lord knows what i've spilled here
i have blogger blogged for precisely

two years
and two days

from may 29, 2004 to may 31, 2006.

thank you for tuning in.
  mmmm... food
one of the symptoms of this undiagnosed illness that i have that i think i inherited from my parents is that you're hungry all the time.

mmm... yogurt. haaa.
  hotness 93
ohmigulay. ang INEEET!

@ levi's saturday night with everyone... and cocktail shrimp. YUM.
today i went back to work. blah.
today, i just sank into the couch and watched TV. the 'star trek: next generations' was a little of a waste of time, but 'lost' was interesting, even if i didn't get to start it. i wish i could regularly remember to tape it so i can watch it later in the day. time for tivo! ahahahaha
  bagong hirang - joey ayala
the lovely awesome filipino lyrics of the 'star spangled banner.'

Nakikita mo ba
sa bukang liwayway
ang liwanag na sumilay
sa aking paglisan
pag-asang wagas
at kaligayahan
kalayaang umunlad
sa bayang payapa
sa tulay ng digmaan
kita’y tumawid
at umibig
tayo ngayon ay
mga dayong katutubo
at sa lupang
bagong hirang

Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_sei.

went volunteer phone banking today for a very needed candidate for alderman. it was great - they had ordered pad thai, chicken bamboo stew, chili chicken bamboo stew, panang beef curry, and pop. the almost 20 calls today lasted me one hour. and we only got one person each! except for two people who got four each. we exceeded our goal of 150 today - 161. down from 300, to 200, to 150, out of 25,000 residents of that ward.

but it's ok. it's only a volunteer thing. i might have a nightmare if we had to call every 25,000!

i finally downloaded all my cellyofon pix. the phone feels lighter. i downloaded copies and kept originals in my fon for my viewing pleasure anytime during my chaotic days. hehehehe.

here's the sweeeeeeeetest thing in the whole world! UMAHON. i finally got to see her at barely two weeks old. a question was posed over the kulture and liberation workshop, something you'd expect from forward-looking people:

in this society and in the philippines, "what's left for umahon?"

  kulture and liberation blues

Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_sei.

a very enthusiastic new friend dropped by the hamlin house saturday for the kulture and liberation workshop. he was randi's friend.

after one workshop jan went to his house to change, and that later, offered to be the night's storyteller. "ay, di ako maruning magluto ng adobo," he said.

"adobo! pero yan yung pinakamadaling lutuin sa lahat ng pinoy dishes!"

"pero marunong akong magluto ng sabaw ng bato."

Thank God I'm Filipino.
  2006 kultural night of resistance
Chicago, IL

For Immediate Release
May 18, 2006


Romeo Maguigad

Committee on Pilipino Issues

2006 Kultural Night of Resistance
One hundred years of moving forward

CHICAGO, Ill. 2006 -- Invisible. Ms. Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Mail-order brides. Sweet Table. Manongs and daughters. May 1 immigration rally. Lechon. Curfew. Dust, heat, picturesque city. Dinuguan. Sapin-sapin. Doctors and nurses. Couples for Christ and its Family Ministries. Las Haciendas de Luisita. Jose P. Rizal Heritage Center. Fil-Am Community Builder. Ruby's. First Quarter Storm. Depression and schizophrenia. The 1986 EDSA Revolution. Pinoy Monthly. Megascene. Pete Lacaba. Piolo Pascual.

These are just some of the things that Filipinos in Chicago ponder.

Or not.

Lawyer turned realtor. Gloria Magapagal Arroyo. Ramon Magsaysay. Corazon Aquino. Ferdinand E. Marcos. E. San Juan Jr. DH. A house in the suburbs. TNT. A free countryside. The Blossoming of Bongbong. Wisconsin Dells. US$142 million debt in June. Jun-Jun. Plaridel papers. Rice everyday. Bagoong. Bino Realuyo. September 21, 1972. University of Chicago. Batasan 6. Pintig Cultural Group. University of the Philippines. Gawad Kalinga. Literatura. Filipiniana. Imperialism. Colonialism. Philippine Student Association. Overseas Filipino Workers.

Scattered. Diverse. Feuding. Forgotten. Filipino.

Many of these issues will be addressed in the Committee on Pilipino Issues 2006 Kultural Night of Resistance (KNR) on Saturday, June 17 at 7 p.m. at Insight Arts, 1545 W. Morse Ave. Tickets are $15. The venue is accessible by the Morse stop of the Howard Red line. Parking is limited. Food will be available. The event also serves as a fundraiser for the Committee on Pilipino Issues' workshops with the youth.

CPI is also holding Kulture and Liberation, a free workshop for Filipino youth and their friends to discover facets of themselves in the backdrop of one of the most diverse U.S. cities. It will be held on Saturday, May 20, at 1 p.m. at the Hamlin House, 4438 N. Hamlin, on Hamlin and Montrose streets. The House is accessible via the No. 78 Montrose bus westbound to Hamlin. Walk a half block north to address. Parking is limited. Food will be available, but participants are encouraged to bring something to share. Workshop participants will be prepared to receive performances highlighted in KNR one month after. Some will also be asked to perform.

KNR is an intergenerational showcase of Filipino poetry, spoken word, dance, song, theater, multimedia and more. Participants will address their Filipino heritage in the backdrop of Chicago, one of the most diverse cities in the U.S. They seek to answer questions of invisibility and belonging, understanding their parents, their newly arrived cousins and their accent, their shock at them knowing hip hop and clubbing just as well or even more than them.

They will assert their heritage as a child of two worlds, two nations, living in the U.S. but aware of that other mother nation that refuses to let go.

The elders will unveil concerns of perceiving their children growing up away from them in a land they deem extremely liberated. The Ilonggo, Ilokano, Pampango, Moro parent will acknowledge, "Why didn't I teach them my language?"

Participants will mention concerns in the U.S. and the homeland, such as corruption that allowed seven worker protestors to be killed at the gates of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac sugar refinery in Las Haciendas de Luisita, a vast sugar mill occupying two-thirds of Luzon owned by the family of President Corazon Aquino. In a twisted turn of fate, Aquino happens to be the wife of Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., President Ferdinand E. Marcos' most vocal opposition.

Marcos declared martial law in Sept. 21, 1972. In the 60s and 70s, thousands of professional Filipinos had been fleeing Marcos' iron rule for the U.S. to start lives and families. In the U.S., immigration laws had been weakened from decades before against the Chinese, making it easier for all immigrants to enter the U.S. Martial law was the last straw and the deciding factor for many Filipinos to move.

This is connected to the present poverty in the homeland and the steady stream of Filipinos who choose to leave the county, either for work or because they had heard of the quality of life elsewhere. These dizzying chain of events have left many Chicago Filipinos confused, many families do not understand each other, and it is simply easier to set aside disturbing, disconnected thoughts and move on with life.

These are just some of the issues KNR hopes to address with intentions of airing them out, and possibly, ambitiously, solving them. Perhaps it will lighten each audience and participants' path to creating a better Filipino, a better Chicago, a better Philippines.

Romeo Maguigad

Committee on Pilipino Issues

this piece is written by ulanmaya.

this is supposed to be a press release. the event is real, CPI is real, KNR is almost a decade old, the history is only off the top of my head. but damned be i if i know how to write a convincing release. AND y'alls who regularly read this blog should know why i left out my name... my real name... hehehe.
  galatea resurrects #2

hear marjorie evasco recite this poem: KAOS 89.3 FM cross cultural poetics: ochre tones

In English:
There is a season to this ripening,
the way sap of tree rises to fulfill
fruit of the topmost branch,
or the motion of jasmine
climbing trellises to show off
a single blossom at new moon tide. ...

Reason for this ripening.
You are goldened by my tongue.

In Cebuano:
Adunay panahon alang sa pagkahinog.
Sama sa pagtaob sa duga sa kahoy aron mopalumoy sa bunga
Sa kinatumyang sanga sa kahoy, o sama sa
Sampagita nga mosalingsing sa kinatas-an
Aron ipasundayag ang nag-inusara niyang bulak
Niining bag-ong bulan sa tingtaob. ...

Diya hinungdan kining pagkahinog.
Gibulawan ka sa akong dila.

[ more ]


when you're singing karaoke,
really singing from the center of your being,
in whatever town you're in, whatever bar, club or smoky poolroom...

the only thing that really matters is...


[ more ]


those who'd like to review poetry books, please see here. thanks for stopping by!
  you are all invited

click on flyer above. also:

Saturday, May 20
Selection: DUSK
Author: F. Sionil Jose
Details: Please read all 352 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
ISBN: 0375751440
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Venue: Sweet Table, 3056 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. 773-549-4188.

for more info: muntingtinig.

see you there! :-)

Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_cinq.

mi madre's bday on the 15th, may. that's moi bratty soeur, in a rare show of affection, pix stolen by mon autre bratty soeur. hehehehe

happy birthday, mom! je t'aime beaucoup, beaucoup.

  anak (2000) - rory quintos, vilma santos
a film that made me cry because of extreme realism. josie's (vilma santos) whole family and friends sat down almost at the same time during her homecoming party to listen to stories about hong kong.

when my mother returned home from a couple years in chicago, she and two of the other female relatives her age in quezon city at that time - my aunts - sat down almost at the same time with her on the family couch. "ay, daw mabuang ka guid," were the first words she said.

it made me cry because my mother also yelled at me when first she returned from the homeland. i went through high school without her. she also had to leave to provide for us. she came back for the second time to bury my dad and take us away. many friends and family were there for us while she was away, and to welcome her back, but in the ensuing days after the parties, it was just us and our hurt. hurt is uncontainable no matter the size of the house and the largeness of its windows.

it made me cry because the flying plane bound for abroad erased faces of loved ones, and bore them far away, often beyond tenuous reach. it made me realize to look for things i would have to do to keep my future family from knowing separation.
  MUNTINGTINIG: Dates for the May to October meetings
Apologies for duplicate postings.
Please forward widely.

Hi all!

People have wondered. They've checked the Web site. People have asked, "What happened to your book club?"

But we're back!

Muntingting book club went on a monthlong hiatus because of a conflict in schedule for several members. Now, we've picked a series of books to keep us going for the next five months: The well-renowned Rosales Saga, by F. Sionil Jose.

Starting out with Carlos Bulosan's seminal America is in the Heart, the book club also plans to read Philippine national hero Jose P. Rizal's Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, Ninotchka Rosca's State of War, Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters, and Bino Realuyo's Umbrella Country. We will discuss the books in Filipino-owned restaurants in the Chicago area.

Here are the dates and titles. Please note that Saturday, July 22 and August 19 will start earlier than 6:30 p.m. to accomodate the venue's hours open.

Any questions, please email Yvonne, yhortil5@yahoo.com or Anna, anna_m_rosete@yahoo.com.

Thank you to all of you who asked, it means that this is a needed organization in our community.

See you on the 20th!


Please note change in venue for June 10: It is now at Sweet Thang cafe.

Saturday, May 20
Selection: DUSK
Author: F. Sionil Jose
Details: Please read all 352 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
ISBN: 0375751440
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Venue: Sweet Table, 3056 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. 773-549-4188.

Saturday, June 10
Selection: DON VICENTE: Two Novels (Tree and My Brother, My Executioner)
Author: F. Sionil Jose
Details: This book is two novels in one. Please read the section, TREE.
Length (both novels): 448 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
ISBN: 0375752439
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Venue: Sweet Thang, 1921 W. North Ave., Chicago. 773-772-4166.

Saturday, July 22
Selection: DON VICENTE: Two Novels (Tree and My Brother, My Executioner)
Author: F. Sionil Jose
Details: This book is two novels in one. Please read the section, MY BROTHER, MY EXECUTIONER.
Length (both novels): 448 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
ISBN: 0375752439
Time: 5 p.m.
Venue: Mom's Bake Shoppe and Restaurant, 2415 W. Peterson Ave. Chicago. 773-784-1318.

Saturday, August 19
Selection: THE SAMSONS: Two Novels (The Pretenders and Mass)
Author: F. Sionil Jose
Details: This book is two novels in one. Please read the section, THE PRETENDERS.
Length (both novels): 560 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
ISBN: 0375752447
Time: 4 p.m.
Venue: My Place for Tea, 3210 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago. 773-525-8320.

Saturday, September 16
Selection: THE SAMSONS: Two Novels (The Pretenders and Mass)
Author: F. Sionil Jose
Details: This book is two novels in one. Please read the section, MASS.
Length (both novels): 560 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
ISBN: 0375752447
Time: 6:30 p.m.
TENTATIVE venue: Green Ginger, 2050 W. Division St. Chicago., 773-486-6700.

Here are the details for our next book after F. Sionil Jose's Rosales Saga. Please start it as soon as you can after the series. We will definitely read this, and announce further details that include a joint reading with SAPAC (South Asian Progressive Action Collective), and a venue at the Jose P. Rizal Heritage Center.

Saturday, October 14
Author: Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Details: Poetry book. More details to come.
Length: 86 pages
Publisher: Tupelo Press
ISBN: 0971031088
i am missing so many cool things on friday nights - on weekday nights even. but i think i've gotten used to it. i like to think that everyone else is also too busy with their own work and personal lives that they rarely see people on the weeknights. their only free time is on the weekend as well.

but like always, i like to be sure, and this i'm not of. it gets me by the days and weeks i have to be at work. after all, i can't go out on the weekends broke. hehehehe.
  Portrait of Seattle as a Dream
Autoportrait in Black
by Eric Gamalinda
from his awesome, generous web site.

I was so small the angels decided
not to give me a name. I lived
all my life in obscurity, except
once, when the cypresses applauded
my bravado. I knew the language
of birds, but they still refused
to reveal the harmonies to me.
I lost not one parent, but three.
At the same moment that I learned
love, a blue thunderbolt ripped
the sky open, and I went insane.
Midway in life I traveled through
six time zones, the past, the future,
and every satellite in between.
The words bounced off my tongue,
warm, incandescent. When I died
a megaton of light tore itself
out of my bones. I became pure
particle, a spy among opposing
magisteria. I became an iris, a stone.
This consciousness so dear to me
closed like a flower. I could not
resist the beauty of nothingness.
In my place another being came
to lodge, and I moved quickly
to give it room. I don't know if this
is joy, but my absence was joyful.

i am going to admit it: i miss conference.

sfc, the age group i should mingle with and leave the high school and college people alone (a.k.a. yfc, cfc youth as of late), is holding a conference in... in... seattle.


city of my dreams.
why didn't i move there earlier in my life?

by accident i knew i totally looooooove seattle, 'ang ganda ng seattle,' i said to my friend, when we had the cfc youth, then yfc, there several years ago... i forget. 2000?

a sister then told me that i deserve better than the boy i liked at that time. *sigh.*

another sister and i took pictures of each other in the bathroom. or was that in oakland, calif.?

northern california/// norcal/// is pretty too. *hay!*

i should go to conference. even though i've neglected the tone of music and my friends at sfc and i speak a different language now. thus sayeth ulanmaya. ahahaha.

ulanmaya at flickr
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya.

one of the most spectacular fourth of julys i've ever experienced. i didn't need to zoom in or increase exposure for this pix.

i also have to admit it's the pull of the city more than the friendships, even if that's important as well. i went to columbus, ohio, because i was curious of the city! ahahaha. it's totally a small town compared to chicago, that is, it is the 8th largest city in the u.s. at that time, i got me some of the best 'tissue' shirts and coffee out there. a colleague here at work lived there for several years and told me a secret: columbus will never experience recession because it's industry-free. no coal mines, not much agriculture. it's products are internet and computer. have i also mentioned that the fireworks were incredible and it's the no. 2 city for same-sex relations? ahahaha. so totally no regrets. i got away from the grind in chicago. :-)

i should bring fliers and postcards of 'bells of balangiga' and ask if seattle peeps want to bring the show there. i can't be the only one in the sfc community who's thinking about former colony + u.s. = ? ahahahaha.
  today... today. ...
today... i just had to finish my book. shame on me, coz the writing is totally awesome, he has as many as 17 or more drafts before becoming confident with his work. and the story is TOTALLY awesome. :-) i saw bits and parts of it on TV.

this is how my book looks like, except it's a little less well-loved even as it's a used copy. hehehe.
on sunday while i was trying to eat this incredible chicken at levi's after the set strike for pintig's 'bells of balangiga,' i remembered my blog and realized that the play had become my whole life for almost three months. ahahaha.

and then also the songs won't leave my head:

let me feel you
let me through
let me fill your [ nights ]
warm [ embrace ] for you

[ at the time of my days ]
i will hold you dearly
till the end
from the land of the sleeping giants
[ all across from the sea ]
each one of you will feel my pain!
and my love
my love will take this knife for me.
mercedes, we ask for mercy
senores, listen to my plea.
we have done nothing wrong,
[ ... ]

senors, loosen these chains on them.
perdidos, have you not heard our cry?
a far more cruel tyrant like you
deserve to die.
i should have known these were men.
[ ... ]
i couldn't!
not with the epidemic going on.
but had i dared.
ok, go.
i should have known
that these were men
[ just think about it ]
it made me shiver.
they're angry!
so are we, private.
we'll show them just how angry we are
[ ... ]
and bring the nightmare to them.
[ ... ] and fell into his plate of hash.
[ ... ] i called my captain, "captain! captain!"
but a goo goo insurrecto [ ... ]
[ ... ]
they were upon us!
they were upon us!
now is this trechery, treachery
we ask you
how [ could this treachery, villany ]
so much for flattery, mockery
when will this end?
it has to stop
by blood it did
the country is officially a colony of the united states.
but we still remember that fateful day.
and your country will always be like that.
an ant, a moth [ ... ]
we scared you once!
we did it once before.
remember that!
[ you're not so powerful ]
the bells will ring for us from now on!
ring them again,
hear them again,
and we will know
what they truly mean

many years ago, they buried it under
teach your children, who have forgotten
bring the bells back to,
they're [ ... ]!
ring them again,
hear them again,
[ ... ]
bring the bells back to
they're [ ... ]!

i've seen the musical five times. hehehee.

mike, a musican who played guitar and congo drums among other things in the musical, said it for us: "i don't know what to do with all my time now, after the play."

but today a lovely email came from my activist friends:

Mga Kasama at Kaibigan!

Good News! Yesterday Kahapon Sunday, Mathilda gave birth to a baby girl Umahon! Help celebrate the birth of a new beginning, a new life and member of our community! Thanks for your prayers!


isn't that a gorgeous name? :-D
  unfinished legacies: bring the bells back to balangiga

GEOGRAPHY: 1901 Balangiga is a fishing town of thatched huts and beaches. It is one of the southernmost towns of Samar, one of the largest and most eastern islands of the Philippines.

THE RESIDENTS: Townsfolk are fresh from the leaving of the last Spanish Catholic frair, the last symbol of colonialism in their town. When the U.S. soliders landed, they were aware of President Emilio Aguinaldo's surrender to U.S. rule. Residents immediately recognized a new colonizer. They determined to fight back using wits - until a resident girl is raped.

THE AMERICANS: Battle-weary, homesick and ill soldiers sent by President William McKinley from war in Nanking, China and before that, Cuba, to filfill his Manifest Destiny ideal already executed against the Native Americans in the western U.S. For the Philippines, McKinley issued his Benevolent Assimilation proclamation for the soldiers to

THE BIG PICTURE: The Balangiga Massacre, or the Balangiga Affair, as it is known in the U.S., happened in during the Spanish American, and later, the Filipino American war. The massacre occured at the end of the former and contributed to the beginning of the latter.


sponsored night
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_cinq.

'bells of balangiga' 2006 performance, from left to right: ray, aiko (audience), gen. louie pascasio (director) and suyenn (townspeople)


Unfinished legacies
Bring the bells back to Balangiga

After 15 years of successful dramaturgy, longtime Filipino theater troupe Pintig Cultural Group had remounted the critically-acclaimed musical, "Bells of Balangiga: The Musical," written by Rodolpho Carlos Vera and directed by Louis Pascasio at the Light Opera Works in Evanston.

Using traditional Filipino dress, the endemic martial art arnis, live score at every show in April, Visayan dance and Filipino speech, Pintig aims to highlight a sophisticated people simply asking for their church bells back, taken at a time of war and colonization. In the process, they hope audiences will learn something of their history in the homeland and in the United States. The story is set in the town of Balangiga, in the island province of Samar, east central Philippines.

One song in the musical is sung in Filipino, "Pag-ibig at Digmaan," translated in the program as "Love and War."

A nation, whole
Proud of its integrity
Never again will it bow its head
Its heart is strong
And though the flames
Of another war engulf it
We know our love with bind us
As we struggle through

Pintig had closed performances Sunday, May 7. They have set time aside after every show for questions. In the April 30 show, a confused audience member asked, "What stand do you take - are you against the U.S., or against the Filipino townspeople?"

There is a line in the final montage, "Teach your children who have forgotten." Executive director and producer Levi Aliposa and the cast asserted that their role is to provoke enough questions and interest that someone in the audience would be willing to find out for themselves and others about the massacre - called the Balangiga Affair in the U.S. With her questions, Pintig has succeeded in their interest to provoke insights as well as entertain.

The stage, designed by Louie Sison, is decorated with wings and a simple arch turned doorway painted straw yellow with orange brush strokes to evoke painted stone, the side of the real St. Anthony Church in Balangiga. Overall the cast gave a rousing performance given that sometimes a sweeping operaticlike song would be accompanied by only a piano or a guitar.

The costumes of 1901 Samar, the island where the massacre occured, were convincing and colorful. Costume designer Susan Kirpach chose the typical Visayan dress of shortpants, a shirt and salakot, the traditional bamboo hat for the men. The women wore the traditional patadyong dress of a long skirt, kimona shirt with angel sleeves and panuelo, a large handkerchief wrapped around the head, shoulders or waist.

It is these, including a necklace, that the women lend to the men on the eve of their first battle with the U.S. soldiers. Esmeralda (Je Cacino) and Aling Tikay (Jennifer Ligaya Burton and Joanah Torre) sport striking red and black patterns respectively. Mayor "El Presidente" Pedro Abayan (Bert Matias) sometimes sported the traditional Barong Tagalog pina shirt.

The U.S. soldiers sported a simpler version of their 19th century counterparts with a blue long sleeved shirt tucked into khaki pants over black boots. To distinguish their leader, Capt. Thomas Connell (Richard Gordon) wore his blue shirt tucked out. This simple shadow to the real Army uniform was enough to convince they were soldiers of the
U.S. army.

Paolo Nicolasin, who played Esmeralda's sweetheart Domeng, said a light blew out during the gala performance, but the audience hardly noticed it. Light designers Amanda Clegg Lyon and Steve Weaver changed shades on cue and placed a pattern of leaves at one light, evoking Samar island's "howling wilderness," as Gen. Jake Smith called for it to be at the end of the U.S.' revenge.

Markings of the Franciscan Catholic order are depicted on the bells, two in FE Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and one at the 9th U.S. Infantry Regiment base in Tongduchon, South Korea, where they remain today. The priest (Levi Aliposa), clad in a brown robe and rope, used twigs lashed together to a make a crucifix for a scene in the forest. This is great theater, as churches even then surely have portable crucifixes precisely for outdoor activities. But it's a great touch, to remind audiences of the poverty inflicted by Spain for over 300 years, matching the rice aspergillum to bless each of the residents who volunteered to fight the Americans in their town.

Kaikai Mascarenas' voice and prayerful expression is near perfect in a forest scene, with her cast as a young friend of Esmeralda's. Domeng's (Paolo Nicolasin) singing is effortless, as is the priest's (Aliposa) calling for protection from the Almighty. "Protect us from these evil vultures!" he cries. This musical is Richard Gordon's (Capt. Conwell) first theater venture, and he sings the captain's doubts reminiscent of Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra. The voices of townspeople Evelyn Masbaum and Angelica Atian soar above all others in "Have Mercy," a scene where Conwell announces a decision unfair to the villagers, and the "Ritual of Disguise," where the women dress the men in their clothes.

The scenes with Esmeralda (Je Cacnio) draw you in to listen to injustice done to a girl with big dreams. It was Cacnio's chance to bring herself to the stage. "I went to an all-girls' Catholic school in the Philippines. My teachers would force us to speak in nothing but English all day, and if we uttered a word of Filipino, they would punish us. That action was like raping me, in that I had to hide my own language at school," she said during a forum at the end of the April 30 show.

Aling Tikay (Jennifer Ligaya Burton) and soldier William Gibbs (Brian Desgranges) stole the show in the scenes where their characters take up the story. Aling Tikay was made younger than she seemed to be on paper, to great effect - to audiences she is the passionate, fearless aunt with the personalized religion, which every family has. Gibbs is one of the few survivors of the morning attack, waking up screaming to nightmares of hacking and body parts landing on food and villagers running in skirts, weilding sharp bolos.

"They're coming! They're coming!" and Gibbs utters the first of three cries in the play, the first being Esmeralda when she was raped. In Gibbs' dream, villagers surround him, pounding their arnis sticks on the ground, threatening. The light changes to an angry red. Gang rape by soldiers to Esmeralda was suggested by two soldiers positioned on either side, and one standing behind her. The light alternates between blue and heavy dark green. Her prolonged cry in the forest, at nighttime, alone, reminds audiences of the unique tears of a Filipina, and what waves it could induce.

The second cry comes from Pvt. Seetherly, who had too much of the island and started firing rifle shots at mosquites, ants and bugs. This is an attempt of the play to be fair to the U.S. side of the story. The soldiers had been away from their homes for almost two years at the time of their coming to Balangiga. They were not used to the weather, had not received mail for seven months since Nanking, and were getting sick because of the local water.

One audience member crowed, "Plays such as this make us and our children aware of important events in our history. Our struggles, victories, and quest for justice as a people should be made known to everyone."

They should be known because the Philippines is a country on a par with any other, and their history needs to be respected. The villagers understood the Americans to be new colonists, but the Americans did not understand the gravity of the villagers' relief when the Spanish left. Their leader Capt. Connell always found a way to justify his actions, even as he knew they were colonizers. The villagers then fought for their country. The U.S., thinking this a rebellion, exacted revenge - a revenge exacted too well by burning the entire island, one of the largest in the Philippines, and then taking the bells.

At magunaw man
Ng digmaan ang lahat
Pag-ibig natin
Ang babangon sa lusak
At silunin man
Ng digmaan ang bayan
Pag-ibig natin
Sa dilim ay tatanglaw.

At the end of the evening show on May 6, actors answered questions and suggested that perhaps aside the U.S. returning the bells, they also offer apology for the razing of the entire Samar island, killing 50,000 residents, some who probably had no knowledge of what Americans were doing on their island.

Balangiga is now a large municipality of 13 smaller barangays. The town plaza is surrounded by a playground, a stage, municipal buildings and city hall. Each September, residents and tourists gather around the plaza to participate in several days' festivities; the highlight is a reenactment by teenagers of the battle between their ancestors and the Americans. It is the town's largest tourist draw.

A basketball hoop stands in the middle of the plaza, prominent when it is empty. One wonders what effect the bells would have on a simple fishing town like this, should the bells be returned. To a near corner stands St. Anthony Church, squat and elegant, painted a creamy yellow, its belltower whistling in the wind, waiting.


this piece is scheduled to appear in the MAY issue of the fil-am community builder. if you are unaware of the paper, copies can be picked up at the unimart on clark street, and the paper's offices on 5232 N. Western Ave.; telephone 773-275-4540.

Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_cinq.

'striking' down a set. we had to take down and then clamp back up these thingies. they weighed at least 20 pounds each! i was so exhausted at levi's by the end.

i see a spider nest.

no, they're walking fire hydrants.

i see little robots.

  'bells' on saturday

bells of balangiga 2k6
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_cinq.

Women sing "Mercedes" from "Bells of Balangiga: The Musical."


saturday may 6 is by far the most successful of all 12 runs of "bells of balangiga" 2006. woohoo!

  next muntingtinig meetings, may to october
apologies for duplicate postings.
please forward widely.

contact: ulanmaya@gmail.com

here are the dates for the next several books in f. sionil jose'srosales saga. they turned out to be not too different from theprevious dates.

*** please note that saturday, july 22 and august 19 will startearlier than 6:30 p.m., to accomodate the venue's hours open. ***

any questions, please email me, yhortil5@yahoo.com or call my cell.

those who would like to blog please also email me for the username and password. our blog is at http://muntingtinigchicago.blogspot.com.

see you on the 20th!


**saturday, may 20
selection: DUSK
author: F. Sionil Jose
details: please read all 352 pages
publisher: Modern Library
ISBN: 0375751440
time: 6:30 p.m.
venue: Sweet Table, 3056 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. 773-549-4188.

**saturday, june 10
selection: DON VICENTE: Two Novels (Tree and My Brother, My Executioner)
author: F. Sionil Jose
details: this book is two novels in one. please read the section, TREE, length (both novels): 448 pages
Publisher: Modern Librar
yISBN: 0375752439
time: 6:30 p.m.
venue: Filipiniana Restaurant, Golf Glen Mart Plaza, 9060 Golf Road,Niles, IL 60714. 847-298-9332, 847-298-9344.

**saturday, july 22
selection: DON VICENTE: Two Novels (Tree and My Brother, My Executioner)
author: F. Sionil Jose
details: this book is two novels in one. please read the section, MY BROTHER, MY EXECUTIONER.
length (both novels): 448 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
ISBN: 0375752439
time: 5 p.m.
venue: Mom's Bake Shoppe and Restaurant, 2415 W. Peterson Ave. Chicago. 773-784-1318.

**saturday, august 19
selection: THE SAMSONS: Two Novels (The Pretenders and Mass)
author: F. Sionil Jose
details: this book is two novels in one. please read the section, THE PRETENDERS.
length (both novels): 560 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
ISBN: 0375752447
time: 4 p.m.
TENTATIVE venue: My Place for Tea, 3210 N. Sheffield Ave., corner ofBelmont Ave., Chicago. 773-525-8320.

**saturday, september 16
selection: THE SAMSONS: Two Novels (The Pretenders and Mass)
author: F. Sionil Jose
details: this book is two novels in one. please read the section, MASS. length (both novels): 560 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
ISBN: 0375752447
time: 6:30 p.m.
TENTATIVE venue: Green Ginger, 2050 W. Division St. Chicago., 773-486-6700.

and here are the details on our next book after f. sionil jose'srosales saga:

**saturday, october 14
selection: MIRACLE FRUIT
author: aimee nezhukumatathil
details: poetry book. planned reading with SAPAC (south asian progressive action collective). please read all 86 pages.
length: 86 pages
publisher: tupelo press
ISBN: 0971031088
time: 6:30 p.m.
TENTATIVE venue: jose p. rizal center, 1332 w. irving park road., chicago. 773-281-1210.
  bells of balangiga: the musical - three playdates left!

bells of balangiga 2k6
Originally uploaded by

Ending scene from "Bells of Balangiga: The Musical."


Pintig Cultural Group is remounting the "Bells of Balangiga: The Musical"! FOUR playdates left:

Saturday, May 6: 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 7: 3 p.m.

Tickets are $25
Students with ID: $15
For tickets, call: (312) 222-1551
Visit pintig.org

  ang tao! ang bayan! ngayon ay lumalaban!

anida esguerra's video on the mayo uno immigrant march in chicago - 400,000 strong, the largest immigrant march in the u.s. waaahooo!
  arsenic journal

hehehehe... my poems appear in this journal. i can't remember if i've any more poems appear in print.

the editor said there would be a magazine and a book, aside from an online magazine as well.

hmmm. this looks like the magazine.
hehehehe. woohoo!
  bells of balangiga excerpt

Pintig Cultural Group is remounting the "Bells of Balangiga: The Musical"! Six playdates left:

Thursday, May 4: 8 p.m.
Friday, May 5: 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 6: 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 7: 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Tickets are $25
Students with ID: $15
For tickets, call: (312) 222-1551
Visit pintig.org

welcome, and thank you for boarding the ulanmaya transit express. tickets, please. mind the gap as you depart. have a pleasant experience.

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gromit is curious

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