (1954), US inventor of FM radio who jumped from a 13th floor window believing FM was a failure; Robert Clive, (1774), British conqueror of India and founder of the Empire, cut throat with pen-knife; and Adolf Hitler, Nazi Germany’s leader. Shot/poisoned himself in bunker. by Estee T. Misa
In the U.S., because people there are more open about things such as dying, funeral parlor owners said that many times they received advanced instructions from people who plan their funeral ahead of time. These people would specify how they would look because of the thinking that their funeral would be the last major event in their life. Their specifications include removing wrinkles or propping sagging breasts. Funeral parlor experts said that a pleasant look of the dead during the wake helps in the grieving process, particularly those who saw the person battling with diseases with all the tubes attached, bloated or emaciated body or hair loss. Seeing their loved one look better not only helps them accept the reality that the person has passed away, but also realize that everlasting peace has come to the deceased.
Eugene Domingo portrayed a funeral parlor make-up artist in the movie Mamarazzi
November 2010 U.K. Edition
rofile of a
oming from an visit their loved uzisero nation, ones graves in many Filipinos the memorial who visit their park ahead of the loved ones on Novemhuge throng ber 1 or 2 to observe All make it a point to Saints Day and All Souls pay their respect Day also make it a point to the Aquino to stop for a few minutes couple. Flowers at the gravesites of Filiand prayers are pino celebrities. offered, candles Among the popular are lit and photos gravesites visited by fans or videos are Ninoy’s death paved the way for Cory to the presiand ordinary onlookers taken and evendency, which the late senator had aspired for. alike, even if the celebrity tually posted to have passed away for a social networking long time, is former child actress Julie Vega, who sites Facebook and YouTube as proofs of having passed away suddenly in 1985 when she was 16 been to the Aquino gravesites. and at the height of her fame. She is interred at A visit to Manila Memorial Park is not comthe Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina. plete without a visit to Ninoy’s and Cory’s grave. Another one is the mausoleum of action star Although no doubt two of the couple’s children Rudy Fernandez in the Heritage Park in Bonifacio are very popular in the country – namely PresiGlobal City. Fernandez succumbed in 2008 to dent Benigno Aquino III or “Noynoy” and actress periampullary cancer. At the North Cemetery and TV host Kris Aquino-Yap – their popularity in Manila, another popular gravesite is that of are largely an offshoot of being Ninoy and Cory’s action king and defeated 2004 presidential canoffsprings. didate Fernando Poe Jr. who died in December Ninoy and Cory are icons of Philippine dethat year from a stroke. mocracy at separate times. Ninoy was instrumenHowever, if there is a gravesite that no doubt tal in bringing down the 20-year dictatorship of attracts many visitors to the Manila Memorial former President Ferdinand Marcos after Aquino Park in Sucat, Parañaque, it is the gravesites of was assassinated in 1983 upon arrival at the spouses Benigno Aquino Jr. and Corazon Aquino. Manila International Airport. Even days before Nov. 1, Filipinos of all ages Ninoy, who was Marcos’ nemesis, was incarand from different parts of the Philippines who cerated for several years when Marcos declared
Martial Law in 1972. Eventually Ninoy was allowed to travel to the U.S. for a heart surgery and he lived there in exile with his family until his return in 1983, when he was felled by a soldier’s bullet. During all those years, Cory was simply known as Ninoy’s quiet, but strong better half and mother of their five children. However, Ninoy’s assassination paved the way for Cory to achieve what Ninoy had aspired for – the presidency -- but failed. Ninoy’s death angered the Filipinos. Despite the martial law and media control of Marcos, Ninoy’s funeral march made Philippine history by attracting the largest crowd at that time as the funeral procession snaked through Manila’s highways. Three years after Ninoy’s assassination, Marcos succumbed to public pressure and agreed to a snap presidential election in January 1986, with Ninoy’s widow as his adversary. Marcos tried to manipulate the election results using his rubber stamp national assembly, but the Filipinos have had enough of Marcos. His 20-year dictatorship was ended with the People’s Power Revolution which swept Cory to power as president. Cory completed her six-year term in 1992 marked by a return to democracy and nine coup attempts by a military that’s still loyal to Marcos, or led by ambitious young officers who were disappointed with the government after a few years of Cory’s rule. Since it was her first political post, Cory made a number of mistakes. Despite her errors, however, she is still considered as the
“saint” of Philippine democracy. Cory succumbed to colon cancer in 2009 and again, history repeated itself. Her funeral march from Manila Cathedral in Intramuros to Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque took 13 hours and attracted millions of Filipinos and international media coverage. Her death paved the way for the nomination and eventual poll victory of son Noynoy as president – exactly 18 years after Cory’s term had ended. Although the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio probably holds the distinction of the most number of Filipino heroes buried, including some dead Filipino presidents, Manila Memorial Park no doubts holds the record of hosting the last mortal remains of modern-day Filipinos who served as icons of democracy at separate times in their lives. The Aquino children opted to have Cory interred beside Ninoy, whose grave used to occupy the center of the family mausoleum, instead of a Libingan ng mga Bayani burial. Before Cory’s interment, Ninoy’s grave was slightly moved so that the Aquino couple would share the central part of the mausoleum. On Nov. 1 and 2, Ninoy and Cory will surely take center stage once more as thousands of Filipinos observing All Saints and All Souls Day will trek once more to their gravesites to pay homage. People who have given their entire lives to their nation deserve no less!
by Vittorio Hernandez
November 2010 U.K. Edition
Rico Hizon: Pinoy in BBC Hizon is the only Filipino anchor at BBC
state such as former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and earn several recognitions in the field of journalism. His trophies and awards include the 2006 Ten Outstanding Young Men Award for International Journalism and Community Service, 2008 Pamana ng Pilipino Presidential Award in International Journalism, the 2008 BPInoy Award, the 2008 YES THE FILIPINO CAN! Award, and the 2010 SM Global Pinoy Award. At present, Rico is based in Singapore with wife Melanie and son Miggy. His job brings him frequently to different parts of the world, but Rico’s heart has not left Manila. He continues to reflect the Filipino values his parents taught him and uses his job and the website Good News Pilipinas, which he put up to promote what’s good about the Philippines amid the many negative news emanating from Manila. Aside from being an ambassador of goodwill for the Philippines, Hizon also promotes the arts through his palette art collection which he brings to different cities. If Charice is the face of Filipino talent in the international music scene, in the global news arena Hizon looms as a towering figure that represents the best of Filipino talent in the field of broadcast journalism. Although he has rubbed elbows with
side from Lea Salonga, if there would be one Filipino who made it big internationally familiar to OFWs in Britain, it would be British Broadcasting Corporation newcaster Rico Hizon. Aside from standing out for his insightful delivery of business news, the 40-something Federico Hizon, is easy to distinguish from the international faces viewers watch every day on BBC because of his distinct and clear English delivery of stock market and business news. The lack of a feigned British accent is easily noticeable in Hizon, who has been with BBC for eight years. Success was not handed down a silver platter to Hizon, who came from financially well-off family. Viewers who always see a dapper Hizon delivering the news in his well-pressed business suit would be surprised to know that as a Journalism and Business college student at De La Salle University, Hizon was a working student. No, he did not work as a management Religion? Cult? Or just a crazy bunch? trainee at the family corporation. At a time when McDonalds was just opening stores in An exclusive group of Catholics, calling themselves Santeros Filipinos, the Philippines, Hizon was one of the pioneer came out in the open recently, announcing their adherence to the Santeria. store crew who did what a McDonalds’ staff Led by painter and photographer Tony Perez, this company of juniordoes – man the counter, flip the burgers, serve and senior-level executives who live and work in Metro Manila formed their fries, wipe tables and mop the floors. Hizon group in December 2008. had for a contemporary in McDonalds’ actor “We are Roman Catholics,” Perez said. However, unlike santeros and sanRichard Gomez, although they were assigned teras from other countries, they do not practice Santeria as a religion but in different stores. only as a supplement to Catholicism, focusing mainly on devotion to the After he finished college, Rico initially Catholic saints and the archetypal energies they represent and originated from. worked for GMA-7 as production assistant for Santeria is a religion based in nature, and natural forces. Every orisha one of the news and public affairs of broad(spirit or deity) or saint is attributed to a force of nature and human interest. caster and newsman Atty. Art Borjal. As a “We incorporate rituals of Santeria in our faith, without meaning to PA he did the tasks of a dakilang alalay from desecrate its practice by other cultures. For, truly, we have a culture of our making coffee to writing spiels on Manila own,” Perez noted. paper. TV stations then had few teleprompters Santeria is a religion practiced in the Caribbean countries like Puerto limited to the use of the main newscast. Rico, Cuba, and Domican Republic. It emanated in Nigeria, country of the His first break as an on-camera talent Yoruba people. Slave traders brought many of these people to the Caribcame when he introduced the topic of discusbean island of Puerto Rico centuries ago. The Yoruba people that arrived to sion through a short report on Atty. Dong this country brought with them their religion. Puno’s Viewpoint. Later on, the Spanish colonials forced the Yoruba people to worship the Hizon’s first stint as a newscaster came in saints of the Catholic religion. Seeing threat from practicing their religion, 1991 when he was tapped by a production the Yoruba people decided to identify their deities with the catholic saints company to be the partner of then newbie of the Roman Catholic Church. Vicky Morales as news reader of the pioneer Santeria bears a lot of similarities with the Catholic Church, like worin early morning TV – GMA’s Business Today, shiping of the saint, holding masses, lighting of candles, and celebrations anchored also by Puno. of the saint’s days. Many of the Puerto Ricans who are followers of Santeria In the show, Hizon’s news skills were honed because he did not just delivered the news but also made reports, wrote and edited his stories and even occasionally served as co-anchor of the TV show that paved the way for the networks to air early morning news magazine format shows. While doing Business Today, Hizon was also tapped by GMA to deliver hourly news updates. The big break came in 1995 when Hizon was accepted as newscaster of regional news firm CNBC. Hizon made the big leap to global news scene by transferring to BBC in November 2002. With his years in international broadcasting, Hizon was able to interview heads of
the rich and famous, Hizon, like fellow OFWs, welcomes opportunities to visit Manila every so often and to meet friends and acquaintances when in town. In a world shrinking because of technology, Hizon has certainly paved the way for more Filipino journalists to up their game and aim for the best. by Vittorio Hernandez
Hizon has interviewed a lot of global leaders, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton
Santeros: A new breed of Unusual Filipinos are Catholics. However, people practice Santeria in secret because they do not want to be criticized by the Catholic church that is against this practice, because they do not accept any kind of divination. Many people use Santeria as a way to protect themselves from evil spirits, and negative influences that surround us. Most of the people that go to see a santero have personal problems like bad luck, love problems, illness of all kinds, money problems, haunting, and witchcraft. Clients go for a consultation with the santero to find the solution of their problems. According to this religion the earth is divided into good and evil forces, for this reason ebbos are needed in different cases. An ebbo is a sacrifice that is sometimes needed in order to receive ashe (symbol of divine power) from the orishas. Sacrifices may be in the form of the blood from an animal, fruit, flowers, candles of different colours, or the orisha’s favourite food. Animal sacrifice has been a controversial issue within the Santeria religion. There are groups that promote the care and treatment of animals, so they are against Santeria sacrifices. For most Santeria followers, their religion is an extension of the Catholic Church but infused with new rich power and with new beliefs. A similarity between Santeria and the Catholic Church is the use of prayers to worship the Yoruba orishas. Another catholic element very commonly used in the Santeria religion is the use of the Holy Water. In Santeria this water is used as a purification substance. For Santeros Filipinos, while it cannot practice Santeria by the thousands in the country, “we are located in a highly urban-metropolitan setting, and in houses where other members do not necessarily believe in and practice the things that we do.” “We are surrounded by visual contrasts of high-rise buildings and clusters of shanties. There are no clean rivers nearby, the roads are of concrete, and some of our homes are carpeted and air-conditioned. Hence, while we can practice animal sacrifices in huge bowls, it is impractical for us to perform the chopping of coconuts and the dispersion of coconut milk or anything that will entail the libation of any kind of slimy, sticky, gooey stuff on our floors or doors, and the storage of organic materials that will eventually disintegrate, rot, and emit foul odours.” “We cannot afford to have eboses of any kind that will contribute to the garbage in our streets and forests. Leavings are carefully wrapped in plastic bags and placed at a crossroads, but inside a garbage can at that crossroads. Our rituals are all highly sanitized, but that is how we want them to be,” Perez said in his blog.
November 2010 U.K. Edition
Pacquiao aims for 8th belt against Margarito by Windsor Genova
anny Pacquiao, already considered as the “best pound-for-pound fighter” in the world today, is just not ready to throw in the towel yet – at least in terms of continuing to give pride and honor to his country, the Philippines. The holder of belts in 7 different weight divisions is looking to win an unprecedented eighth belt to put around his waist (and make more Filipinos happy!) when he trades punches with Antonio Margarito on November 13 for the WBC World Super Welterweight championship diadem at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. Manny’s career had been a case study of sorts for many boxing pundits, as no other boxer had gone from one weight class to another -- practically gobbling up opponents like the “Pacman,” which became his trademark -- on the way to scoring 51 wins and 2 draws, losing only 3 times in a span of 14 years and winning 7 world titles in exactly the same number of weight divisions. Of Pacquiao’s 7 championship belts, four were lineal titles – another record – in the flyweight, featherweight, junior lightweight and junior welterweight. In 1995, starting it out at 106 lbs., the then very frail 16year old Manny would put in lead in his boxing shorts just to be able to reach the minimum weight limit. His fights were usually shown on the evening show Blow by Blow hosted by John Ray Betita. He became an instant star of the program for both his boyish stance and boxing skills. Pacquiao’s remarkable run began in 1998, when he knocked out flyweight champion Chatchai Sasakul of Thailand in the eighth round to win his first major title. After
“Although we are giving up a lot in terms of weight, height and reach, so long as Pacquiao ﬂaunts the same power and speed he has been showing us in his past few ﬁghts, then I see no other way for this ﬁght to end but with Pacquiao scoring a knockout.” ----Freddie Roach
that, he moved directly to the 122-pound division where he would pick up the WBC International Super Bantamweight title, defending it five times before being offered another world title fight. On June 23, 2001, Pacquiao, as a late replacement, stepped in to fight Lehlohonolo Ledwaba, the then undefeated IBF Super Bantamweight champion, and walked away with a second title. The rest, as the say, is history. In 2003, he faced a legendary fighter in Marco Antonio Barrera to win the Ring Magazine World Featherweight title, then wrested the WBC and Ring Magazine World Super Featherweight title from Juan Manuel Marquez five years later. In 2008, Pacquiao also annexed David Diaz’s WBC World Lightweight title before finally making history with a sixth world title conquest in May 2009 against Ricky Hatton for the IBO and Ring Magazine World Light Welterweight titles. In 2009, with his appetite for boxing glory (which he dedicates to millions of Filipinos around the world) apparently still not satiated, Pacquiao decided to fight much a bigger opponent in Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico for the Welterweight Crown, successfully scoring a TKO to win his
7th title and with it, the admiration of the whole world not just for Manny, but for other Pinoy boxers like him as well. Today, exactly a year since Pacquiao’s historic, recordbreaking seventh world title, the fighting congressman from Saranggani has found yet another way to bring pride to the country. And this time, he is faced with a heftier (and probably his tallest opponent, too) in Antonio Margarito, who stands 5’ 11 1/2” or almost five inches taller than Pacquiao. The bout, for the vacant WBC super-welterweight (154 lb) crown, is pegged at a catch weight of 151 lbs. Should Margarito pass the official weigh-in, he can bloat to as heavy as 160 lbs. come fight night, and that could definitely pose a problem for Team Pacquiao. Manny, whose fighting weight is at 150 lbs., could be looking at a 6-inch disadvantage in reach, a 4-inch disadvantage in height and another 10 lbs. in weight. But does it worry him at all? “Not at all,” says Freddie Roach, his trainer. “Although we are giving up a lot in terms of weight, height and reach, so long as Pacquiao flaunts the same power and speed he has been showing us in his past few fights, then I see no other way for this fight to end but with Pacquiao scoring a knockout.” Margarito is coming off a 1-year suspension following an illegal hand wraps incident in his fight against Sugar Shane Mosley in January of 2009. ComeNovember 13, he could wash his hands clean with a big win over Pacquiao, or end up the way Manny’s other victims had been – down on the floor – which is what many Filipinos back home would surely be rooting for.
“Different Views, Sensible News”
Publisher Universal Infinity Limited Managing Editor Michael Duque Editor Raphael Fajardo Art Director Filipo Ortega Artist/Photographer Alejo Joe Contributing Writers Christine Gaylican Estee Misa Nazario Rodriguez Jr. Raquel Bagnol Jun Nazario Vittorio Hernandez Ed Lopez Windsor Genova Ana Maravilla Fr. Claro Conde Joel Casayuran Professor Jerome Faustino Babate Resti Santiago Xavier Javier Philippine Embassy EA Doce Pares Hello Philippines is published monthly by Universal Infinity Limited. This publication is copyrighted and all rights reserved.
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November 2010 U.K. Edition
M o n t h ly S t ella r Gu i des
Mercury, the planet of communication turns retrograde this month. Care is needed as there is greater tendency to misinterpret others or be misinterpreted. With the planet of agreements weak, we must delay asking or giving commitments. Delays are likely - always be ready with alternative plans.
ARIES - The Aggressive (March 21 to April 19) Be careful against signing a new contract or making a big purchase, as you can be easily taken advantaged of this time. Be careful with your words as minor mistakes may be blown out of proportion by a hidden enemy in the office. You will be interested in yoga- for health and spiritual purposes. Short trip is likely as you want a break from your routine and also you want to expand your mind. TAURUS - The Tramp (April 20 to May 20) Friends will be there in times of need. Seeking their help, including on financial matters is likely. Friends can also be a source of luck or money-earning opportunities especially at the second part of the month. There can be a bit of confusion in your career now. Long-term plan need to be revised but cautiousness is much needed with your relationship in the office to prevent a scandal or intrigue. GEMINI - The Twin (May 21 to June 20) You will have the opportunity to reinvent yourself at work. You can change the negative image that someone has painted on your reputation. This is the time for you to shine, so you better give your best. A critic of yours maybe silenced now and a hidden source of strength can be uncovered. You will be inspired by success stories that you will hear from new individuals that you will meet. CANCER - The Beauty (June 21 to July 22) Travel will be pushed through this month. You will be very busy and you need to keep yourself organized. Always keep a notepad handy so that you can always take down important notes. Your mind may be restless and you will address this thru talking, chatting or reading. It’s all right to spend on books now as you want to learn more and more. A family issue will be over soon. LEO - The Lion (July 23 to August 22) You can be quite passionate now, you want to be
with your partner all the time. You will definitely enjoy time spent together and vows can be strengthened but jealousies are also likely. A date with someone older is also likely. Misunderstanding in the workplace will be over by the middle of the month. New projects that would require you artistic talents may be under your supervision. VIRGO - The One that Waits (August 23 to September 22) A problem between you and a co-worker may be affecting your performance in the office. Give it some serious thinking and find a solution so that both of you can work amicably. Your love for your partner gets stronger. Business matters will be discussed with someone who shares your visions. Always keep an accurate record of transactions. An out-of-town trip will be enjoyed during weekends. LIBRA - The Lame One
(September 23 to October 22)
You can be a bit unsure of your travel plans due to your responsibilities. Wait for the situation to settle down before making an important career decision. The challenge now is to regain peace in the family as members become more argumentative. You may be able to contain your emotions thanks to a recently developed habit letting your mind process the situation first before allowing your emotions to react and because of this you can be the peacemaker SCORPIO - The Addict (October 23 to November 21) Love will be on your mind. You want to enjoy time with your partner. However your emotions may become too strong and keeping your feet on the ground may be a bit difficult. If you are already attached, be on guard against a forbidden relationship. Do not gamble on anything now, if you feel like you are lost or overwhelmed seek the advice of someone older. Your mother will be much willing to listen to you, just bear with her critical nature. SAGITTARIUS - The Promiscuous One (November 22 to December 21 This remains a good pe-
riod for you. You give your best and people notice you. When you talk people listen. It is thus a good time to give talks and make presentations to improve your work or business. A new project will be discussed before this period ends. If you will be openminded a fair agreement will be reached and profits are sure to follow. You and your boss will be very supportive of each other. But problems are likely if you fail to listen to others- it’s not just your show. CAPRICORN - The Passionate Lover (December 22 to January 19) This is going to be a lucky period for you. There will be good news coming from someone afar, if ever you are planning for long-term travel the next four months is the best time for that. An issue with your boss will be settled before the end of this month. Muscle pains can be avoided by exercising properly. You need to stay focused now, as you tend to be distracted easily. AQUARIUS - Does It in the Water (January 20 to February 18) You will be more serious about work and your career. Look for developing opportunities now and do not allow an opportunity to pass you by. If you will dig deeper and you will discover hidden treasures. But don’t rush into anything, pay attention to details. There can be bonus or additional sources of income this month but you have to budget wisely, otherwise what goes in will easily go out. PISCES - The Partner for Life (February 19 to March 20) This can be a challenging period for you. You are energetic and you will likely finish tasks with speed but you may also be involved in a heated debate. Fortunately for you your memory in on high note now, facts will be easily remembered. Always practice deep breathing when you feel stressed and angered. It would be better if you can practice meditation. Avoid giving your commitment now. their friends to be.
Horoscopes become more useful if also read based on one’s computed ascendant sign. If you want to know your ascendant sign, send an email to pinoyastrologer@ hellophilippines.co.uk with your name, date, time and place of birth. First 25 emails will be given priority every month.
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