Monday, November 18, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

2013 IP Tiangge Sparks Typhoon Relief

Sampaguita group performing the "Sakuting"
dance during the Tiangge
Hello everyone,

I have a ton of things to things IP-related to share with you, but as you all might know, senior year is pretty darn tough. So bare with me, folks. The rocky road will soon even out, that is, once I get past January 1st (the college app deadline).  ;)

Yesterday was the annual Tiangge of New England, an event sponsored by IP to touch base with local pinoy entrepreneurs, organizations, and shoppers! Booths ranged from balibayan boxes to BKP to J-Mart to Keykes and to numerous other vendors selling food, Christmas parols, bracelets, and so forth. In the morning, I helped my Tita Veronica serve palabok for IP and the Rondalla make delicious halo-halo to raise funds for the Bohol earthquake victims. I have to say, the event was packed to the brim with Filipinos and friends of Filipinos from all over New England, trying to snag a taste at some delicious turon, kare kare, and lechon or bathe in the cultural aspects of the day through lively Christmas music, festive decorations, and performances by the IP classes and the rondalla.

Amidst the joyous din of laughter and music, however, an underlying concern became evident as the day went on. Just the day before, Typhoon Yolanda (also known as Typhoon Haiyan) swept through the Philippines, hitting Visayas the hardest by destroying 270 towns and villages, cutting off all electricity, services, food, and water, displacing 4 million people, and killing 10,000. WCVB - Channel 5 came by to interview a few Filipinos whose families are from the affected area.

With the Rondalla family at the Halo-Halo and drinks booth

This calamity has reached not only the Filipino-American community, but also the international community as some of my concerned friends have approached me on the same topic. With only two more weeks before break at my school, I've been pushing my Southeast Asian club to help by selling pens and asking for clothing and food donations. I know other local organizations are doing just the same. As long as this calamity ensues, our hearts will be facing the Philippines.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Day in the life of an IP Student

          Little black heads bobbing up and down as each kid chases one another and the sounds of laughter filling the halls. Yep~ Iskwelahang Filipino has officially begun!

     Every other Sunday, over seventy five students (and their families!) from all over the Boston area flock to the quaint town of Bedford, Massachusetts, where traditional Philippine elements of cooking, dancing, culture, and language are taught by mothers and fathers alike. All students are divided into five categories based on age: binhi - preschoolers, ilang-ilang - kindergarteners, sampaguita - elementary school students, Bonifacio - middle school students, and finally, Rizal - high school students. As a student of Rizal, I start the day off in cooking class. Everyone works together to create scrumptious dishes like pancit, adobo, sinigang, and so much more.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Storm Surge Hits Tacloban City, Philippines

Breaking News:

Tacloban City, Leyte has been facing major havoc since this morning's Typhoon Haiyan, known as Yolanda, swept through the city, turning streets into rivers. This is the strongest typhoon that the city has ever experience. Low-lying areas have been hit especially hard with the flood engulfing the first floor of many establishments. This clip from TV Patrol (in Tagalog) shows a news reporter standing in the midst of the typhoon. And according to Rappler, about 1,000 families have been evacuated from the city.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Southeast Asian Club performs the Tinikling!

Hey everyone,

I just wanted to tell you about a fabulous multi-cultural event that happened at my school a few days ago.

Last weekend was my school's annual International Fest Night. As the head of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Club on campus, I rallied a ton of my friends to help out with cooking, serving, modeling for the fashion show, and performing during the talent show that night. Our club cooked some scrumptious empanadas and Thai coconut soup for the food bazaar (after several trials in the kitchen), and we got the crowd to gaze in awe at our gorgeous costumes.

Fashion from across the globe all on one stage
However, I think everyone in the audience would agree that the most entertaining event that night was the annual talent show! To commemorate SEA Club's second year on campus, I decided to teach my clubs members the one and only tinikling dance from the Philippines! Boy, we worked on that song for waaaaay too long, but you've got to give them lotsa credit. None of the dancers are Filipino! For three weeks, my Indonesian, Singaporean, Chinese, Mexican and white friends struggled with me to figure out how to choreograph the tinikling dance for this performance. Nonetheless, with a little push from the audience and a few swollen ankles afterwards, they did it...and they did it quite well.

Enjoy our video of success ;)

Sierra Jamir