Paul Morrow

Paul Morrow

About the author of Sarisari etc...

Sarisarě etc... in the Filipino language means various & sundry etc... As you can see, I am not a Filipino. I am a Canadian living in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada who just happens to have an interest in Filipino culture.

I work here in the film industry as a boom operator. For those of you unfamiliar with that term, a boom operator is a member of the sound department who manipulates a microphone at the end of a pole or boom over the heads of the actors in order to record their dialogue. (See my resume.)

Filipino culture is involved in many of my outside interests and activities. I originally wrote many of the articles at this web site for a now defunct magazine called Hiyás. Since then the Internet has allowed me to improve, update and add to this collection of writings as I continue to learn more about Philippine history and language.

Throughout the entire 1990's I worked as a production engineer at Winnipeg's own multicultural radio station, CKJS Radio 810 AM where the Filipino shows  dominate the programming. Every year, (well, almost every year) CKJS Radio has presented the extremely popular Tuklás Talino singing competition for which I served as the sound engineer and technical co-ordinator through all phases of the contest. 

I have also worked free-lance as a technical co-ordinator, consultant, liaison, etc. for local Filipino concert promoters and Filipino performers such as Sharon Cuneta, Regine Velasquez, Freddie Aguilar, Jaya, Pilita Corrales, Randy Santiago, Martin & Pops and many more. Just take a look at the photo album!

Also, Maya Recording is my private home studio where I have made over 200 recordings of Filipino singers over the past few years.

My other interests are not as well represented on this web site as I would like - a situation I hope to rectify sometime in the future. I am a film fanatic with a really bad DVD habit. I love the writing of William Shakespeare (or whoever it was that wrote his plays) and I like to collect old microphones of all things. See the Links page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are you a Filipino?

A: No. I was born in Canada and both my parents are Canadian. If you believe that all Canadians must be hyphenated (which I do not) then I guess I'm an Irish-Canadian. My last ancestors to arrive in Canada came from Ireland in about 1910. My sister Karen's web site Family Ties is all about genealogy. She has traced our family tree in great detail.

Q: How did you learn to speak Tagalog?

A: I studied Tagalog mostly on my own by reading Filipino dictionaries, grammars, and teach-yourself type books. To learn pronunciation and idioms I listened closely to my friends' conversations and I took a children's Tagalog class in the mid 1980s. After four years without much progress, I took a five month vacation in the Philippines where I immersed myself in the language and the culture. I have been speaking and learning Tagalog/Pilipino/Filipino for over fifteen years now.

Q: Did you really write those articles in Tagalog or did someone just translate them for you?

A: Yes, I wrote them. In fact, I originally wrote the articles in Tagalog for the Filipino language magazine Hiyás. I then translated them myself into English for this web site. However, I must give a lot of credit to my friend Emmie Joaquin, for her untiring editorial help. She has saved me from acute embarrassment countless times by catching grammatical errors, heading off cultural faux pas (keeping my foot out of my mouth) and by straightening out sentences that, but for her, would have been sheer gibberish.

Q: Who designed your web site?

A: Karen Morrow, my sister, is a very skilled and knowledgeable web designer. In 1999 she offered to make a web page for me. At first I had no idea what I would possibly want to put on the Internet but after a few days I came up with the idea for Sarisari etc and Karen got a lot more work than she bargained for. She created the main page and the Tagalog versions of the historical articles. She also came up with the scrapbook motif and the baybayin inscribed edges. What little I do know about web site creation I picked up from Karen. After the first month or so I took over the updating and expansion of the web site.

Q: Why do you use those funny little marks above the words in your Filipino articles? Isn’t it old-fashioned? Nobody writes like that anymore.

A: Well that is true. In fact, the accent marks were never used in normal Tagalog/Pilipino writing to the extent that I use them in my articles. My reasons for adding those diacritics or mga tuldík are partly sentimental, partly practical and partly, to my shame, pedantic.

I learned Filipino here in Canada, mainly from books, before there was such a thing as on-line shopping. Most of these books were out of date and lagged far behind the frequent revolutions and coup d’etats that have occurred in the Philippine national language over past several decades. Many of the stories and articles that I read at that time still had the tuldík marks in their text. Seeing these marks outside a dictionary really helped me to understand and pronounce the strange new words that I was learning. I believe they can still be useful to non-Filipinos and even non-Tagalogs. But I must admit that it is tedious to type the tuldíks and to make sure that they are correct. My latest Filipino articles no longer make use of them.

Q: What is the average airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

A: What do you mean? An African swallow or a European swallow?