Istorya: This cultural worker is preserving Filipino heritage through education

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 2, 2019   •   869

Entering Leo Emmanuel Castro’s room is like stepping into the National Museum, except that the ethnic musical instruments that adorn his space are not merely for display.

When Leo starts playing one of the instruments, its melody evokes visions of an ancient time defined by an indigenous Filipino culture untouched by Western influence.

Leo is a cultural worker and the executive director of Sanghabi.

Not only does Leo teach the Philippine ancient script, Baybayin, he also educates anyone who wants to learn about Filipino culture.

“Minsan ang ating kamalayan nagu-umpisa lang sa pagdating ng mga Kastila, nakakalimutan na mayroon tayong kasaysayan bago sila dumating,” he said.

Sometimes we think our history started when the Spaniards arrived, forgetting that we do have a history before they arrived)

Despite discouragement from other people, Leo continues his passion to preserve the Filipino culture and pass it on.

Leo reiterates the importance of knowing one’s heritage in seeking self-improvement.

“Paano ka ba naging Pilipino? Doon naka-base ang iyong pag-unlad bilang tao kung anoman iyong success na mararating mo. Ano ba iyong pinanghahawakan mo sa iyong sarili, sa kultura mo?” he said.

(How did you become a Filipino? Your journey to self-development and future success is based on understanding your heritage. What cultural values are you holding on to? )

Catch Leo’s full story at Istorya on November 2 at 5:00 p.m.

Take a glimpse of Filipino, American courage at the Battle of Manila exhibition

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 4, 2020

The courage of our fallen heroes will never be forgotten.

The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, in partnership with Intramuros Administration, launches Allies for Freedom: Portraits of Filipino and American Courage in World War II.

A gallery of the Battle of Manila can be viewed until March 31 at the American Barracks at Fort Santiago. This is in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Manila.—AAC

Intramuros exhibit commemorates the Battle of Manila

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 18, 2020

In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Manila, an exhibit will feature the history of one of the atrocious battles during World War II.

The exhibit will be featured at Plazuela de Sta. Isabel in Intramuros, Manila and will run until September 5. It is brought to the public by the Intramuros Administration along with the Memorare Manila 1945 and the Philippine World War II Memorial Foundation.

The 29-day Battle of Manila, from February 3 to March 3 1945, saw the destruction of Manila in exchange for liberty from the Japanese forces.

Over 100,000 were brutally killed by the Imperial Japanese forces, some were bayoneted, raped and others were burned alive in their houses.—AAC

Istorya: Lola weaves paper dress for apo’s costume for school program

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 22, 2019

A grandparent’s love are forehead kisses, freshly-washed blankets, and good food. It is rest after hours of playtime and the warmth inside a hot chocolate during a rainy day.

Lola Eva Duave is among the group of women who weaves paper in Smokey Mountain.

At first glance, one might think of her as a child. Lola Eva is too small for his age. Her back is also hunched and she has a missing toe.

But despite these things that she lacks, she is still full.

She is full of hope. Lola Eva said they could not afford a doctor to determine her condition and she doesn’t mind.

“Nabubuhay pa rin ako. Kahit ganito binibigyan pa rin ako ng Dios ng lakas ng katawan kahit maraming naranasan (I’m still alive. Even if I am like this, God has still given me the strength amid difficulties),” she said.

She is full of talent. Among the things Lola Eva is proud of is her work in weaving paper. She can weave bags among other things.

According to Lola Eva, most of her works are bought by foreigners.

She is full of love. Lola Eva still found the time to weave a dress made of paper when her granddaughter needed a costume and they didn’t have the money to buy one.

Catch the full story on Saturday, November 23 at 5:00 p.m. on Istorya.—AAC

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