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In celebration of Philippine National Heroes’ Day, the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu, hosted a welcome reception for Professor Ambeth R. Ocampo, celebrated Filipino academic, historian, journalist and author at the Philippine Consulate Lanai on 29 August 2017.

Prof. Ocampo, whose visit to Honolulu was supported by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, kicked off  his three-part lecture series with a lecture entitled “Mukhang Pera: The Politics of Banknotes in the Philippines”.

Mukhang pera” literally means “looks like money” but is often taken to denote a “greedy or materialistic person.” Prof. Ocampo’s lecture played on this double meaning by showing how politics influences history and the way it is represented in the banknotes of the Philippines.

Consul General Gina A. Jamoralin in her welcome remarks, expressed appreciation to Prof. Ocampo for accepting the invitation to come to Hawaii, giving Filipinos and non-Filipino alike the rare opportunity to listen to his lectures. She also thanked the Philippine Consulate’s partner organizations, namely, the University of Hawaii (UH) Center for Philippine Studies, UH Leeward Community College School of Pacific and Asian Studies, East-West Center, the Filipino Association of University Women and Philippine Airlines, for making the lecture series possible.

During his lecture, Prof. Ocampo said that banknotes are part of daily transactions that people often ignore the details each peso bill or coin contains, or the effort and tedious research that go into choosing the design. He also stressed that a banknote is important because its design is an expression of our national identity, and discussed how politics and public opinion influence the design of our money. Prof. Ocampo urged the audience to henceforth take a closer look at banknotes as these reflect our history and culture.

The lecture-reception was attended by over a hundred guests from the Hawaii government, media, academe, and the Filipino community. Distinguished guests include Hawaii State Representative Romeo Cachola and Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Angelo Barba.

Prof. Ocampo is also scheduled to give two more lectures in Honolulu on Jose Rizal on 31 August at the UH Leeward Community College, and on Marcos Diaries on 1 September at the East-West Center. (END).