R&W Spring Issue - 2014

Page 1


Roots&Wings CULTURE




Nr 18


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Roots&Wings The Filipino Online Magazine in Europe www.rawmags.com

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.



We invite our kababayans in Europe to contribute articles on:



* Cultural Issues * Cultural Events * Places * Travel * Nature * Career Achievement * Business Development * Job & Study possibilities * Life- Enrichment projects , etc * Other relevant articles on books, movies, fashion, design, food * Please attach high quality photographs in jpg-format We are looking for Bureau Editors in Rome, Madrid, Vienna, Amsterdam, Berlin, Edinburgh, Dublin and other cities in Europe Please send materials to our Editor in Chief Rachel Hansen at rachel.hansen@ugatpakpak.com

NEW STAFF MEMBER Michelle söderman Michelle Söderman, is our new Bureau Editor in Sweden. Since 2008, she is an entrepreneur, a freelance web designer, a concept creator, marketing consultant and event planner who specializes in creating dynamic and beautiful web pages and customized personal events/parties. She is also an active practitioner in the art of healing using the traditional Philippine “hilot” method and loving every minute of it. Michelle is interested in helping to preserve some of mankind’s tradition, culture and living treasures, she is inspired by nature and gardening finding it very encouraging both for the environment and future generations. We welcome Michelle to the R&W team with much pleasure! 4


New Staff Member


Dear Kababayans


Artist in Focus – Paul Resurreccion


Bringing the Fun to Travel Events in the UK & Beyond


Celebrating St Patrick’s Day


3 Young Promising Filipinas breaking into the Spanish Music Industry


Åsdis Lisa Karlsdottir


Stanley Perry C. Fernandez in Manila


Pinoys Bayanihan in Greece






Rachel Hansen


Prague Panorama


A Tribute to Two Inspiring Women in Dublin


Myona’s Creations in Stockholm


Fr. Gaspar de Roja Sigaya, O.P. in Rome


Volunteering for Lingkod Timog


Gabi ng Pasasalamat in Greece


No Gym? No Problem..


Ten Reasons to Visit Coron

Luz Bergersen

Layout Editor

Associate Editor

desiree Munoz

Victoria Madarieta Bureau Editor Barcelona, Spain

Marvi ablaza Gil

Mayra Panganiban

Bureau Editor Ghent, Brussels

Bureau Editor Reykjavik, Iceland

Bureau Editor Prague, Czech Republic

Reneé s.Ikdal

Lyndy Bagares

McKlien Ross onoya

Michael Vincent Ruiz

Associate Editor

Milagros F. Viernes Bureau Editor, Athens, Greece


Jenny Hansen

Jonathan a Coo

Publisher, Editor in Chief

Michelle söderman Bureau Editor Stockholm, Sweden


Web Editor

Web Master

aina Bauer Copy Editor

Web Assistant

Cover: Photograph by Paul Resurreccion 7

Artist in Focus

Paul Resurreccion


Artist, photographer, lawyer, scuba diver, writer

We are delighted to welcome you to the Spring 2014 issue of Roots&Wings, the online magazine dedicated to Filipinos in Europe. The splendor of Spring is everywhere - daffodils, tulips, violets, anemones, and the blackbirds are singing happily on the treetops.

By Larry Nadorra

Filipinos in Europe. Our Culture, People & Places - this is our song at Roots&Wings. We love our Culture for its capacity to unite us in all phases of our lives. It is our language, music, dance, the arts, food, literature, our “bahay kubo”, our jeepneys, that set us apart from other peoples and other cultures. We love our People for with them lies our identity and our sense of belonging. At the end of the day, we are still Filipinos even if many of us no longer speak, think, eat, walk or behave like Filipinos. We love our Places back home, we dream of them, we long for them. The glory and the grandeur of Europe cannot compare with the beauty and majesty of our islands, our mountains, our seas, our flora and our fauna. Mariz, Maria, Alexandra, Åsdis, Tara, Fr. Gaspar, Mayra, Myona, are just a few of our incredible kababayans in Europe who inspire us and make us proud of being Filipinos. Read about how they realized their dreams and how they overcame life’s challenges through lots of hard 8

work, resilience, and positive thinking. Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation also goes to Paul Resurreccion in Manila for sharing his stunning photographic artworks with us.

Talent definitely has some unexpected ways in manifesting itself to different people. While some seem to be born with it, the more common manifestation usually happens by chance or by a strange twist of fate.

Paul pursued scuba diving as his main hobby but could not sustain it anymore because of an accident. Unfortunate as it may seem, this incident would soon lead him to his first step in his foray into photography.

Paul Resurrecion, a tax lawyer by profession, initially did not think he had any artistic inclination. For a time,

It was during a children’s party a few years ago that Paul showed interest in taking pictures. He even remembers

As we celebrate our Filipino life in Europe with Flores de Mayo, Mutya ng Pilipinas Beauty Pageant, Barrio Fiestas, Kundiman Concerts, Basketball Tournaments, Piknik ng Bayan, Pilgrimage to Holy Places, Pinoy Got Talent Shows, Film Festivals, more Fundraising for typhoon Yolanda victims, and more, let us continue to support and encourage one another so that we may flourish and prosper in a world that needs the spirit of Bayanihan. Mabuhay tayong lahat!

Rachel Hansen Founder & Editor in Chief rachel.hansen@ugatpakpak.com Hills, Bohol


Artist in Focus

very well that he took shots at the party using a Nikon D300 camera, a semi-professional model which ran at eight frames per second. That moment was perhaps an epiphany of some sort and soon after Paul jumped into the deep end of photography without any professional knowledge, purchasing the same model and began learning the ropes on his own, diligently reading the user’s manual several times to achieve the best results. Overtime, Paul improved on his craft by going on excursions and attending photography seminars. He is particularly fond of landscapes because it gives him a sense of awe and appreciation in what he sees. Although

unsure on how to completely describe his personal style, Paul’s photographs reflect an artful use of subtle colors, black and white conversion, refined composition and use of perspective to recreate an image which is distinctly dramatic and timeless. When he is not at the back of the camera, Paul is busy doing his own prints, saying that he feels transported to the exact moment when a particular photograph was taken. A self-confessed nationalist, Paul seeks to master the art of interpreting vistas through his brand of photography so that Filipinos from all over the world can experience with pride the natural beauty of our country. Larry Castro Nadorra, 23, was molded by his hometown of Iligan – the City of Majestic Waterfalls. After finishing a BA in English, Larry moved to Manila to establish a career in writing and creative design. He currently works as a copywriter for a Singapore-based financial print and design firm. His childhood was defined by regular family moments in the beaches, waterfalls, and cold springs which are abundant in Iligan’s rather industrial facade. Larry aspires to travel around the world to gain a wider understanding of humanity and nature. You can email him at: ron_arda@yahoo.com

Bangui Windmills, Ilocos Norte 10


Artist in Focus

Paul Resurreccion (R) with Stanley Fernandez (L)

Blanket of Stars, SIlanguin

Q&A with

PAUL RES When did you start with photography? I stumbled upon photography quite by accident. About 6 years ago I was at the first birthday party of the son of a friend of mine and while at my table my other buddy had a Nikon D300 with a battery pack on it. I asked him if I could try it out and immediately I felt like a kid with an 12

Desolation, Capones

awesome toy. It was set to a “Continuous High� burst rate and when I pressed that shutter it went off like a machine gun at 8 frames per second for about a hundred shots and I was hooked. Up until that point I never owned a camera and was never into photography but I decided to purchase a semi pro dslr set up and 13

Artist in Focus

just went diving into the deep end immediately. I loved it and that was it. Please tell the readers briefly about photography, as art form? I think photography up until as recent as two decades ago was not taken seriously as an art form. It has never fully escaped the view that it is merely a mechanical way of recording things and is a medium where elevating the imagination is difficult. It has always been playing catch up to other high forms of art such

Artist in Focus

as painting and sculpting. But if auction houses are to be used as barometers of how people are starting to appreciate the art of photography then I could say it is gaining acceptance more and more. A photo of a landscape scene consisting of a road, some grass, a river and a colorless sky by “Andreas Gursky” sold for $4.3 Million USD at an auction at “Christies” and is the most valuable photograph today. As an art, photography better suits my

Mt. Apo Startrails 14

temperament. It takes hours upon hours to think of a composition for painting a landscape scene where you normally draw inspiration from nature. But what I do is instantaneous. I try to capture in a photograph the inspiration itself with all the natural combinations of scenery, exquisite gradation, and effects of sun and shade. The art of photography in a nutshell is a methodical execution of all the acts necessary to produce a pleasing image, taking into account every detail, making sure that all the elements in

the frame has a purpose. The image produced must evoke an emotion in the viewer that the photographer intended them to feel when looking at the image. If an image is able to do this, then it is a successful photograph. This is the art and is the main difference between “taking” and “making” a photograph in my opinion. Who inspired, encouraged you? The works of Ansel Adams, Michael Kenna and Art Wolfe who are some of the

Paoay Church, B&W Infrared, Ilocos Norte 15

Artist in Focus

biggest names in landscape and nature photography and are the ones I look to the most when looking for inspiration. I try to deconstruct why their images leave an impression and try to incorporate what I learn into my shooting. I also try to study lines, shapes, forms and textures found in successful paintings and use that as mental templates for my own composition. Did you study photography? I read up on the latest photography news on the Internet almost on a daily basis and I find that petapixel.com is a good source

Artist in Focus

for all things new in photography. Aside from self-study on the net, I attended a landscape photography workshop back in October of 2010 in the Philippines that greatly hastened my learning curve in landscape photography techniques considerably. Any favorite themes or subjects? I am primarily a “landscape photographer” in orientation but principles in landscape photography I find are also very applicable in “Street Photography”. Both deal in capturing moments where elements are always

changing and can never be repeated. In landscape photography you capture “geological moments” that can last for a few minutes while in street photography you capture “fleeting moments” that you must capture in a fraction of a second. Please tell RW readers about your shows, exhibitions, important works, titles, etc. What are you most proud of? I have a few exhibits this year, the first of which will be in Dubai in May, New Zealand August, Shanghai in September and Norway in October. I

recently had an exhibit in South Africa upon the invitation of the Philippine Ambassador where the Philippines won the most artistic booth because due in large part to the framed photographs I brought with me. We bested 55 countries and 18 missions that participated at the diplomatic fair in Pretoria, South Africa. But my defining moment so far as a photographer was during the 115th Philippine Independence Day Celebration in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam where my photos were

Pacific sunrise, Baler




Artist in Focus

exhibited for the Filipino Community and Vietnam’s diplomatic corps. During the event, I felt so overwhelmed by the positive response and accolades from the cosmopolitan audience. It was an honor to showcase Filipino pride and to prove that the Filipino is world class.

My ever-evolving exhibit on Philippine Landscapes is far from complete. We have so many beautiful vistas in the Philippines I will never run out of good subject mater to shoot. I will keep shooting our Islands for as long as I can.

Please tell us about ‘The Camera Club of the Philippines’, their goals, purposes, mission, vision? The Camera Club of the Philippines is the first photographic society in Asia. In it we have a good mix of professional photographers and very serious enthusiasts who have very strong bonds for the reason that we share a common love of photography. The main goal of the club is to foster camaraderie among its members through uplifting the status of photography as art in the Philippines. Recently we had an exhibit by the members where acclaimed Filipino artist “Lao Lian Ben” selected the photos. The photos were called the “Lao Lian Ben” collection and were presented at an exhibit that was received with resounding success by the Filipino public.

Do you have a website? How can our readers reach you? My site www.paulres.com will be up soon but for the meantime you can find me on facebook through my like page “Paul Res”.

Do you have other hobbies and interests? I am also a scuba diver when I have the time. I just started to get into underwater photography very recently with the goal of taking photos of our underwater landscapes. Any special project now, future plans? 18

Your message to aspiring Filipinos who like to go into the field of photography I have three simple tips for anyone who wants to improve in the “Art of Photography”: Attend workshops: This will reduce your learning curve considerably. Get the best tips from the workshops you attend and incorporate them into your own workflow. Take a lot of photos of things you like to shoot: When I was starting out in photography I heard people say that you will like your photos after your first 10,000 shots. I think this is true. Print your work: A friend of mine told me once that “if you don’t print what you capture it is just an image not a photograph”. This stuck to my head and is the reason why I got into printing.

Vigan Shores I, Vigan, Ilocos Sur 19

News Bringing the Fun to Travel Events in the UK and Beyond From the Philippine Department of Tourism, London Office The “Destinations Holiday and Travel Show� in Earls Court last February 6-9 was highly successful with multiple tour operator-exhibitors selling their Philippines product in their respective corners. Each company highlighted their package holidays to different islands in the country. Long-time tour operator partners including Bamboo Travel, Paradise Vacations, GAdventures, Titan Holidays, Audley Travel and Visit Asia all reported increased inquiries for Philippines holidays during the 4-day event. Travel the Unknown is the newest Tour Operator to sell the Philippines and featured 6-pages of the destination in their brochure. Visit Asia also featured their 14-day "Best of the Islands" holidays. The London International Dive Show (LIDS) in Excel held last February 15-16 showcased the brand new underwaterinspired Philippines booth. A number of travel trade partners joined PDOT at the booth: Atmosphere Resorts in Dumaguete, Thresher Shark Divers and Evolution Diving from Malapascua, Dive Safari Asia, Philippine Dive Holidays, Equator Diving as well as Philippine Airlines. Co-exhibitors were greatly pleased with both days at LIDS in terms of the exposure, number of inquiries garnered and bookings realised. The new February dates coincided with four other adventurerelated shows at Excel and have exposed 20

a brand new market to the public who are new to diving and the Philippines. On March 10, PDOT participated at the annual PATA Exchange in London to engage in timed business-to-business meetings with luxury, wellness, adventure and general leisure operators keen to do business with the Philippines and initialize their respective programs. PDOT also conducted a post-ITB selling mission in Paris and Madrid on March 11 -13 respectively. The mission aims to develop new travel trade partnerships and promote opportunities on the tourism investment front. The sessions was attended by leading tourism industry players and developers from the Philippines and matched with their counterparts in both cities. The entire delegation was be headed by the Secretary of the Tourism, Hon. Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. and was supported by the Philippine Embassies in Paris and Madrid. Closing up the quarter for trade shows was the London Cruise Show on March 22-25. PDOT participated for the first time through the kind invitation of Escape Events. The Philippines will promote various tour holidays available in 2014/2015. Several cruise operators such as Seabourn, Azamara, Celebrity Cruises, P&O, Oceania and Silversea are now running trips which include ports of call in Manila, Boracay, Hundred Islands, Palawan and Bohol, among others. 21



performers (with marching bands from the US and other countries) performed at the parade. ‘The Festival is hugely important for Irish Tourism.’ –Minister Ring said speaking at the launch of the Festival. Susan Kirby, CEO of St Patrick’s Festival Ireland commented: “Our national Festival will collaborate with artists and groups of a variety of disciplines to host an array of creative, engaging and colourful events, of which the majority are free to attend, ensuring there’s something for everyone in the four-day line-up. St Patrick’s Festival is a celebration of what it means to be Irish, not just here in Ireland but all over the world”.

Filipino Community Celebrating

St Patrick’s Day By Hilda Arenas in Dublin

St Patrick’s Day is a religious feast in honor of St Patrick also Ireland’s national day.

was held over one day and night in 1996 where the live audience for the day was estimated to be 430,000.

The first St Patrick’s Day parade took place in 1762 in New York City while Ireland’s first St Patrick’s Day parade

This year - 2014 festival parade theme ‘Let’s Make History’ attracted over 500,000 spectators and over 3,000


And one not to shy away, the Filipino Community in Ireland participated in the parade across the country and some as spectators cheering on their kababayan. The United Filipino Irish Association in Cork took the opportunity to march at the parade flying both Philippine and Irish flags and banner saying ‘Thank You Ireland’ showing heartfelt gratitude to the Irish people for their continued generosity to the survivor of typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.

PURE FUN!!!!!!!!!!! St Patrick’s Society Manila held their St Patrick’s Annual Dinner and Dance on March 15th, a fundraising event for the New Home Foundation. Their ultimate goal on the night was met for New Home Foundation to continue their feeding program, construction of shelters for the homeless and fighting child-trafficking in Tacloban. On its 2nd year, Superfine Saturdays St Patrick’s Day shindig was held on March 15th at Imperial Ice Bar (The first and only Russian themed Ice bar in the Philippines). The guests were in for a treat as the Imperial Ice Bar turned their Ice Room green with the freshest DJs keeping the party jumping to celebrate the most famous of all Irish holidays. Hosts: Vi and Vanna Lim "Sláinte na bhfear agus go maire na mná go deo!" “Health to the men and may the women live forever!”

While back home in the Philippines the Irish expats and their Filipino friends made sure that St Patrick’s Day was celebrated the IRISH way….with lots of dancing, singing, eating & drinking and 23



3 young, promising Filipinas, breaking into the Spanish music industry By Ma Victoria Madarieta

With the recent massive success of Filipinos in different singing contests worldwide, the whole world is discovering and confirming the Filipinos’ natural talent for music. Barcelona too can take pride in its three young Filipinas, MaRIZ, MaRIa and aLEXaNdRa, who are, each in their own way, slowly paving their way into the tough music business in spain.

Mariz Perez

makes it on TV once again! 24




una canción” ( Sing me a song). Although this television show was unfortunately short-lived and did not give the contestants the exposure they deserved, it was a very enriching experience for Mariz. Last year, she marked another milestone in her singing career when she was selected from among 9300 candidates to participate in the televised “blind auditions” of The Voice Kids in Spain, and made it through as a finalist to the succeeding “battles”. The judges could not help but praise her for her “voz impresionante y técnica perfectisima” (impressive voice and very perfect technique).

MARIZ MOLINA PEREZ may be the youngest of the three, but she was the first to make it to Spanish television. In December, 2009, when she was just 11, she auditioned for the Talent program “Tú sí que vales”, and won the first prize in the Children´s category, after singing Gloria Gaynor’s “ I will survive”. Her performance in this contest is in youtube and has been viewed more than 820,000 times. Ever since then Mariz has been active in shows in the Filipino community in Barcelona, 26

The program, which was recorded last year, was aired just recently, and the whole Filipino community of Barcelona once again stood proud watching their kababayan beautifully rendering “Let the River run”, and rejoicing together as they saw her through to the next round. The program has ended, and Mariz may not have finally been the grand winner, but she is already a natural winner and an inspiration to many young Filipino talents in Spain. Despite all her achievements, charming Mariz has remained humble, respectful and cooperative; truly a good role model for her fellow youth.

generously sharing her voice and talent. Multi-talented Mariz does not only sing; she dances very well and is also used to walking down the ramp, which she has been doing since a child at Philippine shows. Constantly winning in singing contests, she tried her luck at the Philippine TFC Kat Talent Search for Spain´s representative in 2012, and made it to third place. In 2010, Mariz once again passed the casting for the talent show “Cántame 27



The last time I spoke to Alex, she told me about her future plans of joining the cast of a TV musical and dance series (Dreamland is to be premiered by the end of this March). While she was excited about being part of a TV program, she pointed out that what she really wanted to do was to sing, which was her real vocation, she said. Lovely Alexandra initially became popular among the Filipino community in Barcelona when she won the first ever Mutya ng Barcelona pageant in 2008, having an exceptionally good singing

talent as an additional advantage. Later, she landed a meritorious third place in the competitive Philippine “Search for Singing Idol” contest in Barcelona. Her biggest musical achievement came in 2011, when she made it to the top 16 of Spain’s televised singing contest “Operación Triunfo” (American Idol in the US), after a nationwide casting in the major cities of Spain, where thousands and thousands auditioned. An incredible achievement, indeed! On the first program, Alexandra not only performed excellently, her exotic

Alexandra Masangkay Escalona

from Mutya ng Barcelona to Spanish Television 28



beauty awed more than one judge, who had no qualms in saying so. Her striking resemblance to Canadian actress Kristin Kreuk, star of the Superman inspired popular series “Smallville”, made her even more alluring to the national fans of the singing contest-reality show. It was obvious that no matter what the outcome of the show, she was one of the candidates with the most promising projection. True enough, after the show, Alexandra recorded a single with Orchard Music , “Are you fast enough” which is on itunes, and its music video


also shows some of her dance prowess. According to Alexandra, her role in Dreamland is minor, but I suspect she just might steal some scenes without her knowing it. Alex does not seem to realize it, but she has a natural aura of class and charisma that makes her likeable on and off screen. I cannot wait to see her performance on the series, because I truly believe this girl will make it big, sooner than later; if not in this one, on another one not very far off.

Maria Sagana

launches her first album this Spring 30



While many aspiring singers usually have to try their luck in singing contests and talent shows to hopefully convince a recording company to invest in them and launch their career, MARIA SAGANA, on the other hand, is one of the lucky ones who caught the attention of a recording company straight away and went on to recording her first single, “Sha la la”. And she definitely has not let them down.


Few singers can boast of making it to the TOP 40s with their first single. María’s “ Sha la la” was not only on the “40 Principales” list in Spain these past weeks, it was also being aired on TV as the theme song of the new TV series “B&B”, as well as the background music of the “EAT” commercial (El Armario de la Tele). Three other songs of hers were also played on the different scenes of the series. Her single’s

success on different music charts had her jumping from Barcelona to Madrid for several interviews. Together with the successful launching of her video clip of the song, news bits and articles featuring her naturally followed. However, this single was not actually her first recording. Maria had previously sung “Ready to love” which was played several times in the popular TV series, “Luna, el misterio de Calenda “, and was the background song in one of the most romantic scenes of the lead actors. Maria’s love affair with singing started when she was just 9, beginning her singing lessons then. She comes from a family of musically inclined artists. In fact, her sister, Jackie, also sings, and writes songs for her. Her mother, Babylyn Felix who hails from Manila, came to Spain in 1982, settled down in Barcelona and started a family. Maria, who has just turned 16, is the youngest of the 4 girls and the darling of the clan. Maria’s success may well be just due to her singing talent, but her natural beauty, candid smile, and refreshing personality are additional elements that make her a very attractive and promising star. Even now her success has gone beyond Spain’s shores. In Italy, they have begun to talk about her, too; so we may well have an international artist on the making. Hello world, here comes Maria Sagana! Watch out for her first album to be launched very soon this Spring.



Åsdis, can you tell us briefly about yourself? Well, I was born and raised in Iceland by my Filipina mother, Iris Hauksson and my Icelandic father Karl Hauksson. I have a big Filipino family here in Iceland so I was raised into two cultures, knowing and enjoying both sides, the Filipino and Icelandic cultures. I have three lovely brothers, two are younger, and one is older than me. My parents are both amazing and they have supported me a lot. My family moved to Norway in 2011 for two years, and while they were away I learned so much by myself. Living alone, I learned to be independent and responsible.

Åsdis Lisa Karlsdottir Mutya ng Pilipinas Overseas Communities 2013 by Luz G. Bergersen

Roots&Wings is very proud and happy to share with our readers a fascinating glimpse in the life of Åsdis Lisa Karlsdottir from Iceland, who won the coveted title of “Mutya ng Pilipinas Overseas Communities 2013“ Mutya ng Pilipinas is the only Philippine-based beauty pageant that welcomes delegates coming from many Filipino communities around the world. The three winners represent the Philippines in various international beauty pageants. 34

I finished college studies with a Matriculation examination in languages in 2012, one year ahead of the normal schedule. I have always wanted to learn many languages and to travel around the world. I know a little bit of Visayan (my mom being from Cebu) and I hope this coming year I will learn to speak Tagalog. My interests are make up, painting, working out, and playing the piano. I am very interested in a healthy lifestyle so I go a lot to the gym, I love the feeling after a good gym session. I think I am really a positive person, it is so much easier to live when one thinks positively. What do you do at the moment? At the moment I am working hard so

I can travel next year, I want to travel around Asia, to see all the beautiful places that it has to offer. This is one of my dreams, to see the world. And life is about following your dreams, isn´t it? Can you describe the year since you won the title, “Mutya ng Pilipinas, Overseas Communities 2013”? Since I won the title "Mutya ng Pilipinas Overseas Communities 2013" my life has been lifted to a higher level. I am truly honored and thankful for this rare opportunity given to me. I have met a lot of amazing people in this journey and I am really glad to get to know them. This has opened a lot of doors for me to get closer to my dreams, to the things that I love and want to do. So this coming year I am going to work harder and reach out for my dreams. 35


Please tell us, how is it to live in Iceland? The common concept is that it is a very cold country but I am sure there is more to it than that? Iceland is a small country and there are around 300,000 people living here. Iceland is in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, between America and Europe. Yes, it is cold and the weather changes a lot – in one day it can be sunny, and then the next hour it can snow and after awhile it can rain! But what I love about living here is the very special nature and landscape that we have, it is absolutely amazing and really beautiful. Our


water here is also very clean and fresh and I would say that Icelandic water is the best in the world. And since Iceland is a small country, you know almost everyone here too.. hehe. Are there many Filipinos in Iceland? What are their occupations and their way of life? There are around 3,500 Filipinos living in Iceland. One cannot really say about the occupation that Filipinos do here in Iceland, because people everywhere are different and some are more ambitious and productive and building their own

companies, and others prefer to be employed. But Filipinos in general are very diligent in keeping their tradition and culture alive, we have a Filipino organisation “Phil-Ice“ that holds Filipino events regularly and these come out very well. The Christian faith of Filipinos in Iceland is very strong, going to church every Sunday is a must. Do you feel that you have inspired other young ladies to follow your footsteps? You know that I was the first one from Iceland who took this step to Mutya, and getting this far also, I feel really blessed. I am sure that not many people here knew anything about “Mutya ng Pilipinas“ until I went to the Philippines to compete and came back to Iceland with a grand title. This was really a big step for me since I have only been modeling. This year we are sending three candidates from Iceland, so YES, I am glad to say that I feel I have inspired other girls to follow my footsteps.

Filipinos and Filipino-Europeans? Support is a big part through this journey and it helps a lot when you know that there are many people behind you and wishing you to succeed. So I would love to see you giving all your support to your candidates in this upcoming event. Thank you so much Åsdis, for sharing your thoughts and views with our readers. Roots&Wings wish you all the best of luck and happiness for the future.

Do you have a message to aspiring young ladies, who want to join the ‘Mutya’ search? To all the ladies who want to join Mutya ng Pilipinas search, I would like you all to Go For It. Life is full of surprises and if you stay positive - positive things happen to you. If you want something, then go for it and work hard and do your best, but do not forget to have fun also. Do you have a message to other young 36




Varga, Donna Cruz, Manilyn Reynes and international world-renowned pop icons like Barry Manilow and Kenny Loggins.

Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG)

STANLEY PERRY C. FERNANDEZ Promoter & Advocate of Philippine Culture & the Arts By Luz G Bergersen R&W had the rare opportunity of recently meeting at Bonifacio Global City the energetic and dynamic Stanley Perry C. Fernandez, one of our country’s untiring impresarios, a staunch promoter and advocate of Philippine Culture and Art. The all-Filipino events he has brought to Europe and elsewhere were absolutely admirable. Stanley graduated with a Law degree from the Ateneo de Manila University. 38

But instead of pursuing a legal career, he gradually built himself up as a Concert andTV Producer, Marketing Manager, Events Specialist and CulturalImpresario. Over the years, he has produced and marketed shows with local talents like Kuh Ledesma, Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera, ZsaZsa Padilla, Basil Valdez, Celeste Legaspi, APO Hiking, Jose Mari Chan, Raymond Lauchengco, Jamie Rivera, Regine Velasquez, Ogie Alcasid,Vernie

From 1994-2008, Stanley was Marketing Director of the Integrated Performing Arts Guild.He was solely responsible for the groups travel in festivals and competitions abroad such as in France (five times), The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Monaco, Germany, Austria, Belgium, the United States (15 shows from the West to the East coasts including 5 shows in the islands ofHawaii), Japan, South Korea, Taiwan ,Singapore and Vietnam. Stanleywas also instrumental in bringing IPAG all over the Philippines, performing in countless universities, schools and institutions.

Diplomatic Fair 2013 in Pretoria, South Africa

Stanley and his troupe were very pleased to have represented the Philippine with pride in South Africa on the occasion of the Diplomatic Fair 2013 in Pretoria, South Africa. This event is a yearly celebration since 2007 organized by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) of the Republic of South Africa. Its main purpose is to showcase cultures and traditions of the international community as well as to provide an excellent opportunity to educate the public about the diversity

of the countries represented in South Africa. Stanley commented “What better way than through a visual presentation of the various beautiful landscapes of our country”. A stunning Filipino exhibition with a collection of fine print photographs of selected landscapes in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, by Paul Resurreccion, a professional photographer and member of the prestigious Camera Club of the Philippines. Fifteen frames were crated and brought on a 15-hour flight from Manila to Johannesburg and an hour of travel by car to Pretoria. With Philippine music, dance and photographic exhibition, the event was huge as reported by DIRCO's Newsletter, The Diplomat, and attracted over 70 participants from diplomatic missions accredited to South Africa and the United Nations agencies. South African business and government departments also participated in the exhibition which was attended by over 7,000 people. The Philippine participation was a cultural experience which made the our country a real “standout”, winning The Most Artistic Booth, a first for our country in seven years as against Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, South Korea and many more. Kudos go to Ambassador, H.E. ConstancioVingno, Jr and Embassy staff as well as the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA) without whose travel assistance 39


the show would not have been a success. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

Days of Philippine Culture in Russia

In 2012, Stanley organized the cultural presentation in Russia following the cooperation agreement between the Philippines and the Russian Federation signed on June 10, 2010. This provided among others, for the organization of the Days of Russian Culture in the Philippines in 2011 and the Days of Philippine Culture in Russia in 2012. On October 8-10, 2012, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation hosted the Philippine delegation led by NCCA Chairman, Dr. Felipe de Leon, Jr. On hand to greet and congratulate him during the gala performance was



the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Minister Andrey Evgenyevich Busygin. The opening performance on October 8 at the famous Maly Theatre gave the Russians the idea what to expect in the succeeding days of the festival. It was a full house with Muscovites as majority guests. A standing ovation capped this momentous occasion with a scintillating and dazzling presentation by the LICEO Folkloric Dance Troupe of Cagayan de Oro. The next two days showed that what Russians do best for classical music, the Philippines can equally do the same. With the vigor and talent of world renowned pianist, Mr. Rudolf PelaezGolez and baritone, Mr. John August Pamintuan,

who mesmerized the crowd with their rendition of Filipino classics of Francisco Buencamino, Nicanor Santiago and Felipe de Leon. Performances were at the concert Hall of the Glinka National Museum Consortium of Musical Culture in Moscow and at St. Petersburg N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov, A.K. Glazunov Hall. Judging from all the encores! one can say that it was a truly amazing experience for both Russians and Filipinos to celebrate culture at the highest standard.

Bayanihan ng Bayanihan ni Juan

Though this was the highlights of the project between the two countries, organizers made sure that Pinoys in Moscow would also arrange a performance for their “kababayans”. Bayanihan ng Bayanihan ni Juan organized,”MgaAraw ng Kulturang Pilipino sa Russia” at The

Gen. Yermelova 1, Metro Park Pebody, Moscow.w

In Monte Carlo & France

Way back in 2005, Stanley brought the Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG) and the Bayanihan to perform before the crème de la crème of Monaco with His Highness Prince Albert as the special guest. After this memorable tour, IPAG proceeded to France for the World Folkloric Festivals winning accolades for our country notably at the World Festivals in Bray Dune, Hagueneau and in Port-SurSaone, the latter having given our country the honor of being the most bemedalled contingent. Thank you Stanley Perry C. Fernandez for all the efforts! R&W wish you all the best for the future!




hungry stomachs of the patrons. Another attraction was the videoke stand where those interested sang their hearts out by just offering a small amount as donation. T-shirts that have symbolic prints of people in Greece helping Filipinos were also sold and those who bought the shirts wore them right there and then. Some donors gave goods to be sold or to be sent to the Philippines. Pinoy music soared throughout the vicinity and added life to the whole event.


As the whole world reached out to extend help to the devastated victims of typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda in the Philippines, Filipinos in Greece joined forces to raise funds for the poor victims in Central Visayas. Typhoon Haiyan is the strongest typhoon the whole world ever recorded. Various organizations and Filipino communities in Athens organized the MEGA BAZAAR, an event which involved different activities to raise funds in just one day. Spearheaded by the Accredited Community Partners (ACP), the activities included the sale 42

of used clothes, shoes and accessories, most of which came from the kind hearts of some Pinoys, not just from Athens but also from different parts of Greece, their friends or their employers. These were sold at very low prices much like the Ukay-ukay in the Philippines. Many buyers flocked to see if there is something there to fit them.

Filipinos and foreigners alike rushed to the venue to take part in the said event and no one left without something to bring home. This is a very good indication that there are still people who are willing to give a helping hand even in a country prostrated with a very grave economic crisis where every cent counts. “Kahit medyo taghirap din ang ating mga kababayan dito sa Gresya pero makikita natin ang pagkakaisa ng bawat Pilipino. Nandito po sila ngayon, nakikiisa at

nakikibahagi sa ating proyekto dito”, stated Josue Escalante, ACP Chairman and the man behind this event. The Philippine Embassy staff also graced the occasion to show support to this very important event. More than 3,000 euros were raised including donations from other organizations. The project was a success and it is surely a big help for the victims of Yolanda in the Philippines. With the success of this event, Pinoys who took part felt joy and fulfillment knowing that all the hard work and effort they exerted were worth the rehabilitation and future of their kababayans way back home. They proved that it is possible to raise a huge amount of money even from little things. Indeed, the Bayanihan spirit among Filipinos is still evident and probably will always be remembered in times of need. It is a product of our rich culture that every Filipino in all parts of the world should be proud of!

Different native food like puto, kutsinta, pitsi-pitsi, butsi, lumpiang Shanghai and arroz caldo which were donated by different Filipino organizations were also sold during the event to fill the 43

Career Corner

Career Corner

Prague Panorama Words & Photos by Mayra Panganiban Life has its ups and downs but what I would always reminisce about is my earlier years in Prague, be it good or bad. Years ago I moved to a country where I had no knowledge of the language, culture or people. Arriving for the first time in Prague, I was skeptical but I decided to quit my job even after an offer of promotion and left Manila with a $300 stashed into several pockets of my clothes. I gave up everything for an unseen future. Little did I know when I started this journey, how fulfilling my experience in Prague would be. It was one


of the best chapters of my life and after 9 years of living in the Czech Republic, it still is… Before moving to Prague, I was granted a scholarship to study and pursue my Master’s degree. Needless to say, I had to learn their local language upon arrival. Coming from a lower middleclass family, I was looking for a greener pasture, whatever that means abroad. I thought I was ready to leave the comforts of home and was up for the challenge but when I immersed myself into months of

translating Czech to English word per word, chapter by chapter and hours of unraveling the context of a sentence as if I was trying to decrypt a mysterious clue, my heart started beating fast and I found myself bursting into tears. I had enough. I was homesick and people were not as friendly as back home. Some called me Ms. Philippines as my first name, others took a picture of me and my short-lived fame believing I was for real (I wish I was taller and could waive my hands like Ms. Universe contestants do but most probably end with “major major” answer in a Q&A question). I began to question my decision of moving to a city that was unknown to me but going home was never an option. Yes! I am in Europe and my friends still

think I am in Czechoslovakia! Alas! A post-communist country, where a green fairy appears after drinking Absinth and a hotel costs a nickel as exaggerated by the movie “Euro Trip”. A few months after passing a Czech State examination, I somehow managed to pull myself together and started looking for a job. I relentlessly searched day and night whilst everyone else rigorously studied to pass every quiz and exam. I knew if I had not landed a job, I would lose my scholarship but I had to take the risk. I had to prepare for the worst as well and depending on sheer luck, I became frantic. I could barely make ends meet with my stipend what more if I had to buy a plane ticket? My father would have borrowed money if I could not afford one


Career Corner

but he already did before I left home. I immediately searched and found a parttime job as a waitress. Was I ashamed? On the contrary, I was happy, I had free dinners and I was paid with tips. After an entire day of job searching at the library and missed lunches, I would take the bus to eat and work until 11pm. I was absolutely useless and inexperienced but they had to keep me even after countless order mistakes, broken plates and criticism. Much to their dismay, I was the only Asian waitress in that Asian restaurant so the manager had to give a much more exposed and spectacular job where intelligence is not essential, cleaning glasses at the bar. I recalled meeting a customer from DHL, wooing a voluptuous Czech girl. Back then, my


Career Corner

utmost goal was to have a career, so even when she was pretty, I was eavesdropping about the guy. Surprisingly, I came across that same guy on several occasions and every time, I would chuckle to myself and think that if ever he had profound thoughts of girls he met, for sure I would not be in his list. Moving to a foreign country made me closer to the Filipino community as well. I met a University instructor from UNVA (University of Northern Virginia), who trusted me enough to teach his subjects whenever he would be on vacation. From a$2 per hour at a restaurant to >$100 for a few hours of teaching College Algebra to university students my age, it was a huge shift. I felt like I won a lottery so I pre-occupied myself with lesson plans

and student curriculum. In parallel, I studied my TEFL certification as a backup plan. I continued working at the restaurant but noticed as my not so sensational nights passed, I started feeling dizzy. I later realized my sinusitis did not adapt well to the combustion of cigarettes and as part-time Instructor at a University, I eventually had to let go of the free meals and the experience of standing on a scaffold as if waiting to be executed if I had committed another mistake in front of my customers. I continued my job search, and after months of failed preliminary interviews and university exams, on top of disciplinary encounters with the

University Dean, I finally received a call for a job interview. I prepared for days and even recorded my ludicrous self as I answered my own questions. The day came and I left home early to travel reluctantly for an hour as I await a face to face interview with my potential employer. I could remember there were 3 questions but the interview lasted for 10 minutes and with the time span I was given, I knew it as a disaster. I tried recalling my answers to questions I could vaguely remember. While I was on a bus home, devastated with the fact that I might go home soon, I wondered what my parents would feel if I came up with a sad and upsetting news. I failed them. I was teary-eyed as I heard my phone rang. To my astonishment, it was from the employment agency asking if I would be


Career Corner

willing to consider a job offer from DHL. Whoa! At that very moment, my tears ran on my cheeks as I answered back faintly with a trembling “Yes”. I looked ridiculous as people started staring at me with a perplexed face. Thank God! They must have assumed I do not speak Czech so no one bothered to ask but I could not care less. My thoughts were carried away by the job and sending money back home. Since then I never looked back, although, I visited Lemon Leaf, the Asian restaurant where I used to work, this time as a paying customer. Wondering where I am now? I am still living and working in Prague. I have finished my company-sponsored dual MBA degree at University of New York and Kurt Bosch (Geneva) and I now work as a Consultant/Project Manager in DHL. I am dedicating this article to fellow Filipinos who are faced by challenges or



are still in a similar situation. Sometimes, it takes a while to get that trophy but do not lose hope. Believe in yourself and in what you are capable of. Write your own destiny. Failures do not define us as a person but what we learn and how we move on and stand up based on our past mistakes is more important. Our decisions may be affected by our own experiences, triggered by fear of emotional past and fear of the indefinite future but the longer we hold on to negative events in our lives, the more we linger over failures of our past. Life is an endless transition and it is up to us to change our course in life by making a change in our lives.

A Tribute To Two Inspiring Women in Dublin By Hilda Arena in Dublin International Women’s Day is celebrated globally on March 8th! It is a day where every woman should be given that extra acknowledgement for their existence alone. We have been hearing about Gender Equality for some time now and I believe that if we keep practicing what we preach as women we will be a success within our own right.

I have a growing list of women that inspires me. These women inspire me because of their career achievements, dedication and undying passion for their cause/charity, beauty, talent, simplicity and the love they have for their family. There are so many fabulous women out there that we aspire to be. On this issue and to celebrated International Women’s Day, I would like to pay tribute to the two women that truly gives us hope..

So Live Life to the fullest, Love it while you experiment and take risks… and Deal with it as challenges come along your way…




H.E. Ambassador Teresita Trujillo

A former Cuban Ambassador who devoted her time to raise funds for the victims of typhoon Haiyan December is crazy hectic for all of us specially for Her Excellency Ambassador Trujillo who devoted her free time to spearhead HOPE Philippines fundraising event for the victims of typhoon Haiyan. Ambassador Trujillo was finishing her 2nd term as Cuban Ambassador to Ireland so one can only imagine how busy she is finalising everything from completing end of the year report, hosting and attending farewell events to preparing for hand over, and the list goes on but still Ambassador Trujillo found time for the Filipino people. HOPE Philippines fundraising initiative was held on December 9, 2013 at the Rotunda Room, Dublin City Hall. The event was supported and attended by the Diplomatic Corps in Ireland and friends with guest speakers His Excellency The Most Rev Charles Brown, Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald, Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisin Quinn, Patrick Austin of Plan Ireland and Hilda Arenas on behalf of HOPE Philippines. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who made the event possible. HOPE Philippines nominated charity Plan Ireland which has been working in the Philippines for more than 50 years, and the proceeds of the event will support the building of Child Friendly Spaces in the typhoon affected areas, as part of the 50

Phase II Disaster Response, which starts in early 2014. H.E. Mrs Teresita Trujillo said: We the members of HOPE’s organizing committee who work in the Diplomatic Corps will have been stationed in locations which have felt the impact of natural disasters and know the value of solidarity. We are coming together on Monday night for an evening of fun and entertainment, while all the proceeds will go to support Plan Ireland’s relief effort.” His Excellency The Most Rev Charles Brown said Her Excellency Ambassador Trujillo is the “Queen of all Ambassadors of Goodwill”. True to form Her Excellency Ambassador Trujillo is a wonderful lady with a heart of gold!

Tara Talbott – Rose of Tralee 2011 A Filipina Irish beauty who is inspires everyone she meets with her Filipino and Irish family values. Over one million TV viewers witnessed Tara Talbott crowned Rose of Tralee 2011. Born in Dublin, to Irish father and Filipino mother (from San Miguel, Pangasinan) Tara’s parents and older brother moved to Brisbane, Australia when she was 5. Tara is a qualified secondary school teacher in English & History, with masters in Communications. During Tara’s year as the Rose of Tralee (www.roseoftralee.ie) she carried out a range of duties as ambassador for the Festival and the worldwide Irish community where she travelled extensively to America, Europe,

Australia, India & also the Philippines with Serve an Irish charity. After her year as Rose of Tralee she was signed to Andrea Roche Model Agency in Dublin, and ran the commercial section in the office. Tara is now with her family in Brisbane and pursuing TV presenting. Tara continues to attend Filipino community events and shares her experience to inspire women wherever she goes. A real Filipina-Irish beauty treasure who holds family values close to her heart. Everything we do is of importance, so let’s make it GOOD! ‘Happy International Women’s Day.’

Ambassador Trujillo was a guest judge at the first Ms Popularity contest of the Ilocano Irish Association, Dublin where she once again inspired the Filipino community and wowed them with personality and her dancing skills. We thank you Ambassador Trujillo for your support and dedication to Hope Philippines and your friendship. Mabuhay at Salamat! 51



Last November 29, Myona Fontanilla Quintela, a Filipina-Swedish citizen, celebrated her 18th birthday in a unique way. She launched her second fashion show event showcasing the concept of sustainable and mindful fashion. The event was entitled “Conscious Continents”, and her creations paraded in the runway consisting of inspirations from the different continents around the world, with interesting names such as: Rulah- African inspired Athena/Libertas- European inspired Yondung Halmoni/Bahaghari- Asian inspired Astraea- North American inspired Fortuna- south American inspired Myona's Creations is fashion with a positive visual and tactile representation

of self-empowerment using sustainable materials and methods. During her pilot runway show in 2010, she was able to present a fusion of Asian and European designs using recycled textiles. A budding entrepreneur, this young lady shares her thoughts about how textiles exert various environmental impacts in their life cycle. According to her, textile has been an indispensable element of human society throughout its history, and an important commodity traded globally over centuries. She adds that the increase in textile consumption has been increasing textile waste flows and that the environmental impacts associated with production, are some of the consequences that the present generation should consider resolving as

Myona’s creations - Express your personal style while staying true to your morals! By Michelle Söderman 52



soon as possible, before a domino effect within the textile industry becomes unstoppable. There are many angles to address these challenges and she believes that prevention of textile waste is one of those to be prioritized. 50% of newly produced textile products as well as used ones are discarded as waste by the consumers. I made some research about this issue and found out some relevant information regarding textile waste : • the total amount in the Nordic region



alone is close to 145,000 tons, wherein the vast majority of those discarded textiles are incinerated or landfilled. • in Sweden for example, the quantity of products put on the market had increased by 40% from 2000 to 2009 alone. We consume 15kg of textiles per capita and year. Of this roughly 8kg are incinerated and 3kg are reused by charity organizations. The remaining 4kg either accumulates or are handled through recycling centers. This way of waste management is not optimal from an environmental point of view since the textile waste flows are small by weight but large by environmental impact.

• the production of virgin textiles give rise to about 15 kg of carbon dioxide per kg textile and uses large amounts of water, energy and chemicals, as well as posing a risk both for the environment and human health.

Myona's Creations' guidelines- the answer to sustainable fashion:

• Use ethically sourced organic and recycled materials • Recycled textile as well as ecofriendly and fair trade materials • Repurpose materials that are grown and processed using non-harmful techniques • Ensure that our products cause no unnecessary environmental impact throughout the product lifecycle • Design with respect to Mother Nature as

the giver; the designer as the creator; and the consumer as the bearer and the beholder • Promote sustainable lifestyle options through sustainable fashion wear and accessories • Textiles should be designed for reuse and/or recycling depending on their expected life time (aesthetic; technical) • Conventional materials to a large extent needs to be replaced by more sustainable materials • Use socially responsible methods of production for maximum sustainability • Instill awareness of the environmental impacts through re-conceptualized fashion Email: myonascreations@gmail.com http://myonascreations.webs.com/ FB-Myona’s creations - sustainable fashion




Father GASPAR de Roja Sigaya, OP, First Filipino archivist of Santa Sabina in Rome.

Roots&Wings is honored to feature Filipino priest, Fr. Gaspar de Roja Sigaya, OP, archivist of the Dominican Province of the Philippines (DPP) for 15 years. Fr Sigaya was appointed as archivist of the 797-year old Order of Preachers in Rome last year. Fr. Sigaya was born in Zarraga, Iloilo. He entered the Order in 1987, made his first religious profession of vows in 1991, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1997. After basic studies in philosophy and theology, he studied Library and Information Science at the University of 56

the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, where he specialized in Archives. Fr Sigaya has been the Archivist and Chronicler of the Province of the Philippines since 1998. He is very passionate about his work, as shown by his various and extensive work in this field: He was the founder and first president of the Society of Ecclesiastical Archivists of the Philippines under the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ Permanent Committee for the Cultural Heritage of the Church. He has conducted several seminars and workshops on the preservation and 57


conservation of archival materials in the Philippines. The Master of the Order, Fr. Bruno Cadoré has formally appointed Fr. Gaspar de Roja SIGAYA as the new archivist of the Order. Fr Gaspar Sigaya holds office at the convent of the Basilica of Santa Sabina, mother church of the Dominicans, which is the first religious congregation to be instituted by the Church to embark on academic missions in 1216. The Order holds some of the oldest documents in the world, such as the 13th-century Papal Bull approving the founding of the Dominican Order and causes for the canonization of hundreds of Dominican saints across eight centuries. “I am very thankful for this opportunity that is given to me,” Sigaya said. He took up an intensive course in Italian at Florence and supplementary studies at the Vatican School, before he assumed office at the Dominican archives. Challenges. During his six-year term, Fr. Sigaya will eventually have a hand in the preparations for celebration of 800 years of the Order, established in 2016. Dominicans all over the world look forward with great anticipation to the grand jubilee, especially since they were not able to properly commemorate the 700th year in 1916 because of World War I. Importance of Ecclesiastical archives. Fr Gaspar Sigaya has been head of the 58


Committee on Archives of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and president of the Society of Ecclesiastical Archivists in the Philippines (SEAP), for six years. He says that the Church in the Philippines can improve a lot in terms of taking care of her heritage. “The archives is where you can learn to appreciate the legacies of past generations,” Sigaya said. “The problem is, for example, in old structures like churches, local authorities do not listen to experts such as professional conservators and archivists.” Filipinos should realize how important archiving is in this country that experiences natural calamities every so often. “The government and universities, should encourage young people to pursue heritage and archival studies by giving

them scholarships,” Sigaya said. Fr Gaspar is very passionate about the conservation of ecclesiastical records. He brings this passion to his new office as the archivist of the Order. His visions as the archivist of the Order are: *To come up with One Dominican Standard Archival Description. *To integrate subjects concerning archives in the formation of future Dominicans.* To assist in the establishment of archives in the different provinces of the Order. *To encourage friars to use archives materials for preaching. *To train and support interested friars in the archives profession. Fr Sigaya had also taken courses and seminars on iconography and archiving in Norway and the USA.

During his stay in Norway, Fr Sigaya, had founded the ‘Hiligaynon Association of Norway’ (HAN), a vibrant group of Hiligaynons from the Western Visayas region. Fr. Sigaya penned the HAN Constitution, which has been hailed as one of the best and most extensive constitutions among the many community organizations in Norway.

Roots&Wings interviews Fr Gaspar R Sigaya, OP: Please tell us about your family, and growing-up years. I was born in Zarraga, Iloilo, Philippines, the hometown of my father, Gabriel Monares Sigaya, 17 kilometers from the City of Iloilo. My father was then 59


a municipal police. But I grew up in Leganes, Iloilo, Philippines where my mother, Profetiza Pinuela de Roja had a little Sari-Sari Store. Ang maliiit na tindihan ni nanay ang siyang tumulong para sa aming pag-aaral. Tatlo kaming magkakapatid, Emily Sigaya, (AB Commerce, she graduated at the Central Philippine University, Jaro, Iloilo)) who is now a Canadian citizen, Jessica Sigaya Nebit (Chemical Engineer, she graduated at the University of San Agustin, Iloilo ) she is married to John Nebit, and they have a daughter, Anna Dominique Nebit. I had my preliminary studies at Cagamutan Norte Elementary School, Leganes, Iloilo, and my secondary education at the Sacred Heart Academy, Zarraga, Iloilo under The Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary (Molo Sisters). Above all, it was my grandmother, Columbia Pinuela de Roja, who exposed me to religious activities like pag-sisimba regularly every Sunday, pagdadasal ng Rosario and involvement in the religious activities in our Parish, as a sacristan. Your early career? I really did not expect to pass the entrance examination of the Order of Preachers. Ang gusto ko guid ang kurso nga Journalism o kaya naman political science. Pero malakas ang dasal ni Sr. Virgilia Rivero,OP, my High School Principal, kaya nag empake ako agad 60


at pumunta sa Angelicum School, Jaro, Iloilo for the Orientation. Other posts, early interests? I have been an active cultural worker since my early years as a priest. I considered my involvement in the preservation and restoration of cultural properties as my second vocation. As the founder of the Society of Ecclesiastical Archivists of the Philippines (SEAP), lalong lumawak ang aking responsibilidad. As once upon a time, the Vice-head of the Committee on Archives of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and as a member of the Secretariat of the Permanent Committee for the Cultural Heritage of the Church under the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Together with other Cultural enthusiasts, we had conducted several seminarworkshops on Cultural preservation. For the record, I was the first Filipino Dominican priest who worked in Oslo, Norway as chaplain of Lunden Kloster and Rector of St. Olav Domkirke. My late grandfather, Claudio Sigaya ,Sr. had inspired me to pursue my archival advocacy. It was in him that I learned the basic importance of keeping personal records , preserving memorabilia and family photos. For almost 15 years I was the archivist of the Dominican Province of the Philippines. The archives of the Dominican province is located at Bahay Dominiko, # 8 Biak-

biak-Bato, Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City (Inside Sto. Domingo Church Compound). How do you find life in Rome, the Eternal City? New environment, new challenges and lots of possibilities and opportunities. A place where I could specialize more with my work as archivist especially on scientific restoration and treatment of documents, broaden my network with other cultural workers and an opportunity to show to the world (the Dominican Order) that Filipinos could be entrusted with delicate matters like managing an archives. Life in Rome is challenging. Kakaunti lang ang nag sasalita ng English. Kaya to function well I need to study the Italian Language. No choice! Food? I love pasta pero pag everyday pala, hanap-hanapin mo pa rin ang lasang Pinoy lalo na ang adobo!

with so much consideration for human values, traditions and beliefs. With the grace of the Lord and with the able leadership of Manang Luz (Bergersen) we were able to finalize the Constitution. As of now, I have limited involvement with the Filipino communities due to my hectic schedule. But there are Sundays that I celebrate Mass with The Loved Flock Community in Rome and Terni. Please share a special message to the Filipinos in Europe! We have conquered the world in all aspects because Filipinos are Resilient, Competent and Talented … and more! I hope and pray that the more we are known, appreciated and trusted globally, the further we advocate the Filipino unity and involvement in our respective communities and bring greater honor to Pilipinas kong Pinalangga!

During your stint in Oslo, you have founded the ‘Hiligaynon Association of Norway’ (HAN).. After your last visit, how do you feel about HAN today? Well, I would rather be called a friend or supporter of HAN. I am happy to note that this small organization is growing and stable. I have not regretted those late nights we spent drafting the Constitution in the midst of freezing Norwegian winter. I remember the challenge we had in trying to integrate the Hiligaynon culture with the Norwegian perspective 61

Volunteer Work

Volunteer Work

Volunteering for Lingkod Timog – a Medical Mission Organisation Words & photos by Rachel Hansen, a volunteer We have many reasons for spending our holidays in the Philippines. Perhaps it is for a much deserved R&R, to see new places, to bond with loved ones and renew friendships and acquaintances, or just simply to satisfy our longing for our roots. Next time, you might like to add Medical Mission Volunteer work to your to-do list - a meaningful, rewarding and unforgettable addition to your holiday experience that may change the course of your life. Through some friends I heard of Lingkod


Timog, a Medical and Dental Mission organisation that annually visit the Mindanao regions to provide intensive health services. Composed of volunteer doctors, dentists, nurses and enthusiastic folks like me, our destination for 2014 was Davao del Norte. February has been chosen as mission month to coincide with the presence of volunteers coming from abroad on their winter holidays. A convoy of vans loaded with volunteers, medicines and medical supplies donated by generous sponsors took off early

one morning for a two-day mission. A group of military volunteer doctors and dentists added an extra sense of security. Our first destination was the Compostela Valley Province. It was a good three hour drive from Davao City. On the way, Mother Nature generously treated us to pastoral delights with sceneries of villages, peopled with gentle smiling folks living in an Eden-like backdrop of endless breathtaking mist-covered lush mountains, valleys, waterfalls and rivers, not to mention colorful roadside peddlers of exotic fruits like durian, mangosteen, lanzones, marang, rambutan and the famous Davao pomelos.

Day 1 - Barangay Andap, in New Bataan, Compostela Valley This barangay has its own Ground Zero, so-called because it is the exact area that was severely ravished by typhoon Pablo in December 2012. A mudslide and avalanche with huge boulders of rocks coming from the mountains were washed down by the mighty current

carrying with it homes, people, crops and livestock. Almost half of the inhabitants lost their lives and those who were lucky to survive lost their means of livelihood. Quickly picking up the broken pieces and starting all over again, we found a ravaged community slowly working its way back to normalization. For seven intensive hours, using the town’s high school premises, our team treated all sorts of malaise, performed minor surgeries, addressed infections and tooth decays. Prescriptions were then taken to the “pharmacy” where I was assigned, which turned out to be one of the busiest sections in this mission. Pain-killers, medicines and supplements were distributed in a non-stop tempo to an endless queue of grateful people of all ages.

Day 2 - Barangay Madaum, Tagum City, Davao del Norte

About an hour drive away from Davao City is Barangay Madaum in Tagum City.


Volunteer Work

We were welcomed with a fiesta-like atmosphere and were given an open but large roofed structure normally used as a basketball court to conduct our mission. Again, the same intensive tempo - but this time there were four times more people to treat and give medicines. Afterwards, I found myself left with mixed feelings of awe, satisfaction and inadequacy, for perhaps we could have done even more? One thing I realized is that a little help goes a long long way indeed in the lives of people we touched. Dr. Andrew Wilner, the group’s Medical Director from the U.S., says the mission is “always a wonderful opportunity to help Filipinos in need of medical care, and to enjoy meeting them and learning a little about their lives”. While Dr. Tiago Villanueva Marques, a young Filipino-Portuguese physician, referring to the challenges when serving some female patients in a mostly Muslim community, related that he “had to request consent from the husband before examining them, while others were fully


covered so you could not examine them”.


Lingkod Timog was founded ten years ago by a group of military friends based in Mindanao and Newport, Rhode Island, in the United States. So far, their medical missions have served indigenous groups like the Tao’t Bato cave-dwellers, the Badjaos in Zamboanga, Basilan and Sulu, the Lumads in Davao, the Tagbanuas in Palawan and the Aetas in Luzon. You are most welcome to donate money, medicine, medical supplies, or volunteer your services. As volunteer, you have to pay for your own airfare from Manila, and your board and lodging too.

Please email: In the US: Armando and Cely Heredia bisiro@gmail.com In the Philippines: Juancho and Irene Sabban abu6a@yahoo.com In Europe: Rachel Hansen rachel_darlings@yahoo.com

Gabi ng Pasasalamat in Athens By Miles F.Viernes

For the first time, Filipino Community (FilCom) leaders and volunteers, Tuloy Aral sponsors and other concerned individuals were honored for actively supporting the Philippine Embassy in the implementation of its programs. Dubbed “ Gabi ng Pasasalamat,” the evening featured Greek traditional and contemporary songs and Panhellenic dances which were performed by members of the Kentro Ellinikis Technis ( Center of Greek Arts). 64

Ambassador Meynardo Lb. Montealegre, on behalf of the officers and staff of the Philippine Embassy, expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the honorees for their time, talent, wealth, efforts and unwavering support to the programs of the Embassy and to the less privileged kababayans. The event was initiated by the Philippine Labor Office (POLO)/Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) under 65


the auspices of the Philippine Embassy. “It is government’s way of thanking and remembering their invaluable contributions and support in promoting the well-being of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Greece,” Leonor Mabagal, Welfare Officer and POLO Officer- in- Charge said. The FilCom leaders and friends were touched by the gesture. Florentina Peralta, one of the leaders of the Accredited Community Partners (ACP), did not expect to be honored for her services. “I am very happy that I was one of those included in the list,” she said. The ACP is composed of community



leaders and individuals who partner with the Embassy in many community events, programs and activities such as Paskong Pinoy, Independence Day, and Commemoration of EDSA People Power Revolution, among others. It also conducts raffles and other fund raising campaigns in aid of victims of disasters and calamities in the Philippines. The ACP spearheaded the Mega Bazaar on December, 2013 in coordination with the Philippine Embassy, POLO/OWWA and Pag-ibig , to raise funds for the Yolanda victims. At 66, Manang Tina still works as a household service worker for a

Greek couple, an orthodontist and a gynecologist. She also works parttime at the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) as the representative of Malaya Insurance, sister company of RCBC. She is the Chairman of the Reintegration Preparedness and the Kawanggawa Committees of the ACP. RCBC is one of the institutional partners of POLO. Jose Marie H. Cortez, Country Manager, says RCBC is always ready to provide logistical support to the Embassy. RCBC has donated three computers for the Computer Training program of OWWA. It was also active in raising funds for the victims of Yolanda. Another institutional partner is TravelMe

Antips Cargo owned by Edwin Castillo. According to Welfare Officer Leonor Mabagal, TravelMe has helped many Filipinos by giving discounted fares whenever possible, and assisting them with their immigration problems. The Greek Red Cross was also present during the Health Screening activity of the Embassy in Thessaloniki on June 9, 2013, Migrant Workers’ Day. Through the efforts of Mildred Centeno, the first and only Filipino member-volunteer of the Hellenic Red Cross, a medical team was sent to assist in the activity and to be on hand for emergency and other medical purposes.



The Medical Outreach/ Health Screening services of the Embassy would not be possible without the help of volunteers from the FilCom and their Greek friends and sponsors. Elibeth Reyes, a member of the Hellenic Bowling Federation, brought along her friend, Dr. Maria Dioptis, General Surgeon for the eyes to attend to the various optical problems of the Filipinos. Aside from giving 50% discount for eyeglass purchases, Dr. Dioptis accommodates Filipino patients even during Sundays. “We are grateful to OWWA for this memorable night of fun and dances in recognition of our contributions to the Embassy,” Elibeth Reyes said. ‘’ I hope that everyone of us set an example to the whole nation that we are Filipinos.” One of the dental volunteers is Clarissa Herico Pontikos, Dentist, who has been practicing her profession in Greece since 1995. She is now working at the clinic of Dr. John Taniskidis. They provide all kinds of dental treatment to Filipinos at


Fitness & Health

very affordable prices and at reasonable terms. They charge only 20 euros for cleaning, filling and extraction. “Our purpose is to help. They can call me any time for their dental concerns,” Classisa Pontikos said. “I’m happy because the Embassy appreciates the Filipinos who are trying their best to help our kababayans here in Greece,” she added. There are other skills training instructors, regional/religious associations, sports groups and other volunteers which cannot all be cited in this article. The Tuloy Aral sponsors composed of kind-hearted groups and individuals for example, contributed financial assistance to about 21 children of less privileged OFWs from nine regions in the Philippines during School Year 2013-2014. The Philippine Embassy recognizes the help, assistance and support of all Filipinos in Greece.

No Gym? No Problem. By Edward Bergersen What is the best workout tool in existence? A Barbell? Kettlebell? Dumbbell? Clubbell? Bands, boards, balls or other such wacky devices? No. The best tool is YOU. All training starts with your body (initiated by your mind). Any attempt to manipulate a weight is simply your body moving under a load. A squat is YOUR body doing a squat. A barbell squat is a way of increasing the weight of the movement (the load). Your body is the tool. Your mind is the driver. Master your tools and you will master your abilities. In other words, Master Yourself. I always see young trainees doing millions of curls and lat pulldowns when they can’t do one bodyweight pullup. The same ones doing heavy benches when they can’t pop out a few pushups, and doing heavy barbell quarter squats when they can’t do full range air squats. Why is this? Because achieving proficiency of one’s own bodyweight is hard, uncomfortable, and often doesn’t look as cool as loading up a million kilos on the leg press machine. Also, in most bodyweight exercises, you can’t sit down, and we all seem to love sitting down when we work out. “But Eddie, I can already do pullups,

pushups, and hundreds of air squats, don’t I need weights to make it more challenging?” Not necessarily. By changing other intensity parameters, you can make almost any exercise more challenging.


Try doing air squats slowly. I mean REALLY SLOWLY. Try a 10:10 cadence (10 seconds up/10 seconds down) til failure, and I promise you will feel the pain. You can also do them explosively by adding a jump.


Ok, so you can do a pullup. How bout a one-armed pullup? No? One arm pushup? Still no? One leg squat? A resounding no from 99% of the population. Lemme ask you this, what’s the use of being able to bench 200 kilos if you can’t do a single one arm pushup?


Try doing a pushup with your hands

If Jason statham does it, it must be awesome. 69


about a meter in front of your chest, the so-called superman pushup. Very hard. Or a front/back lever. Equally hard. By manipulating the angles to put your muscles at a disadvantage, you can increase the difficulty.


Once you achieve mastery of the basic movements, take it to the next level. Combine a dip and pullup to make a muscle-up. Subtract legs from the equation and turn a pushup into a planche. Lift your legs up when doing pullups and it becomes an L-sit pullup. The possibilities are endless. Try training like this for a few months. I guarantee you’ll feel stronger, more athletic, and in more in control of your body. If you want bigger muscles add slow cadence movements. Muscle growth is a function of time-under-tension as well as absolute load lifted. To maintain skill in other lifts, do one day a week where you practice them. I have one day a week at the gym where I press and deadlift,


Ten Reasons to Visit Coron and despite only doing it four times per month, have made progress!

1. Daily Island EcoTours

Before you dismiss bodyweight training entirely, think of those who use little or no weights but have amazing physiques: gymnasts, dancers, and sprinters to name but a few.


Here are my favorite bodyweight training resources in no particular order:

Al Kavadlo - We’re Working Out!: www.alkavadlo.com Beast Skills: www.beastskills.com Steve Maxwell Strength & Conditioning: maxwellsc.com Global Bodyweight Training: www.globalbodyweighttraining.com Now go work out!

Edward Bergersen is a Filipino Norwegian personal trainer physiotherapist, aspiring writer, and avid futurist. Currently working at Klinikk For Alle, One of Norways largest and well-known muscoskeletal Clinics, Edward focuses on the delivering of corrective strategies using a number of different modalities for patients presenting with muscoskeletal pain and dysfunction. Also a trainer at The Oslo Kettlebell Gym, Edward has specialized in using Kettlebells and Bodyweight training to build healthier, stronger bodies, one pullup at a time. Edward travels freqeuntly, and often spends time in the Philippines, Switzerland, London, and Amsterdam, he loves barbequed ribs, good beer, peanut butter, and Star Trek (Next Gen of course). 70



2. Expedition Trips



3. Tribal Immersion



4. Fireflies Watching



5. Reef & Wreck Diving



6. Trekking & Birdwatching



7. Full Moon Festival



8. Nature Biking & Mangrove Kayaking



9. Cultural Shows, Research & Documentary



10. Sportshooting & Off- The-Beaten Track Trips


Q&A with Al B. Linsangan lll The man behind Calamianes Expeditions EcoTours by Rachel Hansen Congratulations on a very impressive and exciting ecotourism package deals from Coron. What exactly is ecotourism? Being an individual member of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) we stick to the definition of ecotourism as Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel. This means that those who implement and participate in ecotourism activities should follow the following ecotourism principles: • Minimize impact. • Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect. • Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts. • Provide direct financial benefits for conservation. • Provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people. • Raise sensitivity to host countries' political, environmental, and social climate. More info on this link www.ecotourism.org/what-is-ecotourism You have been in this venture for ten years now. What is the driving force


behind all of these? My wife Mae and I started in year 2000 a Souvenir Shop Tourism Enterprise focusing on local arts and crafts and most of our products are our own design. We even established a photo and arts gallery. This venture was followed by our starting a small tour company which later became our primary business. Please see www.corongaleri.com.ph My driving force? As a local resident, born and raised in Coron, our family has been here for six generations. My ultimate goal now is "sustainability" in the sense that we aim to preserve the beauty and abundant resources of Coron and Calamianes. Seeing all the beauty and abundance around us, I fear that over-development or unplanned development may impair the quality and state of our environment. That's why we are here to be part of those people who safeguard Coron. What sort of clients do you have? Do you have a lot of visitors coming from Europe? Now, it’s a mixture of all races, we cater to almost all Europeans, Americans, Russians and Asians. The ratio may vary according to season. From December 81


to March mostly Koreans, Japanese, Chinese and other Asians. March to June Europeans and Americans but all year round we have lots of domestic travelers. Aside from being a passionate EcoTourism advocate, I understand you are a multi-talented entrepreneur, an artist, photographer and musician too. Actually, last night, at the hotel’s poolside restaurant, I heard you singing emotionally about the beauty of Coron. Please tell us about your other projects.

Do you have other plans or strategies that will draw even more tourists, both local and international, to visit Coron and the Calamianes islands? One of our local efforts to attract or draw more tourists is to organize events like music and cultural festivals like Pabilogon or Fullmoon festival. Just recently our government has recognized our efforts on "Pabilogon Festival" as Culture and Tourism event in Coron. During the event the Indigenous Cultural Communities showcase their traditional music and dances.

There are some articles and write-ups about my iniatives in Coron, pls see following links:

Thank you so much Al & Mae Linsangan. You will definitely see a lot of us visiting Coron in the future.

• • • •


business.inquirer.net/tag/al-linsangan-iii www.philstar.com/starweek-magazine/2013/07/14/965411/coron-initiative azkalsfootballteam.com/fanzone.php?id=257 travelfoodguru.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/the-coron-initiative-towards-sustainablecoron-calamianes-islands/