Tag Archives: Filipino culture

Bowl of rice - Photo by kittenpuff via morgueFile

Beyond adobo and rice

This was the first feature I wrote that didn’t include anecdotes in the article. I initially sent Susan Quimpo a list of about 20 questions. She very tactfully suggested I send her a shorter list.

Bowl of rice - Photo by kittenpuff1 via morgueFile

Source: morgueFile

Being a second-generation citizen is characterised by a dichotomy that resonates differently from the experiences of one’s parents. For most naturalised (first-generation) citizens, this dichotomy is acquired by choice. We can balance the memories of home with the reality of our new country of residence. For our children, who are born overseas but live a different cultural experience than their peers, growing up a product of two or more cultures can be a struggle that their parents and grandparents may not easily understand. Continue reading

Homeward bound

This editorial piece was written to introduce the April/May 2006 issue of PINOYexpats, which I compiled and edited. The theme was ‘Homeward Bound’.

As expatriates, our perspective is inescapably coloured by memories of home. The stories in this issue of PINOYexpats explore the myriad ways in which we find ourselves bound to the Philippines, the home of our hearts. Continue reading

Sydney on sale

When my family first arrived in Sydney, even 20c lollies seemed like a rip off. ‘What? That’s almost four pesos. Ang mahal naman!’ the adults would exclaim as they marched around the grocery with a calculator, feverishly converting dollar prices into pesos. It took years for us to stop thinking in pesos and refrain from the mental gymnastics required to do exchange rate calculations in a blink of an eye. No wonder so many migrant children do well in Maths.

It’s been a long time since I went shopping with Mum and her calculator, but I still feel a twinge of alarm when I buy any item of clothing over $50. With my mortgage and child, sometimes even the credit card company is alarmed. Continue reading

The passport in my PC

I pledge allegiance to the IP and the protocols for which it stands.

I don’t do cigarettes, drugs, gambling or orgies. I do the Internet. I have to: I’m a cybercitizen.

At uni, my friends dreamt of going on safari, riding a gondola or trekking the Himalayas. I just wanted to go to Canada to see dexx, my cyber pal. I spent at least $50 a week to log on at the library and chat in the Filipino room at wbs.com. I’m convinced that taking up Computer Science—and free access to lab computers—saved me from bankruptcy.
Continue reading

Her Son, Jose Rizal - June 2010

Her Son, Jose Rizal (Gala performance)

This was a review of Her Son, Jose Rizal performed by a local Filipino community theatre group. This piece went through a lot of revision, but it didn’t quite suit the publication I was aiming for.

Her Son, Jose Rizal - June 2010The sold-out gala performance of Her Son, Jose Rizal, written by renowned Filipino artist Leonor Orosa-Goquingco, was an extravaganza of music, colour and emotion. Goquingco’s one-act play is a brief but powerful look at key moments in the life of Jose Rizal, the Philippines’’ most celebrated patriot. Four scenes are linked by soliloquies of an older Rizal (Manny Diel) in prison and show various stages of Rizal’’s life as a boy (Elijah Merjudio) and a young man (RJ Rosales).

A sense of expectation hung in the air as the lights dimmed at the Tom Mann Theatre in Surry Hills. Diel opened the play from one corner of the stage, an anguished Rizal on the brink of martyrdom. Although director Armando Reyes seemed heavy-handed with these speeches, the spectre of Rizal’’s prison cell, ever present downstage, remained a deliciously foreboding presence. Continue reading

Bowl of rice - Photo by kittenpuff via morgueFile

Developing an Aussie tastebud

Food is one of the cornerstones of Filipino culture.  Imagine the shock of Vegemite on toast.

Think of quintessential Pinoy cuisine and an entire feast comes to mind.  We have pancít palabok, adobo, sinigáng and, for dessert, ube, kutsintâ, and bibingka.  And that’s just for starters. When I think of quintessential Aussie food, I think of … well, Vegemite and Tim Tams.

Vegemite is a national icon.  Trust the unofficial Aussie national food to be made from by-products of beer manufacturing.  Continue reading