Dom Martin's vestments: Indigenized robes for worship


MANILA -- A collection of 60 liturgical vestments from 20 ethno-linguistic groups is currently on display at the Ayala Museum in Makati City.
The exhibit, entitled “Vested for Worship, Wrapped in Identity”, showcases the designs of Benedictine monk, Dom Martin Hizon Gomez, OSB from the Abbey of the Transfiguration in Malaybalay, Bukidnon.
Dom Martin studied at the SLIMS Fashion and Arts School from 1967-1968 and had a 22-year career as a fashion designer before entering the monastery.
The Catholic Church has quite recently adopted the concept of “enculturation”, which means that songs -- and now vestments -- can be indigenized. Vestments can make use of fabrics belonging to the cultural identity of each parish.
Amazed by the country’s rich cultural heritage, Dom Martin was prompted to ask, “We have all these beautiful materials. How come we never use them for the Church?”
Dom Martin however had to make certain that fabrics and other ornaments from the various ethno-linguistic groups in the country remain available. “If I am going to promote the use of indigenous materials, I should be assured of the supply. I know they are beautiful but do people still weave them? I might be creating a market but then all of a sudden, there might be no supply,” he said.
Acting as his own researcher and anthropologist, Dom Martin set out on a journey that would take him from his native Mindanao to the northernmost parts of Luzon in search of the best materials that would represent the ethno-linguistic groups of the Philippines.
It was a project that would take him four-and-a-half years to complete. Dom Martin traveled and studied 20 ethno-linguistic groups to make sure they are still weaving and can weave for the Church.
The monk sought the help of the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA), and the Katutubong Pilipino Foundation, whose chairperson Margie Macasaet encouraged him to create a whole collection in time for the Philippine Centennial Celebrations in 1998.
He also checked with his embroiderers in Parañaque and Las Piñas to see if they were still around and working. They were only too glad to help with his project.
“I was very blessed that all the people I approached believed in what I wanted to do — to enculturate liturgical vestments and make them Filipino,” Dom Martin said.
In the field while doing research, Dom Martin realized how remote and inaccessible some of these indigenous groups were, for instance, the “Itneg” in Abra, which he reached after a long trek that included crossing a hanging bridge over a raging river.
“Two days later when I came home, I talked to my brother and I said, please get me an insurance policy. I did not realize this research was going to entail some danger,” he quipped.
The resulting pieces were nothing short of breathtaking. The vestments were done in a variety of fabrics, including abaca and “pinya”, and incorporated the colors of the Itneg, Gaddang, Ifugaos and many other indigenous peoples.
Each piece is totally rendered by hand. The ornaments and embroidery work are intricate and exquisite, fusing in such liturgical symbols as the cross, vines and branches.
According to Dom Martin, the simplicity of the vestments in the early days signified that the Church closely identified itself with the poor. This explains why he left out symbols on the stole --“stola” in Greek -- which means “towel”.
“You do not put symbols on top of symbols. In the early ages, all of these vestments were ordinary clothing. The stola was just a towel that the men used to wipe their faces and hands,” he explained.
”Later on, they had to put emblems and different symbols for catechetical instruction. It served its purpose in those years but at this point in time, they are not strictly necessary, which is why my stoles do not have any additional symbols.”
We have to take pride in our heritage and culture and bring this pride and culture in our liturgical celebrations, he said.
”Only then can we say that our worship has become truly Filipino. Enculturating vestments is very important because when a priest celebrates the Holy Eucharist wearing a vestment using indigenous materials, he is not only clothed for worship, he is wrapped in the Filipino identity,” Dom Martin.
The exhibit runs at the Ayala Museum until September 5. -- PNA


A PWD reacts to DoT’s ‘Experience the Philippines’ ad

The ad, as we all know by now, features a blind retiree living in the Philippines, and able to, ehem, experience the warmth and wonder of the Philippines.
On GMA News-to-Go Tuesday, anchors Howie Severino and Kara David asked Department of Tourism Assistant Secretary Ricky Alegre if he thought the Philippines was PWD-friendly, especially to the elderly.
His reply was: “We know how much we care for our elderly. I’d like to see the day that we totally give all the benefits to the disabled.”
When grilled about our facilities and infrastructure, ASec Alegre said it was “something we can bring up to a higher level.”
Which sounded a little funny for persons with disability. “The country has non-existent public infrastructure for PWDs,” Ed Geronia, a writer who has had polio since he was a year old, told GMA News Online.
“Inviting over PWD tourists, especially those who are vision-impaired and who are used to navigating themselves in a first-world country may find the Philippines to be a dangerous and hostile place.”
He then lists a number of things that PWDs need, that are lacking in our country:
· There are mostly no tactile paving on the streets for visually-impaired individuals
· There are no accessible pedestrian signals that give out an audio warning when it’s safe to cross the street
· There are hardly Braille markings on public signs, pedestrian crossings, and elevator buttons.
Some existing accessible structures are just made for minimum compliance and are not constructed in accordance with international standards.
Before we start inviting PWDs—and elderly PWDs for that matter—to experience the Philippines, perhaps we first better make sure they'll be safe in our shores.
'It's retirees we're referring to,' DoT ASec Alegre defends the 'Experience the Philippines' ad—GMA News

Plagiarism aside, many people are questioning the Experience the Philippines ad: Just how PWD-friendly is the Philippines?

I AM ME: Jessa Zaragoza concert to wow Los Angeles August 12

Ms. Jessa Zaragoza, the Philippines’ “Phenomenal Diva,” is all set to take Los Angeles by storm when she brings her multi-acclaimed concert dubbed “I AM ME: Jessa Zaragoza” to the City of Angels on August 12, 2017 at the Aratani Theatre.

The high production value concert marks Jessa’s 20th year in the music and entertainment industry, a career marked by extraordinary professional success and her significant influence on an entire generation of Filipino music lovers all over the world.

As part of her 2017 world tour which kicked off in Manila and Oahu, Hawaii, Jessa’s I AM ME concert series begins at the Cache Creek Resort and Casino in Sacramento, California and culminates at the Aratani Theatre on August 12. The concert features Jessa’s wide musical repertoire and includes collaborative numbers with the “Original Prince of Pinoy Pop”, Dingdong Avanzado, together with up and coming artist Jayda Avanzado.

The I AM ME: Jessa Zaragoza concept show has received very good reviews capped by several nominations during the 29th Aliw Awards: Best Female Performance in a Concert for Jessa Zaragoza; Best New Female Artist for Jayda Avanzado and Best Concert Stage Direction for Dingdong Avanzado. Jessa eventually went on to garner the top award as Best Female Performance in a Concert during Aliw Awards night.

Jessa began her career in show business in 1987 at the age of eight when she joined Little Miss Philippines, a popular beauty pageant for young girls. In the early 1990s, she joined German Moreno’s That’s Entertainment, Philippine TV’s longest running variety show. She also appeared in several TV sitcoms and movies under Viva Films before embarking on her phenomenal musical career.

As a musical artist, Jessa enthralled her audience with her first album entitled Just Can’t Help Feelin’, gaining stellar status when her single Bakit Pa topped the charts and became some sort of “national anthem” for Filipinos all over the world. Jessa’s album turned platinum eight times, making it one of the biggest selling debut albums in Philippine music history. Not content to rest on her laurels, Jessa continued to produce one hit album after another, churning out unforgettable songs such as Di Ba’t Ikaw, Paano Kaya, Baliw na Puso, Siya ba ang Dahilan, Ibigay Mo Na and Hindi na Bale.

Jessa also ventured into films, starring in several motion pictures including Bakit Pa, the movie that launched her career as an actor under Octo-Arts Films.

In December 2012, Jessa was inducted into the Walk of Fame for her contributions to the Philippine entertainment industry. That same year, she released the album Pag Wala Na ang Ulan, from which almost all songs became theme songs or were used as sound track for GMA’s telenovelas and Koreanovelas. Two years later, Jessa won the Star Music Listener’s Choice Award for Bumabalik Ang Nagdaan, a song she interpreted for composer SJ Gandia.

Jessa is married to Certified OPM Hitmaker and “Original Prince of Pinoy Pop” Dingdong Avanzado. They have a daughter, 13-year-old Jayda, a musical artist in her own right and all set to embark on a musical career of her own. In 2006, Jessa and Dingdong set a new record as the very first married couple to release an all-duet OPM album dubbed Laging Ikaw under Universal records. Dingdong himself will hold his first ever solo live concert in Southern California on July 21 and 22 at Josephine’s Bistro and Music Bar in Cerritos.

Produced by Mendrei and Cecile Leelin of Rosy Cheeks Production, the I AM ME: Jessa Zaragoza concert features all three musical artists together in one venue as Dingdong and Jayda join Jessa for a tour de force performance that showcases the best in Philippine entertainment. The show promises to be a fun evening filled with several unexpected creative numbers and will likely be the concert that Los Angelenos will not forget.

Tickets are available at Seafood City Supermarkets in Los Angeles County, Leelin Bakery and Café in Cerritos, Eagle Rock, Vermont, West Covina, North Hills and Panorama and Aratani Theatre at 244 S. San Pedro S., Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Bob Dylan accused of plagiarism in Nobel Prize lecture

MANILA – Controversy continues to hound Bob Dylan and his Nobel Prize for Literature, this time, involving allegations of plagiarism in the lecture he delivered for winning the coveted award.
In an article on Slate.com, writer Andrea Pitzer wrote that the singer may have used lines from SparkNotes' Moby-Dick study guide for his award lecture.
Pitzer said she uncovered the similiarites after another writer, Ben Greenman, said that Dylan might have made up a quote from the book.
"Those familiar with Dylan’s music might recall that he winkingly attributed fabricated quotes to Abraham Lincoln in his 'Talkin’ World War III Blues,'" Andrea wrote. "So Dylan making up an imaginary quote is nothing new. However, I soon discovered that the Moby-Dick line Dylan dreamed up last week seems to be cobbled together out of phrases on the website SparkNotes, the online equivalent of CliffsNotes."
Pitzer compared phrases from the SparkNotes study guide on the Herman Melville classic book to Dylan's speech. She noted that from the 78 sentences in Dylan's lecture in reference to Moby-Dick, 20 have similar phrases from SparkNotes.
She also mentioned that some of the terms used did not appear in the novel.
In his speech, Dylan said: "Ahab encounters other whaling vessels, presses the captains for details about Moby." The SparkNotes version said: "...the ship encounters other whaling vessels. Ahab always demands information about Moby Dick from his captains."
Dylan also said in his speech: "Another ship's captain – Captain Boomer – he lost an arm to Moby. But he tolerates that, and he's happy to have survived. He can't accept Ahab's lust for vengeance."
The SparkNotes study guide said: "…a whaling ship whose skipper, Captain Boomer, has lost an arm in an encounter with Moby Dick…. Boomer, happy simply to have survived his encounter, cannot understand Ahab's lust for vengeance."
The breakdown of the texts can be found on Slate.com.
Pitzer said she has reached out to Dylan's recording company, Columbia, to seek clarification from the singer and his management, but has yet to get any feedback.
She also said that it was not the first plagiarism allegation against Dylan. Pitzer cited Dylan's 2001 album "Love and Theft." She said Dylan's use of quotation marks in the title seem "to imply that the album title was itself taken from Eric Lott’s acclaimed history of racial appropriation, Love & Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class."
Dylan was also criticized for his painting exhibit titled "The Asia Series" in 2011, as many pointed out that his works were similar to that of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Léon Busy.
In October 2016, it was announced that Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature, the first songwriter to receive the honor, which drew mixed reactions. But the award was marred with controversy when Dylan did not appear during the ceremony due to pre-existing commitments." 
Dylan formally accepted the award in April. His lecture was recorded on June 4 and posted on the Nobel Prize website on June 5. – Rappler.com
Photo Caption:
PLAGIARISM? Singer Bob Dylan faces accusations of plagiarism in the speech he gave, after winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images North America



German Music Festival to Resume After Terrorist Scarea


BERLIN — One of Germany’s biggest rock festivals was set to resume, the organizers said on Saturday, a day after the police ordered tens of thousands of fans to leave because of an unspecified terrorist threat.

Fans had gathered on Friday night at the fabled Nürburgring racetrack complex in western Germany for a three-day rock festival, Rock am Ring, featuring some of the country’s top rock bands. About 60,000 people were at the site when organizers announced the shutdown, the police said.

“A possible terrorist threat cannot be excluded,” the police in nearby Koblenz said in a statement. “Investigations are ongoing at a top level. But we cannot say anything exact about the background right now.”

But in a Facebook post on Saturday, organizers said they had been given the all-clear to reopen, according to reports.

Continue reading the main story

The security arrangements at the festival had been overhauled in recent days, “with a view to the recent attack on a concert in Manchester,” the police said, referring to the bombing last month in Britain.

Earlier on Friday, German television showed police officers removing manhole covers and checking the festival premises with great care. The number of officers present was increased to 1,200, the police said.

“We are taking all tips and all suspicious circumstances very seriously,” the police statement said.

Aphex Twin's first concert livestream includes online-only visuals

Aphex Twin (aka Richard D. James) may have a reputation as a tech-savvy artist, but he hasn't exactly embraced livestreaming. You've usually had to attend one of his concerts to see him venture beyond his album cuts. At last, though, you'll get to see him perform live... and then some. He's hosting his first-ever livestreamed concert at London's Field Day Festival at 8:55PM local time (3:55PM ET) on June 3rd, and this isn't just the usual feed that shows the stage performance and nothing else.

The IDM artist is partnering with Weirdcore to make a "bespoke online visual immersion" that should bring his warped, mischievous art style to your screen. We wouldn't count on a "Windowlicker" level of choreography, but this is definitely more than you tend to get when you're watching from home. the only shame is that Aphex Twin is unlikely to make a habit of this. While plenty of musicians coordinate digital graphics with their live sets, that doesn't happen very often with streams -- this may be your one and only chance to see James experiment with online visuals during a live gig.

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