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What do Maria Ressa, Rico Hizon, and other icons reveal about Filipino Identity?

Rico Hizon Filipino Identity
The 2023 edition of The Fookien Times Philippines Yearbook 2023 revisits the discourse on “Who is the Filipino?” Photos from CNN Philippines.

What is the Filipino identity? This year’s Fookien Times Philippines Yearbook gathered answers from notable personalities such as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Maria Ressa and CNN anchor Rico Hizon, among many others, and came up with a unique survey of how far the nation has come in embracing its heritage.

The 2023 edition of The Fookien Times Philippines Yearbook 2023, aims to celebrate and revisit a discourse that has been ever-present in the Philippines which is, “Who is the Filipino?” as a way to address the importance of national identity in the new era of the Philippines’ collective history.

Founded in 1936 by Dr. James Go Puan Seng, the yearbook showcases exceptional literary works and photographs by distinguished Filipinos in an effort to serve as a chronicle of Filipino pride and national identity. This year’s edition is the second time that the theme of national identity has been used for the Fookien Times Philippines Yearbook after its 1999 publication.

The 2023 edition features a diverse range of ideas and essays from prominent figures in Philippine history, accomplished athletes, and artists, all highlighting the intricacy and distinctiveness of the Filipino identity.

Among the notable personalities featured are the first Filipino Nobel Laureate Maria Ressa, CNN Philippines anchor Rico Hizon, human rights lawyer Atty. Chel Diokno, and Editor-in-Chief Paulo G. Alcazaren, along with the grandson of former President Manuel L. Quezon, Manuel L. Quezon III.

The grand launch last March 20 was attended by some of this year’s honorees, including champion bowler Paeng Nepomuceno, celebrity chef Tatung Sarthou, and Diokno.

In an April 21 interview on CNN Philippines’ The Final Word with Rico Hizon, FT Philippines publisher Vernon Go discussed the intent, value, and process of publishing the yearbook.

Go shared that the yearbook points to how the Philippine national identity continues to be a work in progress, with the Philippines being a relatively young country after gaining independence from foreign occupation only in the 1940s.

“After reading all the materials and doing this theme – the Philippine national identity – for a second time, we really found our identity is not yet fully revealed and I suspect the nationhood, national identity.. is definitely a work in progress,” said Go.

The Fookien Times Philippines Yearbook 2023 has over 200 pages with a cover design using the Baybayin script that predates the naming of the islands as the Philippines. Book chapters include topics on Diversity, Filipino DNA, Transitions and Transformations, Spheres of Influence, and Power of Words, among several others, with featured personalities who basically represent the Filipino national identity in various sectors.

“We are thinking, what can we do to make this an exciting reading Journey for people? That’s what we dedicate ourselves to do. If you look at the pictures and you touch the paper, we want it to be obviously different, we want it to be more permanent than just scrolling up and down on our phones,” added Go.

The Fookien Times Philippines Yearbook, founded in 1936 by Dr. James Go Puan Seng, has been a chronicle of annual national issues, events, relevant personalities, and the culture of the Philippines ever since. The 2023 edition is available for purchase online at minimal.ph for 2,000 pesos.

WATCH THIS VIDEO & SEND MABUHAY CHEERS in the comments below to the movers behind the publication of The Fookien Times Philippines Yearbook 2023!

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The Good News Pilipinas Team
The Good News Pilipinas Team
The Good News Pilipinas Team is a group of Filipino journalists who advocate putting more good news stories about the Philippines and Filipinos on the media.

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