Different Faces of Pepe

JOSE RIZAL, the national hero of the Philippines and pride of the Malayan race, was born on June 19, 1861, in the town of Calamba, Laguna. He was the seventh child in a family of 11 children. Both his parents were educated and belonged to distinguished families. His love for his country, and his observations of Spanish rule impassioned him to speak out about injustice. He was a peaceful man and used the power of the pen to express himself. It would eventually lead to his imprisonment and his execution on December 30, 1896. Aside from the information we get from books, what other things do we know about our national hero? Here we try to discover the different facets of Jose Rizal; his life, love and works.

The Oldest Churches in the Philippines

The Philippines is considered to be the only catholic country is Asia primarily because of the influence by the Catholic faith brought about by the Spanish discovery and occupation of the country. The numerous basilicas and cathedrals scattered along the region reflects the strong catholic influence among Filipinos.

Here are some of the Old Catholic churches in the country you may want to visit:

San Agustin Church of Manila - located inside the historic walled city of IntramurosManila. The church was completed by 1607 and it is the oldest church still standing in the Philippines. The San Agustin Church was one of the four Philippine churches constructed during the Spanish colonial period to be designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO , under the classification "Baroque Churches of the Philippines". It had been named a National Historical Landmark by the Philippine government in 1976.

Metro Manila Film Festival 2011

    The 37th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) is the annual film festival in Manila that will be held from December 25, 2011 until the first week of January 2012. During the festival, no foreign films are shown in Philippine theaters in order to showcase locally produced films. Since its Christmas time and we have more to spare, why not patronize our own locally produced movies. So if you are thinking of what film to watch, here are the official entries for the Metro Manila Film Festival:

Pampanga's Best (Giant Lantern Festival)

     The Giant Lantern Festival (Ligligan Parul) in San Fernando Pampanga is an annual festival held every December (Saturday before Christmas Eve) showcasing the city’s most famous product – Parol. Every year, different barangays compete for the most elaborate giant lantern. Because of the popularity of the festival, the city has been called the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines”

Food for the Noche Buena Table

     Noche Buena which literally means “Good Night” refers to the night of Christmas Eve. This is a very special event for Filipinos because this is the time where family and friends come together for a very special and sumptuous Christmas dinner. This usually comes after the entire family has attended the late evening Christmas Eve mass or Misa de Gallo. So if you are still thinking of what to prepare for Noche Buena, here are some of the country's well-loved food items that usually find their way to the tables of Filipino families.

My Top 5 Filipino Christmas Songs


Star ng Pasko is the title of ABS-CBN’s Christmas Station ID featuring their brightest stars hailing the real Star of the season “Bro”. The inspirational song “Star ng Pasko”, as sung by Kapamilya Singers, is written by ABS-CBN Creative Communication Management Head, Robert Labayen with music composed by Marcus and Amber Davis.

Simbang Gabi: A Filipino Christmas Tradition

     Simbang Gabi is a nine-day Roman Catholic ritual novena performed in the Philippines which starts from December 16 and ends on December 24. Simbang Gabi, which translates to Evening Mass is usually performed as early as 4 or 5 in the morning. The last day of the Simbang Gabi, which is Christmas Eve, is called Misa de Gallo, which literally means "Rooster's Mass"

Gift Ideas this Christmas Season

     Christmas in the Philippines is one of the biggest holidays in the country. It has earned the distinction as the world’s longest celebration of the Christmas Season starting as early September and lasting up until the Epiphany in January. Christmas season is a time for family, a time for friends, a time for thanksgiving, a time for sharing and everyone's favorite, a time for gifts. In spite of knowing that you want to give a gift, sometimes figuring out what you should give is difficult. If you are in a dilemma, here are some of the most popular Christmas gifts that will inspire you to choose the right one for your loved one.

Popular Tiangges in the Metro

     A tiangge is a Filipino version of flea market where price-conscious shoppers are attracted to get cheap and good buys. Since Christmas is fast approaching, here are the hottest bargain spots in Metro Manila for your shopping spree.

1. Divisoria
     It is a market district in the heart of the City of Manila known for its wide assortment of low-priced goods and wholesale and bargain shopping. Clothes, accessories, toys, decorations, pirated films and music, electronics, fruits, dry goods, school, office and household supplies, fabrics, textiles, crafts, novelties, decorations and “everything under the sun” can be found in Divisoria, making it “the mecca of value shopping” and “the mother of all markets in Manila.” It is considered one of the National Capital Region's premiere economic centers, as street shops, tiangge-style bazaars and shopping malls (Tutuban Center Mall, 168 Shopping Center, Divisoria Mall, Tabora) are all found here

Mary the Immaculate

     The Immaculate Conception of Mary is a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church, according to which the Virgin Mary was conceived without any stain of original sin.
     The proclaimed Roman Catholic dogma states "that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin".Being always free from original sin, she was from the start filled with the sanctifying grace that would normally come with baptism after birth.

Vote for the Puerto Princesa Underground River

     Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan is composed of a long mountain landscape and a beautiful, breathtaking subterranean river that winds through a cave that has been carved into shape by a giant hand of nature. So it comes as no surprise that the Puerto Princesa Underground River has made it as one of the 28 finalists in the global search for the New 7 Wonders of Nature.     

Higantes Festival of Angono

     Higantes Festival, also known as the Feast of San Clemente, is celebrated every November 23 in the town of Angono, Rizal. This is a major festival in honor of San Clemente, the patron saint of fishermen. His image is carried by male devotees during a procession accompanied by "pahadores" (devotees dressed in colorful local costumes or fishermen's clothes, wearing wooden shoes and carrying boat paddles, fish nets, traps, etc.) and "higantes" (paper-mâché giants measuring 10-12 feet in height and 4-5 feet in diameter). This street event ends in a procession to Laguna de Bay until the image is brought back to its sanctuary. The Higantes Festival is part of a two-week long celebration of the Angono Town Fiesta. Activities include a Misa Cantada (a special sung mass), novena, song and dance contests, fried "itik" festival and cooking competition, a 5k Fun Run, on-the-spot painting contest, art exhibit, job fair, bingo and videoke challenge, and of course, the highlights of the festivities -- the Race of the Higantes and the Procession of the Pagoda.

Pinay Beauty & Brains of 2011

SHAMCEY SUPSUP - Miss Universe 2011 3rd Runner-Up    
    Shamcey Supsup, a native from General Santos City joined Binibining Pilipinas 2011 and won the Binibining Pilipinas-Universe title during the coronation night held at the Araneta Coliseum on April 10, 2011. This victory entitled her to represent the Philippines at the Miss Universe 2011 pageant held in Sao Paolo, Brazil, on September 12, 2011 in which she was declared third runner-up
     During the question-and-answer portion, judge Vivica A. Fox asked Supsup, "Would you change your religious beliefs to marry the person you love? Why or why not?" Supsup answered: "If I would have to change my religious beliefs, I would not marry the person that I love. Because the first person that I love is God, who created me. I have my faith and my principles, and this is what makes me who I am. If the person loves me, he'll love my God too." The Filipina beauty was also an early favorite in the competition. Supsup received the second highest fan votes for the swimsuit and evening gown competitions. She was also voted as the number one fan favorite online.

6 Ways in Cooking Adobo

     If the Philippines had a national dish, it would be Adobo. Adobo is the name of a popular dish and cooking process in Philippine cuisine that involves meat marinated in a sauce of vinegar and garlic, browned in oil, and simmered in the marinade. It is a tasty dish that leaves everyone, Filipinos and non-Filipinos craving for more. How many ways can you cook adobo? There are as many adobo recipes as there are Filipinos so here are some you can try on.

Manila, I Keep Coming Back to Manila

1. RIZAL PARK , also known as Luneta Park is a historical urban park located in the heart of the city of Manila, adjacent to the old walled city of Manila, now Intramuros. The park was a tribute to the Philippine's national hero, Jose Rizal.  Rizal Park is like an oasis for relaxation and fun in the midst of Manila. It has Chinese and Japanese gardens, Orchidarium and butterfly pavilion, chess plaza, a grand stadium, an observatory, an open-air concert hall, an artists' sanctuary, a light-and-sound theatre, restaurants, food kiosks and playgrounds, and dozens of fountains.

The Kerygma Conference

     The first Kerygma Conference was held in 2007. It is a brainchild of Catholic lay preacher and author Bo Sanchez, and is a three-day event in Manila and a one-day event in Davao and Cebu. KCon includes worship, entertainment, talks, Mass and healing – and in such an inspiring way that more people have come back year after year. From around 5,000 participants in 2007 at the Philsports Arena in Pasig, about 15000 people attended last year’s conference in Manila, Cebu and Davao. In 2009, a one-day conference was started in Cebu. Last year, another was begun in Davao. KCon 2011 promises to be another life-giving event and has been dubbed “The biggest inspirational conference in the country.” Fellowship, inspiration and fun come together on November 18 to 20. It will indeed be glory time!

Sino si Bob Ong?

    Bob Ong is the pseudonym of a contemporary Filipino author known for using conversational Filipino to create humorous and reflective depictions of Philippine life. His actual name is not known. The pseudonym Bob Ong came about when the author was working as a web developer and a teacher, and he put up the Bobong Pinoy website in his spare time. When someone contacted him after mistaking him as an actual person named Bob Ong, his famous pseudonym was born. The site received a People's Choice Philippine Web Award for Weird/Humor in 1998, but was taken down after former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada was ousted after the Second People Power Revolution.

Trick or Treat (Pinoy Style)

     Popularly identified as "All Soul's Day", this is the day set apart in the Roman Catholic Church for the commemoration of the souls of the faithful departed. It falls on the 2nd of November although; most Filipinos celebrated it as early as November 1. The tradition is said to have started in the 10th and 11th centuries and was based on the (Catholic) doctrine that "prayers of the faithful on earth may help purify souls in purgatory.
     Trick or Treat has been a customary Halloween tradition. Children in costumes travel from house to house in order to ask for treats such as candy with the question “Trick or Treat?” The trick is usually a threat to perform mischief on the homeowners if no treat is given. But here in the Philippines, our own version of Trick or Treat reflects our traditions in celebrating All Soul’s Day.

Remembering Filipino Saint, Blessed and Venerable

     Popularly known as "Undas or Todos los Santos", All Saints’ Day is the day set apart in the Roman Catholic Church in honor of the saints, known and unknown. It falls on the first day of November and a national holiday in many Catholic countries, including the Philippines.

Saint Lorenzo Ruiz is the first Filipino venerated in the Roman Catholic Church. He was martyred during the persecution of Japanese Christians under the Tokugawa Shogunate in the 17th century for declining to leave Japan and refusal to renounce his Roman Catholic beliefs.
St. Lorenzo Ruiz is considered the Patron Saint of the Filipino and Chinese Filipino youth. The Feast of St. Lorenzo Ruiz is every September 28. Before he died he reputedly said:

“Isa akong Katoliko at buong pusong tinatanggap ang kamatayan para sa Panginoon, kung ako man ay may sanlibong buhay, lahat ng iyon ay iaalay ko sa Kanya.”

Tuloy po kayo! Welcome to Everything Pinoy!

Tuloy po kayo is a tagalog phrase which means "come in, you're welcome". It is a sign of respect and filipino hospitality. It is usually said when a filipino host welcomes a guest inside their house . It symbolizes warm reception of visitors in their family and in their way of life. Everything Pinoy is an online magazine which aims to provide information on filipino traditions, beliefs and culture. It also boasts on delectable filipino cuisine and must see places in the Philippines. Tuloy po kayo sa Everything Pinoy!

Maraming salamat sa pagbisita, balik po kayo!

El Gamma Penumbra's Shadow Play with the song Piliin Mo ang Pilipinas