‘In the Country,’ by Mia Alvar

 

Source:

By J. R. RAMAKRISHNAN
The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/21/books/review/in-the-country-by-mia-alvar.html?emc=edit_bk_20150619&nl=books&nlid=20130276&_r=0

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Mia Alvar Credit Deborah Lopez

In Tagalog movies, the bida, or hero, battles the kontrabida, or villain, for the affections of a beautiful woman. As his family cheers at the bida’s victory in the opening story of “In the Country,” Steve, a Filipino expat on a visit home, reflects: “The script had succumbed, in the end, to our demands.

”As in a good Tagalog movie, twists abound in Mia Alvar’s debut collection. But Alvar’s finely wrought shocks, delivered in exacting prose, reverberate without easy resolution. In “The Kontrabida,” she denies Steve the demanded conclusion. While the drugs he smuggled from New York for his dying father provide a relief of sorts, Steve is forced into reconsidering who’s who in his family’s own melodrama.

Worlds continue to be upended as Alvar’s characters move among the Philippines, the Persian Gulf and the United States. The Manila-born, New York-based author offers deft portraits of transnational wanderers, blessed and cursed with mobility. When connection is sought or arrives unbidden, the bonds turn out to be brief and terribly disruptive. In “Shadow Families,” the wives of engineers, doctors and diplomats stationed in Bahrain offer food, hand-me-downs and matchmaking services to fellow Filipinos who work as katulong, or helpers. Their smug noblesse oblige, hilariously conveyed by Alvar through the royal “we,” cracks with the arrival of the temptress Baby, who accepts their generosity but refuses to be cowed by it.

In “The Virgin of Monte Ramon,” the bullied Danny, who uses a wheelchair, finds solace in the appearance of Annelise, the indio daughter of a laundress, only to have the shaky ground of his identity collapse. At least Danny and Annelise enjoy a fleeting respite. Most of Alvar’s characters have to contend with more troubled fates.

In the “Manilachusetts” setting of “Old Girl,” an exiled Filipino senator, “Dad,” decides to run the Boston Marathon. He’s utterly unprepared, so his wife, “Mommy,” steps in to help, as she always has. Soon, Mommy reveals that Dad has a different significance in Manila: “Hero. Freedom Fighter. Prisoner of conscience.” In real life, Dad is Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., and Mommy is a self-declared plain housewife who’ll end up as president, Corazon, or “Cory". 

Alvar’s incursion into Filipino politics recalls Jessica Hagedorn’s novel “Dogeaters,” and Miguel Syjuco’s “Ilustrado.” But stylistically, Alvar’s elegant examination of the political wife is reminiscent of the long-suffering spouses and familial enablers of political men in Nadine Gordimer’s fiction. When Dad begins training, Mommy is saddled with ferrying their youngest child to school: “That’s been his one job, in the mushroom-­colored Chevrolet Caprice he has all to himself. (She and the children share a blue Dodge Diplomat.)” The parentheses almost tell the whole story.

After the earlier stories’ gripping tension, the muted pace of the novella “In the Country,” told through date-stamped vignettes, is initially jarring, then thoroughly heartbreaking. In 1971, Milagros Sandoval, a nurse, meets the reporter Jaime (Jim) Reyes at a strike she has organized to protest unfair wages. Jim asks her if she’s considered migration for better prospects. Milagros replies, “Your mother gets sick, you don’t leave her for a healthier mother.

”Their bond is sealed, but mommy Philippines is unwell. President Ferdinand Marcos clings to power, and dissent lands Jim in prison. Through elaborate signals during visits, Milagros takes dictation from Jim so that he may continue publishing articles. Alvar zigzags from Jim’s imprisonment to his release to the return of Marcos’s challenger, Ninoy Aquino. As tragedy interrupts Aquino’s comeback and seeps into the Reyes home, Milagros makes a displacing choice, echoing the decisions that set the collection’s other characters in motion. Clearly a writer with enchanting powers, Alvar wills us to crisscross the globe with them all over again. 

IN THE COUNTRY

Stories
By Mia Alvar
347 pp. Alfred A. Knopf. $26.95.


Source:

By J. R. RAMAKRISHNAN
The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/21/books/review/in-the-country-by-mia-alvar.html?emc=edit_bk_20150619&nl=books&nlid=20130276&_r=0

 

 

Invitation to FSMM-FAP Collaborative Summit

We have come together, resolved to unite Fil-Ams and Filipinos in diaspora everywhere for a Better Philippines for the Love of God and Love of Country.

Foreign Surgical Medical Missions – Fil-Am Patriots Collaborative

Cordially invites you

to a

Summit Meeting

on

Saturday, September 19, 2015

8:00AM to 12 Noon

Hosted by The North Central – Virginia Association of Philippine Physicians

in Richmond, Virginia

(Details to follow)

RSVP: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ASAP or by August 30, 2015 at the latest.

 
“Filipinos United for a Better Philippines for Love of God and Love of Country”

 

MISSION STATEMENT:


TO FOSTER COLLABORATION, COOPERATION AND PARTNERSHIP AMONGST FSMM GROUPS, FILIPINO ORGANIZATIONS, PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT AND ITS AGENCIES, PHILIPPINE BASED COLLEAGUES, HOSPITALS, MEDICAL SCHOOLS AND ORGANIZATIONS, TO DELIVER MORE EFFICIENT HEALTHCARE TO OUR POOR AND ALL FILIPINOS, IMPROVE LOCAL HEALTH EDUCATION, FOR LOVE OF COUNTRY.

VISION:

TO BRING PEACE, PROGRESS AND PROSPERITY TO THE PHILIPPINES AND ALL FILIPINOS THROUGH ALTRUISTIC AND SELFLESS SERVICE AS ABOVE, AS GOD'S INTRUMENTS  TO HELP TRANSFORM PHILIPPINE CULTURE OF CORRUPTION INTO ONE OF INTEGRITY, INDUSTRY, CHRISTIAN COMPASSION AND CHARITY.
 

Foreign Surgical /Medical Missions-Fil-Am Patriots Collaborative Summit

 8:00AM Saturday, September 19, 2015 Richmond Virginia

Tentative PROGRAM

I Call to Order

 II Invocation

 III Welcome

 IV Foreign Surgical/Medical Mission to the Philippines: Opportunities for Service  and Commitment to Make our Country Better

 V DOH Administrative Order, December 23, 2012 – The Latest. Rules and Regulations governing FSMM

 VI Report from the Philippine Ambassador Jose Cuisis, Jr., (Other Gov't Reps)

 VII Sustainable Private-Public Partnerships in the Philippines

 VIII Unifying FilAm Patriots – What will it take?

 IX Carrying On with the Mission in the Future

 A) Inspiring our Youth and Young Adults

Group Discussion: Topics: VII, VIII and IX

Group Reports

X Mandate for the Future:

A) Action Points

B) Organization and Structure

    1. Level Playing Field VS. Standard Officers

    2. Election

    3. Next Meeting

 XI Adjourn 


Source:

E Abay II, MD, FACS
Neurosurgery
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Pioneering Teacher Loline Lualhati-Reed Laid To Rest In London

Source:

Melissa Legarda Alcantara
Inquirer.Net
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/124840/pioneering-teacher-loline-lualhati-reed-laid-to-rest-in-london

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Loline Lualhati Reed, 1942-2015 CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

LONDON — A beloved Filipina pioneer and teacher, Loline Lualhati Reed, who dedicated her life to promoting international relations with the Philippines and improving the lives of Filipino migrant workers abroad, passed away at the age of 72. Her funeral took place here in London on June 16.

After suffering a brain aneurysm on the evening of May 25 2015, Loline slipped into a coma and did not regain consciousness. She was transferred to hospital and placed on life support while doctors searched for possible transplant patients, because she had wished to be an organ donor.

In the morning of May 27, when it became apparent that no suitable recipients could be found, due to her rare blood type for the UK, the hospital withdrew Loline’s life support. She passed away peacefully and without pain, surrounded by her immediate family of husband Kenneth, children James and Diana, and her son-in-law Nicolas.

Following Loline’s passing, Kenneth told his children, “She had a good life, a good death, and we all got to be there.”

Loline was born in 1942 in Taal, Batangas, at the ancestral house of her relative Marcela Mariño de Agoncillo. She was one of the original members of the Bayanihan National Folk Dance Company of the Philippines and later taught at the Philippine Women’s University in Manila.

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LAR (fourth from left) with Bayanihan, Theatre du Paris, January 1962.

In 1967, she married Dr. Kenneth Reed, an Australian micropaleontologist, at Malate Church, before moving to Lagos in Nigeria, where he worked for an oil company and she worked at the Philippine Embassy. Together the couple had two children, Diana and James, who are both based in the UK.

Loline was widely regarded for her invaluable contributions to helping Filipinos establish themselves in Europe, and especially in Britain. She was known for her passionate work as a board member of the Global Filipinos Diaspora Council, as president of the Inter-Cultural Society of London, as chairman of Welcome to London International Club and chairman of the Overseas Women’s Club.

Loline also co-founded the Filipino Women’s Association in the UK, and was instrumental in establishing a chapter of the English-Speaking Union (ESU) in the Philippines. Loline and her husband, Kenneth, hosted student participants at their own home when they came to compete in London ESU contests.

In the 1980s, Loline initiated and actively participated in campaigns against Philippine sex tourism and the trafficking of women and children. Through these campaigns, she became acquainted with the founding members of OFW charity, Kalayaan, in its fledgling days. Six years later, as the collapse of the Marcos dictatorship loomed, Loline was one of the two people who inaugurated the “Vote Aquino” campaign in Europe.

Loline’s tremendous accomplishments for her country did not go unnoticed. In 2006, she was honored with the Banaag Presidential Award, closely followed by the Nicanor Reyes Medal for Outstanding Work in International and National Service from the Far Eastern University of the Philippines in 2008; she received the Hall of Fame and CAPA Awards from the Philippine Women’s University.

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Lualhati Reed (in front) with Bayanihan, Itik-Itik at Winter Garden Theater on Broadway.

Loline’s daughter, Diana, set up a Facebook page in tribute to her mother’s memory. Hundreds of family, friends and acquaintances shared moving and personal memories of Loline, the warmhearted Filpina woman who touched their lives.

“I first met Loline when she helped organize ‘East Meets West,’ a concert featuring Ballet Manila,” wrote one family friend. “She worked very hard and was always very kind… A true lady and patron of the arts… a loving mother [and] a devoted wife… Thank you so much for the so many lives you have enriched just by knowing you.”

A fellow alumna of Far Eastern University recalled how Loline “would always find time to visit or help her alma mater whether by helping prepare current students to compete in the English Speaking Union or sponsoring expeditions to study the Tamaraw [in Mindoro].”

A former student praised Loline’s dedication and patience as her high school teacher. “Our class was very fortunate to have the then Ms. Loline Lualhati as our teacher in Literature,” they wrote with fondness. “She was a very good, understanding and accommodating teacher, that’s why she was well loved by her students… Ma’am Loline, I know you are happy where you are now. It’s been a great opportunity to have known you. Thank you, thank you.”

On June 17, 2015, Loline’s friends and family gathered at the Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception in Mayfair, London for her funeral. A tribute event in her honor will be held in London later in the year.


Source:

Melissa Legarda Alcantara
Inquirer.Net
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/124840/pioneering-teacher-loline-lualhati-reed-laid-to-rest-in-london

 

Internet voter registration system rolled-out for Filipinos in Asia Pacific

Source:
The Filipino Australian Staff
June 17, 2015

MANILA — The online system for voter registration, iREHISTRO, is now implemented in Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) missions in the Asia Pacific Region, the DFA announced recently.

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The system is a collaboration of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and the DFA Overseas Voting Secretariat (DFA-OVS) which provides another way of accomplishing forms for voter registration related process.iREHISTRO is available in the following Foreign Service Posts (FSPs): Philippine Embassies in Bangkok, Brunei, Canberra, Dhaka, Dili, Hanoi, Islamabad, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, New Delhi, Phnom Penh, Seoul, Singapore, Vientiane, Wellington, Yangon plus the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Osaka and Sydney.

“iREHISTRO is a historical evolution of the Philippine electoral process,” the DFA-OVS said.

Prospective applicants still have to appear personally at Foreign Service Posts or Mobile/Field registration sites, to sign and submit their duly accomplished printed form, and for biometrics capturing. In addition, the processed applications still have to be approved by the Resident Election Registration Board (RERB).

The COMELEC and DFA-OVS tested the technology last November 2014 in the Philippine Embassy in Madrid, Spain. The test was concluded in January 2015 with successful results.

Following the successful testing in Madrid, the COMELEC approved the implementation of iREHISTRO for the entire Foreign Service.

Regional training for Voter Registration Machine Operators in the Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Americas region has recently been completed.

Overseas Filipinos in the Asia Pacific, Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa region now have the option of filling up the forms from the comfort of their homes, workplace, internet café, or anywhere they have access to reliable internet connection.

The optional appointment feature of the system allows for better time management since it provides them an easy way to schedule their personal appearance at a FSP or Mobile/Field registration site.

FSPs also benefit from iREHISTRO. The optional appointment system if and when used can accurately inform the Post on how many registrants to expect on a given day, thus giving them a heads up on how to adjust for the walk-ins.

In addition, planning for outreach and Akyat Barko activities is made easier by the advance and relatively accurate head count. Efficiency is enhanced due to faster processing time resulting to potentially more registrants per day, with higher “customer satisfaction”.

All Filipino citizens who expect to be in the Asia Pacific, Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa during the thirty day (April 9 – May 9) overseas voting period for the 2016 national elections, at least 18 years old on  May 9, 2016, and not otherwise disqualified by law may now go to www.irehistro.com or www.comelec.gov.ph to access the iREHISTRO System to register as an overseas voter.

The voter registration period ends on October 31, 2015.


Source:
The Filipino Australian Staff
http://www.thefilipinoaustralian.com/news/index.php/2015/06/17/internet-voter-registration-system-rolled-out-for-filipinos-in-asia-pacific/
June 17, 2015

 

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