When Age Matters | Inquirer Lifestyle
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When Age Matters

DEFY youth and feel good about it.

That’s what COSE or the Coalition of Services for the Elderly has been doing for the past 21 years, as it trains the limelight on people over 60 for its annual “Sampung Ulirang Nakatatanda Awards.”

Awardees come from all over the country and have generally been from the workers’ sector, the farmers, lumad or indigenous tribes, women’s groups, the urban poor and differently abled. Previous awardees have included Bishop Antonio Fortich, Atang Dela Rama and political activist Sr. Mariani Dimaranan.

But beyond age, nominees must have been at the service of the community for a large portion of their lives and nominated by the group they serve. Just provide basic data on the person (age, address, etc.) and write a page about what makes this elderly outstanding.

The most inspirational part of the awards program on the first Sunday of October is the acceptance speech, says Ed Gerlock of COSE. He recalls how one Muslim community health worker from Tawi-Tawi, unable to speak Tagalog or English, did a beautiful Muslim dance. Meanwhile, another awardee that had spent the greater part of his life at the service of leprosy patients remarked, “I think you have given the award to the wrong person – people with leprosy taught me more than I could ever have taught them”

COSE, says Gerlock, will pay the round trip transportation and accommodation for the awardee and a companion. Awardees receive a cash prize and a carved trophy from Paete artist Baldomero.

Deadline for nomination is September 15. For more information, log on to [email protected] or call 7217558.

Seafarers’ Stories, Ahoy!

IF you’ve been itching to tell that story about the sea, a sailor’s family and similar themes, this is the time to do it. The 2nd Gig Book Storywriting Contest is accepting story entries until July 31, 2011.

Sponsored by Gig and the Amazing Sampaguita Foundation Inc., the contest is open to anyone 18 years or above. The entries must be original never-before-published stories written in English and intended for children aged 6 to 12 years. Stories already entered in other writing contests where they won first, second, or third prize/s are ineligible for entry.

The word count must be 750 words or less, and the plot and sequence must be capable of sustaining a 20- to 32-page illustrated book.

The theme must be something that seafarer families, especially children, can identify with. The story must, in the judges’ opinion, resonate well with children whose fathers are mostly away at sea, and preferably promote positive human values (e.g. love, respect, honesty, compassion, care, humility, responsibility, understanding, strength, courage, resilience, etc.). Bonus points and a greater chance of winning will be given to positive, sensitive, and creatively child-appropriate stories that deal with difficult seafarer family issues like relatives, in-laws, neighbors, troubled teens, money management, parental infidelity, sibling rivalry, resentment, anger, alienation, abandonment, illness, and others.

A cash prize of P20,000 each await the winning authors who also have the chance to see their story published as a full-color, fully illustrated storybook. The winners will be announced on or before Sept. 30, 2011.

Submit your stories through e-mail to [email protected] For the complete contest rules, log on to http://gigbookcontest. blogspot.com

As Welcome as a US Visa

WHAT’S the next best thing to getting a US visa? Knowing you no longer have to miss a day at work sweating it out in long lines and crowded holding pens.

US Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr. recently opened the American Embassy’s new $50-million annex building, which he described as “a work of art on a grand scale. The new building houses Consular services and other offices, and has 99 windows for passport, visa, and other Consular service applications. It also has a comfortable indoor waiting area that can seat more than 550 applicants at any one time.

“Finally, the quality of the facility matches the quality of the people who work here,” the Ambassador said.

The Embassy’s new Veterans Affairs (VA) building, which Ambassador Thomas formally inaugurated on April 13, is also part of the Embassy’s facilities improvement project. The VA building at the Embassy’s Seafront Compound in Pasay City houses the benefits office and an out-patient clinic with modern facilities and state-of-the-art laboratories accredited by the College of American Pathologists.

Giving Old Relics a New Shine

OLD relics never die; at the National Museum, they’re just getting an extreme makeover.

“We are devoting this year to updating our facilities, modernizing our galleries, and enhancing the appeal of the museum to the general public,” said newly-appointed museum director Jeremy Barns.

At the core of this ongoing overhaul is a refashioning of the various exhibits into a total of 24 galleries on two floors – one each for art and archaeology.

Check out the National Art Gallery that chronicles Philippine fine art from Spanish colonial to contemporary times, including such masterpieces as Juan Luna’s Spoliarium and Felix Ressurreccion Hidalgo’s Assassination of Governor Bustamante and works by National Artists Fernando Amorsolo, Vicente Manasala, Arturo Luz to Benedicto Cabrera and others.

Also on display are treasures of Philippine archaeology and anthropology at the Museum of the Filipino People – in the adjacent building right across the Department of Tourism Building at Rizal Park’s Teodoro Valencia Circle.

And finally, to get tourists through the door, the National Museum website is set for a revamp to offer virtual tours and comprehensive gallery documentation.

“The Department of Tourism is working closely with the National Museum, Museo Pambata, National Parks Development Committee, Ocean Park and Intramuros Administration to market Rizal Park and its environs as one destination with a lot of attractions to offer,” added Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim.

“Museums can diversify our tourist draw to appeal to the history- and culture-minded, and a revitalized National Museum may very well lead the way. We enjoin locals and visitors to proceed to these museums after their relaxing tour of Rizal Park for an enlightening glimpse of Philippine history and culture,” Lim said.

For Heritage Month this May, the National Museum honors the ancient balangay wooden boats with an outdoor display, featuring one of only three such watercrafts excavated in the Philippines, specifically in Butuan, Agusan del Norte. It also has a year-long calendar of events for workshops, lectures, book launchings, mobile and traveling museum projects, exhibits, assemblies, among others.

Entrance to the National Arts Gallery at the old Congress Building is free while renovations are being done. A tour of the Museum for the Filipino People is P100 per person, but free for all walk-ins on any Sunday. Both museums are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. everyday, except Mondays. For more information on the National Museum’s exciting developments and projects, visit www.nationalmuseum.gov.ph. •