At the Center for Philippine
Studies, a component of the School of Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies of the University of Hawaii
at Manoa, I gave a presentation on “Images of Cordillera Through Visual Ethnography”. My one hour lecture consisted
of a showing of my video documentaries and discussions on Cordillera arts, rituals, customary practices including ancient
practices in agriculture and forest management. I was also asked to discuss indigenous notions of peace and war and luckily,
my lecture materials included the “Sipat” in Mt.
Data where then President Corazon Aquino had a ceremonial peace talk
with the rebel priest Fr. Conrado Balweg in 1986. The attendees were particularly struck when I discussed present day happenings
such as tribal conflicts. I narrated one incident when one of my students at the University of the Cordilleras-BCF asked for
permission to go home because of a growing tension between their village folks and neighboring ethnic groups in Kalinga.
I joined the BIBAK-Hawaii in
their post Valentine party at a Moanalua Community
Center and I provided an impromptu entertainment of songs while serving as toastmaster. I brought
with me a portable Bose powered speaker, a 7 inch LCD monitor, a Radioshack mini mixer, a compact DVD player with an Ilocano
sing-a-long discs and a Magic Sing microphone. I sang “Achy Breaky Heart” while the BIBAK members danced a modified
LA walk. Angel Galas serenaded his caucasian wife and the evening party lasted at past 10 complete with gong playing, short
talks and fine dinner. Half of the hand woven bags that Rovilyn Mayat-an consigned to me were sold during that evening.
Courtesy Call at Honolulu City Hall
I called and introduced myself
to Joey Manahan, a friend of Baguio lensman Kulot Leprozo
who works at the Honolulu Hale as a Neighborhood Assistant. We had a fine chat over a drink of beer and he showed me some
hangouts in downtown Ala Moana. At a busy district called Ryan’s, we chanced upon his boss, Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hanneman
who stands 6’8” tall. The mayor extended his hand to me as I was introduced to him by Joey. He reminded Joey about
the upcoming arts program and trade expo in December. During my scheduled courtesy call at city mayor’s office, Hanneman
was busy preparing for state-of-the-city address scheduled the next day so I was met by Executive Advisor to the Mayor Jeff
Coelho and Joyce Mina Oliveira, a Filipina local who serves as Hanneman’s executive assistant. Oliveira was with Hanneman
when Honlulu officials visited Philippines
in 2005. She expressed sadness for not being able to go to Baguio
on that state visit. As a citizen of Baguio
and a member of the Philippine International Sisterhood Ties-Baguio Chapter, we discussed possible joint programs and tie
ups. Coelho and Oliveira briefed me on the upcoming Trade Expo this December that is being spearheaded by the Philippine Chamber
of Commerce of Hawaii. More on upcoming postings...