America’s official involvement in the Philippines began in 1898 when Commoodore (soon to be Admiral) Dewey sailed the Asiatic squadron from Hong Kong and defeated the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay. With the help of Filipino revolutionaries who fully expected to be granted independence, , the Americans succeeded in ousting Spain — but after doing […]
For Americans of a certain age, December 7, 1941, will forever be, as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt labeled it — “a day that will live in infamy”. It was on that day, at 7:48 am, that Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, in the process decimating the U.S. Pacific fleet and […]
I have to confess, I’m struggling to figure out how I feel about the new President Elect of the Philippines, Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte. Western Media is calling him the “Trump of Asia” but that comparison only applies to his outspoken and sometimes outrageous statements. But the similarites end there. Duterte is a lawyer, a prosecutor, and […]
The headline in the Philippine Daily Inquirer read: ‘Yaya Dub’ misguided in support for ‘lumad,’ says military exec. The article then goes on to quote Brigadier General Joey Kakilala, who is the commander of the Civil Relations Office of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, as saying of Mendoza and others: “‘Yung social media […]
On the eve of the second anniversary of super typhoon Haiyan’s devastation of the central Philippines, thousands of survivors walked along a highway in Tacloban City from Leyte and Samar provinces. Many carried placards protesting the pace of reconstruction efforts.
“It will be the second year anniversary of Yolanda (Haiyan), but many of them have not […]
How cool is this? Thanks to Bing Credo for posting this video of the last 2 mins of the game between Philippines and China in the FIBA Asia U16 tournament. Phils. down by 5. Credo drives and dishes off to Pagsanjan at the 3pt area… Boom! Phils. now just down by 1. Stopped China on […]
Remember the imbroglio two years ago during the immediate aftermath of Haiyan/Yolanda, when Korina Sanchez called out Anderson Cooper of CNN, claiming his reporting was biased and disrespectful? The hero of that moment was Geraldine Uy Wong, who was in Tacloban, saw what was happening, and wrote a passionate post on Facebook, addressing it to […]
For me there was never any doubt — Maine Mendoza fascinated me as a self-made internet star whose dubsmash genius includes not only what she does in front of the camera — but what she does with the camera as well. I was fascinated by all the characters; by her fearless willingness to present herself […]
As is not unusual, I’m the last one to the party. I don’t follow the Binibining Pilipinas situation all that closely …. In fact, other than “Major Major”, I’m not sure I’ve ever notice or been aware of anything any contestants said. But today I’ve been genuinely moved by a speech by any of the […]
Dear Secretary of Transportation Joseph Abaya
I am taking this opportunity to reach out to you because as someone married to a Filipina who travels back and forth to Manila frequently, I am truly concerned by what seems to be your failure to grasp the dynamics of what is going on in the minds of the […]
I just came across a blog post entitled “Why Men Go Gaga Over Maine Mendoza”from a blogger who goes by Vilo Velky in a blog called The Omelette Station. Now I’m obviously not the first to discover this post — there are 180 comments there from various #AlDub fans, so that gives you an […]
Filipino Muslims are up in arms over Muslim garb worn by Joey De Leon and Tito Sotto in Eat Bulaga’s Halloween broadcast. The two hosts wore a thawb, an ankle-length garment with long sleeves usually worn by Muslims. The local government of the Autonomous Region in Muslm Mindanao (ARMM) took offense to the costumes. ARMM Governor […]
In one of the better intentational articles about the #AlDub phenomenon in the Philippines, the Singapore Straits Times headlines “Old Style Love Story has Modern Philippines in a Tizzy.” . The high point of the article includes some excellent observations:
Sociologists and marketers are now poring over this pop culture phenomenon to find out what […]
Jerrold Tarog’s epic historical film Heneral Luna, which will represent the Philippines in the Academy Awards Best Foreign Film Category, has been reviewed in the New York Times by Ken Jaworski. The review is mixed but ultimately favorable. Here it is:
I’m only a little embarrassed at liking “Heneral Luna,” an audaciously manipulative movie that’s […]
The latest international media outlet to pick up the story the Philippine #AlDub phenomenon is Bloomberg News. As international coverage goes, this is NOT the most exciting coverage I’ve seen. (That would be an understatement.) But the mere fact of its existence is another indicator that the Philippine phenomenon is rising to the level of […]
Kudos to Fil-American artists Jeff Huntington for his beautiful Jose Rizal collage. Ironically — the best place to view this particular piece is on a eToday, a Russian website, where he is identified as a “45-year-old contemporary artist with a special recognizable style. Jeff loves Italian food and comfortable shoes …” You can see […]
As some of you know, I served at the U.S. Embassy in Manila from 1986-1989. Have to say I’m tickled to see the Embassy getting into the act and joining in the #AlDub fun. They posted this video of staffers doing pabebe waves and have gotten 210,000 shares on FB.
Good for them. A little […]
I’ve been searching for some cogent entertainment industry analysis of the AlDub phenomenon and in a Eureka moment, I’ve found it. It’s an article by Veronica Uy, senior editor of Interaksyon — and it’s an article that is built upon two interviews, one with advertising executive Vincent Pozon, and one with former GMA writer Elmer […]
More evidence that “AlDub” is making waves internationally — the venerable BBC has just published a lengthy article entitled: ‘AlDub’: A social media phenomenon about love and lip-synching
Here’s what it says:
It is a surreal and wildly popular show which has smashed global social media records. But few outside the Philippines have […]
Warriors of Samar is also available via Amazon at this link — but as with Daughters of Samar, we decided to make it available to read online so if you go to Warriors of Samar, you can read it there. It’s the story of the Balangiga Encounter, told exactly as it happened, and […]
Well, while we’re on the topic of AlDub and Filipino pop culture. . . as a foreigner with a longtime relationship with the Philippines, I still struggle a bit keeping up what’s going on in Manila, and so just as I was getting comfortable with Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards and all that’s going on with them — […]
by Ronald Reyes, Tacloban City, June 10: Things are piling up, literally, inside the makeshift shelter of Jerico Dulosa, 44, a father of four children in Palo town, Leyte province.
“Eighteen months have passed since Haiyan hit us, and we are still like this,” he told ucanews.com, referring to a powerful typhoon […]
Three months after Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, the destruction and relief struggles are no longer dominating headlines — but a filmmaker from Hawai’i is hoping to change that. “Bayanihan: The Spirit of Community” is a documentary film by Antony Begonia which is composed primarily of footage shot by the filmmaker when he went […]
January 15, 2014 was the first day back to school at Divine Child Academy in Lawaan, Eastern Samar, Philippines. That is — the first day back after typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) ripped through Lawaan and the other nine “ground zero” municipalities of Eastern Samar that were the first ones to bear the brunt of the […]
One of the most fundamental tenets of rehabilitation after disasters is “Build back better” — yet in the Philippines, due to a massive funding shortfall in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda), the opposite is happening, with Filipinos sifting through rubble for corrugated sheets and nails and other damaged materials as they […]
Can these numbers be real? They don’t seem right. If this is true it’s very, very disturbing.
Rappler and other outlets are reporting that two months after Typhoon Yolanda (International Name Haiyan) ripped through the PHilippines, international promises of aid are failing to materialize, with only 21% of the cash that was promised actually […]
This was online many years ago, but seemed to have disappeared — and now History Channel has put it back up. It’s a great thirty minute overview of the Philippine American War. Highly recommended.
UPDATE: DIOCESE OF BORONGAN & LAWAAN & nearby Parishes From Fr. Neil Gavan Tenefrancia
LAWAAN: For installation at Lawaan Parish Rectory: ONE SET of ICOM RADIO TRANSCEIVER to facilitate communication along the “appendix” towns. (this includes Balangiga) Donation from the Mary Help of Christians National Shrine in Paranaque City through Fr. Chito Dimaranan.
DIOCESE OF […]
Nanie Vallejera Ragay is a DILG Governance Broker in Palo, Leyte, just south of Tacloban. Palo was one of the hardest hit towns, and like elsewhere in Eastern Visayas, life after Yolanda is … well, a little different than it was before. Nanie decided that after a month of sampling […]
Year of the Spy Book Trailer
Above is the Year of the Spy Book Trailer — for my upcoming non-fiction book about espionage upheavals on the streets of Moscow in 1985.
Below is a “trailer” showcasing the writing and video services I provide to clients.
Michael Sellers — Writing and Video Services
- Arsha Sellers — Today I’m One Big Step Closer to Becoming a Real Forever Dad
- Meet Abby Sellers and Arshavin Sellers — My Wife, My Son, My Inspiration Every Day
- What the Mueller Report Actually Says
- Remembering James Blount, an American Who “Got” the Philippines in 1901
- America the Beautiful? You Mean America the Pitiful. I Am Ashamed