Where history as popular culture shines


BalikBayani République | Tony Alabastro

Diliman Republic shines at University of the Philippines Catering Circle where Eagles Bar welcomes University of the Philippines Circle Brunei (UPCB) officers and spouses, and a career envoy.

Chief guest UP history graduate and Ambassador to Brunei Christopher B. Montero, supports a Philippine Embassy commemorative publication on Filipinos’ contributions to Brunei’s development as legacy and royal birthday present on His Majesty the Sultan’s 75th birthday in July 2021.

Every Philippine president from Marcos to Duterte hears from His Majesty his acknowledgement of contributions to Brunei by Filipinos, who first came ‘quietly’ in mid-1950s, during his father, the 28th sultan’s reign.
Dr. Jose H Santos, Chartered Scientist and Chartered Chemist, United Kingdom Royal Society of Chemistry, and spouse Jing host dinner.

Dr. Mark I. R. Petalcorin, UPCB president, Protein Scientist/Molecular Biologist/Biochemist, was Doc. Joey’s UP Los Banos dorm mate.

French-speaking Dr. Romeo Paducan was Interim CEO of policy think tank Brunei National Energy Research Institute. His research includes energy/power sector planning, policy and regulation, sustainable energies, climate change, energy cooperation and market integration.

Dr. Rommel A. Curaming has published scholarly articles and book reviews in international journals. Spouse Eula is International School Bru-nei additional language specialist teacher.

Rutledge published in 2020 Dr. Curaming’s Power and Knowledge in Southeast Asia: State and Scholars in Indonesia and the Philippines.
Dr. Curaming teaches history as popular culture at Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

He shows a Rizal film, and the national hero’s Noli Me Tangere novel “as documentation to make history in popular media meaningful for most people.

“History in online game Civilization, which students play, gives logic of history experienced and remembered, not written about. Connection is what matters, not accuracy.

“Social history like what (Brunei chronicler) Rozan Yunos writes has a great effect, because he has a blog, which has a big role in popularization of history.

“Jollibee is a national pride that shows what Filipinos can do. It’s a sense of identification of what Filipinos remember: Taste and smell, never caring if fried chicken and hamburger are American.

“This assertive Filipino nationalism showed in Singapore in 2013 when there was a boycott over Jollibee’s hiring of Filipinos. Jollibee’s Orchard Road outlet had a long queue. While Filipinos stayed quiet, their online response defined sense of pride.”

First time Bruneian visitors to Manila think Jollibee is a Brunei branch. Country manager Jill Fijo opened Brunei’s first fast-food outlet in Bandar Seri Begawan, Jollibee’s second foreign store after Taiwan, in 1987.

“There are long queues whenever Jollibee opens overseas outlets in US and Europe, but not in Brunei where it is domesticated,” adds Dr. Curaming.
“When McDonalds entered the Philippine market, the expectation was Jollibee will be wiped out, which did not happen.

“Jollibee’s langhap- sarap captured the Filipino taste in burger and chicken. Anti-US nationalism doesn’t resonate to local taste.Taste buds, not politics and nationalism, is deciding factor. Basta masarap (as long as it is tasty),” says Dr. Curaming.

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