Yoyoyified history

Cebu has historians like Drs. Resil Mojares and Jobers Bersales as well as institutions like the Cebuano Studies Center and yet for the historic commemoration of the arrival of the Armada de Maluko, its news outlets turned to the eminent musician Yoyoy Villame. No, not just to reference his song, but for actual historical facts. Oh mother, mother I am sick.

One repeated the line that the Philippines was discovered by Magellan (imagine that!!! a local historian messaged me) while the other used his song to rewrite the actual timeline of the Spaniards in the Philippines. On the 500th year of their arrival in Suluan, the news outlet fast-forwarded to Limasawa (the Spaniards wouldn’t get there until March 28) because Yoyoy sang that they “landed in Limasawa at noon.” Oh mother, mother I am sick.

One outlet edited that mistake, the other decided to keep and continue the disinformation. It is disheartening to read the comments as some who tried to correct the disinformation were being asked “can you proved?”

MAGELLAN. Yoyoy’s ditty is apparently considered a historical narration by some journalists.

That news outlet did not take any effort at all to correct that disinformation. It tells you about the attitude by some journalists toward truth, accuracy, and correcting errors no?

Like any Bisdak, I love Yoyoy’s “Magellan.” But it’s a song and it’s meant for fun. It does not claim to nor should it be treated as a historical narration of what happened. It also has, it turned out, an insidious influence especially on perpetuating that discovery narrative. So insidious it even influenced journalists today – a time when access to information is trivial.

It certainly made me reconsider my attitude toward that EZ Mil song where he said Lapulapu was beheaded in Mactan. I’ve always felt that we should just let it be, it’s just a song and people know that Lapulapu wasn’t actually beheaded. But judging from the impact of Yoyoy’s ditty, who’s to say people in the future (including journalists who would then use it as basis for reports) wouldn’t think that Lapulapu was actually beheaded.

The 500th year of the arrival of Spaniards provides a historic opportunity for local media to shine a light on our history and rethink narratives.

The National Quincentennial Committee produced this video of Yoyoy’s song with annotations by historian Xiao Chua.

Until now, for example, there are still people who say that Magellan was here to “Christianize them everyone.” Magellan and the Armada de Molucca were looking for the Spice Islands not to evangelize or even conquer. When they fought Lapulapu and the Opon warriors, Magellan had a motley crew because the hardened warriors stayed away, Dr. Mojares said in a talk ignored by local media last year. These soldiers could not understand what they were still doing in Cebu when they should already be on their way to the Spice Islands.

There’s also the controversy on the “first recorded Easter mass.” For centuries, we’ve always thought it happened in Butuan. Conquistas de las Islas Filipinas 1565-1615 by Gaspar de San Agustin, for example, said the mass was held in Butuan. It was because of this early tradition that a monument to the “immortal Magellan” was built in Butuan.

It was changed to Limasawa in the 20th Century. During the 400th year commemoration of the Spaniards’ arrival, Limasawa was mentioned as site of the first mass. But proponents for Butuan never gave up and pressed their claim. The government has convened three panels these past decades to study the claim. All three panels ruled in favor of Limasawa. The last to do so was only last year, the Mojares panel.

You’d think the issue is settled, no? I did think it was and shelved an article I was planning to write. But no, some in the Butuan camp are still pressing that claim.

There’s also this: reference to this event is hyper-specific “the first recorded Easter mass” and not just the first mass, for a reason. The Spaniards held masses every day and likely held one when they reached Suluan or during the week they were in Homonhon. Pigafetta, an Eastern Visayas prelate told me, was a selective chronicler and likely did not mention about these earlier masses because these were commonplace, like having dinner or lunch. The Easter Mass, on the other hand, was chronicle-worthy because of the occasion and the presence of two local chieftains.

Our consolation despite this turn of events is that institutions like the National Quincentennial Committee, Cebuano Studies Center, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc., and even brand like The Palm Grass Hotel are holding online events to talk about these important historical and cultural events. These events, except for those who paid for ad placements, are largely ignored by local media. If stories do come out, these are either press releases for upcoming talks or advertorials. The good thing, however, is that all these are online and can be replayed or watched at a later time if you miss them.

The celebrations in Cebu are still weeks away. Let’s cross our fingers we’ll read and see better-sourced and written posts by our favorite local news outlets.

The post Yoyoyified history appeared first on Leon Kilat: The Tech Experiments.

Infographic: Smartphone Vendor History

We created this simple infographic to give you a quick glimpse of (almost) all of the global players in the smartphone industry.

While some companies such as Nokia started out over a century ago as a milling company in 1865, it was only in 2002 where they first introduced the modern day smartphone. Check out the infographic below to see who are the players and how long have they been making smartphones.

smartphone history super final


As you can see, the smartphone is still a fairly new device with just a little over a decade in development. It was only during the time after the Open Handset Alliance of 2007 where Android became the flagship mobile operating system and soon became the dominant OS.

A few brands did not survive, with Palm biting the dust even before the smartphone wars even erupted. Other big names struggled – the likes of Nokia and Motorola used to be giants of the industry — and soon died or sold off in parts.

The landscape is more diverse now with dozens of competing brands. But, who knows, the next decade could reveal another totally new picture.

The post Infographic: Smartphone Vendor History appeared first on YugaTech | Philippines News & Tech Reviews.

Aquino, Del Rosario and Gazmin should watch ‘Heneral Luna’

Movie posterI watched “Heneral Luna” last Friday at Southmall in Las Pinas and I witnessed something that re-affirmed my faith in the Filipino: after the screening the students in the audience clapped.

I should not be worrying much about the future of our country.

Actress, writer and director Bibeth Orteza, who is a member of the board of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board posted a suggested in Facebook: “I’m saying this in my individual capacity, not as a member of the MTRCB. If I were the producer of “Heneral Luna” I’d bring the film back to the MTRCB, seek a lower audience rating classification, and then bring it around the country for a school tour.”

Heneral Luna is rated R-13, which means only those age 13 and above can watch the movie. It must be because of the violent scene in the movie, which were essential to underscore the intensity of the power struggle at that time. I myself had to close my eyes in the murder scene.

Joji Villanueva Alonso commented on Bibeth’s post: “Sadly, the MTRCB rules do not allow another review of the film, after the lapse of 5 days from receipt of the first permit. The producers would have to submit a new cut altogether of the new film to get another rating. In any event, school screenings won’t be a problem – this is really the next step.”

That’s good to know.

But the ones who really need to watch “Heneral Luna” are our officials who still look up to America as savior led by no less than President Aquino.

Oh well with Albert del Rosario as foreign secretary and Voltaire Gazmin as defense secretary, what do we expect.

“Heneral Luna” is film about Antonio Luna, the hot- tempered commander of the revolutionary army played brilliantly by John Arcilla.

Under the competent direction of Jerrold Tarog, the movie brings us back more than a century ago when the country, after 300 years of being a colony of Spain, was faced with another colonial master: United States of America.

Luna, one of the talented and highly-educated Luna brothers, wanted genuine independence for Filipinos but the members of economic elite preferred to be under the Americans.

Luna’s remarks to the pro-Americans in the Aguinaldo cabinet namely Felix Buencamino and Pedro Paterno were sharp and biting.

When the two were enumerating the benefits the country would get from continued American rule, Luna slammed them: “Para kayong mga birhen na naniniwala sa pag-ibig ng isang puta.”

Luna also asked them pointblank: “Negosyo o kalayaan? Bayan o sarili? Pumili ka?”

I would like to throw the same question today to Del Rosario and Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Cuisia.

The movie was set in 1898 but the problems Luna faced are the same problems that beset our country today. As Luna said (not an exact quote): “May malaking kalaban tayo kaysa mga Amerikano: ang ating sarili.

The movie is on its second week in commercial cinemas. Don’t miss it.

I join the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines in condemning the military’s harassment of journalist Inday Espina-Varona .

A Facebook meme tags Varona as a “propagandist” of communist rebels.
NUJP said “The meme accusing Varona of being a communist rebel “asset” (https://www.facebook.com/895347650525928/photos/a.935203763206983.1073741828.895347650525928/968888443171848/?type=1) is a cheap and desperate move to discredit a highly respected and multi-awarded journalist who has consistently fought for the rights of journalists and against unjust and oppressive acts on the marginalized.

Inday Espina-Varona

Inday Espina-Varona

“Varona is a former editor-in-chief of the Philippines Graphic magazine and the 2007 awardee of the Marshall Mcluhan fellowship.
“This move comes following Varona’s reports for ABS-CBN online news site and posts in social media decrying the September 1 killing of lumad (indigenous people) leaders in Surigao del Sur by suspected military-backed militias.

“She has also reported and has been vocal on the misrepresentation of the Eastern Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on the statement of United Nations Special Rapporteur for Internally Displaced Persons Chaloka Beyani regarding the evacuation of lumad from Davao del Norte and Bukidnon at the Haran sanctuary of the United Church of Christ of the Philippines in Davao City.

“The NUJP is also alarmed of the red-tagging against Varona, a tactic that has been used against activists and political dissenters, many of whom were subsequently targeted in summary killings, abduction and persecution through the filing of trumped-up criminal charges. It indicates that almost 30 years after the fall of the Marcos dictatorship, the martial law mentality continues to prevail, even under a supposedly ‘Daang Matuwid’ administration.”

NUJP demands that authorities investigate and apprehend those behind these attempts to intimidate Varona and other journalists exposing human rights violations and other injustices

Aquino ignores Bonifacio

Movie actor Robin Padilla at the Liwasang Bonifacio rally.

Movie actor Robin Padilla at the Liwasang Bonifacio rally.

Photos courtesy of Renato Reyes, Jr.

Yesterday was the 151st birth anniversary of one of Filipinos’ great heroes, Andres Bonifacio (November 30, 1863 – May 10, 1897).

Today, we are a sovereign nation, independent and free, largely because of Bonifacio.
Bonifacio is considered the “the Father of the Philippine Revolution”. He founded the Katipunan, short for Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan, a movement which sought the independence of the Philippines from Spanish colonial rule.

Save for a short message released by Malacañang, there was no other activity led by President Aquino that commemorated the birth of Bonifacio.

Come to think of it, why would Aquino bother with Bonifacio? Remember his reason for not going to the wake of Jennifer Laude, the transgender who was killed by an American serviceman? He doesn’t go to the wake of people he doesn’t know.

Aquino has no affinity with Bonifacio.

Bonifacio, unlike other Filipino revolutionaries who came from ilustrado families, Bonifacio was born to a poor family in Tondo. That’s why he is also known as “The Great Plebeian.”

Workers and urban poor commemorate 151st birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio.

Workers and urban poor commemorate 151st birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio.

Renato Reyes, Jr. secretary general of the militant group, Bayan said “Aquino is more Aguinaldo rather than Bonifacio. He claims to be for change yet he defends the status quo. He has betrayed the people’s aspirations for genuine freedom and democracy. His daang matuwid is a sham.”

Malacañang released this message by Aquino:

“I join the Filipino People in celebrating Bonifacio Day.

“Andres Bonifacio’s patriotism ignited the passion within our countrymen to fight for liberty and demand dignity, freedom, and sovereignty for the land of our ancestors. Now, 151 years after his birth, our history and identity tested by the many challenges we have overcome, we unite as one nation to remember his sacrifice and desire to see us take charge of our destiny.

“The Philippines has become a dynamic and progressive hub of business and commerce, and it will continue to thrive as we fight to vanquish the culture of greed and corruption once rampant in our system as we renew our dedication to fostering integrity and accountability in our institutions. We have created for ourselves the opportunity to fulfill the dreams Gat Andres envisioned for us. May this day renew the spirit of camaraderie in all of us and inspire us to aspire to greater heights of prosperity. Together, let us forge a path to a more inclusive future.

“I wish you a happy and meaningful celebration.”

Presidential messages are written by Palace writers.

It was the workers who celebrated yesterday the Katipunan Supremo’s birthday.

Some 5,000 workers, member of the militant Kilusang Mayo Uno and the women’s group, Gabriela gathered at the plaza named after him, Liwasang Bonifacio, in Manila reciting his immortal words: , “Ang maghimagsik ay makatarungan!”

Special guest was actor Robin Padilla.

The workers paid tribute to the hero recalling his humble beginnings: Si Andres Bonifacio, o Andoy para sa kanyang pamilya at malalapit na kaibigan, ay isinilang noong ika-30 ng Nobyembre taong 1863 sa Tondo, Maynila. Bilang panganay sa limang anak nina Santiago Bonifacio at Catalina de Castro, itinaguyod ni Andoy ang kanyang mga nakababatang kapatid nang sila ay maulila noong siya ay edad 14 na taong gulang pa lamang. Dinanas ni Andoy ang mabibigat at iba’t ibang tipo ng trabaho mairaos lamang ang kanyang mga kapatid. Dito napanday ang pagiging masigasig, masipag, at determinado ni Bonifacio.

“Dahil batid at danas ni Bonifacio ang matinding kahirapan, hindi naging mahirap para sa kanyang yakapin ang pangangailangan ng solidong pagkakaisa ng mamamayan upang ipagtanggol at ipaglaban ang kanilang sariling kalayaan mula sa mga mapanakop na Kastila at Pilipinong alipores nito sa bansa. Pinangunahan ni Bonifacio ang pagtatatag ng Kataastaasang Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan o KKK, ang lihim na samahang naglalayong wakasan ang pang-aapi at pagsasamantala ng dayuhang Kastila at lokal na burgesya. At noong 1896, naipagtagumpay nito ang unang malawakang rebolusyong Pilipino.”

They slammed the return of American soldiers to the Philippines through the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement or EDCA.

“Paglapastangan sa alaala ng ating mga ninunong nakipaglaban para sa kalayaan ang pananatili ng mga dayuhang militar sa ating lupain, kaya nararapat lamang na iwaksi ng mga bagong rebolusyonaryo ang pagtataksil ni Pangulong Aquino nang kanyang pahintulutan ang panunumbalik ng base militar ng Kano sa pamamamagitan ng Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, ” Gabriela said.

Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan demanded for the immediate release of the leader of the farmers, Antonio Flores, secretary general of the KMP (Peasant Movement of the Philippines).

She also warned about the situation in Hacienda Luisita: “Aquino’s persistent ploy to keep his family’s hold on 6,000 hectares of sugar farms will only fuel revolution and fiercer peasant struggles for land.”

Forgotten details from an old story

Ninoy at the tarmacBy Luz Rimban, VERA Files

THE photograph is 30 years old, but it provides startling details to an old, almost forgotten story.

Taken by a Japanese photographer, the picture came out in the Sept. 5, 1983 issue of Time Magazine. It showed the apparent lifeless body of former Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. whose murder on the tarmac in broad daylight on Aug. 21 shocked the world.

“I saw it when I first saw the photo in 1983, and no one has really taken notice of it,” said a VERA Files reader who sent the photograph, referring to a crucial detail the picture reveals.

“It shows that Ninoy raised both his feet by about two to three inches above the ground (see the shadow of the raised shoes) indicating he was still alive,” he added. “All other photos taken by other journalists later show both Ninoy’s feet flat on the tarmac.”

The photo can be considered another piece of journalistic evidence, one among many that helped piece together what really happened moments after Aquino stepped out of the China Airlines plane that early afternoon.

Please click here (VERA Files) for the rest of the story.