PAUW – UP Visits the University of Perpetual Help Medical Center and Plans to Form an RA 9003 Compliant Academic Community

PAUW UP Garden Club members and CRL Women's Guild Mayana Club members with CRL officials & friendsLast August 2, PAUW – UP members toured the estate and observed how their MRF operates efficiently, processing novelty items, bags and deco materials in the process. The informal meeting of ZWRM Phils. Foundation Inc. officials and PAUW – UP Pres. Menchu Pascual resulted in an agreement. PAUW – UP Diliman is to host a convention with them that should radically change views about garbage and significantly form a community that will be RA 9003 compliant.The visit to the University of Perpetual Help Medical Center was made possible by the gracious Mrs. Daisy M. Tamayo.
Meanwhile the PAUW – UP Garden Club in cooperation with the Church of the Risen Lord Women’s Guild Mayana Club is currently holding a series of lectures. Last July 26, a lecture-demo about “Unfamiliar Local Vegetables for Food” was given. Participants had a taste of Talinum paniculatum salad and stewed Sandoricum koltjape among other recipes.More lectures about the function of MRFs in maintaining productive gardens are to follow. The photo above shows participants during the July 26 lecture led by Prof. Glo Caccam (seated, 3rd fr. right) with Nedy Simpas and Bishop Jessie Suarez. Also present during the activity were Cathy Q. De Leon (seated,2nd fr. left) with Church of the Risen Lord volunteer administrative official, Miles Ganaden. Pastor Bart Kimwell is standing at the far right of the photo.

Right after the visit to UPHMC in Las Pinas, PAUW – UP members & Zonta Manila members with Pres. Menchu Pacual planted more trees in the Diliman Campus. Micro – watersheds and clog – free river systems in many ways, define flood prevention in this volatile part of the region.

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PAUW – UP Visits The University of Perpetual Help Medical Center

PAUW - UP Visits The University of Perpetual Help Medical Center

In the photo are (from left) Dr. Lily Torres, Dr. Palaypay, PAUW – UP Pres. Menchu Pascual, PAUW – UP Environment Committee Pres. Gloria Caccam with Catherine Q. De Leon and Dr. Aberin.

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Members of the Philippine Association of University Women-UP Garden

ImageMembers of the Philippine Association of University Women-UP Garden Club send their best wishes to Dr. Marion M. Celi De Leon as she turns 95 on June 27 of this year. She (together with her son Engr. Hector De Leon and granddaughter Catherine Grace Lontok De Leon) is a recipient of the 2013 UPAA Multi-Generation UP Alumni Family Awards.

Perhaps destiny placed her at the PGH in 1941 as an intern. The right person at the right place in a particular time of our nation’s history. The petite Marion worked with Dr. Gloria Aragon as civilians, American G.I.s, Japanese and Filipino soldiers alike came for medical treatment. As UP PGH was in operation even if supplies were running short, courses that were allowed to continue even during conflict were Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry and Pharmacy.  In the diploma of Dr. Marion Montemayor Celi De Leon, it is written that she graduated in 1943. 

I remember her many stories about the war. There was a time when she sought shelter during an air raid. She later realized that she was hiding right there at a gasoline depot. It is unusual for a woman to walk home all by herself in a war-torn city. Mama Marion bravely walked to their Singalong residence during such moments.     

Mama Marion, allow me to bask in the light that comes from your accomplishments of epic proportions. I am glad to have nominated you. My Mom’s sister-in-law is Mama Marion’s daughter – in – law’s sister. But that is just a coincidence. Your gardener friends at PAUW – UP Garden Club remember the beautiful flowers in your garden.

You have given much of your time to people who needed care and medical attention. You endured the years of civil strife (1941 – 1944) but you never gave up your post. Mama Marion saved lives for God and for country. 

Keep on tending those plants, Dr. Marion De Leon. We love you and wish you all the best! Congratulations and may God bless you abundantly! Ciao! 

Posted by Catherine Q. De Leon, Ph.D.

6 – 21 – 13        

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El Presidente ; A Nation’s Saga on Film

The film is a visual feast for scholars of history and aspiring academic writers. Historians of a bygone era maintained an aloof, hyper-objective and antiseptic stance in their works. Readers were not able to grasp the scope of human emotion saturating the saga of Philippine socio-economic and political history. This film cannot be accused by local scholars who studied abroad of making a visual narrative with a “Fernando Ma. Guerrero” brand of nationalism.

This is one Metro-Manila film Festival entry that should earn some awards. Post-production editing could have been better but there are other aspects of the film deserving favorable reviews. Filmmakers and film experts may write a plethora of other comments about the craft. However, allow me this chance to write some of my observations about the film’s other aspects.

In one of Emilio Aguinaldo’s most trying moments, wasn’t local culture indeed a palliative? A few individuals in our history need socio-political redemption and the film will surely raise rancor here and there. This chapter of our country’s narrative is not easy to portray in visual terms. Despite this, the filmmakers succeeded in weaving a story that is thick with conflicting political allegiances & various personas of multi cultural backgrounds into one cohesive and comprehensive vignette-like movie.

On the other hand, we sense that a lot of technical challenges were involved in the process. Gender biases could not be avoided. Many events were shown as occurring on specific dates but all these did not lead to a conclusive postscript. Our expectations were somehow met when Aguinaldo is shown to be questioning (or setting) the real date of the granting of Philippine independence.

Nevertheless, the film has a lot of merits. It is good viewing for a mind that searches for continuity in our country’s unfinished recorded past. It generously provides the viewer with an understanding of the struggle under the overbearing yoke of colonial rule and the attainment of independence.

The film ‘El Presidente’ should encourage the current crop of filmmakers to work on expensive period films about local history. There is much to be explored in historical material and a lot of showbiz personalities now could very well bring to life long forgotten characters from musty archives. Going beyond the veneer of our socio-cultural fabric and beyond the political and economic structure in visual terms is as interesting as getting the significance of a historical episode appreciated.

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Friendship and a Fern Forest

Visiting a fern garden is something new to me. Ferns love a lot of water and host plants. Trees are the best host plants for ferns that attach themselves securely on their trunks or at the base of the tree. Many ferns grow profusely on large roots that are partly exposed at the base of host trees. These plants have neither seeds or flowers but they have beautiful leaves.

When we visited the home of Pteridophyta collector May Dumlao last June 2, 2012, we were surprised upon seeing the diversity of species thriving in her yard which was right in the middle of a bustling commercial hub. She had ferns growing out of flower pots, baskets, tree trunks and some were even suspended from wires like one of Calder’s mobiles. Magnificent lobed Platyceria were attached to poolside trees looking like chandeliers.

May also successfully grows a lot of bromeliads, caladiums, dieffenbachia, sansevierias and fruit trees. The poolside was a cool sight for weary eyes while it was such a treat feasting on fruits, vegetables and the delectable pork knuckles that May prepared. As Eugene Peterson says, “We were being ourselves, happy and accepting each other the way we were created. The simple truth that there is something far greater than our failures or accomplishments brings us together with hope. There is something more significant than liking or not liking yourself. In the silence, simply be the person that God is gathering into salvation.”

The Philippine Association of University Women of UP (PAUW – UP) Garden Club members left May’s residence full of plans for future activities. So grateful we were that our petite and pretty gardener friend allowed us access to her private urban fern forest and we dream of growing spore bearing plants just like her. God bless May and our newly formed Garden Club. Viva la compagnie!garden club

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Opulence of Fibers

The virtuosity of Filipino women in the countryside is a well respected trait admired by scholars and artists of UP. Last May 14, 2012, Philippine Association of University Women members and friends  had an opportunity to admire hand-woven fabrics from all over the archipelago. Patis showed materials that had  brilliant colors and exotic designs done with  astonishing accuracy. We were treated to a pageantry of applique, embroidery and opulent beadwork in this simple Sn. Pablo (Laguna) garden of ‘herbal brocades’. Move over showbiz Goths because proudly Philippine – made bead spangled threads might be the in – thing on our world’s fashion ramps and catwalks.

Many thanks to Prof. Caccam, Aida Reyes, Jean Puno, Cynthia Estrada, Tita Trining Abenojar and Tita Noni Zabala who took  the comfortable Toyota Grandia with me and were all so cheerful during the trip.

PAUW – UP President Menchu Pascual with Patis Tesoro.Threads with beads, applique and embroidery...simply opulent!

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Looking Through the Eyes of an Expert on the ASEAN


What is it like to fulfill one’s destiny as a celebrated scholar and  expert on anything about the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN? You’ll learn a lot about how respected stalwarts of international political diplomacy relate to one another if you read ‘Blue Gumamela and Other True Stories’ by Dr. Estrella D. Solidum (Estrella D. Solidum,Ph.D.,2009). In her book, she presents vignettes or anecdotes from her academic research life  which surprisingly brings her into intense social existence. Be amazed at how people of different nationalities, varied allegiances and from diverse political orientations conduct their day – to day activities with good humor and proper decorum.

Dr. Solidum who I fondly call Tita Estrell, weaves a colorful narrative about how she experienced her little miracles. She demonstrated how daily prayer from a pastor gave a person she barely knew complete recovery from illness. She tells about the time she gamely danced her way into getting an appointment with a highly placed official, proving that gracefulness and gentle persuasion can get women to circulate among the mighty in the political sphere.

The book is worth any woman’s time because one can see events as they unfold before the eyes of a University of the Philippines scholar. Experience how it is to be favored by well – known personalities here in Asia. Furthermore, look at wonderful plants through the eyes of an expert who moved with ease within the organization, political structure, socio-economic and cultural landscape of the ASEAN members.

It is a privilege meeting and discussing modern theories in Sociology every now and then with Tita Estrell. Her memory is sharp and her humor is something I can very well appreciate. Long live UP – PAUW! Long live Dr. Estrella Solidum and may our Lord bless you abundantly!   

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