Tag Archives: Filipino

Celebrating Diversity

Judging people by physical appearances distracts us from serious issues. As one politician put it, physical appearances can be used as a sign of solidarity with those who share it. By ridiculing politicians for their physical appearance, we elevate them to a moral high ground, even as physical similarities can mask glaring differences between politicians and their constituents. Finally, and more importantly, this kind of “bullying” reinforces a culture that overvalues physical appearance.1

With the 2016 elections less than a year from now, we need to desist from attacks on the physical appearance of politicians. Journalists in particular should be mindful of their power to dignify certain discourses. We cannot be distracted from the more relevant parameters with which to hold politicians to account. We cannot gift them with ‘persecution’ that gives them a moral high ground while it conceals and absolves their moral and legal failings. More importantly, by casting politicians physical features in a negative light, we are perpetuating a culture that over values physical appearance, upholds certain standards of beauty and renders harm to our countrymen who share these features. Indeed, if we are to elevate Philippine politics to a certain measure of dignity, if we are to make people proud and respectful of the ways people look, we must spare the physical appearance of our politicians from ridicule and verbal abuse.1

**Though the piece above is angled on Philippine politics, the typical Filipino’s tendency to judge people by physical appearances goes beyond our politicians. Our intolerance for those who don’t share the same physical qualities (skin color, height, etc.) are monstrously contributory to our stunted growth as a nation. If we want to be more and do more for this country, its high time to put an end to these destructive prejudices.

On culture:
I cannot celebrate independence when I can be so casually told in public that I am less of a Filipino or a person solely because my grandparents were (Chinese) immigrants. Do we subconsciously insist on defining patriotism as an accident of birth instead of a lifetime’s conviction? How can we continually decry mistreatment of Filipinos overseas yet tolerate such vitriol at home?2

**If we want our OFWs to be treated well abroad, don’t you think it’s only fair for us Filipinos to treat expats and Chinese immigrants with the same decency and respect we ardently expect? I would like to live in a country where everyone is welcome. Where there is a sense of community and where an expat can call my country his home. Families, economies and countries thrive because its foreigners (as well as its residents) are able to work together and make their country of residence more prosperous since they first arrived.

On social status:
I’ve also been quite vocal about this with friends: You’re poor? I don’t take it against you You’re rich? I don’t take it against you either. Bottom line, does it really matter? In the grander scheme of things, it’s the heart of the person that counts.

Too idealistic? Not at all. On the contrary, a realist clearly sees what needs to be improved in order to make communication lines easier and effortless, thus laying the ground work for straightforward and uncomplicated relationships (business or otherwise) for us to live better and to a greater degree, thrive.

For quite sometime now, I’ve been practicing going beyond what my eyes can see, and rigidly looking at the character of the person. So far, this methodology of making friends has opened doors for me that I couldn’t have possibly imagined.

I encourage you to be more accepting/tolerant/forgiving of people’s differences, may they be physical appearances, race, culture, religion, social background, etc. In the digital age, the world has become smaller and our neighbors more accessible than ever. As a nation, we have more to gain if we embrace, rather than shun, this reality. There is strength in diversity, if only the Filipino can look beyond himself.

“I can imagine nothing more terrifying than an eternity filled with men who were all the same. The only thing which has made life bearable…has been the diversity of creatures on the surface of the globe.”
― T.H. White

1 Philippine Daily Inquirer. ‘The politics of physical appearance’. Gideon Lasco, June 15 2015.
2 Philippine Daily Inquirer, Opinion. Sisyphus’ Lament, ‘Anti-Chinese-Filipino slurs are visible’. Oscar Franklin Tan. @oscarfbtan

At Home With BenCab

So few people get the privilege of being welcomed in an artist’s home. Artists, with their affinity for solitude and privacy, would seldom, if not let anyone enter their sanctuary.

MissTolentino.com was given this opportunity.

Brilliance coupled with simplicity marks this man of many talents.

Discovering his artistic inclination at the tender age of 7, Benedicto Cabrera aka “BenCab” was greatly influenced by his elder brother, Salvador.

Arriving a little bit before lunch, MissTolentino.com joined this artist as he gave us a tour of his estate and the numerous masterpieces he created.

Join us as we give a glimpse of this laidback artist and Baguio City’s rock star, BenCab.

A personal sanctuary found inside the artist's home.
A personal sanctuary found inside the artist’s home.
A spectacular view of the South China Sea over at BenCab's balcony.
A spectacular view of the South China Sea over at BenCab’s balcony.
CafeSabel inside BenCab Museum
CafeSabel inside BenCab Museum
Sculpture Collections inside BenCab's Museum.
Sculpture Collections inside BenCab’s Museum.
Water Falls near CafeSabel.
I could seriously live here 😉 Water Falls near CafeSabel.
Wondering if he could do my portrait (wishful thinking)… 😉
Ms. Paula Tolentino staring at one of National Artist Ben Cab's paintings.
BenCab’s famous muse, Sabel.
BenCab likes his food fresh. The artist shares a bite from his kitchen table.
National Artist BenCab opens his home to MissTolentino.com, featuring his backyard.
A glimpse of his backyard.
Featuring BenCab's Self-Portrait.
A self-portrait of the artist.
Bulol sculptures inside BenCab Museum.
Bulol sculptures inside the Museum.
Featuring one of BenCab's Erotica Gallery Collections
The Museum’s Erotica Gallery
Potteries and Ceramics inside BenCab's Home.
A collection of ceramic dinnerware can be found in his kitchen.
A glimpse of BenCab's estate.
Now THIS is the life 😉 A sneak peak of the artist’s estate.
With The Philippine National Artist, Benedicto Cabrera (BenCab)
From MissTolentino.com, thank you for welcoming us into your beautiful home. Here with Philippine National Artist, Benedicto Cabrera.

The International Community pledge aid to Filipinos


The International Community pledge aid to Filipinos || Please SHARE and show our gratitude to them

USA: : Obama said America “is already providing significant humanitarian assistance and we stand ready to further assist the (Philippines) government’s relief and recovery efforts.”

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the millions of people affected by this devastating storm,” Obama said in a statement.

The U.S. government aid – both military and civilian – began flowing as relief efforts got under way by international organizations and private relief groups.

The U.S. Agency for International Development is sending supplies, including emergency shelter and hygiene materials, to help 10,000 families. The supplies are expected to arrive early this week, according to a spokeswoman.

USAID also is dispatching 55 metric tons of emergency food to feed 20,000 children and 15,000 adults for up to five days, the agency said.
90 U.S. Marines and sailors arrived in the Philippines as part of a first wave of promised U.S. military assistance, which included aircraft for search and rescue operations.

EU: EU: European Union Ambassador Guy Ledoux to the Philippines also expressed yesterday his solidarity with the Filipinos and announced humanitarian teams and relief packages were on their way to affected areas.

“The Philippines has been severely tested by nature on several occasions this year. As it confronts yet another natural calamity, I express my solidarity with the Filipino people and my deep sympathy with those who have lost their loved ones or their livelihoods,” Ledoux said in a statement. The European Union Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection said it is deploying four experts to areas near Cebu and Leyte and will also help assess the plight of the victims of the recent earthquake on the island of Bohol.

Australia: Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says the Australian Government will contribute $10 million in aid, which will include $390,500 of emergency supplies previously announced by Ms Bishop on Saturday.
“I have approved a $10 million package of humanitarian assistance. This comprises the urgent deployment of an Australian medical assistance team – at a cost of about $1 million, $3 million to be deployed through Australian non-government organisations, $4 million to the United Nations flash appeal,” she said.
“[We will also contribute] $1 million for additional food items and non-food items, which includes the funding already announced – so tarps, mosquito nets, water containers and the like, and $1 million to the Red Cross to assist in their disaster response efforts.”

Canada: Canada is donating PHP 206M for Yolanda victims

“Canada is deeply concerned by the impact of this catastrophic typhoon,” said Canadian Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie Christian Paradis said in a statement.

New Zealand: New Zealand will give another $2 million to support humanitarian relief efforts in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully announced this afternoon.
The money is in addition to the $150,000 already pledged.
“Typhoon Haiyan has caused significant damage and affected more than 4.4 million people across 36 provinces in the Philippines,” Mr McCully said.
“New Zealand will provide $750,000 in dollar for dollar funding to New Zealand non-government organisations that are working with partners on the ground to support the relief and initial recovery effort. We will also set aside a further $1.25 million in funding to be allocated over the coming days as the priority areas for support are identified.”
The $150,000 that New Zealand had already committed would go to the International Federation for Red Cross to support the immediate distribution of relief supplies and conduct needs assessment.
In addition, an official from the New Zealand Aid Programme would be joining the specialist United Nations Disaster Assessment Co-ordination team.

UK: David Cameron has offered £6m in emergency aid to the president of the Philippines to help dealing with the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.
The Prime Minister called President Benigno Aquino III to pledge the UK’s full support following the deadly storm and to offer the country’s thoughts to the victims.

The Prime Minister said that our thoughts are with all those affected, especially those who have lost loved ones,” a Downing Street spokeswoman said.
“We have also sent four humanitarian experts to the Philippines to assist three advisers already in the country helping to coordinate the international response.”

Belgium: Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) said it was sending 200 tons of aid—medicine, tents, hygiene kits—to arrive mid-week, with a first cargo plane leaving from Dubai on Monday and another from Belgium on Tuesday.
Israel: IsraAID will send a team this week to assist local NGOs and UN agencies in treating hundreds of thousands of people affected by a powerful typhoon that hit the Philippines Friday.

Indonesia: Indonesia will offer humanitarian aid to the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan’s deadly landfall, the president’s office said on Sunday. “[The] president is concerned about the natural disaster that happened in the Philippines,” Presidential Spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha told the Indonesian newspaper Kompas. “We are working on humanitarian aid which will be processed under the BNPB [National Disaster Mitigation Agency] and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

UAE: The UAE has announced support and assistance programmes and projects worth Dh37 million for Philippine typhoon victims on the directive of the President, Sheikh Khalifa.
“The UAE extends its deepest sympathies for the loss of life and property,” the Government said.
“The UAE stands by the people of the Philippines in these tragic circumstances and commends the Government of the Philippines and its emergency workers for making all possible efforts in providing aid and relief to the victims.

Germany: Germany is also providing support. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle pledged 500,000 euros in immediate humanitarian aid for typhoon victims. “Germany wants to help, Germany will help,” he was quoted as saying. German President Joachim Gauck expressed his condolences to his Filipino counterpart Benigno Aquino, saying “It was with extraordinary dismay that I heard of the thousands of deaths and countless injured.”
Nicolas Hefner, spokesperson for the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) told DW his agency would be sending a team to Manila to determine where and how the German government can help. The THW provides assistance in areas such as purifying drinking water, cleaning contaminated wells and providing emergency accommodation.

UN: UN leader Ban Ki-moon promised UN humanitarian agencies would “respond rapidly to help people in need”.
The UN children’s fund UNICEF said a cargo plane carrying 60 tonnes of aid including shelters and medicine would arrive in the Philippines Tuesday, to be followed by deliveries of water purification and sanitation equipment.

Vatican: Pope Francis, “deeply saddened” by the disaster, on Sunday urged Catholics to provide “concrete help” and led 60,000 people in prayers for the Philippines. “Sadly, there are many, many victims and the damage is huge,” he said. On Saturday, he had tweeted his sympathy to the Asian nation.
Norway: Norway commits to a contribution of NOK 20 million (PHP 140 million) in immediate humanitarian assistance to the Philippines. The NOK 20 million will be channeled through the UN, the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations which have access to the affected areas.

“I want to express sympathy with the Filipino people who have been hit so hard by this disaster. We follow the humanitarian situation in the Philippines closely and will provide further assistance when we get a better overview of the needs,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende in a statement posted on the Norwegian Embassy website.
Sweden: Sweden Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, meanwhile, tweeted that Stockholm will be sending equipment for emergency communications to the Philippines

Japan: Japan, meanwhile, said it is sending a 25-member team, mostly medical personnel, to help following the devastation of typhoon Yolanda.

Singapore: Singaporeans and Filipinos here are rallying to help victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force has sent a team to Tacloban, the worst-hit city, to aid rescue efforts by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.
In a letter to Philippine President Benigno Aquino, Mr Lee offered his condolences and help.
“The Philippines has always demonstrated resilience in the face of adversity. I am confident that your people will pull together and rebuild their lives… Our thoughts are with the people of the Philippines during this difficult time,” he wrote.

Switzerland: Switzerland has sent five experts from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit to the Philippines after a devastating typhoon reportedly killed at least 10,000 people.
The Swiss foreign ministry said the group left on Saturday evening and would work closely with international aid organisations, delivering emergency assistance.

The foreign ministry said three Swiss experts, including doctors, were already in the Philippines. They are liaising closely with the Swiss embassy in Manila and assessing the needs of the people on the ground.

Hungary: A team carrying medical equipment and 15,000 dollars in aid from the Hungarian Reformed Charity will leave for the typhoon-hit Philippines on Monday, the charity told MTI on Sunday.

Denmark: Danmark giver 10 millioner i tyfon-hjælp til Filippinerne. – Det er en meget markant naturkatastrofe, hvor hundredetusinder af mennesker nu er i sorg og i nød, og derfor har vi besluttet at give op til 10 millioner kroner i nødhjælp, siger udviklingsminister Christian Friis Bach (R) til DR Nyheder.
Hjælpen kan blandt andet bestå af mad, vand og telte.
– Pengene vil være til rådighed så snart der ligger en appel fra FN. FN og de filippinske myndigheder er i fuld gang med at få overblik over katastrofen og vurdere behovene. Så udsender de en appel, og der vil vi med det samme byde ind, siger ministeren.
Ireland: The Government has announced €1m in emergency funding towards the relief effort in the Philippines following the widespread destruction and loss of life caused by Typhoon Haiyan. Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore said the funding would go towards shelter, food, water and health.

Netherlands: Pledges the Philippine government 2,000,000 Euros



Filipino craftsmanship feat. in Textile Fair

While out and about, I happily chanced upon this exhibit being done in Glorietta, Makati City.

The exhibit is called Likhang Habi, Textile Fair. It was held from October 25 – 27 2013.

I have always loved pretty things and I can’t help but marvel at not only the beauty these artists have created but that they are all Filipino made. My countrymen are indeed a very talented bunch.

Personally, the more that I am exposed to other nationalities and cultures, the more that I fall in love with my Filipino heritage. With my camera in hand, I snapped away, drinking the beauty and pleasure of seeing these items worthy of international recognition. I just love being Filipino!

Surround yourself with beauty, create beauty and what country to better showcase this than the Philippines?

Enough of me, I’ll let the pictures do all the talking 😉

Mabuhay ang gawang Pilipino!

Filipino made fabric and design.
Filipino made fabric and design.
Perfect for Tagaytay and Baguio weather.
Perfect for Tagaytay and Baguio weather.
Given the right occasion, I  will definitely wear a Filipiniana.  The design of this piece is a understated but love it nonetheless.
Given the right occasion, I will definitely wear a Filipiniana. The design of this piece is understated but love it nonetheless.
The first time I saw this, I pictured myself in the Ambassador's ball with this as my shrug. The fabric is just divine!
The first time I saw this, I pictured myself in the Ambassador’s ball with this as my shrug. The fabric is just divine!
Gotta love the scarf.
Gotta love the scarf.
One of my favorites.
One of my favorites.
I would definitely wear this in a picnic. It's so cute!
I would definitely wear this in a picnic. It’s so cute!
Real men wear Barong Tagalog
Real men wear Barong Tagalog
A little bit of something for the beauty hunter that you are.
A little bit of something for the beauty hunter that you are.
Are you a bag-hag?
Are you a bag-hag?
Colored clutches for the fickle Filipina ;-)
Colored clutches for the fickle Filipina 😉
Some Filipino jewelry. There were also some gold plated ones on display as well.
Some Filipino jewelry. There were also some gold plated ones on display as well.
Don't think I can pull these off. Can you?
Don’t think I can pull these off. Can you?
From furniture, to bags, to your dining set, fill your home with Filipino hand made products.
From furniture, to bags, to your dining set, fill your home with Filipino hand made products.
A woman demonstrating how to weave such beauty. Only in the Philippines!
A woman demonstrating how to weave such beauty. Only in the Philippines!
Filipino made fabric and design.
Filipino made fabric and design.

May 2013 Elections: Your Choices Define You

My fellow Filipinos, this is your opportunity to be heard.

The choices that you will make on election day will define our government.

The choices that you will make on election day will shape our country.

The choices that you will make on election day will mold this generation and the next for years to come.

Your choices define you. It’s time to take responsibility for those choices and be courageous in exercising that right.

There is this line in the Interpreter where in Silvia Broome (Nicole Kidman) confronts corrupt Matobo President Edmond Zuwanie (Earl Cameron) and delivers her winning line that encapsulates a people’s desperation:

“How could you give us so much, so much… then take away more?”

Those lines capture what any living country wants: integrity based leadership.

Don’t be afraid to tackle corruption, cronyism, vote buying, manipulation, most especially political dynasties and compare it to those running for government office.

I encourage you to take part in being critical and unafraid to point out the things in our society that need to be corrected and also to choose to do what is right most especially in the coming elections.

Do your research on the people you will be reinstating in office (yes, Filipino, you have that power). My fellow Filipinos, this is your family, country and life on the line.

May this 2013 election be an informed one.

“The gunfire around us makes it hard to hear. But the human voice is different from other sounds. It can be heard over noises that bury everything else. Even when is not shouting. Even if it’s just a whisper. Even the lowest whisper can be heard – over armies – when it’s telling the truth.”