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Blog on history

I love history but unfortunately, there aren't many blogs that have Southeast Asian history as its general theme.

It was months ago when I blogged about the Srivijayan empire that stretched across at 4 modern Southeast Asian state: Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. At one time, it even set foot in Cambodia. In fact, its interference in local Cambodian politics gave rise to the great Angkorian empire.

Anyway, the post on Srivijaya attracted a person that maintains a blog called SEAArch came across my blog and gave his two cents worth. On this blog entry, I'm uninterested in his comment but rather, his blog. The blog revolves around on archeology in Southeast Asia. Right now, the blog is the only blog that I read that touches on Southeast Asian history.

If you love history, to straight to SEAArch!


Cambodian Economic Zone

Sorry about double post.

to the World – Phnom Penh Special
Economic Zone World over, Special Economic Zones have had a significant economic impact in terms of rapid employment generation, higher pay levels and growth rates, enhanced exports and skills as well as technology transfer.
Visit their website
BAC North east Bird View revise

BAC Northwest Bird View revise

more zone:

shop r mall and business:



Reduced: 96% of original size [ 530 x 398 ] - Click to view full image

24H security within the PPSEZ
Ample container storage yard
Efficient road network system
Waste water treatment plant
Industrial grade water readily available
Adequate power supply generated by IPP within the PPSEZ


The Southeast Asian of the Month

Starting this February, the Asia's Perfect 10 Blog introduces its monthly segment, the Southeast Asian of the Month which will feature different personalities that became well-known not just in the region but also all over the world. Know more about the greatest Southeast Asians of the modern times, their good and even terrible deeds (but great!) that may have (or may have not) changed our lives today.

Stay tuned!

Farewell, Pak Harto!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono lead the state funeral of former President Haji Muhammad Suharto. "We have lost one of the best people in our nation - a person who was a real and loyal fighter and a person that has been respectful to the nation," said Mr Yudhoyono.

Suharto died on Sunday in Jakarta at the age of 86 after suffering multiple organ failure. The Indonesian government has also declared seven days of mourning for the general who ruled Indonesia for 32 years with an iron fist.

Dignitaries and regional government representatives are scheduled to attend Suharto's funeral at the family mausoleum, the Astana Giri Bangun, at Karangamnyar near Solo in Central Java.

Though he left a mixed legacy, especially a dubious human rights record, Asian leaders praised Suharto for having built the Indonesian economy.

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has extended his heartfelt condolences to the Suharto family and the Indonesian people.

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo noted Suharto's critical role in building the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which has grown into a 10-country bloc and increased the region's influence in global politics.

''As one of the founding fathers of ASEAN, President Suharto was among those who had the pioneering vision of establishing a more peaceful, progressive and prosperous Southeast Asian region founded on respect and understanding,'' Arroyo said in a statement.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong flew to Jakarta on Sunday night and paid respect to the late Indonesian leader, saying, ''Suharto's leadership, vision, and statesmanship enabled all ASEAN countries to grow and prosper in peace, and made ASEAN a respected player in the Asia Pacific.''

"Younger people do not know how disastrous was the economic situation in Indonesia before September 1965 when hyper-inflation was drowning Indonesia's economy," Lee Kuan Yew said in a condolence letter to Suharto's daughter.

"Under Pak Harto's leadership he turned the country around and made Indonesia an economic success story," he wrote.

Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew in his condolence letter summed it up in these words, "I have no doubt that history will accord Pak Suharto a place of honour in Indonesia's history when his life's work is studied in calm perspective.

Indonesia's President Bambang (centre) and his wife (left) were among early mourners at the Suharto home in Jakarta.

Indonesian President Yudhoyono gives the national flag to Siti Hardianti Rukmana, the daughter of former leader Suharto

Bambang Trihatmojo, a son of former Indonesian President Suharto, holds his father during the burial ceremony

Cemetery workers use a bamboo pole to lower the coffin at Astana Giribangun cemetery in Karang Anyar,Central Java.
Children of former Indonesian President Suharto scatter flowers on the coffin during the burial ceremony

(photos: Channel News Asia)


Asuang Steals Fire from Gugurang

Story: Damiana L. Eugenio (From The Myths: Philippine Folk Literature )
Art: Li Julian
Long ago when the world was still young the good and evil gods were not yet enemies as they are now. They were friends, each living separately in a mountain (Bolod, Bicol). One report even said that they were brothers. Gugurang, the good god, was living inside Mount Mayon, and Asuang, the evil one, inside Mount Malinao. As gods they had control of the welfare of the people. But Gugurang was more powerful than Asuang who was merely a subordinate; the former was the chief deity (cagurangnan) of the Bicols.

Now Gugurang was given full control over the people, who learned to look up to him for protection or for advancement. Whenever the people disobeyed his orders or wishes, he would cause the pit of the Mayon Volcano to rumble terribly. The people in time took this as a sign of warning, and accordingly, mended their foul ways. Or if their sins were beyond forgiveness Gugurang would make the volcano erupt to wipe out the sinners.

Gugurang then became the symbol of the good (an mga marhay) ready to punish the bad (an mga maraot). When the people saw fire (calayo) flowing out of the crater of Mayon, they would grow afraid. They would then offer a sacrifice (atang) to him to appease his wrath. The Baliana, priestess, officiated in the ceremony. Always when they committed wrong, there would be loud moaning of the earth followed by an eruption of fire and lava (abo).

Now, Asuang had no fire in his abode inside Mount Malinao (to the north of Albay). He wanted to be as powerful as Gugurang, at least. If the people aroused his wrath, he wanted to subdue them by a fire or rumbling in Mount Malinao (this was still whole then). He entreated Gugurang to give him some fire but Gugurang emphatically refused.

"How dare you ask for my fire! " Gugurang thundered. The earth trembled. "Don't you know that when the fire in my seat is carried by hands such as yours the whole world will be set on fire?"

"But I will be very careful," replied Asuang.

"Be careful! I myself with all my power cannot handle it."

"But how can you threaten the people with it?"

"It is not my will that does it. It is someone else's that you or I do not know nor will ever know. But the rainy days are coming and I need fire to make me warm in Mount Malinao."

"Why," answered Gugurang, "you have lived there for many years and this is the first time that you have asked me for it, what will you use the fire for? Look at your people; they can live without it."

"Well, it is time for you to give them fire now."

"Give them fire!" burst Gugurang. The earth shook and the people were more afraid. But soon Gugurang quelled the commotion. Asuang himself was frightened. He never saw him that way before.

"They are not fit to have it yet! They must make themselves worthy."

"Well, am I not worthy?"

"You! you lay god! Look at your ragged mountain and compare it to Mayon which is the most beautiful in the world."

Asuang argued with him for a long time but Gugurang would not budge an inch. Asuang suddenly discovered, which before he had not, that Gugurang was all-powerful. Asuang narrowed his eyes and smiled with sinister import. He decided to oppose him from now on.

"You want to be the omnipotent power," Asuang cried. "But between us two there is not much difference. Why must I live in a humble place like Mount Malinao while you sit here gloating over your power unlimited and unchecked?"

"Stop!" The earth shivered as Gugurang stamped his feet on the ground. Asuang only smiled this time. That made Gugurang angry all the more. He struck out but before his blow could land, Asuang had vanished already. Gugurang was greatly amazed at this—the new power of Asuang in making himself invisible.

Then from a short distance in the room came the voice of the evil one, "If I cannot get fire in good will, I will in bad—I will steal it."

"Try—and before you can do that I will cut your mountain in twain."

"Then let there be war between us," countered Asuang. Thus the good and the evil became enemies from that time on. Motives were many to prove that Asuang was ambitious. It could not be doubted that the power to rule intrigued him. He determined to oppose every move of Gugurang. He gathered around him evil counselors and evil spirits whom he sent to the earth to turn the people to evil ways. After that, there was much immorality, lawlessness and crime. Gugurang in no time found out that it was Asuang who was causing all these things.

He sent pestilence to the barrios and for a moment the people turned to the omnipotent for protection. Gugurang asked them for another atang or sacrifice and warned them to follow his commandments strictly or be exterminated by floods or eruption. Against Asuang himself Gugurang was powerless to do anything. It seemed that in the twinkle of an eye Asuang came to possess hidden powers hitherto denied him.

Gugurang particularly guarded his fire lest his enemy make good his threat of stealing it. He assigned his trusted helpers (catambang) to guard the symbol of his power. He was afraid, besides, that if the fire were to go out of its confines the world would be consumed in a mighty conflagration.

But in spite of the precaution taken, Asuang was able to enter and locate the guarded object, and with many guiles and wiles, he bribed the guards with gold (bolauan). The temptation (sogot) was too sweet to be denied. Hence Asuang obtained possession of Gugurang's fire. Putting it inside a coconut shell he started with it.

Gugurang in his throne suddenly noticed that everything around him turned black, and that there were cries in the bowels of the volcano. But outside, the world was on fire. Every barrio that Asuang passed caught fire. Asuang!" Gugurang cried. And with this he flew into the air pursuing the thief. While terror reigned among the people who were powerless against the conflagration, Gugurang and Asuang raced for supremacy. Gugurang must get the fire back, or else he would be left without any power at all. All the air around grew hot but still they went madly on. Asuang was nearing his seat and if he could get there before Gugurang, it would be lost for the good god would then be under the spell of the devil.

Asuang braced up for the last stride and just as he was about to descend Mount Malinao, Gugurang caught up with him, snatched the fire in the coconut shell, and vanished with it. Asuang was greatly surprised. He could not make himself invisible, as he would. Gugurang on reaching Mount Mayon returned the fire to its place, and everything was bright again inside. Now before doing anything else he set about stopping the conflagration. He bade the heavens (calangitan) to rain continuously. And there was rain. And the big fire was under control. The people at once offered atangs, because they were convinced it was Gugurang who had caused the fire because of their wickedness.

Then Gugurang punished the guards by chaining them to the precipices. Then for his revenge on Asuang—he ordered Lightning (Linti) and Thunder (Dalogdog) to strike hard against Mount Malinao that was defying him. Asuang attempted to bribe Linti and Dalogdog. What is the use of your serving a master when you don't even receive any reward?" Asuang asked. "Why don't you join me? Here you can have what you want. You can be your master."

Linti, quite taken, asked, "You mean what you said?" Sure," the wily Asuang answered. It is true we are driven like slaves," said the thunder.

At this Gugurang sent his thunderbolt. Boom! Crash! For several minutes the world sank and bobbed and sank again. All the mountains creaked. Then a mighty crashing was made amid the din. Gugurang then ordered the lightning and the thunder to stop. All was over in a few minutes.

Then the people noticed that what was once Mount Malinao was but half now. They thanked the omnipotent for destroying the abode of the devil. (To this day one who sails the Tabaco Bay will still see that Mount Malinao seems to have been cut while Mayon stands majestically unimpaired.)

The people for a time believed that Asuang was killed, but later his influence was doing havoc with the populace. Incidentally, the people got fire, for the enterprising few kept some embers to keep themselves warm during the rain that followed the conflagration.


Older Than Time, Stronger Than Stone

At first sight, you won't know that it is a stadium especially when you look at it from the outside. It is a mixture of filipino baroque architecture and post-modern design that will surely catch your attention.

This is the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, the national sports complex of the Republic of the Philippines. Constructed in 1934, the stadium only seats 30,000 including standing areas. RMSC houses the Rizal Stadium, considered to be the oldest stadium in Asia. The RMSC was constructed for the Far Eastern Championship Games in 1934 which later became the Asian Games.

Located along Pablo Ocampo Street (formerly Vito Cruz Street), the Rizal Stadium is named after the national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal.

In 1945, the stadium was heavily devastated when the World War II broke out. It was then reconstructed in 1953 for the hosting of the 2nd Asian Games the following year.

To this day, the stadium stands and looks as it was when it was first opened. Small, old but elegant. It pictures out the then glamorous country that has gone through countless blows.

Because it is located in downtown Manila (particularly in the district of Malate), space is the primary problem for renovation. That is why, it remains to be a 30,000-seater stadium. RMSC also houses the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, an indoor basketball arena, The PSC Badminton Hall, Rizal Memorial Swimming Center, Rizal Memorial Coliseum, Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium, the National Stadium, Rizal Memorial Tennis Center, Philippine Taekwondo Association Dojang and Main Office, PSC Bowling Hall, Gymnastics Hall, Philippine Center for Sports Medicine, Boxing Gym and the Pencak Silat Gym, all governed by the Philippine Sports Commission.

To take you closer to the place in its present look, your correspondent raided the once-so-glamorous Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

The main gate of the RMSC

The Grandstand of the Main Stadium

The stadium with the Wushu Federation Philippines Building at the background.

Behind the stadium is the Ninoy Aquino Stadium for Basketball.

The National Athletes and Coaches Lounge

The Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium

The Stadium overlooking De La Salle University's Alberto Yuchengco Hall

The Torch at the right

The electronic Scoreboard...

still stands since it's first use during the 1991 SEA Games.

The Scoreboard now embedded with the Government's Strong Republic slogan.

The stadium, now dwarfed by high-rise Manila condominums.

The gate of the Tennis Center.

The Coliseum.

The RMSC played host to various events throughout history including the Beattles concert in 1966, the 10th Far Eastern Championship Games 1934, the 2nd Asian Games in 1954, the 1981, 1991 and 2005 Southeast Asian Games, 2005 ASEAN ParaGames and the 2006 Asian Women's Volleyball Club Championships.
Though outdated and criticized by the world of modern sports, the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex is a great relic of its rich history and a reminder that its beauty would still be hailed, welcome those who appreciate it and will always be there to tell its tale.


Academic Excellence Through AUN

Education has been Southeast Asia's priority for progress and has yet produced numerous outstanding schools that offer one of the best education in the continent. To further develop Southeast Asian schools into producing competitive graduates for the region, the ASEAN formed the ASEAN University Network (AUN), an arrangement between 20 universities in 10 ASEAN countries.
Founded in 1995, its goal is to strengthen the existing network of cooperation among universities in Southeast Asia. It also aims to promote cooperation and solidarity among scientists and scholars in the region and develop academic and professional resources as well as to produce and disseminate scientific knowledge and information among the universities in the region.
Now these universities are cited the best in their own country and may help you find your way to the best ASEAN education. Let us take a look at these 20 schools that together form the AUN:
1. Universiti Brunei Darussalam
- UBD is the largest and oldest university in the country. Founded in 1985, it is now composed of 7 Faculties including the Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Education and the Academy of Brunei Studies.

1. Royal University of Phnom Penh
-RUPP is also the oldest and largest university in Cambodia. With over 5,000 students across three campuses, it offers a wide range of high-quality courses. It began as the Royal Khmer University and saw closure during the establishment of the Khmer Republic in 1970 and educated persons were targeted and killed. Few educated Cambodians who survived stayed in the country when the borders were reopened and the school was deserted for five years. In 2001, the RUPP opened its first post graduate degrees.

1. Universitas Indonesia
- One of Indonesia's premier universities ranking 395th in the Times Higher Education Supplement World University Rankings in 2007. Universitas Indonesia or UI was founded in 1851 by the Dutch East Indies Government to train medical assistants. The school consists of 12 Faculties providing courses at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels.

2. Gadjah Mada University-The largest university in Indonesia in terms of population. UGM ranked 360th in the Times Higher Education Supplement World University Rankings in 2007. It has 18 faculties, 73 undergraduate study programs, 28 diploma study programs, and a graduate program of 62 study programs ranging from Social Sciences to Engineering. It has approximately 55,000 students, 647 foreign students, 2,240 employees, and 2,273 lecturers.

3. Bandung Institute of Technology- Is a public coeducational research university in Indonesia. It is the oldest technology-oriented university in Indonesia founded as the Technische Hogeschool te Bandung. In a global survey of the Times Higher Education Supplement-Quacquarelli Symonds (THES-QS), released at 5 October 2006, ITB was placed on the 258th among other universities around the globe.

4. Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember- Is a public university in Surabaya, East Java focusing on technology and engineering. Due to lack of engineers, the Indonesian Engineers Association set up a foundation to start a technical college which then evolved to what is now the ITS. It is composed of 6 faculties and two autonomous polytechnics.

1. National University of Laos
- A young university in with departments brought in form other existing colleges. It is the only national university in the country. It consists of 13 faculties including the School of Foundation Studies and the Environment Development Center.

1. Universiti Malaya
- Is the oldest university in Malaysia and is widely recognised as one of the top university in the country. Many prominent Malaysians are alumni of UM. Among its successful alumni are Tun Abdul Razak (2nd Prime Minister of Malaysia), Mahathir bin Mohamad (4th Prime Minister of Malaysia) and Lee Kuan Yew (former Singapore Prime Minister).

2. Universiti Sains Malaysia- A public university in Penang, Malaysia and is the largest university in terms of population. It was formerly known as Universiti Pulau Pinang in 1969. The university consists of 24 schools.

3. Islamic International University of Malaysia- The private publicly-funded school in Malaysia. Although the school was founded with islamic principles, it also admits non-Muslim students. There are presently 14 faculties or Kulliyyahs.

1. University of Yangon
- It is established in 1878 as an affiliated college of the University of Calcutta (India). It is first known as the Rangoon College which was opened by Education Syndicate. It was renamed Government College in 1904, and University College in 1920. Throughout the 1940s to 1950s, it was the most prestigious university in Southeast Asia and one of the top performing schools in the continent, attracting students from across the region.

2. Yangon Institute of Economics- The first institution in Burma to offer degrees in Economics and Business Studies. An MBA course was conducted in 1995.

1. University of the Philippines
- Founded in 1908 through an act of Philippine Legislature, UP is now the top university in the Philippines and considered one of the leading universities in Asia and the world by international academic standards. The foremost symbol of UP is the Oblation, a figure of a naked man with arms outstretched and face pointed outwards. Its flagship campus is the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

2. De La Salle University- Is a catholic private university located in Taft, Manila. During World War 1, the school was turned into a Japanese headquarters and massacred 16 Christian Brothers and families who had taken refuge in the university chapel. It is composed of 6 colleges.

1. National University of Singapore
- The largest and oldest university in Singapore. NUS has semester-based modular systems for conducting courses and adopts features of British system such as tutorials and the American system (credits).

2. Nanyang Technological University- A Major research university in Singapore. It has 6 colleges, schools and institutes including the College of Engineering, with 6 schools focusing on technology innovation.

1. Chulalongkorn University
- One of Thailand's most prestigious universities which includes 18 faculties and a number of schools and institutes. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn is the first Thai royal blood to graduate in this unversity. The AUN Secretariat holds office at Chulalongkorn University.

2. Burapha University- A major public university in Chonburi province. The university contains service centers such as the Institute of Marine Science, whose aquarium is a major tourist attraction. The school hosts approximately 12,000 students aided by 500 teaching staff and 300 general employees.

1. Vietnam National University, Hanoi
- One of the two national universities of Vietnam consisting of 10 colleges and faculties. It began as the University of Indochina in 1906, Vietnam National University (1945) and the University of Hanoi (1956).

2. Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh- Founded in 1995 and reorganized in 2001, the university now provides graduate and post graduate education with 35,391 students. It includes the High Schools for Gifted Secondary School Students and the Ho Chi Minh International University.

With these outstanding performing member schools of the ASEAN University Network, education in the region may well be developed more to compete with other large universities especially in Europe and America.

These schools work hand-in-hand to provide quality education for young southeast asians and together build a stronger, progressive and peaceful Southeast Asia.

University of Malaya

Universiti Sains Malaysia

University of the Philippines

Universitas Indonesia

Universiti Brunei Darussalam

National University of Laos

Islamic International University of Malaysia

Chulalongkorn University

Universitas Gadjah Mada

Institut Teknologi Bandung

Nanyang Technological University

National University of Singapore

De La Salle University

Royal University of Phnom Penh

Burapha University

We were not able to find pictures of the following:
Vietnam National University, Hanoi
Ho Chi Minh City National University
University of Yangon
Yangon Institute of Economics
Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember

Photos courtesy of Google and Yahoo.

Special thanks to Maricar of, Dave Lucas' Around the Blogosphere and Katiek of Ode Magazine Online for featuring and linking my previous article "How to Ride the Jeepney" to their sites. ^_^