Category: Icon

Ramon Ongpin

Ramon Ongpin, Photo by JMorton

Ramon Ongpin, Photo by JMorton

Ramon Ongpin

Ramon Ongpin, Photo by JMorton

Ramon Ongpin, Photo by JMorton

A street named Ongpin in Manila has always fascinated me. The area is where there is a concentration of Chinese immigrants in the Philippines.

With them they brought their culture and traditions as well as their food and superstitions.

Ongpin Street is where to buy real high carat gold jewelries. It is the Hatton Garden of the Philippines.

Many Chinese have immigrated to the Philippines long before the Spaniards had colonised the Philippines for 333 years.

The Spanish rule ceased when pockets of uprising by the Filipinos from all over the country finally took place.  One of the biggest and most famous militant organisation was the KKK (Kagalanggalan Kataastasan Katipunan ng mga anak ng Bayan, in English, Supreme and Venerable Society of the Children of the Nation), in short, Katipunan.

Apparently Ramon Ongpin, a prosperous Filipino Chinese businessman, bankrolled the Katipunan, making him a Filipino hero himself.

The plaque on the right side confirms this.  He loved his country, the Philippines, that he was such as philanthropist; very altruistic.  He was born in Binondo, Manila on 28 February 1847.

In 1883, he established a business which he called El ’82. It was the first shop to use fixed price in Colon Street way back in 1883. El ’82 (the ’82) shop was named after the year when cholera wiped out a great number of the Philippine population. As Feng Shui would have it, it was not about death but more of a rebirth of the country from the pernicious epidemic.

He was elected as the Lieutenant in charge of the white half-cast (mestizo/white children born of Spanish parents and Filipinos and Filipinos and Chinese).

When the Spaniards found out that he was helping the katipuneros (revolutionaries) by allowing the group to post their propaganda materials as well us funding their ammunitions, he was jailed in 1896.

He was truly a revolutionary at heart because he was jailed again by the Americans (the new colonisers who bought the Philippines from the Spanish overloads), when Ramon Ongpin continued helping the revolutionary groups.

Sacrista Street was renamed Ongpin Street as a way of honouring Ramon Ongpin for his patriotism and benevolence.

Another interesting fact about Ramon Ongpin is that he was the first one to wear the Barong Tagalog, national dress shirt of Filipino men (see above statue).  I have to admire his taste.  Barong Tagalog, the traditional creamy coloured ones, can make any man look presentable and yet I find that most Filipinos would rather wear a 2-piece suit with the ubiquitous ties, to social gatherings even during the hottest of weathers! Strange!

The Filipino Chinese Ongpin was more patriotic than the rest as far as wearing the ‘sariling atin’ constume. ūüôĀ

Mao Zedong – Founding Father of People’s Republic of China

Chinese Leader

Mao Zedong – Founding Father of People’s Republic of China

Mao Zedong



  • First Name: Zedong
  • Surname: Mao
  • AKA: Chairman Mao
  • DoB: 26 December 1893
  • PoB: Shaoshan, Hunan Province, China
  • DoD: 9 September 1976
  • Education: Hunan First Normal University
  • Occupation: Founding Father of People’s Republic of China
  • Civil status: Married 4 times with 10 children



Mao Zedong also known as Mao Tse Tung or popularly as Chairman Mao was the founding father of People’s Republic of China.



The ruthless economic exploitation and political oppression of the peasants by the landlord class forced them into numerous uprisings against its rule.
– Mao Tse Tung

War can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun.
– Mao Tse Tung


Bruce Lee, The Philosopher


When I think of Bruce Lee, I would always see him as the unbeatable martial art expert who was so light in his feet that you can almost see him flying against walls and ceiling while his boyish good looks enchants you.

I did not know that Bruce Lee was actually born in America.  I thought he was from Hong Kong or Beijing and because of his extra-ordinary screen presence, he was able to go beyond boundaries and conquer the world.   Well wherever he was born, he did conquer the world the way  Marilyn Monroe did. His posters are still popularly pasted on the walls of his fans, both young and not too young.  He is truly a 20th century icon, the real McCoy.

Apparently, Bruce Lee was born on 27 November 1940  in Chinatown in San Francisco.  I did not know that Bruce Lee was born in the 1940s.  He was such a Peter Pan; he has that boyish appeal.  I supposed he did die very young in July 20, 1973.  He was only 32.

Did you know?

Bruce Lee was quite the philosopher.  He did study philosophy and psychology concurrently while a Drama student at the University of Washington.

Bruce Lee, The Philosopher

Don’t fear failure. Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. ¬†In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.

Defeat is not defeat unless accepted as a reality-in your mind.

For it is easy to criticise and break down the spirit of others, but to know yourself takes a lifetime.
– Bruce Lee

If you don’t want to¬†slip up tomorrow, speak the truth today.
– Bruce Lee

If there is a God, he is within. ¬†You don’t ask God to give you things, you depend on God for your inner theme.
– Bruce Lee

If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.
– B Lee

Love is like friendship caught on fire: In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.
– Bruce Lee

Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.
– B Lee

The more we value things, the less we value ourselves.
– B. Lee

The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.
– Bruce Lee

Julia Child, Doyen of French Cooking

The only time to eat diet food is when you are waiting for the steak to cook.
– Julia Child

julia-child-e1314155786746 I have heard of Julia Child before but did not really pay much attention to her many accomplishments.

Afterall, the UK have their own cooking doyen in Fanny Cradock.  A woman, so funny and rather formidable in the kitchen but in a good, fun and informative way.  Her banter with her long suffering husband, Johnny, is classic and delightfully dry humoured. Very English!

Peter, my hubby, is a real novice in the kitchen but learned how to stuff and cook turkey from Fanny. He also learned to make the best ever gravy from Fanny through YouTube. LOL

Julia Child, Doyen of French Cooking

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I got to watch a film by my two favourite actresses, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. It was called Julie and Julia, a film based on the book by Julie Powell, the Julie in Julie and Julia.

Vignettes of their life stories were sort of superimposed as they cook the same recipe.

There was only one actress that could breathe life to the larger than life Julia Child and thank goodness, they chose right in Meryl Streep. Meryl was very sympathetic to the character; she gave Julia a well deserved warmth, humour, fun, joie de vivre, intelligence and sexiness, oh yes, Julia was a sexual woman! ¬†Julia came out extremely charming, so much so that I googled and googled so I can know more things about her. I now know how to crack eggs the proper way, a la Julia, I know now how to cook mushroom that won’t stew in its juice, I know how to make French omelette. If push, I could probably manage a delicious Beef Bourguignon from scratch a la Julia Child.

Peter has Fanny, I have Julia. It got me thinking that our coming retirement promises to be one of gastronomic fest!

Watch this space. ūüôā



I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.
Julia Child


A sauce should not be considered a disguise or mask; its role is to point up, to prolong or to compliment the tastes of the food it accompanies, or contrast with it, or to give variety to its mode of presentation.
– Julia Child

People who love to eat are always the best people.

March – Women’s History Month

I can’t be a rose in any man’s lapel.
– Margaret Trudeau

woman sil

March – Women’s History Month

We at GlobalGranary.Org would like to pay homage to all women.  And as such, we will be featuring a woman for each day of the week.

If you have any suggestion, please let us know and we will feature your choice if it meets our criteria. ¬†Your choice doesn’t have to be a ‘celebrity’. ¬†It could be anybody. ¬†But we would of course need that the candidate merits some iconic status.

Women, though still downtrodden in some societies are fast becoming more of a force to be reckoned with.  Standing shoulder to shoulder with the male kind.

Just a few days ago, I heard that Iranian women are more emancipated.  They are educated and hold prestigious jobs and are now more choosy of their partners.

The Philippines, where I came from, is a really a matriarchal society.  Women are very strong.  They look after the family and hold jobs as well.  And they would not have second thoughts of getting a job abroad to become OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) if it meant a better life and offer good education for her children.

Maggie Kuhn

Maggie Kuhn

Our first Female icon is the Grey Pantheress, herself, Maggie Kuhn.

Maggie Kuhn when forced to retire at the age of 65 from her job with the Presbyterian Church, Maggie did not take the decision lying down.  Instead with her indomitable strength of character she founded the Grey Panther with other retirees and work on civil rights, ageism, poverty and opposing the war against Vietnam.

Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.

– Maggie Kuhn