Nineteen days before Christmas and we're pretty sure you're stressing over the meals you plan to make for your family. Well, stress no more as starting with this issue and the whole of December, our PF culinary correspondent/cookbook author Elizabeth Ann Quirino will share with you recipes she chose for proper holiday meals. This issue, she offers Estofado de Vaca, Lobster Thermidor and Almond Jelly with Lychees for The Happy Home Cook.

Ms. Quirino also writes about the successful culinary tour of Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan, owners of Purple Yam in Brooklyn and Manila, in "Savoring Hidden Flavors of the Philippine Kitchen." 

Cape Town, South Africa, despite its storied legacy of apartheid, remains a favorite tourist destination. But did you know that in Kalk Bay, one of the city's picturesque suburb, some 80% of the original fishing families are descended from Filipinos? Former Philippine Ambassador to South Africa Virgilio A. Reyes, Jr. tells us the story of how Filipinos landed in Cape Town sometime in the 1860s in "Filipinos in Cape Town -- A Valuable Presence Since the 19th Century."

Meanwhile, in the Philippines, PF Correspondent Rene Astudillo asks the question, "Will the Philippine Jeepney Soon Be Extinct?" as plans for a more modern, safer and more environmentally friendly transport system are about to be implemented.

Our In The Know links this week covers a variety of interesting topics you will want to bookmark: 

An Investment Boom in Philippines Leaves Neighbors in the Dust

14 Amazing Filipina Heroines You Don't Know But Should

The Desirability of Storytellers

Young businessman reveals rivers of success bridged by enthusiasm

For our video of the week, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center presents Frank Chi's film which was inspired by Carlos Bulosan's "America Is In Heart."

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino

Yesterday's War, Today's Divide

If you wonder how the US has become so divided, look no further than the Vietnam War, which officially lasted 20 years, from 1955-1975. As the 10-hour documentary by Ken Burns that aired in September showed, the war affected everyone in the country --  as soldiers, as soldiers' families, policy makers, analysts or as protesters -- and split the country like no other time since the Civil War. PF contributor Ed Diokno brings us back to those days and how they inform the present in "Ken Burns' 'Vietnam': The War In Our Hearts and Minds."

November 30 is celebrated yearly in our motherland as Bonifacio Day, it being the birth date of the Supremo of the Katipunan, the revolutionary movement that helped free the Philippines from Spain. Let's Read Again "Seven Little Known Facts About the Supremo," as compiled by the blog site, and "Andres Bonifacio, the Other National Hero" by Penelope V. Flores.

This year marks the centenary of the very first National Artist for Literature, Nick Joaquin, whose humongous personality is just as memorable as his classic writings. Marra PL. Lanot, who came of age as a poet and essayist under Joaquin's watchful eye, writes a personal recollection of her friendship with the late great in "Remembering Nick."

Ilocanos and other lovers of goat dishes will love Kusina de Manila, the way PF Correspondent Rey de la Cruz, an Ilocano, raves about this "goat-to restaurant" in Des Plaines, Illinois (a Chicago suburb). Its chef Niel Salvatera shares his version of Goat Papaitan as our Happy Home Cook recipe this week.

Here's our In The Know links:

Does Race Matter in America’s Most Diverse ZIP Codes?

Malacañang orders easing, lifting of foreign investment restrictions in 8 areas

The taste of Filipino Christmas

This Toronto artist learned English from comic books - now he's the force behind DC series 'Trinity'

For our Video of the Week, actress Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo cooks up her version of the popular Vietnamese street food – the Banh Mi sandwich.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino


Gratitude is what we're giving in spades this week as the US, where about 4 million of our kababayans live, go through the annual ritual of celebrating Thanksgiving Day. 

For first-time contributor Teresa de Veyra-Montilla, the unexpected gift of visiting the former home of her grandparents, Jaime and Sofia de Veyra in Washington, DC, plus meeting Erwin and Titchie Tiongson, who are documenting the history of Filipinos in the US capital, are beatitudes that she writes about in "A Journey in Time with My Grandma." Montilla's forebears are important historical figures. Jaime C. de Veyra was the Philippine Resident Commissioner in the US Congress, representing the country as a colony; Sofia de Veyra, who we had featured before (Read Again Titchie Carandang-Tiongson's profile of this outstanding Filipina http://www. magazine/the-thoroughly- modern-sofia-de-veyra?rq= sofia%20de%20veyra) was an early feminist, suffragist and patriot.

Meanwhile, Jin Chow of Hong Kong and Stanford University, submits a tribute to the two  Filipina OFWs who raised her -- Rosita Aguas and Florencia Masbang -- and she admits guilt that she belatedly realized how much these women sacrificed to be able to work for her family. In "Words of Gratitude from an 'Alaga,'" her thankfulness shines through.

If you've been to Manila recently, I'm sure you've heard about the current rage: Salted Egg-Flavored Potato Chips. Since it's not yet available in the US, our culinary expert Elizabeth Ann Quirino shares her own recipe for the delicacy. 

Our In The Know links for this week:

How the Philippines’ Coral Heart Keeps Beating

The Former Army Navy Club Is Now The Rizal Park Hotel

Tribes, Treks and Life Stories with Indigenous Aetas in the Philippines

New York Times sues Filipina journalist for false representation

For our Video of the Week, the US Signal Corps produced a documentary narrated by US Marine Corps Captain David Griffin about the war crimes in Manila during World War II. The film also features General Carlos P. Romulo in the introduction.

The Philippine American Press Club USA's 2017 Plaridel Awards (Photo by Raymond Virata)

The Philippine American Press Club USA's 2017 Plaridel Awards (Photo by Raymond Virata)

We'd also like to give a big thanks to our writers for winning big at the PAPC-USA Plaridel Awards, which was held last month at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco.

Plaridel Awards

Elizabeth Ann Quirino - 2 Plaridel Awards
Best Profile Writing: "Watch Out World: Tanya Maynigo Louks, Creator of Healthy Craft Kombucha"
Best Food Story: "Food for the Memory"

Gia Mendoza
Plaridel Award for Best Tourism Feature: "Two Side Trips (Cebu and Bohol) and a Wedding"

France Viana
Plaridel Award for Best Entertainment Story: "Her Mission Was In the Cards"

Merit Awards

Manzel Delacruz - 3 Merit Awards
Best International Reporting: "Priest and Physicist"
Best Investigative Reporting: "In The End, Love Wins"
Best Entertainment Story: "Taklub"

Rey de la Cruz
Best Entertainment Story: "Carol Varga: When She's Bad, She's Very Good"

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino