The PWU-JASMS Rondalla

The rondalla is an ensemble of stringed instruments played with the plectrum or pick and generally known as plectrum instruments. It originated in Medieval Spain, especially in Catalonia, Aragon, Murcia, and Valencia. The tradition was later taken to Spanish America and elsewhere. The word rondalla is from the Spanish ronda, meaning “serenade. The rondalla was introduced into the Philippines when it was part of the Spanish East Indies. In the early Philippines, certain styles were adopted by the Filipinos, especially guitar and banduria used in the Pandanggo, the Jota, and the Polka. The use of the term comparza was common, however, during the American period in the Philippines, the term rondalla became more used. (Wikipedia)

Philippine Women’s University-Jose Abad Santos Memorial School (PWU-JASMS) has been teaching its high-school and grade school students the art of music in rondalla fashion. I had a chance to watch and listen to their rondalla music when I attended PWU’s 2017 graduation ceremonies held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) last Saturday, July 8… and I was completely blown away!
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I was transported back in time and felt that I was one of the Principalia (elite ruling class in the Philippines during the Spanish colonialization) living a good life in the 1800s.

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I understand that PWU-JASMS Rondalla has won the NAMCYA (National Music Competitions for Young Artists) Rondalla Ensemble Competition held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on November 26, 2015. (from PWU Webpage)

The PWU-JASMS Rondalla was also chosen to perform during the gala dinner of the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit hosted by President Duterte last April 29, 2017 attended by the leaders and delegates of the member countries of the ASEAN. (from Lifestyle Inquirer)

Unfortunately, I was unable to take a video of their performance… but fret not, PWU-JASMS has lots of VLOGS at Youtube and here’s one of them – – NAMCYA 2015 Semi-finals (Kayamanan ng Lahi).

The Philippines… Home of Excellent Service with A Smile

Corniche is a buffet restaurant located at Diamond Hotel, a 5-star hotel, along Roxas Boulevard in Manila, Philippines.  Its selection of diversified food is composed of Asian, Western, and Japanese cuisines, including a salad and dessert station.

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Aside from the delicious food it offers to hotel guests and walk-in customers, Corniche is one of those places that provides excellent service with a smile which makes your dining experience unforgettable… and that’s exactly the very reason why I am one of their frequent diners.

But hey, the Philippines is the home of excellent service with a smile… 🙂

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Aeta… the first Philippine settlers!

The statue depicts an ancient Aeta, believed to be the first settlers in the Philippines. Their descendants still roam the region of Zambales and some migrated to the other parts of the country. Most of them, kicked out of their land like the Indians of North America, are now begging for food and financial assistance to live.

Isn’t it a pity that the ancient settlers are those normally put at the bottom of a country’s social caste system and the foreign invaders lord over them as if the invaders were those who settled in the country first before them?

OriginalPeople.Org: The Aeta (pronounced as “eye-ta,”), Agta or Ayta are an indigenous people who live in scattered, isolated mountainous parts of Luzon, Philippines. They are considered to be Negritos, who are dark to very dark brown-skinned and tend to have features such as a small stature, small frame, curly to kinky afro-like textured hair with a higher frequency of naturally lighter hair color (blondism) relative to the general population, small nose, and dark brown eyes. They are thought to be among the earliest inhabitants of the Philippines, preceding the Austronesian migrations.

The Aeta were included in the group of people termed “Negrito” duringSpanish colonial rule as Negritos. Various Aeta groups in northern Luzon are known as “Pugut” or “Pugot,” a name designated by their Ilocano-speaking neighbors, and which is the colloquial term for those with darker complexions. In Ilocano, the word also means “goblin” or “forest spirit.”

How Hot It can Get?

The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion chili hot sauce…!

A friend of mine who went on tour abroad gave me this hot sauce. She knew that I am fond of chilis and hot sauces and she did some research on what’s the hottest chili in the world and this is what she brought me. She is really sweeeeeeet…!

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It is said in a recent study that the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion is now the new world’s hottest chili pepper, with some of its variants measuring more than 2 Million Scoville heat units (the Scoville scale is a measure of the ‘hotness’ of a chilli pepper or anything derived from chilli peppers, i.e. hot sauce). To comparatively know how hot it is, the popular “Habanero” chili pepper is registered at 600,000 SHU. One piece of this Trinidad Scorpion is equivalent to having three Habanero pieces! That’s how hot this Scorpion devil is!

Gotta use 10 swipes of deodorants on my underarm this time… It’ll surely result to a ginermous amount of sweat and tears!

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