Virginia “Aling Barang” Reyes Moreno: “Matahari”

August 16, 2021

Aling Barang once told me that she was writing her memoirs; its title is “Matahari.” I wonder whether she managed to finish it because at the time of my visit, she was quite busy with J. Moreno Foundation activities.

[R to L]: Aling Barang, Jorge Arago, Hilario “Mang Larry” Francia, Rodrigo Paras-Perez? at the book launching of my brother’s {Isagani R. Medina) book, “Cavite Before the Revolution,” Balay Kalinaw, U.P., 1994. (Photo by Mirana)
Happy Together
VRM’s Birthday 2019 / Photo by Mirana
VRM’s Personalized/Autographed Invite
Aling Barang’s Signature
Poetry Reading 2005 Flyer signed Aling Barang by VRM; Mang Raul Ingles and Ms. Deana Ongpin-Recto

MANILA, Philippines — The poet, playwright and arts organizer Virginia “Virgie” Reyes Moreno died on Saturday morning after a lingering illness. She was 98.

Known for her grace and graciousness, Moreno earned lofty monikers such as “The High Priestess’’ or “Empress Dowager of Philippine Poetry”—conferred by no less than National Artist for Literature Jose Garcia Villa—both for her published works and the energy she devoted to stoking the creative spirit of likeminded artists who held her in high esteem.

She was the only female member of Villa’s coterie of younger writers known as “The Ravens.”

Moreno published only one collection of poems, “Batik Maker and Others,” but it was a slim volume of peak lyrical power when it came out in 1972. The titular piece “Batik Maker” and “Order for Masks,” for example, went on to become gems in Philippine literature in English, featured and studied in textbooks. The collection won first prize in the Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature.

Tondo girl

Moreno was born in Tondo, Manila, on April 24, 1923. She was the older sister of the late fashion designer Jose “Pitoy” Moreno, himself an icon in his field. (She later headed a foundation set up in his memory.)

eir father, a ship captain, died when Virgie was about 6 years old. The siblings were then raised by their mother, a rice trader, at a house on Juan Luna Street in Gagalangin.

Moreno earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of the Philippines (UP) and pursued further studies at the Kansas Institute for International Education, the British Film Institute and the International Writing Program in Iowa.

In 1976, she became the founding director of the UP Film Center, around the same time she was teaching humanities at the state university.

Outside the academe, she chaired the Unesco Culture Committee of the Philippines.

In 1984, she received the SEAWrite Award in recognition of her stature in the arts and letters of Southeast Asia. In 1991, the French government named her Chevalier (knight) in the Ordre des Palmes Academiques, a national honor bestowed on academics for their valuable contributions to education and science.

‘Onyx Wolf’

As a playwright, Moreno is best known for “The Onyx Wolf,” which won the National Historical Playwriting Contest in 1969. The play is also known as “La Loba Negra” and “Itim Asu.”

Adapted for dance and staged in 1970, 1984 and 1990, “Itim Asu” was scheduled for another run starting February 2020 as part of Ballet Philippines’ 50th season at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, with music by National Artist Antonino Buenaventura and choreography by Alice Reyes. The author was able to join the audience for a special one-off presentation, before the rest of the performance dates were canceled due to the pandemic.

Moreno’s wake will be held at Funeraria Paz at Manila Memorial Park, Parañaque City, on Aug. 16. The family on Saturday said that due to community quarantine restrictions, viewing will be for family members only.

Burial will be on Aug. 17. An online memorial will be held on the ninth day after her death, details of which will be announced soon.

“Ultimo Adios’ in Filipino Sign Language; showing sponsored by J. Moreno Foundation; a repeat showing was held at Cafe Orfeo in December
My last talk with Aling Barang was in April 2021 on her birthday. I couldn’t go to her place because of pandemic scare and restrictions. On the phone, she was excited talking about her plans. Last Friday, August 13, Sheila informed me that Ms. Moreno was back home, bedridden after hospitalization. I was surprised. From Tikoy, I came to know about her passing away. Lockdown however, prevents us from going to the Memorial Park to pay our tribute to her. Ms. Moreno was my professor in Humanities, and the one who recruited me to work as researcher at the UP Film Center. It is to her that I owe my being a film editor. She sent me to the Film and Television Institute of India to study. I am forever grateful! We shall all miss you Aling Barang! [Photos & Flyers: MRM collection]

Future Planning for Individuals with Special-Needs

September 8, 2020
“Someone other than the parent will be taking care of your special-needs child at some time in their life. 
You can leave the choice to chance, you can leave the safety and happiness of your child to chance, or you can take charge now…”

Listen as TipTalker Atty. Paul Tacorda talks about future planning for Individuals with Special-Needs. TipTalk is a series of “whatever helps for families with special-needs members”. It will be held on September 13, 2020, Sundat at 1 to 3 pm via zoom meeting.

Important Note:  Admission is free. Help sustain the Free TipTalks by donating to OneLife Foundation, Inc. See the Program below for details.



Free Filipino Sign Language Lessons Online to be offered by DLS-CSB SDEAS

May 25, 2020


Basic Filipino Sign Language (FSL) lessons will be available online through the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies (DLS-CSB SDEAS).

The learning sessions will be taught on Facebook Live via the SDEAS Facebook page, with the first session on May 30 at 4 p.m., to by facilitated by Ms. Bernadette Infanta, the SDEAS announced on Facebook day before yesterday, May 23.

“The FSL lessons are for free, but participants are encouraged to donate to the #SignForSigns Fundraising Campaign,” it stated. “A minimum contribution of P350 will give you access to an FSL Learning Kit, which you can use to continue learning sign language at home.” #SignForSigns is a fundraiser to help Deaf students in dorms who need living allowances, Deaf faculty on a no-work, no-pay scheme and indigent Deaf scholars who have to go back to their provinces after the enhanced community quarantine is lifted.

The funds will also support the FSL Access Team for COVID-19, composed of interpreters who handle news reports of broadcast networks.

P350 provides a one-day food pack, P550 a three-day food pack and P1,000 can give transportation allowance to stranded student dormers. The donation form can be completed here.

FSL is the national sign language of the Filipino Deaf and the official sign language of the government, according to Republic Act 11106 or the FSL Act signed in November 2018. JB

FSL Online

Taghoy ng Inang Nangungulila

May 12, 2020

Mayo 10, 2020. Linggo, Mother’s Day. Nainterbyu ko si Bienvenida “Aling Idad” Tejada, 85 taong gulang. Araw ng mga Ina pero sa araw na yun ang pangungulila sa anak na mentally-challenged ang naibulalas nya. Bukas, Mayo 13, saktong isang buwan mula nang mawala si “Mameng.” Kilalang-kilala ang mag-ina dahil sa kalye ng J. Fernando, Barangay 77 sa Pasay, sila ang mga pangunahing tauhan. Homeless ang dalawa kaya kung saan-saan sila makikitang sumisilong o lumulugar kasama ang alagang aso na lalaki pero “Tita” ang tawag ni Aling Idad at mga pusang naging gala na dahil iniwan ng mga nag-alisang owners ng mga ito ay kanilang kinalinga. Ironic pero sa kanila nakatagpo ng pamilya ang mga iniwang mga hayup.

Sa ngayon, patuloy pa ring ang pag-asam ng isang ina sa pagbalik ng anak na minsa’y nag-aalala na rin at di maiwasang isipin na baka ito’y wala na o di kaya’y pinigilan sa Mental Hospital kung saan minsan ng ang anak ay pinagamot rin. Hangad ng bidyong ginawa ko na maipaabot sa mas maraming tao ang kalagayan nila; nagbabakasakaling isang araw may taong makakilala at maibalik si Mameng sa Ina.

Ngayong gabi, napag-alaman kong kaarawan pala ni Mameng noong Linggo, Mayo 10. Coincidence?


Youngsters deliver homemade PPE to Chicago Police

May 1, 2020

“Thank you so much for being here and sharing your innovations and public service with us,” Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said. “What you are doing for us is saving lives.”

(From left) Sisters Arianna, Sariah and Alessandra Stagen demonstrate how they made a batch of homemade hand sanitizer to donate to the Chicago Police Department during a press conference with Supt. David Brown at CPD headquarters, Wednesday afternoon, April 29, 2020.
(From left) Sisters Arianna, Sariah and Alessandra Stagen demonstrate how they made a batch of homemade hand sanitizer to donate to the Chicago Police Department during a news conference with Supt. David Brown at CPD headquarters Wednesday afternoon, April 29, 2020.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

New Chicago Police Supt. David Brown offered his gratitude Wednesday to four children who crafted and donated personal protective equipment for police officers.

“Thank you so much for being here and sharing your innovations and public service with us,” Brown said. “What you are doing for us is saving lives.”

“We should get you on ‘Shark Tank,’ and have you pitch other ideas you might have.”

Sariah Stagen, 9, and her sisters, 7-year-old twins Arianna and Alessandra, met the superintendent Wednesday at police headquarters. The girls, who live with their parents in Humboldt Park, brought with them a batch of homemade hand sanitizer and gave Brown a demonstration of how they made it.

James Stagen, the girls’ father, is a Chicago police officer assigned to the Shakespeare District on the Northwest Side.

Arianna Stagen, 7, of Humboldt Park, demonstrates with her sisters how they made a batch of homemade hand sanitizer to donate to the Chicago Police Department during a press conference with Supt. David Brown at CPD headquarters, Wednesday afternoon, April 29, 2020. Arianna Stagen, 7, of Humboldt Park, demonstrates with her sisters how they made a batch of homemade hand sanitizer to donate to the Chicago Police Department during a news conference with Supt. David Brown at CPD headquarters Wednesday afternoon, April 29, 2020.Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

To read the full article, click the link:



Happily sharing with you my grandnieces’ efforts at an early age to do their part during this pandemic times. We are as proud of them as much as their parents Jojo and Ting Stagen!!


Philippine Navy’s Three-Volley Salute

April 21, 2020

Five days before the lockdown of Metro-Manila due to the covid-19 pandemic on March 17, 2020 my brother was luckily timed not to undergo the current and sad experiences of those who die these days whether caused by covid 19 or not. Now, it has become mandatory to bury or cremate a person within 12 hours. The traditional wake – the last tribute of Filipino families to a loved one – that lasts oftentimes from three days up to a week cannot be observed anymore. Such cultural practice is gone! Well, probably until a potent vaccine anti covid-19 is discovered. More disheartening is, if a loved one gets infected by covid virus, relatives won’t be able to get near him, hug or comfort him such that survivors say it is hell to be in isolation, and be far from their families. For some, it has become a second lease to life.

The Philippine Navy gave my brother funeral honors having served the country for 20 years before becoming a seafarer until his retirement. It was my first time to actually witness what is oftentimes mistaken as the 21-gun salute — the three-volley salute. I only have good and loving memories of him as a person, and as a dear brother.


Amazing Grace by Andrea Bocelli

April 14, 2020

“Amazing Grace” is part of Andrea Bocelli’s Easter performance at Duomo di Milan… The live-stream’s instigator, the mayor of Milan, came up with the idea with the intention of uplifting his home country, Italy, the one hardest hit in some of the critical weeks of the coronavirus pandemic.

(For the full article, click)
How Andrea Bocelli’s Easter Live-Stream Became an Unexpected Global Blockbuster


1st Year College Application to DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education & Applied Studies Extended Until Feb 11

January 23, 2020


——————————————————————————————————————————————-The Benilde Admissions Application Form and Other Related Forms are available through the website: http://www.benilde.edu.ph

——————————————————————————————————————————————APPLICATION REQUIREMENT



ASP’s Walk for Autism 2020

January 21, 2020

The Autism Society Philippines Angels Walk for Autism is an annual FREE FREE FREE advocacy event that has been held since 2007. It has grown from 200 to 24,000 registered participants in 2019. Join ASP celebrate another milestone year and help build an Autism-OK Philippines! The pre-walk show will showcase the talent of persons with autism and celebrate the advocacy’s accomplishments! Let’s walk for public awareness, private sector involvement and inclusion of the autism agenda in government social development initiatives! Here’s to acceptance, accommodation and inclusion!ASP Walk for Autism 2020

Event to be held at the following time, date, and location:

Sunday, 26 January 2020 from 6:30 AM to 12:00 PM (PST)

Mall of Asia Arena
Jose W. Diokno Boulevard
SM Mall of Asia Complex
Pasay City 1300
View Map


Dried Cocos, Grasses, Husks, Shells as Christmas Decors

December 18, 2019

In front of the Municipality of Castillejos, Zambales is a public park where creatively and meticolously designed Christmas tree decors and Belen (Holy Family) are displayed. Fourteen villages or barangays are in competition and vying to win the best-designed  decor as part of the town’s Christmas celebrations. They were required to use nothing but dried coconut shells, grasses, coco husks, dried leaves, and other recycled materials. Here are some of them:

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