A Day for Love and Ashes

As you lavish your loves with love today, take note (if you're Catholic) that it's also Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Just sayin'.

Sophisticated, elegant, intricate and edgy -- words that best describe the creations of Dubai-based Filipino couturier Ezra Santos, whose EzraCouture is a favorite among Arab and European royalty and international celebrities such as Lady Gaga. PF Correspondent Serina Aidasani celebrates the artistry of this fashion icon, who has started combining traditional Filipino materials into his sumptuous gowns.

If you're a Baby Boomer, remember the courtship rituals of your youth? Veteran journalist/commentator Philip Lustre Jr. recalls the "tedious and laborious" process of wooing ladies before texting and social media took away the fun, in "Our Old-Fashioned Courtship: ‘Dalaw,’ 'Sundo,’ ‘Hatid’."

And what about if your husband is a philanderer? PF publisher Mona Lisa Yuchengco's tongue-in-cheek piece will surely strike some chords.

Just to get you more in the mood for love, here are some stories of historical romances you might want to Read Again:

http://www.positivelyfilipino.com/magazine/romances-in-history

http://www.positivelyfilipino.com/magazine/2013/2/the-poet-and-the-women-he-loved?rq=jose%20corazon%20de%20jesus

For this auspicious combination of Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday, our resident foodie Elizabeth Ann Quirino shares a delicious but un-sinful recipe for the Happy Home Cook: Pasta with Shrimps and Vegetables.

There's never a dull moment with our lineup of In The Know stories for this week:

EXCLUSIVE: New photos show China is nearly done with its militarization of South China Sea
http://www.inquirer.net/specials/exclusive-china-militarization-south-china-sea

SF looks to change law that lets mentally ill choose to stay on streets (in the article, Alice is Pinay)
https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/SF-looks-to-change-law-that-lets-mentally-ill-12422969.php

'Dreamer' twins, hoping to enter the military, will either get deployed or deported
https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/12/politics/daca-twins-deported-or-deployed-tapper-cnntv/index.html

Ogie Zulueta stars in not your grandma’s ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’
http://usa.inquirer.net/10117/ogie-zulueta-stars-not-grandmas-streetcar-named-desire

Meet Lara Fernandez Barrios, the Woman Behind Some of Manila's Best-Looking Restaurants
https://www.spot.ph/newsfeatures/newsfeatures-peopleparties/69228/lara-fernandez-barrios-a198-20170208-lfrm

We're not letting up on romance with our Video of the Week, featuring Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion. Ignore the product and focus on the chemistry of the star-crossed love team. 

Sisterhoods

For the Cold War generation, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are unfamiliar names. These countries fell within the expansive cloak of the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), thus their separate identities weren't spoken about much. Now with the USSR gone, tourists are flocking to what constitutes Eastern Europe -- the exotic former Soviet states that hold astonishing sights and treasures of their own. One of these visitors was France-based Filipino artist Ofelia Gelvezon-Tequi, who recently took a journey with her sorority sisters and their families to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and, with her artist's eye, describes the fascinating things to see in "Vilnius Mon Amour." If you're a devotee of the Divine Mercy, Lithuania should be on your bucket list.

Journalist/community activist and domestic abuse fighter Cherie Querol Moreno adds her voice to the rapidly expanding #MeToo and #TimesUp movements in "Sisterhood Shatters Silence on Sexual Harassment," as she talks to some Filipina women and California State Rep. Rob Bonta, who are in the forefront of the community's participation in changing the culture of harassment.

PF Correspondent Rey E. de la Cruz shares his encounters with kababayans across the pond in Pinoyspotting: England.

And from the Philippines, PF Correspondent Rene M. Astudillo documents "The Curious Case of the Disappearing Faces in Philippine Peso Bills," which has many Filipinos tsk-tsking about the supposed "computer glitch."

From Rene Astudillo's food blog (mybaykitchen.wordpress.com), we also picked up our Happy Home Cook recipe for this week, Adobo Pineapple Fried Rice, using rice left over from when you cooked too much.

Another collection of In The Know links to stories you may have not caught from other publications:

Trump Immigration Plans Hit Hawaii's Filipino Families Hard
http://usa.inquirer.net/9417/trump-immigration-plans-hit-hawaiis-filipino-families-hard

Recovering from Historical Amnesia
https://www.teachforamerica.org/one-day-magazine/recovering-historical-amnesia

The Filipino Guide to Staying Sane
https://www.ncronline.org/ news/opinion/young-voices/ filipino-guide-staying-sane

The Ominous Rumblings of Mount Mayon
https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2018/01/the-ominous-rumblings-of-mount-mayon/551513/

For our Video of the week, the UP Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts presented a documentary of National Artist for Sculpture Napoleon V. Abueva. The video was written and directed by Katrina Ventura.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino

Olympics, Protests and Plastics

Nine days from today, the Winter Olympic Games will begin in PyeongChang, South Korea. To get us hyped on this once-every-four-years spectacle, Olympic historian and PF Correspondent Myles A. Garcia tells us about his visits to two Olympic Museums: the official museum of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), appropriately called The Olympic Museum (TOM) in Lausanne, Switzerland; and the Museu Olympic i de L’Esport - Joan Antoni Samaranch (MOLE-JAS) in Barcelona, Spain. Both museums offer Olympic enthusiasts collections to behold but Myles was invited to the bowels of TOM to see some prized mementoes. Read his story and be awed.

Going back in history, 48 years ago this month, Manila erupted with massive student demonstrations against the Marcos government and US imperialism, a tectonic period that is now immortalized as the First Quarter Storm. Author/poet/essayist Ed Maranan, who participated actively and later, along with thousand others, paid the price for his activism, recalls those heady, disruptive days in "Postcript: My Life Before and After the First Quarter Storm."

With 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic created since the early 1950's, plastic pollution has become an extremely serious environmental disaster that is threatening the planet. In this piece from the international nonprofit Break Free From Plastic, the severity of the problem is discussed and more importantly, the biggest corporate polluters are identified. Some of them are brands we grew up with.

Here's another crazy collection of In The Know links for your reading pleasure:

Social Media Devumi Under Fire for Selling Fake Followers to the Stars 
https://www.rappler.com/technology/news/194700-social-media-devumi-under-fire-selling-fake-followers-stars

Duterte to Build a $1 Billion New City for Thousands of Workers
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-29/duterte-to-build-a-1-billion-new-city-for-thousands-of-workers?cmpid=socialflow-facebook-asia&utm_content=asia&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

Women Journalists Standing Up to Bullies is a Filipino Tradition
http://usa.inquirer.net/9785/women-journalists-standing-bullies-filipino-tradition

Opinion: Rappler Should Stop Misleading Everyone
http://opinion.inquirer.net/110628/rappler-stop-misleading-everyone

For those who may have issues with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), California State Representative Rob Bonta presents a checklist of your rights. Even if you are not a US citizen, you have rights, he emphasizes. 

The Happy Home Cook recipe of the week: Red Snapper Delight from Chef Niel Salvatera of Kusina de Manila.

And because Bruno Mars is in the news for sweeping the 2018 Grammy awards, let's witness his Filipino side with a video of the first visit of his mother, uncles and grandmother to the land of their birth, in time for Bruno Mars first concert in Manila.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino