A road map to the past

It’s June 12, 2011. Yet another Philippine Independence Day.

Boxer Codex
Visayan Pintados ("the painted ones"), the Boxer Codex, 1590

Again, Filipinos here and all over the world will celebrate, commemorate, cerebrate, maybe exonerate a couple of historical villains here and there, and perhaps commiserate with each other for what our country and people have achieved, or not achieved, since that fateful day 113 years ago.

Media (including Internet media) will be awash with historical or at least wannabe-historical pieces about our country’s past.

I, of course, being a Filipino — and a history buff at that — will join the June 12 hordes. But I have a special agenda. Continue reading “A road map to the past”

I refuse to vet and to curate

I don’t know how the new techie terms began to overpower our common vocabulary. But here they are, overwhelming us like an unannounced summer deluge. You can no longer get out of your house without wading into their treacherous deeps.

A high priest of data abracadabra
Unlike this ancient high priest of the Temple, the modern high priests of the online world are expert in vetting and curating and leveraging.

You still wondering what I’m talking about? I’ll give you three examples.

Vet. Time was when an animal doctor vetted a brood of poultry or a stock of cattle. Which meant, basically, that the poultry or cattle population were kept healthy by selecting those stocks that passed a certain criteria, by preventing disease outbreaks, and by culling out those that are unhealthy.

Now you see the term being bandied about everywhere, from public governance (“A committee was assigned to vet the Cabinet appointees…”) and corporate HR (“He vetted his staff closely…”) and to data (“Make sure to always vet your sources.”) In short, appointees are no longer screened. Staff support is no longer evaluated. And data sources are no longer graded. Nowadays, they are all vetted.

Continue reading “I refuse to vet and to curate”

Ilocano children’s rhymes before we all forget

Dumalneg grandma with tobacco
An old indigenous woman from Dumalneg with tobacco, much like my own grandma from Dolores-Lagangilang used to smoke. Writing and researching a blog piece on Filipino children's games has led me to jog my own memory about so much folklore that Lola Julita, my mother's mother, had taught us as little children.

Writing and researching a blog post about Filipino children’s native games has led me to jog my own memory about so much folklore that Lola Julita, my mother’s mother, had taught us as kids.

A lot of it was stories about legends and myths of the Northern regions, about Angngalo, Lam-ang and Ines Kannoyan, about the alsados from upstream, about plain folk doing extraordinary things, sometimes funny, sometimes noble.

Regretfully, I have forgotten most, having listened to them while half-asleep since my Lola was my frequent baby-sitter and bedtime storyteller when I was a toddler.

Some of the Abra lore she shared were not really stories but riddles, sayings, native doggerel, and nonsensical verses—probably mnemonics that helped our ancestors memorize stuff while having fun at work.

Continue reading “Ilocano children’s rhymes before we all forget”