Monday, May 18, 2015

Summer 2015: A Return to the Homeland & PinoyJeep

Hello PinoyJeep Followers!

Almost eight months have passed since my last post for PinoyJeep (a writer’s block that hasn’t gotten any better over the past year). So first, I must apologize for the bareness, and secondly, I would like to inform you that I'll be returning to the Philippines in just a few weeks, which means I'm back!

Almost two years ago, I created PinoyJeep to document our IP Rondalla Tour to the Philippines. Now, two years later, I will be returning with eight other Filipino leaders from universities across the US for an 8-week internship and learning experience. This fellowship is Kaya Collaborative's first step toward its mission of reconnecting Filipino diaspora youth with opportunities for transnational action in the Philippines as it will be spent with homegrown social ventures and local community partners to design solutions in bridging the disconnect between diaspora and home. After the summer, we will be launched back to our diaspora networks to engineer and implement this reconnection at scale.  I am excited and eager to share my personal stories on this trip as we embark on this mission.

With that said, I will be using another blogging site to update you on my personal journey this summer. Please check out Sierra’s Jeepney Ride.

Thank you for all of your support these last few years. I cannot express how important your views have been to making PinoyJeep a success, and though it has been tough keeping on track, it is always worth the effort knowing that we have viewers like you, eager to follow our journey. 

With much love and excitement for the future of the Philippines!

Sierra Jamir

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Beginning of A New Year at IP

Every year, on a Sunday afternoon in September, Filipino families flock to Bedford, MA, for the first time to commence the school year at IP (Iskwelahang Pilipino).  Last week was the first Sunday of the IP year, and we all delighted in once again seeing old friends, and welcoming new faces to the community.  There was excitement and anticipation (of merienda) in the air, as everyone mingled together as a community for the first time since the Lowell Folk Fest.  We had some fun ice breakers, during which we all had a laugh and got to know one another a little better. We left having had lots of good food and laughs.  I can't wait to see what experiences we'll have this year.  Here's to another great year at IP!

Monday, September 1, 2014

15 Famous Filipino Universities

With colleges starting in the United States and high school seniors beginning their college process, PinoyJeep decided to compile a list of a few famous universities that are known to many in the Philippines. Maybe you've heard of University of the Philippines or Ateneo, but have you ever heard of Mapúa or Siliman? Maybe you've heard a few from your Filipino friends and family. Maybe not. There are plenty of universities scattered throughout the 7,101 islands, and this list is only a handful of universities we know. Hopefully, though, this will trigger your interest in learning about other Filipino schools, and maybe you'll decided to study there! So, in no particular order, here are a few  famous universities in the Philippines!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

PinoyJeep's Top 15 Filipino Desserts

Filipinos live and breathe food. It's all we talk about at parties and dinners, and desserts are no exception. To honor the Filipino love for sweets and candy, the PinoyJeep bloggers compiled a list of their top 15 Filipino desserts to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Moment That Never Should've Happened: Ninoy Aquino Day

Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. (1932 - 1983)

Hello Again Readers!

        August 21st is Ninoy Aquino Day, marking 31 years since his assassination. Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. was as a prominent critic of the Marcos regime, whose unconstitutional rule declared martial law. His political dissidence led to incarceration, as predictable in any autocracy. Fortunately, he was granted an exile to the United States due to medical purposes, but he would not be allowed return to the Philippines. After three years, he did just that, despite impending imprisonment. Many Filipinos believed that upon his arrival, Marcos was destined to fall. Sadly, things turned for the worst as Ninoy disembarked his plane, leaving him vulnerable in the open. He was shot behind the head.
       Most of the public suspects Marcos responsible for the brutal murder, if not his wife Imelda. If the killing was arranged by the government, its effects were backfiring, as many Filipinos protested in outrage. They took to the streets peacefully, following the nonviolent approach encouraged by their deceased leader Ninoy. The dictatorship toppled, and the widowed Corazon Aquino would establish a democracy that was non-existent during martial law.


A wounded Ninoy is carried to safety.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

New Mission Statement

Hello Lovely Readers,

In light of our new direction, the staff at PinoyJeep have produced a mission statement, clearly defining our goals and purpose. Like any well-run organization, it's important to maintain some type of structure. The following can be found in the About Us page:
At PinoyJeep, our team of bloggers and participating writers engage in what it means to be Filipino. We share our perspectives of heritage through articles and submitted entries, at the same time discussing culture, history, and language. In addition, PinoyJeep strives to interact with Filipino communities based throughout the New England region. Our work includes reporting on local events and affairs, most notably Iskwelahang Pilipino and its Rondalla Ensemble. Finally, we encourage strengthening our relationships with Filipinos back home by community service. 

"Here Lies Love" - An Imelda Marcos Musical

Having seen a few broadway shows before, I had never come across such a multi-sensory, audience-involved performance as this one. It's hard to explain, exactly, but I hope my perspective will give a sense of why. 

For more information visit: Here Lies Love Website

"Here Lies Love" Playbill and tickets
When Carsyn told me about a musical based on Imelda Marcos during a gathering, I assumed this would be a rather low-budget, high strung performance. I mean, it’s Imelda Marcos, the woman with 1,000 shoes who, in my mind, seemed an odd person getting the spotlight (seeing as our conversation at the time was on the crux of Filipino politics).

However, as any proud Filipino would do, I researched it that night and impressed by the reviews and stunning short videos of the show, I convinced my mom to buy tickets and head to New York City a week later.

The Public Theater is located near the heart of Cooper Union in Lower Manhattan. Having stayed at home for the last few weeks, ascending the three (or so) floors to the small, intimate stage took a bit of effort, but once at the top, we were treated with a neon-purple shrine with Catholic ornaments and pictures of Imelda Marcos scattered next to the stairwell. It only got better.

‘Here Lies Love,’ a disco party, high-energy musical took us back to Imelda Marcos’ beginnings -- from her small life in Leyte to the indulgent Malacañan Palace. With David Byrne (from The Talking Heads) and Fatboy Slim as the brains behind the production, you can never expect anything of the normal.There was nowhere to sit, not that it was ever needed. A disco ball hung from the ceiling, neon colors and blaring dance music kept us on our feet. We were literally forced to dance (crazily) in circles and on stage, as actors interweaved into to the crowd and people in jumpsuits moved piece of the stage into differents shapes and sizes.

Sierra in front of the Public Theater
The cast of mainly Filipinos, brought to life not only the history, but also the palpable feeling of millions of Filipinos during this period. I was stunned to see Jose Llana play the corrupt Ferdinand Marcos (he was at IP not too long ago for the Tea Musical!) married to the indulgent Imelda Marcos (Jaygee Macapugay). I felt empowered when Benigno Aquino (Conrad Ricamora) fought for justice and disheartened when he was killed right before our eyes. We were not just audience members. We were the people at Marcos’ inaugural speech, in Imelda’s crazy New York dance parties, on television, in protests, at Aquino’s funeral and at Imelda’s exile. We were there.

Projection of Imelda 
Although the story follows Imelda’s life of rags to riches, it is ultimately a story about the people who suffered at the cost of Imelda’s desire to be loved. It’s about those who pitied Imelda as a child. Who supported her when she left Leyte. Cheered when her husband won a landslide victory and eventually retaliated when Imelda’s love for glamor and ritz soured her own love for the Philippines. In the fashion of dance steps and disco balls, we understood.

Descending the three or so flights of stairs, I couldn’t get the main tune out of my head, even as we rode the subway back to Queens where our car was parked. “Here Lies Love.” Imelda had once said she wanted this written on her tombstone. It’s a paradox. Either it could mean, “Here, there is love,” as in it is right in front of us, or, “Love is a liar.”

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New Kid on the Blog: Carsyn Fisher

As PinoyJeep continues to grow, we will be adding new perspectives, interests and ideas each and every week on all-things Fil-Am. One person who will make this happen is this girl. Welcome Carsyn, our third PinoyJeep Blogger! - SJ

Hello everyone!

I am so excited to be writing blog posts for PinoyJeep, because being a Filipino-American is an important part of how I identify myself, and writing is one of my passions.

Daughter of a Filipino immigrant, I've lived in Massachusetts my whole life and have never had the opportunity to visit the Philippines, but Filipino culture still remains a strong aspect of my home life because I live with my Lola (grandmother) and there's always Filipino food in my house. In addition, I attend a Filipino cultural school every other Sunday, where I was first introduced to the Filipino community as a younger kid.  It's like having a second family.  From this blog, I hope to share my pride in being a part of this Filipino family and discuss the Filipino culture in New England. I hope to soon travel to the Philippines, and I would love to do a mission trip there sometime!

I attend an all-girls high school about 45 minutes from Boston, and honestly I love it. In school, I love history and English. I would love to study law, journalism or political science in the future.  International relations in particular interests me.  Outside of school, I spend most of my time running (3 seasons of cross country & track), reading (I live precariously through literature), and eating (I'm Filipino, what did you expect?).  I love reading about current events, gardening, traveling, playing sudoku, playing with my dog, and wearing plaid.  I'm a sophomore, older sister, vegetarian, and proud feminist. And I can't wait to have more adventures on PinoyJeep!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

New Look for a New Jeepney

Hey PinoyJeep followers,

Hope you love the new layout as much as we do! We still need to expel a few bugs, but for the most part, we hope you're dazzled by how our creative fingers pulled off something like this! We're revamping our outdated layout and adding a bit of flare to our design. Thumbs up?

With plenty of changes occurring before the inevitable first day of school and the cold, dreary nights that come with it, we're trying our best to make a new, striking image for "PinoyJeep" and prepare a great line-up of all-things Fil-Am while we're still free.

 CLICK HERE to subscribe to PinoyJeep: Young Fil-Ams of New England!


p.s. If it weren't for the coding-half of it, I probably could pull off a sideline in graphic design, that is, unless you think this layout reeks of baby doodles and cave paintings...I hope you at least say cave paintings. That would be nice...

Friday, August 8, 2014

Meet Miguel, the New Guy!

We've had a number of feature writers over the few months PinoyJeep has been around, however, we have never had writers who are eager and determined enough to take full responsibility of becoming a regular PinoyJeep blogger! Meet my new sidekick, mi amigo, Miguel! - SJ

p.s. Also look for more info about our writers, Sierra and Miguel, in our "Meet the PinoyJeep Bloggers" page. 

Blogger #2 is on board!