Why Filipinos Should Read: ‘Heneral Luna,’ ‘Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral The History Behind the Movie’

by Bryan Meniado This October, we are celebrating National Museum and Galleries Month and National Indigenous Peoples’ Month. Once again, we are reminded of our roots and identities. At the same time, we are approaching the centennial of Philippine cinema and there’s no better way to express our enthusiasm than to watch high quality Filipino films. With this, I want to highlight the recent phenomenon of Jerrold Tarog’s historical biopics Heneral Luna (2015) and Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral (2018), which have awaken our slumbering interest in history. And as an avid follower of kasaysayan, I am thrilled to see that Filipino historical…

Why Filipinos Should Read: ‘Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success’ by Phil Jackson

by Bryan Meniado The Philippines is undeniably a basketball-crazy country, and the recently concluded NBA season, where Kevin Durant’s Golden State Warriors reigned anew over LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers, only proves how crazy we are for the sport. Even if you are not into basketball, you couldn’t completely evade or disregard some of your friends’ social media posts on which team they were rooting for. What’s more is that nightly news programs kept us on the loop on this annual event of national importance. That shows how basketball is deeply ingrained in our society and culture. (Read “Why Filipinos Should…

Why Filipinos Should Read: ‘Wars of Extinction’ by Arnold P. Alamon

by Bryan Meniado October is National Indigenous Peoples Month. This annual observance serves as our reminder to celebrate diversity, to appreciate our cultural roots and, of course, to commemorate our country’s indigenous peoples. However, apart from this seemingly jovial commemoration, we should see this as an opportunity to know more about the plights of our indigenous communities. In spite of the existing Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act law, the indigenous peoples remain to be among the most vulnerable and marginalized sectors of our society. They suffer from poverty, violence, discrimination, human rights violations and the lack of access to basic social services….

Why Filipinos Should Read: ‘Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies’ by Jared Diamond

by Bryan Meniado This August, we celebrate Buwan ng Mga Wika. This is the time when students showcase their talents in Balagtasan and writing competitions for the promotion and appreciation of our national language. It is also the best time for every Filipino to be proud, not only of our language and literature, but also of our culture and history. Now, not everyone is fond of history, especially with some of our experiences in learning it in school. Memorizing a litany of forgettable facts? Most of us have been there. It’s tedious to remember all the names and dates, right? Who…

Why Filipinos Should Read: ‘The Anti-Development State’ by Walden Bello

by Bryan Meniado While there are many good reasons to be proud of being Filipino, there remain deplorable realities happening in our society. Poverty, violence and politics, among others, continue to taint our nation and identity. Many have grown tired of the failed promises of elected officials saying they will make the country great. Some of us have even already given up, saying “wala nang pag-asa ang Pilipinas” with heavy sighs and downcast fists. We blame corruption, we blame our kababayans for their lack of discipline. But as hopeless as it may seem, losing hope is not an option. We should…

Why Filipinos Should Read: ‘Pacific Rims’ by Rafe Bartholomew

by Bryan Meniado It’s the month of love, and we hear kilig stories here and there, so I thought I’d talk about something that many of us Filipinos can relate to: our love affair with basketball. We play it on the computer and on the streets. We cheer from our living rooms and from the sidelines. We talk about games and players and teams and coaches. We go all out, local or international. Even NBA stars that visit the country are in awe of how crazy we are about basketball. Now, that’s something we can tag as #MayNanaloNa, huh? But why? Why are we so engrossed with basketball?…

Why Filipinos Should Read: ‘The Design of Everyday Things’ by Don Norman

by Bryan Meniado Have you ever encountered doors you don’t know whether to push or pull and ending up doing the wrong action? I’m fairly sure that many of us have, and in such occurrences, we normally blame ourselves, or somebody else, for the blunder. But is it really our fault… or is it the door’s fault? It may sound absurd for some to blame the door. But with the countless bloopers committed by many, it’s safe to say that bad doors, or the so-called Norman doors, are everywhere. So yes, we can free ourselves from guilt because that annoying door is…

Why Filipinos Should Read: ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Dawkins

by Bryan Meniado It’s Rizal Day today, and while I would like to discuss our national hero, I would like to talk about something that is related to the bigger event we are celebrating, which is the holiday season. I remember this instance wherein I was browsing at a bookstore from months ago. I came across a book called The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins at the Religion section. It sat there slyly, in between different versions of the Bible andOur Daily Bread booklets, which I found intriguing and silly at the same time. Despite its hefty price tag, I bought the copy….

Why Filipinos Should Read: ‘Nation, Self and Citizenship’ by Randolf David

by Bryan Meniado The past weeks have been a roller coaster of national drama for us Filipinos. We have been stormed by the ongoing investigation on the notorious Bilibid drug trade, which has several interesting subplots, as well as the sudden and controversial burial of the late president, Ferdinand Marcos, at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, which prompted protests from the anti-Marcos groups. Although it is tempting for me to pull the history card once again for this month’s article, I opted to settle with an equally stimulating subject of sociology. Randolf “Randy” David’s book, Nation, Self and Citizenship is an…

Why Filipinos Should Read: The ‘Looking Back’ Series by Ambeth Ocampo

by Bryan Meniado I’ve always had the penchant for history. My favorite subjects in school were in line with sibika at kultura, kasaysayan and araling panlipunan. I even ended up earning a degree in anthropology, which is the study of humans and, to an extent, a sibling of history! But while I am fascinated by such, I understand why many people I know don’t enjoy history. For example, my classmates back then hated it. The way it was being taught was not enjoyable, or even interesting (at least in public schools); it was always that students had to memorize hundreds of…