By Marivir Montebon
We welcome the season of autumn in this issue of OSM!
It is this particular time of the year when the trees change from green to gold, red, yellow, and orange. It is the season of classy fashion too, when women step into their formidable boots and wear trench coats to shield their bodies from the chill. I love the look of autumn.
This fall, OSM! has embarked on two projects, one is the co-sponsorship of an art exhibit CULTURAL CONFLUENCE 6 by Cebu artists Celso Pepito and Fe Madrid Pepito. I have known this couple since my Freeman days in Cebu and I have high respect for their works of art and professionalism.
This is the second collaborative work I have with Celso. The first one was when he did the artwork for the cover of my first book, Retracing our Roots: A Journey into Cebu’s Precolonial and Colonial Past. As an art professor at UP Cebu, Celso is known for his cubism which takes inspiration from the great Pablo Picasso. We welcome you to the exhibit at the Philippine Center in Manhattan from Sept. 24 to October 5.
OSM! has also embarked on a book donation drive for the benefit of the preschoolers of the Tipolo Elementary School in the city of Mandaue in Cebu. It is an idea born out of spring cleaning. Instead of throwing out books and old clothes, I asked friends to keep good books for me so I can ship them to the Philippines where so many school children are deprived of what good books really are, and the magic they bring.
Thank you so much to our donors, mostly my friends. Leading the way is Carla Mayol who is also a Cebuana. Thank you too to teacher/project manager Anita Aguirre who is a tried and trusted friend who never stops thinking of my well-being and that of others.
Content and digital editor Leani Auxilio did the packing of the books for the children. And while glossing at the colorful pages of the children’s books, she was once again transported into the magical world of books when she was a child. I smiled and said to myself, indeed, I have ushered in the formation of a happy book worm.
Finally, to the memory of the innocent lives lost to the horrific bombing of the World Trade Center, OSM! pays its due respect. Eleven years later, Manhattan’s financial district rose from the ruins of revenge and hatred.. But I know, in the hearts of those who saw and survived the devastation and the families of the victims, there is still that wound that may never heal because of the senselessness of the loss.
How could I forget 9-11? I was working at the Philippine Congress in Manila at that time. I sat on the couch after a hearty supper to watch news on TV. Then the infamous clip on two airplanes crashing into the WTC was shown, as breaking news. Was I watching a new action film trailer!? God, it was real! I rushed to my computer to email my relatives in New York to check on them. Thankfully, all were spared in my clan. But minutes later, the world was cloaked in fear. It was definitely one of the darkest days of history.
Today, New York has stood in resilience.