Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas to all!

Aklanon - Malipayon nga Paskwa ag Mahigugmaon nga Bag-ong Dag-on!
Asi - Maadong Santos Paskwa ag Masadyang Bag-ong Tuig!
Ata - Maroyan na Pasko woy Kaopia-an ng Bag-ong Tuig kaniyo't langon mga sulod
Bikol - Maogmang Capascuhan asin Mamura-way na Ba-gong Taon sa indo gabos!
Blaan - Pye duh di kaut Kristo klu munt ug Felemi Fali!
Binubolinao - Marigan Nabidad
Boholano - Malipajong Pasko ug Maajong Bag-ong Tuig

Cebuano - Maayong Pasko ug Bulahang Bag-ong Tuig!
Chavacano - Felices Pascuas y Prospero Año Nuevo con todos!
Dibabawon - Marayaw na Pasko aw Bag-ong Tuig kaniyo tibo na mga soon!
Gaddang - Mangamgam Bawa a dawun sikua diaw amin
Hiligaynon - Malipayon nga Paskua kag Malipayon Nga Bag-ong tuig!
Hungduan - Maphon au nitungawan. Apo Dios Kituwen baron di toon
Ibanag - Mapalupaguiya nga Pascua
Ibaloi - Eshadsak ja Paskua! Eshadsak ja Badon Tawen!
Ifugao - Malinggop an Baro an Tawon
Ilocano - Naimbag a Pascua ken Naragsac nga Baro nga Tawen!
Kankanaey - Gawis ay Paskua ya Nalagsak ay Balo ay Tu-en!
Kapampangan - Masayang Pascu ampong Masaplalang Bayung Banua kekayu ngan!
Mandobo - Mepiya Pagasaulog sa pagka-otawni Jesus aw maontong kaling Omay!
Mangyan Buhid - Fiya Pagpasko
Mangyan Hanunuo - Mayad paq Pasko
Mansaka - Madyaw na Pasko aw malipayong Bag-ong Tuig kamayo, mga lumon!
Masbatenyo - Malipayon nga Paskwa
Onhan - Mayad nga Paskwa kag Masadya nga Bag-ong Tuig!
Pangasinan - Maabig ya Pasko! Maliket ya Balon Taon!
Romblomanon - Malipayon nga Paskwa kag Masadya na Bag-ong Tuig!
Sambal - Maligayang Pasko at Masayang Ba-yon Taon!
Subanen - Piak Pasko pu Piag Bago Tawn!
Surigaonon - Malipayon na Pasko sanan Bag-on Tuig!
Tagakaolo - Madyaw Pagsalog sa Pagka-otaw ni Jesus
Tagalog - Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon!
Tala-andig - Maayad ha Pasko daw Bag-ong Tuig!
Waray-waray - Maupay nga Pasko ngan Mainuswagon nga Bag-o nga Tuig!

...wishing for a united Filipino nation this Christmas!

Heritage watch
The lack of funds is hampering efforts to restore our world famous rice terraces. Check out the PDI article here. According to the article, "the (UNESCO) team 'noted with concern' that little progress was made to implement the recommendation of two teams that visited the terraces in September 2001 and June 2005 that called for the preparation of a comprehensive conservation and management plan for the terraces.

"The teams also asked for the allocation of steady funds to address the challenges, to be drawn from the conservation plan.
"Unesco said the 'corrective' measures on the rice terraces must be ready by the end of 2007 as a condition for the removal of the terraces from the list of endangered world heritage sites."
It adds, "Unesco earlier included these terraces in the endangered list after its inspection teams found out that the terraces have deteriorated due to uncontrolled construction of houses, erosion induced by climate and abandonment of the terraces by the farmers."

Imagine, the government is proposing a PHP1.29 trillion budget and yet it spent less than PHP1 million for the Ifugao Rice Terraces, a national cultural treasure and UNESCO World Heritage Site. I hope the NCCA speeds up the release of the PHP50 million rehabilitation fund. And even better, I hope Congress increases the budget for the restoration of our heritage!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Heritage updates

Heritage bills in the Senate
The Sub-committee on Education, Arts and Culture created a Technical Working Group (TWG) tasked to do the following:
1. Prepare a draft bill that will integrate and harmonize the essential elements of a National Heritage Protection measure from pending bills before the Committee on National Heritage;
2. Request additional position papers from various stakeholders, including but not limited to, artists and conservation architects, archaeologists and biologists, conservationists, historians and Muslim and ethnography scholars;
3. Review all the existing laws, presidential decrees and treaties with regard to protection and conservation of Historical, Natural and Cultural Heritage in order to have a systematic body of conservation laws.

The Heritage Conservation Society is among the members of the TWG. It is in this regard that we would like to ask for position papers on the said Heritage Bill. Please send them to Thanks!

Heritage watch
Iloilo plaza can’t be altered without NHI green light

Heritage conservation awards
I just received a call for nominations for the 2007 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation. The awards were established "to recognize the achievement of individuals and organizations within the private sector, and the public-private initiatives, in successfully restoring structures of heritage value in the region."

To be nominated, the restored structure must be at least 50 years old; privately owned or leased; restoration must be the result of private initiative or a public-private partnership; and restoration must have been undertaken within the last ten years and put into viable use for at least one year prior to the award.

We were thinking of nominating the restored Gabaldon buildings under the Heritage Schoolhouse Restoration Program of the DepEd and HCS but since it is financed and owned wholly by government, they are not eligible for nomination. You might know of conservation on other structures which deserve to be recognized. Deadline for nomination in March 31, 2007. Visit for more details.

We've won three Honourable Mention honors namely Nielson Tower, which is now the Filipinas Heritage Library in 2001; Gota de Leche Building in 2003, and the Far Eastern University Manila Campus in 2005. Other nominees were the Balay Negrense Lifestyle Museum - Don Victor Gaston Y Fernandez Ancestral Home, Silay City; Fule-Malvar Mansion, San Pablo City; Orchid Garden Suites, Manila; Zaragoza Mansion, Vigan; General Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine, Kawit, Cavite; Syquia Mansion, Vigan, IIocos Sur; and the Santos-Andres House, Antipolo City.

Grants deadline nearing
Just to remind everyone, the deadline for nominations to the World Monuments Watch for 2008 is on January 15, 2007. Announced every two years, the World Monuments Watch list of 100 Most Endangered Sites calls international attention to cultural heritage sites around the world threatened by neglect, vandalism, armed conflict, or natural disaster. It fosters community support for the protection of endangered sites and attracts technical and financial resources to assist in their rescue. More than 75 percent of the sites have been saved or are well on their way, thanks to timely intervention. To download the nomination form, click here.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Manila: Old street excavated in Plaza Cervantes

Wow! I was just talking about the walking street in Guangzhou, China (left) where they accidentally discovered several layers of older streets while excavating for a redevelopment project. The nice thing about it was that they covered it with glass. And it is now an attraction of the walking street.

Well, they just discovered an old street in the old business district of Binondo! I first heard about it at the Senate hearing on the heritage bills yesterday morning. But like most heritage sites in Manila, I was already resigned to its obvious fate. Which is why I was pleasantly surprised when I read the short article below in the Philippine Star. In fact, I'm still in a state of shock! Has Mayor Lito Atienza finally seen the light? What do you think?

Atienza orders artifacts secured
The Philippine Star 12/19/2006

Manila Mayor Lito Atienza has ordered Plaza Cervantes in Binondo secured following the discovery of what appeared to be centuries-old artifacts dating back to the Spanish era.

A pipe-laying crew of Maynilad Water dug up a portion of what appeared to be a cobblestone street several days ago.

Atienza instructed City Engineer Armand Andres and Museo ng Maynila officer-in-charge Monina Santiago to coordinate with the National Historical Institute "to ensure that not a single piece of what would be a precious legacy is damaged or pilfered."

Binondo was Manila’s main business district during the Spanish colonial era.

Related articles
Binondo artifacts safe
Artifacts' preservation sought in city ordinance

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Pampanga: Ligligan Parul and more from Pampanga

I was at the Giant Lantern Festival yesterday. I've attended every year since 2001, missing only the one last year. But before going to the festival, I toured my guests, Anton Diaz (Our Awesome Planet) and family to nearby Betis and Bacolor Church. To know more about the churches, check out an earlier blog entry here.

Anyway, after the brief tour, we rushed back to SM City Pampanga since we didn't want to join the mad rush to the festival, which would mean heavy traffic and no parking. So we decided to wait it out in SM. Since we were all hungry, I took them to a branch of the popular San Fernando restaurant called Partyland. They are most known for their buffet lunch, merienda and dinner and the cost of each varies. For just PHP109, you get an eat-all-you-can merienda which includes local favorites such as dinuguan and puto, ginataan, arroz caldo, tokwa't baboy, turon, palitaw, pancit palabok, lumpia, and spaghetti with the Filipino twist. If you think that isn't enough, the package includes the halo-halo bar too!

By 6 p.m., we walked to the venue at the back of the mall to check out the lanterns while there were no people, and to get some good seats in the reserved section. There were already people waiting in the venue, also to reserve good positions to view the twelve giant lanterns. I got to chat with a lot of old friends and relatives while waiting. Of course, sculptor Toym Imao, son of National Artist Abdulmari Imao, was there since he designed the trophies. They invited me and Anton to check out their Marikina studio which I hope to visit soon.

What I did now expect was a movie promotion from 6 to 7 p.m. which was annoying due to its obvious political overtones. What is even more despicable is they covered the backdrop of the Giant Lantern Festival with large posters of the movie and its lead stars, a family of Pampanga politicians. Things like those have no place in the Giant Lantern Festival since it pollutes the atmosphere.

The organizers were irked too when they saw the posters and had them removed as soon as they were done. I was told that this timeslot was requested by SM for a program. When I was chairman of the festival in 2003, I declined offers of SM for celebrities to sing before the festival. SM argued it would attract people. But I said, it was not needed since people came to watch the lanterns whether there was a celebrity or not. It makes the festival so commercial when you add those sort of programs! This is an old Christmas tradition of the city and the best way to set the mood would be a marching band playing Christmas songs, the way it used to be before SM entered the picture.

Anyway, it was a great show as always. We had a lot of celebrity and diplomat judges and guests such as Senator Mar Roxas and Korina Sanchez, French Ambassador H.E. Gerard Chesnel who chaired the Board of Judges, Tina Monzon-Palma, and Inquirer founding chair Eugenia Duran-Apostol among others.

As I was watching, I remembered how much the festival had changed since I was a kid. Although I lived in Manila at that time, the entire family always slept at our grandparents' house in San Fernando for Christmas Eve. The lantern festival used to be held after the midnight Mass in a small square beside the church. And the lanterns danced to the music of a live marching band. Smaller lanterns used during the lubenas and the barangay patron saint were also brought to the venue.

After the festival, the giant lantern of our barangay, San Jose, would pass by the house on the way home, in a procession together with the smaller lanterns and the image of San Jose on a carroza, accompanied by a marching band. And those in the house would usually ask who won since the rivalry between San Jose and Del Pilar was still very strong then, with Del Pilar usually winning and San Jose placing second. Those were the days!

It looks like my lantern appreciation skills worked well tonight since the three lanterns that I predicted would win, all made it! Congratulations to Barangay San Felipe, and my friend, lantern-maker Roland Quiambao for winning this year's competition! Their winning streak was broken only last year when they placed second. Hats off as well to second-placer Barangay San Pedro and Barangay Del Pilar which placed third. But all the twelve entries deserve praise for the effort they put in the lanterns. So what's the prize? No cash, just a trophy. More than the cash, it's barangay pride that is at stake. And I hope it remains that way, a community effort where everyone pitches in, hoping to win top honors at the annual festival.

Above are photos of Barangay Santo Nino. Imagine, that's just one lantern! You can still catch the giant lanterns sans the crowd from December 17 to 20 at Paskuhan Village, December 21 in Barangay Sindalan, and December 24 in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando. Call the City Tourism Office at (045) 9615684 for more information.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Pampanga: Ninoy and FPJ death masks on display in Pampanga

I was at the Center for Kapampangan Studies yesterday afternoon for one of my regular visits which have been rare nowadays due to all the work and traveling. I got a copy of the Atin Ku Pung Singsing (Millennium Version) MTV which they produced and uploaded it in YouTube. On our way down, I realized that the death masks of Ninoy Aquino and Fernando Poe, Jr. were on display at the Center. So I checked them out.

The masks were done by National Artist Napoloen Abueva. Abueva said he was very careful when he cast the mask of Ninoy since his face had a lot of blood. In fact, you could still see the swelling, some of the bigger wounds and the spot where a bullet exited on his chin. FPJ's mask was more defined since Abueva did not have to deal with the same situation as Ninoy.

You may be asking what the hell is the death mask of Fernando Poe, Jr. doing in the Center for Kapampangan Studies. Now this is something I'm sure you did not know... GMA and FPJ are townmates from Lubao. Haha! No kidding!

It turns out, FPJ's mom Bessie Kelley was born in Candaba, Pampanga. Her full name is Elizabeth Gatbonton Kelley. She is the daughter of Arthur Kelley of Iowa, USA and Marta Gatbonton of Candaba. I was told that Arthur Kelley, for the longest time, was a resident of Lubao because of his interests in the Pampanga Sugar Mill (PASUMIL) in neighboring Floridablanca. In fact, there are Kelleys who still reside in Lubao up to today and rumor has it FPJ visited his cousins occasionally.

What a coincidence! GMA and FPJ are both Kapampangan and Pangasinense! I wonder why FPJ's Pampanga roots never came out during the elections. All of a sudden, all of us at the Center became silent, looked at each other and realized it was the 2nd death anniversary of FPJ. And we were looking at his death mask! Now that's another coincidence.
Related Posts with Thumbnails