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Roots&Wings CULTURE



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A quarterly 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.


Adler Llagas – visual artist


Cultural Coups - Fil-Europeans Unite! Slovenia April 22


Sharon Cuneta – Up close concert in Sweden


Victoria S. Bataclan- Phil. Ambassadeur to Belgium


Pierre F. Patricio – Filipino artist in Europe


The West End Mamas Triumph in London


John J. - a young musician in Stockholm


Mylene Freires receives prestigious UK award


London Lessons by Rhoda Severino


H.E. Evelyn D. Garcia, Phil. Ambassador to the Czech Rep.


Mutya Ng Pilipinas 2011 – Reflections by Maria G. Bergersen

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Aries Caces –Vienna based musician – Leni Garciamodel,TV show hostess Dr Jose Rizal’s Multiple intelligences by Linda Lazaro


Fiesta Filipina in Prague


Open House at Pure Pinoy Restaurant


Are You ONE in A Million? A Phil. Red Cross event in Manila


Zesty Zambales by Tina Garcia


Mansalay – Emerging eco-ethno tourism destination


We hear our motherland calling – by Greg B. Macabenta


How to donate to the Typhoon Sendong victims


Offshore engineers in Norway


A Wonderful Guide to Weirdness by Edward Bergersen







EDITORIAL “I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.”- by J. B. Priestley The new year unfolds and we find ourselves recovering from the craziness of the holiday season that just passed. We put away the Christmas tree, the decorations, all the trimmings and brace ourselves for another year. What the new year has in store for us, we don’t know for sure but we forge on ahead and make the best of it. The sad events of the last season brought about by the devastation of Typhoon Sendong a week before Christmas has taught us that we are living on a fragile planet. As of today, the death toll has passed the 1,453 mark. Relief efforts have been put in place by the Philippine Red Cross as well as international aid entities. Recovery will not be easy but as Filipinos, we deal with it with our trademark smile- a trait we are famous for. How many times have we seen footage of catastrophes in the motherland and catch a glimpse of people smiling at the camera, seemingly unfazed by the gravity of the situation? When we are thrown lemons we make lemonade. ”Smile, though your heart is aching”, says the classic Charlie Chaplin song. At Roots&Wings Magazine, now on our third year of publication, we aim to go with the changes the new year brings. Last fall, over a fantastic seafood dinner in Stockholm, Ms. Rachel Hansen, our dear publisher asked if I would be willing to take over the editorial baton, so that she can move on with her other publishing endeavors, which is something that I personally look forward to very much. I have big shoes to fill, I thought to myself, but this is a task that I’m willing to take on. New challenges. Game. Along with the new challenges, and to keep up with the demands of a changing media, Roots&Wings is 4

now available online. I am thrilled at the prospects of a more direct interaction with you, the reader. The magazine is ready for this transition and one to watch out for in the next months. New ways to communicate. Game. In this issue, you will be introduced to visual artists Adler Llagas and Pierre Patricio, painting their way to international recognition. Also, a brainy exchange with pianist Aries Caces on the state of the modern musician and the arts, and two amazing interview articles with our lady ambassadors in Belgium and in the Czech Republic. Enjoy IveeHidvegi’s coverage of mega star Sharon Cuneta’s sold out concert in Stockholm and Jonathan Coo’s much awaited “Cultural Coups”. Feast your eyes on the beauty of our Islands in our Places articles. How exciting to see our fellow Filipinos blazing trails in the international circuit! Makes one proud to be Pinoy. So what have you got planned for the year? How is the year unfolding for you? Are you “game” for the challenges and what’s ahead? I have a feeling it is a resounding “yes”! Enjoy the Winter Issue 2012 and thank you for all your support and being faithful in a wordof-mouth manner of promoting the magazine. We are looking forward to hearing from our readers. Here’s to blazing trails with you across the oceans and time zones! Maraming Salamat po and M A LIGAYA NG BAGONG TAON!!!

John Florencio - Editor in chief

MESSAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER Welcome to the winter issue of Roots&Wings, for those who do not live in Europe but wishes the Filipino magazine in Europe. to read about what we Filipino-Europeans are up to. Yes, we have become an e-magazine. Just tell With the New Year comes new challenges, new all your friends and relatives all over the world awareness, new beginnings. One of the first to log in to so to take the biggest challenge of them all is our they too can enjoy the amazing feature articles kababayan from Paris, John Florencio, our new and stories. Editor in Chief. When John was in Stockholm last autumn to perform in a charity concert for We earnestly hope we have been a source of the benefit of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, I pride and inspiration to all of you. With your asked him if he is interested to be the next Editor help and support we will do even better. Please In Chief of Roots&Wings. To my delight, John do not hesitate to email us if you have something said “yes”. Bienvenue et bonne chance John! I you wish to share with your fellow kababayans am confident Roots&Wings will be in very good in Europe – we need inspiring articles about hands. John is a Manila-born Parisian, a piano Culture (art, poetry, books, music, fashion, food virtuoso, a musical director, a composer, a citizen etc) People (ordinary and extraordinary) Places of the world. (your favorite home town, city, province, island, resort, hotel etc). Come to think of it - Roots&Wings is a very special magazine – it is lovingly put together Looking forward to hearing from you. Mabuhay in Stockholm, Sweden, edited in Paris, France, ang lahing Pinoy sa Europa! printed in Tallinn, Estonia, with contributors from all over Europe - London, Prague, Brussels, Paris, Wishing you all the best for 2012! Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Berlin, Hamburg, Helsinki, Stavanger etc. etc. You can buy “hard” Rachel Hansen- Founder & Publisher copies in all those places mentioned and starting this issue, we have “soft” copies available online

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Greetings to you and your staff and congratulations on your latest issue. It is commendable that we Filipinos are determined to shine and share our lifestyle and rich cultural heritage. This was brought into light by the cultural shows and talents presented in this issue. This is our legacy in which everyone has a share of expertise and achievements despite modest beginnings. My wish is that you would feature more articles on the natural resources of the Philippines in the future. We have lots to share and be proud of. Evadne Parulan Holzhueter, MD Stampe, Germany Nov 18, 2011 5

Rachel Hansen

John Florencio


Editor in Chief

Aina Bauer Copy Editor

Ivee B Hidvegi

Bureau Editor Stockholm, Sweden

Nanette Medrano

Editorial Assistant Manila


Jonathan A Coo Associate Editor

Maria Bergersen

Geraldine Wisniewski Associate Editor

Tina Garcia

Jenny Hansen Layout Editor

Cora Lembke

Bureau Editor Oslo, Norway

Advertising & Marketing Director

Bureau Editor Hamburg, Germany

Rebecca Garcia

Michael Cu

Hanna Stenbacka

Bureau Editor Prague, Czech republic

Bureau Editor Brussels, Belgium

Evelyn Mendoza

ReneĂŠ S.Ikdal

Contributor/ Executive assistant


Youth Editor

Melissa Heikkilä Bureau Editor Helsinki, Finland

For Inquiries, Subscriptions, Comments, please email Rachel Hansen at

New staff member Maria Bergersen Bureau Editor - Oslo, Norway Maria holds a Bachelors degree in International Hospitality & Tourism Management from The University of Surrey, UK. She has worked in the hospitality industry in England, Florida & Norway. In 2011 she started travelling to The Philippines, which sparked a new interest in writing. Currently she resides in Oslo, Norway. Maria is 24, her interests include Health, Yoga, Reading, Painting

Maria Cristina “Tina” Pecson- Garcia Advertising & Marketing Director Tina studied Advertising at Maryknoll College. Aside from her countless community and private involvements, she is also a photographer, writer, entrepreneur, marketing consultant and a proud mother of 5.

How to Subscribe Dear Kababayans! Roots&Wings is a quarterly magazine. The easiest way to get your copies is by subscribing.Your four copies will be delivered straight to your doorstep, wherever you live in Europe.Very convenient & environment friendly! To sign up, simply email your: Name & Delivery Address to

Subscription price 16 EUR 160 kr in Scandinavia £16 in the UK

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You are welcome to order back issues of Roots&Wings. Simply send an email to Four copies cost 12EU or 120 kr plus postage. 7

Adler Llagas Words and photos by Tina Pecson Garcia

Landscape artist from the province of Rizal keeps his art very Filipino by following the footsteps of Amorsolo and looks to Fabian de la Rosa for inspiration, while at the same time admitting to being influenced by English artist John Constable and American artist Thomas Cole. In the tradition of the great Amorsolo from whom he draws inspiration, Adler Llagas has chosen to concentrate on painting the landscape of rural Rizal. This is his way of showing the world “how very proud I am of my heritage”. Adler was born some 34 years ago, grew up and continues to live in the province of Rizal. He has said that he paints from the memories of harvest and country scenes. That’s not very difficult to do in a place very near the city yet far removed from its hustle and bustle. Going through his paintings, one thing you will notice 8

is that his colors are vibrant. They carry so much detail that you can actually count the grass leaves in the foreground. And the scene is always sunny and bright embodying the very Filipino traits of resilience and sunshiny disposition. This is how he caters to his home country. Using a contemporary style of painting, he is able to highlight his being Filipino through his art. He tries to shy away from the trend of other artists whose foreign influences reflect so much on their subjects. His favorite subjects are “mountains, harvest scenes”. Harvest depicts a time of abundance when new life resources are received. It is also the time when the famed bayanihan spirit of helping one’s neighbor

River Scene in Baras 18X24 Oil on canvas

comes to the fore. Of course, there is also the celebration after the labors, specially when the bounty is plentiful. Mountains on the other hand, symbolize aspirations and the fact that these aspirations can be high but reachable. He has followed in the footsteps of Amorsolo but he also looks to Fabian dela Rosa for inspiration. Although he tries to keep his art very Filipino, he admits to also being influenced by English artist John Constable and American artist Thomas Cole. He uses oil in his paintings to produce the vibrant and very realistic landscapes that he makes. He has had two one-man shows already at the ECCA Gallery at the Fort where he is a resident artist. He

has also had two shows in the US but he believes that he can show more to the world and plans to do more shows abroad. There is one place where his paintings can be shown to a very wide audience and that is online. He believes in the reach of the web and sees its potential, particularly in finding people who could appreciate his works enough to want one in their own spaces. Adler Llagas can take his work anywhere. His clear vision can easily be seen in his paintings. But he also believes that his paintings should please more than the eyes. It should also speak to the heart and possibly evoke memories of sweet smells and tasty feasts because as he once said, “Art works best when it satisfies the senses!� 9

Masaganang Ani 18X24 Oil on Canvas


Nature’s Gift 18X24 Oil on canvas

Nature’s Gift 30X24 Oil on Canvas 11

Mag Tanim ay Di Biro, 18x24 Oil on Canvas 2011

Baras River Side, Adler Llagas, 30x40 Oil on Canvas, 2011 12




Fil-Europeans Unite! By Jonathan Arevalo Coo

The Ateneo de Manila College Glee Club won all possible prizes at the Montreux Choral Festival 2011.

Destination: Maribor, Slovenia - the 2012 Culture Capital of Europe. Venue: Union Hall - Filipinos all over Europe will gather and support the only Philippine Choir competing in the most prestigious Choral Competition in the World. The European Grand Prix for Choral Singing is an annual choral competition between the winners of six European choral competitions.Created in 1988 through the initiative of the competitions of AREZZO(Italy), DEBRECEN (Hungary), GORIZIA (Italy) and TOURS(France), two others have also been associated:VARNA(Bulgaria) in 1989, and TOLOSA (Basque Country/ Spain) in 1990. In 2008 Gorizia stepped out of the Association and MARIBOR (Slovenia) was included. This competition is organized for the Grand Prize winners of the six respective choir contests to compete for the European Grand Prix. The Grand Prize winners of the six partner competitions will be invited to the Competition for “European Grand Prix for Choral Singing� held every year alternately in Arezzo, Debrecen, Maribor, Tolosa, Tours and Varna. Despite its name, the EGP is not limited to European choirs; this is because choirs from any country can join the choral competitions in any of the EGP's member-cities. 14

Have Filipinos in Europe experienced joining forces to fight to its Motherland’s pride and honor? Perhaps the recently held Miss World in the UK has gained attention after the regional tilt separated from the Binibining Pilipinas Pageant which used to crown three winner-representatives of Miss Universe, Miss International and Miss World. However, there discrimination is apparent and viewers are given the impression that Miss Universe is really the 1st prize winner and the rest are just consolation prizes. Now that Cory Quirino and GMA7 has its own Miss World Philippines, the first lone winner has indeed been given the proper glory of a beauty queen.

It’s about time we support our strongest asset – our CULTURE. The battle for the best choirs has already started in 2011. The Ateneo College Glee Club won the qualifying competition in Varna, Bulagaria. No Philippine choir has ever won the top prize in Varna.

The Azkals are another example of the Filipino spirit in Europe. Although it is more of the Fil-Europeans going to different Asian countries competing for the Philippines, there probably isn’t a SPORTS event in Europe that calls for Filipino solidarity compared to a Pacquiao fight in the U.S. wherein not only Fil-Ams mob the boxing arena but even Philippine politicians take a break from work and fly to the venue in the middle of a session. “Noynoying?”


Two Japanese choirs won separately in Tour and Arezzo. A Ukranian Choir won in Tolosa and a Swedish Choir won in Slovenia. All five choirs, will compete in this exclusive “best of the best” battle on April 22, 2012 at the Union Hall in Maribor, Slovenia.

(Note: to follow the Ateneo Glee Club’s schedule in Europe, you may email me directly: or contact Mari Gutierrez Vice-President for External Affairs Ateneo de Manila College Glee Club +639175026698 ||

The Ateneo de Manila College Glee Club, performing Josefino Toledo's "Alitaptap" at the Montreux Choral Festival.


Members of the Ateneo de Manila College Glee Club with the cup from Montreux Choral Festival.

After the awarding ceremonies in Varna, Bulgaria, where the ACGC won the Grand Prix qualifying them to compete in the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing in Maribor, Slovenia on April 22, 2012.


Prof. Ma. Lourdes Venida-Hermo, conductor of the ACGC, at the awarding ceremonies of the Montreux Choral Festival.

Waiting at the dressing room before the finals competition in Maribor, Slovenia.


Up close concert in Sweden with megastar

Sharon Cuneta Words and photos by Ivee Blossom Hidvegi

Wearing a beautiful black blouse and slacks, Sharon Cuneta blurted it out, “It’s my first time in Sweden and I think that Stockholm is beautiful!”in the middle of her opening song in her Up Close2011concertin Sweden. Believe it or not, this was my very first time to see a Sharon Cuneta concert and I was not disappointed. Her songs brought me home. From her songs;“Kahapon Lamang”, “High School Life”, “Kahit Maputi na ang Buhok Ko”, “Dear Heart” and “Mr. DJ” made the audience sing and cry a little…missing their motherland. She also sang the theme songs of her movies through the years, the medley of Barry Manilow and some hit songs that Louie Ocampo composed. 18

Sharon Cuneta was in high spirits during the concert. She made the audience laugh with her jokes about her past and even told Louie Ocampo, the pianist and musical director of the concert, “Naku Louie, sinasanibannanamanako!” People never stopped shouting the name “Gabby Concepcion!!”, her exhusband and the leading man in most of her movies when she was a teenager, every time she starts to sing a song. So, she jokingly answered, “Please naman, mag-move on na tayong lahat! But I will make a movie with him next year and I am scared. Why? Baka kasimagka crush na naman siya ulit sa akin!”During the very short interview, she said that she was very happy that people came to see her concert and she

felt loved. She knew that there are only few Filipinos in Stockholm. She said that she is happy performing for the Filipinos abroad and she wanted to come back again in Stockholm again as a tourist. The tour made her miss her children and she can’t wait to see them again. Sharon is 45 years old and still very active in showbiz. She is called “Mega” by her fans since she is a MultiMedia Megastar in the Filipino business. She starred in 53 movies, hosted 9 TV-show and recorded 40 albums. This makes her one of the most successful Pinoy entertainers of all time.

Sharon is a mother of three daughters and soon will have a son (she is just waiting for the legal papers to finish). She is the wife of a senator in the Philippines, Senator Kiko Pangilinan.She was 13-years-old when she was offered to record a song but it took a year before it materialized. She was in Europe tour for 2011 which included Sweden. After Sweden, she went to Vienna. London was her first leg of the Mega European Tour and also had series of shows in other parts of Europe such as Dublin, Milan and Vienna. Angeline Quinto, the winner of the Star Power Search for the Next Pop Superstar, was Sharon’s front act. 19

Victoria S. Bataclan

In the service of God, her family and the Filipino people An Interview by Michael L. Cu It was rather chilly for November; but as we entered that beautiful, century-old edifice, the cold of the late-Autumn morning was gently eased by warm greetings and a hot cup of tea. It was my first time in the Philippine Embassy in Brussels, and I came with a very special purpose – to meet the Ambassador. Her Excellency, Victoria Sisante Bataclan is the 12th Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Mission of the Philippines to the European Union. Happily married for almost four decades now, with four successful children, she hails from Cavite and was born on the 11th of September 1951. Albeit a fresh face to the Brussels community, “Tita Vicky” or “Nanay Vicky”, as she delights in being called (huwaglang daw “lola”)is no novice in the field of public and foreign service. For 36 years now, she has held various posts all over the world. Starting as a Staff Economist back home in NEDA (National Economic Development Authority), she has worked as a representative to the Mission to the United Nations in Geneva and Vienna, as ambassador of the Philippines to Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and as Consul General in Hongkong. A brief post handling ASEAN affairs in Manila has preceded her current assignment here in Brussels, which she considers to be her “last leg of service”. A casual yet heartwarming chat about people, culture, music and life in general allowed us to break the ice and become familiar with one another; and the rest was a wonderful sharing of thoughts, experiences, inspiration and wisdom by a woman who has spent her life serving God, her family and the Filipino people worldwide. 20

Life must be quite interesting being able to travel all the time. Different countries mean different sets of people, different problems to address, a different lifestyle, let alone a different climate and a different language. Could you share some of the challenges that you have encountered as an ambassador of the Philippines?

I think the great thing about this work is that you do have the privilege of getting to know the world – different people and different cultures. It is, of course, very challenging. Take the weather, for example: from 25-30 degrees back home to minus-20 in Norway and Sweden, you just have to cope. Furthermore, having to move in and out every 5 or 6 years brings about a complete change of lifestyle and culture. Looking back, however, I see them more as positive and interesting challenges – ones that are great to overcome. You learn very much, and in the end, it all becomes worth it.

Every one of us has our own engine that keeps us going. Where do you find your inspiration, especially in times of personal or professional hardship?

It is really your philosophy, your outlook in life. For me it has always been the ethos of being able to serve our country, and in the process, serve your family, fellow Filipinos, and humanity; and that is the greatest source of my inspiration. But of course, all that is defined by your faith, as one is humbled to be a servant of the good lord – “to be an instrument for joy, peace, and happiness” – and that inspires me all the time. That goes for my family too. I am most happy when I am able to make others happy, ikanga, “mahirap magsaya mag-isa.” Most of the time, when you give, you feel very good; it’s a fantastic feeling. Besides, who else can be greater of a servant than the good Lord?

What do you consider as the most important accomplishment?

“To be able to touch the life of others, and inspire them to serve their fellowmen.” Every day, you want to think of your legacy; and if you keep in mind how you want to be remembered, you will only do the best. Start with serving your family and the people around you, and then enlarge it to the community and the country, and most importantly to the Lord. Our very own national hero Jose Rizal is a great example of this. In his footsteps, this life of service is something I

have always wanted. I am enjoying it very much, and never really had doubts.

How do you balance your work as an ambassador and your duties as a mother and wife? Do they complement each other? Does it cause certain conflicts at times? They are very much complementary. It is completely possible to work, and at the same time, to make sure the family is intact and growing with you as you grow professionally. For the children, it is very important to do what needs to be done in terms of nurturing them and providing what they need, and on top of the list is their education and making them better persons. I am fortunate enough to have had a lot of help from a great husband, as well as my own mother, who helped me nurture the children in their younger years.

In addition, one has to be very conscious that you need to give time for the family, and leave work. Especially in rearing the children, it really means being with them as they grow up and learning with them. You cannot do that at a long distance; physical presence and attention is required. I must confess that when I was younger, I didn’t think about that, to the point of having 24-hour workdays. It is very easy to forget and take for granted, but as you grow old you get some gentle reminder from the children and husband: “Don’t overdo it!”

Since you came to Belgium, what are your first impressions of Filipinos here?

Well, it was a “WOW!” First of all, as far as I can tell, we have a whole bunch of very hardworking, responsible and caring leaders. (I met with the community leaders of the organized sector – about 75 organizations in Belgium and Luxembourg – a couple days after my arrival.) Secondly, I get the impression that the community members here care for each other, and help each other: nagtutulungan. And finally, I see that there are a million talents out there. It is for this reason that we must work even harder in promoting the Filipinos and bringing out the best in us. This way, we are able to make more friends, not only with the Belgians but also with the international community.

Being in the center of the European Union, is this assignment any different from the other previous ones? What difficulties, if any, do you anticipate from this mission? It is really neither that different nor so difficult. In


fact, I have been through more complicated work assignments, such as the Mission to the UN in Geneva and Vienna, which have really helped me in my career, professionally. There, it was multilateral diplomacy; whereas here, because we are not a member of the EU, we don’t have to participate or negotiate with them in their internal matters. We only have to negotiate with them on matters of certain agreements.

2. ECONOMIC DIPLOMACY - to mobilize the people and to make them partners in search of opportunities and programs that contribute to our country’s economic development. With that comes along all the other aspects of diplomatic work such as maintaining good relations with other nations and encouraging trade and investment to generate jobs back home, as we still have a lot of poverty to combat out there.

For example, early 2012 the Philippines is about to sign a partnership agreement with the EU, which will 3. When you are able to do all of this, in effect, you act as a new framework of our relationship covering are promoting the SECURITY of the country. As a a whole range of subjects including trade, migration concrete example, I’d like to point out that currently, the and human rights. Sometimes, that can be difficult EU is helping with our peace processes in Mindanao, since the EU is an intergovernmental organization as well as providing humanitarian assistance (through with supranational functions the International Monitoring across 27 states – meaning Team) to misplaced persons First and foremost, I’d like they all have to agree. Talking due to conflicts. They are our to encourage, inspire and to several nations takes mobilize everyone to enhance friends and they truly believe more time than usual, and in the Philippines. even further their being you might have unexpected ambassadors themselves, delays in the pacing of their On the other hand, of accordance to the agreement; course your mission because you all are. The nevertheless once something would not be fully realized Filipinos, wherever they is done the benefits are without our cooperation. are, in a foreign land, are magnified. What would you, then,

ambassadors of our own country.

With all your experiences as a public servant in the Philippines and abroad, and at the same time as a mother, not only of your own children, but also of thousands of Filipinos from all over the world, there must be something unique that you can offer to our kababayans here in Belgium that no other ambassador can do. Please tell us more about what we can expect from such a special persona?

That’s a difficult one, because I always build up on what has been done by my predecessors. I always end up pointing out my 3 C’s in life: COMPETENCE, CHARACTER and COMMITMENT. I’d like to believe that I have the experience and capability (after 36 years, I better do), and that I am willing by character, nature, inspiration and vocation to do the job, which leads me to my commitment in working towards: 1. PROMOTION AND PROTECTION – to be in a better position to have the conditions necessary to protect and promote the welfare of our kababayans. 22

like to expect from the Filipino people here?

First and foremost, I’d like to encourage, inspire and mobilize everyone to enhance even further their being ambassadors themselves, because you all are. The Filipinos, wherever they are, in a foreign land, are ambassadors of our own country. Therefore, it is through the continuous recognition and encouragement among us, as good persons in whatever work that we do, that we raise the flag of the Philippines – and that is the greatest diplomacy. Whenever I meet my friends and colleagues from other nations, they never fail to mention superlative praises for the Filipino people – a good and true image of who we are: mabait, maganda, masipag. That is why the professional and personal growth of each one of us is very important. Sometimes we only think about work, and forget how to enjoy, get to know this country, language, enhance our culture and see how we can contribute to society. Mag imbentario tayong mga talento. I’d like everybody to come out and show what you do: sing, dance, write, compose, and spread it around and make things happen, because Filipinos are extremely talented.

Going on, I’d like to be able to plan together with the different organizations in a more structured way all our activities, including Independence Day, Christmas and other events. I really see this relationship as a “partnership” more than anything else. So I’d like our kababayans to be comfortable and concerned enough to share information with us and show what they can do. Ask yourself, “How can I serve?” Even simply sharing their thoughts and comments can be valuable. Now more than ever it is easier due to technology and social media (like Facebook), and we must use it! It has been said that the Filipino’s main source of information is “word of mouth”. We love to make “kwento” more than anything else. And that is why I ask you to invite me to your general assemblies, to tell me your plans, over merienda- Let’s talk! Mag usap tayo!

to our readers in the country and across Europe?

Well, first of all, let me take this opportunity to really say that I was supposed to have been featured in the maiden issue of Roots & Wings. I just left Oslo when the team set it up; unfortunately, I was not able to answer the questions sent to me in Manila. So now, here I am trying to redeem myself. I am really a fan of the magazine. It is really beautiful, physically, and with it’s content that focuses on our culture, and by sharing it we are building together a greater sense of what makes us Filipino and what we can be proud of. At the same time, by featuring ”Come, usap tayo! Kung representative events, talents, and people, it is may problema, hanapan ng places becoming a souvenir of the solusyon; kung wala, mag- Philippines itself.

enjoy at maghanap ng gagawin para makatulong sa iba. Let’s find ways to serve each other, serve our country and our host country as well.”

Finally, we are all well aware of the increasing number of undocumented Filipino workers here in the heart of Europe. Do you have any specific plans to help alleviate this situation?

Number 1 is to especially let them know that we (the embassy) is here to help and to be of service to them. I haven’t quite assessed it yet on how much our kababayans know that. Sometimes, in other places, Filipinos themselves are afraid of the embassy. I’d like to make it clear that we are on your side. Ang embahada ng Pilipinas ay ito para mangalagasakapakanan ng mga mamamayang Pilipino. Then, I understand, as Belgium is a country that does regularize and gives amnesty which, in my opinion is really good, because it is not the situation in other countries), I’d like to study how that works, to find out how to do it, and then to negotiate towards the possibility. But as far as the Filipinos are concerned, they should not be scared. They should make the first step to connect with the embassy. In times of trouble, there’s nowhere else to go. Who else will help if not us?

So I really thank you for this opportunity, and to all our friends on the staff, let us know how we can continue to promote this great means of communication. I actually really miss all our friends in the Nordic countries; it was great times and I have such fantastic memories. So to whomever reading this: let it be an opportunity for me to say “hi” and for us to connect again. It’s been a blessing to have the opportunity to have worked with everyone. Solving problems through talking, dancing, eating – it was fun! Come, usap tayo! Kung may problema, hanapan ng solusyon; kung wala, mag-enjoy at maghanap ng gagawin para makatulong sa iba. Let’s find ways to serve each other, serve our own country and our host country as well. Keep flying, but maintain the roots. Know where you’re coming from, then fly high!!

The interview took place on the 25th of November 2011 just before noon, in the Office of the Ambassador in the Embassy of the Philippines (297 Avenue Moliere, 1050 Brussels, Belgium). Photos taken by Ms. Angeline Bannawol.

In closing, do you have any particular messages 23

Artist’s profile:

Pierre F. Patricio

The artist from Capiz who remains Filipino in his art in spite of 20 years of living in Athens, Berlin and currently in Dublin.

By Ivee Blossom Hidvegi


I met Pierre F. Patricio when he was in Stockholm in October, exhibiting his art at the embassy, as well as in connection with the UST concert on October 19. Patricio is from Dumalag, Capiz. He began showing an interest in the arts at five years old and dreamed of becoming an artist. He created various forms and shapes using clay soil from his backyard. When he wasn’t dabbling with clay, he drew sketches on available wall space.

becoming a visual artist. I started engaging in various art activities, took up courses in sketching offered by art academies in Athens, interacted with artists and visited art galleries quite regularly. In a short time, I was able to have my first solo exhibit.”Having lived in Athens and Berlin for the last twenty years, Patricio’s paintings were deeply influenced by the people, landscapes and culture.

In 1993, Patricio studied figurative drawing under Professor Lou Estathio at the American Hellenic Union in Athens, Greece. “It was at this time I finally decided to realize my lifelong dream and ambition of

Patricio is well-known for his several designs of landmark sculptures in Berlin, Germany, better known as the “Buddy Bears” which were developed by Dr. Klaus Herlitz and his wife Eva, in aid of UNICEF and 25

for various child relief organizations. He represented the Philippines with his version of “The Philippine Eagle” in a world tour/art exhibition of the United Buddy Bears with 140 participating countries. “For me, an artist is a person who celebrates the undying spirit of human creativity. The artist is a unique individual who documents the human experience by drawing inspiration from the world around him. In my case, I am able to express my thoughts, feelings and emotions through art and inspire people.” Today, his styles vary from cubism to impressionist and abstract touches. “Being a Filipino artist in the strictest sense can vary a lot from different points of view. I still paint and sculpt figuratively with traditional subjects, but my style is geared more towards abstract and cubism these past years. In the modernist point of view, a Filipino artist will always remain a Filipino artist regardless of the style he applies to his artworks. Art has always been the main form of expressing my emotions. This is very visible in the colors and subjects I apply in my paintings. I am always in search


for something new and different for my art. I have to find new techniques to be versatile and to evolve as an artist. I do this to avoid monotony and set no limits to what I can do with my craft. I guess Filipino artists should learn to become unafraid of change and in trying new things.” It takes about a week to a month to do one painting depending on how big his canvass will be. He said that he only paints for 3 hours a day to balance family life and his love for painting. He is currently residing in Dublin Ireland. When he paints, he never forgets his roots. “I have always considered myself a Filipino artist. It has always been the focal point and theme of my artworks ever since I started painting. When I exhibit abroad, people consider me a Filipino artist, and I have been expressing my sense of nationalism through my artworks from childhood to the present. Above all, I am able to promote Filipino Art and culture in my exhibits. It is a great joy for me to give the global community a glimpse of our culture and society through my artworks.”


Maya Barredo Duffy, Gia Macuja Atchison, Cez Campos Bonner

The West End Mamas

Triumph In London A truly phenomenal evening was met with yet another standing ovation whennewly formed singing group “West End Mamas� performed in their London debut concert at Cafe El Paso on the 30th of Nov 2011. Leading the crowd were Deputy Ambassador Reynaldo Catapang and Consul General Bernadette Fernandez of the Philippine Embassy London. Their debut concert at Club Woodham in Essex on the 4th of November was sold out within 2 weeks and a standing ovation was lead by South Woodham Ferrers Town Mayor Jackie Birch and Deputy Mayor Lisa Kelly. 28

The three West End Mamas are a newly formed vocal group described as one of the most exciting acts of their generation. Gia Macuja Atchison, Maya Barredo Duffy and Cez Campos Bonner have all been known having played leading roles in London's West End... Gia playing the lead role of Princess Nala in "The Lion King", Maya and Cez playing the legendary role of Kim in "Miss Saigon". They have now come together to sing for everyone, showing that motherhood won't stop these Mamas from doing what they love most. Catch them in their future performances by visiting their website on

John J Artist, Manager and Inspiration By Hanna Stenbacka

John Joveth Jorquia (John J) a charismatic young man, with a strong heart and robust soul, was just three years old when he moved to Sweden from the Philippines. Twenty years old, he is a high school graduate in the natural sciences and now presently working as restaurant manager at Subway in Stockholm. Not only is he scientifically astute and a great leader, but the age of fourteen while at a festival he joined a music competition and made it to the finals where he had the opportunity to perform in front of thousands. Always musically inclined his passion grew. Educating himself on healthy singing techniques, instruments, and the production process he was able to crystallize a ministudio at home. He also learned how to use criticism as a fuel to better oneself, rather than letting it pull

you down. While now prioritizing his managerial position he uses his free time to pursue his aesthetic career. This often means less partying and more work. He is glad that Sweden provides a plethora of venues encouraging individuals to pursue dreams though assistance and tools. Filipino working morals push him forward; labor and study give promise, take nothing for granted and remain goal-oriented. His music is conventionally and western inspired with an international edge. His ultimate goal is to establish an international and Filipino music career. Proud of his heritage he makes sure to prioritize this in his marketing. John J is soon releasing a new single and music video on the market. For more on John J’s work please visit 29

Filipina nurse received prestigious UK award

Mylene Freires with Health Minister Anne Milton

The Filipino Community in the United Kingdom recently had a reason to celebrate, as they learned that Ms. Mylene Freires was awarded the 2010 Mary Seacole Development Award. They learned from the Embassy of the Philippines in London that Ms. Mylene Freires was awarded the 2010 Mary Seacole Development Award for her project on the development of nurse-led Port-a-Cath insertion service for patients with sickle cell disease on red cell exchange program. Freires is an advance nurse practitioner for venous 30

access at London’s Guy’s & St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and is the first Filipino to receive this highly coveted national award. The award was given during recognition ceremonies held at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) headquarters in London in the presence of the Rt. Hon. Anne Milton, MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health of the United Kingdom. A graduate of the Silliman University College of

Mylene Freires with other 2010-2011 awardees

Nursing in Dumaguete City, Freires hails from Panabo, Davao del Norte. The Mary Seacole Leadership and Development Awards recognize nurses, midwives, and health visitors around the United Kingdom who make an outstanding contribution to patient care through development and leadership. The Development Award – worth £6,250 – allows recipients to undertake a project that benefits the health needs of people from black and minority ethnic communities. The Leadership Award – worth £12,500 – enables nurses, midwives, and health visitors in leadership positions to undertake a project to improve patient care. The awards were created in honor of the nurse Mary Seacole, who made a significant contribution to nursing in the 19th Century, including nursing wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War. They are funded jointly by the UK Department of Health and NHS Employers who work in partnership with the RCN and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).

The other recipients of the 2010 Mary Seacole Development Awards were Sarah Bennet of St. James University Hospital; Naomi Douglas of Community Health Oxfordshire; and Opal Greyson of Bedford Hospital NHS Trust. “The positive contribution of Filipino nurses and health care workers in the United Kingdom is highly appreciated by the British Government. Their care and compassion are sought after by patients. Our nurses are truly ambassadors of goodwill of the Philippines,” remarked Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo in his report to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila. There are 60,000 Filipino health care workers in the United Kingdom, including 30,000 Filipino nurses. The Filipino community in the United Kingdom is estimated at 250,000 and is organized into various professional, regional, and educational associations, including the Silliman University Alumni Association – United Kingdom Chapter of which Freires is an active member of its Board of Directors. 31


London Lessons By Rhoda Severino

After my first term of my postgraduate degree, I have more questions and fewer answers than I did before, though that might be the point: to learn the right questions to ask, to learn how to think and not what to think. Regardless, for me, and for many others who enrolled in postgraduate programs looking to do some postadolescent soul-searching, it was a bit of a rude awakening. I think we always knew that there are no right answers, that the world and the people that inhabit it are complicated and capricious, but perhaps we thought that maybe if we just read enough, put the puzzle pieces together just so, then we could impose some sense of order on our world. Now it just seems that the more we learn, the less we know. London, in that sense, gave me a new vantage point. I spent my formative years shuttling around Asia, then spent my college years in the United States. Europe was an unconquered frontier, and London was an easy access point; it was a global city across the channel from Paris and across the Atlantic from New York,and I didn’t need to learn a new language or strain my garbled French. That isn’t to say that I didn’t encounter language barriers between American and British English: trousers instead of pants, I have to keep reminding myself, Southwark is pronounced Suh-thuck. Living and studying in London has, in a strange way, reminded me that Europe exists. It’s only as I try to read up on the Eurozone crisis brewing in the continent that I realize how little I know about the European Union as an institution. Despite my impatience with how my professors and class readings have been ignoring the existence of the developing world outside of the Arab spring countries, my seminars have exposed my ignorance of the Spanish civil war, and the European interwar period, expanding my horizons beyond Asia and the United States.

London has also, happily, disproved many of the warnings people gave me about living in the United Kingdom. It rains far less than I thought it would, certainly less than it does in the Philippines, and the food is not as bad as everyone says. It’s true, I live in London and don’t need to eat English food if I don’t want to, but sometimes it’s just nice to hole up in a pub with a pint and a steak and ale pie. And while the sun does set at 3:30 in the afternoon in the winter, I’m looking forward to next spring and summer when sun is still up at 9 p.m. I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about London. Some cities immediately grab at me, like meeting someone for the first time and instantly wanting to be their best friend. New York and Hong Kong were like that for me, rendering me wide-eyed and enamored. London is more like that person on the periphery of your social circle that you should like, but don’t automatically take to for some reason, yet grows on you bit by bit. Slowly, the fickle public transport, the persistently grey skies and the serpentine maze of streets and alleyways become small inconveniences to the free museums, the centuries worth of history, and the array of concerts and shows every day. London still has so much to teach me, and I’m looking forward to learning more.

Rhoda Severino is a postgraduate student living in London pursuing a Master of Science in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She graduated from Saint Peter’s College in Jersey City, New Jersey in the United States of America with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science. She has also lived in Singapore, the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Malaysia.


H.E. Ambassador Evelyn D. Austria-Garcia presenting her credentials to VĂĄclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic.

An Interview with

H.E. Evelyn D. Austria-Garcia Philippine Ambassador to the Czech Republic By Rebecca A. Garcia

One may say that it is easy to interview someone you’ve known your whole life, but I assure you that I learned new things about my mother while doing this interview. I understand further the dedication and hard work she puts in to help promote the Philippines in all posts she has been assigned to, as well as the importance of maintaining and strengthening diplomatic and economic relations with each respective country. 34

Why and when did you decide to become a diplomat?

I don’t know if you can trace it to childhood, but in a family of doctors who discuss and argue about a medical case, you somehow think of trying to put an end to these discussions and arguments. So maybe, at that time when I was a child, I had not thought that there was such a profession like diplomacy. But, in my second year of college, I discovered that there was … so, now I find myself working for the government and in the Foreign Service.

Can you tell us some highlights / interesting assignments in your diplomatic career so far?

Oh, there are many (smiles). But the toughest one is in multilateral diplomacy. Why? Because you try to convince many countries to view an issue from your own perspective. As you know, not all share the same so the most challenging and yet most interesting work I had was when I was working with the Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York. I recall that during my two-year stint in New York, from 1999-2001, there were two review conferences, i.e., on women and on social development. There were also two special sessions, i.e., on children and on HIV AIDS. Those two years seemed like twenty (shakes her head). The group of developing countries could not reach agreement on many issues and so more often than not, countries expressed their own national views or those of their regional groupings. It came to a point where the Group of 77 seemingly “disintegrated”, particularly during the review conference on women. My experience with multilateral diplomacy was a revelation. It was truly enriching and challenging as well.

What is your opinion about the relations in general between the Philippines and the Czech Republic? Political? Cultural? Commercial? Development cooperation? Environment protection?

We have excellent relations with the Czech Republic. The ties between the Philippines and the Czech Republic are rooted on the historical friendship between our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal and Professor Ferdinand Blumentritt. This friendship is manifested particularly in the city of Litoměřice which hosts the Rizal-Blumentritt Bastion that houses memorabilia of

the said friendship. The busts of Dr. Rizal are proudly displayed in the Mayor’s Office, the Hotel Salva Guarda and the Rizal Parklany. In terms of trade, the Czech Republic is the Philippines' 7th largest export market in Europe with Philippine exports valued at USD125.8 million as of the first half of 2011. (In 2010, total trade amounted to USD 256.8 million and the trade balance was in favor of the Philippines.) With continued promotion and business-matching activities, the level of trade is expected to grow higher. Just this month (December 2011), we have seen the first Philippine store and jewelry boutique, which offers pearls, officially open their doors in Prague to the Czech clientele. Processed Philippine fruits have been on display in supermarket chains in the Czech Republic and a number of Czech companies have indicated interest in importing other products such as Tanduay Rum and decorative items as well as intermediate raw materials like soap, noodles and tuna. On investments – Czech companies have good investment track records in the Philippines as exemplified by the MRT project. The coaches, which are in good operational state until now, were supplied by the Czech company CKD. Other notable investments by Czech companies include mini-hydro projects in Bohol and Agusan, a water-purification project in Baguio City, and a navigation and lighting project at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The Philippines, of course, would like to see Philippine-Czech commercial relations continue to grow and prosper in the future. It is imperative, therefore, that the embassy sustain or increase its promotional activities which will leave a favorable imprint of the Philippines in the minds of the Czech population. I was told that in 2009, the number of Czech travelers to the Philippines was nil. In 2010, there were around 2000 Czechs who visited the Philippines according to the Czech Ambassador in Manila. We expect that this year the number of Czech tourists would increase by at least twenty per cent (20%). While we see that Czechs increasingly discover more about the Philippines, I would also like to see Filipinos develop an appreciation for the best that the Czech Republic could offer to the Philippines, in terms of innovation, research, science and technology. It 35

is said that the Czech Republic offers advanced technology at very reasonable prices compared with other developed countries.

of Philippine products. There is also a Philippine jewelry boutique that opened only in December of this year. You know, Philippine pearls are popular in the Czech Republic. Our pearls are very much desired What is the approximate number of Filipino and appreciated. At the last Diplomatic Christmas citizens living in the Czech Republic? Bazaar, the Philippine stand was inundated with About 348, but rising. While the number of Filipinos customers of all ages waiting in line to get hold of those in the Czech Republic is small compared with other precious pearls. This year, we introduced Philippine countries, they are composed South Sea pearls at the Bazaar, mainly of company workers “It is imperative, therefore, which were also a hit. Other and professionals. These that the embassy sustain than that, we are looking at Filipinos have contracts that prospective businesses in the comply with the requirements or increase its promotional energy, transport, agriculture, of the Philippine Overseas activities which will leave a mining and health sectors. Employment Agency (POEA) favourable imprint of the The Czechs are interested in in terms of salary, insurance participating in the extension coverage, “days-off” and Philippines in the minds of projects of the Light Rail and the Czech population.” repatriation. Metro Rail Transit systems in the Philippines. They are There are many opportunities for those who are also looking into participating in projects related to skilled in areas such as the after-sales warranty renewable energy sources in our country. service, information technology and health-wellness.

What opportunities for Filipino students are available at Czech universities?

There are many foreign students who come to the Czech Republic for medical studies. The courses are offered in English and the standards are high. I was also informed that the tuition fees are reasonable, compared with for example, those in very developed countries. As I’ve said previously, the Philippines will benefit from the expertise of the Czechs in research, science and technology. I’d like to remind you that the Czech Republic was the industrial center during the period of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Czech Republic was able to sustain their know-how and expertise in science and technology, including innovative technology.

What are the prospects for trade and commerce with the Czech Republic in the future?

There are great prospects. As I said, the Czech Republic is the Philippines' 7th largest export market in Europe with Philippine exports valued at USD125.8 million as of the first half of 2011. More recently, we see many Philippine enterprises rising in the Czech Republic. The first Philippine store in Prague recently opened this past November, offering a wide range 36

How is tourism from the Czech Republic to the Philippines developing? What potential do you see in this field?

The number of Czech visitors to the Philippines has been increasing as the Czechs, I was told, are looking for “newer” places to discover. The Czechs are allowed to enter the Philippines without a visa for 21 days. Because of this, the Philippine Embassy in Prague is unable to provide you a more accurate number of the total Czech tourists to our beautiful country. We can only count the number of visa applications we have received. Lately, we have observed an increase by at least twenty per cent in the number of Czechs who are applying for visas to the Philippines. Of course our aim is to double the number of Czech tourists in 2010. Mind you, it is helpful that the Philippines’ Palawan Underground River was selected as one of the seven New Wonders of Nature this year, which will be useful in our tourism promotional campaign.

Please give examples of “highlights” from your stay so far in the Czech Republic: Great personal (and/or) professional experiences, highly interesting people you met, impressive achievements, cultural impressions, beautiful places, etc. I have been in the Czech Republic for about eight months since the time I presented my credentials last 11 April. I have been fortunate to have met Czech

President Vaclav Klaus, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, the Senate President, the Trade and Industry Minister (shortly after my presentation of credentials), the Deputy Ministers of Justice, Defense and Labor, the Director General of Immigration, the head of the Czech Chamber of Commerce, Czech business executives, who have shown great interest in enhancing economic relations with the Philippines.

You see the Philippine Embassy in Prague has a small staff complement of six at the time when most of the above mentioned activities were held and one of the staff was even stricken with chicken pox. Could you imagine six people taking care of the business forum, food festival and a 70-member delegation of justices, judges and lawyers from the Philippines all at the same time? I am more than certain that God was with us then and we were blessed! (Smiles with content)

The Czech Foreign Policy Paper, which was released a few months ago, has identified the Philippines as among the rapidly growing economies in Asia with which the Czech Republic would like to intensify relations. The embassy has pounced on this expressed opportunity and has embarked on activities that aim to give the Philippines maximum publicity.

Any special message to the Filipinos in the Czech Republic?

Together with Hilton Hotel Prague and the Philippine Tourism Office in Frankfurt, we held the very first Philippine Food Festival in the Czech Republic last 21 October. The embassy extended support to Philippine participation in the Prague Quadrennial Exhibition of Performance Design and Space last June where our student entry won the Rainbow Award. The Philippines, together with other ASEAN countries, participated in the Farmers’ Market in Prague 6 last September, where Philippine food was completely sold-out. The embassy also participated in the Diplomatic Bazaar in November this year where our popular pearls sold like hotcake. The embassy took advantage as well of the visit of Philippine Trade and Industry Undersecretary Cristino Panlilio to the Czech Republic in September this year so that he could meet directly with interested Czech company executives and make a pitch for increased trade with and investments in the Philippines. This was later capped by the Philippine Business Forum that was organized by the embassy, the Philippine Trade Office in Berlin, the Czech Trade and Industry Ministry and the Czech Chamber of Commerce for the visit of Philippine Economic Zone Authority Lilia De Lima last October. May I emphasize that these activities aimed to raise awareness of economic opportunities in the Philippines while promoting knowledge of the Philippines before the Czech public, in general. I would like to underscore as well that these activities would not have been possible without the cooperation, assistance and support of those concerned – Philippine officials, Czech authorities, public support and of course the cooperation of my efficient staff.

The Czech Republic is a beautiful country and Prague is an enchanting city with its medieval castle lying right atop a hill, colorfully illuminated; the old and modern connected by several bridges, some made of cobbled stones, that cross the gently-flowing Vltava River. Very pretty‌ and nostalgic! The ambiance makes you long for family and home in the Philippines. And this is where the Philippine Embassy comes in. The embassy is the home of the Filipinos away from home. During receptions and in my meetings with Filipinos, be it in Church, on the street or in the embassy, I encourage them to come to the embassy not only when they have problems but especially at times when they just feel lonesome or would just like to chit-chat. By the way, we now have The Filipino Channel (TFC), our very first air bridge from Prague to the Philippines, thanks to the generosity of Mr. Danny Buenafe, who came to Prague last October to cover the Jurist Congress. The embassy is truly grateful! The Filipinos in the Czech Republic will now be up-to-date with news and events in the Philippines, including their favorite Teleserye! If there is any message that I would like to convey to the Filipino community in the Czech Republic, it is that members of the Filipino community are always welcome in the embassy. Do not be afraid to approach me or anyone of the embassy personnel for anything. We are here to help and serve the Filipino! We have realized that the embassy is even more effective and stronger when it gets the support of the whole Filipino community. This is what I learned when I was Consul General in Oslo, Norway and I have the Filipino community there to thank for this realization. (I am sure that the Filipino community there would fondly remember how we embarked on big celebrations and activities all as one!) Together and united, as our popular and beloved President Benigno Simeon Aquino III has always said, we can make and help the Philippines continue to prosper and grow. 37

Coronation Night ”Rose Petal Dress” Long gown by Renee Salud

Mutya ng Pilipinas 2011

- Reflections Mutya Ng Norway, Maria G. Bergersen, 24 38

My journey with Mutya Ng Pilipinas began midNovember 2011. The three-week beauty marathon started in high speed, with 30 young ladies vying to take home a title. On day one we were up at 4am preparing for our official photo-shoots, and quickly getting to know one another. Candidates from all over the Philippines and 7 overseas representatives now knew the rollercoaster ride had begun. Our first week in Manila included Sponsor Visits, a Yoga Class, our Press Presentation, and rehearsals. For quite a few girls, myself included, Mutya was the first experience in a pageant. The code of conduct at Mutya from day one was presentation, politeness, punctuality, and of course, glamour. The introduction was intense but fun; a real adventure! I was delighted to meet so many good natured, intelligent, and

humble peers. All beautiful in their own way, it was clear many friendships would be made. Most of the overseas candidates could not speak fluent Tagalog, so we exchanged language lessons with the National girls, and picked up phrases to better understand our pageant staff and stage directors! We then visited Palawan Island, the home of our official sponsor Sheridan Beach Resort, where we had an entertaining Swimsuit and Talent competition, set in a very exotic location, right on the beach! We visited the entrance of the Puerto Princesa Underground River (A new 7 Wonder of the Natural World!) where we filmed official Pageant footage. We got to enjoy some leisure time at the hotel; we managed to squeeze in a pool party and test out quad bikes on the beach; a big thanks to Sheridan for taking care of us!

Balancing in the bancas outside the underground river in Puerto Princesa


Back in Manila, we had some days to prepare for the big night. It was so important at this time to conserve our energies and stay healthy. Coronation night was held in The Arena in San Juan, where family, friends, and supporters joined in the audience to cheer us on. For many it felt as though we had been together for months, as we had worked on so many different tasks together, day and night. Finally the big day had come and we could celebrate our hard work. At this point we knew we all were winners. Making it through from day one to standing on the final stage, we could all be proud of our accomplishments. With excitement in our hearts, we felt we had made it together. Now we are all part of the Mutya Family, and I can honestly say I have learned so much from this once in a lifetime experience. During my adventure in

The candidates in their swimsuits


The Philippines some crucial lessons were reinforced in my heart: Firstly, how we treat others from moment to moment will shape the outcome of our lives. Winning is only as important as how well we maintain grace and understanding of self along the way; learning from the experience is the real journey. Secondly, real beauty comes from within; as young women put in the spotlight, the emphasis is on the physical. What shines through however, is a healthy mind, heart, and attitude. This is what will take us far in life, and I pray that all the contestants, keep this with them always. Lastly, in a modern world where traditional etiquette is fading, Mutya teaches presentation, respect, and self-preservation to young woman. Again, a big thank you to the loving team who made Mutya ng Pilipinas such a memorable milestone in our lives. Until we meet again, Mabuhay!

Backstage poses in designer gowns, Tifani Grimes of Northern California, Maria in a Rholand Roxas gown, Roxanne Marasigan

The candidates in their Filipiniana gowns


Aries Caces on music: Art as the middle path where heart and mind meet By Leni dlR. Garcia Manila, Philippines 42

The 18th century German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, in an article called, “What is Enlightenment?” defined the main tenet of the period as the move toward freedom from “self-imposed tutelage.” This means the promotion of self-knowledge, knowing one’s motives and from there, proceeding to act, hopefully, in a moral way. Kant always opted for the middle, critical path, in traversing epistemology, through ethics, to aesthetics. For instance, knowledge for him is not gained from empirical means alone, nor from purely rational means. Real knowledge stems from a convergence of the two. In the same manner, he proposed that aesthetic pleasure is produced not just in the subjective feeling but also in the mind’s recognition of something universal. In an age where art has gone avant-garde, so that problems in Aesthetics have become more puzzling, making the pathway to solutions more and more elaborately confusing, either leading to dead ends or going in circles, one artist remains true to the ideals of this Kantian version of enlightenment in general, and of art in particular. Where society has accepted the stereotype of the artist as the suffering soul, excusing every quirk and (usually bad) unconventional behavior as being propelled by the idiosyncrasies of the pre-established biases, the Vienna-based Filipino musician, Aries Caces, insists that an artist can still and ought to be a decent and “normal” person. Dubbed as “Gem of the Philippine Music Scene,” by the late Ms. Vilma Santiago Felipe of the Manila Bulletin, Aries Caces may well be the Philippines’ best concert pianist and conductor, performing in different parts of Europe, Canada, and Asia. Having been trained in piano by his mother, Aries started winning music competitions at a very young age. This led to various scholarships in art schools in the Philippines and abroad, ending in Graz, Austria where he became the student of Walter Kamper at the Hochschule fur Musik und darstellendeKunst.A year later, he moved to Vienna where he pursued piano studies under Maestro Paul Badura-Skoda, and received his Magister Artium in piano performance under the mentorship of Roland Keller. He also studied Piano Chamber Music with Georg Ebert and finished another diplom in conducting under the guidance of UrosLajovic. Aries has been a featured soloist of the Hannover Kammersymphonieorchester, Metro Manila Community Orchestra, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, University of Santo Tomas

Symphony Orchestra, among others. In 2008, he was hailed by the Philippine Graphic Magazine as one of the country’s young leaders. Having just performed in various concerts in Manila and the neighboring areas this July, 2011, Aries found time to sit for an interview regarding his view on art and the artist. “It is not necessary to project this artist aura,” says Aries. Most of the time, he suspects, this image is being used as an alibi for wrongdoings. “Art should help one [deal properly] with life. An artist should always be grounded.” Otherwise, he adds, one is misusing the term “artist.” To be an artist, for Aries, one must satisfy two important criteria: first, one must have a total grasp of his or her skills, and second, he or she must be able to communicate the art performed to the audience. The first one requires that the person has the humility to be objective with one’s self. This means that the artist knows his or her capabilities, limits, and extent of possible improvement. An artist must know that he or she is there “to serve and preserve art.” This means that there has to be a clear commitment to “the never-ending process of squeezing the artistic juices out of oneself.” This goes hand in hand with having a critical mind regarding one’s performance. The artist, Aries believes, has to be his own worst critic. Only then can one maintain excellence in the execution of the chosen artform. The second criterion demands that the artist is able to form a link with the audience. Speaking of music in particular, Aries explains that what the music produces in the artist, he must be able to communicate to his audience. Aries measures the success of a performance through this bond that the artist forms with the audience. He recalls being star-struck, like everybody else, with one pianist in Europe that he lined up in order to get the musician’s autograph. But upon hearing the said musician’s contempt for the admirers that demanded so much of his time, Aries crumpled the program and left the line. “He should’ve been grateful that he made that direct emotional connection with his audience. He should have been humble enough to appreciate them lining up for his signature,” he says disappointedly. It is not surprising that Aries reacted this way to that musician who was overcome, perhaps, with arrogance. For him, art is not about egotistic 43

concerns. The artist’s purpose is to promote the arts. “It’s what makes us human. It is part of the process of learning about ourselves, of knowing yourself better. Also, art has to do with certain ideals. It has to do with proportion, architecture, good taste. The term “beauty” is not enough to encompass what art is. It is something philosophical. It has to do with human emotions and intelligence and the artist’s ability to synthesize the two.” He goes on to relate the story of one of his idols, Ludwig van Beethoven, in whose Todeshaus (Death House) in Vienna, he used to live. “He kept a diary. He’d write downthe motifs for his compositions.” In short, Aries believes that art and artists are not all about emotions. They have to do with reason and reflection.The best art is produced by an artist who is always introspective, always questioning the self, always aware of what goes on within. But this critical mind must fuse with a heart that is sensitive to the feelings of others. It is this that allows the great artists “to capture the attention of the audience with the very first note or the first dance step.” This is because by knowing one’s self, one reaches out to that which is universal in all of us and is therefore able to touch all human beings who essentially share the same nature. Like Kant, therefore, Aries believes that through art, people are led to something more sublime and moral. “Art is an integral part of your being. It should help you know yourself better and be a better person.” And true to his aesthetic philosophy, Aries is glad that art, specifically music, in the Philippines is starting to

blossom. However, he laments the fact that it is still greatly wanting in genuine support. “Unfortunately, it is not the priority of people who have the power to develop and promote it here.” But Aries hopes. And he places this hope in the youth. “I want to share and inspire. It would be nice if I get to influence a kid or impress him so much so that he would want to become a musician himself.” Developing a young audience who are potential artists is Aries’ main advocacy at present. It, indeed, would be sublime, if a future generation could imbibe from him this ideal, through art, of having the mind and heart meet to continually lead humanity toward a life of reason that is tempered by compassion. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Leni dlR. Garcia, M.A., Ph.D. teaches Philosophy at the De La Salle University-Manila, with research tracks in Eastern thought and Continental Philosophy, two areas that allow her to enrich her life in the academe with excursions into the world of dance, theatre, poetry, visual arts, and crafts. She believes that as Philosophy informs the mind, the body is shaped by engagement with the world through creativity. Only in a dance where the dichotomy of body and mind is dissolved can one’s being be whole and real.Leni currently researches on philosophy’s role in genocides, on the aesthetics of classical ballet, flamenco, and tribal dances, as well as on alternative epistemologies and non-Western ontologies. In her spare time, she shapes clay, folds paper, paints, writes, dances, strings beads and knits yarns.

Lucrecia Kasilag Composes Elegy on Mt. Pinatubo By Rodrigo V. Dela Peña Jr.

Capture the drama of the fleeing bird, the rapidly Flapping wings, fleet runners on a charcoal-washed Celestial sphere: captive doves. Spew long-nurtured Igneous rocks, rhythmically, as dictated by the tempo Of the earth’s essential tectonic force. With notes and rests And sighs, create a crater where a dissonant tessellation Sprouts: a mosaic in monochrome, layer overlapping Upon layer, staggering into the crisply creased sheet of air Like Aetas (nearly black as the Steinway grand’s sharps and flats) Migrating to the rust-and–concrete stage of Metro Manila. 44

What is music for but to portray the diaspora of time, Space, experience? As I’ve known long before, tragedies Are preceded by immovable silence, repose. Shatter the secrets in the unlit portions of the stage With an elegiac piano, a rabid flurry of Aetas And birds—doves piercing through God’s grays, Aetas surviving this nuclear cloud. To interpret And reenact devastation, ceaselessly ending, endlessly Ceasing, I vanish in these ivory keys, plummet Through the volcano, and embrace the eruption.

DR. JOSE RIZAL’S MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES Researched & Compiled By: Mrs. Linda D. Lazaro, Owner-Directress-Child Garden School, Calamba City, Former Chairman- Calamba Cultural Board, Former Member-Researcher- Rizal Day Executive Committee

Thirty-two years ago, the Harvard School of Education sponsored a research on the nature and realization of human potential. It is an established fact that an individual possesses varied and different talents, some in greater degree, some in less, and some, none at all.

skill in bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal and spatial intelligence in different degrees. So, an individual is a collection of aptitudes and not all can be tested in pencil and paper tests but the right combination and degree of these intelligences can make one very successful in his chosen field.

Howard Gardner is the author of several books, some of which are: The Quest of Mind; The Shattered Mind; Art, Mind and Brain; Frames of Mind; Multiple Intelligence; and The Mind’s New Science.

It would be interesting, as well as enlightening, not to mention inspiring, to make an assessment of Dr Rizal’s Multiple Intelligences. This would, of course, be an amateur assessment based on the background provided for by Mr. Howard Gardner in his book, “Multiple Intelligences”.

He is trained in Developmental Psychology and is a member of the research group known as “Harvard Project Zero”. He devoted more than 20 years in the research involving the educational importance of the theory of multiple intelligences. These intelligences are: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. All these intelligences are independent of each other but they work in combination with other intelligences. For example, according to Gardner, a dancer requires

This study on the intelligences of Dr Rizal will clearly show us how he used his head, his heart and his arms for his country- the Philippines. It will just show in outline form some proofs that Rizal had these intelligences based on the book “ Lolo Jose” written by Asuncion Antonio Bantug, granddaughter of Narcisa Rizal’s sister. This is therefore, just a partial result. A thorough study and research will probably show more startling revelations.

1. LINGUISTIC INTELLIGENCE • Learned the alphabet at age 3 • Learned the latin language at age 7 • Wrote “Sa Aking Mga Kababata” where the famous lines: “Ang hindi magmahal sa sariling wika, ay daig pa ang malansang isda… “ at age 8 • Could quote chapters and verses from the Bible at age 9 • At age 13, won gold medals for rhetorics and his ability to speak the Greek language; also wrote a five-act drama in Spanish verse about St. Estace, the Martyr • At age 14, leader of the “Literary Academy” acted as director and actor who can talk in many voices, complete with accents of different countries; wrote a long poem “ The Intimate Alliance Between Religion and Education” • At age 15, proficient in writing poetry and already a well-

known philosopher; wrote the loveliest religious poem “Junto al Pasig”, a zarzuela; in just more than an hour, wrote “Felicitation” in Spanish, a seven – stanza four-line gift to his brother-in-law Antonio Lopez, husband of Narcisa; also wrote “ A Dialogue Embodying His Farewell to the Students” which was read during his graduation from Ateneo de Manila. o at age 18, wrote “ A La Juventud Filipina” (Ode to the Filipino Youth) which won the first prize of silver pen; wrote “El Consejo de los Dioses”, a play written in honor of Cervantes that won a prize (a ring engraved with the bust of Cervantes) • At age 21, wrote an article “El Amor Patrio” (Love of Country) where he urged his countrymen to unite, his first propaganda effort on foreign soil. 45

• At age 25, he wrote his famous novel “Noli Me Tangere” followed by a lovely poem about his homesickness “ a Las Flores De Heidelberg”; translated the German folktale “Thumbelina” into Tagalog entitled “Gahinlalaki” • At age 26, he translated into French the History of Mother written in German. • At age 28 he wrote the following: 1. El Solfeo de la Defensa 2. Los Agricultores Filipino 3. En el Bosque Me Piden Versos 4. Los Viajes 5. La Defensa 6. his famous “Message for the Women of Malolos” • In his early 30’s, wrote the following articles for the “La Solidaridad” under the pen name “Laong Laan” and “Dimasalang”, all attacking Colonialism. 1. La Verdad Para Todos 2. Por telefono 3. Sin Nombre

4. Una Esperanza 5. La Opinion en Filipinas 6. Filipinas Dentro De Clien Aňos 7. Sobre La Indolencia 8. El Amor Patrio 9. Como Se Gobiernos Los Filipinos 10. A Mi 11. Legend of Maria Makiling During this age, he wrote his second novel “El Filibusterismo” • While in Dapitan, wrote “Mi Retiro”- about his banishment in the area: while in Fort Santiago, wrote “Testamento Politico”, a letter to his countrymen • Day before execution, wrote his last poem “Mi Ultimo Adios” (My Last Farewell) and gave it to Narcisa • Fluent in the following languages- Russian, Spanish, Arabic, German, Portuguese, Swedish, Latin, Greek, French, Dutch, Italian, Hebrew, Catalan, Sanskrit, Japanese, Chinese, English, Tagalog and other Philippine dialects.

2. LOGICAL-MATHEMATICAL INTELLIGENCE • As a child, he made use of the following results of his experiment to produce the colors he needed: Pepper- green Oot of the pot- black Achuete- maroon Duhat- aubergine Rhizomes- yellow • At age 11, he mastered the card game “ Pangginge” winning most of the time • At age13, taking up advanced Mathematics, received gold medal on the subject • At age 15, proficient in Physics and Chemistry, received

Merit Card for Natural History at Ateneo de Manila. • At age 24, received a degree in Philosophy and Letters; after his graduation as a doctor, became a very successful ophthalmologist and general practitioner and a much sought after surgeon • While in Dapitan, conducted countless scientific projects with Fr. Sanchez, his Ateneo professor; invented wooden machine that could turn out 6,000 pieces of bricks a day; devised teaching aids, made writing tools and maps; used natural specimens during lessons in teaching geography, science, botany and zoology, reading and mathematics.

3. SPATIAL INTELLIGENCE (Ability to form a mental model and operate using the model) • As a child, invented his own toys made of scrap paper, cloth remnants, old pieces of wool to create objects • At age 24, invented Tagalog lighter called “ sulpakan” • While in Dapitan: - Built the waterwork system of the gravity type -Built a public fountain of cemented bricks with water flowing out of the lion’s head ( made of clay) - Set up commercial firm to promote business enterprises among Dapitanos - Taught the fishermen how to weave a better variety of net - Started hammock weaving industry among the poor people - Constructed the lighting and water system and made the 46

drainage project for the sanitation purposes - Made a giant relief map of the Philippines at the town plaza, covered 20 square yards that took about two months to complete (the map is still maintained by the government as a memorial to Rizal) - Started a 16-hectare farm of fruit trees, breed rabbits, dogs and cats - Built a hospital and school buildings, planned and drafted the façade of the building. - He designed the altar of the Holy Rosary Cathedral in Dipolog City

4.BODILY-KINESTHETIC INTELLIGENCE (Creative- Athletic Abilities) • Athletic Ability - Leader of various athletic societies Proficient in fencing, target shooting, boxing, cricket, wrestling, weight lifting and horseback riding - Climbed some parts of Mt. Makiling with his brother Paciano and his bodyguard, Lt. Jose Taviel de Andrade - Opened a gymnasium in Calamba to stop the young men from gambling • Creative Ability - Took up extra courses in painting and sculpture which was known then as “ Classes de Adorno” - As a child made countless sculptures of different animals; made drawings of different sceneries such as ducks in the ponds, flying birds, etc. - At age 14, made a sketch of his first love, Segunda Katigbak; and at age 26, made his self-portrait - Made the following carvings: Wooden biscuit mold with a lion’s head Wooden tray with floral motif at the center Bone chess pieces and wooden spinning tops

Prometheus Bound Wild boar A sleeping girl • Made a pen and ink sketch of “ Christ in Gethsemane” and crayon drawing of “ La Virgen Purisima” • Some of his sculptures are: Statue of the Sacred Heart Images of saints Likeness of his professors Figures of wild boar, dog, crocodile Figure of woman cutting grass Unfinished bust of his father Augustus Caesar A beggar Girl with “bilao” • Painted the portrait of his friend, Ferdinand Blumentritt • Made sketches of the following: Skyline of Manila Port of Aden,Yemen Cartoons of the Ullmer children Shoreline of Dapitan insects, fish, flora and fauma

5. INTERPERSONAL INTELLIGENCE (Ability to lead, understand, motivate other people) • At age 14 leader of the Ateneo group known as “ the Musketeers” (also known as “School Boy Hero of Ateneo”) • “Consul Napoleon” of the school society “Los Compaňeros de Jehu” • “Congregacion de Maria” (association of boys with great virtue and intelligence) • Leader of the “ Literary Academy” • Elected Honorary Chairman of “La Solidaridad” (Propaganda Movement Journal) • Formed a club “ Los Indios Bravos” (to show courage and bravery of the Filipinos) • Leader of different athletic societies • In Heidelberg, formed a very close friendship with Protestant Pastor Ullmer and a Catholic priest, Fr. Heinrich Bardorf and their endless discussions made them believe that “religion should bring about understanding not enmity among men” • The Vicar of Wilhelmsfeld, Pastor Karl Ullmer said, “ It was Rizal whose memory and affection lingered longest”. • Invited to speak before a German audience by the German Tourist Club, his German was greatly applauded by the people which was very rare among very cold Germans • Ferdinand Blumentritt considered Rizal as a son and said to him “If you continue like this, you will become for your country one of those great men who exercise a definite influence on

the development of a nation’s spirit.” • Had “charisma”, people are drawn to him; had a knack for making friends quickly and easily • His personal friends include leading European scientists like Meyer, Heller, Kiel, Knuttel and Joest; sent them rare specimens and to honor him, these scientists dedicated the following: - Dr. Boettger, a great zoologist named a new variety of frogsRhacophorus Rizali - Dr. Karl Heller, German scientist named a new species of beetle- Apogonia Rizali - Dr. E. Wandelock named a new breed of dragonfly- Draconi Rizali • 1886 - He was a member of the Chess Club of Germany • 1887 - He was a member of: - Ethnographic Society of Berlin - Anthropological Society of Berlin • 1888- he was elected Director of the Newspaper put up by the Filipino Community in Madrid • In early 1985, Josephine Bracken or Josephine Leopoldone Taufer arrived in Dapitan with her foster father George Taufer who consulted Rizal about his eyes; in May of the same year, his sister Maria came to Dapitan with Josephine; Josephine stayed with Rizal even without marriage and gave birth to a premature baby boy, Peter 47

6. INTRAPERSONAL INTELLIGENCE (Ability to understand oneself, to have strong perception, to have an intuition) • At the age of 5 or 6, told her sister, “Someday, when I die people will make statues of me” • Interpreted his mother’s dream as a sign that he will be out of prison in three months • Reprimanded by his sisters for eating too much: he tells them, “What matter if I eat much now when I shall live only a short while?” • In his “Filipinas Dentro De Cien Aňos, predicted that the United States will become interested in the Philippines • In “Testamento Politico” (Letter to his Countrymen) he said, “I know that my country’s future depends in some ways upon me.” • When his mother told him the story of the “Foolish Moth”, her aim was to make him learn the importance of being obedient; but for Jose, the message was different. For him, the moth died a martyr for its dream; believes that “light is worthy enough for a man to sacrifice his life for it”. • As a young boy, he was remembered by the townspeople as being “too old for his age, mature and serious, intense and sensitive, quiet but keen and observant”. • His compassion was so great that as a young boy so small and frail, he climbed a tower to unloosen the kite of a friend because he could not bear to see the owner crying; same compassion for the growing blindness of his mother was one reason he chose a career in medicine • On October 1889, wrote Prof. Blumentritt, “I want to give my countrymen an example that I do not write for myself

7. MUSICAL INTELLIGENCE • At age 11, took up “ Solfeggio” ( music lessons ) • Was a flutist and was a member of a performing group. • He wrote “Hymn to Talisay”- a song about the activities of his school in Dapitan • at age 13, composed several ballads to Columbus, Magellan and De Cano, the navigator Based on this initial assessment, we can at least make our own conclusion about the combination of Rizal’s intelligences that made him what he is now. “Dr. Jose Rizal was a genius. He was an architect, artist, businessman, cartoonist, educator, economist, ethnologist, scientific farmer, historian, inventor, journalist, linguist, musician, mythologist, nationalist, naturalist, novelist, physician, ophthalmic surgeon, painter, poet, propagandist, psychologist, scientist, sculptor, sociologist, theologian, excellent swordsman and shooter, a musician, a sportsman”.( Jose Rizal- Teofilo Montemayor- NHI ) 48

nor for my glory- but for my country.” • Wrote Graciano Lopez Jaena, “If one has to die, let him die at least in his country, for the cause of his country and for the welfare of his people.” • At age of 13, he promised to himself, “I will work, I will labor, I will exert myself to excel in all I undertake and I will do my best for my countrymen.” • As a young student, he instinctively knew that “Education will bring freedom” to the Philippines • In a letter addressed to his family, written the first time he went abroad, he says,“I have a mission to fulfill, like alleviating the sufferings of my fellowmen. I know that all this requires sacrifices- terrible ones! But I feel something that impels me to leave. May God’s grace be done!” • The idea of writing the “Noli Me Tangere” persisted in Rizal’s mind after reading several insulting books on his country and countrymen; he told the Filipino colony, “ Let us prove to the whole world that whenever the Filipino wants to, he can.” He told them to study and work for the country; that there is so much to do and with so little time. • In his second novel “El Filibusterismo”, Rizal was telling his people that unless they tell themselves to learn how to solve their social and political problems they would end up languishing in despair and the solution is education • About his court martial, he said, “Let God’s will be done! I am all the time more and more calm about my destiny.’

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Linda Lazaro is the author of several books History of Calamba, Legends of the barrios of Calamba (how each barrio got its name), Calamba in Perspective, Calamba’s “Peaceful Revolution“ towards Progress, Reflections on Rizal’s “Huling Paalam”, Chronicle of a Hero’s Life Dr. Jose Rizal. She has been awarded the Most Outstanding Woman of Calamba in the field of Education.


The Philippine Food Festival

“Fiesta Filipina”

in Prague

Words by Rebecca A. Garcia Photographs by Barbora Havlickova The Philippine Embassy, in cooperation with Hilton Hotel, held the first Philippine Food Festival at Hilton Prague from the 22 to 28 of October 2011. Entitled “Fiesta Filipina”, the event presented traditional, authentic Philippine dishes for the hotel guests and public to savor and enjoy. The aim of "Fiesta Filipina" was to promote the Filipino culture to Europe and the Czech Republic, enticing all to visit the Philippines. Lunch and dinner buffets were served at Hilton Prague's Café Bistro, which was adorned with Philippine-inspired décor, creating the Fiesta Filipina atmosphere. No wonder the Philippines have been dubbed an “exciting” travel destination and was the chosen Culture Capital of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2011. Marilu Rodriguez Scheich, a Philippine guest chef residing in Germany, flew to Prague for this special occasion; Ms. Scheich comes from a family known for their restaurants and excellent food. 50

The buffet was complemented with a ‘welcome drink’ called Mabuhay Manila, of which its ingredients included Paradise Philippine mango rum. The mango rum was flown in all the way from the Philippines, courtesy of Distelleria Limtuaco. From the 22-23 October, guests enjoyed cultural performances by Philippine soloist, Maria Theresa Valencia-Brossmer and a unique dance group, Tribong Pinoy. These performances allowed guests to experience songs and dances of the Philippines’ Spanish and Indo-Malay heritage. Other performances were rendered by Vincent Soriano of Art of Travel Agency and the Philippine Embassy’s own Lourdes Morallos during the week. The week-long festival was frequented not only by hotel guests, but by the Czech public who found the food delicious and appetizing. They expressed their aspiration to have the food festival become an annual event.


Open House at Pure Pinoy Restaurant Words and photos by Ivee Blossom Hidvegi

“The main hallway to Pinoy Restaurant”

Emeline Sanchez and Ryan Sien together run Pinoy Restaurant (Pinoy Restaurang), the only Filipino restaurant in Stockholm. On Saturday, November 26 the restaurant warmly welcomed everyone to Pure Pinoy Open House. The event served pure Filipino food including lechon, lechon paksiw, lechon kawali, dinuguan, bopis and more. Raffles and a contest were held, with sponsors from Coca-Cola, RIA, MaiMai Asian Store and Asia. The turnout was fantastic with a high demand for Pinoy Restaurant. The event provided a wonderful opportunity to mingle with kababayans, dance, sing karaoke and have fun! Emeline, also known as Dimple, is a Stockholm University graduate and entrepreneur. Already during her teenage years she worked in the restaurant industry, learning how to be effective, handle logistics and stress. Her husband, Ryan, is a technician and accountant. They both have a passion for cooking, baking, and Filipino food. Shortly after their birth of 52

their 10 month year old son, Ryan Emil, they opened Pinoy Restaurant. They are a hardworking and goaloriented family whom are very passionate about what they do. Pinoy Restaurant is a spacious venue with a dance/ mingle area, bar, and lots of seating space. For those looking for a place to hold an event or meeting, Pinoy Restaurant provides a great ambiance. Additionally, the restaurant offers catering services. Address: Nynäsvägen 150 136 40 Handen Stockholm, Sweden Contact information: Phone: 0843744259 Mobile: 0760262962


PNR volunteers ready to go on a mission

Are YOU One in A Million? By Maria G.Bergersen, Mutya Ng Pilipinas Delegate of Norway 2011

Everyman counts

On December 4th 2011, more than one million runners will assemble in Manila’s Port Area at The Mall of Asia. This friendly marathon is predicted to be one of this year’s highlights. People from around the country join together to express their shared goal of serving one another& working towards improving their country; bayanihan.The Million Volunteer Run will be an event marking years of socialdevelopment (Project143) & whole hearted engagement of the “Philippines National Red Cross” (PNRC). During my short stay in Manila I was lucky enough to be given an insider’s peek to the operations at the RC Headquarters in Manila. What I discovered was truly inspiring & will undoubtedly influence social responsibility for the 54

better. What I found was an unabridged commitment to creating a self-sufficient population, regardless of an oftentimes limited budget. This life-long project requires citizens to get involved, & the Red Cross is showing us that every man counts.

A Labour of Love

The 2006 flooding &landslide of Southern Leyetewas a wake-up call that an adequate emergency service was lacking. Project 143 (I Love Red Cross) was born out of this need for faster communication from far reaching villages. It was designed to strengthen resilience in times of disaster & assist communities in developing livelihoods that might survive a disaster. Each barangay or village in turn is equipped with a

RC centre where trained volunteers (43 in each) will be able to identify danger levels during a natural disaster & respond accordingly. It is crucial that each representative can establish a structured community group, such as blood donation or a Community Health Nursing Service (CHNS). This allows each chapter to deploy the correct amount of supplies & man power when relief is needed. Each centre will also serve as the villages’base for preparedness development all year round.Preparedness, Response &Recovery is the 3 sided framework for all RCDisaster Management projects. Project 143 exemplifies the Red Cross’ adaptability in tending to the country’s most imminent needs. The ability to monitor every village helps them prioritize where to send aid. So far, approx. 35% of the 42,000 municipalities have been covered, with a steady growing number of volunteers; it is this type of localized development that is strengthening communities here in The Philippines.The Nurse Corps is heading up training, so contact your local municipality if you want to get involved. As Leonardo P. Ebajo, head of Disaster Management& Emergency Response Unit affirms, “this project provides the concise, up-to-date reports from remote areas, which allows us to respond quicker. This is the beauty in developing community groups.”

wellbeing & the capacity of each community to support itself 365 days a year. The New Red Cross as it has been named has evolved into the business of alleviating suffering & fostering self-sufficiency. This goes hand in hand with every person’s right to live with dignity, which is an integral element of all activities. This is what domestic projects like 143 &international partnerships like Partners for Resilience are about. The latter, funded by the government of The Netherlands, is an alliance of NGO’s working to develop & sustain projects from a grass roots to national level in countries susceptible to natural disasters. The goal is for countries facing similar bio-geographical circumstances to share knowledge & reduce poverty across borders. As Emergency Response Unit Leader, Jose Maria Natividad remarks “to be efficient, we must work as one”. Team work extends from ‘ground zero’ to international co-operation. Volunteers make up the body of the Red Cross. The result of this is an acute willingness of each person involved to contribute. Still, more able people are needed acrossthe country in order to catalyze the effects of these well- aligned projects. For more information on how to get involved, contact your local chapter. Anyone can take part, regardless of experience or age. Volunteers are oriented in each department (Disaster Mngt, Blood, Health Care, Social, Youth) and are placed according to their experience & preferences. The Million Volunteer Run will be a day to remember for The Philippines. Volunteers from around the country will be brought togetherto celebrate humanity &this will be an opportune day for newcomers to sign up.

The Heart of the Matter

In 2006 Chairman Richard ‘Dick’ Gordon brought with him a regeneration of the operating values of the Red Cross. The idea was that RC services should extend beyond relief & blood donation when equally pressing are the goals of long term 55

Sabang Beach

Zesty Zambales Words and photos by Tina Pecson Garcia 56

Breathing has become overrated. And for those who actually remember what it was like before cellphones and deadlines became the center of the universe, a yearning to go back to a much simpler, less harried life is very much evident. And at Zambales, that’s exactly what you’ll get. A much-deserved breather. A break from the urban chaos. Nothing like lots of fresh air, driving on a good road along 173 kilometers of coastlines, a dive into a refreshing azure pool and loads of ripe, juicy, sweet mangoes and fresh seafood to revive a city-weary spirit.

beach habitué’s dream. For the real beach lover, the shores of Zambales is it. There are a lot of activities to engage in here. Snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing to just simple swimming or wading, Zambales has the ideal beachin’ place for you.

Somebody once said that a beach is a beach. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Obviously, he has not been to Zambales.

San Salvador Island in Masinloc offers a wide array of marine resources that has made the island a veritable diver’s paradise in the whole of Central Luzon. There’s also Silaguin Bay in San Antonio, with its wealth of aquatic flora and fauna, that is nothing short of breathtaking. In this same town lies treasures of private coves like that of Talisayin Cove with pine trees growing on hillsides overlooking the South China Sea. The shells along the white-sand beach crawl like moving pearls in the crisp morning sun.

From the popular Hermana Mayor Island and Hermana Menor Island in Sta. Cruz, the Potipot Island in Candelaria to the exciting diving resorts that make up the province’s coastline, Zambales is a

If you’re more North Shore and bent on conquering some cool pipelines, then Barangay La Paz at San Narciso is the place for you. Colorful surfboards, washboard abs and awe-inspiring waves constantly

Surf, Sand, Sun and Subic wrecks


fight for attention in this surfers’ haven.

to enjoy.

But nothing beats diving a few feet and exploring some historical wreckage in their underwater resting place. The waters of Subic Bay in Olongapo City has been known for its treasure trove of sunken wrecks. A quick survey reveals that the best of the lot is the USS New York, a battleship scuttled during the Second World War to keep her 17in main guns from falling into the hands of the Japanese. She still lies on her port side with cannons intact.

For one, you can go hiking to Mt. Pinatubo in San Marcelino and actually go up an active volcano and check out its crater. It definitely feels like Hawaii up there. Should you feel the itch for a dip, Mt. Pinatubo can very much accommodate that impulse. A lot of tourists come here to experience the volcano’s warm pool.

Another Subic wreck you should not miss checking out is The San Quentin. Considered the oldest, it is a wooden gunboat sunk during the Spanish-American War in 1898 to prevent the US Navy from entering the channel between the Grande and Chiquita Islands.

Some On-ground Fun

If you have yet to master that backstroke or you still have not figured out how to breathe through a tube, Zambales still has a variety of land-based activities

Trekking is quite a popular activity in Zambales. Proof of this is the many trek sites available to both tourists and locals. There’s Mt. Mabanban in San Antonio, which is perfect for summer camping and mountaineering expeditions. And Mt.Tapulao in Palauig, the highest peak of the Zambales mountain range is more than 2000m above sea level, also one of the highest peaks of the Philippines. One has to go through grasslands, dense tropical forest of trees covered with moss, pine tree forest( ummm…the unforgettable fragrant aroma of pines) to reach the peak of cloud forest where one can see the clouds

Backyard sunset in Zambales


embracing the panoramic beauty of the virgin forests of this province. Here at the peak, one can internalize the sights and sounds of the unspoiled flora and fauna he has experienced on his way to the top and marvel at God’s creation at its best! No wonder the birds here are as colorful as the forest orchids and other flowers in bloom. Another attraction is the Sto. Nino Cave in Candelaria. The cavern, carved out of a fissure on the earth’s crust, measures about 50x75 meters. At its central wall is an altar where images of the Holy Family can be seen. A popular Holy Week pilgrimage trekking site is the Sagrada Familia Cave in Sta. Cruz. This one is known for a mysterious formation that resembles the image of the Holy Family. Also in this town we find the Baloc-Baloc Cave, which is one of the more popular trekking sites in the area. Anybody who will patiently go through its brief but quite challenging rocky path will find themselves rewarded with a wonderful sight--- a glorious waterfall right inside the cave.


The earliest towns of Zambales were established sometime in 1607. To this day lots old massive churches and ancestral homes(come stay at ours near the town plaza of Sta.Cruz) still adorn the 13 towns of the province. Castillejos town has produced the 7th president of the Philippines, Ramon Magsaysay (a relative of this magazine’s photo editor, my mentor, Vics Magsaysay.) President Magsaysay’s ancestral home serves as a museum these days. The presidential car is showcased in the glass-walled garage at the rear entrance of the house. Casa San Miguel Center for the Arts in Pundakit, San Antonio is a great, relaxing place to visit or stay in. Located in a mango orchard of the Bolipata family, Casa San Miguel offers facilities such as an artist’s residence with seven bedrooms and a sunken terraced garden perfect for meditation and communing with nature. There’s also a convenience store where books,

Farmer tending to his ricefield


postcards and community crafts are available. You can also catch a show or a performance in its mini concert hall as the center is a venue for recitals of rural children that violinist Coke Bolipata has mentored under the center’s scholarship program. Worldrenowned Filipino artists in painting and sculpture also stage exhibits in this paradise. There’s also the Botolan Resettlement Sites where hundreds of Aeta families displaced by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo now reside. A trip to any of the modern resettlement villages found in the barangays of Baquilan, Loob-bunga and Taugtug offer visitors an eye-opening social and cultural experience with the natives. And since you’re already in Botolan, you may want to check out Fort Paynawen in Barangay Parel. Once considered the most formidable garrison in Central Luzon, Fort Paynawen offers visitors a glimpse into the past. Its walls, extending to the bank of the Bancal River, had seen history unfold and happen. They seemed to encompass the years, not only of its very own existence, but an entire town.


In this town you will also find the” Inang Poong Bato” Shrine where Catholics go for pilgrimages and spiritual revival. The church is made of stones from the nearby river and the “Bahay Pari” at the back is worth visiting as well. Trinitas Foundation constructed the 2-storey complex in 45days and donated it to the community for visiting priests and bishops who would like to rest from their usual parish duties and immerse themselves with the locals. So, the next time you feel like escaping from city life, try driving out north and find yourself lost in the wonders of a zesty yet laidback Zambales that simultaneously relaxes and invigorates the spirit. And oh, did we mention the Zambales “Sweet Elena” mango variety which the 1995 World Guinness Book of Record listed as the sweetest mangoes? For travel inquiries to Zambales, please email the writer at or Thank you and GOD bless!


The 3s in Mansalay – Sand, Sun and Sea

Experience Mansalay! Philippines’ emerging eco-ethno tourism destination By Alain M. Maulion Haven’t heard of Mansalay in Oriental Mindoro? Located in southern Luzon, Philippines, this quiet little town of 43,000 Mansaleños is host to the famous indigenous peoples-the Mangyans. The town not only has the 3S (sun, sand and sea), but also mountains boasting with rivers, falls, caves, hundred year old trees, wild boars and monkeys and a rich source of agricultural products like root crops, fruits, vegetables and marine resources! After all, Or. Mindoro is the food basket of Southern Tagalog.

What to do in Mansalay?

With the visionary leadership and participatory governance of Mayor Jose Ildefonso “Joel” Maaulion Maliwanag, the town hopes to soon achieve its vision to be the next eco-cultural tourism destination of the country.

Where to start?


Well, I just had the privilege to experience helping the town craft its eco-tourism marketing strategy. And the experience was an insightful and colourful adventure of a lifetime. The tourism package offered by the local government in partnership with the Tourism Council will make one wonder about its place, people and culture. One will have a taste what Mansalay has to offer from upland life to the pristine white sand beach.

A tour will start with the breathtaking view of the town and its scenic spots from the town’s Eco Park located on top a mountain. One could either go there by trekking, biking or a car. From the top, one could

Waterfall in Mansalay

see the mountains still covered by greens and the dirt road leading up to the Mangyan village. In front is another spectacular view of the town’s long coast, the road network connecting to the other towns and the RORO port to Boracay in the nearby town of Roxas, the marine sanctuary and Mangyan burial caves. But of course, nothing beats a closer look of the places seen from above. So the next destination would be the Mangyan burial caves located near the marine sanctuary. The trip to the caves would be one for the books! Would you dare walk through a knee-deep sea during the high tide usually in the mid morning just to reach the cave? It’s an easy 5-10 minute slow wade thru mangroves. For the less adventurous, a banca ride would be quicker. Upon reaching the islet, the “bantay dagat” team will be there to meet the curious minds and show the small caves filled with bones of dead mangyans, considered a sacred ground. Next stop- the nearby Marine Protected Area where one could take a short dive or snorkel to see the large underwater corals and fish stocks. This area was

awarded as the best marine protected area in the province in 2011. More? Just on the other side is the Turtle Sanctuary. Giant turtles called “pawikan” in the local language lay their eggs from October – December in the same area every year. The LGU declared it as a protected zone so people can appreciate the egg-laying season and witness the hatching of the hundreds of eggs. The environmental authorities have trained the community on how to take care of the pawikan and their eggs. Each egg is tagged in the turtle nursery for research and identification purposes and then released after 3 months. One could either trek through fishponds or a banca ride to the site. The adventure just started. Feeling hungry? Well, one could feast on the fresh produce of the seas and mountains and local delicacies sold in the town’s market and restaurants called “carinderia”. For the meat lovers, the lechon Mangyan baboy (native boar) would surely wet one’s pallet.

Want to try the calm waters of Cabalwa 63

for a relaxing swim?

The whites sand beaches with its warm and pristine blue waters would surely be the thing! One might be surprised to see a school of galunggong or big squids called lumot in the local dialect crossing one’s path. It’s an experience to remember! A German national married to a Mindorena has started an exclusive retirement resort for Germans called Calmada Bay Resort. It’s the pride of Mansalay! Watch the setting sun as one drinks a fresh buko while awaiting what tomorrow might bring.

River Trailing villages




For the next day, be ready for the 45 minute river trail at the Bait River at barangay Panaytayan. There will be a vehicle to bring one’s group to the Flea Market just at the entrance of the Bait River, the start of the trail. The Flea Market is for the Mangyans coming from the upland who would buy their supplies for the week. Instead of going to the town’s central

market (central business district), the vendors go to the Mangyan village to bring them supplies. From here, a Mangyan tour guide will lead the river trailing and explain the culture and traditions along the way. There will several stops to see Mangyan weaving, crafts making, and way of life and exchange stories with the indigenous people. At the end of the trail, a simple food is served like grilled corn, boiled plantain dipped in fermented fish and fruit in season – all from the produce of their ancestral land. On the way back, one might notice come across people carrying sacks of charcoals (uling) on their back to be sold to traders waiting somewhere along the river. Charcoal trade is one of the problems of the town since it is done through slash and burn and leave the area denuded. The local government is consulting the community what type of alternative livelihood can be done in order to save the forest while providing them income generating opportunities to meet their daily needs. The river gets dried up during summer months of March-May. Rainy season would be the best time to

The natives of Mansalay


go river trailing.

Homestay: Mangyan Style

More of Mangyan culture? The next visit is at the Mangyan Village in barangay Panaytayan proper where the former priest Fr. Postma, a Dutch national, documented the culture and traditions of the Hanunoo tribe of the Mangyans and now a mainstay and key actor in preserving Mangyan’s indigenous knowledge. The Hanunoo Mangyans welcome tourists who appreciate biodiversity and help protect the environment and the community that dwells in it like. Soon to be launched in early 2012 is their homestay program whereby tourists will be experiencing a day of Mangyan life. A crafts center showcases their craftsmanship while tourists if lucky can witness the “ambahan”, a Mangyan tradition of exchanging dialogues in song. The travel to this Mangyan village is another story on its own. One has to take a motor cycle driven by Mangyans and go through the narrow dirt sometimes muddy road to the village that almost touches the sky. Going down would give one another exhilarating view overlooking the coast and rice lands of the town.

Getting there

Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro is part of the Strong Republic Nautical Highway which runs from Manila to Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao. From Metro Manila, you can take a 1.5 hour car or bus ride (Jam Liner, Alps, Tritran, Green Star, RRCG, Ceres, Dimples) for Batangas Port in Batangas City through the newly renovated South Luzon Express Way, Alabang Calamba Sto-Tomas Expressway and Star Toll Way (One continuous expressway). From there, same bus will will take you all the way to Mansalay via a 2 hour Roll-on-Roll off (RORO) ferry passing by the Verde Island Passage, recently known as the center of the center of biodiversity on earth by the Smithsonian Institute in partnership with the California Academy of Sciences. The RORO will take you to the port in Calapan City. From there, another 2 hour scenic ride to Mansalay passing thru several towns, mountains, lake and seeing rural life along the way. These towns also offer a different agri-tourism experience. There is a also a 45 minute travel by fast craft from Batangas port to Calapan. From there you can take a 2.5 hour trip via a van-for-hire all the way to Mansalay.

Staying there

The town offers budget inns and resorts: 1. Villa Cristina Resort, sitio Balanga, Brgy del Mundo, contact: +63-9477770029 2. Carishiela Resort, Poblacion, Contact: +639178618305 3. Mansalay Food Hauz and Lodging, Contact: +639296669793 4. RC Farm Resort, Brgy. Manaul, Contact: +639173658352 5. Monte de Maura at Eco Park, Brgy del Mundo +639182343215 Stay tuned for the launching of Mansalay’s Homestay Program with the Mangyans in Brgy Bait and Sitio Panaytayan in March 2012!

Where to stay in the town proper?

Under the able leadership of the Mayor, will be launching its homestay and hometel programs early 2012. Homestay program is another way to experience Mansalay’s hospitality and life. So when you visit Philippines the next time, come experience Mansalay! For details on the eco-tour package, please contact Mr. Jun Generoso, Mansalay Tourism Officer, +639266516951 or email at lgumansalay@ And by the way, a website will soon rise specifically for eco-tourism packages in Mansalay and the rest of Mindoro. Stay tuned!

HIGHLIGHTS OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: ALAIN MIA MAULION, is a marketing graduate of De La Salle University with hands-on courses from Asian Institute of Technology (AITBangkok as a USASEAN Scholar), ABOUT UniversityTHE AUTHOR of Texas at Austin (under UN sponsorship in New York, USA), Asian Institute of Management (AIM), University of Asia and the Pacific (UAP)


We hear our motherland calling By Greg B. Macabenta

Yes, here we are, your children, The fruits of all your dreams. We have come home from distant lands, From deserts, fields and streams. We are your daughters and your sons Who hearken to your call. We are the youth you scarce have known. We offer you our all. We cannot boast of honors won Nor celebrate our wealth, When you to whom we owe our lives Must suffer failing health. How can we talk of how we walk The high and mighty road When many of our siblings live Life serfs and slaves abroad? Yes, we have heard you calling us, Beloved Motherland; With gratitude we come to you To humbly kiss your hand. You cared for us, you nurtured us, Your bore us in your womb. And you will love us selflessly From cradle to the tomb. But from your arms we sailed away, In foreign lands to toil; Unsure that we could grow our dreams Upon our native soil.


Yet there is something lacking from The honors that we gain. How can we savor our success, While you are wracked with pain? We solemnly commit today Our treasures, talents, time, And we, the youth, before you stand To make this vow sublime. The fruits of all our labors and The prize of blood and sweat We offer at your altar, though They hardly pay our debt. For anywhere our path may lead, Wherever we may roam, ‘Tis only in your bosom that We’ll feel the warmth of home. When age sets in and health has gone And stripped our spirits bare, We know that you will welcome us When no one else will care. And in the winter of our lives, When mournful bells will ring, The Philippines will always be Our summer and our spring.

Composed for the Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora Manila, September 27-29, 2011 Pledge of Commitment by the Global Summit Participants Dedicated to Nanay and Mama

How we can help the victims of Typhoon Sendong Send your donations through Philippine Red Cross. Go to


Pinoy Offshore Engineers in the North Sea Oil Rigs By ReneĂŠ Ikdal Photographs of engineers taken during their in house training There are hundreds of Filipino engineers working in the Norwegian oil exploration companies in the North Sea. Roots&Wings visited engineers Joe Pabelico, Aimee Diaz and Napoleon Diaz in Stavanger. Napoleon was very kind to share with us his life as an offshore engineer. He works for Aibel, a leading supplier of services related to oil, gas and renewable energy. Napoleon is assigned at the department called Telecommunications Discipline Lead for GEM (Greater Ekofisk Modification) and NCP projects. He holds a BS.ECE degree in Pamantasan Ng Lungsod Ng Maynila, and a Masters on Information Technology at De La Salle University. 68

Norway has one of the world’s greatest economic success stories, thanks to its North Sea oil findings and successful explorations. How would you describe your working life, which is literally performed in the middle of the sea?

Working life in the North Sea Oil Rig in Norway is both challenging and rewarding. Norway offers a vast array of opportunities to learn and grow in your field owing to its rich oil and gas industry. People here are always given a chance to have a direct participation in the project that they are involved with. It is also very attractive for it has a relatively short working time (in comparison to similar jobs in other parts of the world), which gives much value on life-work balance. In addition, people are treated equally and the social system protects and implements this.

What are the necessary qualifications for this particular job? Was your Philippine education sufficient or did you have to undergo special training? If yes, how long did you have to do it?

Some of the necessary qualifications are having a bachelors degree related to your field, having a master’s degree would be a plus, but I think one of the most important thing is to have a couple of years of experience related to the job. Also, you have to be very open to the idea of learning the local language fluently. It would be hard at the beginning but eventually you’ll enjoy every part of it. I must say that my Philippine Education paved the way for this opportunity. It was a chain reaction having a good education from my home country, being admitted to a good job that became a stepping 69

stone to this great career. I also had to go to a series of technical and safety trainings that lasted around 6 months.

What character traits do you think one should possess to thrive in these very special working conditions? You have to be very detailed and patient. Oil and gas industry is a very technical and competitive business. You have to be at your best all the time, be in tune with the latest technology.

What do you think are the advantages of having this kind of job? And what are the 70


Some of the advantages of being involved in this kind of industry are the following: (1) You have a direct participation in steering the world economy by providing input to the energy sector (2) You can make an impact and somehow have an influence on standards and regulations that dictates the industry (3) And of course, the pay is good. The disadvantages are as follows: (1) A little time demanding, especially during the conclusion period of the project life-cycle (2) There are few safety hazards when the job instructions are not followed properly (i.e. time, money, life, etc.) (3) the language barrier.


Edward’s Adventures in Lifestyle Design:

A wonderful guide to weirdness

1. Don´t focus on money Stop thinking so much about what career will give you the most money or security. Both are overrated and more money usually comes with more spending on stuff you don’t need or really want, and security is often an illusion. Instead, think about what activities you like doing, and try to do them as much as possible. However, temper your desires with an ounce of realism and focus on the activity, not the goal. If you’re 50+ years old, and want to be a professional ballet dancer, its not gonna happen (sorry for the reality check grandpa). You’re focusing on an unrealistic goal when you should be focusing on very achievable activity. Just keep dancing as much as possible and you will be able to do it more and more. You may become a dance instructor for the elderly, bringing the joy of movement to those who so badly need it. 2. Skills + desire = Happy Happy Leverage your pre-existing skills and combine them with your desires. Try to combine the two as much as possible. This is a factor that most often leads to self-realization. The fact is that doing what you are naturally good at is extremely rewarding and integral to your self worth. Its the trinity of combining what you're good at, what you like, and the best opportunities for doing the two in an area that is accessible to you. 3. Practice moderate minimalism Things are great and we all need the essentials, as well as some fun non-essentials (I myself am guilty of owing an ipad although I don’t need it, but I love it!). Just avoid mindless consumerism. Be an intelligent consumer. Buy what you need, and buy quality. Buy it 72

once, and buy it right. Care for these things, don’t just discard them when they’re used, give it to charity. Also, keep a mental inventory of the things you own. If it seems like an insurmountable task, you have too much stuff (I am planning to do this shortly and will write an article about it, my goal is to have 100 things or less). Also, it will allow you to gauge what you really use and dont. Things you dont use, sell, chuck, or give away. Getting rid of stuff will free up time in your life to acutally live life and do the things you want. 4. Outline your perfect lifestyle Living with less and consuming less may seem like it sucks, but really, your perfect lifestyle often doesn’t require that much, when you find out exactly what it is you want in life. This requires a lot of time, you will need to sit and work on this. Be patient. Take small steps. Begin by working out your perfect day. This was great for me. It took me ages to discover myself and find out what life I wanted, and im still not sure I completely know, but discovering the path is half the journey. 5. Ok, Ok, Money CAN make you happy.. sort of There's an exception to step 1. Money can indeed make you happy. However, don't bother earning more than $75,000 a year. Studies have consistently shown that there is a linear relationship between happiness and money, up to a point. The $75k point that is. More than this and things like job/work satisfaction, leisure time, relationships, and meaning to life become more important. And even though I preach about money not mattering, I admit, I would be pretty happy with $75,000 a year. So if you must focus on money, push it till $75k, then look elsewhere for your happiness fix.

6. Once again, breathe When you are unsure of what to do, how to achieve this state of blissful contentment, or are sinking in the vortex of life, just breathe. Take a moment, close your eyes, and simply breathe in and out. Call it meditation, centering yourself, or whatever you like. Just be mindful of the moment and be grateful for your breath. Enjoy it, and savour the feeling. This will ground you and keep you away from destroying your path with over-thinking. 7. Balance living in the NOW with planning for the future If you have a job that you hate but can't immediately get out of, try to think of every moment as being precious. Not everything in life is meant to be happy and shiny and pretty and easy. Otherwise there would be no life, not one worth living at least. Washing dishes sucks but our lives would suck even more without doing it. The whole point of putting yourself through

the ordeal of washing stuff is so it can be enjoyed as something clean later on. So instead of complaining, enjoy the process. When washing, love it! Each dish is a symphony of bubbles and sensation! Try to accept and enjoy the "negative" side of things because after all, pleasure without pain is like night without day, Success without failure is like the body without a brain. Life only exists because of death. All that really matters is THIS MOMENT, but realize that the quality of this moment is amplified through planning for the future... Temper living in the moment with an ounce of forward thinking, and curb your future planning with the ability to embrace the glory of this very moment. Edward Gaje Bergersen is a Norwegian/Filipino Physiotherapist and Gym instructor based in Oslo, Norway. He also writes about philosophical lifestyle design at:



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 and Distributors in Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Vienna, Amsterdam, Reykjavik, Berlin, Edinburgh, Dublin and other cities in Europe Please email for more information Roots&Wings magazine is available in the following countries: Sweden: MaiMai Asian Market, Holländargatan 9A 11136 Stockholm Tel 0046 70 496 99 00 Ms Alicia Andersson Ringvägen 29 918 32 Sävar Tel. 0046 70 514 5684 UK: Juliet Locsin 42 Basterfield House Golden Lane Estate London Tel 0044 207 251 0772 Leah Grewal 152 Bulstrode Avenue TW3 3AG Hounslow Tel 00442082309020


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Roots & Wings Winter Issue 2011  

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

Roots & Wings Winter Issue 2011  

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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