Sunday, January 26, 2020

Winter Mission

AROUND WINTERTIME IN THE Northern Hemisphere every year, octogenarian Dr. Godofredo Ng (Uncle Freddie to all of us), former surgical director of Carolina Medical Mission, brings his entourage all the way from Raleigh, North Carolina to our hometown in Mindoro to do noble work. Assisting him when in Pinamalayan are doctors and dentists from the Ng clan at Pinamalayan Doctors' Hospital: Tess' sisters Dr. Eloisa Ng and Dr. Joyce Ng, late brother Dr. Robert Ng† (who still directs from above), cousins Dr. Antonio Ng, Dr. Marivi Ng, Dr. Adonis Ng, sister-in-law Dr. Mignonne Ng and niece Dr. Romina Ng. Uncle Freddie's medical mission for Mangyan children last week, held in the hospital's covered court, looks like a success from these photos, shared by Dr. Eloisa Ng, Tess' youngest sister. I'll never tire of saying this: I love my wife and her family.

Dr. Godofredo Ng, former surgical director of Carolina Medical Mission (Photo by Spencer Dempsey)

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Children Of The Ash


Mangyan children collecting charcoal on the side of the Bongabong River. Wood is covered with soil and rocks and set on fire for a certain period of time to produce charcoal. The temperature of the wood must not be too hot for the wood to produce the best charcoal. After the wood cools children help sift through the sand and soil to get every small piece of charcoal they can find. (Photo and caption by Jacob Maentz)

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Postma Manuscripts

I COMPILED INTO A BIBLIOGRAPHY (in neither the MLA or APA format) all of Antoon Postma's work deposited at the Mangyan Heritage Center library in Calapan, accumulated in his almost six decades of working and living with Mangyans from 1958 to 2016. Aside from the five books and about a dozen journal articles he has seen publication during his lifetime, the bulk of his remaining documents are unpublished manuscripts, many of which one may consider as overlapping and repetitive, but testimony to Postma's accreting and evolving understanding of his subject. I am most interested in information I am yet to discover on subjects like Mangyan reducción efforts by early Spanish missionaries, Mangyan interaction with the American imperial government during the early 20th century, abuses committed against Mangyans by the military and lowland Christians in more recent times, and information of anthropological importance (or curiosity) like the rituals in gathering of honey, boiling water to make salt, removing poisonous substances in wild tubers to make them edible, and so on. I wish Postma had done research on the shore-dwelling Mangyans in Bansud before they were driven inland by Christian settlers from Marinduque (the name of the town came from "basud", Mangyan word for "delta" where they once farmed, fished and flourished before turning to the mountains.) But there is none.

With what is available however, book-worthy nonetheless, I have asked Emily Catapang, Executive Director of MHC, to have their text typed up in a CD and submitted with hard copies to UP Press or Anvil for consideration, and she is open to the idea. To enter Postma's world in Panaytayan, Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro, click on his photo in Kurt Hoerbst's slideshow.

(by Kurt Hoerbst, 2007)

Postma's 2004 handwritten transcript (first page) of Karyo's account of his travel to America in 1904, as gathered by Fletcher Gardner in 1939 

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Down Fern Hill

HARAO! BUT BOKAL doesn't need a whack of yantok Mindoro to ford the stream.

Downstream from Manihala Falls, Bansud, Oriental Mindoro (Thanks to Xplorra)

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

One For The Crewman

I ENJOYED WORKING on this, but fun does not always mean good, so there may be changes. I encounter and interact with a lot of Pinoy ship crewmen in my job, all hardworking but underpaid, and this is my tribute. Galley cook photo by Martin Florin Emmanuel. Happy Leap Year!