The Roces Family Around the World

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I've been really busy with work and haven't had much opporunity to work on putting together the pictures from the trip. I've been able to cull out the Morita's Restaurant pictures but the rest really need TLC to put together.

I was trying to upgrade the forums to the latest vbulletin and the security patch update and in doing so blew up the system. I was going to recover it, but then thought to myself,"Remember the feed back that people have given you is that it's difficult to navigate and use for non-computer people."

In that vein with the little spare time that I do have, I've been testing a different presentation software. The new software will incoporate this blog along with the forum and photo gallery in a more simplified, easy to navigate front end system. (At least I hope.) If I can at least get the blog transferred over before Christmas I'll be happy with that and then I can get the rest of the intergration after the New Year.

One of the other things that I think is interesting is that since I've not had any time to work on this project, I seem to have had a memory leak. As I look at some of the coding and technical items I'm not remembering how they work or what I need to do to modify them the way that I had been. I just need to spend more time with this and hopefully I will be able to soon.

In the meantime... Here's a movie of my wife Dori petting a tiger cub in the Malabon Zoo. (warning dialup users it's a 6Mb quicktime video!)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Anak TV Seal screening process winds up

Anak TV Seal screening process winds up
First posted 09:23pm (Mla time) Nov 11, 2005
By Nestor Torre
Inquirer News Service

EACH YEAR, THE Anak TV screening process winds up with a media showcase that gives print and broadcast journalists a chance to see how the nationwide screenings for the prized citations of child-friendly shows unreel.

This year's culminating trip is happening this weekend, with the help of Negros Navigation and the office of the Mayor of Bacolod City. Some media people sailed yesterday on the MS/St. Joseph the Worker. They are currently in Bacolod City and will be back in Manila tomorrow.

Young viewers' welfare
During the trip, they are observing how Anak TV screenings are conducted, and learning what people from all walks of life think
about television, particularly in relation to young viewers' welfare.

Onboard the Negros Navigation vessel, they are interviewing MTRCB Chair Consoliza Laguardia, and interfacing with Southeast Asian Foundation officials, led by president Edgardo Roces, and trustee Sulficio Tagud Jr.

In Bacolod, they are taking a city tour, visiting scenic sites, and sampling the city's delicacies. More pertinently, they will attend a media conference hosted by Mayor Evelio Leonardia and the city's councilors. At the event, the mayor will make an official statement about television as it affects Bacolod children.

We have joined a similar "educational trip" in the past, and can vouch for its effectivity in helping media people better appreciate the importance of encouraging the production and viewership of TV shows that have a positive effect on young people.

Even better, we saw for ourselves that many parents, educators and youths in the provinces are very concerned about irresponsible and exploitative TV programs, because they realize the persuasive power of television over young viewers' sensibilities.

At the Anak TV screenings, they launched into extensive discussions of the sample programs they viewed, and detailed how they impacted on

Not perfect
To be sure, the Anak TV process isn't perfect. Last year, for instance, a few of the programs cited left something to be desired (at least as far as this writer was concerned).

But the process generally works, and goes a long way in involving the
viewing public in vetting programs that young viewers get to see. This is "broadcast democracy" at work, and should definitely be encouraged.

So, our hopes are high that the 2005 Anak TV Seal citations will encourage the production of more responsible TV programs, and that more media people will give SEAFCTV's signature project the support it deserves.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


, November 8, 2005 (OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY) ) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo congratulated today several outstanding indigenous groups and individuals who have made the Philippines proud by garnering recognitions and awards here and abroad.

The President hailed the awardees for showcasing the best of the Filipino during a special courtesy call this afternoon at the Rizal Hall of Malacanang.

"They represent the best of the Filipino and indeed there are so many that represented the best of the Filipino… We congratulate all of them. They all represent the great Filipino worker, the great Filipino. Thank you for inspiring us and may we continue to produce more of the great Filipino," the President said.

Among those present during the simple ceremonies were Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila, UNICEF Director Nicolas Alipui, national artists Napoleon Abueva (visual arts) and Dr. Alejandro Roces (literature), and Presidential Assistant on Culture and concurrent National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) executive director Cecile Guidote Alvarez.

Leading the awardees is the Xilworks team of the Far Eastern University (FEU) that won the Jaycees International Best Business Plans of the World contest last Oct. 28 in Vienna, Austria.

The team, composed of Ruth Michelle Ariem, Alexis Lozano, Michael Estorninos and their adviser Prof. Ramon Adviento, bested over 200 business plans from around the world with their clean technology of extracting silver from spent x-ray solution.

Other awardees are ABS-CBN news anchor Karen Davila whose feature "Batang Preso" (Juvenile Prisoners) in the investigative program "The Correspondents" bested 50 other entries from the Asia-Pacific region in winning the "UNICEF Child Rights Award" last October in Hong Kong;

GMA7 news anchor Rhea Santos and host of "At Your Service" television program for bagging the Gold Camera Award, the highest award given in the 38th US International Film and Video Festival, one of the world’s highest honors in audio visual competition held last June. The show’s "Under the Sea" episode, which taught a fishing community how to build an artificial coral reef as an alternative means of livelihood, bested 1,300 entries from 30 countries under the Community Development Genre category;

The Philipine Educational Theater Association (PETA) received last October the 2005 Japan Foundation’s Special Prize for Culture and Arts, the first for the Philippines, for its significant role in international cultural and artistic exchange and carrying out educational and community building efforts in Asia;

Ms. Malou Jacob, who was among this year’s recipients of the SEAwrite Awards, Asia’s most prestigious literary prize given by the Princess of Thailand in Bangkok last month;

Jacob’s book "Anatomy of Corruption" talks about the values and the re-thrusting necessary to fight corruption. "Juan Tamban," one of her plays about a street child who eats cockroaches to survive, received critical acclaim.

Visual artist Romulo Galicano, who bested 2,000 other painters from around the world in winning the grand prize of the 2005 International Portrait Competition hosted by the Portrait Society of America in Washington, D.C. last May 2005;

His winning entry, a 30x40 oil painting portrait of Eddie Chua, a businessman and friend, was a perfect example of temporary realism – a fusion of realist and abstract art discipline.

Christian choral group Coro Cantabile which received the Club UNESCO Citation during this year’s 7th Multi-ethnic Cultural Festival in Greece;

Shirley Halili-Cruz School of Ballet, for bagging a total of 67 awards and gold trophies in the different dance categories in the 7th Asia-Pacific Dance Competition in Singapore.

The President, who issued Presidential Proclamation No. 486 observing the whole month of October as Indigenous People’s Month, also congratulated the awardees in this year’s "Search for Outstanding Indigenous People’s Leadership (S.O.I.L.) that was given by the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP).

They are Baguio City’s Cecile Afable (education and media), Iloilo’s Romulo Caballero (arts and culture), Pangasinan’s Inocencio Carganilla (entrepreneurship/livelihood), Mountain Province’s William Claver (peace, human rights and environment), and Zamboanga’s Justino Tiban Awid (public service/community leadership).

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Today is All Saints Day. If I recall correctly there is an honor guard ceremony for Raphael "Liling" Roces Jr. and the others that were martyred during WWII. I'm currently reading Looking For Liling: A Family History Of World War II Martyr Rafael R. Roces, Jr. written by Alfredo "Ding" Roces. It's been a fascinating read so far.

Looking For Liling: A Family History Of World War II Martyr Rafael R. Roces, Jr.

Cemeteries are a time capsule of RP history, culture
First posted 03:17am (Mla time) Nov 01, 2005
By Jerome Aning
Inquirer News Service

IN LIFE, they helped shape the course of Philippine politics and culture. In death, their graves serve as guideposts to history.

Statesmen, politicians, military leaders, men and women of arts and letters, pioneers, martyrs and heroes come alive in the narratives of tour guide Carlos Celdran.

Once a year, Celdran takes local and foreign tourists to the Manila North, Chinese and La Loma Catholic cemeteries where the remains of some of the most outstanding Filipinos are interred. The three cemeteries are contiguous and combine to become Metro Manila’s biggest and most populous necropolis.

The final resting places of these illustrious Filipinos range from the ostentatiously elaborate to the self-effacing. Some reveal the architectural design or materials of a lost era.

Amid crosses and statues of Madonnas, saints and angels, Celdran recounts anecdotes about the dead while standing in front of their graves.

The greatest concentration of historical figures are at the Manila North and La Loma cemeteries. Three Presidents --Sergio Osmeña, Manuel Roxas and Ramon Magsaysay -- are buried there.

The cemeteries also host national politicians, like Claro M. Recto, Quintin Paredes, Pablo Ocampo and Benito Legarda, as well as Manila Mayors Arsenio Lacson, Antonio Villegas, Felix Huertas and Manuel de la Fuente.

Giants of arts and letters

Giants of Filipino arts and letters are represented by painter Felix Resurrecion Hidalgo, composer Julio Nakpil, architects Arcadio Arellano and Nakpil’s son Juan, and show biz personalities from the early 19th century up to “Da King of Philippine Movies” Fernando Poe Jr.

Before larger cemeteries were set up elsewhere in the metropolis, Manila North was the resting place of the Who’s Who of Philippine society, the scions of political clans, eminent academicians, big businessmen, sportsmen and famous entertainers.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s mother-in-law, Lourdes Tuason-Arroyo of the influential Tuason political clan, is buried at Manila North.

Through the years, many remains of VIPs have been exhumed and re-interred in shrines in their hometowns.

Only in April this year, the remains of First Lady Aurora Aragon-Quezon joined those of her husband, President Manuel Luis Quezon, originally a “resident” of Manila North, at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.

The following month, the remains of Potenciano Gregorio Sr., composer of Bicol’s popular love song “Sarung Banggi,” were reburied in his hometown of Sto. Domingo, Albay.

A mausoleum is dedicated to the veterans of the Philippine Revolution and the Filipino-American War, like Trinidad Tecson, Pio Valenzuela, Tomas Mascardo and Baldomero Aguinaldo.

The Thomasites

A graveyard honors the Thomasites, the American teachers who pioneered modern public education in the country and were behind such institutions as the Philippine Normal University in Manila and Silliman University in Dumaguete City.

Celdran related that the teachers, who arrived in 1901 and worked in major provinces, were unaccustomed to the local climate and thus died from assorted tropical diseases.

The tomb of the well-loved American Governor General, Francis Burton Harrison, is at La Loma at the boundary of Caloocan and Quezon cities. He was known for “Filipinizing” the country’s bureaucracy and accelerating the Filipinos’ training in democracy and responsible government.

A cherub guards the simple grave at Manila North of flyweight champion Pancho Villa, who fought in the United States in the 1920s and is considered Asia’s first boxing superstar.

Simplicity is also the theme of the mausoleum of the noodles magnate Ma Mon Luk at the Chinese Cemetery.

Melancholy air

A melancholy atmosphere hovers over the plot of the La Salle Brothers who were massacred by the Japanese during the Allied Liberation of Manila in World War II.

The same is true at the mass grave of the 20 Boy Scouts who died when their plane crashed in the Indian Ocean while they were on their way to the 1963 World Jamboree in Greece.

During World War II, the Chinese Cemetery witnessed the executions of prominent citizens, like Girl Scouts organizer Josefa Llanes Escoda, Chinese Consul General Yang Guangsheng, star athlete-turned-guerrilla spy Virgilio Lobregat, and writers Rafael Roces and Manuel Arguilla.

At the La Loma Cemetery lies the tomb of convicted rapist Leo Echegaray, the first to be executed by lethal injection in 1999 when capital punishment was restored. The heated debate about the death penalty, which divided the country, is conveyed by his epitaph that contains his last words: “Pilipino pinatay ng kapwa Pilipino.”

The Manila North Cemetery also contains the country’s only known Jewish cemetery, where each tombstone is marked by a Star of David. The cemetery also has spaces allotted for Freemasons, as well as aborted fetuses and abandoned dead infants.

While Manila North seems to have lost its image as the country’s premier cemetery due to congestion and urban pollution, the Chinese Cemetery, also in Manila, has remained popular among the ethnic Chinese.

Chinese Cemetery founder

Founded in the 1850s by Lim Ong and Tan Quien Sien, also known by his Christian name, Carlos Palanca, the 54-hectare Chinese Cemetery contains graves that tell of the wealth and social status of several generations of deceased.

Mausoleums can be as high as two stories. Some resemble temples and pagodas, while others can only be described as “grave villas.”

Those in the sections dubbed Millionaire’s Row and Little Beverly Hills contain comforts for the living, such as air-conditioning, hot and cold water, radio and television, complete kitchen appliances, flushing toilets, chandeliers and even mailboxes.

The dead are remembered in accordance with Catholic practices mixed with Buddhist, Confucian or Taoist traditions on honoring ancestors. Visiting family members offer food and burn incense sticks and paper cuttings before sepulchers that display portraits of the deceased.

Celdran told the Inquirer that over the years, the elements and general neglect have caused some of the tombs in the three cemeteries to deteriorate.

“Of course, there are some graves that are in bad shape, but most of these are run by the private families that own them. It’s the fault of the individuals rather than the government which is why [tombs are] deteriorating,” he said.

Celdran said the Chinese Cemetery was generally “still in pretty good shape” since it is run by a private organization known as the Chinese Charitable Organization.

Losing architectural flavor

He added that some Chinese tombs were fast losing their architectural flavor as many high-priced lots were being partitioned and sold to newcomers.

However, many La Loma tombs, including the St. Pancratius Church, are in disrepair because of lack of funds.

City Hall has been busy fixing up Manila North. The cemetery has a new entryway and an annex to accommodate more graves.

Many squatters have also been removed and resettled.

“Nevertheless, all three cemeteries are still worthy of a visit,” Celdran said, noting the growing number of tourists, guided or unguided, going to the cemeteries.

Culture experts say cemeteries are among the last places altered by forces of economic progress and development. Like historic artifacts, cemeteries tell what life was like in the past and how it continues to evolve.

They are, in a way, a time capsule of Philippine history and culture.