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Roots&Wings CULTURE



Nr 10



A quarterly online magazine for Filipinos in Europe, published by Rachel Publishing Company in Stockholm, Sweden. Its aim is (1) to uplift, create awareness and appreciation of Filipino culture and lifestyle (2) to serve as a bridge to lessen the gap between the expatriate communities of Filipinos living in various parts of Europe (3) to highlight touristic and historical places of interest in our home country in order to encourage and enhance local travel, tourism and commerce.



The Final Piece


Unit type

Approx. Size

Price Range

1 Bedroom

67-70 sqm

Php 6.7-7.8 M

2 Bedrooms

92-98 sqm

Php 10.1-12.3 M

3 Bedrooms

122-127 sqm

Php 14.2-16,7

Rising as the final and tallest section of Two Serendra, The Sequoia will be an architectural statement at the heart of BGC, embodying the city’s urban lifestyle ideals and prestige. Spend your days surrounded by all of life’s conveniences just steps away from the Shops at Serendra, Bonifacio High Street, Market! Market! and The Fort Strip where a vast selection of retail and dining establishments satisfy all your cravings. The country’s fastest growing business and lifestyle district is at your beck and call with the country’s best schools, hospitals and corporate headquarters and even the Makati CBD being just a short drive away. This is where you can live a life of leisure with all the comforts of the city right at your fingertips.

Now accepting Letters of Intent for launch on 21 March 2012

KRYSTLE V. AGBAYANI Alveo Land Corp. / PRC REBL 9828

0917.8912659 / 2





R&W Staff




Tony Meloto – Gawad Kalinga Founder


Artist in Focus – Romeo “Omi” Reyes

18 20

Cultural Coups – European Opera Feast in Manila Cesar Guarin – Pinoy Global Runner


Au Pair Ban Lifted in Sweden


Sillimanian Competes Stagiares


SaZaZu - Restaurant in Prague serves Filipino food It’s Aliwan Fiesta Time in the Philippines











Honeymooning in the Philippinesshow hostess Batanes


The Puzzle Mansion


Reflections of a Music Student in Paris


Bend Time & Space in Less than 5 minutes




Dried fish for breakfast?


Bamboo Filipino Magkabalikat Dancers in Hannover


Hoya Ilagii


It’s more fun in the Philippines


Advertising Rates



SPRING ISSUE 2012 Greetings our dear R&W readers: I hope your spring is as beautiful wherever you are as it is in Paris at the moment. The cherry blossoms are in full bloom, giving the city streets a faint champagne-pink hue in the sun, swaying against ancient walls and buildings. The people relax more in their favorite cafés and brasseries. Everyone, seems to me, is excited at the thought of warmer days ahead and the days getting longer and summer escapade looming in the horizon. And who wouldn’t be? Here’s the good news: Time has come to put away the cold weather gear. Simple joys. Here’s a few things to look forward to, more good news: The highlight of my spring so far is the interview I was granted by Gawad Kalinga founder Antonio Meloto, or “Tito Tony” as he is fondly called. Making a brief stop in Paris from the UK to receive his 2012 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, he sits down and talks about where GK is at today, his vision on ending poverty in the Philippines by 2024 and how he plans to carry it out. I’ve learned so many things about social entrepreneurship in an hour more than I would have in a five-credit semester class. I have learned that it really DOES take a “village” (GK village, pun intended) to accomplish a superhuman task as such. Keeping our trademark “bayanihan” spirit is crucial. Our involvement counts. We have to do our part in bridging the gap between rich and poor. The enormity of this undertaking has not slowed this graying gentleman from Bacolod, in fact, it seems to wind him up even more. I left the interview inspired like I haven’t been in a long time. What an exhilarating experience to be in the presence of such greatness! Kudos to Team GK! In addition to this account of my enlightening exchange with Tito Tony is an article on our

featured artist Omi Reyes, talking about his unusual technique in making art from found materials - a recent turning point in his career, and how he is making waves in the burgeoning art scene in Manila. Congratulations Omi! “Mabuhay ang artistang Pilipino!” Also in store for the culturally savvy readers that you are, our associate editor in Manila Jonathan Coo’s Cultural Coups and the Aliwan Festival, a travelogue on Batanes by Alemberg Ang, an article on the first Filipino runner to span the globe Cesar Guarin, various photo essays, travel pieces, young Filipino-Europeans in the “diaspora”15-year old Helena Tuy-Züfle’s essay on growing up multi-cultural and multi-lingual in Germany, our very own Jenny Hansen’s inspired poetry and Pierre Chauvin’s “Honeymooning in the Philippines”. The list goes on. Be assured that our goal is to always give you diverse cultural snapshots of Filipino life in Europe and beyond… even articles from non-Filipinos. All within an issue, imagine. How much fun is that? HERE’S TO A MARVELOUS SPRING!

John Florencio - Editor in chief 5

Springtime Rachel Hansen Publisher

Luz Bergersen Associate Editor

John Florencio Editor in Chief

Aina Bauer Copy Editor

Jonathan A Coo Associate Editor

Maria Bergersen Bureau Editor Oslo, Norway

Geraldine Wisniewski

Jenny Hansen

Associate Editor

Layout Editor

Tina Garcia

Advertising & Marketing Director

Cora Lembke

Bureau Editor Hamburg, Germany

The snow is gone, the sun is set up high Now that the winter’s passed, the grass is green At last the tiny little birds can fly Yes, fly to places they have never seen It’s hot like summer, even though it’s May I know it will get hotter very soon And then I’ll wish for it to fade away We can go take a ride in my balloon And fly to someplace cooler and more fun Where we can rest until it gets too cold ‘Cause then we can fly back to where there’s sun And stay there until we get very old Or if we want to travel somewhere else We can go to the beach and pick some shells By Jenny Hansen, 2006

Ivee B Hidvegi

Bureau Editor Stockholm, Sweden

Nanette Medrano

Editorial Assistant Manila


Rebecca Garcia

Michael Cu

Bureau Editor Prague, Czech republic

Bureau Editor Brussels, Belgium

Evelyn Mendoza

Reneé S.Ikdal

Contributor/ Executive assistant


Hanna Stenbacka Youth Editor

Melissa Heikkilä Bureau Editor Helsinki, Finland



pril 2 ,2012 Paris - I was so excited to be interviewing a man who might change the course of history. Was I a little nervous about this? Guess. The following is a brief transcript of my conversation with Tony Meloto, one of the most fascinating visionary leaders of the 21st century. He has a clear objective: To end poverty in the Philippines. This is how his going to do it. The iconic status of this mild-mannered, eloquent Atenean and founding father of GawadKalinga comes as no surprise. Just with wife Lyn, Luis Oquinena andIssa Cuevas-Santos from Team GK, him and the small entourage stop in Paris for some “serious talk” with French and German interns. “I use twitter to communicate with people I know” he says. In fact, the interview was made possible through twitter. The morning of the interview the team heads back to London on the eleven thirty Eurostar train from Gare du Nord, and finally to catch their flight back to Manila. It almost seems routine to Tito Tony and Luis to be receiving awards. They are the honorees of the 2012 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, the most prestigious in the economic community held recently in Oxford, UK. There was little to no mention of it at all throughout the interview, always staying focused on the thread of the questions I prepared. He greets everybody in the quaint little breakfast hall and orders coffee and croissants, sat down and we

started this enlightening exchange. “We keep the website rather updated so your readers can see what we are doing.” he says. GK started in 1985, while on assignment in Australia as his response to ending poverty, something that sparked a global movement, mobilizing thousands of volunteers to build integrated, holistic and sustainable communities in slum areas.Tito Tony is a much sought after speaker in universities, conferences, seminars and forums worldwide. Early this year, he was invited to speakabout his program to ending poverty in the Philippines to a panel of economists at the 2012 World Economic Conference in Davos, Switzerland. Cameras rolling, diffused live on major international news companies like CNN, BBC-UK and Bloomberg TV, Tito Tony sits calmly and composed but ready to answer questions. He leans over slightly from his chair, “We need to make an effort in bridging the gap between the rich and the poor, healing relationships in the government and private sectors and adapting the “bayanihan” way of co-existing, something that is uniquely Filipino.” the panel listening intently. He continues to answer questions on the rising interest of foreign investors and how there is a focus on non-threatening markets like Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines especially that the GK model of “building from the ground up” is evidence that social entrepreneurship is working. “Now, in Europe they are looking for hope. Their economies are not

Breakfast interview in Paris with

Tony Meloto

Founder of Gawad Kalinga and 2012 Skoll Awardee Tony Meloto enjoying the company of children

By John Florencio 8


growing, they have overspent, they are deep in debt and they are looking at the emerging Asian markets for solutions because collectively that is the same size as China. They are now looking at GawadKalinga to be an effective viable, sustainable model of development that will not only address poverty at a massive rate in the Philippines but in other countries like Cambodia and Indonesia, for example. France has hundreds of interns studying GK, looking into what we are doing in the field of social justice and entrepreneurship.” Tito Tony announces that the international banking giant HSBC predicts that the Philippine economy could be ranked number 16 in the world by 2023 and Goldman-Sachs estimates that by 2035 could rival that of Canada, by 2050 we can be a major player in the world economy, Bloomberg says that the best place to invest right now is the Philippines. Our time to shine is now. We have a very hardworking honest, competent president, doing a lot of institutional reforms and understands the need to get the country out of poverty.” He asked, “So why are we poor?” “The most important thing to GK is not fundraising, because according to him in GK’s case the money follows the cause and not the other way around” He

From left to right John Florencio, Luis Oqunena, Issa Cuevas Santos, Tony Meloto

says when asked about how to get involved: “Adopt a village. Get people from your Filipino communities where you live and go back to the towns and to adopt an existing Gawad Kalinga village, to come to the Philippines not just as a tourist but actually participate in the building of these communities.” he says. “The first thing they must do is stop bashing the country for them to have hope not only in the countries where they work but in the Philippines as well. That’s the most important thing, is for Filipinos to change their minds about the country where they came from. Why not put the same sacrifice you put in Europe, North America or the Middle East to the Philippines? Sure the money’s less but, be it as they look at themselves as workers and employers why can’t they go back to the towns and build the economy? Why can’t they strive to be self- sufficient and see what the land can yield? Why does one have to labor so hard in the Middle East, in the scorching sun, when one can do it in Mindanao for example?” he says. “Because Europe is looking to the Philippines for hope, the very country that they have left”, he underlines that “a change of mind is necessary”. When asked about the obstacles GK face he says, “ Pessimism. I don’t like to be around cynical people, pessimism is a poison to the soul.”

I ask him what gets him up in the morning given his tough travel schedule, speaking engagements, community builds? He answers quickly, “It’s good people that gets me up in the morning.” He turns his gaze towards Luis and Issa, “Luis is 40 and is now chairman of GK. Issa is 30 and is a full-time GK missionary and my wife has been a tremendous support over the years. They are the pillars of GK.” He says half-jokingly: “I just hope they learn from my mistakes.” He continues to say, “The Philippines is the richest country in the worlds in terms of biodiversity and natural resources, not to mention we have the most talented people in the world who are now in solidarity to put an end to poverty. The Filipino has to realize that he is part of the richest country in the world and he has to start holding himself in higher esteem more than he ever had in the past.He has to be proud to be a part of that.” He adds, “Perhaps one day they will go back they will open up their homes to their European employers. The only connection they have to the Philippines would be through their employees. That’s how bridges can be formed”. He pauses slightly, “but the Filipino don’t see themselves as such, because of his preestablished belief system that he is not at par with the rest of the world. We were under Spanish rule for 300 plus years and another 50 years of Hollywood, that’s how it developed. He continues, “The Filipino feels quite disconnected from his birthright, to his spirit in relation to his nation and as a human. He is quite confused about who he is. What needs to happen is to learn from the lessons of the past and define myself now as a new citizen of the world, get the best from those rich influences of Europe and America but he is still not able to do that. He looks back to his country and says to himself that only a handful of people were given rights to own land and that he is still surrounded by slums. We have to get rid of our “matapobre” mentality, in effect that would get rid of the other negative traits. We need to build each other up, for us to see that this is our moment, that with the rise of these new Asian economies, that the Philippines will be one of the countries that will be in the forefront. There will be a resurgence of interest in tourism, but we have to have a good image, because we have always projected a negative view for many years out into the world. He has to know that he is not a second-class citizen. We have to do that to get the respect of the international community.” He says when asked about what’s beyond 2024: “I see


it as building a first-world country but learning from the mistakes of the first world, these countries that have developed ahead of us. We will be planting our own coffee, our own chocolate, raising our own cattle for dairy, not importing 99% of it, coming up with our own global brands, we will be social entrepreneurs, creating wealth, not just have graduates who are job-seekers but who are wealth creators.” He says, looking rather annoyed, “I cannot understand why we are poor, we have all the resources. We are rich in terms of endowment. Why are we taking scrap and contaminated goods from abroad? Why do we accept it? That has to change.” There is no trace of hesitation in his voice, always sounding determined all the time that things will change for the Philippines. “There will be no more need to leave the country and for them to come home as well. That’s the goal of 2024.” He reiterates, “GK was built with the spirit of the people who never gave up on their country, determined not to leave anyone behind in poverty, built by people who took a journey in search of their promised land. It was not abroad, their promised land IS the Philippines.” He adds, “What if instead of getting together and talking about problems, why can’t we talk about solutions instead?” The sacrifices made by Tito Tony to go on this ambitious quest were enormous. He gave up a promising career with Procter and Gamble in the 90’s and dedicated his life serving the poor. He has abandoned the life mired in capitalism and extreme consumerism, enough to not have a credit card, a checking account. He says he does not handle any of the financial operations of GawadKalinga because that might be a distraction, keeping him off target. He never entertained the numerous offers to hold high positions in government and the private sector so he can concentrate on humanistic work. It seems natural that the vocation, his calling to get the poorest of the poor out of misery was to dominate his time, leaving very little to a lucrative career, dedicating more on the road, running a ecologic farm, educational programs, and building a nation. On materialism: he says: “It is not something I took lightly(the calling). I had to detach from material wealth and focus on the most important task at hand at the time I created GK”. When asked to deliver a message to the Filipino people, he says in closing, “Never allow anyone to put a price tag to your soul, nor to steal your spirit.” 11

Chromatic 24 x 24 mixed media Omi Reyes beside his mixed media pieces


Romeo “Omi” Reyes By Hanna Jo Uy 12


ll he needs is his hands and an empty canvas, nothing else. This is the philosophy of Romeo “Omi” Reyes. Following the whispers of his fingertips onto the canvas, his imagination leads him to create visual poetry in the form of his delicate flowers, landscapes and massive pieces made of everyday objects. A veteran artist with youthful enthusiasm, his humble countenance is deceiving of the many accomplishments he has garnered, both in his artistic life and in his personal life.

A graduate of Fine Arts, major in Advertising from University of the East, Omi’s passion for drawing and visual expression was cultivated at a young age. After graduating in 1980, his desire to become a full time artist persevered and in 1982 he embarked on his artistic journey, which is to span decades. It was not long after that when he decidedly put together his first solo exhibition at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. It was his debut into the art community. With about 50 works of art that vary in style and medium, his first show in 1982, entitled “Likha” is reflective of 13

the pulse of the artistic community at the time, that of landscapes and nostalgic images of natural floral beauty. Well-received, he stuck a friendship with one of his admirers, Rene Rocha, whom he credits as having encouraged his art through his support and patronage. Influenced by artists such as Salvador Dali, Louie Nevelson and Lao Lian Ben, his diverse taste is a mark of his desire to continuously evolve: always studying new styles and images. The depiction of floral subjects in its delicate quality is challenging task. Perhaps what interests me most about Omie Reyes’ early years is his style of painting using his fingers. Using finger painting techniques, he carefully traces the petals’ and leaves’ intricacies: the folds and the shading. The diversity in color, the strokes all done by hand with no brush is a testament to Omie Reyes’ inner workings, bringing back art to its basic elements: some paint, an empty canvas and a vision. In his 1999 exhibit, “Limpid Layers of Fragrant Dreams”, in Gallery Y in Makati, his collection represents his slow,yet deliberate transition into mixed media. While the week-long labor over one piece was a change from his usual one to three days over a painting, Omie was attracted to the many possibilities that it offered “Mahirap ang aking ginagawa pero masarap, kasi puso ang tumatrabaho sa akin”. Always evolving in his work, his collection represented his break from the comfort of realism by incorporating foreign elements around the surrounding subject. Omie would shuffle from his realism, a style and subject he has mastered and refined over his years of painting, to mixed media which presented for him an infinite horizon of possibilities to explore. It was in his 2010 exhibit in Gallery Ana, Megamall, that he defined himself as a mixed media artist. Exhibiting 23 works of various sizes, the collection was aptly entitled “OMixed”. The abstract works were organic, not only for its color scheme that was dominated by earth tones, warm browns and subtle grays and whites, but also for the materials that were gathered to create it.

Perception & Creation III 36’’x 12’’ mixed media 2012 14

Each piece fleshes out the utility and aesthetics of the elements he used, a passionate explosion of creation by making something beautiful from what others have disregarded and thrown aside. Grabbing his materials from junk shops, his supply of bolts, wood and other such hardware were thrown together to

create unusual pieces that engage the viewer from the many features that make it complete. For Omie Reyes’ mixed media, the whole is beautiful and the sum of its parts, equally mesmerizing. He adds, “parang puzzle na binubuo”As a result, he was obsessed by finding parts that fit together despite being vastly constracting objects in their previous life. Omie resurrects old and weathered wood, metal gears, torn pictures and pages, pre-loved instruments and meaningless letters into what it never could have thought of to be before: art. It is this gift of seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary, in finding an aesthetic connection among the misfits of random objects that portrays the unique spectacles through which Omie Reyes sees the world. Omie’s latest exhibit, at ArtesOrientes last February, was entitled “Unfolding”. Liking this exhibit to the natural process from which a flower opens itself to reveal its full beauty, Omie similarly wants to emphasize his transition to the mixed media artist that he has proven himself to be. For this collection, Omie again explores aesthetics through the most unlikely materials, further exploring different materials in putting the works together. This fusion of works, the transition of meaningless to meaningful is the very meaning which his work is imbibed with. While not consciously integrating statements in his composition or theme, his natural aesthetic sensibility makes each work a narrative of contrasts, a marriage of opposites that is timeless and universal. In relating the process of creating his mixed media work, Omie Reyes is inclined to basics, seeing in everything a possibility of beauty; yet it is only in his works that this beauty moves from a possibility into a reality. He relates the story of Michaelangelo, saying, when the great sculptor was caught staring at a big rock, he was asked “What are you staring at on the big rock?” He replies “I see an angel trapped inside the big rock, so I want to let him out.” “Parang ganon din ako. May nakikita ako sa mga bulok na kahoy na pwedeng maganda.” In every lonely bolt, forgotten wood and dying object, Omie sees endless possibilities for beauty, asking for nothing in return other than the joy of using his hands in creation.

Elements in Form II 36’’x 12’’ mixed media 2012 15

Transformed II 24x36 mixed media 2012

Transformed 24 x 36 mixed media 2012




OMIxed Utopian Dream

Galerie Anna, SM Mega Mall Royal Plaza on Scotts, Singapore

2010 2008

Omi’s Symphony (Reborn by Music) A Dance of Light on Blooms

Art Space, Glorietta 4, Makati City 2004 Gallery 828, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong, Phils. 2001

Blissful Harmony Kadayawan Flowers Limpid Layers of Fragrant Dreams Flowers A Symphony of Flowers Colors of Life A festival of Colors Photographic Impressionism Insights Essence Likha

Rizal Center, Chicago IL.,USA Gen Luna, Davao, Phils. Galerie Y, Makati, Phils. Gen Luna, Davao, Phils. Robinson’s Galleria, Mandaluyong City, Phils. Madrigal Center, Ayala Alabang, Phils. Philamlife, Metro Manila, Phils. Garden Gallery, Makati City, Phils. Galerie Bleue Makati City, Phils. Galerie Bleue, Makati City, Phils. Hyatt Regency, Manila, Phils.

2001 2000 1999 1997 1993 1990 1989 1987 1986 1985 1983

A Filipino Art Exhibit Samut-Samut Kulay Phil Embassy & Turf Club Exhibit Various USA Exhibits

Rizal Center, Chicago, IL., USA Galerie Y, Mandaluyong City, Phils. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Washington, DC., New York, L.A., USA

Alay Lupa,Jupiter Arthouse Landscape/Seascape Manila Peninsula Galeria de las Islas Tribute to P.J.Victoria Scenes of Summer Collections U.E Foundation Day Exhibit Pope Pius Center Pugad Lawin Painting Exhibit

Makati, Phils. Ayala Museum, Makati, Phils. Uhay Lupa,Makati, Phils. Intramuros,Manila, Phils. Cultural Center of the Philippines, Phils. Galerie Bleue, Makati, Phils. Hyatt Regency, Manila, Phils. Manila, Phils. Manila, Phils. Manila, Phils.

06/06/2001 11/19/1999 04/03/1995 04/18/199405/02/1994 05/20/1991 08/12/1990 09/24/1989 07/21/1988 06/07/1986 05/10/1985 11/29/1984 10/12/1982 05/07/1980 10/17/1979



rthur Espiritu started the ball rolling. A Filipino-born tenor who has performed with the Accademia of Teatro alla Scala Piccolo Teatro di Milano and Opera Fuoco, and a principal role debut with Theatre St. Gallen in Switzerland in the 2009-2010 season, the Cultural Center of the Philippines experienced, for the first time, the La Scala Awardee in Verdi’s La Traviata. A week later, Royal College of Music gradúate, Albert Lim Chun, proved to be Hong Kong’s latest Baritone sensation singing “Come Paride Vezzoso” from Donizetti’s L’Elisir D’Amore at the Philamlife Theater in an opera gala concert with the Manila Symphony Orchestra. Lim Chun has attained Welsh Male Choir Scholarships and Guinness Flight’s Music Prizes, among others. A day after (three days to mid-March), it was the Czech Republic’s turn to showcase its young soprano Noema Erba. His Excellency, Josef Rychtar chose the best diplomatic event- a collaboration with pianist Prof. Augusto Espino of the University of the Philippines College of Music and tenor Conrado Ong III. When Erba started singing the Czech National Anthem: Kde domov můj? Where is my home?) (a piece of music written by the composer František Škroup and the playwright Josef Kajetán Tyl), one can

not help but feel the most heart-throbbing National Anthem ever composed. Where is my home, where is my home? Water roars across the meadows, Pinewoods rustle among crags, The garden is glorious with spring blossom, Paradise on earth it is to see. And this is that beautiful land, The Czech land, my home, The Czech land, my home.

Perhaps Filipinos in Europe somehow miss their native land, a country so diverse that even Dvorak’s “Mesicku na nebi hlubokem” or Song to the moon from Rusalka would enthrall “Pinoy” listeners to its magical tale. I, for one, admired Noemi Erba’s humility. A classical singer like her asked to sing “pop” just to please the Filipino audience and Diplomatic corps. Singing in a hotel ballroom with mic and waiting at the bench of the pianist while the tenor reads the program notes. If it weren’t for Noemi Erba’s simple but elegant composure and well-trained voice, I would have walked out. But indeed, we are here to educate. An die Musik!


European Opera Feast In Manila

Noema Erba – Czech soprano

By Jonathan Arevalo Coo 18


Cesar Guarin’s Global Run: Alay sa Pilipino/Phase 6

Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and England May 27 to July 14 total 12,100 kms Words and pictures from Global Run archives Running a 42-kilometer marathon is one thing; running across the world it is completely another story. Here’s the story of a Filipino global runner who, in one way or another, took the long route – 43,258 kilometres to be exact.

and cities. Running around the world, on the other hand, is a tangled story of strength and endurance while traversing the long winding road and terrains of seven continents. Perhaps, the latter is the greatest feat a runner can achieve.

This year, Guarin is set to finish stages 6 and 7 of his global run. This second quarter of the year, Guarin is set to finish the 2,262-kilometer run from Finland to England.

Many runners have made an attempt to circle the globe by running but only three has succeeded so far. 56-year old Cesar Guarin, the first Filipino global runner and the “Father of Ultramarathon,” is poised

A 2,262-kilometer megamarathon from Finland to England

Global Running is a megamarathon (or an ultramarathon) that covers the 40, 042-kilometer circumference of the globe. Runners do not literally run in every nation and country but cover an accumulative distance equivalent to the circumference of the earth. Only three people were successfully finished the global run: Robert Garside from Great Britain – 35,000 miles across 30 countries from October 1997 to June 2003. Rosie Swale-Pope from Switzerland – the first woman to run the globe from October 2003 to August 2008. Jesper Olsen from Denmark – ran the world from January 1, 2004 to December 23, 2005.

to continue his toughest run challenge: Global Run: Alay sa Pilipino at sa Buong Mundo.


ome may claim that running a 42-kilometer (or 26 mile) marathon is already an athletic achievement to many. There are people, however, who have set out to create, and subsequently conquer, challenges that some might never have thought humanly possible. These challenges test the very boundaries of human ability and tenacity, reaching the utmost of an athlete’s physical and mental capabilities. From the desert of the Middle East to the snowy wasteland of Russia, Cesar Guarin’s


global run is an extreme distance running challenge in the toughest and yet breathtakingly scenic places in the world. Here's the mother of all distance running.

Global Run: Quest to Run Across the World

Travelling around the world is an adventurous story of leisure and bliss while visiting famous landmarks

To Cesar Guarin, it’s merely a light warm-up for the rigors to come. With running experience covering some thirty years, spanning six presidencies, Guarin continues his quest to finish the 43, 258-kilometer run across the world. This one-of-a-kind ultramarathon has been partitioned into 15 stages, with each stage requiring him to run 30 to 90 days in every stage with 50 – 70 kilometres running distance per day. He started the first trans in 1983, by trailing Zamboanga province up to Baguio City. To date, he already finished five stages: Stage 1: Zamboanga – Baguio run (2,251 km.) Stage 2: New York – San Francisco run (4,960 km.) Stage 3: Madrid – Paris – Brussels – Bonn – Zurich – Rome run (3,756 km.) Stage 4: New York – Toronto run (1,272 km.) Stage 5: Melbourne – Brisbane run (2,053 km.)

The Stage 6 of his global run may be the most breathtaking and magical destinations that he and his team will accomplish this May to July of 2012. There are hundreds of ancient and beautiful villages, some dotted with castles, and nestling throughout the most unique and beautiful countryside of England, Wales, Scotland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Many towns and villages that the Global Run team will pass through have been in existence hundreds of years, each with individual character, romance and magic. Runners and travellers alike are guaranteed to fall deeply in love with the countries’ beautiful running destinations. Whether its royal castles, enchanted forests, magical lagoons, or rustic villages with thatched cottages, the stage 6 of Global Run is going to be truly astounding and enchanting. He will start his run in Helsinki, Finland where the World Village Festival will be held. Along the way, he will visit the historic Helsinki Olympic Stadium where he will give a short message to 10,000 Finnish runners who will also have an event during that day. From Helsinki, he will take a route going to Turku. From Turku, the team will catch a boat or ferry that will take them across the Gulf of Bothnia going to one of the most beautiful major cities in Europe, Stockholm, Sweden. Cesar and his team will stay for one to two days to meet with the Filipino communities there. He will be sent off to start a 659-kilometer, 14-day long journey to one of the most fantastic cities and the centre of the most dynamic region in Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark. After spending a day or two in Denmark, Cesar will start his run and will be joined by famous local runners who will accompany him up to a certain distance. Starting again in Stromstad, Norway Cesar and his team will traverse the scenic coastal side of Sweden. He is expected to arrive at the world’s winter capital, Oslo, Norway, 2 1/2 days after. From Oslo, another 6 1/2 days of running will be taken to reach the second largest in Norway, Bergen. From there, the team will head off to breathtakingly beautiful capital of Scotland, Edinburgh. This second largest city in Scotland will be the start of Cesar’s run in UK. 21

He’ll visit Glasgow and meet Filipino communities After the scenic Finland-England Run, Guarin will there. Then he will continue his 214-km run going leap on to the toughest stage of the Global Run –Stage to Manchester, England. Another 277-kilometer 7: Middle East Run. The Middle East is home of the run will be needed to reach the second largest city world's spellbinding landscapes in the region. It is in Wales, "The City by the simply extraordinary, one of Sea", Swansea. He will run the most fascinating and yet To quote Guarin: from Swansea all the way the most challenging global “As I reflect about the to Cardiff, the largest city run destinations. Running mission of Global Run, I have in Wales. Cesar and the GR conditions in Stage 7: Middle team will meet for fellowship East Run goes beyond brutal come to realize that the the Filipino communities Filipinos are worth running – a gruelling 2,222-kilometer in Manchester, Liverpool, (1.904.34 miles) of extreme for and that we should Birmingham, Bristol, distance (it is about running always feel proud of our Swindon, and Oxford. 53 standard marathons for By the end of the month, culture and heritage. This is about 44 straight running after nearly two months of days). This stage stands out my tribute to Filipinos and exciting experiences and not only for its terrifying to the World.” hard but joyful running, distance, but also for the Cesar will culminate his dry heat, rough terrain Europe run at the most and blinding sandstorms it beautiful and interesting places to visit in the world, throws. It will considerably offer the most extreme London, England a few days before the start of 2012 challenge to a runner like Guarin to run amidst the London Olympic. After the arrival of Cesar and his heat and rough road challenges along the way. team in London, they plan to meet for fellowship with the Filipino communities in Brighton, Milton Keynes, The solo run never stops after 2012 because Guarin East Grinstead, Central Hampshire, and Earl’s Court is very determined, as it is his obsession, to run the to thank and encourage them to continue supporting remaining 17, 993 kilometres. With every leap and the mission of Global Run. step, he will trail the remaining 15 more countries to

finally reach the dream, which at the very start, he knew from he will finish until the end. Stage 8: Japan-Korea-China Run (2,857 km.) Stage 9: Austria-Greece Run (3,065 km.) Stage 10: Brazil-Argentina Run (3,144 km.) Stage 11: Finland-Hungary Run (4,311 km.) Stage 12: Egypt-Jordan Run (1,810 km.) Stage 13: US-Alaska Run (3,463 km.) Stage 14: Thailand Brunei Run (3,766 km.) Stage 15: Brunei-Philippines Run (2,067 km.) All the endurance and strength that Guarin exerts from day one in 1983 when he ran the Trans Philippines up to the last day on year 2016 when he expects to finish the last stage 15, will be paid off as the first great Filipino and Asian runner conquered the world and set the record.

A Tribute to 14 Million Filipinos

The Global Run: Alay sa Pilipino at sa Buong Mundo is more than just a dream for Cesar Guarin. It serves as Guarin’s tribute and token of gratitude to 14 million Filipinos abroad for the inspiration and courage in fulfilling his dream of running across the globe, and more importantly, for their invaluable contribution in economic development and preservation of Philippines’ cultural heritage. In many ways, Cesar’s triumph over hardships, pains, and failures that he encounters in each stage of Global Run is symbolic of Overseas Filipino workers’ and migrants’ journey abroad. These brave Filipinos sacrificed their own comfort to give their families a better future. And as they embark on a pursuit of a better life with firm hope of “winning” the prize at the end of the finish line, their journey often becomes difficult, lonely, and at times, hopeless. Despite of all these, many of our fellow Filipinos have risen above the challenges and become successful on their own ways.

Cesar Guarin receives a warm welcome from kababayans ”down under”


It is only but right to honour them and pay a tribute as they are also heroes of our nation like Guarin. In every city where he passes by, Guarin and his team engages with Filipino communities abroad. For every stop, a delegation of Filipino communities is set to welcome him. They share their stories in a fellowship activity wherein Guarin always personally thank the Filipinos living in abroad for their invaluable contribution

to the Philippines. During the fellowship night, Guarin and his team shares the stories and mission of Global Run so that Filipino communities abroad can appreciate more the noble essence of the run. As a way of showing their support, the Filipino performs intermission numbers to complete the celebration. Before Guarin leaves the city, there will be a send-off delegation to lead him to his next destination with other Filipino runners who are willing to join him at a certain distance. For Stages 6 and 7, the Global Run will touch base with Filipino communities abroad not only to pay honour and respect but also to promote the astounding sports tourism of the country. This project is in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC). Guarin heads the mission of Global Run with a clear goal of "encouraging” sports tourism exchanges between the Philippines and the country where he is doing his run. The Global Run team partners with the tourism sector of foreign countries to appropriately promote the project and establish mutual and common interests with countries in the region where Filipinos are. In this way, millions of Filipinos abroad can help boost the tourism in our country by supporting Global Run and its advocacy in promoting the beauty and fun in the Philippines.

Support Cesar Guarin’s Global Run To our Kababayans in Europe, we are encouraging you to part take in this meaningful event as the first Filipino global runner hits the Nordic road. Let us welcome Cesar Guarin and the Global Run team as they complete the Finland – England Run. Come and join us in a celebration that fits for a Filipino hero who tirelessly run for us and proudly bringing the Philippine heritage all over the world. For your sponsorship and participation, you may reach Ms. Rachel Hansen through or at 073 687 1660 You may also email the Global Run team at


FINLAND/Helsinki SWEDEN/Stockholm DENMARK/Copenhagen NORWAY/Oslo BRITAIN/Edinburgh /London






Country City / Town


FINLAND, Helsinki- Lohja


ROUTE/Interstate/Principle Highway

Mannerheimintie [E12] [1142] [50] [1125] Lohjanharjunite


EUROPE RUN /2 Global Run: Alay Sa Pilipino/Phase 6 May 27– July 14, 2012,100kms SUMMARY Day 01


Country / City / Town

START 27-May [Sun]

FINLAND, Helsinki

Remarks •

Global Run Team will be in Helsinki for ten days before the start of run.


30-May [Wed] SWEDEN, Stockholm

Arrival of team taking the ferry boat from Turku, Finland. Rest and meet kababayans.


03-June [Sun]



10-June [Sun]

DENMARK, Copenhagen •

Rest and meet kababayans.


17-June [Sun]


Rest and meet kababayans.


18-June [Mon]


Rest and meet kababayans.


24-June [Sun]


Rest and meet kababayans.


28-June [Thu]

BRITAIN, Edinburgh

Arrival of team from Bergen, Norway. Rest and meet

Back to Stockholm to rest and meet kababayans.

kababayans. 36

01-July [Sun]


Rest and meet kababayans.


08-July [Sun]


Rest and meet kababayans.


FINISH 14-July [Sat]

London • End point at a venue near the London Olympic

Stadium. The Global Run Team will be in London area for ten days to meet kababayans before departure to Manila.




Lohja -SaloSalo


Tytyrinkatu [1070] [110] Valtatie



SaloSalo - Turku


Turuntie [110] Uudenmaantie



SWEDEN, Stockholm[ Rest ]


Ferry from Turku to Stockholm. Ride to Gavle. Rest



Stockholm - Jarna


Ronnvagen [57] [219] Stationsvagen [ E4 ]



Jarna - Nykoping


[53] Bershammersvagen [ E4 ]



Nykoping - Norrkoping

61 Road trip back to Stockholm [ E4 ] ( Meeting )



Stockholm [Rest]


Rest and meet kababayans



Norrkoping - Vikingstad


Vastrariksvagen [ E4 ]




Riksvagen [ E4 ]



Odeshog - Jonkoping


Grannavagen [ E4 ]



Jonkoping - Horle


Barnapsvagen [ E4 ]



Horle - Ljungby


Jongkopingvagen [ E4 ]



Helsingborgsvagen [ E4 ] Road trip back to Ljungby - Skanes-Fagerhult 58

SWEDEN,Vikingstad - Odeshog

Copenhagen ---

Rest and meet kababayans

Copenhagen - Groonehave57

AmagerStrandvejen [152]

SWEDEN, Helsingborg - Strandlyckan 60

Jarnsvagsgatan [E6]



DENMARK, Copenhagen [Rest]







Strandlyckan - Falkenberg




Hogdal - Karlshus

Stationsvagen[E6] [20] 55



NORWAY, Karlshus - Drobak


Mosseveien [110] [118]



Drobak - Oslo [Meet kababayans]


Osloveien [23] [E6]



Oslo [Rest/Meet kababayans]---



Oslo [Rest/Meet kababayans]---



Oslo - Honefoss

56 Drammensveien [E18] [E16]



Honefoss - Nes


Holeveien [E16]



Nes - Aurdal





Aurdal - Vangssokni


[ E16 ] Road

Kutsvagen[E6] [20]



Country City / Town




Dale-Bergen [Meet kababayans] 58



Bergen [Rest/Meet kababayans] ---



Aurlandsvangen - Vinje


ROUTE/Interstate/Principle Highway [ E16 ] Road

By Hanna Stenbacka Backtrack to Aurlandsvangen from Bergen. [ E16] Road



Vinje - Dale




Bergen to Edinburgh

--- Morning flight to Edinburgh.



[ E16 ] Road



Edingburgh - Glasgow




Glasgow - Fellowship




Glasgow - Fellwoship




Glasgow - Abington


Dalmarnock Road [A724] Carlisle Road [M74]



Abington - Lockerbie


Carlisle Road [M74] [ B706]



Lockerbie - Carlise


Carlisle Road [M74]



Carlisle - Forest Hall


Carlisle Road [M6]



Forest Hall - Garstang


London Road [M6]



Garstang - Manchester


Belmont Road [M6]



Manchester [Rest]




Manchester - Stoke-on-Trent


Oxford Road / Kingsway [A34]



Stoke-on-Trent - Birmingham


Stone Road [A34] [M6]



Birmingham - Worcester


Broad Street /Hagley Road [A456]



Worcester - Oxford


London Road / Swinesherd Road [A44]



Oxford - Baconsfield


London Road / Swinesherd Road [A40]



Baconsfield - London


Western Avenue [A40] Westway

BRITAIN, Edinburgh[Rest/Meet kababayans] ---

Au Pair Ban Lifted in Sweden

Glasgow Road [A8] [A89]


n the 22nd of February it was announced on the Philippine Embassy website that the Philippine Government lifted the ban on Filipino au pairs in Sweden and all European countries. Filipinos under the au pair program should live in a reciprocal, caring relationship with their host families. The foreigner should be au pair (French for on par or equal to) locals and treated as a family member rather than a domestic servant. In 1997, the Philippine Government stopped deploying au pairs to Europe due to alledgedunfair compensation, excessive working hours, discrimination and sexual assault. In 1998, the Philippines banned deployment of au pairs to Sweden. In 2011, the Philippine Vice President JejomarBinay stated he believed that an au pair program would bring employment opportunities to Filipinos especially due to the political unrest in the Middle East. The Swedish Migration Board states that the aim of the au pair program in Sweden is for the person to acquire valuable experience and have the opportunity to learn the Swedish language. Au pairs may work a maximum of 25 hours per week and receive a minimum payment of 3,500SEK for light household duties and care of children. Learning the local language and studying its culture is an integral part of the program. We asked some members of the community about their point of view in this matter.

1.Do you think that the lifting of the ban is a positive development?

Zeny Abbaspour from Filippinska Kultur & FritidsföreningenBotkryka believes that “the ban on au pair deployment imposed by the Philippine government more than 15 years ago has not only deprived Filipina au pairs their right to travel abroad as an au pair to participate in cultural exchange programs, but also has led to massive corruption by Philippine immigration officials and other airport authorities. The ban did not solve the problem of abuse and exploitation of au pairs. In Sweden it led to other illegal employment. By lifting the ban, I think both the Swedish host and Filipino au pair will benefit if they 26

both understand the cultural exchange program.” Per Bergehed, a Swedish citizen from southern Sweden with ties to the Philippines also advocates the importance and benefits of cultural exchange. Anna Rose Blomström originally from the Philippines and married to a Swede, believes that this can alleviate issues of illegal employment. Lifting of the ban additionally provides a good opportunity to work and will be beneficial economically for the Philippines.

2.What do you feel are the risks from lifting the ban for Filipino au pairs?

According to Zeny Abbaspour, “if the au pairs noble intention is not really to experience a new culture and lifestyle by sharing their time, culture and helping hands with a family in a foreign country” this could pose as a risk. Additionally another risk is “if the au pair has another motive to come to Sweden which might destruct her to follow the cultural exchange program.” According to Zeny, the “Filipino au pair should be protected by the Philippine government” neither discriminated nor considered as an OFW. She believes it is important that au pair duties should clearly be outlined by the host family and “the au pair is not an employee or servant” and only will help with “light household chores.” In January 2012, Philippine Education Society (PES) an organization based in Stockholm, Sweden, with its President, NoliBuhay and the members of its Executive Board, voted to help facilitate au pairs in having a successful stay in Sweden through dissemination of information, orientation, and evaluation of the au pair program.If executed in the right manner the lifting of the au pair ban has great potential to be a wonderful and enriching cultural exchange opportunity. According to Zeny, the au pair “will be learning a new language and by living in Sweden it will provide her with valuable skills and knowledge beneficial for future employment”. 27

Scott hails from Dumaguete City, Philippines and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Silliman University. He later received his Diploma in Culinary Arts at the Philippine School of Culinary Arts, Philippines and his Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking NVQ 2 at the City and Guilds of London Institute. He has participated in training courses on Gastro Puds at Brookes Restaurant, Oxford Brookes University; on Master Class in Bread and Pastries at Tourism South East; on Advanced Praline Course at Barry Calle Baut Chocolate Academy, Belgium; and Petit Fours and Macarons at L` Ecole Internationale de Patisserie Oliver in Bajard, France. He previously worked as pastry chef in Sir Christopher Wren Hotel and Spa in Windsor, Berkshire. Influenced by his childhood in the Philippines, Scott fuses the very best of oriental flavors with traditional British recipes and ingredients in his current work as pastry chef in Frederick’s. He has transformed the great British classic, the afternoon tea, into its finest.

Scott Villacora surrounded by happy colleagues

Recognising Scott’s potential, the management of Frederick’s has scheduled Scott to undergo further

training at the well-renowned Ecole de Boulangerie et de Patisserie in Paris, France in July. When asked about Scott’s work performance, Mr. Portlock had high praises for Scott and said “Scott’s contribution has been matched by our efforts in sending him on two stagiaires to two of the best restaurants in the world. Since his arrival, he has been a positive, hardworking and great team player. His attitude towards team work and friendliness to me, is symbolic of the Philippines – great people, great attitude and a real willingness to work and contribute. He has a bright sugary and pastry filled future at the top of the class.” Scott’s future looks bright indeed and the Philippines now has a rising star in the field of bakery and patisserie. Silliman University Alumni Association – UK Chapter President, Mr. Aaron Gallo, proudly remarked: “The Silliman alumni in the UK are truly proud of Scott’s achievement. We are doubly proud that, notwithstanding his achievements, he has remained faithful to our Alma Mater’s Christian tradition of promoting Via, Veritas, Vita – the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

Sillimanian Completes Stagiaires By Christine Duran


cott Villacora, a Filipino pastry chef, has just completed his ‘stagiaire’ or training in pastry in the multiple Michelin-star restaurants of Le Manoir and Waterside Inn. This passionate 32-year old chef, who currently works as the pastry chef of Frederick’s Hotel and Spa in Maidenhead, was recommended by his manager, Mr. Stuart Portlock, to undergo a stagiaire in Le Manoir aux Quats’Saisons, a 2-Michelin star restaurant in Oxfordshire under the leadership of award-winning chef-patron Raymond Blanc. Scott underwent his stagiaire last February, learning French cuisine with a modern touch and working with a 13-member pastry team headed by Executive Pastry Chef Benoit Blin. Scott was also sent for pastry training at the Waterside Inn in Bray, Berkshire. The Waterside Inn is a classic 28

French restaurant operated by chef-patron Alain Roux whose name is legendary in culinary circles. Known for its high standards, unaffected charm, impeccable service, remarkable wine list and idyllic Thamesside setting, the establishment earned a 3-Michelin star rating and has maintained this status for the last quarter of a century. Chef Alain remarked that Scott was the first Filipino to undergo a stagiaire in their kitchen. Scott was highly impressed by their quality of cooking and the fact that they prepared classic French food exactly the way they did when they opened more than 25 years ago. He learned classic French pastry with a 6-member pastry team. Scott labelled the Waterside Inn as “a French classic, timeless… where food was cooked with passion and love” and described his experience there as “truly amazing.”

Scott Villacora with colleague


Guests enjoying the delectable Filipino dishes at SaSaZu

First sunrise of Asia A Philippine event at SaZaZu Words by Rebecca Garcia, Photos by Slavek Slanina


he Philippine Embassy in Prague, in cooperation with SaSaZu restaurant, held a successful launch of the restaurant’s Philippine menu on 7 March 2012. SaSaZu is an award winning restaurant in the Czech Republic. The restaurant’s menu is based on the five techniques and elements of Asian cooking – Sambal, Otak Otak, Flame, Roti, and Tai Tai Grill, all derived from the freshest ingredients. SaSaZu’s owner and chef, Shahaf Shabtay, is the epitome of taste, colors, and sounds. Chef Shahaf Shabtay’s inspiration comes from his years of cooking and traveling in Asia, his recollections of the streets of Southeast Asia, local life, food, culture and customs. His passion for cooking and design, brought together, create an enchanting experience. Last year, Chef Shabtay traveled to the Philippines to 30

learn more about the country, its culture and cuisine. He returned with good memories, captivated by an ever-smiling, happy people. Overjoyed and armed with a bundle of creativity, he concocted Philippine dishes to a fusion that is meant to be more than appetizing for Sasazu’s clients. The culinary experience is said to allow SaSaZu’s guests the opportunity of a virtual “travel” to the Philippines through its delectable dishes that are offered for lunch and dinner. Czech officials, diplomats and Czech celebrities, which included Miss Czech Finalist for 2009, attended the breath-taking Philippine event entitled the “First Sunrise of Asia”. Speaking of her experience during the event, Czech actress Míša Maurerová stated, "Philippine cuisine is amazing, as well as [the] local people.”

Philippine Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Evelyn A. Garcia, assisted by her husband Mr Rico Garcia, cutting the ceremonial ribbon at the launch party at SaSaZu


Alikaraw Festival of Hilongos, Leyte

It’s ALIWAN FIESTA time in the Philippines!


By Jonathan A. Coo

oreign and local tourists have long been drawn to the festive and entertaining showcase of cultures across the Philippine archipelago. But time constraints and cost implications have discouraged even the most rabid fiesta-goers from visiting each exciting festivity.

traditions from the different regions in a muchawaited annual event. Traversing the length of Roxas Boulevard from Quirino Grandstand to the CCP Complex, it is a sizzling summer spectacle that offers millions of pesos worth of prizes to competition winners in the float design and streetdance categories.

In a brilliant stroke of public relations, friendly neighbors Manila Broadcasting Company and the Cultural Center of the Philippines, in cooperation with the cities of Manila and Pasay, removed the hassle of traveling from island to island just to savor the different Philippine festivals by bringing the best of the regions to a single venue in a grand cultural extravaganza.

Easily three thousand people take part every year, with triple that number attending the nightly festivities along Sotto Street right outside Star City and Aliw Theater. Flea market habituĂŠs get fantastic bargains on the most outstanding products sold by the different regions. And because Pinoy entertainment also spells music to the max, Aliwan Fiesta has likewise become an opportunity for the current crop of rock bands to be seen and heard.

Since its inception in 2003, Aliwan Fiesta has gathered the country’s most talented artisans, streetdancers, and a bevy of beauties to represent the best festive 32

Of course, no fiesta would be complete without the ubiquitous beauty pageant, which is a significant 33

part of Filipino culture. Indeed, the Reyna ng Aliwan contest has already become a stepping stone for beauteous young women who aspire to fame, modelling opportunities, and even a showbiz career. Aliwan Fiesta is grassroots theatre at its very best. The talent, physicality and buoyant performances of its participants leave no doubt as to the creative energy that envelops their everyday lives. Color, pomp, and pageantry converge, highlighting regional differences, yet with a definitive pitch that cultural

ethnicity takes a backseat to national identity. In epic proportions, Aliwan Fiesta is a microcosm of life in these 7107 islands. This year’s Aliwan Fiesta will be held on April 12-14, 2012. For enquiries, please email siouxstar@gmail. com; a photo competition will also be conducted for both amateur and professional photographers. Click away!

Cordilera maidens

Grand gundang float

Ibon-ebon of candaba

Lakbayaw in floodwaters


Mindoro’sd pandang gitab festival

Panagbenga Festival, Baguio City


Honeymooning in the Philippines By Pierre Chauvin

pristine beaches on a secluded island. We decided on what I think is a typical itinerary of foreigners traveling to the Philippines for the first time. We planned to spend a week in Northern Luzon, a week on an island off the coast of Palawan and a week in El Nido. Accommodations were booked, tickets were bought, several shopping trips were organized, and emails were sent to our wedding guests to announce our destination. Then came a reply from our friends Fred and Johnny saying: “Great! We’ll be in the Philippines at the same time and we are really looking forward to seeing you guys. “Do you want to travel to Northern Luzon with us?” Out of the fire and into the frying pan. Fred and Johnny were to pick us up at the Manila airport but after getting our bags we could not find them. It was then that we first experience what is to me the most precious tourism resource of the Philippines: the kindness and helpfulness of the

Filipinos. A policeman, who must have noticed our cluelessness, came over to offer his assistance. After explaining that we could not find our friends, he let us use his cell phone in order that we should contact them and sent us on our way with a warm smile. This would be the first of many similar experiences during our stay. My wife and I are relatively well traveled. Between the both of us we have traveled in Asia, Africa, Europe, North and Central America, sometimes with a backpack, sometimes with a private car and guide. Throughout our travels, we have found people to be kind and helpful. Some more than others but all in all people tend to respond well when you make an effort to speak the language and try to respect social customs. What surprised us in the Philippine’s was how the Filipino’s would offer their time and their help spontaneously; not with an open hand but with a wide smile and sparkling eyes. It is that expression

Pierre and Sophie Chauvin


was laying in a bunk recently release from Morpheus’ embrace and not at all relishing leaving my bed since it was cold and the accommodations we were put up at did not have hot water. I lay there watching my breath and wondering how it was that I ended up in Sagada sharing a room with a Frenchman, a Filipino, and my new bride. This was definitely not my ideal of a honeymoon. When choosing a destination for our honeymoon, my wife and I settled on Bali; she attracted by the beaches and I by the Taman Ayun Temple and the Balinese 36

food. But when my father announced that he would also be in Bali and relished at the prospect of us three vacationing together, we quickly looked for another honeymoon spot. It was easier for us to change our plans than explaining to my dad the concept of a honeymoon or what he referred to as “a superficial concept promoted by the tourism industry.” And so it was that we came upon the Philippines. The Philippines offered the mix we wanted for our honeymoon: one part adventure and one part 37

of pure kindness that makes the Philippine’s a destination like no other. I will not describe our journey or the astonishing landscapes since you can read about those in any travel guide. I will say that we had a wonderful trip not withstanding the discomfort of being bounced around in jeepneys, swayed and splashed in bancas, and crowded into tricycles. It is a small price to pay to be able to eat the best banana pancake in Baguio, a fish so tender it melts in your mouth, to swim in a hot spring after an hours trek through the rice patties of Northern Banaue, or to lay like coconut basking in the sun on a deserted beach near Flower Island. Are the Philippines a good place to honeymoon? Well if you’re looking for blue skies, white sand beaches, and a hut a few meters from the clear blue sea than yes it is. If you want to enjoy UNESCO world heritage sites, gorgeous landscapes, and the kindness of the locals, go for it. But if you’re looking for 5 star

European style service and world-class facilities, then let me suggest the St Regis Resort in Bora Bora. Sure, you’ll pay more for one night then you would for a week in the Philippines but maybe that’s worth it to get high-speed Internet access and a concierge. And if you are thinking of spending your honeymoon in the Philippines, drop me a line and I’ll give you Fred & Johnny’s address. The first is the Frenchman - who sings a beautiful rendition of “Kailan” - and the later is the Filipino to whom we owe much thanks for guiding us through his native country.

Pierre is a Canadian computer engineer living and working in Paris France. Sophie is an administrative assistant and an amateur photographer. They have been living and traveling together for over 7 years and honeymooned in the Philippines in February 2011.


- a place of breathtaking beauty Words and photos by Alemberg Ang Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea, the Ivatans has kept Batanes immaculate and serene. It's a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of Manila's chaos. A time to relax, meditate and wonder at nature's enchanting beauty. The enchantment of Batanes becomes tangible as one breathes in its lush greenery perfectly draped over mountains with the rolling seas beneath their feet. The wind, depending on the time of year that one visits Batanes, can be as gentle as an angel's breath or as powerful as an eagle's wings. But contrary to what most think, Batanes is one of the least typhoon-ridden province in the Philippines.

Planning your trip

First important tip: have a flexible schedule. Because of the strong winds in Batanes and only small aircrafts can fly into its airport, flights get cancelled or delayed. There are only two carriers that fly to 38

Batanes. SEAir has been more experienced in flying to Batanes while Air Pasada is a new one. Air Pasada also flies to Laoag and Baguio from Batanes. SEAir sometimes cancels flights due to "technical reasons." They do this a few days prior to departure. Make 39

sure to call the airlines before flying out to ensure that the flight is not rescheduled. If they do, the option to reschedule the return flight is also possible without additional charges. Make sure to inform the hotel as well though they are used to this already. The airfare is quite pricey though for a domestic flight. However, when one arrives in Batanes, all the hassle of delayed flights and expensive airfare will be forgotten. The majestic Mt. Iraya welcomes all visitors to the glorious beauty of Batanes. Second tip: schedule the trip in advance and buy tickets during the Travel Expo in February. SEAir provides a significant discount to patrons of the Travel Expo. It's also good to hire a good tour guide. There are a few notable ones and hotels may have their list of favorites. We hired Ed Delphin who came highly recommended by our friends who have been to Batanes. He works

for the Indigenous Peoples Commission in Batanes, an agency working with indigenous people and the preservation of their culture. He is very passionate about Batanes, being an Ivatan himself. He can definitely add color to any visitor's experience with his extensive knowledge of the history and culture of Batanes. He is also quite well known in the island.

Where to stay

Imagine this: you are staying in a place where one hears the crashing of waves and the charming songs of the birds amidst a beautifully manicured garden. Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge is the best place to stay in Batanes. Home of internationallyacclaimed artist Pacita Abad's artwork as well as other local artists' masterpieces, Fundacion offers beauty within and without. After the death of Pacita, her brother, current Secretary of Finance, Butch Abad, opened Fundacion to visitors sharing the legacy of Pacita as well as continuing the foundation she has established to develop young Ivatan artists.

Aside from Fundacion, which is located away from the town proper, there are other places to stay. These places are much cheaper than Fundacion and is more accessible by jeepneys and other modes of transportation.

Modes of Transportation

Our tour guide hired us a van. It can easily fit 8 people. For the more adventurous ones, taking the jeepney is very easy to get around the main island. And for the extremely adventurous ones, you can actually hitch a ride on a motorcycle and pay the rider a small fee. We have seen a number of tourists do this. If we didn't hire a van, we probably would've tried it as well. Getting around the different islands is also easy but limited. Aside from the main Batan island, another interesting place to visit is Sabtang. There you will experience how the Ivatans lived in their original stone houses. Our guide was also able to set up a

catered picnic along the white beach in Sabtang. However, to get there, you must brave traveling by boat in open seas. The boat leaves Basco early in the morning to avoid the waves and leave right after lunch to get back to Basco. Still, we experience some pretty massive waves on our trip back as it actually left some of us very seasick. So here's my next tip: when riding the boat, go last so you get to sit outside. One may get a little bit wet, but the fresh air makes the trip a little more bearable and actually fun and exciting. If time permits, one may opt to spend a night in Sabtang to experience a night of quietness and stillness that the Ivatans experienced.

Places to Visit

Tours around the main island of Batan is usually divided into north and south. From the north, we visited the Valugan Bay. Connected to the South China Sea, one can see the waves crashing on the huge boulders on the shore. A quick hike over leveled

A Batanes lighthouse



steps makes the shore quite accessible to visitors. We also visited Japanese built World War II tunnels and bunkers. We were able to enter these holes carved into the mountainside. Not surprisingly, there are a number of lighthouses to visit in Batanes. Some are accessible to visitors to climb up to its peak. We also went to the Vayang Rolling Hills where the wind is so strong that it felt like we're being blown away. It's a very cool place to hang out. From the south, we were taking to the San Carlos Church, Ivana Church and the Honesty Store. The Honesty Store seems like any ordinary sari-sari store except that no one is manning it. There is a price list and a dropbox. Customers get to choose whichever product they like and then leave the money in the dropbox. The store is the brainchild of retired teachers who believed in the honesty of the Ivatans. We also taken to Payaman which is fondly called Marlboro Country because of its sprawling grasslands where locals use for grazing. Its rolling hills facing the Pacific Ocean are a sight to behold. Other places of interests in the area are the Paderes

and Chawa Viewing decks and the Windmills system of the island.


Our favorite dining place is Ivatan Pensionne. It offers a number of local viands that showcase Ivatan's delicacies and Batanes's fresh meats and vegetables. Batanes has its own slaughter house so the beef here are very fresh. Another local dish is the coconut crab is also a must to try. My personal favorite dish is their kilawin (fresh fish in vinegar, like a ceviche,some sort of Philippine sashimi). During our last night, our guide was able to arrange for us to have dinner at the lighthouse catered by Ivatan Pensionne. It's only P500 per person serving us tons of seafood and grilled delights. The portions were so generous that we had to stop the Pensionne staff to stop cooking. Endless bounty of seafood whilst under the lighthouse with nature surrounding us in its embrace was a fitting finale to our wonderful trip. Fundacion Pacita Batanes Native Lodge



The Puzzle Mansion

Bed & Breakfast at the Puzzle Mansion


estled in the Tagtaytay hills is a well-kept secret – a bed and breakfast with a special magnetic attraction: the biggest collection of rare and popular puzzles of a wide range of sizes, genres, sources, subject matter and art forms. The rooms themselves are a strong come-on; each one is well-appointed, with first class furnishings and amenities. Each high-ceilinged haven is meticulously put together, down to the bed sheets, art work and colourful topiaries that adorn many rooms. Spread over a more than one-hectare property, this new tourist destination in Tagaytay also has a 400 square meter function room that can accommodate 400 guests, a spa, an infinity pool, a 24-hour café, cable TV connections and a wifi hot spot for net activitiy. All these are set against a backdrop of grass and a colourful riot of wild flowers growing in abundance. And of course, there is the cool, kind weather of Tagaytay.

The author at the Honesty Coffee Shop


But the heart of this new bed and breakfast is the puzzle collection. Already a shoo-in for the Guiness

Book of World Records, the puzzles are a labor of love of the owner and the inspiration for the place. Each day the collection grows, as its owner Georgina Gil Lacuna, lovingly fits hundreds of tiny pieces together to complete an art work. The result is an art gallery of puzzles with over a million pieces –many of which are of art whose originals can only be found in the Louvre, the Prado and other world famous galleries. The bed & breakfast by the way, is aptly named The Puzzle Mansion. Because of its homespun but classy charm, the Bed & Breakfast is expected to be booked solid (there are 3,000 beds and breakfast in Tagaytay) but the puzzle gallery itself will be the main attraction that will draw visitors to Puzzle Mansion. How can this secret place with its creature comforts and an intriguing collection of visual treats be shared with the public and become a byword among local and foreign tourists? A PR-Publicity campaign will get the word out. Target Publics and allow them to experience The Irresistible! You may email for more info. 45

The infinity pool

The exhibit room with the collection of puzzle artworks

The rooms at Bed & Breakfast are spacious and one of a kind

Reflections on life, family, love, food and singing in Paris From Krissan Manikan’s Notebook


s I go through this journey in my life I see as a pilgrimage, I realize that the world out there has a lot for me to offer. Being a new international scholar is not a light matter. When I was in Manila, eight months ago, I thought that this was going to be a difficult and life-changing experience for me but actually it was harder than I imagined. April 2011, I received an email from the French Embassy in Manila confirming me of my one-year scholarship in Conservatoire de Paris. I hurriedly called my fiancé Duane and excitedly told him of the great news. While on the line, there was a grand pause. Suddenly, I felt we grew sad, a fallen tear on my cheek was a connotation that I would be far away from him, my


family and to everything I am attached with. Knowing Duane as an understanding career-driven person, he shared that he was happy for me that I was so blessed to have such rare opportunity abroad but agreed that the distance would be very different between us since we were hardly inseparable. It was also difficult for me to leave the house since I have been dependent on my family from the day my mama conceived me. Twenty years and no life experience at all, I knew I had to do things by myself. My independence shall be tested five months after that summer. I arrived in Paris came September. I met my French vocal teacher Mme. Florence Guignolet and Conservatoire’s administrator for the Voice Department M. Stephane 47

Werchowski, both who I knew in Manila during a master class and gave me some luck to study in the French conservatoire. I was excited and so honoured to be studying in the prestigious conservatoire that once housed most of the French music geniuses that we look up to these days – Massenet, Gounod, Debussy, Faure, Crespin and more! On my early stay, I have seen some of the most appreciated sights in Paris like the grandeurs of Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and Sacre Coeur and the famous museum of all, The Louvre. I have more to explore in Paris, I know! I have savoured the goodness of some of the delicious French gastronomie like quiche, croissants, pot-au-feu, macaroons, crépes, gauffres and of course baguettes! My pessimism was wearing off with all the goodness I was feeding my soul and I told myself, “C’est la vie!” I sighed, and I wished that my loved ones were here to see all the living panoramas around the city and at night, to dine with me in some french restaurant along Champs-Elysees. I just missed them so terribly! Homesickness is inevitable in this situation. School started and finally, I met my classmates and my other teachers. They were all warm to receive me and I was very happy to have new friends! Although, sometimes the language barrier makes us difficult to fully express ourselves in the way we would like to say things to each other, we still find ways to meet in the middle. I met some Filipinos also and they made me feel like I was still home. Whenever I am with them, I talk in Tagalog and in English, which somehow gives me a breather and finally I am back with my real “madaldal” personality! I currently live in a foyer along Rue du Cherche-Midi in the 6th arrondissement. I live with some girls I am friends with from China, Japan, Korea, Palestine, Russia, America and of course, from here (France). We go out sometimes to have dinner or see a festival in the city. There are times when misunderstandings arise when there are cultural, social or even personal clashes but we deal with it and leave nothing unresolved. Knowing different people from different walks of life taught me how to relate with them socially, always being respectful towards their culture. In the kitchen where our common area is, where we make food, eat and socialize.I have explored some of the mysteries behind food while looking at my friends cooking and baking and have discovered different cuisines as well. It gave me hope that they love the smell and the taste of my adobo! I have passed a test of survival! At least, 48

I levelled-up to a new basic skill which my family will be proud of me someday! Seasons went on and the hard times kept on coming like rogue waves rolling towards me. I have experienced to be ill without someone looking after me like a mother I used to have before. I even had three grave ankle sprains which I never had when I was in Manila. I had the first sprain happened while we (Le Jeune Choeur de Paris) had a dance rehearsal in Suresnes for a big production on stage and on TV; the second one was while I slipped on a wet floor in the conservatoire during one rainy day in Paris; and the last one was while I was just walking in the cobblestone roads of Abbesses after my Theatre Class just ended. I have suffered the emotional pain of being alone without the care of my loved ones. I was so happy that the people around me cared for me when I was sick. Soeur Dominique, the Carmelite sister who is the head of the foyer delivered me to the emergency room to my room. I appreciated all the effort she has been giving me all this time. Some girls in the foyer were very kind to buy food for me since I live in the 4th floor and it was hard for me to walk and cook for myself. I was also thankful to my teachers who, understandingly, have excused me from their classes despite the longweek rest I had after every sprain. Surely sometime in our lives, we journey to another road we never have taken and we see different things along the way, some beautiful things, some difficult times, and at times we fall. We even think that it is impossible to stand up again for we feel alone and helpless but these are the cards in our table. Time heals all wounds, they say. Soon, we will know how to stand up again without crutches nor braces and walk with our feet on the ground. I am forever grateful to the people who care about my future and who want me to learn all the best things in life! From my teachers who took me out to a tour in the real music world, to my friends who gave company and a hand I held to a promenade of a more exciting youth we enjoy and to my family and my loved one who have been giving unconditional love and support I can never repay. I am not aware of the things that future holds for me, but who is? It’s about time for me to stop worrying about tomorrow and enjoy the spontaneity of today. To live life at its fullest. Of course, without forgetting to look back on people we know from yesterday. And the rest is history.

Bend Time and Space From Edward Bergersen’s Blog “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” Wayne W. Dyer



re you ready to have your mind thrown into the razor sharp blender of epiphany? Because yes, it is possible to bend time and space, and can be learned in the time it takes to read this article.It works on this simple concept, used by spiritual leaders, cognitive behavioral psychologists, magicians, and people who live in padded rooms. Consider this: every single thing we perceive is done so through the perceptual apparatus that is our body. Take vision for example: when light photons from the sun strike objects on earth, the reflected light is absorbed through our eyes and then interpreted by our brains into meaningful symbols, shapes, and colours. The colour blue doesn’t really exist. We merely create that colour because the light refracts a certain way on a surface creating a specific hue, which many of us have arbitrarily named “blue”. An individual who is colour blind may not see the same colour as you. This is because their brain perceives a different hue. Even another person who agrees that it is blue, will create a subtly different version of that same blue. The same goes for sound, touch, and taste. We hear things differently, feel things at different levels of sensitivity, and certainly have varying taste pallets!

were to hit you, you wouldn’t be able to mind control it away or wish it to be gone and still be alive to enjoy a meteor-free existence (as far as I know). However, what we do control is how we react to these events. People who often lack this control are the mentally ill. Through mechanisms that are often beyond their control, their mind creates a reality reflecting their depression, paranoia, anxiety, or fear, making their personal universe a very scary place. Conversely, there are those who view any situation as an opportunity, see the bright side of any circumstance, and constantly have positive thoughts. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle. “The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole.” Oscar Wilde

We also do this conceptually. Your new expensive shoes may be valuable to you and worth protecting, but to your dog it’s really just a fancy chew toy. The purpose of labeling and compartmentalizing things is to make it easier for us to use them. I mean, it really isn’t practical to have a metaphysical crisis every time you need to put on your shoes. But essentially the meaning of the object is still fabricated within our own mind and doesn’t exist as an absolute reality.David Hume says:”Beauty is no quality in things themselves: It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty.”

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” Mark Twain

The world as we see it is just that. The world as we see it, not how anyone else sees it. We create our own universe. Literally. What we are doing is living in our own little bubble of perception where everything and everybody around us is merely a figment of our imagination.There you go. Mind. Officially. Blown. “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” Edgar Allan Poe Given this, there are obviously things that happen in the world that are beyond our control. If a meteor 50

Although this metaphysical quandary may at first seem nebulous and of little use to mere mortals, there is indeed a practical application. Time and space is relative and can be controlled. As a species we’re just not very good at doing it yet. Time can pass quickly when one is having fun, and can drudge on slowly when things are tedious. A small room can seem comparatively vast and spacious after being locked in a box for a few hours.

Time and space can be anything that makes up our perception of the world; that makes up our personal universe. Realizing this, we can try to perceive things as they are, dropping expectations and pre-conceptions. Try to bend your own time and space, and see what happens. I tried and these were my thoughts: Jealousy became Reverence. Hate became Compassion. Fear was Courage Unborn. Annoyance became the Practice of Patience. Speaking was conquered by Listening, Sadness, the reflection of Happiness. And Despair became Hope. Our most basic freedoms can be taken away. However, what we will always have freedom over is how we perceive the world. So. Are you bending time and space yet?


Pride of the Igorot People By Che Anne Bannawol Tough is Christopher Jim Asuigui, A Filipino artist, composer and singer . He is a full blooded Igorot born and raised in the City of Baguio, Philippines on May 7, 1979. He is the youngest among 4 siblings of boys. He was only four years old when his father died and was left in the care of his relatives in the Philippines while his mom is working here in Belgium. Tough first visited Belgium when he was 6 years old and at the age of 19, he came back and lived with his Mom in Mons. He continued his studies while pursuing a new horizon. He studied and completed a course in Hotel and Restaurant Management, after which, he have worked in different hotels, bars and other similar places, consequently travelling around Europe to experience and discover different cultures. Furthermore, he also took interest in various educational and technical fields, taking lessons from French grammar to massage therapy. In July 2010, Tough’s face was used as a campagne model for Hivos, a Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation. He is also a multilingual, speaking fluent English, French, Spanish,Tagalog in addition to some native regional dialects like Kankana-ey and Ilocano. As a musician, Tough does not only sing, but also plays the guitar and piano, and has recently given

attention to the saxophone. Asked where the screenname comes from, he says that he learned to live life the TOUGH way. Aside from music, his hobbies include painting, photography, and interior design. He began composing songs during his teen age years, and quickly became very passionate about it. Since then, Music and Tough became one. Tough’s music was influenced by 3 Doors Down, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, and Firehouse. His song-writing, which suggests a unique mix of the RnB and Rock genres, have always been rooted upon his personal trials and experiences. Very recently, through a collaboration with some professionals such as Jerome Andre, DJ Substanz and TheWill William, Tough took a big step and started an international music project between Europe and Asia. This Debut Single of his and will be released this May of 2012. Amidst the business of working, composing, recording and performing, Tough keeps close connections with his family and friends, and wants to sincerely thank everyone who supported him along the way in his journey of realizing an Igorot’s dream: “BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAMS, and MAKE IT HAPPEN”. Fans are welcome to visit TOUGH page on Facebook. 51

was so impressive to me. It was my mom’s taste for adventure brought her from Naga City, which is the ''Heart of Bicol'' to Germany where their love story began. I am the result of that love story! I thank my mom that she always kept me in touch with the Filipino culture, most importantly the language. She made sure I learned by speaking to me only in Bicol. She figured I would learn German naturally at school anyway, so that was not a concern. I equally got tremendous support from family and relatives in the Philippines and they taught me many things about the culture. For example, 'Mano po' is a gesture that shows respect and politeness to adults by taking the elder’s hand in your hand, bringing them the forehead to touch gently. This is done when entering the presence of an older person, as well as after church. I may have been 4 or 5 years old, our relatives from Naga City came to visit and stayed with us for three months, and during that time we spoke all these languages everyday. On top of that my mother’s friends stop by once in a while. This is I get an opportunity to practice. It's very nice to see them having fun cooking and singing together and just having a typical Pinoy day! I have been to the Philippines several times but I always experience new things about country and culture. I've learned so many things. It is a shame that the standard of living there is not the same as it is in Europe. The contrast between wealthy and the poor is seen everywhere. You

can really see the difference clearly. I remind myself that the Philippines is on its way to development as a country. It's disturbing to me that the contrast between rich and poor is so defined. I am aware that there is no easy solution but I hope that by understanding each other better through language, nation building can be easier. Whenever I get a chance to go to the Philippines, I want to show the compatriot that I definitely want to share in their lives and their way of being. Recently, I was watching a documentary on the television about traveling in some random country. I remember feeling so surprised to know how many tourists hide in the hotel and let the opportunity to immerse in the culture pass them by! They have to know that the participation in a new culture is very important! Besides, it shows respect to the inhabitants. I am very grateful that I speak many languages and I want to foster other people in my age group to make an effort cause I am proof that the knowledge of many languages is the key to understanding culture better and deeper. Besides that, it is a lot of fun! That's why I urge you to try it. At my school we were taught English since first grade. Since last year, I chose French as second foreign language. I get to practice it when my class goes to Paris in July! How exciting! It is good to learn languages structurally but practice makes better. It is my hope to encourage young people who also have Filipino roots to be closer to the culture through languages. My life is so much richer and my understanding better because of it. Thanks mom!

DRIED FISH FOR BREAKFAST? YES MOM, SURE! By Helena Tuy Züfle, 15 years old


ating dried fish for breakfast in Germany is not really typical, unless you are born and raised as a child with Filipino and German parents. In which case you may very well develop an unlikely taste for” bagoong”, “sinigang”, “adobo” or “tuyo”, to name a few. You may be wondering,“Why?” My mother Aileen Tuy was born in Naga City. After finishing graduate school, she came to Germany and married my father Hans Züfle, born and raised in Neckargemünd, a suburb of Heidelberg along


the banks of the Neckar river. This is where I was born myself. A famous university city, this is where the national hero of the Philippines Dr.José Rizal wrote his controversial novel “Noli Me Tangere” He remains popular today as he was during the Independence Movement in 1896. He developed a close friendship with renowned lecturer and writer Ferdinand Blumentritt, who became his closest friend and confidant even though they met only once. He studied ophthalmology at the University of Heidelberg and spoke 22 languages, something that 53

Bamboo Filipino Magkabalikat Dancers from Langenhagen Charm Crowds in

Hannover Carnival Parade Word & Photo by Daisy Alipala - Huenerberg

Last February, around 30,000 people came to witness the Hannover Carnival parade, a spectacular annual event with lots of live music, colourful costumes and happy participants. Among the main attractions were the Bamboo Filipino Magkabalikat dancers from Langenhagen. Although few in number, this Filipino group in their festive Philippine costumes drew a lot of applause and appreciation from the crowd. Indeed, it was a most memorable event and preparations are now under way for the next carnival, with more attractive Filipino participation, more beautiful costumes and more candies to throw to the delighted carnival goers. 54


Other varieties of Hoya

Hoya ilagii

A beautiful flower is named after a Filipino professor and his entire family Pictures were kindly provided by Prof. Annalee Soligam Hadsall of the University of the Philippines at Los Banos.


oyas are tropical plants native to Southeast Asia, Australia, Polynesia, South Pacific as well as in India and China. There are an estimated 200-300 species many of which are endemic in the Philippines. The rich diversity in the Philippines is slowly being documented with about 72 species described to date. Hoyas are very easy to grow. Minimal requirement include well drained soil, sufficient sunlight and generous humidity. Propagating them is mainly through cuttings of roots, stems or leaves and from seeds. Due to the resilience of these plants, they can be found as thriving ornamental plants even up in the cold north as indoor plants in Sweden where it is known as Porslin Blommor (Porcelain flower). The Swedish Hoya Society is a thriving group with about 800 members making it the largest group of its kind in the world. eng/hoya.htm. Wild Hoyas have been named after noted personalities


such as Hoya darwinii or simply according to the area of origin such as Hoya sulawesi from Indonesia. The beautiful Hoya ilagii, (Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae), another new species from Luzon Island, Philippines, was named after Prof. Leodegario M. Ilag and his entire family who are all natural scientists. Prof. Leodegario M. Ilag and his wife Prof. Lina L. Ilag celebrated their Golden Jubilee as graduates of UP Los Baños while their eldest son, Associate Professor Leodovico L. Ilag - based in Melbourne, Australia celebrated his Silver Jubilee from the same university in 2010. Other children are Yale/Harvard-trained scientist turned lawyer, Lawrence L. Ilag, PhD J.D.; Dr Liza L. Ilag-Alviar, a US-based physician/clinical research scientist and Docent Leopold L. Ilag, an Associate professor in Analytical chemistry at Stockholm University who has some interest in the chemical ecology of Hoyas. Leodegario M. Ilag, PhD, passed away on January 13, 2012. He would often say his last name is an acronym for “I Love Almighty God”. 57

“It’s more fun in the Philippines” From Rachel Hansen’s Notebook


any of us who arrived in Europe in the 70s and 80s, myself and my three sisters included, are now nearing the golden age of our lives. The time has finally come for us to go and reap the abundant fruits of our labors armed with a sense of pride and amazement for having made it through it all. Not surprisingly, many of us now find ourselves literally longing for our roots: to spread our now stable wings and roam once again the land of our birth. Therein lies an impulse to satisfy a certain longing: to see familiar faces and places. Or to speak that almost awkward dialect once more. Or to savor with pleasure those fantastic fruits and vegetables and look at those exotic flowers we have forgotten existed. Or to perhaps once again(if one is lucky), enjoy the company of relatives and long lost friends or hopefully to cultivate new ones. Whether we have been doctors or nurses or nannies or cleaners in Europe the last thirty or forty years, alas our services will no longer be required and we now have one thing in common. We are free and we find that we have so much left to give in terms of holistic knowledge, wisdom and skills. We are bursting with energy and enthusiasm. What to do? What or where should we consider spending these positive feelings now that we have scores of alternatives in front of us? Recently, having just returned from the Philippines after successfully avoiding the cruel winter months in Sweden, I have come to the conclusion that we who are in the golden years of our lives ought and deserve to live in the best of both worlds.


Imagine in the winter, when the rest of Europe is freezing, we are in the Philippines enjoying the sun, the fruits, the flowers, or what-have-you. Then when typhoons, earthquakes, floods start lashing the Philippines, we fly discreetly back to Europe, to enjoy once more the beauty of its nature and its culture. What a fascinating life that would be, don’t you agree? The latest slogan from the DOT to try hard to attract more of us to visit our home country is: It’s more fun in the Philippines! Now in my golden years, I find that shallow, stressful, and shoddy. What does “fun” really mean? So I check my thesaurus. It says: “Fun is ‘enjoyment’, ‘entertainment’, ‘amusement’, ‘pleasure’, ‘jollification’, ‘merrymaking’, ‘recreation’, ‘diversion’. The list goes on, I read further and continues. Each description leaping out of the page. Read on. ‘leisure’, ‘relaxation’, ‘good time’, ‘great time’, ‘R&R’, ‘living it up’, ‘a ball’, ‘beer and skittles’. And, not surprisingly, the opposites of “fun” are “boredom” and “misery”. Can it probably mean that “fun” for me could be boredom and misery for someone else? Oh, never mind... here’s the truth: Our home country has much to offer those of us who are looking for exciting things to do! There is just nothing like being in the Philippines. It is there that I find paradise and inferno with just a fence separating them. The contrast is intrigues me to no end. It is also there where “ fun” and “misery” are next-door neighbors. Always interesting. We Filipinos from Europe, we who are in our “golden age”, or to put it in more contemporary terms, “the more advanced in years”, we who have already “done that, been there, seen all” , to not postpone the joy and do it now! We all know very well, It is MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES!

2012 PRESIDENTIAL AWARDS FOR FILIPINO INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS OVERSEAS The Commission on Filipinos Overseas respectfully reminds the public that the deadline for the submission of the nominations to the 2012 PRESIDENTIAL AWARDS FOR FILIPINO INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS OVERSEAS is on 15 June 2012. The Presidential Awards is a biennial search to recognize exceptional individuals and organizations for their outstanding contribution to Philippine progress and development. The Awards are also conferred on overseas Filipinos who have shown excellence and distinction in their work or profession. Instituted in 1991, it has so far been conferred on 338 overseas-based individuals and organizations from 44 countries and territories. The completed nomination and endorsement forms with supporting documents can also be submitted in two ways: 1. Online through the website: 2. By mail addressed to CFO at Citigold Center, 1345 Pres. Quirino Avenue cor. South Superhighway, Manila, 1007 Philippines. Please be reminded that all nominations submitted through mail or online must be received by the CFO on or before 15 June 2012. Non-submission of the required documents may be a cause for disqualification of the nominee from the awards. For more information regarding the Presidential Awards, you may reach the Awards Secretariat at tel. nos.: (632) 561-8291 (632) 552-4700 locals 761-767, fax no. : (632) 561- 8291, or email addresses at and



2012 PRESIDENTIAL AWARDS Since 1991, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) has spearheaded the biennial Gawad ng Pangulo Awards. It was institutionalized under E.O.498 issued by former President Corazon C. Aquino to honor and recognize overseas Filipinos who have selflessly supported relief, rehabilitation and development programs in the home country. The roster of awardees now includes some 338 overseas Filipino individuals, organizations and their foreign partners, who have been a source of pride and have significantly contributed to the betterment of Filipino communities here and abroad. 59

The Presidential Awards highlight the time-honored Filipino values of PAKIPAGKAPWA, PAGTUTULUNGAN and PAGKAKAISA.The four (4) award categories: • Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino (Linkapil Award) – for overseas Filipino associations or individuals with exceptional or significant contributions to Philippine reconstruction, progress and development • Banaag Award – for overseas Filipino individuals or associations for their contributions in advancing the cause of &/or have significantly benefited overseas Filipino communities or sectors • Kaanib Award – for foreign individuals or organizations with exceptional or significant contributions to Philippine reconstruction, progress and development, &/or have significantly benefited a sector or community in the Philippines, or advanced the cause of overseas Filipino communities • Pamana ng Pilipino Award – for overseas Filipinos who have demonstrated the talent and industry of the Filipino and brought honor and recognition to the country through excellence and distinction in the pursuit of their work or profession.


1. Any individual or organization (Filipino or foreign), based in the Philippines or overseas may submit nominations for the awards. 2. Former nominees who are not recipients of the award may be re-nominated under the same or different category. 3. Individuals or organizations may not be nominated in more than one category (the Secretariat reserves the right to reclassify nominations as needed) 4. If an individual and his/her organization are nominated to the same category, the primacy of the organization is upheld. 5. Only one award can be given to a person or organization for the same activities. 6. Awards may be given posthumously. 7. Nominations may be submitted to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas or to the Awards Committee of any Philippine embassy or consulate. Online nominations can be done through 8. Awards ceremonies will be held at the Malacanan Palace in December 2012.


15 June 2012 Awards Secretariat Commission on Filipinos Overseas, Citigold Center, 1345 Pres. Quirino Avenue cor. Osmeña Highway (South Superhighway) Manila, Philippines 1007. For more information, you can contact telephone numbers: (632) 561-8291 or (632) 552-4700 local 761-767 and email addresses at:, and



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Roots & Wings Spring Issue 2012  

A quarterly online magazine for Filipinos in Europe, published by Rachel Publishing Company in Stockholm, Sweden. Its aim is (1) to uplift,...

Roots & Wings Spring Issue 2012  

A quarterly online magazine for Filipinos in Europe, published by Rachel Publishing Company in Stockholm, Sweden. Its aim is (1) to uplift,...

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