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Peace in Korean Peninsula?

As in most international diplomatic and domestic conflicts, negotiations, protracted they may be, can bring about peace.

Along this line, former Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. is proposing to the leaders of the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) who are meeting in Vietnam (Nov. 8-11) and in the Philippines (Nov. 10-14), to embark in a joint journey to Pyongyang to negotiate “a peace that will hopefully endure in the Korean Peninsula.”

De Venecia, the Philippines’ special envoy for APEC and Inter-cultural Dialogue, noted that President Rodrigo Duterte said  that someone should talk to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to convince him nobody is out to remove him or destroy his country. 

De Venecia’s initiative seeks  “to ease the continuous exchange of accusations in the Peninsula and lead to opportunities for the difficult peace.”

Former House Speaker, de Venecia said the inter-Korean talks could be at senior or mid-levels, and include the participation of key APEC members like the United States, China, Russia, Japan, South Korea, ASEAN, and North Korea.      

The talks that could be started now could target preliminary understanding by early next year, de Venecia said.

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He said the 1950-1953 South-North Korean conflict has ended, but “a technical state of war persists until now, with both sides not signing a formal peace treaty,” he said. Today, “there is continuous, recurrent threat of hostilities, even nuclear war, since North Korea has already developed nuclear weapons with a missile delivery system.”

De Venecia hopes that the meeting of  the two Koreas could lead to an “eventual peaceful ASEAN Plus 4 to the current  ASEAN Plus 3. And perhaps, could consider “unification” or “confederation.”

He said that a first stage “confederation” is easier to promote ahead of eventual unification.

That peace between hostile countries is possible, citing as de Venecia did, the long conflict between the two Germanys and the two Vietnams. “But unforeseen, un-negotiated geo-political circumstances eventually  proved everyone wrong, resulting finally today in a strong, prosperous united  Germany and a flourishing united Vietnam.”

De Venecia is a seasoned  peace broker. Founding  chair of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), he counts North Korea’s Korean Workers Party as one of ICAPP’s more than 300 ruling, opposition and independent parties as members. He is also co-chair of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP), and he plans to invite the North Korean Parliament to nominate delegates to the IAPP.

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Marita Capadocia, president of the Philippine Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (PRID), invites parents, educators, therapists, social scientists and supporters of the deaf to a lunch for a cause themed “Listen with the Ear of Your Heart” on Saturday, Nov. 25, at 11:30 a.m. at the conference hall of the Philippine School for the Deaf (PSD) on FB Harrison St., Pasay City.  

The activity aims to raise funds to support PRID’s ladderized sign language program and mobile training program to enable qualified interpreters to provide assistance to the deaf in the legal, educational, medical, religious, cultural, rehabilitation and vocational settings. It will also be a kick-off for an awareness campaign to be conducted by PRID for a greater understanding and appreciation of this special sector of society.

Ms. Capadocia said, “You shall be served lunch along with a hopeful dream of a better tomorrow. Eating together at the table of the Lord, join us as we journey to a better world.”

Lunch will be prepared and served by  hearing impaired senior high school students of PSD who will show what they can do in terms of cookery and fine dining on a shoestring budget. For tickets and inquiries, please call PRID at 8316431.  

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One will not feel old, even at age 60 or 70,  at  this  five-story  building which houses the Senior Members Social Club, Inc.  on Jupiter st., Makati City.

This is  a project of the Felicidad Tan Sy  Foundation. Mrs. Sy, wife of tycoon philanthropist Henry Sy Sr. is well known for her spiritual concerns, expressed in her wellness projects for the elderly and the presence of chapels in SM stores, and the huge Roman Catholic church at the Mall of Asia.

On the first floor is Sunshine Place,  a resto serving health enhancing dishes. One’s appetite is stirred by greenery about the place, plus the smell of  pastries coming from the kitchen and bakeshop.  

The social club offers activities for members above 50 years old  to while their time away, or growing old graciously. There  are bingo socials, videoke sessions, dance crazes (including Yaba! And Yeba!-Indak),  social ballroom-cum party gatherings, out-of-center field trips, movie matinees, health and wellness talks with medical experts, board games and mahjong sessions, and spiritual activities and Friday mass.

Members can attend classes and workshops  in  painting in acrylic/oil pastel on canvass and  ceramic, water color and drawing/sketching, and Ikebana sessions.   Philippine STAR columnist Barbara “Tweetums” Gonzalez teaches singing and writing, Mee Lee Casey porcelain painting, and  Sr. Mary John Mananzan, OSB, former president of St. Scholastica’s college, Shibashi. There are also Qi Gong and Tai Chi and  yoga sessions.  

 Members can enrol their children and grandchildren in areas of their choice.  They can have physical exercises at a gym, rent a whole floor for parties and reunions, and have beauty treatment and massage at a saloon on the fourth floor. 

 Feeling young and enjoying aging graciously  can be yours. Call  0917 856 4144/  856-4162   ad 0917 515 5656.

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I must not let the year end by not singing  paeans to Aristocrat Restaurant, a Manila historical landmark. The descendants of the restaurant’s founder  recently staged at the University of the Philippines Film Center a  concert commemorating the 100th birthday of Mama Sita. The “Harana, ” titled “Pasasalamat at Paggunita sa Isang Ina, Kababayan at Kusinera,” was organized by granddaughter Clara -Reyes Lapus, president of Mama Sita Foundation.

The concert repertoire consisted of, first the singing of the Mama Sita March: Awit ng Pagkain, then the compositions of local well-known composers Julian Felipe (composer of our national  anthem), Jerry Dadap,  Lucio San Francisco, Constancio de Guzman, and Rosario Santiago. Folk songs,  haranas and patriotic music were  performed by the Andres Bonifacio Concert Choir, Steffani Quintin, soprano, and maestro Jerry Dadap, conductor. With assistance from the RTU Tunog Rizalia Rondalla and Prof. Lino Mangandani, and direction by Victor Sevilla. 

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One of the nicest 2017 calendars that I treasure is the Mama Sita posters that Mama Sita’s successors designed.  Each page features  a recipe ( Pancit Palabok for  February, Caldereta for March, Sinigang with Sampaloc for June,  Champorado for July,    Pancit Canton with Oyster Sauce for September),  a picture of the legendary cook,  sketches of historical landmarks,  and  people picking  fruits.  There’s an invitation to submit  recipes (send to Kusina ni Mama Sita, 131 F.Manilo St., san Juan, Metro Manila 1500; email to mgakuwentongpagkain@msita.com).  I like the drawings  at the bottom of the page – of fruits like pineapple, makopa, duhat,  chico, bayabas, etc.).  It’s a calendar I can’t throw away, and I  thank  Clarita and her sister Priscilla Pacheco for thinking of nice ways to let people remember Mama Sita and the restaurant she founded starting from a kariton 100 years ago. I wonder what the  2018 Aristocrat Restaurant calendar will be like.

Email: dominitorrevillas@gmailcom

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