Ave Verum Corpus

Beautiful hymn we sang at all the choirs I was in years ago!

allenrizzi

Ave Verum Corpus has often been described as one of the few perfect pieces of music ever written. It is a mere three minutes long and simple in musical structure but ranks among Mozart’s best works. Ave Verum Corpus (Hail, True Body), (K. 618), is a motet (a short piece of sacred choral music, typically polyphonic and unaccompanied) in D major composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1791.

Mozart composed the motet in 1791 in the middle of writing his opera Die Zauberflöte. He wrote it while visiting his wife Constanze, who was pregnant with their sixth child and staying in the spa Baden bei Wien. Mozart set the 14th century Eucharistic hymn in Latin, Ave Verum Corpus, to music to be used in the Baden church. He wrote the motet for Anton Stoll, a friend of his and of Joseph Haydn. Stoll was the musical director of…

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Playing cards made history

Interesting facts about playing cards!

Pacific Paratrooper

Playing cards to pass the time

War can be hell… and war can be absolute boredom.  There are few better ways to pass the time than by playing cards.  They’re easy to carry: small and lightweight, they fit into a rucksack, duffel bag or Alice pack without having to sacrifice any piece of essential gear.

Plus – they’re cheap!

Wartime decks have been used to help soldiers in the field learn about their enemies and allies, to identify aircraft and even teach American history.  In the 2003 invasion of Iraq, American forces used playing cards to identify the most wanted members of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

The U.S. Army and the United States Playing Card Company cooperation goes way back.  But it was their brand Bicycle that took it to a whole new level.

During WWII, Allied Intelligence officers contacted the card company to produce the most clandestine deck of cards…

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Imelda Marcos – a study in a power grab, corruption and ill-gotten wealth during the Marcos Era – Part I

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Imelda Romualdez Marcos with former President Ferdinand Marcos and family during the 1965 inauguration- Photo Credit: Malacañang Palace

Imelda Romualdez Marcos isa Filipina politician and convicted criminal. She married Marcos in 1954 and became the First Lady of the Philippines when Ferdinand Marcos became President of the Philippines in 1965 until they were deposed in 1986. While in power for21 years, Imelda and her husband stole billions from the Filipino people, and that the amount they stole could have paid off the entirety of the Philippine foreign debt. By 2018, the Philippine government had recovered about $3.6 billion of this ill-gotten wealth through compromise deals or sequestration cases.

Upon becoming First Lady, Imelda often asked members of the Blue Ladies to accompany her on her trips out of the country. Imelda’s Blue Ladies, specifically Maria Luisa, a daughter of the wealthy Madrigal family and Daniel Vazquez’s wife, contributed…

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Transforming Agriculture

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IF I WERE THE NEXT PRESIDENT (Part 8 of a series)

By BEN R. PUNONGBAYAN

Founder, Buklod National Political Party

Improving Philippine agriculture, which includes fishery and forestry products, has been a persistent major issue since much of the 20th century. Unfortunately, we still continue to struggle to come to grips with it.

So many official and academic studies as well as private commentaries and opinions abound on how to deal with this extraordinarily important issue. I chose as reference for this commentary a recent study issued by the World Bank in June 2020, “Transforming Philippine Agriculture During COVID-19 and Beyond”. This report provides a high level analysis of the present state of Philippine agriculture and a discussion of policy options to transform Philippine agriculture. Accordingly, unless otherwise specified, the data cited in this commentary come from this source.

Based on data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)…

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A Rose (Brigadoon) and a Tip for Healthy Living

Early stage of bloom

Later Stage of Bloom

Class: Hybrid Tea

Year of introduction – 1992

Registration Name – JACpal

Parentage: Unnamed Seedling x Pristine

Hybridizer: William A. Warriner (United States, 1991)

Introduced in the United States by Jackson & Perkins Co.

This winner of the All America Rose Selection award in 1992 is categorized as a pink blend, a description that says nothing about its real color, a creamy blush spreading from the center into deep pink coral. At times, it looks like coral-orange with cream reverse. It’s wonderful seeing it changes color as it opens from bud to bloom.

Brigadoon has moderate, spicy, fragrant blooms produced one to a stem, and are best up to the halfway stage where the bud is perfection itself. As the flower opens, it holds its shape but does tend to drop the immediate central petals – something that will only bother an exhibitor. As a flower for decoration, it is a real eye-catcher. The bush is vigorous, upright, medium-tall, about 3’ and 28” wide, and well-branched with semi-glossy deep green, dense, leathery foliage that can be pretty large in cooler climates. The long, pointed, ovoid buds unfurl to double (35-40 petals), large (5” across) to high-centered, reflexed bloom form, and blooms in flushes.

Brigadoon can be grown in USDA zone 6b and warmer and used for beds and borders, as cut flower or container rose. For spring pruning, remove old canes and dead or diseased wood and cut back canes that cross. In warmer climates, cut back the remaining canes by about one-third. In colder areas, you’ll probably find you’ll have to prune a little more than that. It requires spring freeze protection but can be grown in the ground or in a container. In a container, it requires winter protection.

Tip of the day: Eat lunch outside – When sunlight hits the body, production of the neurotransmitter serotonin increases, which can make you feel happier, more alert, and more energized. (Be sure to wear your sunscreen!)

Marcos and Martial Law in the Philippines

For those too young to know about martial law during the Marcos era, here is a brief history. May we learn from it.

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The Sunday edition of the Philippines Daily Express on September 24, 1972, the only newspaper published after the announcement of martial law on September 21, the evening prior.

Ferdinand Marcos changed parties to run against Diosdado Macapagal and was elected president in 1965. While running for the presidency, Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda Romualdez, sang campaign duets as part of his strategy to win votes. Marcos came to power as a nationalistic social reformer with a broad electoral mandate to deal with the country’s chronic problems.

During his first term of office, he achieved considerable improvement in initiating infrastructure programs and increasing rice production. The country was ranked second in Asia in terms of economic standings.

At the beginning of his term, Imelda was all charm. Then in Sept. 1966, she made her international debut on an official trip with Marcos to the United States. She entranced Lyndon Johnson…

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What’s the Fascination with the Old Garden Roses?

Rose Gardening World

By Rosalinda Morgan

A sepal, a petal, and a thorn

Upon a common summer’s morn-

A flash of Dew – A Bee or two –

A Breeze – a caper in the trees –

And I’m a Rose!

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

I’ve been growing roses since 1971 and joined the American Rose Society the following year when they were still in Columbus, Ohio. I started with five modern roses because that was the only thing I knew about roses. But as I began to love the history of anything and everything, I read about Old Garden Roses and began to explore its fascinating history. I started to plant some old garden roses after I moved to our third home in the ‘80s. I still had some modern roses in the garden because it seemed like everyone who visited my garden was looking for hybrid teas. But Old Garden Roses have…

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Choosing and Adopting a Primary Language Soon

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IF I WERE THE NEXT PRESIDENT (Part 7 of a series)

By BEN R. PUNONGBAYAN

Founder, Buklod National Political Party

The Philippines is one of the probably very few countries in the world that do not speak a primary language on a national scale. This situation, unfortunately, has grave disadvantages, more directly in political and educational developments and, hence, ultimately in economic development.

By primary, I mean the language that is commonly used in speaking and writing in practically all situations such as, in government, business, schools and even at home and other informal occasions. A primary language becomes necessary in uniting the people when there is a concurrent presence and use of several languages in a country. Call it “lingua franca”, if you will.

Geographically, at present, the regional languages predominate in day-to-day conversation—at home and in informal gatherings. But these languages are rarely used in public writing, except…

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General Macario Sakay – Was He an Outlaw or a Patriot?

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General Macario Sakay y de Leon was born on Mar. 1, 1878, along Tabora Street in Tondo, Manila. and died 114 years ago today on Sept. 13, 1907, at age 29. He first worked as an apprentice in a kalesa (carriage) manufacturing shop. He was also a tailor, a barber, and a stage actor.

Sakay grew up in Tondo, where he had gotton to know Andres Bonifacio. Joining the Katipunan in 1894, Sakay acted in popular Tagalog verse dramas, which were staged in different neighborhoods in Manila, thus providing the perfect cover for the young Katipunero to move about. He fought alongside Bonifacio as a Filipino general in the 1896 Philippine Revolution against Spain. In 1899, he continued the struggle for Philippine independence against the United States.

The Philippine-American War, also called the Philippine Insurrection by the United States, was a war fought from 1899 to 1902 by forces of…

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Overhauling the Philippine Education System

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IF I WERE THE NEXT PRESIDENT(Part 6 of a series)

By BEN R. PUNONGBAYAN

Founder, Buklod National Political Party

There is a common acknowledgement that the quality of our education system is quite low. This observation, without doubt, has been validated by the poor results of the performance of our students in periodic international assessments of achieved learning.

The most telling of these assessments is the very poor performance of our students in PISA (Programme for International Assessment) in 2018 for 15 year-olds where our students ranked lowest in reading and second lowest in mathematics and science, out of 79 countries. A humiliating results, indeed; but which brought a loud and clear confirmation that may drive us to action. Similarly, we did poorly in the ASEAN assessment in 2019 of Grade 5 students among six ASEAN countries.

In addition to the academic issue, the term I use to…

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