Posts tagged ‘filipino’

La Flor de Manila

Watch Ax Daliva play La Flor de Manila on his violin
I must be getting homesick, but if there’s something I can’t get out of my head at the moment it’s the Filipino song, La Flor de Manila or what’s currently referred to as the Sampaguita. it’s a song extolling a flower of the jasmine variety that became the national flower of the Philippines.

According to Wikipedia, La Flor de Manila was composed by Dolores A. Paterno who was born in Manila on March 10, 1854 and died on July 3, 1881 at the age of 27. She was the sister of Pedro A. Paterno, a Filipino nationalist and author of the Pact of Biak-Na-Bato where the Spanish government and the Filipino revolutionaries reached an agreement in 1897 to end hostilities.

It was said that Dolores was inspired to write it one moonlit evening when the Sampaguita filled the air with its sweet fragrance emanating from the family garden. She immediately sat down at the piano and the melody just came out of her fingers. Her brother Pedro wrote the lyrics based on their mother’s poem. The song eventually became one of the most popular Filipino classics of all time.

Whenever I hear the Sampaguita, my thoughts go back to college days. It’s not only because the marching band used to play it on special events, but also because college reminds me of that time when we become entitled to all the perks of adulthood with our parents footing the bill.

dolores a. paterno
dolores a. paterno/wikipedia


For a long time, I was wondering how Dolores Paterno looked like. Thanks to the internet, I finally found the above portrait painted by Justiniano Asuncion in 1870. Hopefully, more pictures and details about her life will be discovered and become available to the public in the future.

April 14, 2014 at 8:34 pm 9 comments

My First Valentine

Charlie Brown – Charles M. Schulz
I was in the second grade in the Philippines when I came of age as far as valentine is concerned, thanks to a classmate who sat in the front row of our class. She was really cute, especially when she came to school in a white dress and a flower on her shoulder-length hair.

[ thought of giving her a valentine card that year. But when I asked my mother for money, she refused. She said I was too young to be thinking of such things. It was a lesson learned. It was an instance when honesty didn’t pay. I would have had better luck if I said it was for ice cream instead.

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February 10, 2014 at 12:44 pm 24 comments

In Memoriam

in memoriam

This month marks the fifth anniversary of my cousin’s death. She was the daughter of my father’s elder sister. On October 27, 2008, she succumbed to a virus infection that ravaged her body weakened by leukemia and chemotherapy.

On the night she passed away, friends and relatives came over to visit her at the hospital as usual. They said their good-bye for the night, hoping against hope they could see her again for another day. But as the last one said good-bye, she also said her good-bye to this world.

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October 27, 2013 at 8:19 am 15 comments

Eye of the Beholder

megan young

Megan Young – Philippine Daily Inquirer
Megan Young is a Filipino-American beauty queen who was crowned Miss World 2013 in Bali, Indonesia. She was born in the U.S. and moved to the Philippines at the age of 10 with her family.

She is beautiful, well mannered and talented. She deserved to win.

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October 6, 2013 at 10:56 am 14 comments

Footloose in Belgium

I had an invite to visit Belgium from a Filipino family living in Brussels. Since I was already in Paris, the decision to accept it was a no brainer. It was a trip that would only take less than two hours by train.

I’m glad I went. Belgium is a beautiful country with many interesting places to see. In addition, the trip gave me an opportunity to bond with Filipinos who have made it their home.

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August 13, 2013 at 11:49 am 2 comments

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