EMBOA’s Successful Paseo de Malate Flores de Ermita around Manila

We are pleased to announce that Ermita Malate Onwers Bussiness Association (EMBOA) Flores De Ermita Paarada ng mga Sagala and the Kasuotang Pilipino Fashion show is taking a giant leap forward showcasing our annual Flores De Ermita Event with young fashion designers of the Fashion Designers Association of the Philippines. This year’s parade of carriage and mini-fashion show will begin at Manila Hotel and ends at Robinson Place Manila on May 27,2016.

After Last Years fantastic and unparalleled success event that started in Luneta Hotel,EMBOA have decided to take advantage of new opportunities of showcasing more historic and heritage buildings and establishments. with historic value in the streets of Katigbak drive, Orosa, UN Avenue, Adriatico and Remedios Circle with iconic heritage design houses,buildings and the redeveloped Remdios Circle Park in Malate.

The designers with the EMBOA President and FDAP President

This year you will see the your favorite elements of the event with the Sagalas led by Miss Earth 2015 Angelia Ong, the Sagalas will be parading around the Streets of Ermita Malate by horse drawn carriage wearing designers gown made by some Filipino Renowned and up coming young designers that are participating this year’s Flores De Ermita Event.


Awarding of the winners with Ms. Earth 2015 Angelia Ong

Our mission of positive image and pride of place remain strong and we are proud to continue our renewal agenda , community safety and security agenda for our residents , arts and cultural promotion,good neighborhood and business partnership and in making stronger alliances with city Government and various stakeholders for the revival of  Ermita-Malate as a tourism destination.

To Celebrate the City of Manila’s special version of the well loved May Flower Festival,the Flores de Ermita will not only celebrate the beauty in fashion but wil also revisit the charm of the Philippine capital and once known as the pearl of the orient says, Michelle Pem EMBOA President ,We look forward to continuing our great relationships and parntership with the Fashion Designers Association of the Philippines,sponsors,the median and all the community leaders of Ermita-Malate. Our Board of Directors and members has kicked into full gear.


Anyone interested in getting involved as a sponsor,member,advocates of urban renewal,media relations and volunteers please contact EMBOA admin office at telephone number- 526-1866;09085422952

Please visit our Website at http://www.emboa.com.ph and like us on facebook: emboa

NoBox Philippines joins the Global Campaign Support. Don’t Punish Global Day of Actionn

This weekend, NoBox is launching the #FireflyInitiative as we join the global campaign Support. Don’t Punish.

Through an online campaign on June 26 and a day of activities at NoBox on June 27, NoBox Philippines celebrate support, hope, and potential. The organization believes in supporting people who use drugs for the most simple and basic fact that people who use drugs are people. When it comes to people who use drugs, there is no “us versus them,” there is just us. We want to cultivate a culture where support for one another, where having each other’s backs, is second nature. Even everyday simple displays of support highlight something of great significance: that we are all connected.

On June 26, during the Support. Don’t Punish. Global Day of Action, we’d like to invite you to post online, on facebook, instagram, or to tweet in what way, big or small, can you show support to someone today? Dont forget to include the hashtags #FireflyInitiative  #SupportDontPunish
On June 27, The organization will be holding at NoBox a day of activities to celebrate support, potential, and things we can achieve. There will be several booths where people can express their views and hopes for the world: what do we want to do, and what can we, in our collective action accomplish? On this day, we look forward to what we can do, and we remember who we’re doing it for.  Activities include a filmmaking Q&A, art corners, photo and video booths, and a coalition dinner. In our token-making booth, we will launch the Firefly Initiative. We will be creating reminders of the light that is in everyone: in each one we meet, and sometimes, we forget, in ourselves. In every person there is light. In every person, there is always hope.`

We would like to invite you to join us on Saturday @NoBox Transitions, 1707 17th floor The Trade and Financial Tower 7th Ave. cor. 32nd St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Activities starts at 10 in the morning.

You may learn more about NoBox by visiting their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/noboxtransitions . And about the event at https://www.facebook.com/events/535304589941675/
To learn more about the global campaign Support. Don’t Punish. you may visit  www.supportdontpunish.org .
Step up! Extend a helping hand, not only today but in every day of your life.
See posters below for more details.

Round Table Discussion

Art Mural Booth

Women as Superheroes: Feminist Journeys in Philosophy of Myth and Popular Culture (late post)

Joseph Campbell was an American mythologist and writer who coined the term monomyth, which is another term for a hero’s journey. The hero’s journey comprises of three main parts: Departure, Initiation and Return. The Great Myth was taken from a male point of view. The story tellers and chroniclers are all males. The focus of the Great Myth is the Masculine Journey. To bring female heroes in, Campbell turned to fairytales. Here, Story tellers are women as told to children. However, the famous ones are still men. In contemporary story telling, there came the comic superheroes. “superheroes” were trademarked and co-owned by DC Comics and Marvel Comics. A superhero must have extraordinary powers, skills, and equipment, he must have a secret identity and definately a strong moral code. From 12% Female writers, now there is only a little morethan 1%. In a female counter part of superheroes, there are three life stages. One is a maiden, a young and inexperienced. Her virtue is beauty and youth, she’s passive and patient and endures waiting. Second is a mother. Her virtue is nuturing. The last is a crone- an old woman. A Warrior woman, is strong and courageous. Another argument presented is having a super hero and being one. It is defining female identity as having a (men) her in our/her life (romantic interest). Heroes like Darna, Isis and Wonder Woman, all beautiful and passive and trying to save the world. Hetero-breeding superheroes: Scarlet witch. Moral code: the female superhero in relation to self autonomy is connectedness. Diversity of Images- Tokenism gives us an example of like that of Batwoman as a lesbian. In my own opinion, the points are well taken. The role of men in mythology are great but women are that of equals too. Beauty and power is not lesser than that of men. However, there is some part that depicts women very diversified. Like that of Bat Woman as a lesbian. It doesn’t really make sense why women have to be represented in comics like that. In any case, the role of women in being a hero is not of weaker or less valuable that that of representation. In terms of gender issues, there is streotyping when it comes to gender roles in society since our ancestor’s times but right now, the continuing development in global scale doesn’t anymore hinder the women or deprive them of equal rights to that of men’s. In fact, women’s role today in families especially in single parenthood is that they are represented as heroes as they can work and build their families on their own. It is proven by facts.

On Sex and Gender: Comparison and Contrast

Long since who knows when–way, way back when gender and sex became a hot topic of debates, people always regard the difference between the role of the male and female necessary for social productivity. People often confuse gender from sex so they interchange them in terms of usage. Sometimes people also thought that they are the same things, just has different gravity. And people often confuse the word “sex” for another meaning. But that’s a different story of course. It is important to know the difference between sex and gender because scientific inquiry in terms of the human anatomy which covers sex greatly differs from social constructivism which covers gender.

Sex refers more of a biological nature of a person. It is what you’re born with. We were either born as male, female or gender neutral also known as intersex and asexual. Classification of a male is by having a complete male reproductive organ, of a female by having a complete female reproductive organ, intersex by having vague or ambiguous reproductive organs and asexual by having neither a female nor a male reproductive organ.

Depending on how an intersex or an asexual child is raised, either male or female, it is fairly difficult to raise him or her because of the expectations and judgment of the society which will either make or break the child during the development process. In cases where they have to choose between male or female categories, it is difficult because there is no such thing as an option for Asexual and intersex. For example, choosing where to enter in public comfort rooms or answering an application form (ticking box categories are only for male or female) or opting for an exclusive school seemed impossible. As such, the intersex have the freedom to choose their own, whichever sex they want to belong to or just being neutral but such cases can lead to gender confusion in childhood or even in adulthood. That is where the defining of gender comes in.

According to an online source1, “gender is a construct specifying the socially and culturally prescribed roles that men and women are to follow.” It has no biological basis; it is by social norms and is in the realm of influence. Gender is stereotypical in nature. For example, in Males, they should masculine which includes being aggressive, tough, brave, logical, independent, and all other male dominant traits and professions, and liking things that are masculine in societal norms i.e. cars, blue, contact sports, etc. Females however, should be feminine which includes being sweet, soft-spoken, emotional, beautiful, submissive, and all other female dominant traits and professions, and liking things that are as feminine in society’s standards i.e. pink, Barbie dolls, kitchen sets, etc. Gauging one’s self into the sphere of the opposite extremes makes one a gender traitor of some kind.

In the past—or even today, the laws of the society and the acceptable norm are only favorable to male and female. All things are differentiated to only two sexes. Where do the in-betweens stand? Which side of the scale? Well of course as law states, sexes decide, not the orientation. So then marginalized identities in this case are the transgender, gay and lesbians all of which famously goes by the term Queers, intersex and asexual. However, so long as the intersex and asexual chooses their side, they are not going towards the center of the scale. Society doesn’t even have the right to dictate or to put pressure on what they want for the intersex and asexual because they were born different. Well actually the best way to stop being marginalized—in my opinion is to make a law that protects them and adopt certain methods like having their own choice in ticking the “sex options” box (the third being gender neutral along side with male and female) in all application forms, having their own comfort room and clothing line, etc.

According to the sex-gender-desire matrix, a “real man” in terms of sex (biology) is male by birth, in terms of gender (culture) is masculine and in terms of desire (sexual orientation) is heterosexual—meaning he desires the opposite sex than pursuing the same-sex. Anything beyond the realm of these things are marginalized. In the other hand, a “real woman” in terms of sex is female by birth, in terms of gender is feminine and in terms of desire is also heterosexual.

For instance, the society expects more on men. They are oppressed in a way that they HAVE to live by standards set by the society for men. Being given the active role, they have to be the dominant person in the public sphere and has to be the bread-winner of the household. If they can’t live by the standards, they are towards the center of the scale. In which case, they are considered marginalized along with the men who consciously chose to be feminine.

Gays and lesbians don’t have the rights to marry the same-sex in some countries; it’s newly implemented in others. Not all countries accepts the same-sex intercourse and relationships. That’s a fact yet universally unbroken. This makes the LGBT group very much marginalized because extremists still attacks their vulnerability. They do not follow the norms of their own sex, and thus leaving them on the vulnerable point in the scale.

Women who dreams to be doing active roles are marginalized because they are doing what the society does not expect of them. This is practiced before, during the time before and during the feminist era.


RAMADANرماضالن : A Culture of Sacrifice


Culture is a way of life of the people. It is their socially induced beliefs and practices, values, and behaviour that have been the basis of how they live and communicate to others. There are many cultures that are already established; there are some that are on their way there; and there are a lot of sub cultures within the bigger picture. Some of the practices of one culture are generally the same with practices of the other but basically, they are separated by unique ways depending on how the community practice that certain culture. Generally there have been biased and racist effects of having certain standards of what a culture should be. However that was before and now, however exotic a practice is, it should be respected. Otherwise, a person is offensive by judging the culture different from his. There are accepted practices and there are unaccepted ones. There are ordinary traditions and there are what we call “taboo”, a practice that is considered sacred to a group but is weird to others.

As a person who grew up with different cultures and traditions, I had a taste of life as how other people view it or spend it. I’ve experienced cultures that mould the personalities or identities of the groups of people who had spent their lives within that culture circle. But now I have a dilemma. If I’ve gone through different cultures and spent so much time on each of them, what am I supposed to be? What is my culture? Where do I really belong? What is my real identity? Could I choose, or will the society dictate for me? That is one thing I’ve been confused about all along. A “third-culture kid (TCLK)”-that’s what we’re called. It sounds like we’ve had three cultures that have moulded us, but no! According to an article in Wikipedia, “a third culture kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of [their] developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background”. Well, that figures. I’d love to discuss as many traditions I’ve experienced that are really different from how Filipinos live but I will just stick to a culture that is common not only in the Philippines and in the Middle East but also from around the globe, Ramadan. It is a common practice by the Muslim community. It’s counterpart in the Christian belief- as in my religion’s practices is Prayer and Fasting which occurs at a different time period.

According to Wikipedia, Ramadan originally came from an Arabic root R-M-D as in (رمالضن) ramadhan, ramida or ar-ramad. It means intense heat, scorched ground and shortness of rations.  Ramadan as a name of the month came from an Islamic origin. It was named Ramadan because the season where it’s celebrated is a torrid season and the condition of the body of the person during fasting. The Muslims safely reckon the beginning of the Ramadan by determining the beginning of the month with is indicated by the new moon. According to Wikipedia, “There are many disagreements each year, however, on when Ramadan starts. This stems from the tradition of sighting the crescent moon with the naked eye; as such, there are differences for countries in different parts of the globe. More recently, however, some Muslims are leaning towards using astronomical calculations to avoid this confusion”. From a website called The Holiday Spot, it is said there that “a great part of the history of Ramadan depends on ancient Islamic folklore. According to the Islamic texts, Ramadan began with Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam who was born in 570 CE in the Arabian city of Mecca. [He was, to the Muslims, the messenger of Allah. God has given him power and wisdom, so therefore,] as a mark of respect to Allah and to show gratitude to him for the true knowledge that he gifted to his sons and daughters, the prophet asked his followers (and therefore the followers of Islam) to pass the month of Ramadan in fasting, prayers and other austerities and end the month-long non-indulgence with festive celebrations.”

What do the Muslims do during Ramadan? In many Islamic countries, the beginning of Ramadan is announced by a firing of a gun or cannon on the eve of the first day (which begins at sunset not sunrise). Since Ramadan is the month of fasting, Muslims do not eat on daylight. They cannot eat nor drink- not until the sun goes down. The morning hours are usually spent reciting the Koran, while the rest of the day is spent sleeping, reading and praying. Then, as sunset approaches, Muslims gather in the mosque to chant the Koran and pray. According to a website called Fun Munch, “…when do you start to fast? The rule is that when it becomes light enough where you can tell a white thread from a black thread, the fast must begin. In the evening, when you can break the fast and eat, (known as Iftar) it is usually customary to begin with a white soup made of wheat broiled in meat broth. This is followed later by a regular dinner of meat, rice and vegetables. Iftar is a happy occasion and food is either prepared at home or purchased at a market. The timing of Iftar is usually announced on the radio or television today. But the old tradition is to listen for the call from the minarets of the mosque.” Fasting does not only relate in food but also things that people indulge like intoxicating beverages and sexual activities.

When I first came to Dubai, UAE, I got culture shocked. The cultural practices and traditions are very different. I had a hard time coping up at first but I had fun learning how it is there. Just like in the Philippines, there are only two types of weather conditions (excluding the sandstorms, of course, for they come and go anytime of the year). The only difference is that the weather in UAE is more on extremes. In UAE, summer season is extremely hot; the winter season is very cold (snowing is very rare) and the temperatures reach up to -3°C but the average temperature is around 18-25°C. The Ramadan I’ve experienced elsewhere and in the Philippines is very different than what I’ve experienced in UAE. In the Philippines, the Ramadan is observed only by the Muslims (since this is a non-Muslim country). Muslims are not really concentrated in one area-except in Mindanao where almost ¾ of the population are Muslims. So, we, non-Muslims are not expected to follow their fasting but in general-are to respect their traditions and not ridicule and mock them. We also have announcements about Ramadan on TV and radios. It’s like Ramadan is already part of our culture. The holidays of the Muslims have become ours. It’s like were adapting to their culture as to proving to the Mindanao dwellers that they are part of our country too and that they don’t need to build their own government and form a new country. Maybe that’s how it is. In Dubai, we’re the ones who should abide by the traditions of the Muslim since it’s a pre-dominantly Muslim country. My first Ramadan experience there wasn’t that bad but I had a hard time. I was lectured about the rules and practices there with regards to Ramadan. Yes, I’ve learned a lot but it was really difficult for me to be forced to follow them immediately. I’ve tried to conform but I failed most times but after sometime it became a part of me that I was already used to it. First rule is that we have to wear decent clothes when going out so that the Muslims couldn’t be tempted. Second is that we cannot eat nor drink outside in public during the day that means a very offensive disrespect to the Muslims. Third is that we should observe their prayer times (really, we have to do that for 5 times a day!). Fourth is that we should not temp them in any way that will make them impure during the fasting period-actually even during the evening for it defeats the purpose of fasting.

What I like most about the Ramadan experience in Dubai is that during the month of the celebration, our classes are only from 8am-12pm. We usually have to be home by 1pm so that the non-Muslims can eat. We are not really allowed to eat in school to give respect to those Muslims who are fasting-in implementing that, our canteens are literally closed. They only sell water. Though, it’s not that fun staying indoors either during the mall closing hours. However, there is already internet and television during our time, unlike in the past; they don’t have televisions or computers. What I also like in my Ramadan experience is that I get to try their culture and join in their festive Iftar mood. The festive food choices and the late night gatherings that is culturally special for them. I also like the holiday after Ramadan. The Eid Al Fitr (عيد الفطر) is a festive holiday which lasts up to 3 days without classes (if it falls on a weekday).

There is not much change that happened really. It’s not the tradition that changed but how they celebrate it. The technology has affected the way they celebrate and announce. Before, it was only the mosques who announce on the hours of the “prayers, fasting and breaking the fast” now, even the media covers the events that is held on different parts of the country. Like during the opening and ending of the Ramadan with the firing of the cannons at some place, people don’t have to flock around the place, they can already watch it on the TV. But these changes didn’t happen overnight. The changes are very gradual, depending on the reliance of the tradition on technology and practicality is not even close. Muslims spends a lot for the post Ramadan festivities to mark the end of the fasting season.

I chose this practice because I’ve been stricken at heart about the real meaning of this practice. I’ve lived in the Middle East for quite some time and I was drawn to its vast culture and unique traditions. The meaning of the fast is not to show in physicality that they are religious and always obedient-like hypocrites but to cleanse ones’ self and to do penance for their sins and mistakes. They do not have to tell a person -like a mediator- all their sins but they direct it to Allah in fasting. Unlike the Catholics who still practice Acts of Contrition, Muslims believed that it is more personal to tell God directly of their wrong doings rather than having a mediator do it for them. Which I believe so too-that it is better to talk to God directly.