12 Days of Bookbed Recs: ‘Sacred Hoops’ by Phil Jackson, Hugh Delehanty

by Bryan Meniado We often hear the names ‘Michael’ and ‘Kobe’ and equate them to greatness and legends in basketball. But little do we know about the man behind their respective Hall of Fame careers—Phil Jackson. Phil Jackson’s coaching is out-of-the-box and makes the game of basketball more than just that, a game. He makes it more of a way of life and a mindset. He is a follower of psychology, spirituality and philosophy and he integrates their differing lessons towards the ultimate goal of winning. Through this provoking memoir, he shows how meditation and being mindful transcend the individual…

12 Days of Bookbed Recs: ‘Rizal Without The Overcoat’ by Ambeth Ocampo

by Bryan Meniado Many of us learned about Rizal from our history classes in school and we assume we already know him. After all, he is one of our national heroes and, maybe, the most documented and venerated among them. But how much do we really know him? Ambeth Ocampo offers a different view of Rizal from what we learned from textbooks. He seeks to put Rizal down from the pedestal and revered statues, and know him as who he really was without the overcoat: a human being. Rizal Without The Overcoat, winner of National Book Award, revisits history as…

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…