Super typhoon Yolanda, with an international name of Haiyan, was the 4th strongest tropical cyclone in the world since 1960. It was also the strongest that made a landfall in Earth’s history. It was unexpected, no one was prepared for it, not even the typhoon-experienced Philippines.
The aftermath was equally worse. The National government was “paralyzed”, “shocked”, and in “chaos”. No, they would not admit it — for obvious reasons — but anyone can that it is the case. What went wrong? How do we move forward from this disaster? Where should we go next?
Forty-six years ago today, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand signed the ASEAN Declaration (aka Bangkok Declaration) officially forming the Association of South-East Asian Nations or ASEAN. Almost two decades later, Brunei joined in 1984. Followed by VietNam in 1995, Laos in 1997, Myanmar in 1997 and Cambodia in 1999.
ASEAN Regional Flag
Did you know that without the formation of ASEAN, the region would have plunge into war? ASEAN was the key in keeping the region intact, even to this day.
Ever wondered what the centre of the world looks like politically, from the ancient kingdoms to the modern empires? I did, and so I searched cyberspace for an animated map of the Fertile Crescent — the cradle of civilization — up to today’s Middle-East region.
This is the history of Mr. Nang and Ms. Ng. No, not a real person and this has nothing to do with China or the Chinese either. This is about putting an end to the confusion and debate regarding “nang” and “ng” in the Filipino language.
When the Spaniards arrived in the Philippines, the Nation was writing in what the Spaniards called “Baybayin”, from the root word “baybay” or “to spell by syllables”. Since they were the conquerors they introduced their own writing system – Latin. Yes, the one you are seeing write now as the letters: abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz. The Latin Alphabet.
Problems arose when it came to the reading and pronunciation of the two Latin letters “n” and “g” (“ng”) together. Take for example the word “pangalan”. For the Filipino people of that time, the Latin letters “n-g-a” is only a single letter “nga” because that is how Baybayin and the Philippine Languages are – always CV or CCV.