• Think of a living national treasure kitemaker and one thinks of Japan, Right? But these wonderful people can be found elsewhere around the globe, sometimes in surprising places. One clear candidate for the honorary title is Eulogio Catahan, 74, of Angeles City, the Philippines. Angeles City adjoins Clark Air Base, formerly the largest U.S. military installation outside the country, but now operated by the Philippines.
  • Orlando T.D. Ongkingco of Manila is “Mr. Kites” in the Philippines. Organizer and leader of the Kite Association of the Philippines, “Orly,” age 45, energetically promotes the sport, has written a book about kites, spreads the word internationally by attending kite festivals.
  • Reflecting a resurgence of interest in traditional culture, eight of the countries that make up the ASEAN confederation have taken the first step in establishing a kite council. ASEAN stands for Association of South East Asian Nations and is a trade group with sports and cultural components. Formation of a pro tem working committee to organize the council occurred at the recent Pasir Gudang festival in Johor, Malaysia.
  • Continuing his study of kites in the Philippines, Orly Ongkingco has just issued a revised, expanded booklet titled The Philippine Kite. Covering the basics------the invention of the kite, origin of the indigenous Philippine Gurion (swallow) kite, flying traditions in the Philippines, the role of monsoon winds and the rice harvest in the sport, kite fishing and bat catching with leaf kites, and so forth--------Ongkingco breaks some new ground.
  • A vast former military camp named Fort Bonifacio east of Manila was sold some years ago by the Philippine government to a private real estate conglomerate. The Hong Kong-based corporation soon developed a portion of the land nearest the capital into the largest and most expensive real property holding in the whole country. A series of 50-story buildings were put up. Meanwhile, the remainder of the huge holding continued as unoccupied, flat grassland, intersected by a network of concrete roads.
  • Terrorism in the Philippines has forced Orly Ongkingco of Manila to temporarily halt his research on kites throughout the archipelago. Ongkingco was the recipient of a grant from the Drachen Foundation to document the broad-spectrum kite culture of his country—the various types of kites, their makers, raw materials, tools, history, mythology. He was not only charged with doing written research but also with making photographs, as well as collecting choice examples of kites.