Entry for August 29, 2008

29 08 2008

The First OFW* & The First Balikbayan**

I just read the latest issue of the LA Asian Journal and the front page story was titled “Who was the First OFW?” with the picture of Jose Rizal and his other Filipino contemporaries who we now regard as heroes of the country’s fight for freedom from Spain.

Anyway, if you read the story it doesn’t speak of any of those heroes but of a slave from the early 1500s or before Magellan came to the PI (the Philippine Islands).

This story is by Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil of Philippine Star & you can read the whole story at this link:


And if you go there & read about it you will find out that according to the writer, “Enrique” was not only our first documented OFW but he is also our first documented balikbayan.

And even though it is not generally recognized, he appears to also be the first true circumnavigator of the globe as “He had sailed from the archipelago where he had been kidnapped to the Moluccas, from there to Europe and back again to the archipelago with Magellan in 1521.”

Now, most of us do not need to be kidnapped to be an OFW, but most of us would readily sell our lands, our modest homes or whatever few material possessions we have or even get a loan with a huge interest, only to have an opportunity to be an OFW.

How times have changed.

But one thing never changes, deep down inside, like Enrique, if given the chance, we would rather go back home or be “balikbayans”.

* OFW – Overseas Filipino Worker

** “Balikbayan” – back to town or country is a word coined in the ’70’s as part of the Department of Tourism’s program to give recognition to the hardwork and persevering spirit of the Filipino expatriates or OFWs. These OFWs normally send back home huge boxes aptly called “Balikbayan boxes” to their families in the Philippines containing an assortment of goodies. They also bring “Balikbayan boxes” home when they return to Philippines (balikbayan) for a short visit or for good (or for worse).

Notice: Pictures shown on this page are hyper-linked and embedded from raceirolg’s & mmnick’s flickr photostreams, these images may be subject to copyright.


Entry for August 25, 2008

25 08 2008

It’s a new day!

Welcome back…

Some people say that now that the Beijing Olympics have come to a close, now people will be able to come back to some sort of normal life. Both for the people of Beijing & of China and for everyone else somewhere in this planet that has been watching the games.

Some say it was probably the most spectacular olympics in terms of the opening & the closing ceremonies. And others say that it’s going to be something to be talked about in years to come, which no other country in the near future will even try to imitate or even try to surpass.

Anyway, I am back to a normal way of life. For I too, was hooked for a while in the 8 gold medal run of who else but Aquaman Michael Phelps. I don’t know, but he sure does make for a perfect fit for the role of Aquaman if they ever make a movie of it.

And don’t forget the Redeem Team of Lebron, Kobe, Dwayne, Chris Paul and the rest of the team. Okay, include the US Women’s basketball team as well.

Also the Lightning Bolt & his either love him or hate him personality and the Jamaican Track & Field Team.

Of course, Bryan Clay & the other US Track & Field Athletes too.

The USA Men’s & Women’s beach volleyball, of course the other teams as well.

The regular volleyball team. It just feels weird now just to call it volleyball.

But not so much with the softball & football (soccer) teams amd with tennis.

Of course, the Women’s Gymnastics competitions, or say we call them the Girl’s Gymnastics now. Yes that was as dramatic as the Phelps dramas.

Diving & Synchronized swimming, as the usual favorites.

And the marathons.

So now that all these are over & done, I can now go back to my usual routine.

Until 2012 in London.

And I hope the Philippines will learn it’s lessons now & really go all out to win it’s first Olympic Gold.

Really, it’s time.

In fact, it’s way overdue.

Entry for August 15, 2008

15 08 2008

Oh, you’re back…

Why didn’t you say something…

Kick back, relax.

You might be wondering what I was just doing just about now.

I was probably just like you just sitting over here, doing nothing in particular.

But then all of a sudden, I was feeling just a little bit sentimental about the Philippines.

And then out of the blue out comes a song I am hearing from inside my head.

It started as a beat & then it went on & then I recognized it as an old OPM song.

It was this song:

American Junk – APO



The APO’s ala Beatles ‘Abbey Road’ record album cover with former manager Butch Dans

Trivia: Driving the car in the background was balladeer Marco Sison.

Entry for August 14, 2008

14 08 2008

Oh, I didn’t see you sitting over there…

I’m sure glad that you made yourself feel right at home.

Come on in… sit back, throw your feet up… I don’t mind.

I welcome you here, if you have been here before then I welcome you back.

It might seem a bit weird that you are conversing with your computer monitor. But remember you might be over there where ever you are but surely I am over here in Japs’ Land. And since you have made yourself at home, you are in Jap’s Land too.

First off, I had to do a little tidying up as the place was just so dusty, musty & uninhabited for a long time. I even forgot what my password was to get into this place. Yes, it was that long a time for me too.
Anyway the reason I wrote up this post is first to welcome you & of course to write a little something nice about the Filipino people.
For I know that as a race & a country it has always been getting a bad rap. Even in YAP (the Yahoo Answers section for Travel to the Philippines) the country gets a bad rap daily if not regularly from people who I feel are just so affected by Filipinos, well even from Filipinos themselves.
Well Filipinos have spanned the whole wide world & also the world wide web so, there is no escaping, one is bound to bump into a Filipino where ever you are in the world even in cyber world. So it’s either you live with that fact or you end up just as some of them complainers do all day — whine & wine about it
Anyway I have yet to validate this supposedly CNN Report that I stumbled across recently, but it does seem logical enough.
It is about a study that they made that place the Filipinos within the USA as an ethnic race the 2ND HIGHEST EARNING ETHNIC GROUP.
If you want to know where the Caucasians rank is, it’s 6th.
Anyway this other result is really spot on, it says that the Filipinos in the US as an ethnic group is the LEAST LIKELY to go on welfare.
Third, as an ethnic group they have the LOWEST crime rate.
And fourth, the Filipino youth are among the most likely to go to school (college or universtiy) and they go to the BEST SCHOOLS in the USA. Also not hard to believe as even back home we have always placed a high priority on higher education .
So what does this study mean?
To me it just means that as an ethnic group, the Filipinos is among if not the most likely best ethnic group to contribute to the betterment of the US economy.
I also would want to say that another study conducted recently stated that Immigrant Filipinos to the US assimilate faster, better & easier to the US way of life. I believe that they are in the TOP 3.
So for anybody whining about the Filipinos, think of it this way… if they as a group will only be given the opportunity to live in a free nation, where their potential for greatness can be achieved, they will not only survive, but will not only be good productive citizens, they will not only continue to strive to better themselves, they will not only contribute more & be the least likely to be a burden but they will also thrive & help the community & the country they are in.
Now if only we can replicate that in the Philippines…
Okay allow me to shut up & let me look out my window to savor this view…


Come back soon!

Entry for August 13, 2008

13 08 2008

A day good to you!


You are most welcome inside my humble abode, inside my “nipa hut” within this tiny island that I call Japs’ Land.

I prefer to think that the Filipino Bayanihan Spirit is very much alive and well within this place.

A place where crab (talangka) mentality is unheard of.

A place where whiners and complainers have no business being here when they themselves are part and parcel of the things they’re crying about.

Where nobody without a sense of humor, a sense of common decency and at least a little bit of musical sense can turn around & start going the other way just because this place is a place to have fun, to chill out, to relax and to be ourselves while still mindful and respectful of everyone else’s feelings.

If you agree then, you are…