Category: Heroes

Achilles Heel, Greek Legend

Nymph Thetis holding Achilles by the heel , Walker Art Gallery – Liverpool, photo by JMorton

 

Achilles Heel, Greek Legend

I love the look of the statue.  It was one of many beautiful statues on display at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

The statue gives credence to the legend why the Greek hero, Achilles, has a vulnerability, although becoming the greatest warrior of Homer’s Illiad.

Achilles was the son of an immortal nymph, Thetis and a mortal (person) Peleus, the King of Myrmidons.

Apparently it was foretold by the oracle that their son will die very young.

Thetis and Peleus went to great lengths to protect Achilles.

Thetis took the baby Achilles and completely submerged him to the river Styx  except for his heel, which he was being held.  Apparently this ritual would make him invulnerable.

Achilles was valiant as a warrior until he was shot on his heel by Paris during the bloody Trojan War.

Achilles heel had come to mean ‘Point of vulnerability“.

 

 

 

Recipe: Karneng Asada para kay Jose Rizal

Meat Asado for Jose Rizal

Another scrumptious recipe from our favourite GMAnetwork channel television.  The recipe below is apparently for Jose Rizal.

Jose_rizal_01

José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda (June 19, 1861 – December 30, 1896)

Probably not really for him as he has been dead for more than a century. He was executed by the orders of Spaniards at Bagumbayan (always be known to be as Luneta or Luneta Park, which is now known as Rizal Park) more than a century ago for alledged inciting Filipinos to take up arms against the Spaniard, who had colonised the Philippines for 333 years.

Filipinos honour Rizal for his many accomplishments, his intelligence, his novels, his arts, his knowledge, his medical background and most especially for inspiring common Filipinos who had been downtrodden and enslaved by the Spaniards.

Rizal has a an exhaustive written materials that includes his two novels, Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) and El Filibusterismo (The Filibuster) which so inspired the likes of Andres Bonifacio (Jury is still out, whether he should really be the National Hero and not Rizal) that he founded KKK (Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalangan Katipunan ng Mga Anak ng Bayan – my rough tanslation being: Highest, Most Honoured Organisation of the Children of the Nation, LOL).

karnengasada-inside33

INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds beef sirloin, cut into 3-inch cubes

2 tablespoons lemon juice (or calamansi juice)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 large potatoes, sliced into French fries

2 large onions, sliced in rings

1 tablespoon spring onions, chopped

3 tablespoons oil cooking oil for deep-frying

PROCEDURE:

Marinate the beef in calamansi juice, soy sauce, Japanese soy sauce, salt and pepper for 30 minutes.

Heat oil, sear the beef on both sides.

Simmer the marinade and the beef until tender.

On another pan, deep fry the potatoes until crisp.

Fry onions for a minute.

Place the cooked beef on a plate and arrange potatoes on top together with the onion rings.

Sprinkle with spring onions.

– See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/entertainment/shows/idolsakusina/articles/2014-06-09/10649/Recipe-Karneng-Asada-para-kay-Jose-Rizal#sthash.hKt2SPYn.dpuf

12 June – Philippines Independence Day

Happy Independence Day, Philippines!!!

12 June – Philippines Independence Day

Today, 12 June 2014, marks the 116 anniversary of the Philippine independence



Yes we are Filipinos and we should be proud. The men and women above gave us reasons to. Why then are we letting some known corrupt men and women, who call themselves officials and leaders, to run our Government, both local and national? Robbing the country blind, left, right and centre, depriving the whole nation and its people of much needed improvement and progress in so many things?!!!

It is a complete and utter abomination to the sacrifices and heroism of our ancestors above. I am sure they did not look death in the face knowing that the independence they so greatly fought for is wasted not only on the young but shockingly with the majority. We should value our independence more and not make do with whatever there is because we have given up thinking that we can’t really change what is on offer. We now accept that corruption is there to stay and that we should live with it.

I say No to this cowardliness and stupor reaction to what is obviously self-serving actions by those in Government. We should demand with immediate effect that they show that they answer to all of us Filipinos. We want what other countries have a right to. We want Freedom of Information with immediate effect. Not soon, not tomorrow, not even later today but today!!!

It is the only way that we can monitor what is going on within the Government and may prevent and discourage padrinos and legal thievery by greedy officials.

Let us all fully enjoy what independence is truly all about.

2016 is now in the offing, vote wisely, not because of your personal immediate needs but what is good for the country.

To paraphrase a a great Ilocano from a very humble background who migrated to the USA, Carlos Bulosan wrote in “America is in the Heart” that “we must not demand from America… Instead we must sacrifice for her…” (from America is in the Heart)

This sounds familiar to Americans of a later generation when President JFK said in his inaugural address
“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask
what you can do for your country,”

And that my kapwa Filipinos is what we need to do!

Vote wisely for a transparent independence ahead!

Florence Nightingale – Nursing Pioneer

12 May 2015 – Celebrating International Nurses’ Day!

Florence Nightingale

Her conception of God was certainly not orthodox.  She felt towards Him as she might have towards a glorified sanitary engineer; and in some of her speculations she seems hardly to distinguish between the Deity and the Drains.
– Lytton Strachey

 

Florence

Florence Nightingale –
Lady of the lamp

Florence Nightingale – known as the Lady of the Lamp –  was the pioneer of proper nursing.  She worked selflessly and tirelessly as a young nurse during the Crimean War.  She campaigned for clean up in filthy army field hospital thereby dramatically slashing death of wounded soldiers from typhoid and cholera between 1854 – 1856.

….

Florence had a favourite prayer which comes from the end of Plato’s Phaedrus.

“Give me beauty in the inward soul, and may the outward and inward man be at one.”

Mi Ultimo Adios (My Last Farewell)

Today is World Poetry Day. A poem that came to mind immediately was the most iconic Filipino verse written by the national hero himself, Jose Rizal on the eve of his execution.

I have a love and hate relationship with this poem, however. I love it because it is so beautifully written and yet I hate it too because I had to memorise it to pass a Spanish course in college.

Jose Rizal @ Fort Santiago Photo by P H Morton

Jose Rizal @ Fort Santiago
Photo by P H Morton

« Mi Último Adiós »

¡Adiós, Patria adorada, región del sol querida,
Perla del mar de oriente, nuestro perdido Edén!
A darte voy alegre la triste mustia vida,
Y fuera más brillante, más fresca, más florida,
También por ti la diera, la diera por tu bien.

En campos de batalla, luchando con delirio,
Otros te dan sus vidas sin dudas, sin pesar;
El sitio nada importa, ciprés, laurel o lirio,
Cadalso o campo abierto, combate o cruel martirio,
Lo mismo es si lo piden la patria y el hogar.

Yo muero cuando veo que el cielo se colora
Y al fin anuncia el día tras lóbrego capuz;
si grana necesitas para teñir tu aurora,
Vierte la sangre mía, derrámala en buen hora
Y dórela un reflejo de su naciente luz.

Mis sueños cuando apenas muchacho adolescente,
Mis sueños cuando joven ya lleno de vigor,
Fueron el verte un día, joya del mar de oriente,
Secos los negros ojos, alta la tersa frente,
Sin ceño, sin arrugas, sin manchas de rubor

Ensueño de mi vida, mi ardiente vivo anhelo,
¡Salud te grita el alma que pronto va a partir!
¡Salud! Ah, que es hermoso caer por darte vuelo,
Morir por darte vida, morir bajo tu cielo,
Y en tu encantada tierra la eternidad dormir.

Si sobre mi sepulcro vieres brotar un día
Entre la espesa yerba sencilla, humilde flor,
Acércala a tus labios y besa al alma mía,
Y sienta yo en mi frente bajo la tumba fría,
De tu ternura el soplo, de tu hálito el calor.

Deja a la luna verme con luz tranquila y suave,
Deja que el alba envíe su resplandor fugaz,
Deja gemir al viento con su murmullo grave,
Y si desciende y posa sobre mi cruz un ave,
Deja que el ave entone su cántico de paz.

Deja que el sol, ardiendo, las lluvias evapore
Y al cielo tornen puras, con mi clamor en pos;
Deja que un ser amigo mi fin temprano llore
Y en las serenas tardes cuando por mí alguien ore,
¡Ora también, oh Patria, por mi descanso a Dios!

Ora por todos cuantos murieron sin ventura,
Por cuantos padecieron tormentos sin igual,
Por nuestras pobres madres que gimen su amargura;
Por huérfanos y viudas, por presos en tortura
Y ora por ti que veas tu redención final.

Y cuando en noche oscura se envuelva el cementerio
Y solos sólo muertos queden velando allí,
No turbes su reposo, no turbes el misterio,
Tal vez acordes oigas de cítara o salterio,
Soy yo, querida Patria, yo que te canto a ti.

Y cuando ya mi tumba de todos olvidada
No tenga cruz ni piedra que marquen su lugar,
Deja que la are el hombre, la esparza con la azada,
Y mis cenizas, antes que vuelvan a la nada,
El polvo de tu alfombra que vayan a formar.

Entonces nada importa me pongas en olvido.
Tu atmósfera, tu espacio, tus valles cruzaré.
Vibrante y limpia nota seré para tu oído,
Aroma, luz, colores, rumor, canto, gemido,
Constante repitiendo la esencia de mi fe.

Mi patria idolatrada, dolor de mis dolores,
Querida Filipinas, oye el postrer adiós.
Ahí te dejo todo, mis padres, mis amores.
Voy donde no hay esclavos, verdugos ni opresores,
Donde la fe no mata, donde el que reina es Dios.

Adiós, padres y hermanos, trozos del alma mía,
Amigos de la infancia en el perdido hogar,
Dad gracias que descanso del fatigoso día;
Adiós, dulce extranjera, mi amiga, mi alegría,
Adiós, queridos seres, morir es descansar.

“My Last Farewell”

Farewell, my adored Land, region of the sun caress’d,
Pearl of the Orient Sea, our Eden lost,
With gladness I give thee my Life, sad and repress’d;
And were it more brilliant, more fresh and at its best,
I would still give it to thee for thine welfare at most.

On the fields of battle, in the fury of fight,
Others give thee their lives without pain or hesitancy,
The place matters not: cypress, laurel, or lily;
Scaffold, open field, conflict or martyrdom’s site,
It is the same if asked by home and Country.

I die as I see tints on the sky b’gin to show
And at last announce the day, after a gloomy night;
If you need a hue to dye your matutinal glow,
Pour my blood and at the right moment spread it so,
And gild it with a reflection of your nascent light!

My dreams, when scarcely a lad adolescent,
My dreams when already a youth, full of vigour to attain,
Were to see thee, Gem of the sea of the Orient,
Thy dark eyes dry, smooth brow held to a high plane
Without frown, without wrinkles and of shame without stain.

My life’s fancy, my ardent, passionate desire,
Hail! Cries out the soul to thee, that will soon part from thee;
Hail! How sweet ’tis to fall that fullness thou may acquire;
To die to give thee life, ‘neath thy skies to expire,
And in thy mystic land to sleep through eternity!

If over my tomb some day, thou wouldst see blow,
A simple humble flow’r amidst thick grasses,
Bring it up to thy lips and kiss my soul so,
And under the cold tomb, I may feel on my brow,
Warmth of thy breath, a whiff of thy tenderness.

Let the moon with soft, gentle light me descry,
Let the dawn send forth its fleeting, brilliant light,
In murmurs grave allow the wind to sigh,
And should a bird descend on my cross and alight,
Let the bird intone a song of peace o’er my site.

Let the burning sun the raindrops vaporise
And with my clamour behind return pure to the sky;
Let a friend shed tears over my early demise;
And on quiet afternoons when one prays for me on high,
Pray too, oh, my Motherland, that in God may rest I.

Pray, thee, for all the hapless who have died,
For all those who unequalled torments have undergone;
For our poor mothers who in bitterness have cried;
For orphans, widows and captives to tortures were shied,
And pray too that thou may seest thine own redemption.

And when the dark night wraps the cemet’ry
And only the dead to vigil there are left alone,
Disturb not their repose, disturb not the mystery:
If thou hear the sounds of cithern or psaltery,
It is I, dear Country, who, a song t’thee intone.

And when my grave by all is no more remembered,
With neither cross nor stone to mark its place,
Let it be ploughed by man, with spade let it be scattered
And my ashes ere to nothingness are restored,
Let them turn to dust to cover thy earthly space.

Then it matters not that thou should forget me:
Thy atmosphere, thy skies, thy vales I’ll sweep;
Vibrant and clear note to thy ears I shall be:
Aroma, light, hues, murmur, song, moanings deep,
Constantly repeating the essence of the faith I keep.

My idolised Country, for whom I most gravely pine,
Dear Philippines, to my last goodbye; oh, harken
There I leave all: my parents, loves of mine,
I’ll go where there are no slaves, tyrants or hangmen
Where faith does not kill and where God alone doth reign.

Farewell, parents, brothers, beloved by me,
Friends of my childhood, in the home distressed;
Give thanks that now I rest from the wearisome day;
Farewell, sweet stranger, my friend, who brightened my way;
Farewell to all I love; to die is to rest.

I’ts Movember – No Shave Month

There was an old man with a beard,
Who said, “It is just as I feared!—
Two owls and a hen,
Four larks and a wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard.”

……………………………………………..

I’ts Movember – No Shave Month

Yes, it is that time of year again. It’s Movember.

Movember is when Men and also some women raise awareness to cancer, particularly to testicular and prostate cancer, by abstaining from shaving. This is a charity-based organisation which originated in Melbourne, Australia in 2004 with 30 men to start with. To date, Movember is global and has managed to accumulate more than $299Million in funds.

Movember has few rules to observe to join in.

  1. You must register first at Movember.Com.  Once registered, you must start the first of November fully and utterly clean-shaven.
  2. For the entire month of November, each “Mo Bro” must grow and groom a moustache.  Yes, Movember is not just about growing facial hair.  It is about control, and grooming as well.  No hair jungle here.
  3. No joining your moustache with your sideburns, that’s considered a beard.  (Beard growing is probably another organisation.)
  4. No joining the handlebars to your chin, that’s a goatee. (Again Goatee has some association accorded it somewhere. LOL)
  5. The last rule and the most important one in No Shave November is, each man must conduct himself like a true gentleman.

Time is of the essence.  Join in

Choose your style!

Claire Phillips – Code Name: High Pockets

I must admit I have never heard of Claire Phillips before my good friend, Fred Natividad, mentioned her in an e-mail.  Having now found out more a bit about her,  I am actually surprised that Filipinos have not celebrated her more, afterall she did a great deal of spying for the Americans and Filipinos alike during WWII.

Claire Phillips – Code Name: High Pocketsphillipslg

Claire Phillips also known as the American Mata Hari had so many aliases.  She was also known as Dorothy Clara Fuentes,  Claire Fuentes, and Madame Tsubaki.  Her code name was   “High Pockets”, this was because of her ways of hiding secret messages inside her brassieres.

A movie was made based on her life.  It was called I Was an American Spy starring Ann Dvorak as Claire.

Claire wrote a book about her experience as a spy.  The book is called Manila Espionage.  I looked it up in Amazon/Uk and it retailed at the princely sum of £265.98, quite a lot of money.

Anyway below is Fred Natividad’s short history of the American Mata Hari

……………………………….

Back in WWI, on October 15, 1917, the French government executed a femme fatale, Margueretha Gertruida Zelle for espionage.

Ms. Zelle is better known as Mata Hari.

This brings to mind a near equivalent of a Mata Hari in the Philippines years later during WWII in the Pacific, in the Philippines in particular.

An American woman from Oregon married a Filipino sailor, Manuel Fuentes. They divorced before WWII broke out. The couple had a daughter, Dian. There is controversy as to whether Dian is Claire’s biological child or was just adopted by Claire. After the divorce Claire moved to the Philippines where WWII caught up with her. She met and married John Phillips, a soldier also caught in the war in the Philippines who was then interned in Cabanatuan where he died.

John Phillip’s internment turned Claire into a Mata Hari. During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines she obtained forged identities as a Philippine-born Italian. She then opened a nightclub that catered to Japanese soldiers where she engaged in espionage for the Allies.

Now, two siblings, Wendy Johnson and Gerald Selnes, who grew apart as adoptees, claim that their biological mother, Dian was really a natural daughter of Claire and Manuel Fuentes, making them grandchildren of Claire Phillips, the former Claire Fuentes. If the siblings’ claims are true that would make them remote FilAms as biological grandchildren of Claire and Manuel Fuentes.

But this was debunked by several sources, among them a book by Edna Bautista Bingkowski, “Code Name: High Pockets.”

I have not read that book. It would be nice if anyone in this forum has read it to be able to post a review. From the Internet, strangely, I did not find any reference to Claire Phillips’ maiden name before she was Claire Fuentes. Incidentally, in her own book, “Manila Espionage,” Claire called Manuel Fuentes “Mr. Wrong.”

Fred Natividad
Livonia, Michigan