MAR ROXAS & KORINA SANCHES SHARES 'HOW TO MAKE THE SEASON MEANINGFUL'

RICKY LO (photo): DILG Sec. Mar Roxas and wife Korina Sanchez: Give love and care during the holiday season I just got a very meaningful gift from DILG Sec. Mar Roxas and his wife Korina Sanchez, consisting of a booklet called Keep Calm and Carry On: 365 Quotes, Slogans and Mottos for 2014, a porcelain tray (of wise sayings) with a quotation from Winston Churchill (Meet Success like a gentleman; disaster like a man) and “25 Ways to Add Meaning to the Holidays” by Ken Wert.

ALSO: Bibingkinitan: Phl’s beloved cupcake

Before the arrival of cheeseburgers, doughnuts and pizzas, Filipinos loved to snack on native delicacies such as bibingka. Almost every street corner had a vendor who sold these delicious delicacies. Thanks to companies like FoodAsia Corp., native delicacies like bibingka have once again captured the attention of Pinoys. Through its more than 200 Bibingkinitan! stores spread all over the country, the company has not only revived local consumers’ love for bibingka but it also introduced Philippine cuisine to the world. Bibingkinitan! thus became the country’s favorite native delicacy.

ALSO: Gemma Cruz-Araneta Constantly rediscovered

It seems to us that part of the Gemma Cruz-Araneta mystique is borne out of the multiple talents she possesses, yet is never imposed on you. This, therefore, makes the discovery of yet another aspect of her personality that is fresh and exciting. Most familiar to most, of course, is Gemma the beauty queen, the impelling presence of a woman of mystery. The most unfamiliar is that of Gemma the writer, although she has published three books and has contributed to various publications. We were most pleased when she invited us to attend the historic reunion of Rizal descendants and launch of Jose Rizal’s Haec Est Sibylla Cumana book. Apparently, the book of oracles had been with Paciano Rizal’s family for 114 years, waiting for the right time to share it with the public. This was on Dec. 8, 2011, Rizal’s 150th birth anniversary. It revealed an irreverent and humorous Rizal, written during his exile in Dapitan 1892 to 1896 where he set up a school and, to keep his students interested in his lessons, invented this game called the Sibylla Cumana.


Mar & wife Korina: How to make the season more meaningful

MANILA, DECEMBER 16, 2013 (PHILSTAR) FUNFARE By Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 10, 2013 - DILG Sec. Mar Roxas and wife Korina Sanchez: Give love and care during the holiday season I just got a very meaningful gift from DILG Sec. Mar Roxas and his wife Korina Sanchez, consisting of a booklet called Keep Calm and Carry On: 365 Quotes, Slogans and Mottos for 2014, a porcelain tray (of wise sayings) with a quotation from Winston Churchill (Meet Success like a gentleman; disaster like a man) and “25 Ways to Add Meaning to the Holidays” by Ken Wert, so helpful that I can’t help sharing them with Funfare readers. Even if you must have read them somewhere, I guess you will love reading them again.

Here they are:

Research the history of the occasion and share what you learn with friends and family.

And let that be the ultimate gift and the ultimate meaning you attach to this wonderful, sacred, joyful time of the year.

* * *

Israeli-born Hollywood actress Gal Gadot, 28, has been tapped to play the role of Wonder Woman in Warner Bros.’ still untitled superhero team-up film of Henry Cavill as Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman, a sequel to Man of Steel, with a planned play date on July 17, 2015. Lynda Carter was the original Wonder Woman in the TV adaptation of the DC Comics serial.

Gadot was 2004 Miss Israel who competed that same year in the Miss Universe pageant in Ecuador, a batchmate of Bb. Pilipinas-Universe Maricar Balagtas. That’s what she has in common with Carter who was Miss Arizona in 1972 and 1972 Miss World USA who finished one of the 15 semi-finalists along with the Philippine bet Eva Reyes in the Miss World pageant in London. Gadot has served the Israel Defense Forces as a sports trainer for two years.

A close friend of the late Paul Walker, Gadot is best remembered as Gisele Harabo in Fast & Furious (2009), Fast Five (2011) and Fast & Furious 6 (2013). Upon learning about the offer, Gadot tweeted: “Wonder Woman! So exciting! Can’t express how happy I am!” Within hours of the announcement, Carter tweeted, “Congratulations to Gal Gadot!” — Reported by Celso de Guzman Caparas

Bibingkinitan: Phl’s beloved cupcake (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 9, 2013 - 12:00am


The Department of Tourism, through the Tourism Promotions Board (DOT-TPB) has recognized Bibingkinitan – the country’s favorite native delicacy – as the Philippine version of world- famous cupcakes. In a Memorandum of Agreement inked recently with FoodAsia Corp., owner and operator of Bibingkinitan, the DOT will be using Bibingkinitan! products in its successful “More Fun in the Philippines” campaign in the country and around the world. Photo shows FoodAsia president & CEO Richard V. Sanz (2nd from right) and DOT-TPB COO Domingo C. Enerio III (2nd from left) with Nedalin L. Miranda of the DOT-TPB (left) and FoodAsia COO Alex B. Rodriguez (right) at the accord signing.

MANILA, Philippines - Before the arrival of cheeseburgers, doughnuts and pizzas, Filipinos loved to snack on native delicacies such as bibingka. Almost every street corner had a vendor who sold these delicious delicacies.

Pinoys’ appetite for these native delicacies appears to have waned sometime in the 1980s when American fast food chains started sprouting all over the metropolis. The healthy bibingka and other native delicacies took a backseat to greasy and fattening burgers and fries.

Thanks to companies like FoodAsia Corp., native delicacies like bibingka have once again captured the attention of Pinoys. Through its more than 200 Bibingkinitan! stores spread all over the country, the company has not only revived local consumers’ love for bibingka but it also introduced Philippine cuisine to the world.

Bibingkinitan! thus became the country’s favorite native delicacy.

Just recently, the Department of Tourism (DOT), through the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), has officially recognized Bibingkinitan! as the Philippines’ version of cupcake. Under a Memorandum of Agreement inked between Food Asia Corp. and DOT-TPB, Bibingkinitan! products will henceforth be used in the government’s “More Fun in the Philippines” campaign in the country and around the world. The accord in effect signals the offering of food tourism in the country.

“I believe that tourism should not only be about visiting places, but rather the entire experience that we offer to tourists, which has to be both unique and memorable,” FoodAsia president & CEO Richard V. Sanz said.

“We call this concept ‘Food Tourism.’ This is why we do our part in promoting eco-tourism and we very much support the DOT and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) in promoting our beautiful country through our food, store network, and resources,” Sanz added.

Food Asia Corp.’s Bibingkinitan stores debuted in 2006. It offers mini-sized and high quality bibingkas that are priced competitively. Bibingkinitan! is now the country’s biggest bibingka and coffee chain.

Bibingka is a soft and moist rice cake made from 100 percent rice flour (galapong) topped with duck egg, cheddar cheese, and grated coconut. It’s a native delicacy that is consumed by Filipinos for merienda and is considered a special treat by those who attend the Simbang Gabi during the Christmas season.

The native delicacy is very unique to the Philippines and is healthier than fried snack foods.

Unlike fried snack foods, Bibingka is cooked using special ovens. What’s more, it is made of 100-percent rice flour. Some Filipinos like to put butter on their Bibingka to make it more savory.

DOT-TPB COO Domingo C. Enerio III said the government has decided to partner with Bibingkinitan! because of the potential of the private sector in promoting Philippine tourism. “Tourism should not only be an initiative by the government; the citizenry should be actively involved,” he pointed out.

As part of the partnership, Sanz said Bibingkinitan has started to expand its store network to the country’s airports, sea ports, and terminals to be able to make their products readily available and accessible to foreign visitors and local tourists as well.

Sanz said Food Asia Corp. plans to bring Bibingkinitan! to nearby Asian countries where the taste profile is similar to that of the Philippines. He said the company is currently ironing out a joint venture arrangement with prospective partners in Hong Kong and Singapore. If all goes well, Sanz said, the company may even branch out to the United States and Europe.

If the plan materializes, it will help boost efforts of the government to attract more tourists to the Philippines, more jobs for Filipinos and more revenue for industries that cater to foreign visitors.

“We want Filipinos to have a sense of pride in our local food,” Sanz enthused.

Gemma Cruz-Araneta Constantly rediscovered LIVE FEED By Bisby M. Carbalo (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 13, 2013 - 12:00am 5 705 googleplus0 0


Gemma as the Philippines’ first Miss International

It seems to us that part of the Gemma Cruz-Araneta mystique is borne out of the multiple talents she possesses, yet is never imposed on you. This, therefore, makes the discovery of yet another aspect of her personality that is fresh and exciting.

Most familiar to most, of course, is Gemma the beauty queen, the impelling presence of a woman of mystery. The most unfamiliar is that of Gemma the writer, although she has published three books and has contributed to various publications.

We are on a “Hi and Hello” basis as she doesn’t appear the kind to dwell on useless chika and neither are we. However, we know enough of one another as we would bump into each other at the Instituto Cervantes functions, here and there where most often she would go alone, minus the coterie less famous people surround themselves with. But naturally, she could do no less. Her heritage that goes back to Jose Rizal demanded such.

We were most pleased when she invited us to attend the historic reunion of Rizal descendants and launch of Jose Rizal’s Haec Est Sibylla Cumana book. Apparently, the book of oracles had been with Paciano Rizal’s family for 114 years, waiting for the right time to share it with the public.

This was on Dec. 8, 2011, Rizal’s 150th birth anniversary. It revealed an irreverent and humorous Rizal, written during his exile in Dapitan 1892 to 1896 where he set up a school and, to keep his students interested in his lessons, invented this game called the Sibylla Cumana.

It is said, however, that the best way to know a person is through his writings — stories, letters, novels, musings.

While leafing through a collection of rare Filipino publications at a bookstore recently, we came upon Sentimiento Fiction & Nostalgia/Katha at Salamisim written by Gemma Guerrero Cruz. It was released in 1995, published and distributed by Anvil, printed by Cacho Hermanos, and had English and Filipino text with Virgilio Almario as translation editor.

But before it came to this, the handsome 288-page book took a circuitous route that involved many translators and illnesses along the way. While in the car, we started reading the chapter on Sentimiento that covered 57 pages including Filipino translation and didn’t stop until we were finished. The late Blas Ople mentions the story in his foreword as the first-prize winner in the Philippine Graphic short story competition. It was certainly one of the best discoveries we have made.

It took two years for the book with its translations to see the light. The requirements from Gemma were tricky. She wanted the text in English to cover one page, and on the opposite page its translation in Filipino. It was so difficult for translator Virgilio to find the exact words in English on the left page that would correspond to the translation in Filipino on the right.

For instance in Sentimiento, the left page began with Gisela’s statement “Love is the absence of thought” and ended with “He would ask, repeatedly, why I wanted him when I had so many men in the palm of my hands.”

The right page read, “Ang pag-ibig ay kawalan ng pag-iisip” and ended with “Tanong siya nang tanong kung bakit siya ang aking nagustuhan samantalang ang daming lalaking magpapakamatay para sa iyo.” We marvel at Virgilio’s aptitude and diligence in facing this task. But he quickly demurs in his own introduction, “Inaamin ko, hindi ako laging matagumpay sa paghahanap ng katapat.”

The Myth or Ang Mithi is another bittersweet romantic tale that had won third prize in a short story contest conducted by The Philippines Free Press.

It was longer than Sentimiento at 83 pages and was set in the British Isles where the heroine went to school and carried on an affair with Luis Retajanara, a rebel from Puerto Rico.

It showed off Gemma’s significant knowledge of history and practices from various countries around the globe as she would people her tale with a Cambodian prince, a Chinaman from Hong Kong, someone from Burma, just as she would include the practice of the rich and landed in the Philippines to marry off their daughters to the similarly political rich barons of Mindanao in order to protect their territory.

Of course, the love story would end in tragedy as all historically based love stories do until they remain but a memory.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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