Did you think your 9-yr old grandchildren would read a WWII novel?

It never occurred to me that my 9-yr old grandchildren would read my historical novel “Bahala Na (Come What May). But surprisingly they did and love it.

I sent a copy of my book (BAHALA NA – Come What May) to my stepdaughter in Connecticut who have three kids: twin girls aged 9 and their sister, aged 11. My stepgrandchildren love reading and they are well ahead of their class in reading. A day after my daughter got the book, she decided to start reading it but she could not find the book where she placed it. She looked all over the house. She then saw one of the twins in the living room, engrossed in reading the book. My granddaughter refused to give it up and carried the book to school. She read the book whenever she could. Her teacher saw her reading it and was shocked to see her reading a historical novel and told her she could not read it. She held the book up and pointed to the author proudly. “My grandma wrote this book and it is very good!” The teacher was dumbfounded. She did not know what to say.

My granddaughter talked to me on the phone and announced, “Grandma, your book is really good.” I was thrilled to hear that and suddenly thought if there was anything in the book that a 9-yr old should not read. Luckily there was none that I could think of. There are lots of educational stuffs that could be very interesting for someone who is thirsting for knowledge. When she finished the book, her older sister read it, then their mother did and now my youngest granddaughter, the younger of the twin is in the middle of reading it. They came to visit this week and she showed me where she was at the book. My grandchildren wants to know when they can visit the Philippines and see all the places mentioned in the book.  

BAHALA NA (Come What May) is written with everyone in mine, young or old. History, romance, legend, travelogue, action and suspense filled the pages. It’s a book for someone who loves to learn something, someone who thirsts for knowledge. I wrote the book with a goal to educate, to teach something. The book is based on historical facts – historical knowledge that seemed to be lacking in people’s mind nowadays. It is an excellent educational tool and I highly recommend it to be included in the school curriculum in history for both American and Filipino students.

Filipinos are a growing population here and abroad. There is so much to know about the Filipino people. If you want to learn about the Filipinos and what make them tick, read BAHALA NA (Come What May). GET YOUR COPY NOW! It is available at www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan in paperback and Kindle. 


 

FOURTH OF JULY – A ROSE TO CELEBRATE OUR INDEPENDENCE

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Striped Red and White Rose

Parentage: R. ‘Roller Coaster’ x R. ‘Altissimo’.

 

Fourth of July is a special day for our country. We celebrate our freedom that we cherish and that our veterans fought and died heroically and some are still fighting to preserve what we enjoy today. Won’t it be nice to honor our country by having “Fourth of July” rose in our garden? Yes, a rose by the name of “Fourth of July”. As a gardener, I designed my front garden in the theme of Red, White and Blue. I have white alyssum, blue pansies and red roses.

“Fourth of July” is a semi-double, gorgeous ruffled petals climber that looks like a burst of fireworks when in bloom. It has long, pointed buds and 3″ and 4″ blooms with striped red and white petals and glossy, dark green foliage. It is a vigorous plant and can grow 10 to 14 ft. high. It is the first climber to be honored as a 1999 All-America Selection winner for a long time. I planted mine next to a palm tree hoping it would climb the palm tree but the canes were growing away from the tree so I pegged the long cane last week. Pegging or bending the cane down and pegging it to the ground encourages more lateral stems and more blooms.  Next year, I plan to dig it up and move it next to the pillar supporting my front terrace and train it to climb the pillar.

“Fourth of July” has strong apple fragrance, a very refreshing scent. Color is dramatic. It is a stunning plant, a real traffic stopper. It is an excellent repeat blooming rose with sensational flowers all season long. It is the best climber around winning awards at rose show around the country.  You can plant them attached to an arch, pergola or trellis for a stunning display of colorful blooms.  Some gardeners use them as a shrub in the entranceway to the garden.  To grow them as a shrub, prune them heavily in the spring.

Best grown in medium moisture, slightly acidic, well-drained garden loams in full sun to part shade. Water deeply and regularly (mornings are best). Good air circulation is important because it promotes vigorous and healthy growth and helps prevent diseases. Summer mulch helps retain moisture, keeps roots cool and discourages weeds. Remove spent flowers to encourage rebloom.  Remove and destroy diseased leaves from plants, as practicable, and clean up and destroy dead leaves from the ground around the plants both during the growing season and as part of winterizing your roses in late fall.  It is very disease resistant and winter hardy. Few roses can command attention like Fourth of July. It only has 10-16 petals but when Fourth of July is in bloom, it is quite a show.

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PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE DAY SALE – From June 5, 2013 until July 4, 2013.

Filipinos now celebrate their Independence Day on June 12, the day they got their independence from the colonial rule of Spain in 1898. When I was growing up, we celebrated Independence Day on July 4, the day the United States granted independence to the Philippines in 1946.

To honor both dates, I’m offering a month long reduced price for a signed copy of “BAHALA NA (Come What May)”, a WWII novel for a special price of $16.95 with free shipping.  Please send your name and address together with a check for $16.95 payable to Rosalinda Morgan and mail to Rosalinda Morgan, 3056 Sugarberry Ln., Johns Island, SC 29455.  Envelope has to be postmarked between June 5 and July 4, 2013.

“Bahala Na (Come What May)” is a fresh look at the traditions and social mores of the Philippines just before and during World War II. It is a gripping tale of a Filipino couple coping with the vicissitude of life during the war until they gained their independence from the United States on July 4, 1946. It describes some events that were never written before and are part of the Philippine history that we should know about.

May 31 – Feast of “Tapusan”

May 31 is a very important date in the calendar of the people of Alitagtag in the province of Batangas. They have the feast of Tapusan which literally means the end and it is celebrated in honor of the Holy Cross on the last day of May.

The Hermano Mayor, for the most part volunteers and come from the wealthier and more prominent families in town and cannot pass the opportunity for its prestige. He foots the bill for various fiesta features, from church decoration, church choir, meals at open house tables for the whole day of festivities. At times, he can go into deep debt to provide something extravagant for the feast since it can  be hiya, (a shame of not living up to the standard of one’s community) to have a small party. Besides feeding his guests at home, there is also the ‘takeaway’ custom of sending guests home with extra food from the feast table.

The Hermana will have a big gathering at her house starting late morning. She will serve lunch and dinner and snacks in between the day and everybody in the town is invited. The hermana is also in charge for the big procession called “Santacruzan” (Festival of the Holy Cross) at night with floats, band and “Reyna Elena”. There is a contest on who has the best float. The floats are made by each “buklod” or village in secrecy so the other area will not know what the design is. Nobody can spy because everybody knows each other in the whole town and no person from another area is allowed in the area where the float is being made. After lunch, the ladies are frantically busy making the floral arrangements that the young ladies will hold at the parade. Young girls from 5 to 15 dress up in fancy long gowns to be in the parade. You have to be invited by the Hermana to be in the parade. The Hermana will be at the end of the parade, just in front of the float. Young children who are not in fancy clothes will tow the rope attached to the float. The young girls with fancy gowns will be inside the rope holding the floral arrangement with her consort holding a candle. The float is made to sit on top of a jeepney and driven slowly down the road, about one kilometer west of the ‘buklod” and one kilometer east of the “buklod”. Some “buklods” are more ambitious and will do two miles each way.

In Alitagtag, there is only one road in town, running east to west. Spectators usually go to the middle of the town to catch a glimpse of all eight floats, one for each village or “buklod”. Everybody in the parade walks slowly as they say the rosary. The band will be playing behind the float after each decade of the rosary. It is a very moving and festive experience. The whole town is aglow with lights. The floats are always fabulous and garner ohs and ahs from the crowd.

“Tapusan” is a day in May that everybody is looking forward to.

 

To learn more about customs and traditions of the Filipino people, get a copy of “Bahala Na (Come What May)” available in paperback and kindle at www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan

“Bahala Na (Come What May): A WWII story of Faith, Love, Courage, Determination and Survival” is a historical fiction, a travelogue and a love story immersed in all the customs and traditions of the Filipino people.

 

Memorial Day Remembrance

Memorial Day has and always should be a day when we all take a moment to remember and honor our veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in times of war to protect our freedom.  Freedom is not free.  Because of these veterans, our families are free today.  On this Memorial Day, and every day, may each and every one of these brave men and women who served and protected our country know that we are all eternally grateful for their supreme sacrifice.

On May 5, 1986, Waterloo, NY held the first formal, village-wide observance of a day devoted to honoring U.S. war dead.  Memorial Day, originated in a ceremony called Decoration Day, was originally observed as a memorial by the northern states to the Union soldiers who died in the Civil War.  Memorial came into being when John Logan, Union Army General and Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic issued General Order No. 11 fixing May 30 as the annual date “for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in the defense of their country in the late rebellion.  It then grew into a national holiday that honors soldiers killed in all wars.  In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a proclamation designating Waterloo, NY the birthplace of Memorial Day.

May 30th was initially designated as Memorial Day but an Act of Congress moved Memorial Day to the last Monday in May, which only served to take away from its intended purpose as a day to remember our war dead.  Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971 and has been an annual tribute to those who have given their lives in service to their country.

Local towns and villages pay homage to America’s fallen veterans, survivors and servicemen and women over Memorial Day weekend with parades, concerts, speeches, memorial services and wreath-laying ceremonies.

On this Memorial Day, and every day, may each and every one of these brave men and women who served and protected our country know that we are all eternally grateful for their supreme sacrifice. 

SPECIAL OFFER FOR MEMORIAL DAY (expires May 31, 2013) – “BAHALA NA (Come What May)” – a WWII novel dedicated to WWII veterans.

http://wp.me/p2VA3G-46.

 

 

The Spaniards discovered the Philippines

On March 16, 1521, Magellan sighted Samar. He made landfall the next day on the tiny island of Homonhon, in Leyte Gulf.

During the skirmish, Magellan was killed by Lapu-Lapu on April 27, 1521 during the Battle of Mactan, driving the Spanish explorers away, only six weeks after saying his first mass on Philippine soil.

In 1543 Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, another explorer gave the name Las Islas Filipinas to the islands of Samar and Leyte. It was not until 1565 that the Spaniards, under Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, gained a foothold on Cebu, and extended the name Filipinas to the whole group of islands after King Philip II of Spain.Over the next few years, the Spanish pushed northward, defeating Muslim chieftain Sulayman and taking over his fortress of Maynilad, facing what is now Manila Bay. Here, in 1571, Legazpi built the Spanish thick stone-walled city of Intramuros.

The Spaniards ruled the Philippines for 333 years.

SPECIAL OFFER FOR MEMORIAL DAY

SPECIAL OFFER – For a limited time only – From May 13, 2013 until May 31, 2013.

In honor of our veterans and in celebration of Memorial Day on May 27, 2013, you can get a signed copy of “BAHALA NA (Come What May)”, a WWII novel for a special price of $16.95 with free shipping to anywhere in U.S., Hawaii and Canada.  Please send your name and address together with a check for $16.95 payable to Rosalinda Morgan and mail to Rosalinda Morgan, 3056 Sugarberry Ln., Johns Island, SC 29455.  Envelope has to be postmarked by May 31, 2013.

Book Description:

At a market near Baguio, out of boredom, Benjamin picks up a magazine to pass the time. Little does he know, reading the magazine will turn into an obsessive quest to meet the girl whose picture appeared in the magazine. He sees Adelaide’s picture as “Reyna Elena” and is smitten. And so begins the pursuit of meeting her. Will he ever meet Adelaide?

Then World War II starts and Benjamin is caught in a place 465 kilometers away from home as the Japanese are landing everywhere. How will he get home? The story takes you on a long and perilous journey across the mountains and plains of Northern Luzon, into the war stricken city of Manila into the Japanese occupied provinces. What happens if he encountered the Japanese on the way?

Through the start of the war into the Japanese occupation, Batangueños show their unswerving faith, love, courage and determination in the midst of never-ending struggle to survive. As Gen. MacArthur returns to liberate the Philippines, lives turn into an upheaval as evacuations are the norm of the day.

Bahala Na is a fresh look at the traditions and social mores of the era just before and during World War II. It also describes eyewitness accounts of World War II events that were never written before.

 

Honor your mother on Mother’s Day – Sunday, May 12, 2013

Anna Reeves Jarvis was the first woman to hold a celebration of mothers in 1858 in West Virginia, where she instituted Mothers’ Work Day to raise awareness about local sanitation issues.  During the Civil War, she expanded the scope of Mothers’ Work Day to include sanitary conditions on both sides of the battlefield.

Julia Ward Howe, author of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” also attempted to institute a national celebration of mothers that honored women’s inclinations toward peace.  In 1872 she initiated and promoted a Mother’s Day for Peace, to be held on June 2, which was celebrated the following year by women in 18 cities across America.  The holiday continued for another decade but eventually phased out after Howe stopped underwriting the cost of the celebrations.

In 1905, Anna Reeves Jarvis passed away and her daughter, Anna Jarvis, took up her mother’s cause.  Anna swore on her mother’s gravesite that she would continue her mother’s lifelong dream of creating a national day to honor mothers.  In 1907, Anna launched her campaign by handing out white carnations to the parishioners at her mother’s church in Grafton, West Virginia.

Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis’ church acquiesced to Anna’s request to hold a special Sunday service in honor of mothers – a tradition that spread the very next year to churches in 46 states.  In 1909, Anna left her job and began a campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States.  She dedicated herself to a full-time letter-writing campaign, asking politicians, clergymen and civic leaders to institute a national day for mothers.  Jarvis’ efforts met with success and her home state of West Virginia adopted an official Mother’s Day.  Two years later, the U.S. Congress passed a Joint Resolution, signed by President Wilson, establishing a national Mother’s Day emphasizing the role of women in their families.

In 1912, Anna Jarvis trademarked the phrases “second Sunday in May” and “Mother’s Day” in the singular possessive form in honor of each mother.  Mother’s Day has been celebrated by Americans on the second Sunday in May ever since.

Jarvis holiday was adopted by other countries and cultures and it is now celebrated all over the world.  The date was changed to fit already existing celebrations honoring motherhood, such as Mothering Sunday in the United Kingdom and the Orthodox celebration of the presentation of Jesus Christ to the temple on February 2 in Greece.

Ironically, Anna Jarvis never had children of her own.  But that didnt stop her from making the celebration of Mother’s Day her lifelong mission.  In fact, as the holiday took on a life of its own, Jarvis expressed disappointment over its growing commercialization by the 1920s.  In this tradition, each person offers a gift, card, or remembrance toward their mothers, grandmothers and/or maternal figure on Mother’s Day.  For my part, I dedicate my book “BAHALA NA (Come What May): A World War II Story of Love, Faith, Courage, Determination and Survival” to my mother as shown in the Dedication Page.

Rosalinda Morgan

www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan

 

 

May is Fiesta Time in Batangas

In the month of May, town fiestas are very common in Batangas and different barrios celebrate their own respective fiestas.  Alitagtag was probably the only town in Batangas or maybe in the Philippines that celebrated two fiestas, one on May 3 and another one on May 7.  May 3 was the feast day of the Holy Cross in Binukalan in Alitagtag.  It was also the town fiesta of the neighboring town of Bauan.  May 7 is the big town fiesta in Alitagtag.

In the olden days, preparation was undertaken to really go all out to impress everyone.  Every house in town started preparing for the big day starting on May 4.  The people work hard to make their homes presentable, cleaning and scrubbing floors and windows, putting new curtains on the windows and have the whole house in a festive mood.  Streets were decorated with bamboo arches and brightly colored paper streamers.  The town plaza had vendors selling toys, trinkets and food.  There were ferris wheels, carousel and other entertainment on the plaza near the church.

Batanguenos love to eat and they are great cooks and fiestas around the towns showcase their expertise in cooking delicious meals.  Preparation for making suman was scheduled to have the ingredients for the recipes bought and be ready on May 4.  Banana leaves were picked to be used in cooking suman.  Suman is a desert or snack whose ingredients are malagkit na bigas, (a special sticky rice), coconut milk and brown sugar, salt and wrapped in banana leaves.  It was mixed and then steamed to perfection.  This desert was cooked on May 5.

On May 6, a pig was slaughtered.  For several months before the feast, every house had one pig that they fattened and designated for the fiesta.  If you could not afford to have a pig, you would ask one of your relatives if you could share their pig.  All parts of the pig were cooked into different recipes.

Lechon (roasted pig) was an important dish for fiesta or big events as turkey on Thanksgiving Day in the United States or ham for Christmas in European countries. Chicken was also cooked on the same day. Another food specialty that was cooked on May 6 was called kalderetang kambing which was essentially stewed goat’s meat. Pancit which is a kind of noodle recipe was cooked on the eve of the feast.

Besides food, there were also some local fiesta games in Alitagtag. Palo Sebo was a traditional game played at fiesta time. Pabitin was another popular game with children in many fiestas. In some towns, prominent members of the community organized a ball for charity. By tradition, the Rigodon dance opened the ball.

On the eve and day of the fiesta, marching bands went around the town, making the day joyous and really festive. On the night of the fiesta, there was a big procession with carroza, a float carrying the image of the patron saint starting from the church and went through the barrios and back to church.

For more info on town fiesta and other customs and traditions, get your copy of the book “BAHALA NA (Come What May): A WWII Story of Love, Faith, Courage, Determination and Survival”.  Besides untold eyewitness account of the war in the Philippines, the book depicts the customs, traditions and way of life little known to people outside the Philippines.

“BAHALA NA (Come What May) is available at www.amazon.com/Rosalinda-Morgan/e/B00C03KL72 in paperback and Kindle.

Copyright©2013 Rosalinda Morgan

“The Philippines” written by Alexander R Morgan in 1989

As I was looking for some old files yesterday, I bumped into this school report about “The Philippines” that my son, Alexander R Morgan, wrote on May 24, 1989 for his World Cultures class.  He was 15 yrs old at that time and in ninth Grade at St. Dominic High School in Oyster Bay, NY.  Coincidentally, it was his birthday yesterday.  Happy Birthday Alex. 

Here is the full text:

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