One Filipino-American's Guide to the nonsensical sensical.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Pilipino Priday

Hello fellow friends-of-Flips! I have been given the tremendous honor of guest blogging on this beautiful and special Pilipino Priday!

This Sunday, June 12, is the (dubious) Philippines Independence Day, which marks that country’s “liberation” from Spain in 1898. What followed was a long, protracted, and very bloody struggle against the U.S.’s own colonial enterprise. The Philippines was not actually granted sovereignty until after World War II after being a focal point of that little dust-up. That handover, on July 4, 1946, echoes in many ways the “handover” that occurred last year in Iraq, which also featured a continued massive U.S. military presence, as well as leaders who were effectively hand-picked by the Americans. That process, of course, led to Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, the lovely and well shod Imelda. [Which begs the questions of who will be Iraq’s Corazon Aquino, and when’s that gonna happen?]

So how to celebrate Philippines Independence Day? Well, unfortunately, there don’t seem to be any sort of parade or picnic or anything in Chicago, despite our having one of the largest Filipino communities in the country (I’ve always found the differences between the Filipino Diaspora and those of other peoples to be fascinating – why are Chinatowns so much more ubiquitous than Little Manilas? Why not more Filipino restaurants?? And how come we can’t get us throngs of Filipinos driving around in low riders, honking horns and sporting Philippines flags?!?]

Not the old one, of course:

the current one:

Okay, so back to the question: how to celebrate our Filipino-ness this weekend, other than calling people by the wrong pronouns, and going to medical school? How about renting Imelda - Power, Myth, Illusion, the new documentary about the afore-mentioned beauty-queen-turned-Pacific-Island-Evita!

Big controversy over this one—I guess Madame herself said the interviews were unauthorized & sent her peeps to court to get screenings stopped back in the Philippines. Apparently they compromised, took the word “documentary” out of the title, and probably packed the seats (as usually happens with controversy/censorship tinged works, which makes me wonder whether Herself got a little bit of the back end of the gross…).

The bigger question: who will play this former beauty queen in the inevitable biopic?? Tia Carrere? Nanette???

Well, it was a pleasure guesting - come check out my blog if you're MAN ENOUGH!
Jonathan Kelley, Selfish Hedonist


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