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Secret of the Virgin Queen

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Growing up Catholic meant that I immediately associated the words “Virgin” and “Queen” with Mary, Mother of God, but anyone who has read some British history would associate the same words with Elizabeth I and the image of a strong face, paled by heavy white makeup, set in an elaborate costume, wig and jeweled finery befitting a great monarch.

Posted: October 24th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Tradewinds

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The Chinese junks travelled during the northeast monsoon around March to the Philippines and Indonesia, then around June the traders rode the southwest monsoon back.

Posted: October 22nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

When the earth quaked in 1645

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The heritage churches of Bohol brought to ruin by an earthquake remain as they are a year after they were toppled. These churches are now history and will be remembered only through photographs and memory.

Posted: October 17th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Rusontsubo,’ Luzon jars

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When Francesco Carletti arrived in Nagasaki from Manila in June 1597, customs police boarded the vessel and asked the passengers and crew to declare any pottery they had on them. There were many names for these jars (“tsubo”) but the customs officers were searching for jars from Luzon (or “rusontsubo”) with the same zeal and diligence that customs officers today would look for contraband: drugs, laundered money, ivory, and porn.

Posted: October 15th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Hideyoshi’s elephant, 1597

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A few years ago I wrote about Chulalongkorn’s elephants, bronze ones, gifted by the King of Siam to Java and Singapore as souvenirs of his visits in 1871.

Posted: October 10th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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