Filipino Magazine in Europe
RHEA TOPACIO & DENNIS ROGACION
"A Couple" of Ideas in Life and Business
November 2021 Volume 11 Issue 5
From the Editor
id you know that Europe is filled with Filipino business entrepreneurs? Wish for a Filipino product and service and chances are, you get them here. Roots & Wings e-Publications celebrate the unbridled spirit of Filipino entrepreneurs aptly introduced by our cover story. Their brands keep on piling, just like their awards. Meet Rhea Topacio and Dennis Rogacion, Netherlandsbased makers of Luneta Ice Cream, Guapito Premium Beer and Ubeness Purple Yam Flavoring. They are an admirable duo, sharing life and passion for business success. Another proof of Filipino-European entrepreneurship is right here in the Swiss capital Berne, that recently hosted FERNWEH FESTIVAL 2021 - Around the World in 3 Days. Read how Filipino businesses thrive in the genius creativity of Cattleya’s SAGANA coconut sweetener, or young entrepreneur Tina Stalder’s sweet Phil mango. Click through the pages and be inspired, share Filipino business success stories with those close to you. Mindful of urgent climate issues, UK Bureau Editor Aimee Alado is introducing a series of articles that may help our readers understand how changing habits could tackle the climate emergency and build a sustainable world. From my window, I love gazing at snow-capped Swiss alps and feel the festive approach of Christmas. With this in view, Rawmags is ready to launch CHRISTMAS is for CHILDREN. I’m all out for an exhibition of children’s drawings accompanied by a 100-word description in any language (+ an English translation). Email your kid’s drawings and text to firstname.lastname@example.org before 30 November.
I just love autumn a season that gives its all colours, warmth, chestnuts —bva
Meet the Team
Betsy von Atzigen
Rebecca Garcia Urbancik
BUREAU EDITOR AUSTRIA
BUREAU EDITOR, CZECHIA/GERMANY SOCMED MANAGER
Anton Miguel D. De Vera
Lily C. Fen
LITERARY / BUREAU EDITOR SWITZERLAND
Gloria Hernandez Grejalde
Aimee Alado -Blake
Cipriano “Zip” De Guzmán
Donna Patricia Manio
BUREAU EDITOR UNITED KINGDOM
BUREAU EDITOR ANDORRA
ASSOCIATE EDITOR PHILIPPINES
WEB EDITOR NORWAY
BUREAU EDITOR ICELAND
Katrina Larida BUREAU EDITOR SWEDEN
BUREAU EDITOR RUSSIA FOREIGN RELATIONS
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Roots&Wings Roots&Wings Filipino Magazine in Europe
Published by Rachel Publishing Co. Stockholm, Sweden / St Gallen, Switzerland 2009-2021
CLICK ON THE TITLE TO SKIP TO PAGE
Contents ART Teatro Grattacielo - Tableaux of Amico Fritz / P6
BUSINESS “A Couple” of Ideas in Life and Business / P8 Savoring Filipino Delicacies at the Bern Fernweh Festival / P11 A Taste of Filipino cuisine, hospitality, and music in the Principality of Andorra / P13 PAPA ORO’s Filipino Ricebowl & More / P17 Easy Spanish cooking / P19 Jewelry from Hedonism and Romanticism / P20 Streetlook: A Euro-Pinay’s Unique Boutique / P22 The Property VA / P24
COMMUNITY My French Até: Thoughts from a Filipina Parisienne / P25 Your Vote, Your Future: Why do we vote? /P26 Filipinos in the sunny South of France / P28 “Recuerdos de Filipinas – Felix Laureano” / P30
FOREIGN AFFAIRS Philippine Embassies and Consulates in Europe / P32
EDUCATION Reflections / P34 Dr. Jose P. Rizal’s El Filibusterismo turns 130 / P35
LOCAL AFFAIRS 7 Questions with Chel Diokno / P36
LITERARY Crimson / P37 Autumn in my heart / P37 Elizabeth Ferido-Bohlin: Hegemony - A Political Thriller / P38
SPECIAL REPORT United Nations Climate Change Conference / P40
S P E C I A L
R E P O R T
IS THIS HOW OUR STORY IS GOING TO END? This is one of the provocative questions Sir David Attenborough asked in his speech at the opening of #COP26 World Leaders Summit in Glasgow on 01 Nov 2021.
This series of articles is brought to you by Atty. Aimee Alado-Blake of the UK Editor for RAW’s publication on Climate Change & Sustainability (Series 1 - Nov 2021)
PAGE 40 CLICK HERE TO READ
Teatro Grattacielo - Tableaux of Amico Fritz TAP PAINTINGS TO PLAY VIDEO
inally, Tableaux of Amico Fritz did its debut in an online event at the city of Harrison, NY on October 26th 2021. Right after, five mini films together with a program in mobile and desktop formats have been distributed to every school around the world with a script. Why a script? Perhaps not every teacher is comfortable talking about arts and the opera. We want to make these videos easy to use and even easier to explain. After all, part of our mission is to bring kids closer to arts and classical music. A couple of staff members are ready to jump in calls around the world to present and interact with
youth, or if a school prefers, they have the script to work with. I know that some of you had school suggestions especially in the Philippines and Europe. Happy to get in contact with any school you might suggest.
Let me walk you through the project:
Every mini film starts with a word. This word is put there to give a hint of what the scene is about but also to start a conversation. For example: the first film starts with the word Earthiness. Big point of conversation especially when it come to our connection to Earth. The five mini films touch subjects such as: Spirituality, Traditions, Transitions
and the power of Love (of any kind) Then the film presents Lolita’s painting with details. This painting is the connection between the word and the scene which is about the begin. Again, this could be a point of conversation/interaction or just a moment to get to know the artist, in this case Lolita Valderrama Savage. The film starts with subtitles. At the end of the film there is a detail of Lolita’s painting and the end titles. Along with this text is our program in mobile and desktop versions. https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/622913296/942d597c09 I hope you will all enjoy our educational mini films.
Stefanos Koroneos Director—NY, USA
www.grattacielo.org Lolita Valderrama Savage Guest Artist – Florence, Italy
COVER STORY FROM THE NETHERLANDS
“A Couple” of Ideas in Life and Business Text by Mye Mulingtapang
o shortcuts. There are many couples who embark on different entrepreneurial adventures especially in the world of small and medium-sized businesses. For some, they are able to make it, and for others, for various reasons, eventually let go of their dream. It is challenging indeed to find that life partner and at the same time, your business partner with the same vision and values as yours. Take it from Rhea Topacio and Dennis Rogacion, a Pinoy entrepreneurial couple from the Netherlands who tell us that there are no magical shortcuts to success and entrepreneurial achievement, real entrepreneurs who started their businesses in a practical way, working their way up, and providing quality products to their customers in different countries. Their entrepreneurial initiatives as a couple mean a tremendous amount of hard work but in return give them a sense of fulfillment. Their distinctive driving force and love strengthen their synergy as they share life and dreams together. “The only way to get started is to learn how to do something right, plan well and start working”, said Rhea.
trepreneurship. They are proof that creativity and determination can go a long way. Linked by love and business, the power couple emphasizes that their penchant for ideas and their pursuit leads to the creation of their various products. The two entrepreneurs began their adventure by producing chocolates and cupcakes but later moved on to creating Filipino products. In 2015, they created Luneta Ice Cream ®, the first Filipino ice cream brand manufactured in Europe. The brand won Foodtruck of the Year in the ice cream category and Gold Award for service excellence at the NEDERLANDSE HORECA PRIJZEN 2020. Endless Opportunities Rhea and Dennis have transformed their bond into a common passion. They enjoy talking about concepts and
Double the strength Working in a structured, strategic, and constant way, like true serial entrepreneurs, beyond their own peculiarities and uniqueness, Rhea and Dennis transform ideas into innovations. They keep a common thread in their emotional relationship and innovative en8
thinking about how everything will evolve. As entrepreneurs, Dennis believes that even if their hard work is starting to pay off, they still need to learn. “An entrepreneurial mindset together with a great desire to study, experiment, and grow is what we started with when we were in the first years of our business.” Rhea believes that entering the food business is, in fact, one of the ways to be successful. Rhea and Dennis created products that were not readily available in Europe before. “There are favorite Filipino products we couldn’t find here in Europe, so we thought, why not make them ourselves?” said Rhea. During the pandemic, the couple launched Guapito Beer ®, the first Filipino craft beer in Europe, and Ubeness® Filipino Flavors Collection- a selection of Filipino food flavorings. The flavoring line also includes Buco Pandanness, Mangoness, and Langkaness, available at 20ml and 250ml bottles. In 2021, additional lines of ice cream were launched — Manong Sorbetero Filipino Ice Cream and Miyamoto Japanese Ice Cream. The free time they had at the beginning was just a hobby which then became a real job and business. Before starting a business, before letting oneself be attracted by the fascinating dream of success, it must first be built according to Rhea. It all started on their kitchen table with commitment and persistence. Over time, their products have managed to conquer the European markets. Their products are sold in different Asian and Filipino stores, stocked in almost 31 countries up and down Europe.
that they have never regretted and thanks to which they have progressed at the same pace. Their tandem has allowed them to evolve and grow together in business and as a family. With the couple’s long-term vision of maintaining the Filipino food legacy, Pamana Foods (a brand of Pamana World) will continuously grow in developing new products and brands with local and international partnerships to promote Filipino taste in Europe. The desire to grow and succeed in another country was so great that there were no excuses, and every obstacle is considered an opportunity. For them, long-term planning and hard work are still the path to thriving in any endeavor. Every entrepreneur has his own way of doing business, but there is a basic thing that Rhea wants aspiring entrepreneurs to remember “You have to start somewhere. Ideas and opportunities don’t materialize out of thin air.”
Family legacy Married for more than a decade, it was their common thirst for independence that prompted them to start a business together. A lifestyle choice
S P ONSORED
An entrepreneurial mindset together with a great desire to study, experiment, and grow is what we started with when we were in the first years of our business.
SP ONSORED 10
Savoring Filipino Delicacies at the Bern Fernweh Festival Text & images by Monette Bichsel
ultiple chatters in Tagalog, punctuated with highpitched laughter, bounced off the high-vaulted ceiling that gives Zum Äusseren Stand its distinct regal air. The smell of grilled adobo wafted through the courtyard walls, signaling that my friend, tita Susan, and I had finally arrived at the Philippine venue at the 2021 Fernweh Festival in Bern. With the cooperation of Filipino owned businesses in Switzerland, the Philippine Embassy Bern delivered its promise of transporting visitors to the Philippines by awakening all five senses. I was drawn, particularly, to
taste and smell as one is drawn to halo-halo on a hot, summer day. The warmest welcome only Pinoys could give greeted me at every booth, followed by a sampler of taste from home. PhilMango’s carabao mangoes from Davao lived up to its reputation as one of the world’s sweetest. The Pinoy ambrosia was shared by the proprietor, Maria Kristina Stalder, the youngest Swiss-Filipina importer. Not only that, it seemed that majority of the participants in the festival who use mango in their dishes source their ingredient from the newly established brand. (https://www.facebook.com/philmangoph) Deinalpkaese, an offshoot of Mondalp by siblings Lloyd and Aileen Zumstein, offered a taste of their Cheesus line of products. It is the first alpine cheese produced in mobile cheese dairy that aims to save milk that is otherwise thrown out because of accessibility and transport challenges. A special sort using mangoes from PhilMango was created specifically for the Fernweh Festival. (https://www.deinalpkaese.ch/) Sagana’s Cattleya Romero-Faude’s warmth is as comforting as the spoon-
ful of yogurt, mango and her signature coconut sweetener sampler. Apart from her original products (https://issuu. com/rawmags/docs/rw_-_2020_10), Cattleya debuted Mount Mayon® Premium Pili Nuts in three flavors – Himalayan Pink Salt, Ecuadorian Cacao and Kyoto Matcha. The sliver of pili nut was as soft as butter, so much so that I had to bring home four packs to share with my husband. ( http://www.sagana.org/) Terroir (PHL) Coffee debuts at the Fernweh Festival, exclusively distributed in Switzerland by Blaser Café AG. In essence, “terroir” is the taste of a place and reflects the reverence of the land from which the product is harvested. In this case, this kapeng barako draws its flavor from the soil of Alfonso, Cavite, enriched by the nearby Taal volcano. (https://www.blasercafe.ch/en/blog/terroir-coffee) Pinoy Pride Hotdog by Chef Dennis Lunar, which is available in regular and cheese flavors, is, perhaps, the greatest antidote for homesickness. Every child who grew up in the Philippines have had hotdogs either for breakfast or lunch, or both. Although made in Switzerland, Chef Denn went through great lengths to copy the distinct red and tender hotdogs from the Philippines using all-Swiss ingredients. (https:// www.facebook.com/Pinoy-Pride-Hotdog-111189461014694) 12
Weingärtli’s Erlita Terte recalled her two years learning the delicate craft of producing wine, followed by three years of mixing and matching flavors in order to create “The Ambassador,” a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Bronner. The result is a bubbly pink concoction that is best enjoyed as is or paired with Apero classics. (https:// www.xn--weingrtli-z2a.ch/) Ria’s Best Catering and Party Service brought the Christmas air early at the festival, serving various Filipino sweets such as bibingka, suman and puto bumbong. Turon with lanka and pinoy flavored ice cream were also available for the taking, best washed down with sago and gulaman or buko juice. (http://www.rias-best.com/) Grilled adobo in skewers, my all-time-favorite, arroz caldo, lumpiang gulay and pork chicharon completed the roundup of Filipino flavors at the festival. Finally, to wash down everything I ate, I took a digestive shot at the Philippine Craft Spirits by Destileria Limtuaco & Co. Inc., the oldest distillery in the Philippines. Brothers Aaron and Clifford, the 6th generation of the family, are on a two-week tour of Europe, introducing various spirits that highlight distinctly Filipino flavors such as mango, kapeng barako, cacao, calamansi and dalandan. (https://www.limtuaco. com/craftspirits.html)
A Taste of Filipino cuisine, hospitality, and music in the Principality of Andorra Text by Filipinobaritone
cross Asia, Europe, the Americas, Oceania, and Africa, it is impossible not to have a single Filipino inhabitant. Currently, there are 193 member countries of the United Nations, among them is the Principality of Andorra, atop the Pyrénées, landlocked between France and Spain. It is one of the few microstates in the world along with the Principality of Monaco, San Marino, The Vatican City, and Liechtenstein. The Principality of Andorra is one of the oldest countries in Europe; a rich country with one of the lowest taxes, lowest crime rates and highest life-expectancies in the world. It has a population of around 77,355 of which an estimated 1,000 are Filipinos. Among the Filipinos living and thriving in this beautiful Principality are Filipino restaurant owner Dina Adajar Sandoval, Geriatric Nurse Connie Cris Tagupa, Pianist/Organist and soon-to-be Priest, Jerrick Banzuela. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, these Filipinos extended their help to the community and shared the warm hospitality that Filipinos are known for. First is Dhina Adajar Sandoval, 43 years old, manager and owner of the Filipino restaurant FIESTA MANILA at Parròquia d’Encamp. She moved from Barcelona to the Principality of Andorra 10 years ago because her husband
worked in a hotel in Andorra during the winter season. In 2016, they opened FIESTA MANILA because they observed that most cuisines served in this area are either Portuguese or Andorran. At first, they encountered so many challenges as they were the first to introduce Filipino food in Andorra. There are other Asian restaurants in the Principality thus, the competition is quite steep. What separates them from the competition is the way they treat their customers with their warm smiles and making them experience the Filipino culture, treating them like their own family. The restaurant is also a fusion of traditional Filipino food like sisig, crispy pata, pancit, lumpia as well as Japanese, Thai, Korean and local Andorran/ Catalan food. Not only do they promote Filipino food but also a glimpse of the
I personally believe that Filipinos are born empaths. We have this natural gift of caring for other people; showering them with love, patience , and warmth, treating them as our own family.” CONNIE CRIS TAGUPA NURSE
CONNIE TAGUPA WITH OTHER ANDORRAN FRONTLINE WORKERS
country with posters of Philippine tourist spots hung on the walls paired with nice, warm smiles as Filipino cuisine. During the height of the pandemic, amid the financial stress that many business establishments encountered, they reached out and helped many frontline workers including nurses, policemen, firemen, and the elderly by sending them food. She also sent assistance to those who were severely affected by the pandemic in her hometown in Bauan, Batangas as well as in her husband’s town in Laguna. “Seeing the smiles of our customers when they are satisfied with the quality of food and the service that we give them, fill our hearts with joy. At the end of the day, financial gain is only one aspect of having this restaurant… what’s more important is letting them experience part of our warm Filipino culture and satisfying their gastronomic needs.” Dhina Adajar Sandoval Connie Cris Tagupa, 32 , is a geriatric nurse and part-time ambulance medical staff. She is from Misamis Oriental in the Philippines and moved in the Principality of Andorra in 2018. Before moving to Europe, she was a part-time lecturer at St.Theresa International College of Nursing and Public Health and worked at Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand where she also obtained her Master’s Degree. It was tough when she moved in Andorra as she had to adapt to a new environment as well as learn the Catalan language which is totally different from her native tongue. Since Catalan is the official language in Andorra, it took her sometime to learn the language as well as the other languages spoken in the principality namely, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
Language is very important but securing documents legally as well as validation of professional credentials are more challenging. Luckily, she was able to secure all the necessary documents and now works as a geriatric nurse. At the height of the pandemic, she worked extra hard as a frontline worker and helped as an ambulatory medical staff. She would like to help other Filipinos in Andorra, Catalunya and Spain who are also medical professionals to secure their documents by sharing what she had gone through. Jerrick Rodriguez Banzuela, 34 years old, organist and soon to be a priest, is a familiar face in the Filipino community in the Principality of Andorra. He visited the principality several times before deciding to stay in 2015. From his humble beginnings as a theologian in Bicol, he was able to find his true calling and continued his studies at the Facultat de Teologia de Catalunya and the Diocese of La Seu d’Urgell Seminary. As a musician, he is the organist/pianist at the Iglesia de Sant Julià de Llòria and also played the piano in other Catholic churches in the principality. Moving from Barcelona to Andorra was quite difficult and challenging for him as he had to adapt to a new environment and learn Catalan thoroughly. For him, his mission is quite challenging, yet it is very clear; to uplift the spirit of the congregation through good music. Music is a universal language; thus, it breaks down the language barrier and it heals our internal struggles and spiritual hunger. His musical training in the Philippines as well as the innate musical gift of Filipinos are some of the things that he is very thankful to share with the community. “Everybody longs for a better life…finding ways to improve their current situation. If we cannot help people financially, we should find ways to uplift their spirit. Music has the power to uplift their spirits and boost their morale.” Jerrick Rodriguez Banzuela.
Freshly Brewed Kape de Filipina Text by Gemelee Hirang Domnik Photos by Patricia Villaseñor
o paraphrase T.S. Eliot, coffee lovers everywhere can measure out their lives with coffee spoons: a strong cup in the morning; a creamy cappuccino during an afternoon break; and a special flavored brew to pass the changing of the seasons. Patricia Villaseñor is no stranger to these delights. From her days attending university in Manila to working on her master’s thesis in Berlin, coffee has been one of her constant comforts. But despite the vibrant coffee culture in Berlin, she longed for a taste of the Philippines. She could have had her pick among beans grown from almost anywhere, yet Philippine coffee remained elusive. “I never saw Philippine coffee, not even in Filipino restaurants. So that was a bit frustrating for me,” she shared. This frustration planted the seeds of an idea: why not introduce Philippine coffee to Germany? But first, Patricia needed to test this idea. “The plan to bring Philippine coffee to Europe was only really solidified when I brought back some different bags of Philippine coffee to Berlin and made a couple of my non-Filipino friends try it. And their reactions were always, ‘I didn’t know the Philippines produced coffee! This is really good!’” Motivated by these reactions, Patricia founded Kape de Filipina, an online store which sells coffee sourced from small-holder Filipino farmers. Patricia’s road to entrepreneurship was fortuitous yet organic. Born and raised in Manila, she moved to Berlin in 2018 to pursue postgraduate studies and explore new possibilities. Her initial plan was to transition from consumer goods to the technology industry. “Plus,
the challenge of moving to a non-predominantly English-speaking country thrilled me!” she said. While she did not consciously choose the entrepreneurial path, “it just came naturally, having seen my dad and my grandfather who are both entrepreneurs as I was growing up,” she explained. This innate entrepreneurial spirit inspired her to establish Kape de Filipina. Undeterred by the raging pandemic, she went back to Manila in February of this year to meet with potential suppliers. Nor did the notorious German bureaucracy daunt her. “I called the Bürgeramt and Finanzamt quite often and reached out to entrepreneurs in Berlin to make sure I was doing things right and legally,” she said. The Filipino community was also there to support her. “I spoke with a couple of Filipino-owned cafés in Europe to get some tips and learn from them. And they have been extremely supportive,” she said. “Now, I’m in touch with the embassy to have more opportunities for exposure. Hopefully, the plans push through. I’m extremely grateful to the Filipino
community for all the help and support they’ve extended me,” she added. Fueled by her passion, Patricia was able to launch Kape de Filipina last 1st September. Kape de Filipina’s carefully curated coffee selection highlights the uniqueness of Philippine coffee. Currently it offers Arabica, a popular and widely consumed coffee type, and Barako. Patricia chose to carry Barako to differentiate the Philippines from other coffee producers and to elevate the perception of Philippine coffee. “Barako was definitely part of the plan,” she explained. “It’s so uniquely Filipino – the taste is so unique, but people don’t know anything about it. In fact, Liberica (Barako) is seen as an inferior coffee bean to Arabica,” she added. And it seems that Patricia’s efforts to champion Barako are bearing fruit. Kape de Filipina’s best sellers are Barako and Mt. Apo Single Origin Arabica. “I love that people are learning more about coffee beyond Arabica,” said Patricia. “And I get really kilig whenever I receive feedback from non-Pinoys like: ‘I wish Instagram had a smell share function. This is the best coffee in town!’ ‘We love your coffee. It’s on another level.’ ‘Beautiful aroma, delicious coffee, and incredible packaging. Friends in Germany, get yours now!’” Filipinos in Germany were likewise enthusiastic about Kape de Filipina. “Filipinos have also reached out to me to thank me for taking them a bit closer to home through coffee,” she said. “I will never forget how I ran a ‘free shipping’ promotion a couple of weeks ago. And a couple of customers ordered from me without using the promo code, so they paid for shipping. I reached out to say I’d refund them, but they declined the offer and 16
said they’re willing to pay more to support the business. This wasn’t just one time, so you can imagine how thankful I am for the overwhelming support of people I haven’t even personally met!” she shared. Patricia also shared how this experience changed her, by unveiling her braver, grittier and more creative side. “I do everything on my own – I am my own supply chain, my own marketing/advertising, my own operations, my own website maintenance, my own finance. But I’m only able to do that because I’m really passionate about this. I’m determined to make Kape de Filipina successful,” she shared. For now, she is focused on growing and maintaining her customer base. “Eventually, I want to bring in more variants from different provinces – there are so many and their flavours are all so different. Hopefully one day, I could grow enough to have my own Pinoy café,” she mused. Patricia shared two pieces of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. First, know and understand your purpose. For Patricia, her ultimate goal is to make the Philippines also known for its “great coffee, great farmers, and great landscapes that allow us to grow good quality coffee. So when I encounter difficulties or when things don’t go my way, my purpose keeps pushing me forward.” Second, ask questions and go for it. “Don’t be ashamed to reach out to people and ask questions. That’s the only way to learn because things will be confusing for sure, and the entrepreneurial path is not linear,” she said. “Network, ask questions, and keep going!” Visit Kape de Filipina at https://kapedefilipina.eu/, on Pinterest @kapedefilipina , Instagram @kapedefilipina and Facebook.
FILIPINO RICEBOWL & MORE
Text & images by Monette Bichsel
wo years after Papa Oro’s restaurant debuted in February 2019, I finally made the pilgrimage from Winterthur all the way to Baden to taste the authentic Filipino kitchen I’ve heard so much about within my circle of friends. Lending itself to the promise of authentic Filipino cuisine, the offerings are reminiscent of carinderia offerings and homestyle cooked meals: adobo, beef tapa,
pork tocino, lechon manok, pansit, lumpiang gulay and shanghai. The restaurant also features food fit for fiesta: sisig, crispy pata, sinigang, dinuguan and, my favorite dish, kare-kare. And, perhaps, a testament to Papa Oro’s knack for transforming Filipino food into something modern and hip, the menu includes bao buns and snack cones filled with Pinoy viands. Eager for a taste of home, I ordered beef tapa while my husband opted for lechon manok, both served in a bowl with garlic rice and vegetable side dishes. When
I requested for vinegar, I even got pinakurat (spiced vinegar), because one cannot truly enjoy Filipino food without the sawsawan (dipping sauce). After a spoonful, I understood how this rare gem of a restaurant could compete with the other, more ubiquitous Asian restaurants that Swiss people, or Europeans in general, are used to eating. It can even go head-to-head with traditional Swiss restaurants, as demonstrated by another customer, a young Swiss guy with his friends, who walked in, eager to have adobo. The tenderized beef tapa almost melted in my mouth; the souring ingredient, unmistakably calamansi. Together with garlic rice and a splash of pinakurat, I was transported back to our kitchen in Quezon City on a Sunday when my family sat together for breakfast after the morning mass. The lechon manok boasted a strong lemongrass and soy sauce mar-
inade, much how I like my inasal prepared before it hits the hot charcoal grill, recalling the countless beach outings with friends where we would cook pulutan to go with SanMig Light. Wishing to extend this experience, I ordered their light and fluffy ube cake, topped with halayang ube to take home. “The restaurant is an extension of our home; the doors are always open,” Oro Guevarra says in an interview with the Badener Tagblatt. Together with his wife, Virginia, and two daughters, Anja and Tatja18
PAPA ORO’S Filipino Rice Bowls & More
Weite Gasse 29, Baden Mon - Sat: 11:00 – 20:00
PAPA ORO’S Filipino Take Away Bahnhof SBB Metroshop, Baden Mon - Fri: 11:00 – 19:00
na, Papa Oro manifests his love of being around people by living out his passion and preparing dishes for his guests and customers. For Filipinos dislocated by migration, finding an authentic Filipino restaurant is so much more. It provides a place of commune amongst kababayans, a place that offers the comfort and joy of hearing Filipino being spoken amidst the local language, and a place of familiarity among the wafting flavors of Filipino food. Papa Oro’s allows homesick Filipinos to open a potful of memories from home.
EASY SPANISH COOKING
Story of Espa-Fil Import Export Corporation Text by Rebecca Torres
ilipino cuisine is significantly influenced by Spain since the Philippines was its colony for almost 400 years, from 1521 to 1898. Among the favorite Spanish inspired Filipino dishes are the adobo (adobar in Spanish for marinade), saute in vinegar and garlic, chicken relleno (stuffed chicken) and lechon (roasted pig). Spouses, Pablo Garcia-Morera, a Spaniard, who hails from Madrid and Marilou Bautista, from Manila, established the Espa-Fil Import and Export Corporation (Espa-Fil) in 1987 in Sta. Cruz, Manila to introduce the best Spanish and European food products to the Philippines. The company celebrates its 34th anniversary this year.Espa-Fil’s first product offering was the Molinera, a well known Spanish brand from one of the biggest canning factory from Murcia, Spain. The premium kitchen staples introduced to the Philippine market were canned fruits and vegetables, olive oil (aciete de oliva), canned crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce and other kitchen condiments which are vital ingredients in Filipino kitchens, hotels and restaurants. The compa-
ny marketed also Don Simon, the number one juice brand in Spain and J. Garcia Carreon wine and juices with its 120 year history in Spain. Capri, the company’s own brand, was also introduced with its great taste and value from Capri, Italy and this was as well received by its loyal clientele. A milestone of the Garcia-Moreras’ company was the launching of the Easy Spanish Cooking cookbook where Marilou shares her and her Mother-in-law’s favorite family recipes. The cookbook features Spanish delectable recipes, using the Molinera and Capri Espa-Fil products, such as the Fabada, a rich Spanish bean stew, Cocido Madrileno, a traditional chickpea-based stew prepared with meat and vegetables, and Almejas la Plancha (grilled clams). Marilou Garcia Morera’s advice in cooking—the “best meals are those that are simple but USE THE BEST INGREDIENTS” Espa-Fil Import & Export Corp. is in Facebook and www.espa-fil. com for online orders of Spanish kitchen product offerings, cooking tips, new Spanish recipes, Filipino-Spanish events and online copy of Easy Spanish Cooking.
JEWELRY FROM HEDONISM AND ROMANTICISM
Text by Ralph Chan An interview with Jeanne-Marie Chan
uccessful, highly recognized, a Filipina. Jeanne-Marie Chan not only inspires the French-Filipino community but the whole Euro-Pinoy diaspora. Her company HEDONE ROMANE is known and has been featured in major fashion and design magazines. Rawmags has the opportunity to speak to the women behind HEDONE ROMANE. Discover what it means to be a Filipino entrepreneur in Europe, and one embodies being Filipino in her jewelry.
strong emotions and the imagination. We started in fine jewelry; then in 2008, bespoke jewelry; and in 2010 diversified into fashion jewelry. Le Bon Marche was our first point-of-sale in 2007 where we launched our fine jewelry. From there, HEDONE ROMANE was showcased in Selfridges, Artcurial, Luisa Via Roma, Wolf & Badger, More Is Love, and other select pointsof-sales in France, UK, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Georgia, etc.; and featured in magazines such as Robb Report, Elle, Lash, Soon, West East, Savoir Flair, Financial Times. “Touch Me Not” ring, one of my personal favorites for its artistry, also featured in a book, “Jewelry Design from Fashion to Fine Jewelry”
Can you introduce and tell the story of HEDONE ROMANE? What makes HEDONE ROMANE so special? HEDONE ROMANE is a luxury niche brand. Our jewelry are sculptural narratives, abstract treasures, and bespoke mementos. Every piece is hallmarked and produced by highly skilled French ateliers and artisans experienced in the luxury industry for the finest craftsmanship and savoir-faire in the world. Our stones are sourced from reputable gem dealers internationally. The journey all began in the winter of 2006 on Avenue Montaigne in Paris. I coined the name - HEDONE ROMANE – from ‘hedonism’, the doctrine that esteemed pleasure as the highest good; and ‘romanticism’, the artistic and literary movement that exalted
What does it mean to you to be an entrepreneur? How did you get into designing jewelry? It has been a longstanding dream to create; but my education and upbringing did not care much about creativity. Being an entrepreneur means living this immortal dream. I left the cocoon of Manila for the glamour of Paris in 1999 to pursue an MBA specializing in the luxury industry. I have gone from investment banking to wines & spirits and to watches & jewelry; from finance to international business development, strategic marketing, and to creation and design; from corporate to entrepreneurship. I have worked for companies such as Maxxium (Remy-Cointreau, Highland Distillers, Vin & Sprit, Jim Beam), LVMH Watch & Jewelry (De Beers, Dior, Chaumet, Zenith, Tag Heuer, Ebel), Van Cleef & Arpels on inter-
national levels. HEDONE ROMANE is my creative and artistic journey. I’ve always said, “You have to have lived to create.” As a jewelry designer, I believe that inspiration must begin inside for any ‘romantic originality’. My creations for HEDONE ROMANE are most powerful when they start with an overture of intense emotions and when passion drives imagination. Somewhere between being conscious and subconscious, I relate very much to the precursors of Romanticism in art and literature. HEDONE ROMANE jewelry is a celebration, and a lamentation of the luxury of being. Memory and imagination recollected, carved, crafted in gold, and embellished with precious stones into forms that are irregularly paradoxical, curvaceously seductive, and pompously dramatic. I’d like to push the creative boundaries in jewelry design. Perhaps one day I will have the creative freedom to realize them. Which influences of the Filipino culture have you been able to apply in your work or your working style? How much Filipino identity is there in you as an entrepreneur? In the past two decades of living in Europe, I had to go through many firsts – first Filipino of ESSEC MBA Luxe, of LVMH Watch & Jewelry, of Van Cleef & Arpels, of Maxxium at Headquarter levels as well as first Filipino granted the Talent and Competency Status (‘Renommée Internationale’) by the French government, etc. Being of Chinese descent in the Philippines was not easy, neither was it being Asian especially Filipino in France. This meant overcoming stereotypes and transcending barriers. As an entrepreneur, it’s not all roses but rather a Sisyphean cycle. I had to accept that I do not belong in a ‘box’ and keep to my own identity. I sought the best of my cultural heritage – diligence from the Chinese, creativity from the French, and optimism from the Filipinos. So, for me it’s not about Filipino identity as much as it is about values. This ability to rise, fall, and smile with renewed optimism all over again. Its Voltaire’s Candide and its Filipino too.
handmade quality, and the French craftsmanship which goes into every unique piece, limited series, or bespoke jewelry. Amongst our clientele are jewelry collectors and specialists, socialites and aristocrats, corporate achievers, housewives, etc. That is to say – you don’t have to be a celebrity to wear HEDONE ROMANE jewelry. In your opinion, what are the competencies that Filipinos need to be successful in the European design and jewelry world? Creativity and entrepreneurship are key. It’s a balancing act, complementary not contradictory. One cannot be ‘only artist’ or ‘only business’ but both. This is more so for fine jewelry, which is inherently a non-essential and a luxury for the majority. What advice do you have for young Filipinas or Filipinos who design their own jewelry and dream of bringing their own collection into the market in future? Design your life, build your dream, let life unfold gracefully. At some point, you will come to realize that the question is no longer “Where am I from?” but “Where do I want to go?”
If you could create jewelry for a celebrity, for whom, why and which piece of jewelry would it be? HEDONE ROMANE is an acquired taste for jewelry connoisseurs drawn to a universe that is hedonistic and romantic. Women who fall in love with our jewels are not first-time jewelry buyers. They are sophisticated, well-travelled, cosmopolitan women with exquisite taste who carries fine jewelry with ease. They recognize and appreciate the creative artistry, the
Streetlook: A Euro-Pinay’s Unique Boutique
Interview by Roman Moreno
long the busy street in Vienna, a boutique owned by a Euro-Pinay is making its name. Streetlook is an eight-year-old boutique of Leni Dimailig-Grünauer, a fashion enthusiast with a fondness for designer brands like Chanel and Gucci. The boutique offers a combination of branded and trendy clothes, shoes, and accessories making the perfect outfit for its customers. With her boutique, the shop owner Leni Dimailig-Grünauer wants to ensure its unique identity in the area. In an interview with Rawmags, Leni spoke about the humble beginnings of Streetlook and the experience she has gained as an entrepreneur in almost ten years in competition with flagship stores of major fashion brands in Vienna. How were you able to come up with the idea of having a boutique and made it to where it is now? Streetlook started in June 2013. I was hesitant if the business would be a hit because Vienna has a lot of fashion retail stores. I was initially focusing on teen fashion, but I was not selling for half a year and noticed that teens do not have extra money to buy my products. So, I flew to different countries to get a new concept. When I brought in the concept of the latest fashion trends, I had to face skeptical customers who were asking if my products were original and not made in China. Gradually, I was making my portfolio of fashion styles by blending tops, skirts, and accessories of different brands. It’s a unique portfolio that customers would rarely see downtown. The boutique has established itself with a wide variety of customers, with product prices ranging from low to high. I have customers from the fashion industry and jet-setters. Word of mouth was my primary source of marketing, and now digital marketing through social media platforms is helping me promote my shop and sell products even from different countries.
Don’t underestimate or judge people. Any customer walking inside the store deserves the best service. A customer may tend to dress simply, but who knows what’s inside her pocket. Always be grounded. I do not tell the customers that I am the owner of the shop. I work as a salesperson and most importantly, as a fashion stylist who makes sure that customers feel confidently beautiful when leaving the shop. Streetlook is one of the many pieces of evidence that Euro-Pinoys can be successful business owners. With its eight years in the business, it shows how the Filipinos can make it to the fashion scene as well. The boutique offers a unique experience of having branded items and a stylist at the same time, making customers feel a sense of individuality. Roman Moreno and the Roots & Wings team would like to thank Leni Dimailig-Grünauer for the interview and the insights of a Filipino entrepreneur in Austria. Visit the store at Billrothstraße 43, Wien, 1190, or follow them on Instagram: @streetlook19 and like their Facebook Page: Streetlook. www.streetlook19.com
About the Author What advice would you give to fellow Euro-Pinoys who want to venture into this kind of business? Have no fear in trying things out. It was a bold move to have a boutique because, besides being labeled with counterfeit products from China, women are also hard to please when it comes to fashion. You must be ready to offer many options. I change my display in the mannequin almost every other day. And I always keep myself updated on the latest fashion trends.
Roman Moreno is an exchange student from the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City, Philippines. He is taking his last term of MBA at the Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (Vienna University of Economics and Business) as an Erasmus Scholar. He has worked in various multinational banks and private companies in the Philippines, mainly in Sales and Finance. He is also known as a flexible professional, always open to challenges and opportunities. He hopes to gain more knowledge in the fields of International Relations and Human Eccentricity in modern times. Contact Roman at firstname.lastname@example.org or roman.moreno@s. wu.ac.at
Text by Cristina Osborne
eet Cristina Osborne, founder of The Property VA. She got into property investing as a BTL landlord before seeing an opportunity to get into outsourcing as a secondary business. While networking with property investors, Cristina discovered that almost every single one of the investors in the room either was working with, or knew someone who was working with, or themselves wanted to work with, Filipino VAs. It looked like a status symbol to have a Filipino VA who supported their property business. Initially she informally helped a few investors find or connect with a Filipino looking for work. “When the pandemic hit, I took the opportunity to formalise Filipino VA sourcing for property investors and started The Property VA. I was perfectly placed to bridge my network of property investors as well as my knowledge of property investing, with my network of talented and highly skilled Filipinos and my understanding of Filipino culture and work ethic. I have since found work for over 50 Filipinos and I am rolling out plans in December for systemised outsourcing that will involve hiring Filipinos for 1,000 clients by 2023.” This systemised outsourcing model
I’d like to think that I’m doing more than just finding work work opportunities for Filipinos opportunities for Filipinos. Rather, helping Filipinos find sustainable careers...
was developed in response to, what she describes as, UK small business owners’ lack of understanding on Filipino work ethic and culture, as well as false expectations on what VAs can and can do. The small business owner property investors are typically self-employed and have little or no experience with hiring, recruiting, and working with staff, let alone a VA from a completely different culture. This would usually end up with inefficient and unproductive delegation of tasks to the virtual assistant, and unfortunately this also sometimes leads to VAs going AWOL on their clients. By designing and creating a systemised outsourcing model, Cristina is helping the property investor business owner take the headache out of outsourcing business tasks to the VA. “I’d like to think that I’m doing more than just finding work opportunities for Filipinos. Rather, helping Filipinos find sustainable careers as a Virtual Assistant by ensuring their clients are supported in creating a stress-free, efficient, and systemised outsourcing model.” For any Filipino readers interested in applying for a position as a property VA, send in your application through bit.ly/TPVA-apply.
My French Até: Thoughts from a Filipina Parisienne Text by Lily C. Fen
where I can connect with subscribers who wish to discuss the expatriate experience. Somewhere in there are stories of success that can inspire others who are planning to migrate for love or work.
pril Bitar is the Filipina Parisienne behind My French Até, an online platform that covers lifestyle, work and study abroad, and cross-cultural communication. Her years working in the field of marketing and immigration in Singapore and France inform how she serves Filipinos through her YouTube channel. Below, I get to know the My French Até creator better. Read on! What inspired you to establish My French Até? I was fascinated by the idea of traveling. My dad was a chief engineer in an international cargo ship and would come home. Some years later, I met a French man who turned out to be my prince charming. We tied the knot and soon moved to France. That's when my new journey began. Looking back, an accessible resource through which I could get realistic ideas about what life abroad would be like would have been great to have.
Later, when I had graduated from St. Scholastica’s College in Manila, I took the chance and applied for work in Singapore. It was not an easy process, but I eventually landed a job and gained an employment permit. I was twenty-two years old and for the first time was living independently. I loved the freedom, but that came with its own challenges. I had to deal with culture shock and manage adult tasks like paying bills and handling taxes, among others. Some years later, I met a French man who turned out to be my prince charming. We tied the knot and soon moved to France. That's when my new journey began. Looking back,
an accessible resource through which I could get realistic ideas about what life abroad would be like would have been great to have. What are your goals for the channel? I wanted to create a platform dedicated to Filipinos planning to work overseas. My vision for My French Até is to enhance the Filipino image in Europe — especially in France. Promoting French tourism and teaching fellow Filipinos more about France is also a goal—that there is more to the country than just Paris or the Eiffel Tower. France is a nation with a beautiful language and its own distinct culture. My French Até is also
What can people expect next? France is the top tourist destination in the world, but not an easy one for Filipinos to enter due to the country's strict visa requirements. My French Até aims to help in that regard. Subscribers can expect to see more local tips about Paris and the realistic side of the city, beyond what they see in the movies. Where can RAW readers see My French Até? My French Até can be viewed on YouTube and now has 3,000 subscribers—and the number is growing. You can also find My French Até on Instagram and Twitter— that’s where I post useful tidbits, such as notes on lifestyle and French immigration updates. RAW wishes My French Até all the success!
Your Vote, Your Future: Why do we vote? Text & image by Anton Miguel D. De Vera WHY DO WE VOTE? For experienced voters, the reasons to vote are more defined and impacted by the actions of the concurrent and past administrations. However, many of young Filipino citizens—particularly those who belong to Generation Z who have just turned 18 years of age and registered as firsttime voters—may feel overwhelmed or even uncertain on what to do prior to the election in 2022. With that in mind, this writing serves to hopefully guide and share awareness to young people like myself who are finally eligible to vote and participate in possibly one of the most crucial elections of the Philippine nation. This article does not explicitly state who to vote for in the upcoming Philippine Elections 2022, but rather revolves around the question of what obligations do we 26
have as voters and how to prepare in the months before the elections. On the 29th of September 2021, the Philippine Committee of Elections (COMELEC) reported that over 63 million Filipino citizens have become registered voters for the upcoming 2022 (Rappler) . This number has exceeded projected expectations. To a great extent, out of over 63 million voters, 52% are classified as ‘youth voters’—registered voters between 18 to 40 years of age (CNN Philippines) . Such a percentage of voters represents an important electoral group that can prove to be ‘groundbreaking’ in the election campaign, for which the candidates must be convinced to get their votes. A wide variety of numerous presidential and vice-presidential aspirants have filed their certificate of candidacy officially during the first week of October 2021— as of October 8, 2021
(The World) . Some candidates are well-known and have been serving as Philippine senators in the past decade, while others present fresh faces to the presidential election. With the increase of registered voters and a diverse selection of presidential candidates, the demand for change is clear and likely to happen. Each citizen residing in a state under the system of democracy legally possesses basic rights that are formalised from a written constitution. Among these basic rights for each citizen includes: the right to expression, the right to assembly, and the right to civic rights including the ability to vote and elect. For the citizens of the Republic of the Philippines, this civic right to vote is formally written under the 1987 Philippine Constitution which means that the right to vote is legally bounded to the Filipino citizen; it has even been constituted in a manner that Filipinos abroad are able to participate and vote through absentee ballots (voting areas) provided by nearby Philippine Embassies (Official Gazette, GOVPH) . As someone who currently lives outside the Philippines, it is great to know that I can still practice my civic right of suffrage in a foreign country. This is a right that Filipino citizens, local or abroad, have the access to know and practice. It is an opportunity to contribute to Philippine society through the process of democratic election. Reflection Let’s say you have already registered and just like me, you are being overwhelmed by information across various social media platforms, news agencies, rallies and movements among the crowd, including the conversations you listen to among your titos and titas about the electoral candidates. This is what I would observe as something normal, especially during the time of campaigning for the candidates—although, the use of social media for political campaigns has been arguably used extensively and dramat-
ically; it may be another topic for another time. You may encounter these moments digitally or in reality but it is important that you have your own set of values and convictions on who to vote for and a selfless desire to explore and learn more about the political environment. You may ask, “how can you obtain these ‘set of values and convictions’ that would lead you to decide who to vote for?”. To answer that, I think that through your life experience, your family values, and personal belief, you may construct the foundations to your personal preferences in choosing who to lead. It is important however, to be open-minded and explore your options (explore your candidates), by keeping up with the latest news, learn about our social and economic conditions, in that way we may discover which systems of our country we need to improve on or provide. Read about your candidates—What are their achievements? What are their goals for the Philippines? Are these goals necessary for our country and people to achieve? I certainly look forward to the electoral debate in which candidates are given a chance to express their opinions and exchange views with other candidates. I would also encourage young voters to inquire in debates and conversations among your peers or friends respectfully. Listen to what they have to say or what their opinions are about certain candidates and try to understand why. It is important that we not only think critically about the elections but to engage in a dignified and respectable manner. Through these strategies, we might find the candidate that matches our sets of values and convictions and the ‘closest’ in putting our ideals into practice. To be able to vote is an opportunity, a right and at the same time a duty that allows you to express your interest in the future. The imminent change we are thinking of, is within our reach and we decide what kind of change that will be.
SOURCES: https://www.rappler.com/nation/ elections/comelec-report-registered-voters-2022-polls-september-11-2021 https://www.cnnphilippines. com/news/2021/9/11/Comelecyouth-vote-2022-national-elections.html https://www.pri.org/stories/2021-10-08/star-studded-list-candidates-files-president-philippines https://www.officialgazette.gov. ph/constitutions/the-1987-constitution-of-the-republic-of-thephilippines/the-1987-constitution-of-the-republic-of-the-philippines-article-v/
Filipinos in the sunny South of France Text by Jeffrey Cabuay
ur national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, was one of the first Filipinos to ever set foot in France. This was the time when people had to brave the long sea voyages to go to Europe. His discovery of the country came about when he made a two-days-and-a-half stopover en route to Barcelona. A year after, he visited the country again and stayed for more than two months with the goal of
Asian New Year celebration at the Capitole, Toulouse with Hon. Consul Jeffrey Cabuay (center)
improving his medical training through his visits to Parisian hospitals and its faculty of medicine. Rizal was part of the first wave of Filipinos who went to France. He was amongst the affluent of the Philippines who can afford the expensive cost of living in Paris. They were mostly composed of intellectuals, artists and businessmen. Several waves of diaspora followed suit. The second one came from rich Filipino families fleeing the chaos brought about by the Philippine
Revolution in 1896. Some headed to France because they were involved with the revolution and are escaping the Spanish persecution. Others came after serving the military alongside their American counterparts for the two world wars. They stayed and made France their home. The third wave came about in the 1970s when French companies which had projects in the Middle East hired Filipinos as part of their workforce. These employees working as technical men or service staff found haven in the country when conflicts in Lebanon, Iran and Iraq erupted. Many also came about because of the no-visa policy of that decade. France had a high demand for service staff during those times. The fourth wave came from family and friends of Filipinos who obtained legal working status in the country. After a few generations, these people with Filipino roots aliment the growing workforce in industries like IT, medical staff, engineering, accounting and also in the legal field. The worldwide Filipino diaspora is about 8 million. Most of this population are in the Americas, Middle East & Africa and the Asia & Pacific. A mere 6 percent of this 8 million are in Europe and in this 6 percent, there are about 45 thousand Filipinos in France. Get together in Lourdes In the Hexagon, another name for France because of the geographical shape of the country, there is a region called Occitanie. It is located at the southern tip of the country and borders foreign countries as Andorra and Spain. This region usually receives lots of sunlight compared to most parts. The warmth of the smiles of Filipinos who reside the territory surpass the “sunnyness” of the heat experienced there. You can almost feel the warmth of their joy and character just by hearing their voices and feeling their presence. Filipinas here, yes most of them are women, are mostly married to foreigners, especially Frenchmen. Their children carry the same sort of joyous
spark coming from their Filipino ancestry even when most of them have foreign parentage. The Filipino community is very socially active. They join organisations, participate in their children’s activities and involve themselves in Filipino groups partaking in varied events that make them feel Filipino again. Individually, they invite each other to their respective homes and sometimes eat or snack out every now then. You can see them move around the pink city, Toulouse, which is also the region’s capital. They may walk along the beautifully tree lined Canal du Midi or do this with a 240-km bike ride. For those wanting to combine spirituality and history, they go to Lourdes or to the 13th century brick structured Sainte Cecile Cathedral in Albi. Some go to Montpellier to see its incredible, old-world charm. They may even venture to the mountainous regions of the Pyrénées. Groups organise cultural celebrations during the Philippine Independence Day or the Asian New Year. Activities include cooking workshops, bingo games or sports fests. Often, their families and foreign spouses join in the mayhem when Filipinas come together and make these fun-filled events. Wherever Filipinos go, be it in the sunny South of France or elsewhere, the most precious things are the laughter exchanged, stories circulated and delicacies shared amongst family and friends.
REFERENCES: Book - The Philippines and France: Discovery, Rediscovery. Philippine Embassy in France. 2019. Website - dfa.gov.ph/distribution-of-filipinos-overseas. 2015.
“Recuerdos de Filipinas – Felix Laureano” Text and Photos by Stefano Romano
testimony important not only to Filipinos but all those who love Asia and are interested in knowing what those countries were like a century earlier. The Book There are some books that have a unique value. Not only for their content but also for what they represent. I believe that if you have these kinds of books they should be shared and their stories told. Such is the case of the photography book of Felix Laureano “Recuerdos de Filipinas”. It was published in 1895 in Barcelona, a compilation of 37 photographs, each one with an accompanying essay. The book and Laureano’s other photographs were exhibited in the Exposicion Regional de Filipinas
I have in the harp that guides my song The languid enchantment of the sound of the sea. The intimate notes that draw forth the tear, Those which for a time make one feel sad And later rejoice. —Anonymous Visayan Poet
in Manila the same year. The book is currently out of print. It is, however, on its way to its third reprint. I had the immense honor of receiving this book from the person who edited it. It was a personal gift from my dear friend Felice Noelle Rodriguez. who was on mission in Rome then and is now an Associate Professor of the Department at the Ateneo de Manila University. Before leaving Italy and as an expression of true friendship, she gave me the last copy of the book in her possession. I feel in constant debt to her for this gesture. And as the law of the gift teaches, what you receive must be circulated. The book portrays the daily life of the people…pensive faces, riverboats, churches, and other scenes from more than a hundred years ago. As Noelle aptly phrased it, “a photograph allows
“Tipos Indios” (Indio-Bisaya Types)
us windows into the past, letting faded moments through the lensman’s prints.” I totally agree with Noelle’s point of view. These images tell of the same blood and flesh of her people. It is true that every photograph always carries part of the past in which it was taken in its “DNA”. In addition to bringing the past to present time, it also carries part of history with them. To me, as an Italian, they have a great charm and I can well imagine their emotional load for a Filipina. In Laureano’s book, it is impossible to ignore the fact that he owes a lot to Spain where he worked and which gave him honors and titles. What transpires is that, without taking anything away from his deep love for his country and his people, a certain subjection to western values. In retrospect, a century earlier, it can be felt that there was a sense of inferiority towards one’s roots and appearance which leads me to quote the OPM song of Hebert Bartolome entitled “We are Filipinos”,” don’t feel ashamed if your nose is pinched”.
“Baño de Mar” (Bath in the Sea)
“La Mestiza” (Female of Mixed Parentage)
By Stefano Romano, Photographer Cultural Mediator through Photography Rome, Italy Blog: https://soccamacha.blogspot.com Instagram: Kangstefanoromano
Philippine Embassies and Consulates Roots & Wings e-Publications have been making an impact on the Euro-Filipino community in the last dozen years by promoting Filipino culture, art, entrepreneurship, outstanding Filipinos in various fields, community events and providing current contacts to diplomatic missions within Europe. See list here.
Consulate General of the Philippines, Frankfurt
Embassy of the Philippines, Vienna
Tel (+45) 7141-5952
H.E. Deena Joy D. Amatong
Emergency (+45) 2273-3933
Grüneburgweg 16-18, 1st Floor
Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim
60322 Frankfurt Am Main
20th and 21st Floor, ARES Tower
Federal Republic of Germany
Donau-City-Strasse 11, A-1220
Tel (+49) (0) 69 8700 66900 Hotline (+49) (0) 151 6248 7425
Vienna, Austria Tel (+43-1) 533-2401
Assistance to Nationals (+49) (0) 151 5354 6841
Emergency Tel (+43-6991) 232-2034
Embassy of the Philippines, Greater Helsinki
Vice Consul, ad honorem Mdme. Teresita
Ukonkivenpolku 3e, Fi-01610 Vantaa, Finland
Tel (+358) 407 071 817
Embassy of the Philippines, Brussels H.E. Ambassador Eduardo José A. De Vega
Embassy of the Philippines, Athens
297 Avenue Moliere, Brussels, 1050 BELGIUM
Embassy of the Philippines, Paris
H.E. Ambassador Giovanni E. Palec
Tel (+32-2) 34033-77 to 78
H.E. AILEEN MENDIOLA RAU
26 Antheon Street, Paleo Psychico 154-52
Emergency Tel (+32-4) 8860-9177
Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim
4 Hameau de Boulainvilliers
Tel (+30210) 672-1883
45 Rue du Ranelagh
75016 Paris, France
Tel (+331) 4414-5700
Emergency (+30-697) 968-2921,
(+331) 4414-5700 4414-5701/2 (Consular)
Emergency (+336) 2059-2515 (+336) 2059-2515
Embassy of the Philippines, Prague
H.E. Ambassador Mr. Ombra T. Jainal
Senovazne Namesti 8, Prague 1, 110 00
Tel (+420) 224-216397 (+420) 224-216397 /
HUNGARY Embassy of the Philippines, Budapest H.E. Ambassador Frank R. Cimafranca
1026 Budapest, Gabor Aron utca 58
Embassy of the Philippines, Berlin
Emergency Tel (+420) 607-850-764
H.E. Ambassador Maria Theresa B. Dizon-De Vega
Tel (+36-1) 391-4300
Luisenstrasse 16, 10117 Berlin-Mitte
Email: email@example.com /
Federal Republic of Germany
Tel +49 (0) 30 864 95 00
Emergency +49 (0) 173-521-5703
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, consular@
Embassy of the Philippines, Copenhagen
Embassy of the Philippines, Tel-Aviv
H.E. Ambassador Leo M. Herrera-Lim
H.E. Ambassador-designate Macairog S. Alberto
Arne Jacobsens Alle 13, 1st Floor, 2300
No. 18 Bnei Dan Street, Tel-Aviv, 62260 Israel
Tel (+9723) 601-0500 (+9723) 601-0500
Emergency +48 604 357 396
Emergency (+972-54) 466-1188
Embassy of the Philippines, Berne
H.E. Ambassador Denis Yap Lepatan
3005 Berne, Switzerland
Embassy of the Philippines, Lisbon
Tel (+41-31) 350-1700
H.E. Ambassador Celia Anna M. Feria
Emergency (+41-79) 542-1992
Rua Barata Salgueiro 30–3 andar
Email: email@example.com /
Embassy of the Philippines, Rome
1250-044 Lisbon, Portugal
H.E. Ambassador Domingo P. Nolasco
Tel (+351) 216-083-274; 216-083-276;
Viale delle Medaglie d’Oro 112-114
00136 Rome, Italy
Emergency (+351) 925-410-257
Tel (+3906) 3974-6621 (+3906) 3974-6621
Emergency (+39) 328-690-7613
H.E. Ambassador Evan P. Garcia
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com WWW.PHILEMBASSY-ROME.NET
47 Avenue Blac, 1202 Geneva
Embassy of the Philippines, Moscow
Tel (+41-22) 716-1930
H.E. Ambassador Carlos D. Sorreta
Emergency (+41-79) 1369-114
Karmanitsky Pereulok 8
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / genevapm49@
EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Building 1, 121099
Moscow, Russian Federation
H.E. Ambassador Jose Eduardo Malaya
Tel (+7-499) 241-0563; 241-0564; 241-0565)
Tel (+31) 70360-4820
Emergency (+31)(0) 65261-1079
Facebook: Philembassy Moscow
Embassy of the Philippines, London
Email: email@example.com / thehague@
H.E. Ambassador Antonio Manuel R. Lagdameo
philembassy.nl Facebook: @PHinTheNetherlands WWW.THEHAGUEPE.DFA.GOV.PH
6-8 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HG
United Kingdom of Great Britain
Embassy of the Philippines, Madrid
Tel (+44) 20-7451-1780
H.E Ambassador Philippe J. Lhuillier
Emergency (+44) 78-0279-0695
Calle Eresma 2, 28002 Madrid, Spain (Chancery)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org /
Embassy of the Philippines, Oslo
Calle Guadalquivir 6, 28002 Madrid, Spain
Nedre Vollgate 4, 0158 Oslo, Norway
P.O. Box 1758 VIKA N-0122 Oslo, Norway
Tel (+34) 917-823-830 / 917-823-836; 917-451-
(+47) 224-00900 (+47) 224-00900
734 (Consular Section)
Emergency (+47) 902 41 171
Emergency (+34) 616-491-861
Email: email@example.com /
Embassy of the Philippines, Vatican
H.E. Ambassador Grace R. Princesa
Via Paolo VI, 29, 00193 Rome, Italy
com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel (+39-06) 6830-8020
Philippine Consulate, Reykjavik, Iceland
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H.E. Consul Maria Priscilla Zanoria a.h
109 Reykjavik, Iceland Tel (+354) 897 5391 EMAIL: PHILCONSUL@SIMNET.IS
Embassy of the Philippines, Stockholm H.E. Consul Raul Dado
Charge d’ affaires, ad interim
Embassy of the Philippines, Warsaw
Mobile +46 702 735 407,
H.E. Ambassador Leah M. Basinang-Ruiz
+63 9054039435 (Viber)
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Tel +48 22 490 2025 and +48 694 491 664
Reflections Being one of the interns of Roots and Wings is such a pleasure for me and I am grateful to the organization and the people behind it.
ROOTS & WINGS e-Publications warmly welcomed Mary Joyce R. Dela Paz, Bachelor of Science in Accountancy candidate from La Consolacion University in Malolos, Bulacan, Philippines. As an aspiring Accountant, Joyce finds it easier when numbers are associated with what she does but being a seeker of growth and experience, she’s fascinated by learning something new. “The best part of this internship was accomplishing tasks that were linked to my course while also being able to do the unfamiliar. I have learned the importance of setting goals, planning, executing plans, and seeking improvements for better outcomes. There’s so much more on the list and what I
Finding an internship is finding opportunities and I’m glad that Roots and Wings chose me to be part of the team.
want to emphasize the most is the voice that I had during my internship. I am grateful that Rawmags allowed me to voice out my ideas and showcase my creative side. I wasn’t a mere Intern here because I completely felt the belongingness as I worked with the Team. I am truly proud and honoured for the opportunity. I will never get tired pursuing my dreams because I live not just for myself but also for my family and above all, the Almighty God.” Lance A dedicated and motivated individual, Lance Louie Quesada takes pride in his strong accounting background. He is the eldest of
six siblings and dreams of becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) after graduation. For Lance, virtual internship is the new normal and definitely a golden opportunity. “Rawmags taught me the art of discipline and time management in an environment where there is no constant supervision and with a wide gap in continental clocks between the Philippines and Europe. Additionally, Rawmags released my full potential within the brief but intense 9 weeks of internship. I gained a lot of experience, developed new skills and acquired new knowledge. I have become more confident and versatile. I can proudly say that Rawmags has helped me inside and out.“
Roots & Wings, Europe’s longest running Euro-Filipino e-Publications support university internships leading to employability prospects for career-ready Filipino youth.
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Dr. Jose P. Rizal's El Filibusterismo turns 130 Dear Ambassadors, dear Consuls Ladies and gentlemen, Friends of the Filipinos.
FB Photo from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium, Manila
Mayor Mathias De Clercq of Ghent, northwest of Belgium, celebrates the 130th anniversary of the publication of El Filibusterismo, the novel that Philippines' hero Dr Rizal, published in Ghent in September 1891 during his stay in Belgium. H.E. Eduardo de Vega, Philippine Ambassador to Belgium, many Filipino and Belgian citizens were in attendance. Text courtesy of Thomas Dierckens, Office of the Burgemeester Stad Gent. Mayor Mathias De Clercq gave the following speech on this event.
Today, on September 25, exactly 130 years ago, Philippine Freedom Fighter José Rizal released his novel: ‘El Filibusterismo,’ here in Ghent where he lived. It was printed in 1891 in nearby Vlaanderenstraat. José Rizal is a Philippine national hero. He was a doctor, writer, patriot and strong advocate for reforms in the Philippines. He paid a big prize for his endeavor for independence. In 1896 he was executed, and became a martyr for the Philippine revolution. In his novels, he criticized the Spanish domination and demanded reforms. It’s something we know all about in Ghent, as in our history, we also challenged the Spanish emperor. Several people in Ghent were executed – we are still called ‘stroppendragers’ in remembrance of our opposition to Emperor Charles V. So it’s not a coincidence José Rizal lived in our city for a while, here in the Henegouwenstraat. He felt good among the Ghentians. José Rizal was a big source of inspiration for revolutionaries all over the world. His death fastened the Philippine revolution and led to the end of the Spanish reign in the Philippines and opened the way to independence. I want to thank the Knights of Rizal for keeping his memory alive in our city. José Rizal’s influence can be felt until this day. It’s an honour to remember him here today together with all of you. Woordvoerder Mathias De Clercq Burgemeester Stad Gent
7 Questions with Chel Diokno The Philippines’ foremost human rights lawyer and 2022 senatorial candidate shares his thoughts on values, fighting for our rights, and other things in between. Interview by Donna Patricia Manio Photo courtesy of De La Salle University
eing a public servant at heart is something innate to Chel Diokno, being the son of the late Philippine senator and Justice Secretary J.W. Diokno—also known as “Ka Pepe—who is regarded as the "Father of Human Rights Advocacy in the Philippines.” As the current chairman of the Free Legal Assistance Group, founding dean of De La Salle University College of Law, and contender for the 2022 senatorial race, Chel Diokno offers a breath of much-needed fresh air in Philippine politics. After practicing law in the United States, Atty. Jose Manuel Icasiano Diokno Diokno returned to the Philippines and served in the Commission on Human Rights under Presidents Cory Aquino and Fidel V. Ramos. He was also a member of the Committee on Human Rights and Due Process at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).
1 I decided to run for senator because... I want to offer an alternative to the people, someone who is not a traditional politician, someone who loves his country very much and wants to make it a nation for our children. 2 In terms of human rights in the country, I wish more Filipinos... would understand that human rights is all about empowering the poor and ensuring that abusers are held accountable. 3 Human
rights is important in the Philippines now more than ever because... it is the cornerstone of genuine human development. 4 The most important thing that I learned from my father values-wise is...to love my country, respect the dignity of all persons, and empathize with those who have less in life. 5 As an educator, the one thing I want my students to learn is... that they must not only learn the techniques but also the ideals of the law. 6 A good lawyer is... one who always respects the dignity of the human being and always strives to do what is just. 7 Voting wisely is very important because... your vote can spell the difference between a democratic and a despotic government.
by Lily C. Fen, Switzerland light emerged on our way to Prachatice clouds rolling down slopes of green misty curtains embracing shadows dancing over a pond. head home at noon done for the day ecstatic after two performances the sun a generous haze of warmth Grandmother’s summer, they call it.
gaze at verdant and ochre trees yellowing leaves magnificent as they bid farewell to summer with pomp and drama. corals, fiery shades of amber and burnt orange roar at me watch me a sea of summer leaves give way to ferocious red like the sunset in my soul. I had never seen autumn with my own eyes until now golden glorious vermillion October
drive past the telltale hills of land-locked Czech Republic home of my husband
autumn in my heart by Lily C. Fen, Switzerland
Step out of the theater onto a maze of cobble-stoned streets. Stavovské Divadlo bathed in lamplight, swathed in a terracotta glow
Prague is in the middle of a cloud that has descended Tall black sentinels shrouded in white halos, everything a silhouette.
step off the bus further out on a hill enveloped in mystery everywhere around me a cloak of frost and shadow
the street is replete with glimmering ghosts all is wonder while I wander through a path a shower of amber leaves crunching underneath my feet in the still of night
shut panelak doors closed I stare out through glass sheets autumn in my heart
a tree reaches out over our front steps a canopy I never noticed, stencilled against the glimmer gliding over our street.
ELIZABETH FERIDO-BOHLIN Hegemony - A Political Thriller By Luz Bergersen
cannot put down this book, all at once thrilling, exciting, overwhelming, compelling! Well researched, as the author is also an independent research consultant. I was transformed into the world of James Bond! I pinch myself for having read this delightful «thriller»only recently. Indeed I have read some years ago of Elizabeth and that she has written this book. However, I managed to meet the author only a year ago, and asked for a visit when I was last in Stockholm. Elizabeth Ferido-Bohlin, graciously welcomes us into her stately apartment decked in warm reds and antique furniture in Riddargatan, one of the most venerable addresses in old Stockholm. Seating me by the warmth of an antique tiled fireplace she generously pops a chilled bottle of Pommery Brut and pours into crystal champagne glasses. Paired with chilled caviar in tiny puff pastry shells, I felt honoured... “She got style, she got flair”. With her academic background, interests and pursuits; her respected Swedish family, elegant surroundings, and brushing elbows with who’s who in Swedish society, government, and academe, the author has a familiar ground to work around this novel. Albeit fictitious, one can deduce the
persona of the author in the main female characters: Isabelle Blanche de Forte, daughter of an Ambassador and Oxford PhD candidate. Young, beautiful highly educated, proper, and thoughtful. We also see the author in the steely reserve of the Crown Princess of Sweden, HRH Princess Kristina Elizabeth Alexandra, young, very highly educated, independent-minded, monarch in waiting, The story unravels from the moment an object encrypted with a Master Plan for terror at the EU Parliament, brought to Stockholm by a Saudi royal entou-
Luz Bergersen (left) with writer Elizabeth Ferido-Bohlin (right), FilipinaSwedish writer and author with roots from Vigan, Ilocos Sur, studied Political Science and Law at the University of the Philippines. She was accepted at a one-year diploma course in international relations at the University of Stockholm, awarded a two year guest scholarship by the Swedish Institute for a masters in political science, then joined the PhD program. She spent two years at Oxford University for her doctoral work in international relations and politics, and to write this political thriller. Elizabeth lives in Ostermalm, Stockholm.
rage, went missing. Prince Fareed’s mission: To sign the Gripen Arms Sales with Sweden, negotiated in Riyadh by government officials, and address Turkey’s membership to the EU in Brussels. Amidst the 113th Nobel Prize Awards ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall, the Saudi Ambassador is murdered, and a Swedish prostitute is beheaded, while sector collaterals to the Gripen Agreement, securing Islam’s dominance in Svealand are exposed. Dubbed, The Ostermalm Crime Mystery, government ministers, Saudi and Iranian islamist terrorists, the young
Swedish crown princess, a PhD candidate, a neophyte police superintendent, an Iranian nurse/code breaker grapple with each other in Stockholm City and Oxford University for control of the impending terror in Brussels. Time span of the novel: 13-22 December 2014. I am mightily proud of the author and her work, and look forward to the sequel! The book is available in Xlibris LLC www.xlibrispublishing.co.uk in hardcover, soft cover, e-book, and at Amazon books.
S P E C I A L
R E P O R T
United Nations Climate Change Conference Text by Aimee Alado-Blake
Is this how our story is going to end? CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO
his is one of the provocative questions Sir David Attenborough asked in his speech to the Conference at the opening of #COP26 World Leaders Summit in Glasgow on 01 Nov 2021. But before we talk about the Conference of the Parties (COP26) also referred to as the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2021 (UNCCC), currently underway and entering its 2nd and final week, allow me to start by sharing ‘my climate change’ experience in my global south country. My family is from the province of Capiz known as the “Seafood Capital” of the Philippines. Our main business is in aquaculture (fishponds) and agriculture (sugarcane/corn). As a kid, we always enjoyed the harvest season in the fishpond as we happily watched tons (5,000 to 10,000 kilos) of prawns and milkfish being harvested through the sluice gate and into the net. Sometimes, we would playfully wade into the mud of the drained pond to collect some ‘stranded’ fishes.
These are some of the happy memories of my childhood with abundant harvest each time. But sometime around late 80’s, the tons of prawns and fishes started to decline. From what used to be thousands of kilos of seafood, it went down to tens of kilos only. The extremely low mortality rate of the prawns/fishes were early signs of climate change. It was the same with the sugarcane production from our farms. As I kid, I was already familiar with the global phenomena of El Niño and La Niña and I have seen the consequences of this not only in our business but most especially in the livelihood of small farmers and fishermen. The Philippines is an archipelagic country of 7,100+ islands (could be less now due to climate change) and because of its geographic location in the Pacific Ocean and the Ring of Fire, it is prone to tropical storms and earthquakes. Typhoons have always been a part of life in the Philippines. We name the typhoons alphabetically each year and so the very first typhoon of the year would always be from A, then B and so on until Z. Sometimes, there were so many in a year that we get to Z and then start again from A completing the whole cycle for the year. Because such is the frequency, I got used to watching the devastation on tv or reading it in the news.
There were tens and tens of worst typhoons to hit the Philippines since record began in terms of fatalities and destruction. They were not all Super Typhoons though, some were just non-stop torrential rains but the consequential flooding and landslide perished 25% of the population in Ormoc City in 1991. In November 2013, the strongest tropical typhoon on (world) record made a landfall on the Philippines. Apart from the super strong winds, there was the unexpected storm surge of up to 10 feet that drowned many. And although some people from the coastal areas were able to evacuate inland and took shelter in community halls, the building collapsed on them due to sustained winds of 320 km/h and gusts of up to 360 km/h. Super Typhoon Haiyan (“Yolanda”) is the equivalent of an extremely strong Category 5 hurricane. The tragedy resulted to almost 10,000 fatalities including the missing; 11 million people affected; and around $5 billion of destruction to properties. The intensity of Haiyan was no doubt a result of climate change. The ocean temperature was incredibly warm that time (around 30C) and no wind shear to ‘tear’ the developing hurricanes apart. As explained by Brian McNoldy, a tropical weather expert at the University of Miami, “tropical cyclones are basically giant heat engines, powered by the transfer of heat from the ocean to the upper atmosphere”. Haiyan was the 11th typhoon in 7 weeks in the Pacific and six were super typhoons. The experts noted that it was exceptionally busy and unusually frequent for typhoon that time. The tragedy of Haiyan affected not only the Philippines but also the rest of the world. Everyone dug into their pockets, shallow or deep, and everyone contributed. There were a total of over $1 trillion foreign aid given to the Philippines. The aid from the United Nations,
HISTORIC CONVENTION MILESTONES 1979
The first World Climate Conference (WCC).
The second WCC calling for a global treaty on Climate Change (CC) with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) set up in 1988.
UNFCCC was adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio together with two other Conventions.
UNFCCC enters into force
First Conference of the Parties (COP1) in Berlin.
Kyoto Protocol formally adopted in COP3.
Adoption of the Paris Agreement by COP21.
UNCCC 2021 / COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland
European Union and the United States represented 26.77% and the UK was the top government donor giving around $57,588,810. On 11 Nov 2013 or just 3 days after Haiyan’s landfall, Philippine envoy Yeb Sano, wept as he delivered his speech at COP19 in Warsaw and vowed to fast during the conference in solidarity to the victims of Haiyan until a “meaningful outcome was in sight.” What’s in a name - COP26? COP stands for Convention of the Parties. It is the main-decision making body composed of representatives from the current 197 party (mostly countries) signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The COP happens every year. The 26 in COP26 is the 26th anniversary since the first in 1995. This was due to happen last year but due to the pandemic it has been moved to this year. The last COP25 was in 2019 under the Presidency of the Government of Chile but was held in Spain. The ultimate aim of UNFCCC is to prevent ‘dangerous’ human interference with the climate system. To summarise the Convention, it: • Recognised that there was a problem; • Sets a lofty but specific goal; • Puts the onus on developed countries to lead the way; • Directs new funds to climate change activities in developing countries; • Keeps tabs on the problem and what’s being done about it; • Charts the beginnings of a path to strike a delicate balance; • Kicks off formal consideration of adaptation to climate change. Negotiations of UNFCCC started in 1992 and was signed in 1994 at the ‘Rio Earth Summit’ together with two other Conventions; UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention to Combat Desertification. The Convention was remarkable for
its time as you can see from the summary of points that it is desirably inclusive. This was at the time when there is not much evidence on climate change and many non-believers even imminent scientists. But today, the scientific evidence were not only in abundance, but the crisis of climate change became borderless affecting not only the global south (developing countries) but also the global north (developed countries).
At the UN Climate Change Conference (UNCCC) (COP21) held in Paris in 2015, world leaders agreed on the historic ‘Paris Agreement’ containing three key elements:
What is Climate Change? In summary, it refers to long term shifts in temperature and weather patterns caused by natural and manmade activities. In the ancient history of man, the shift was mainly due to natural causes and gradual slow shifts. But since the 1800s the biggest single contributor that exacerbated climate change at its fastest ever were due to manmade activities! Burning of fossil fuels, like coal, oil and gas releases greenhouse gasses like Carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4) and Fluorinated gases (man-made gases emitted from manufacturing) to the atmosphere that trap heat and warm the planet. Moreover, rapid deforestation of our land and ocean forests contributes to the climate change. For every tree that we cut, it releases carbon dioxide that it has trapped for thousands of years in the atmosphere. And CO2 stays in the atmosphere for a long time (between 300 to 1,000 years)! To understand more about Climate Change and its effects on humanity click—https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/what-is-climate-change.
When CO2 concentration increases in the atmosphere, the earth’s global temperature also increases. Scientists have a way of testing the amount of CO2 and uses ‘_ ppm’. PPM stands for parts per million and the number tells how many parts of CO2 there are in one million parts of air. So if CO2 is at 277 ppm that means that in one million particles of air there are 277 particles of carbon dioxide. The term “pre-industrial period” is the reference period 1850-1900 to represent pre-industrial temperature. The initial goal through climate mitigation is to limit the global temperature increases in this century to 2 degrees Celsius (and further to 1.5 degrees) pre-industrial levels, by substantially halving the greenhouse gas emissions before 2030 and net zero carbon emissions by 2050.BUT…in key reports on climate impacts and solutions from around the United Nations’ agencies, national meteorological and hydrological services and scientific experts, I particularly quote the latest Greenhouse Gas Bulletin: “The abundance of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere
1. Limit temperature rise to 1.5C 2. Review countries’ commitments to cutting emissions every five years 3. Provide climate finance to developing countries
1.5 to Stay ALIVE! Whilst you can quarantine from Covid-19 you CANNOT quarantine from Climate Change! 42
Allow HOPE to be our motivation instead of fear! If working apart, we are a force powerful enough to destabilise our planet. Surely working together, we are powerful enough to save it.
—Sir David Attenborough #COP26 World Leaders Summit in Glasgow, Nov 2021.
once again reached a new record in 2020, with the annual rate of increase above the 2011-2020 average. That trend has continued in 2021.” “Concentration of carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas, reached 413.2 parts per million in 2020 and is 149 per cent of the pre-industrial level. Methane is 262 per cent of the level in 1750 when human activities started disrupting the Earth’s natural equilibrium. The economic slowdown from COVID-19 did not have any discernible impact on atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases and their growth rates, although there was a temporary decline in new emissions. Roughly half of carbon dioxide emitted by human activities today remains in the atmosphere. The other half is taken up by oceans and land ecosystems, but their ability to act as “sinks” may become less effective in the future.” In 1958, when scientists first started measuring atmospheric CO2, the level was 316 ppm which is a little higher than the pre-industrial level of 277 ppm. The world has broken the threshold of 400 ppm in 2016 and has been steadily increasing. The rise of CO2 in 2016 made it the hottest year since records began in 1880. This corresponding rise of 1.1C than the pre-industrial level in global temperature was the start of the hottest years ever recorded. The monthly average of CO2 for 2021 is at 419 ppm. That is 151 per cent of the pre-industrial level. A report by World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) - State of Global Climate 2021 finds the past seven years are on track to be the seven warmest on record, based on
data for the first nine months of 2021. In WMO’s other reports it highlighted the impacts to economies and societies of sea level rise, melting of the continent’s iconic glaciers, drought, floods and extreme heat by 2030. But already, by a mere increase of 1.1 degree Celsius, the crisis is happening now, it is being felt across the globe as what the extreme weather events in the past 12 months have shown us. The link below shows the effect already on some communities with the 1.1C and what 3C of global warming would look like for the world. https:// youtu.be/uynhvHZUOOo The ongoing COP26 entering its 2nd week is crucial for the survival of humanity. The recently released report of IPCC before the Conference referred to as “code red for humanity” by the UN Secretary General is alarming and this could be our last chance to save the planet. But I would like to take comfort in Sir David’s speech at the opening of COP26. We are the smartest species, the greatest problem solvers to have ever existed on earth. With the help of technological advances, we have the power to reverse this trend. “Allow HOPE to be our motivation instead of fear! If working apart, we are a force powerful enough to destabilise our planet. Surely WORKING TOGETHER, we are powerful enough to save it. He concluded that in his lifetime he witnessed terrible decline and called for us all to make this our lifetime to witness a wonderful recovery. See you where I will discuss the outcomes of COP26. #ThereisNoPLANetB #WereInItTogether #COP26
This series of articles is brought to you by Atty. Aimee Alado-Blake, UK Editor on ClimateChange & Sustainability (Series 1 - Nov 2021)
LINKEDIN: ZIP DE GUZMAN
Cipriano “Zip” De Guzmán Jr., LPT known as FilipinoBaritone is an international opera singer, professor of voice, theatre, Japanese and Spanish languages based in the Principality of Andorra on the Pyrénées between France and Spain. He is a two-time recipient of Ani Ng Dangal from the Philippine National Commission for Culture and Arts and winner of International Vocal Competitions in Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, New York, London and Rome. He has master’s degrees in music, en Interpretación d’Ópera at Conservatori Superior de Música del Liceu, Barcelona and in Vocal Performance at Elisabeth University of Music, Japan with the highest honours.