Monday, June 17, 2024

Tag: August 31, 2008

Dawn of the Golden Child

FAMILY feuds, though common, are never easy to tackle especially in a play reflective of its writer’s past.

But David Henry Hwang nevertheless ventures into the matter in his play, Golden Child which was staged last August 9 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Little Theater. It is the story of a Chinese family struggling with a conflict of beliefs. And it is also essentially Hwang’s story, a piece he wrote at the onset of fatherhood in 1995.

The Asian-American playwright then was anxious about the new phase in his life, to think that he was yet to come to terms with many areas in his own past.

A playwright’s homecoming

FOUR decades had passed since David Henry Hwang last stepped foot in the Philippines — a time well spent to become a preeminent Asian-American playwright, screenwriter and librettist.

Hwang was born in Los Angeles, California to Chinese immigrants in 1957. He graduated from Stanford University in 1979 and attended the Yale School of Drama in 1980. He also holds honorary degrees from Columbia College in New York and The American Conservatory Theatre.

While still a college freshman, Hwang saw several plays and eventually decided to try writing his own. And he has never stopped ever since, “I just read and see as many plays as I could,” he recalled.

At 22, Hwang considered it a very lucky break when FOB (Fresh Off the Boat), his very first play, got picked by the US National Playwrights’ Club, which showcased new writers and plays, for a month-long workshop.

Of idleness and idealism

WHAT remains when there is nothing left to do? Nothing and everything, Luis Katigbak asserts in his collection of nonfiction pieces titled, The King of Nothing to Do (Milflores Publishing Inc., 2006).

In his compilation of essays which he had written for various publications like LegManila, MEGA, and Manila Bulletin, the Palanca and Philippines Graphic Awards winner presents “a pleasant conversation about writing, music, films, and pop culture.” The essays discuss more than just the ways that people entertain themselves, as they also tackle the underlying culture within the different methods of escapism that people incorporate into their lives.

His first essay, “Another One Rides the Bus,” reveals how Filipinos have gotten used to crimes in the city.

Meditations on Epistemology

QUAKING worlds embracing breaking,

Under crowds of ashen suns,

Implode to singularity

Nearest our beloved: void

Impaled with clocks, cubes, and a bomb

Atomic and in critical mass—

Jazz croons our sacred hymns

Enmeshed in asymptotic hugging

Nights crawl, unknown as willed

In God’s favorite town, undimmed

Crashing central into that one

Arid wasteland called a heart.

Alternative solutions to oil crisis

WHILE oil prices have eased in the world market, anxiety continues as to how long the world’s petroleum reserves would cater to oil-dependent countries. But with the advent of studies geared toward harnessing biofuel from non-food sources, the surging global demand for oil may finally meet its end through “unconventional” and “renewable” measures.

At present, the UST Research Center for the Natural Sciences (RCNS) is conducting researches on new alternative fuel sources like plant seeds, microalgae, and thermophilic bacteria.

“Biofuel is one of our key research areas, together with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). We saw its importance because it is a global concern affecting practically everyone,” RCNS Director Christina Binag said.

Alternative fuel research dates back to 1885 when Rudolf Diesel built the first diesel engine fueled by vegetable oil. But locally, biofuel research is still a budding enterprise.

The Thomasian way of animal research

FOR JENINABETH Imperial, a graduate of the Faculty of Pharmacy, working on a thesis involving laboratory animals was wearisome. She had to rent an apartment just to house all test animals, provide the prescribed environmental conditions, and conduct constant monitoring.

But with the efforts of the Research Center for the Natural Sciences (RCNS), students no longer have to go through all of that.

Last June 13, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) granted UST a certification and license to maintain an animal laboratory and to operate an Animal Care and Use Program (ACUP) inside the University.

Joe Burgos: A man of science

ALONG with Faculty of Engineering professor Carmela Centeno and Assistant to the Rector for Research and Development Fortunato Sevilla III, the late Thomasian journalist Jose “Joe” Burgos was hailed by the Department of Science and Technology as one of the 50 great men and women of science last June 9.

Burgos was posthumously awarded for raising national consciousness on the importance of rice and food security through science-based farm methods and environmental conservation.

Burgos’s wife Edith said her husband’s advocacy stemmed from his desire to improve the lives of farmers through journalism.

Energy ball for people on-the-go

WHAT do you call a bottle of energy drink and a packet of coffee rolled into one?

The answer is a small candy ball called Go! Go! Extreme Energy Candy, a brainchild of Basic Food Science Corporation, and the first of its kind in the country. It mixes the effects of an energy boosting chemical with a sweet icy flavor.

One piece of this concentrated mint packs in 30 mg of caffeine and 18 kcal of energy. That’s like drinking half a cup of coffee with every piece!

People who are always on-the-go would be glad to know that caffeine and peppermint can increase wakefulness, improve concentration and memory retention, and decrease fatigue arising from late-night school or office work.

Fidel Perez

Hanging his scrub suit should have been the last thing to cross his mind. And he had, at one point in his life, every reason to do so.

Fidel Perez had just lost a sister, who had been very kind and supportive of him. Add to that the pressure of looking – and keeping – a well-paying job to raise a growing family.

From the outset, Perez, a Medical Technology graduate and a licensed professional, didn’t have to worry. After all, the 50-year-old Batangas native who had worked in Germany with his sister for quite some time, was raking in hefty bundles as a laboratory scientist at a hospital in Saudi Arabia.

Three years later, however, Fidel unceremoniously did what few Filipinos of his ken and stature would dare do – leave the stables of diaspora for good and start all over again. As what?

Calling the modern prophets

A NEW age has come for the young people to take their part as Christian “prophets” of God’s love. And this has been one of the major points of the recently concluded World Youth Day 2008.

This, Pope Benedict XVI stressed during the event held last July in Sydney, Australia.

“Dear young friends, the Lord is asking you to be prophets of this new age, messengers of his love, drawing people to the Father and building a future of hope for all humanity,” the Supreme Pontiff said in one of his homilies in the world gathering, which was posted in the official website of the Vatican.

The Pope admitted that it is not an easy task to be messengers and witnesses of God, saying the mission could only be fulfilled through the Holy Spirit.