Let’s Eat: Tawi-tawi Food

more on Tawi-tawi, to better understand our southern brods and sis…congrats for the nice blog!

No Juan Is An Island

One thing I look forward during a visit to a new place is the food. My recent trip to the Philippines southernmost province, Tawi-tawi, was a feast not only to the sense of sight (for its endless stunning sceneries) but also a delight to the sense of taste. Here are 4 of my favorite dishes during my Tawi-tawi sojourn.

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TIYULA ITUM: (Black Soup with Burnt Coconut)

Tiyula itum is a beef soup-stew of Tausug origin (Tausug is a tribe in Mindanao). According to a local, this dish is always served at weddings, or at any other celebration. It’s most striking characteristic is its black – dark grey colour, that may come across un-enticing. The dark colour is because of the burnt coconut which adds up to a more distinct taste to the stew. I have come to know that it is actually an ingredient unique to the Tausug cookery.

Tiyula itum’s meat seem to have…

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Omapuy Island (Tawi-tawi, PH)

here’s an intrepid blogger who dared travel to Tawi-tawi…makulit talaga, hindi natakot…pero successful naman…congrats!

No Juan Is An Island

The happiness of travelling relies on the individual meaning we attach to it. To some, it means indulging on a lavish and comfortable trip on well-known tourist attractions; to others, it is about taking a tightwad method if you’re on a shoestring account; while a small number would opt to spend a few of their bucks to set foot on off-beaten destinations. Well, it really doesn’t matter, so long as you take pleasure in the journey and what the destination has to offer you.

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Exploring the road-less travelled has satiated my sense of curiosity for the past years. The Philippines being an archipelago offers a wide array of stunning islands – from those that have graced the covers of travel magazines (like Boracay and Palawan) to those that have been written about by only a handful wanderlusts, like Tawi-Tawi and Sulu.

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My sense of nosiness and adventure made me want…

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Tsinelas Para sa mga Bata ng Alibijaban Island #OHMCFAMILY

Whenever i traveled, I always realized one thing,I AM STILL LUCKY, Lucky to have a tidy house, A descent clothes, Delicious foods and a Good shoes and slippers. And when i came back home i always thanking God for giving me the life that i have now.
Last weekend, My Blogger Friend YSA XA  invited me in their weekend event called Tsinelas Para sa mga Bata ng Alibijaban Island in San Andres, Quezon Province.The first thing that i thought was “Wow! Ala Ms.Korina Sanchez ang peg” hehe.

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Hike for a Cause : Akyat para kay Nanay Artemia at para kay Inang Kalikasan.

Everyone of us has our own story of our Life, Some are good,some are average and of course some are bad, But no matter how good or bad the story we have, We must be thankful to God for giving us a life.

Recently one of my old friend (Beb Honey) invited me to join in a what so-called Hike For a Cause : Akyat para kay nanay Artemia That held in Mt.Manalmon in sitio Madlum, San Miguel Bulacan. I first saw nanay Artemia in social media (Facebook) posted by Ms.Joy Chiong.

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Sina Manny at Norma…talagang nagsama, sa hirap at ginhawa!

Sina Manny at Norma

…talagang nagsama, sa hirap at ginhawa!

(para kay Norma at Manny Besa)

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Ang kuwento ng buhay nina Manny at Norma ay maraming katulad – nagsama at nagkaroon ng maraming anak, ang lalaki ay may trabaho subalit maliit ang sweldo hanggang sa katagalan ay nawala pa dahil nagsara ang kumpanyang pinapasukan kaya nasadlak sa gutom ang pamilya.

Ang pagkakaiba lang ng kanilang kuwento ay nang balikatin nilang dalawa ang kahirapan noong nawalan ng trabaho si Manny nang wala inungutan ng tulong kahit kamag-anak, nang pagkasyahin nila ang magkano mang perang hawak, nang mag-ulam sila ng mga nilagang talbos ng kung anong merong gulay o di kaya ay nang pagtiyagaang wisikan ng bagoong ang kanin upang magkalasa. Lahat ng paekstra-ekstrang trabaho ay pinasukan ni Manny upang kahit paano ay mairaos ang pangangailangan nila sa araw-araw.

Nakailang pasko din sila noon na kahit kapos ay nakapagtiis  subalit masaya. Alam ko lahat yan dahil ang kanilang  buhay ay nasubaybayan ko, bilang presidente ng homeowners association namin. Kapamilya ang turing sa akin kaya maluwag akong nakakapasok sa bahay nila at nakita ko ang kalagayan nila. Si Manny din ang madalas kong tawagin upang tumulong kung may gagawin sa loob ng subdivision tulad ng paglagay ng ilaw sa kalye o pag-ayos ng mga linya ng kuryente ng mga kapitbahay.

Palangiti ang mag-asawa kaya hindi halatang mabigat ang kanilang dinadalang problema noon lalo pa at maliliit ang tatlo nilang anak na puro babae. Masuwerte din ang mag-asawa sa pagkaroon ng mga anak na bukod sa masisipag ay matatalino pa. Lahat sila ay nagtapos nang halos walang dalang baon sa eskwela.

Noong panahon na talagang matindi ang dinanas nilang hirap, inabot ang mag-anak ng paskong kung tawagin ay “paskong tuyộ”. Isang gabi, sa pag-uwi ko, may nadaanan akong isang grupong nag-iinuman at nagkakantahan na bumati sa akin – mga ka-tropa ko pala. May bigla akong naisipan at pinatigil ko muna ang inuman nila at niyaya kong mag-caroling. Ako ang nagsabi sa mga kaibigan kong tinapatan namin kung ano ang ibibigay nila, kaya may nagbigay ng de-lata, pera, at may isang pamilyang nahingan ko ng kalahating sakong bigas.

Akala ng mga kasama ko na hirap din sa buhay subalit mas nakakaraos kung ihambing sa iba, ay paghahatian namin ang napagkarolingan at ang iba ay ipupulutan. Dahil naghihintay lang sila kung ano ang sasabihin ko, wala pa rin silang reklamo nang tapatan namin ang bahay nina Manny at Norma. Nang magbukas ng pinto si Norma, nagulat nang makilala ako, pero ang mga kasama kong taga-labas ng subdivision ay hindi niya kilala. Nakangiti siya at nagpasalamat sa mga kanta pero humingi ng pasensiya dahil walang maiabot, pero sabi ko kami ang magreregalo sa kanila, na ikinagulat nila ni Manny. Pati mga kasama ko ay nagulat sa hindi nila inasahang sinabi ko.

Ipinasok namin ang lahat ng naipon naming napagtapatan, habang halos walang masabi ang mag-asawa, maliban sa abut-abot na pasalamat. Ang mga bata naman ay nasa isang tabi. Isa sa mga kasama ko ay biglang lumabas, dahil hindi makatiis kaya napaluha, na bandang huli ay umaming dahil daw sa tuwa. Ganoon daw pala ang pakiramdam ng nagbibigay!

Habang naglalakad kami palayo kena Norma at Manny, napagkaisahan naming magkaroling pa at ang maipon ay ibibigay naman sa mag-ina na nakatira malapit lang sa kanto kung saan iniwan ng mga kaibigan ko ang inumin nila. Pera na ang hiningi ko sa mga tinapatan naming kilala ko pa rin, dahil sinabi sa aking kailangan daw ng gamot ng batang maysakit. Naihatid namin ang nagpakarolingan sa mag-ina, maghahatinggabi na.

Si Norma ay aktibo sa mga gawaing may kinalaman sa simbahan noon pa man dahil siya ang nag-aayos ng altar at mga bulaklak tuwing araw ng Misa. Subalit ngayong may itinalaga nang Mother Butler ang parokya para sa ganoong responsibilidad, nabaling ang atensiyon ni Norma sa patron ng Barangay Real Dos, ang Our Lady of Guadalupe. Dahil sa kanya hindi nawawalan ng sariwang bulaklak ang patron. Siya rin ang itinuturing na “Mama” ng mga miyembro ng Holy Face Chorale na pinagluluto niya ng meryenda o hapunan kung may practice, at siya rin ang hingahan nila ng saloobin. Nagbo-volunteer din siya sa pagpagamit ng mga kailangan kung labhan ang mga cover ng mga silya sa Multi-purpose Hall ng subdivision.

Si Manny naman ay nagdodoble-kayod sa Saudi, para sa kanyang retirement. Kailangan nilang mag-ipon dahil inaalala niya ang kalagayan ng operado niyang mga mata, upang kung ano man ang mangyari ay may madudukot sila. May mga apo na sina Manny at Norma.

Excited si Norma bilang “debutanteng” senior citizen dahil makakakain na rin siya sa Jollibee nang may discount at hindi na rin siya makikipagsiksikan sa pilahan sa MERALCO kung siya ay magbabayad dahil diretso na siya sa special lane ng mga Senior Citizens! Sa September 5 ay “golden 60 years old” na kasi siya. Masaya man, may luhang pumapatak sa kanyang mga mata bilang pasalamat sa Diyos dahil sa “regalo” na ibinigay sa kanya!

Dahil sa kuwento ng buhay nina Manny at Norma, hindi maiwasang mabanggit ang sinusumpaang pangako sa harap ng altar ng ikinakasal na “pagsasama sa hirap at ginhawa”… na napakadaling sambitin, subalit mahirap tuparin lalo na kung tumindi na ang hirap na dinaranas. Marami akong alam na kuwentong dahil sa hindi makayanang hirap, ang mag-asawa ay nagsisisihan na umaabot sa hiwalayan. Kung minsan, dahil sa kawalan ng pag-asa, ang lalaki ay nalululong sa alak na naiinom sa umpukan ng mga barkada. Meron pa ngang nawawala sa katinuan ang pag-iisip, at ang pinakamalungkot ay may nagbebenta o pumapatay pa ng anak.

Ipinakita nina Manny at Norma na kaya palang tuparin ang sinumpaang pangako, basta matibay ang pananalig sa Diyos!

How the Red Tide Swept the Philippine Shores, and the founding of Hukbalahap

How the Red Tide Swept the Philippine Shores,

and the founding of Hukbalahap

By Apolinario Villalobos

During the American regime, the “freedom” that was introduced, developed political consciousness among the learned but poor Filipinos – city dwellers and sons of peasants. They joined hands and welded together the laborers of the city and peasants of the provinces, resulting to the sprouting of labor unions. The consciousness was further fanned by inspirations that came in the form of literary works such as novels and dramas.

1922 saw the organization of “Confederacion de Aparceros y Obreros Agricolas de Filipinas (Philippine Confederation of Tenants and Agricultural Workers), by Jacinto Manahan. It was renamed Katipunang Pambansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (National Peasants Union of the Philippines), two years later. The union joined forces with the already organized Philippine Labor Congress to become the formidable tool of the working class during the time.

Leaders of the Philippine Labor Congress (PLC) attended a trade conference in 1928, in Canton, China which was sponsored by the communists. When they returned, they formed the Labor Party, at the same time affiliating the “mother organization”, Philippine Labor Congress with the Red International of Labor Unions. This move transformed the PLC into a communist-oriented union.

In 1929, disagreements ensued within the PLC on policy matters which led to the departure of Crisanto Evangelista who founded the Katipunan ng mga Anak-pawis ng Pilipinas (Congress of Philippine Workingmen). The other leaders, Ruperto S. Cristobal and Antonio Paguia remained with the PLC. Evangelista moved further on by founding Partido Comunista (Communist Party) with Jacinto Manahan, using the Russian ideology as their model. The Communist Party assumed a tolerable image until 1932, during which the Supreme Court declared it to be an illegal association. This did not deter the party from working with the peasants and laborers discreetly. The members were eventually imprisoned.

Meanwhile, on the same year of 1929, Pedro Abad Santos, who belonged to the cultured and learned class of Pampanga, founded the Socialist Party, together with the “Aguman Ding Maldang Talapagobra” (Workers’ and Peasants’ Union) or AMT. The Socialist Party was used by the AMT as its political arm which did not gain fame until after 1932. It operated openly as it was sanctioned by the government, unlike the Communist Party whose illegality led to the imprisonment of its members.

In 1932, when the imprisoned members of the Communist Party were released, it merged with the Socialist Party. The merging led to the impression that even the non-communist members of the Socialist Party, were also communists. Nonetheless, from then on, the group developed to become a sophisticated working class in Central Luzon, aside from becoming more militant.

When war broke out in the Pacific in December 8, 1941, the Philippines was dragged into it. Later on, the retreat of the combined US and Philippine forces to Corregidor and eventual defeat, throw the whole country into confusion. By instinct, the peasants of Pampanga organized a “militia” to protect themselves against the occupying Japanese forces.

The peasant leaders met in February 1942 at barrio Bakwit, Cabiao, Nuevea Ecija. It was attended by Luis Taruc, Juan Feleo, Casto Alejandrino, Matelo del Castillo, F. Sampanga, Jose de Leon, Lino Dizon, Eusebio Aquino, and Mariano Franco. They decided on a “united front” against the aggressors, with the battlecry “Anti-Japanese Above All”. They laid down their three-pronged policy, as: economic (development of all means of providing the people with sustenance and at the same time to sabotage Japanese effort to loot the country); political (discredit the “puppet regime” and destroy its influence); and, military (harass the Japanese).

The peasant leaders met again in a forest between Tarlac, Pampanga, and Nueva Ecija in March 29, 1942, to finalize their organization which assumed tha name, “HUKBO NG BAYAN LABAN SA HAPON” or HUKBALAHAP. Its Military Committee was composed of Luis Taruc, Banal (Bernardo Poblete), Casto Alejandrino, and Felipa Culala (Dayang-dayang). Taruc was elected as the chairman with Alejandrino as his deputy.

Unfortunately, Hukbalahap which was originally meant to fight the Japanese aggressors was discredited due to politics and insecurities of the landlords, pushed to the corner, until it finally went underground to fight the unfair policies of the government. The abused peasants with the grain of communistic idealism already planted in their consciousness had no choice but lean on the support that propped them up since before the onset of the WWII. The events that followed were more than expected…