Pagudpud on my mind

Today I’m on travel guide mode. Bear with me as we visit a familiar place.

Some friends who have seen the Nordis weblog have asked us about the postcard-perfect photo that graces its masthead.

It shows a narrow strip of rocky shoreline where lush green mountain meets blue-gray sea. Along the shoreline, kissed by sun and salt spray, is a long stretch of concrete bridge, a viaduct gracefully winding through steep cliffs. Continue reading “Pagudpud on my mind”

The lugaw stall with no name

I’ve been eating lugaw (aka rice porridge, aka congee) all my life.

I started at home, associating lugaw with the usual spells of childhood flu, as standard bedside comfort food offered by my worried mother. Hence evolved my lifelong love affair with proletarian lugaw bangketa, savored with satisfaction in working-class districts and poor people’s markets, especially after I became a full-time activist in the early 1970s.  Continue reading “The lugaw stall with no name”

Working-class heroes, of the biker kind

Tour of Luzon 1966 and 1967 back-to-back champion Cornelio Padilla Jr. Note that competitive bikers back then didn’t wear helmets, just ordinary sun caps. Then as now, however, they still smelled of sweat. Image courtesy of Filipino Star News.

Sa ikauunlad ng bayan, bisikleta ang kailangan.—Ariel Ureta, popular radio-TV host in the 1970s

Ariel Ureta, forever associated with this motto under martial law, probably meant it as a harmless play or at most a subtle dig on the Marcos propaganda slogan, “Sa ikauunlad ng bayan, disiplina ang kailangan.” Rumors flew that Ariel was later called to Camp Crame and given a mild dose of Marcosian discipline by being made to bike around the camp for hours—a mere urban legend, as he himself recently clarified. Continue reading “Working-class heroes, of the biker kind”