What is Filipino?
Author Archives: alexfelipe
I had my first article printed in the Toronto Star while on this trip about the homecoming of the body of deceased Filipina caregiver Juana Tejada. Sadly they didn’t print my photo, but it was all quite a learning experience.
[*this is another historical tidbit that, like all good history, still contains lessons for us today…]
I like to look at archival photos every once in awhile. There’s something about seeing images from the past that grips me. The long dead faces, and old–almost foreign–landscapes tell stories.
I was interested in this photo from 1909 instantly, two Filipino indigenous men, captives of colonized Filipino soldiers working for the Americans. One of the bound men had a look that seemed to me fearful, while the other seemed proud and defiant. The caption under the photo only told me that they were the killers of Dr. William Jones.
Who was this Dr. Jones? What was he a doctor of? What was he doing in the Phils and, presumably indigenous territory? And, of course, why was he killed? Continue reading
***This is an older story. It’s a travel story from my very first trip back home in 2001. As the collective is younger and newer to the Philippines than yours truly, I though it would be good to share a memory from when it was all new to me as well. It’s an email I wrote my friends. I was less than a month into my travels, the trip would last almost 2.5 years. I read this and I remember a younger me…
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Monday June 11, 2001
I have come to realize that the psychological aftertaste of testicle lingers far longer than the actual physical flavour… but I am getting ahead of myself. Please let me restart from the beginning of the story. Continue reading
My recent run in with the military has resulted in a concern from people both in Canada and here in the Philippines. Even the NGO peeps I work with that deal with this sort of situation all the time have been asking whether I’m ok, whether I was afraid. People have even gone to call me brave. Very strange.
It was 4am, the sun was still a long time from rising, and rain was falling when I woke up to make breakfast with the one other guy in the group. We were in Balinak, Ligao, Bikol, a town at the end of the road—literally.
The single paved lane wove around the rolling hills of the land around Mt. Mayon, it ended at the basketball court of Balinak, a simple village that still consisted of many nipa hut homes, a village with a sad recent story.