The balagtasan is a traditional Filipino art form where two protagonists debate the merits of a theme – one supporting it and the other arguing against it. The first balagtasan recorded in Philippine history was held in 1924 to commemorate the birth of national poet Francisco Balthazar Balagtas, hence the name balagtasan. Balagtas is the author of the epic Filipino poem “Florante at Laura.”
Posted by Eleanor R. Laquian( have 12 posts )
The first wave of Filipino immigrants, who arrived in Canada in the 1960s and 1970s, are now enjoying the joys of their well earned retirement. When not travelling or playing with their grandchildren, they now have time to spare for projects they never had time before.
Luming was known as the “Pride of Pampanga” among Filipinos in Ottawa in the 1970s. She was well known for her extraordinary and uniquely creative Pampanga cuisine. The province itself is famous for its sophisticated and richly sauced meat fares and stuffed dishes like rellenong manok or bangus or pata (stuffed deboned whole chicken, milkfish or pork hocks), morcon (stuffed rolled beef) and embutido (pork sausage stuffed with hardboiled eggs and pepperoni).
My father died when I was only 10 so I spent many an All Saints Day at the old Manila North Cemetery where he was buried. This was in the 1950s before memorial parks became popular. For days before November 1, my siblings and I would clean up the grave site, repaint the tombstone white, arrange flowering pots around the grave and polish the marble epitaph.
Helen was only two when her parents took her to the U.S. and three when they immigrated to Canada. Because her parents worked in international organizations, she grew up aware that people are of many different nationalities and that it’s all right to be different.
When I was growing up in the Philippines, our family did not have a Christmas tree during the holidays. What we always had on our windows were home-made brightly lit star-shape Christmas lanterns called parol from the Spanish word for lamp, farol. They represent the Star of Bethlehem which led the Magi to the Infant. But the centrepiece of our Christmas decoration was the Christmas Belen.