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!
IMG_4252_ompong

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.

IMG_4256_ompong

IMG_4260_ompong

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.

IMG_3940

IMG_3941

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… 🙂

IMG_3965

 

Abby Uy… A Budding Street Photographer!

There’s a new girl in town… and oh boy! Her photographs really caught my eye.  I have featured one of her photographs which shows a dramatic image which made use of colors amid a dark, woody foreground. The image above is an artsy photograph of a concert with the band members placed inside a bokeh “peep hole” of leaves. Genius, isn’t it?! And I like it a lot!

Believe it or not… she’s a newbie in photography and is really a fast learner. Imagine what else she can do with her camera after a year!

Introducing, Abby Uy and her blog site Abby – Street Photography! Please do pay a visit at her blog site and share your photo experiences with her.  She’ll very much appreciate it!

Clark Museum… Visiting the Past and World War 2!

During our 25th wedding anniversary last month, my kids treated us for a visual and cultural experience. Yap, you heard it right… all expenses paid by my kids. And my daughter even volunteered to be our driver from Manila to Clark and vice versa which has a distance of about 160 kilometers in total. My wife and I are both “sitting pretty” at the back of the vehicle enjoying the trip!

The Clark Museum, located in Clark Freeport Zone, Mabalacat, Pampanga, features an expanded collection of artifacts, true-to-life replicas, scenic dioramas, old photographs, murals and interactive displays among others significant to the history of Clark, Pampanga and surrounding areas, generally called Metro Clark. The Clark Freeport Zone, used to be called Clark Airfield, was a stronghold of the combined Filipino and American forces during the end of World War II and a backbone of logistical support during the Vietnam War until 1975. Following the departure of American forces in 1991, the base eventually became the site of Clark International Airport, the Clark Freeport Zone and the Air Force City of the Philippine Air Force. (Wikipedia)

The Museum tells of the Filipino spirit of bravery, industry and ingenuity of a nation’s sovereign will running through a narrative across 4 galleries. It briefly tells a story, a bigger world from which Clark grew and speaks of social and economic advances, and continuing progress.

The Museum offers four (4) galleries: Gallery 1-Between Arayat and Pinatubo A Geo Hub for the Filipino Spirit; Gallery 2 People’s Industry and Ingenuity, Filipino Spirit in Craft and Ritual; Gallery 3 Interregnum: Clark Air Field, The Filipino Spirit rechanneled; and Gallery 4 Clark Freeport: Celebrating,The Filipino Spirit Renewed and Rising.

After visiting the four galleries, we were ushered in to a 4D theatre highlighting Pampanga’s history going past forward to the present. The 4D theater offers a one-of-a-kind experience which would allow visitors to view the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 with spectacular in-theater effects including wind, bubbles and mist to add a breathtaking fourth dimension.

If you ever will have a chance to visit our country, the Clark Museum is one of the place I will surely recommend. The following photos are some of the images I took inside the Museum.  But this photo set is just the tip of the iceberg, there are many more displays and interactions which will leave you in awe. 🙂

PSX_20160714_090833

PSX_20160718_095618

PSX_20160717_214437

PSX_20160718_094626

PSX_20160718_094420

PSX_20160717_214655

PSX_20160717_215107

PSX_20160717_214911

PSX_20160717_214554

PSX_20160717_214810

PSX_20160717_215916

PSX_20160718_090846

PSX_20160718_090738

PSX_20160718_090615

PSX_20160718_090451

PSX_20160717_220208

PSX_20160717_220656

PSX_20160717_220040

PSX_20160717_220323

PSX_20160717_220500

Text Source: Visit Clark

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.”

420!

Some of you might be curious why some of your friends are posting this number or why this number is almost all over the social media.

It is a slang word for marijuana (or mary jane as some may call it). It was believed that marijuana’s “magic” was discovered on April 20. The kids of yester-years who get their high on marijuana used the number “420” as a code to hide what their doing from their parents.

To those who get their kick from it, they celebrate April 20 and call it as “420 Day”!

image

Photo source: expertjoints.com

To swim or to campaign…?

The “floaters”… Yap, summer is here and swimming is trending. But Filipinos are more concerned nowadays in campaigning for their candidates for the upcoming elections in May this year. By golly, that would be next month on May 9.

Campaign success stories are sometimes true but often than not, social media users are spreading fake stories and lies for the benefit of their candidate. On top of these, there are  lots and lots of smear campaigns against other candidates. Cyber bullying nowadays is a trend with each supporters throwing derogatory remarks to one another as if their lives are at stake, with some even threatening bodily harm to the supporters of the other candidates. Well, that’s how dirty politics is anywhere in the world…

The circus with tons of promises is in town and I see a lot of clowns wooing the voters!

image