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Enya 'has done so well and is a superstar', says sister Moya Brennan

Clannad star Moya Brennan has revealed her famous family band have always very proud of the success of her enigmatic superstar sister, Enya.

Her fame-shy younger sister has amazed industry experts by becoming Ireland’s most successful solo artist.

Enya has sold 80 million albums around the globe without ever going on a concert tour and makes only rare public appearances.

The richest Irish singers, actors, families and sports people have been revealed

In a new BBC series, Beart is Briathar, Moya explains that her Grammy-winning sibling always wanted to go her own way.

She said: “She has done so well and is a superstar. People see that she is special.

“She toured with us after she left school and she stayed for two and a half or three years.

"She wanted to do her own thing. She had a more classical than traditional leaning.

“She worked so hard on finding her own sound, the way she sings, the way she plays everything on her recordings and it is special and people love it.

“We are very happy for her. Her style was self-contained. We respect her for that because that’s how she wants to be known.

“We are very close of course but she has her way and we have our way. I have other brothers and sisters too and we all have our own way of going on.”

The new Irish language series, fronted by Eamonn Mallie, is set to feature a string of well-known Irish-speaking personalities who have made an impact culturally, politically, religiously or musically.

In the series, Moya Brennan reveals how all of her siblings were around her father, Leo Brennan, last year in Donegal in the weeks before he passed away last June.

“It was tough but he died at home and we were all there.

“We had a few weeks with him, singing, and crying and praying. It was really lovely but we will certainly miss him.”

She said the death of her uncle Padraig Duggan, the founder of Clannad, just weeks later was devastating.

She said: “People say to me they were sorry about my uncle.

“I have to pause because her wasn’t like an uncle to me, he was more like a brother. He was only a few years older than me.

“Because he was in Clannad for 46 years we spent a lot of time together so I grieved when my father died but maybe because both deaths happened together I was terribly upset about Padraig.

“He was only 67. This was the first member of Clannad to die.”

Padraig Duggan was involved in composing the first Irish-language song to feature in the UK charts, the 1982 theme from Harry’s Game.

Moya said they were amazed at the success of the song they performed on Top of the Pops.

She said: “When we started Clannad we had no plans to make it big or make a lot of money or find a new sound. The sound that merged for Harrys Game was natural and I think that’s what everyone liked.”

She also spoke about the band being naïve and being ripped off during their early days.

“There were very few people especially at that time who didn’t have people take advantage of them. There are people like Elton John and Sting who all suffered. It happens, but as long as we have our music that is the important thing.”

She also opened up about her well-documented battle with drink and drugs when she first shot to fame in Clannad.

“You can get into a bad routine and it can happen easily. I was drinking too much and taking drugs. I didn’t look for them. There were always people approaching you and asking you what you wanted. I was always careful of what I took as well. I was always afraid of harder drugs, I followed the wrong path for a while.”

In recent decades she has been on a path of deep spirituality after finding God.

“I couldn’t get up in the morning if I didn’t know God was on my side. Of course, I have questions but I believe in God. Faith is a very special thing. Everyone needs spirituality. I believe in Jesus Christ and I know when I get up in the morning He is with me.

She said she has found happiness with her husband and their two children, Aisling and Paul, in the last three decades.

She said it was love at first sight when she met the photographer, Tim Jarvis.

She said: “He is an amazing man. We fell in love the first time we met. We now have a son and a daughter and I’m very content and proud.”

And she said one of her favourites pastimes is housework when she returns from tours around the globe.

“When you are off on tour, you’re in and out of hotels, you are on stage in green rooms, in make-up, tuning the harp and doing other things.

“I don’t do it every week so I enjoy housework. I enjoy doing, laundry, the ironing, everything, Isn’t that boring? It is therapeutic to me.”


BY Irish Mirror



24 March 2017, Los Angeles – Philippine Consul General Adelio Angelito S. Cruz joined the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Bataan Death March held at the White Sands Missile Range, a U.S. Army testing area in New Mexico, on 19 March 2017. Considered to be the largest commemoration of the Bataan Death March outside the Philippines, the annual march was started by Army ROTC Department of the New Mexico State University in 1989.

A record number of 7,200 participants joined the event, composed of both military personnel and civilians, including eight survivors of the 1942 Bataan Death March.

This year’s commemorative event was made even more significant by the recent signing of the Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015 on 14 December 2015, recognizing Filipino and American World War II veterans for their service. END.


The Bataan Death March: Experiencing the walk of death

This week, the city of Tarlac commemorates the Bataan Death March with the participation of locals and volunteers from different branches of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The goal is to help people become aware of the sacrifices that Filipino and American soldiers made 75 years ago as they were forced by the Japanese Imperial Army to march to a concentration camp 160 kilometers away.

For thousands of Filipino and American soldiers, part of World War II's history was about surviving the long march and witnessing the death of their comrades. According to official documents, the official troop count in Bataan on April 13, 1942 was 74,800 Filipinos and 11,796 Americans. An estimated 60,600 Filipinos and 9,900 Americans were part of the Death March from April 9-15, 1942.

By the time they arrived in Capas, there were only 45,600-plus Filipinos and 9,300-plus Americans; the rest died along the way.

At the War Memorial shrine, members of the public have a chance to experience how the soldiers struggled and died at the hands of the Japanese army. The commemorative march started at the city’s people’s park, 10 kilometers away. Those who joined made their way through residential areas and main roads, the same routes World War II prisoners walked.

In Capas, the participants looked for their grandparents’ names on the war memorial that has the names of all the soldiers etched as part of Philippine history.

-Jonathan Cellona ABC CBN news


Decorative ‘boho chic’ bilao sells for over P2,000 online

This may seem like an April Fool's joke, but it's not a prank and it's very real: a very sosy bilao is being sold online on Etsy for $38 or P2,021.28.
For reference, an order of "Pancit Malabon Bilao Super Big" (good for 25 people) costs P1,100.
Facebook user Jacob Walse-Domínguez posted about this find on Wednesday and GMA News Online on Saturday found the same item still available for purchasing.
Roselle of Seaside Rose Creations calls the item a "Round Rattan Tray Boho Chic Wicker Tray Woven Bamboo Bohemian Wall Hanging Rustic Decor." The item is further described as a "vintage mid century modern woven tray with elements of wicker, rattan and bamboo."
Buyers are advised that "reeds are in good condition with a few loose, due to age."
Another bilao is for sale on Etsy for over P1,400 and is decribed as "Lovely Round Bottom Shallow Oval Basket Tray" and, additionally, "Herringbone Weave Handwoven."
One user commented on Walse-Domínguez's post: "Get it here (in the Philippines) with free pancit!"
Another user tagged a friend and said, "Let's start a business!" — GMA News


Quezon province goes all-out for culinary tourism

By Gilda Pasion-Balan, Manila Correspondent

Being a kid in the 1980’s, it was a sheerdisappointment to see my bigger sisters coming home with nilupak (mashed cassava with coconut milk and margarine on top)when you expect Chippy (a Jack and Jill brand of junk food made of corn) as pasalubong.

During a time when instant gata and powdered glutinous rice were taboo, I grew up with TiEster’s merienda. She roamed aroundthe barangay pulling her cart full of kakaninand “minindal” goodies – guinataang bilo-bilo or totong, pancit luglog, puto maya and tadtarin.And by the way, despite being an Iglesia ni Cristo, she made the best dinuguan.

But I will never forget how my thin and frail bodywas nourished with my Tita Ching’s adobo(the best I ever tasted!) and sweet and sour pork (whose sauce I have beentrying to replicate for 25 years now) while my mother’s laborious Pancit Molo was an influenza staple. Atthe far end of the street, Ti Banang’sbibingka was everyone’s birthday main course.

This is how it was growing up in the CaLaBaRZon(Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) area. The 1980’s kids had no ideawhat was a junk food (and anyone who ate it was stigmatized). The mix andfusion of indigenous ingredients with a colonial twist made our childhoodtolerate vegetables and all these flavors were the baseline of how we learnedto be discriminating with the food we eat. Who wouldn’t be? The abundance ofnature’s supply from the seas, mountains and fields yield great gifts for ournourishment.

Last March 24, the Philippine News (PN) Manila team was invited by the Department ofTourism Region 4 A to attend the opening of the Quezon Kulinarya. It’s a goodthing that the van PN illustrator Randy Valiente and I were riding would dropby Villa Escudero briefly to pick-up Chef Cocoy Ventura who prepared hot cocofor us.

“Oh, I don’t feel extenders here” I said, while torelishing the bitter-sweet, roasty-milky taste as I try to figure out if therewas cornstarch or xantham gum taste in it. Sad to say, most hot coco I knowrelies on thickeners and they sell for a steep price.

“Our coco is scraped from 100% cocoa bar. It’sbrewed using ipa (rice hull) to heatour kawa and kettles,” explained Chef Ventura, Villa Escudero’s director forFood and Beverage Operations.

Opening doors from culinarypast

In the Calabarzon area, Quezon isgifted to have citizens who from memory preserved a cooking heritage. MiladaDealo –Valde of Dealo Kofee Klatch wrote “The Cuisine of Quezon” which featuredBinombay –batchoy cooked in bananaleaf pouch that resembles an Indian turban and dishes such as Pirihil, Sinantomas, Pasag-oy and otherunusual dish names prepared in a ritualistic manner.

While from memory, Don Conrado “Ado”Escudero vividly wrote glimpses of his past celebrating with food growing up inTiaong. The “Villa Escudero Coconut Plantation Cookbook” connects us to liveslived in opulence with the abundance of ingredients readily available in one’sown backyard. It focuses on events –religious feasts, family gathering, seasonschanging and family growing –and what was served during these celebrations.

Younger chefs like Marvin Aritangcoand Vino Veluz of Buddy’s are exerting efforts along with other food andtourism establishment owners to reach out to more people as possible as theycontinue food preparation traditions for individuals relish while basking underthe Quezon skies.

Titas of Lucena

Our night was welcomed with overflowingfood at the Halina Z Compound Pop Up Food market where the Quezon Mercato diningis held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Young entrepreneurs spendtheir nights running their own food carts. They concoct ingredients, develop afood product and sell at reasonable prices.

The thing about the Mercato was thatit was wholly supported by the Titas of Lucena (I referred to them as) whoordered for us. The Titas Tina Decal, Felisa Florido, Cynthia Eleazar, Carmen Marasiganand Luisa Martinez joined us for the night.

In contrast with the Titas ofManila, who wore their big dangling earrings and posts their OOTD (outfit ofthe day) on social media sites, the Titas of Lucena are tourism advocates whoworks hard to preserve and promote their heritage and culture. They are the “to-goto people” in product development and promotion. They are the guiding light ofthe younger Quezon generation.

Kalamay stories

After tree planting trees at Ouan’s FarmResort in Kanlurang Mayao in Lucena the following morning, March 25, we allheaded to Sariaya to engage with the true chefs of Quezon. They are the manongs who harvested the raw materials;processed everything through manual grinding, shredding and chopping; collectedfirewood for cooking; mixed all the ingredients and prepared the finishedproduct.

According to Manong Bert, kalamay has always been a family stapleevery Christmas. For them, it means abundance.

“Sabing tatay ko, kahit wala tayong manok, basta may kalamay tayo ngayong Pasko,”he said. (My father said, even if we don’t have fried chicken, our Christmas iscomplete with kalamay.)

In the age of food processor and inductioncooker, nothing beats kalamaypreparation the traditional way. It requires all the members of the family, ifnot, the community to be involved during the process. Why? Grinding has to bedone by someone manually using the mortar and pestle while the other prepares thefire. Once the ingredients thicken, it takes four people to mix the thickeningglutinous rice, cassava or coconut mixture. One pair of two first and once theygot tired, the next pair follows and as they rest, they need to watch the fire.Either the flame grows stronger or weaker, one has to be a lookout. It takestwo hours or more of mixing to attain a very smooth, well mixed consistency.

I tried mixing, the coconut jam andthe glutinous rice and my arms and hands trembled after two hours of off and onmixing.


The kawa (cast iron pan big enough to be a bath tub) was heated. ManongBert and his crew gathered buntalleaves and stalks. Out of the buntal leafstalks, they made long mixing sticks for the kalamay.

“Pagmalapot na ang jam, ilalagay nap o natinyung binilog na malagkit at hahaluin para di sila magdidikit-dikit.” (Oncethe coconut jam thickens, we will add the glutinous rice balls and continuemixing so they won’t stick together).

“Pagnaluto na ang malagkit, tatanggalin natin sa kawa tapos paghahalu-haluin. Pag nahalona ang malagkit at jam, ibabalik sakawa lahat hanggang maghalo na yung coco jam at malagkit. Yung paghahalo, tawag dun yapusan.” (Once theglutinous balls are cooked, we remove them from the wok and blend themtogether. Then we put it back to the wok until the jam and rice mix becomesthick. The mixing is called yapusan.)

Yapusanis a method of mixing where both the persons mix in opposing directions as ifdrawing a semi-circle in clockwise and counter clockwise. It takes an hour ormore and should be done in this manner for the kalamay to blend well.

It takes real arm work during the yapusan process that’s why it was the manongs who basically mix the kalamay. I was only able to do tensemi-rotation. Yes, it’s a guy’s work. Not for the fragile woman.

Quezon Flavors

It’s always about the distinct flavourof coconuts mixed with freshly butchered livestock or sea food. If not, root cropsand rice. It’s about what is readily available and the work from scratch is askill one has to master.

The old cooks were creative to putdistinction between the flavors despite using the same ingredient in such atime when all yards has the same produce. Calabarzon has the same agriculturalyield and yet Quezon was able to stand out from its neighboring provinces.Using buco (young coconut) strands asan alternative in the time of egg noodle crisis, the war made the peopleinnovate and develop their own cuisine. Some dishes are trying to break-awayfrom Spanish influence as they explored possibilities in scarcity that resultedto a well done dish that has a rich history of overcoming traumas. With asimple ingredients yielded a complex flavor.

It takes a village to produce the native dishes andin every bite, one can feel the loving hands of those who made them. And thememories of well-thought delicacies linger.

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