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With the salutation "Iron hand over benevolent heart," Vovinam rises.

Thailand has mauy Thai, Cambodia has prodal serey... And Vietnam has got Vovinam.

Vovinam Vo Dao is originated in the land of Vietnam, during the French colonization. Young Nguyen Loc, at that time, with his nationalism spirit, he read about other martial arts, and his clear mind, along with strong body and pure soul, invented "Vovinam." He introduced this new art to public in 1938, and gained the support of all Vietnamese people. It was carried with every immigrants to where they went, specially France. His successor, Le Sang, continued developing and distributing Vovinam to the whole world.

Vovinam believes that hard and soft go together as equals. Students are required to develop this concept in both training and daily life. The combination of these two are crucial to the training of Vovinam. The basic techniques of this art are elbow, hand, kicking, knee, Forms, attacking, wrestling, leg, staff, sword and Hallebarde.

This is the ten principles of Vovinam (can be vary from school to school):

1. Vovinam's disciples vow to pursue high proficiency in their martial art in order to serve the people and humanity.
2. Promise to be faithful to the intentions and teaching of Vovinam and develop the young generation of Vovinam Viêt Võ Dao
3. Be united in spirit and heart, respect one's elder, be kind to one's peers.
4. Respect discipline absolutely, maintain the high standard of personal conduct and honour of a martial art disciple.
5. Have respect for other martial art schools, only use martial art skills for self defense and protect justice.
6. Be studious, strengthen the mind, enrich one's thought & behavior.
7. Live simply, with chastity, loyalty, high principles and ethics.
8. Build up a spirit of steely determination and vigor, overcome powers of violence.
9. Make intelligent judgments, carry out struggles with perseverance and act with alertness.
10. Be self-confident, self-controlled, modest and generous.

The belt system is quite unique compares to other arts.

The adult begins with a light blue belt - the same color as his/her suit. He then is a "Võ Sinh", a student aspirant. The old school Vovinam had two navy blue stripes before getting the Navy Blue Belt. But recently, some Vovinam schools have changed under the direction of Le Sang and do not have a Light Blue Belt 1 stripe, or two.
Following the light blue is the dark blue belt. Then he/she is a "Mon Sinh", a student.

Blue stands for the factor of the sea, and the hope - the hope in being successful in learning Vovinam.
With the following 3 exams yellow stripes are added to the blue belt. The 3rd yellow stripe is followed by the yellow belt. The student has reached the instructor's level.

Yellow It symbolically stands for the skin color of all people. It symbolizes the "skin deep" internalization of the martial art and the philosophy.
In other martial arts this belt is black. Therefore a Vovinam student who carries a yellow belt is allowed to carry a black belt. This makes a comparison to other martial arts easier, eg. in public performances. A person who wears a yellow belt with one or more stripes is considered an instructor.
Following in a longer period of time, respectively 3 red stripes are added to the yellow belt. This corresponds to the 1st, 2nd, respectively 3rd Dang (Dan). The exam following the 3rd red stripe is the master's exam. Passing the exam successfully assigns the right to wear a red belt with a circulating yellow border.

Red stands for the blood and the intensive flame. The student has internalized Vovinam Viêt Võ Dao even further.
The 5th to 10th Dang are shown as a completed red belt with 1 to 6 white stripes.

White stands for the infiniteness, the bones; is the symbol of the depth of the spirit. The white belt assigns the master the absolute mastery of Vovinam Viêt Võ Dao.
On the white belt thin, lengthwise stripes in blue, yellow and red symbolize the whole of Vovinam Viêt Võ Dao again. This belt is reserved for the "Patriarch". 2005 this is Granmaster Le Sang.

With every change of belt color the name plate color changes. Blue belt students start off with yellow text on blue name plates. With the yellow belt the name plate changes to red text on yellow ground. The red belt comes along with white text on a red name plate. The patriarch carries red text on a white name plate. Thin, colored lines in blue, yellow and red are shown on the upper and lower borders of this white name plate.

Author notes: I have only found an article about Vovinam in Wikipedia. I tried to access to other sites for various resources but can not gain any favourable results. Thus, this article is merely based on Wikipedia guidance.



Museums are the most important players in the development of a country's future. It measures how well the people preserve culture and tell the tale of its glorious history.

For a country very much searching for its own identity, the Philippines has made great efforts to retrace its historic pursuit to what is now a strong republic.

Some of our country's pieces of history is preserved and retold at the National Museum of the Philippines.

The National Museum of the Philippines is a government-funded institution assigned to facilitate and rehabilitate the historical pieces that are vital to the Philippine history. The National Museum, located at the former congress building of the Philippines in Manila holds the arts, natural sciences and other support divisions while its sister institution, the National Museum of the Filipino People houses the Anthropology and Archaeology Divisions. The National Museum of the Filipino People is located at the former Finance Building adjacent to the Agrifina Circle of the Rizal Park.

Both museums house countless galleries, exhibiting art pieces and historical artifacts like old vases from sunken chinese junks in the South China Sea, astrolabes used by the Spanish voyagers, paintings by renowned Filipino painters and more.

The museums are open from Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00AM to 4:30PM with discounts on entrance fees for Filipino students and senior citizen.

The National Museum of the Filipino People building is also the site of the acclaimed opening of the Ms. Earth Pageant in 2006.

For more information, you may contact the National Museum:

Mailing Address:
National Museum of the Philippines
Teodoro Valencia Circle, Rizal Park, Ermita
Manila, 1045 Philippines

Phone: +63 2 527 1215


All Hail Pacquiao!!!

A former donut and ice water seller, now a World Light Welterweight champion, Manny Pacquiao travels some hundred thousand miles to give his opponent the taste of his fist.

Being Nickname "Pac-Man," Emmanuel Dapidran "Manny" Pacquiao, born December 17, 1978, now is regarded as the world and Philippine newest hero of the 21st century. His hometown is Kibawe, Bukidnon, Mindano but his current residence is at General Santos City, South Cotabato, Philippine. Starting his boxing career at the age of 16, he is now more than a professional fighter, but also a potential politician (as he stated that he would enter politics once his career ends[1]), businessman and even actor. He is a happy husband and a father of four children.

The 30 year-old holds a record of 49-3-2 [2], and used to bear WBC lightweight world champion, WBC super featherweight world champion, IBF super bantamweight world champion, and WBC flyweight world champion. He became the first Asian to win four world title in four different weight divisions. He is currently rated by the Ring Magazine as the #1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world.

"I was just doing my job in the ring and doing my best to make people happy. Nothing personal — I am just doing my job."
— Following his recent win against Hatton (Miami Herald, May 4, 2009)[2]. With his latest victory, now the world all sings his name to hail the new best pound-to-pound fighter in the world.

However, his memorial match would be the dream match against Oscar De La Hoya at Las Vegas on 6 December, 2008. He won by technical knockout, but his match became the second best-selling ticket of the boxing history, with 17millions gate revenue. [3]

To honour his country, during the summer Olympic 2008 in China, he is the sole bearer of the Filipino flags, although he did not fight in this competition and he was the first Filipino to do so (attending the Olympic game without actually enter the game).[2]

In Philippine, his name has become a brand name for varieties of products, from medical to food. Moreover, his biography has been filmed by Filipino production, under director Joel Lamangan, and starred by Jericho Rosales. The film entitled "Pacquiao: The Movie." He also appears in video game, the Fight Night series (FN: Round 2, 3 and 4). He became the first athlete to appear on postage stamp.[2]

There are rumours that he and Sylvester Stallone would are in plans of doing a movie, could be another "Rocky." For sure! Pac-Man is more than Rock now, because Stallone shall knows this fact: Under Philippine Laws, the army would come to Pacquiao's aid if his family is in danger. [2]

[1]Zonio, Aquiles (2007-07-29). "Pacquiao files bid for South Cotabato’s Congress seat" (in English). Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved on 2007-04-17.
[3]Sept 24, 6:14 pm EDT. "Tickets for De La Hoya-Pacquiao nearly sold out - Boxing - Yahoo! Sports". Retrieved on 2008-10-02.
And Of course:


The first Prime Minister of Singapore

The first Prime Minister of Singapore

Who would have thought, a fourth-generation Chinese Singaporean who once left the country to study in England, returned to transform a small island into Asian important seaport, from a land for fishing villages into a land for commercial center, and from and underdeveloped colonial outpost with no natural resources into a stable First World Asian Tiger. He is Lee Kuan Yew, the first prime minister of Singapore who held office from 1959 to 1990.

Born 16 September 1923, Lee is a descendant of - to his father side - Guangdung resident. His mother is a Hokkien Nyonnya. He studied in Raffles Institution and Raffles College before World War II. During WWII, his education was suspended, and he worked for Japanese government propaganda department as he has taken Chinese and Japanese lessons prior to that period. After WWII, he studied Laws at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge , UK and due to his outstanding performance, he was able to attend London School of Economics. In his return to Singapore in 1949, he became a popular nationalist leader and in 1954, he formed the People's Action Party. He joined the movement to negotiate Singapore's independence from the British rule and partly succeed. and Lee became the first prime minister of Singapore on 3 June 1959, taking over from Chief Minister Lim Yew Hock. After Malayan Prime MinisterTunku Abdul Rahman proposed the formation of a federation which would include Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak in 1961, Lee began to campaign for a merger with Malaysia to end British colonial rules. On 16 September 1963, Singapore joined of the Federation of Malaysia as one nation. However, after several incidence including the clash between Chinese and Malaysian people, on 9 August 1965, the republic of Singapore was born. Lee would then face plenty of headaches, including designate solution to seek sufficient water supply, strengthen the defence department and select effective economic plan to run on a land which lack resources.

However under his rule, Singapore became UN members on 21 September 1965, one of the five father of ASEAN on 8 August 1967 and he always dedicate his energy to sought worldwide recognition to Singapore's independence. His main task, in that sense, is then the economic issues. He chose to industrialize Singapore and in 1961, he established the Economics Development Board to attract foreign investment. His best move would be to offer investors of highly-skilled, low-paid worker with undeniably tax incentives. Lee also created Singapore Tourism Promotion Board to compete in the tourism industry. He promoted Mandarin as a mother-tongue for Singaporean, and made English for commercial and administrative use.

On 28 November 1990, he handed over his prime minister post to Goh Chok Tong, thus ending his reign. He was then Singapore longest ever serving Prime Minister, and also the world's longest serving Prime Minister. He was made Senior Minister from 1990 to 2004, and Minister Mentor from 2004 to present.

His son, Lee Hsien Loong, continues his legacy by succeeding Goh Chok Tong as prime minister.