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2013 Filipino Of The Year — Fr. Jojo Zerrudo!

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Me and Yeyette with our spiritual hero at the Holy Family Church in Roxas District, Cubáo, Quezon City where he currently serves as parish priest. (08/04/2013)

For this year, FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES and ALAS FILIPINAS are so proud to bestow their (not-that-famous-yet) Filipino of the Year award to Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo!

Fr. Jojo truly deserves this soon-to-be-prestigious online award (wish) not because he officiated that classic “Wedding of the Year” in San Pedro Tunasán (which has just become a city, by the way), La Laguna province last September. It’s because he has exemplified through his life, thoughts, and works the virtues of what a COMPLETE Filipino truly is. He has also been featured several times by the media throughout the year, making curious folk sit up and take notice of this humble servant of the Lord. In that regard, may they all be inspired by him to become better persons the way he has inspired the owner of the above-mentioned blogs, together with his family, to become better Christians.

My disappointment was that in teaching high school, I realized that the students (even of Catholic schools) have the impression that the Spanish friars were all corrupt and they did nothing good for us. I always ask: give me a name of a Spanish friar you know… and they will all say in unison: “Padre Damaso”. Padre Damaso??? A fictitious character of Rizal’s novel??? Students do not know how to discern fact from fiction. Even if they say that Rizal recanted just before his execution, his Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo continue to exert his Masonic influence on young minds.

—Fr. Jojo Zerrudo—

That’s a courageous “against-the-flow” remark from the ranks of today’s much-maligned. Sa totoó láng, isáng tunay na Filipino na lamang ang puedeng macapágsalita ng ganián ñgayón. I bet even Rizal himself would have agreed with him. ‘Nuff said.

Congratulations, Fr. Jojo! May this award win you and your “TLM Team” a trip to Amanpulo! :D

La Familia Viajera — not just another travel blog

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Finally, a travel blog that I could call my own!

Actually, not just mine, but my family‘s. :-)

LA FAMILIA VIAJERA, probably the country’s first and only family travel blog (if there’s already a Filipino blog that has claimed the title first, feel free to pinch my ears when you get to see me). The blog features our very humble exploits wherever our itchy feet take us. It was soft-launched last October 21, two days after we roamed the ancient streets of Intramuros and took photos of fancy stuff there.

Fancy stuff that is our heritage.

Since LA FAMILIA VIAJERA is a family oriented blog, I will be much tamer there. I will try my best not to sound belligerent, no anti-imperialism remarks, no clenched fists raised high above the air, and no Rage Against the Machine blurting out in the background. All that indignation is reserved only for FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES and ALAS FILIPINAS (I said I will try my best).

OK. I’ll shut up now and let my third blog do the talking. Please click here for my family’s first entry to its online travelogue.

And oh, did I forget to mention? My long-time nemesis Carlos Celdrán is featured there. Believe it or not. :D

PS: And since I’d be traveling with my wife and four kids in LA FAMILIA VIAJERA, there will be no more travel blogposts in ALAS FILIPINAS and FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES from now on.

 

2012 Filipino Of The Year — Jesse Robredo!

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FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES and ALAS FILIPINAS bestows their first posthumous Filipino of the Year award to the late Secretary of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Jesús “Jesse” Robredo y Manalastás, PLH (27 May 1958 – 18 August 2012).

Last 18th of August, the Piper PA-34-200 Seneca I aircraft carrying Secretary Robredo crashed off the shore of Masbate Island. He was about to go home to watch his daughter’s swimming competition in his beloved Naga City, Camarines Sur where he was elected mayor in 1988 at the age of 29. He was said to be the youngest mayor in Philippine History, but that is false – remember that the country’s first president, Emilio Aguinaldo, served as Cavite El Viejo‘s capitán municipal (formerly known as gobernadorcillo, equivalent to today’s town mayor) when he was only 26 years old… but that’s another story.

FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES and ALAS FILIPINAS do not believe in posthumous awards. Honors ought to be given to an awardee while he is still alive. But this one has to be an exception. Let us admit it: Mr. Robredo was not as popular today when he was alive. Stories about his exceptional leadership began to surface only after his tragic demise. Nevertheless, all those stories and testimonies about him are true. He really was an exceptional local executive. The people of Naga City gave him a mandate of two three-term reigns (1988-1998, 2001-2010) before he was appointed as DILG secretary last 9 July 2010.

Thank you, sir Jesse, for inspiring Filipino politicians to practice good governance and to be with the masses at all times.

In this era of government ineptness, neglect, and corruption people search for role models who can show the difference. Robredo became one such model. Amidst the ostentatious and scandal-ridden lifestyle of most public officials, Robredo’s was special. Public service, however, is not only about transparency but bringing about lasting social and economic change.

Bicol Today

“Bloggers’ Hour” at the NCCA

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The first ever "Bloggers' Hour" organized and hosted by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES and ALAS FILIPINAS are honored to have attended the first ever “Bloggers’ Hour” this morning. The event was organized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Click here for the story.

♪ So long, farewell, I hate to say goodbye… ♫

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So I guess this is it for this blog. The final curtain, so to speak.

I hate to say this, but I have to give up blogging. I want to explain why, but somehow I don’t feel that I need to. It’s awkward, y’know. I have never written a farewell message before. So pardon me for the stiffness of this blogpost.

To my faithful readers (perhaps three or four of you, whoever you are, wherever you are): thank you, thank you, thank you. To my countless haters, screw you, screw you, screw you… but I have to thank you as well for fueling my sarcastic wits to no end.

I won’t prolong this. It’s breakfast time for most of you…

FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES is now signing off…

*******

Naaah, I guess I have to lift the curtain this soon. :-)

I was just playin’ around, broskis. I won’t stop blogging. As long as my fingers cooperate with my cerebral cortex, I won’t stop playing as a stubborn iconoclast for Philippine History, LOL!

But seriously, I have to leave blogging. But not for good. It’s just temporary. I have a very important project to accomplish. There’s a freaking deadline, and I don’t want Asiong Salonga’s reincarnate to feed me with uzi fire. So I really have to keep myself busy in the coming months (there’s not even much time for the Black Nazarene blogpost which I promised last month to write).

Yep. For now I speak in riddles. I am contracted to shut up about this for a while. At sacá (ica ngá sa Tagalog) bacá mausóg, ¡hehehe! But if this project comes into fruition, I will, of course, make an announcement. If it doesn’t, well, I will still announce it, LOL (that would no longer be an announcement but a sorry explanation that perhaps only bored netizens would care to read about)! There won’t be much Facebook nor Twitter for me as well. In the meantime, I will try to update this blog at least once a month. But you can catch me in ALAS FILIPINAS because I am contracted (I’m beginning to hate that word) to post there at least twice a month. Freaking contracts. But hey, at least I get to earn a couple of salted peanuts with roasted garlic. Not bad, not bad…

Wish me luck. Better yet, pray that this project materializes. =)

¡Hasta luego!

The Black Nazarene of Quiapò (Facebook photos)

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Exactly a week has passed but I haven’t blogged about the Black Nazarene procession of Quiapò which I have attended. I have been very busy attending to some personal matters: taking care of my pet grasshoppers; searching for fireflies in the dead of the night, etc. Actually, I did blog about this historic event (reportedly one of the longest processions ever at 22 hours despite terrorist-threat warnings from Malacañang!) in my other blog, with videos to boot. But it’s in Spanish. So I will blog about the event here in FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES very soon. Hopefully before the month ends.

In the meantime, I have published my photos of the Fiesta de Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno in my Facebook page. You can view the photos (with captions) by clicking here.

Happy 2012 everyone!

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Have a blessed and prosperous new year, everyone! May the Lord God Almighty bless and guide us all! And to the few faithful readers of this blog (as well as ALAS FILIPINAS which is now on its fifth year), critics and believers alike, thank you very much for reading!

2011 Filipino Of The Year — The Filipino People!

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For the second time, FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES and ALAS FILIPINAS have unanimously chosen the Filipino People to win the 2011 FILIPINO OF THE YEAR! The decision is very simple: because once again, the Filipino people has joined hands in helping out their fellow Filipinos in Northern Mindanáo (Cagayán de Oro and nearby towns such as Iligan) who were victimized by the flash floods caused by Typhoon Sendong (and deforestation) last December 16. Thousands of people lost their lives. Countless more lost their homes and properties. Northern Mindanáo was almost an apocalyptic scene right after the typhoon left. Hopelessness seemed to reign supreme.

But like what happened two years ago, almost the whole country immediately came to rescue their southern brothers through various donations online as well as online petitions and campaigns seeking for more assistance. This is a proud moment for the Filipino, known for its bayanihan spirit.

Nevertheless, more help is still needed. Northern Mindanáo is still reeling from the devastation of the flash floods. More help should pour in. Can we revive the region? Yes we can! And we are already working on it!

Please click here on how to help the typhoon/flash floods victims.

Congratulations to the Filipino people! May we all have a happy and prosperous new year!

*******

2010 FILIPINO OF THE YEAR
2009 FILIPINO OF THE YEAR

Check your email everyday — you might get a big surprise

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Because of several online accounts that I have (not to mention Facebook eating up most of my online time), I hardly check my emails nowadays. That is why when I opened them up yesterday morning, I was in for a big surprise:

I didn’t even know I was nominated, LOL! Yeah. LOL. But this time around I didn’t get to have the last laugh.

Another LOL to that.

This blog, FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES, was nominated for “Society, Politics, and History” category.

My other blog ALAS FILIPINAS, on the other hand, was nominated for two categories: “Filipiniana” and “Bloggers’ Choice

I was elated and disappointed at the same time. My blogs made it to the finals, but lost. On a lighter note, being nominated in The Philippine Blog Awards is already a huge feat. What more if your blog is chosen as a Finalist? Truly, it’s a great honor. And I thank the organizers of this annual event for having given my blogs a chance to shine even for just a brief moment.

Too bad my wife and I weren’t able to attend the ceremonies. Lesson learned: always check your emails everyday because we’re now living on a fast-paced online world.

Congratulations to this year’s winners! More power to Filipino blogging, the new journalism!

New and improved FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES!

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It’s official: starting today, my age is no longer included in the calendar…

Boo!

Whatever.

Anyways, welcome to the new and improved FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES!

Yehey! (clap! clap! clap! clap!)

So, as a shameless birthday gift to my fabulous self, I have decided to change the theme of my blog. The WordPress theme/design that you now see is called Liquorice. True to the themes’ stated deliverables, Liquorice waxes a bit “poetical” with its nostalgic light “sand-brown” mood with a clean motiff, thus making the text easy to read. The pictures appear bigger and the captions are no longer stressed. Even quoted texts appear to have a life of their own.

But wait! There’s more!

Not only have I changed the design of this blog. I also had the header personalized!

The header is designed by blogger and fellow hispanista David Salcedo Sánchez of Ciudad de Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental.

Due to a sorry lack of technological know-how, I initially commissioned my best friend Arnaldo Arnáiz of WITH ONE’S PAST to make one for me. For those of you who may not know yet, Arnaldo was the one who designed the banner of my other blog, ALAS FILIPINAS, more than three years ago. He did make a header for FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to finish it due to his busy schedule. And since I made today —my thirty-second birthday and this blog’s second anniversary— as my self-imposed schedule (told ya: I’m so finicky with special dates), I thought it best to seek David’s assistance whose header in his own blog FILIPINAS ¡QUÉ HERMOSA ERES! is as impressive and creative as it can be!

The images that David used for this blog’s header are a combination of Spanish and indigenous images. Truth be told, these icons are just perfect for my blog’s chosen theme: Philippine Identity and History (or —like what I always brag— true Philippine History). The mixture of Spanish and indigenous cultures is what makes up our identity as Filipinos.

David is but one of a handful of young Filipinos today who had take off the blindfold of ignorance. This is what he has to say regarding our national identity:

Indigenous Culture + Spanish Culture = Hispanic

In the case of our country:

Malay/Indigenous Culture + Spanish Culture = Hispanic Filipino/Filipino Culture

Sample:

La mano = The hand

PagLAMANOhay = to shake hands with

In Latin America:

Aztec, Mayan, Incan, Moche, Taino, Arawak etc. (Indigenous Culture) + Spanish Culture = Hispanic

Mexicans are as hispanic as Venezuelans, Argentines, Puerto Ricans, Ecuadorians, Peruvians, Guatemalans, Cubans etc. Hispanic as Filipinos? Yes! =p

Although Hispanicity was also derived from something Spanish, it’s a different identity.

So with whom you share culture & history with?

Being mestizo is not something bound with genes alone. Our country is mestizo. Our culture and history is mestizo. It’s not only in our languages but it’s almost everywhere! Why hate that part? It made it whole after all.

It’s really that simple. At di dapat icagalit ni icahiyâ ang parteng yaón ng ating nacaraán. :-)

In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you (conti lang namán cayó, eh, ¡hehehe!) who regularly visit this humble site of mine. I want all of you to know that I do read all of your comments, and sorry if I’m unable to answer all of them; I’m a second-rate, trying-hard married historian with four kids to feed and raise, thus my day usually ends with drained and saturated energy. But I am hoping to one day buy my whole time from capitalist enslavement in order for me to write full-time.

My apologies, too, if sometimes I sound too cranky and proud on some of my replies. I’m trying my best to avoid it. It is unnecessary and unfriendly, I know.

Once more, thank you for the visits, the comments, and the criticisms. May God bless us all!

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