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Showing posts from July, 2007

The Kibungan Quilting & Patchwork Club

This group is the result of a serendipitous meeting between Lars Kjaerholm, a visiting anthropologist from Aarhus University in Denmark, and Mayor Benito Siadto of Kibungan. They decided to organize a modest "Benguet Symposium" in which different people could get together simply to share information on what is known and what has been written about Benguet, and what we don't know yet. It was a small and relaxed gathering. Mayor Benito Siadto came with five members of his LGU, including daughter Bren, a UP graduate who is now working as his secretary. Academicians in attendance were Lars, Professors Myrna Sison of Benguet State University and Ike Pikpikan of St. Luis University, both of whom are also members of Maksil ni Ibaloi (MAKNIBA), Professors Caster Palaganas and Letty Tolentino of U.P. Baguio, and yours truly, phd wannabe. The local media was represented by Chi Balmaceda-Guitierrez, Jack Carino, and Dave Leprozo. Prof. Ray Rovillos, Dean of the UP Baguio College of

Please enlighten me

I find it disturbing how men I normally regard as intelligent, discerning, and bequeathed with a sharp and invigorating social and environmental consciousness, are eventually drawn to golf or go through a golf phase -- that elitist , expensive , space-wasting , water-guzzling past-time in which men chase a ball with a stick while their lackeys carry the golf clubs for them or search for the balls when they go off course. I have a short list: Number One Biker Boy, Frank, Neal Oshima, and Kabigat a.k.a Kidlat Tahimik whom witnesses saw teeing off at the Baguio Country Club recently. When asked to comment he explained that he joined his sister after twenty years of shunning the golf course for old times' sake, as she was leaving for the US that evening. (My relatives don't count. They are beyond saving. The elders have been playing golf since before I was born, while those of my generation were born with golf clubs in their hands.) I don't get it. Talk about cognitive disso


When I spoke to Kawayan late last night he was still putting finishing touches on his pieces and packing them up for the trip to Manila. (Alright, we know it's actually "Metro" Manila and that you've got a whole lot of cities thrown into it but to us it's just this huge unbearable monolithic urban mess that we call Manila. If some one says they have to go down to Manila, it's explanation enough. We don't have to know whether she means Quezon City or Pasig. We are instantly sympathetic.) Tomorrow, Saturday the 28th, Kawayan opens a one-man exhibition, called Incubator, in the Drawing Room. I bet no one at the opening will notice how the show didn't completely come together until the very last moment. I wish I could be there to see how the final headless chicken moments become a seamless show. Yes, I would consider going to Manila for that, but instead the following paragraphs Kawayan asked me to write are making the trip for me. Also last-minute. Firs


Ah, what would a State of the Nation Address be, without motherhood statements? Here are 13 motherhood statements from yesterday's SONA. (There are more.) Read between the lines, fellow Pinoys, read between the lies – er, lines , I meant to say. Tapos na ang halalan at pamumulitika; panahon na para maglingkod nang walang damot, mamuno nang walang pangamba maliban sa kagalingan ng bayan, and to govern with wisdom, compassion, vision and patriotism. We will have achieved the hallmarks of a modern society, where institutions are strong. Isang milyong trabaho taon-taon. crushing terrorism wherever it threatens regardless of ideology; and in putting a stop to human rights abuses whatever the excuse. Imprastraktura ang haliging nagtitindig hindi lamang ng kapayapaan kundi ng ating buong makabagong ekonomiya: mga kalsada, tulay, paliparan, public parks and power plants. As we build industry, we must ensure people have clean air to breathe. In today's global economy, knowle


A couple of readers (wow, I have readers!) have left edifying links in their comments but I just discovered that links don't work very well in the comments box. So here they are again. Nash gave us a lead to a piece on the whole breastfeeding vs. formula milk corporate sham . Johnb gave us a lead to a web-page dedicated to the memory of the Baguio Killer Earthquake , may it forever be the only one. Thank you! Pahabol! Another piece on the formula milk issue , thanks to Mayumi.

A Rare Thing of Great Beauty

Dusk on July 17. Something to be grateful for.

EQ Memories

In fact I had forgotten that it was today, and that it happened on a Monday, 17 years ago. I was reminded only by these three candles that I spotted this morning, while out enjoying a walk on the first, un-clouded, sunny morning in three days. Many people had died on the lot where the candles were lit. Reading the simple sign made the hairs on my arms rise up in a wave until the nape of my neck. I was standing on a street in QM outside a classmate's house when it struck. We had a clear view of the Baguio Hilltop Hotel collapsing from where we were. I had to walk home, all the way across town, because no taxis or jeepneys were picking up passengers. Every one was just trying to reach their homes. When I walked through Burnham Park, I saw some one's hand sticking out from under a fallen concrete welcome arch. I remember the hand was grey with the pallor of death. It was also bloated. I decided to avoid Session Road, for fear that there would be crowds and more collapsed buildings

The Next Best Thing to Nanay's Home-cooked Food

Hooraaaaay! After 6 weeks of being closed for renovation, the Cafe By the Ruins re-opened yeseterday! All the classics and favorites are still on the menu, like Patring's Goodies and Ole Nick's Open-face Tuna Sandwich-- to my knowledge, the only specials that never left! There are lots of new goodies too, featuring this season's produce; such as fresh guava juice, and 2-mushrooom crepes, which is what I had for lunch. MMMMMMMMMM Mine, all mine! While I was enjoying my lunch, I surveyed the Cafe clientelle that had come for the day, and tried to guess who was what. Which one/s are you? People started streaming in for late lunch, and first among them was the family that owns the Baguio franchises for McDonalds. They entered at an excited, brisk walk, declaring to all within earshot as they entered, "Nakaka-miss! We could hardly wait for it to open again!" But of course! What was I thinking? That they eat burgers and fries all year round? They probably don't even

Random Diss Excerpt #6

READING ADVISORY: Reportage on indigenous peoples' rights. Ho-hum. In the Philippines the Indigenous Peoples' Rights Act sets out a legal procedure for indigenous people to claim ancestral territory and gain security of tenure. In Indonesia however, it remains to be seen how this struggle for rights will manifest itself in legal and political arenas. The government’s policy since Former President Soeharto’s time has always been that all Indonesians are indigenous (Li 2000, Moniaga 2007). The accepted label for indigenous groups was masyarakat terasing, or isolated community. The government’s policy towards indigenous peoples has been one of assimilation along an externally prescribed path of development (Persoon et al. 2004). Subsequently, indigenous peoples had no control over the management of natural resources in their territories. Through the years of independent government, they have been officially labeled as isolated and backward and the only avenue for them for full par


This came in the mail today. I'm guilty of the ones in red. Come to think of it though, post-grad or not, this list suits a lot of my 'geeky' friends who are busily pursuing an obsession too. Ummm, I meant that as a statement of solidarity -- no insult intended! YOU MIGHT BE A GRADUATE STUDENT WHEN... you can analyze the significance of appliances you cannot operate; you have ever, as a folklore project, attempted to track the progress of your own joke across the Internet; y ou are startled to meet people who neither need nor want to read; you have ever brought a scholarly article to a bar; you rate coffee shops (or bars) by the availability of wifi and outlets for your laptop; everything reminds you of something in your discipline; you have ever discussed academic matters at a sporting event; you have ever spent more than $50 on photocopying while researching a single paper; there is a microfilm reader in the library that you consider "yours" (teka, uso pa ba ito