Friday, April 04, 2008

Martin Luther King's 40th

I attended the annual Society for Applied Anthropology (SFAA) recently in Memphis, Tennessee. It was a good and relevant time, considering it was the 40th death anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Being a starving graduate student, I booked my hotel far from the conference hotel and took the bus everyday. I considered renting a car, but being the nosy anthropologist, what better way to explore Memphis than by public transport and walking.

The bus I took passed through the deteriorating parts of the city as well as those struggling to renew itself. I saw many boarded up homes and buildings, walls with graffiti, and homeless people. It was dreary and depressing.

On the way back to the hotel, I would take the night loop. At first it was scary, as the passengers were predominantly of one color. A few were a bit aggressive in their panhandling. But after a few minutes, I couldn't stop myself from eavesdropping on the conversations of the passengers. I even had a hard time from laughing at the jokes of this group of FedEX workers as they ribbed each other. They really enjoyed their "schoolbus" ride home.

I had fun talking to the bus drivers and my very knowledgeable cab driver, Mr. Turner. Ordinary folks were helpful and friendly in their own way. Good luck Memphis!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Gawad Kalinga at the University of Arizona

Last 4 March 2008, Dylan and Anna Wilk along with their two babies, Nathan Mari, and their cousin visited the University of Arizona and talked about Gawad Kalinga and the Highway of Hope caravan. They are on a 65-city speaking tour which will culminate in San Diego on Memorial Day weekend. Their speaking tour seeks to generate awareness on Gawad Kalinga as well as to recruit volunteers to the GK One Million Bayani (Heroes) volunteers or GK1MB program.

At short notice, close to 30 persons attended including the heads/ officers of the Filipino-American Sampaguita Club of Tucson (FASCOT), the Filipino-American Students of the University of Arizona (FASA), the U. of Arizona multicultural office, the U. of Arizona international students office, the Diocese of Tucson, students, and residents of Tucson.

Dylan eventually wrote about his trip to Tucson and his hope for a GK Arizona village with saguaro cacti, boots, and spurs as village symbols. We hope so!

Check out the videos below.

Dylan's story of how he learned about GK.

How you can help...

Nathan Mari, GK1MB Coordinator

Nathan's clothes and enlightenment...

Fr. Miguel Mariano, Diocese of Tucson responds...

the costumes

the costumes, originally uploaded by livingplanet.

I was in Memphis for the whole week attending the annual Society for Applied Anthropologists (SFAAs). No first time visit to Memphis is possible without visiting rock n roll's greatest singer's mansion, grave, and exhibits. Elvis Aaron Presley parlayed his good looks, great singing, cool demeanor, sexy dance steps, and charming personality to a cultural and commercial revolution.

His costumes were not only fashion statements but cultural statements as well, copied by other rock stars. His interests were varied. He was a good marksman, loved martial arts, was into luxury and sports cars, and liked his Harleys, golf carts, and powered up motorized toys.

He was generous to a fault and loved to party. He was appreciative of the audience and really cared for them, worrying if he still had an impact. Many say he was courteous, likable, and considerate.

He may have had many faults, but no one can fault him for his music, his dance, and that uniquely cool demeanor only an Elvis Presley can summon up.

You rock Elvis.

From a fellow twin....


the Flickr photos were taken without flash, since the exhibit banned flash photography....

Pinoy Polka, the Papaya Dance

What do you get when Filipinos invent a new dance craze called Papaya, danced to the song of Polish phenomenon Urszula Dudziak? Pinoy Polka!

They get everyone, from the U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney (very charming and good looking!), to dance...

The Philippine Army got into it..

It's being covered by the worldwide media now...

Recently, ABC's Good Morning America talked and danced about it...

Check out the response in Poland...