PEPE ALAS is José Mario Alas in real life. He was born in Lucena, Quezon (he still prefers calling the province by its original name: Tayabas) but grew up in the suburbs of Parañaque and Las Piñas, Metro Manila. He first learned how to read and write at the age of three.
Pepe was already blogging in the now defunct social media site Friendster when he was recruited by multi-awarded writer JB Lazarte to contribute for SKIRMISHER. In 2007, he launched his own blog ALAS FILIPINAS, the first and only Spanish-language blog in Filipinas. It was a personal blog but with emphasis on the importance of Spanish as a Filipino language. He followed this up two years later with FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES where he doodled on and delineated almost everything that fancied him regarding his Filipino cosmos, most particularly about topics directed towards Filipino Identity.
He took a sabbatical in 2016 due to a variety of reasons (health and finances). But in less than a year, he’s back with this blog, EL FILIPINISMO, a combination of both ALAS FILIPINAS and FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES.
Pepe now lives in San Pedro Tunasán, La Laguna with his wife and five children. He struggles dividing his time as a family man, a corporate slave, and as a writer-poet. The Alas household speaks three languages: Spanish, English, and Tagálog.
…Pepe is in many ways a de facto leader within our generation for the Hispanista movement —at least that’s my impression of him— due to his blog being the main “go-to” blog for anything Fil-Hispano in content. Sr. Guillermo Gómez Rivera is of course the de facto go-to person of all because of his passion for the cause. But Pepe is the one for our generation. And this impression is because of his blogs. That’s how it started. His blogs served as a kind of rallying point among Hispanistas.
—Orion Pérez (political analyst, constitutional reformist, and federalism advocate)—
As an old teacher of the Spanish language, we know that the student, to acquire this language, needs to master four basic skills: the skill to read it, the skill to understand it, the skill to write in it, and, later, the final skill to speak it. And Pepe Alas from Parañaque City had sufficiently mastered the four enumerated skills. To top it all, he also mastered to a high degree the literary, historical, and cultural content of Spanish in the Philippines which, as a culmination, has formed his firm conviction as a Filipino, free from the current maladies of a colonial mentality vis-à-vis the present colonial master lording it over our country. In short, Pepe is no longer a stranger in his own country which is expectedly miseducated, therefore ignorant of its true culture and true history. Pepe has freed himself from these maladies and anomalies of the mind and soul, and, because of this newfound freedom of his mind and his soul, he now loves his country in a much deeper way than most other Filipinos of his generation ever did or do.
—Guillermo Gómez Rivera (historian, academic, Premio Zóbel 1975)—
Pepe, for me you are a real historian.
—Xiao Chua (historian, academic, and television personality)—
CAPTAIN REMO: THE YOUNG HERO (biography)
LANGUAGE IN LITERATURE (Philippine Literature 7) (textbook article)
SAN MARCELINO LITERARY FOLIO: Sipi, Ipis, Pisi, Isip (vol. 9, no. 1, June 2004)
SAN MARCELINO LITERARY FOLIO: Artificial Insomnia (vol. 8, no. 1, June 2003)
CITY GOVERNMENT OF IMUS, CAVITE (historical researcher; translator of old Spanish documents, 9 November 2016 – present)
CITY GOVERNMENT OF SAN PEDRO TUNASÁN, LA LAGUNA (historical researcher; consultant for historical, cultural, and tourism affairs, 1 December 2015 – 12 July 2017)
BARCELONA: A LOVE UNTOLD (dubber/dubbing supervisor: Spanish)
YAMAN (documentary on the Aetas of Zambales)
EL IDIOMA ESPAÑOL EN FILIPINAS (documentary on the history of the Spanish language in Filipinas)
PANANAW (magazine, special pre-launch issue)
FRONTIER NEWSWEEKLY (“Ternate: the other side of Cavite”)
THE PHILIPPINE STAR (“Hermit Tonypet Araneta was absent, but ‘Mark Twain’ attended Gemma Cruz Araneta’s book launch”)
THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER (“Solenn Heussaff defends herself from criticism that she’s not Filipino”)
PEOPLE’S JOURNAL (“Reactions to my previous column on Manolo”)
THE PHILIPPINE STARWEEK (“Is traffic in Metro Manila solvable?”)
HATAW! (“‘Now or never’ para sa Balangiga Bells”)
MANILA TIMES (“Ascension Day at Villa Escudero”)
CEBÚ DAILY NEWS (“Pink Sister Mother Mary Aurora dies at 93”)
THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER (“Laguna stores run out of ‘lambanog’ due to cold spell”)
RAPPLER (“Equating storm surge to tsunami ‘dangerous’ – expert”)
THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER (“Marrying in ancient, sacred Catholic rites”)
THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER (“That candid interview with Nápoles”)
THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER (“Young historian finds Laguna birth date”)
LA VANGUARDIA (“Divagaciones babélicas”)
MANILA BULLETIN (“Part of history”)
THE PHILIPPINE STAR (“No silver bullet”)
LAUDATO SI’ (“Sustainable development: the key to protecting the environment”)
SOCIEDAD HISPANO-FILIPINA (“Nosotros filipinos somos hispanos“)
INTERNATIONAL RICE RESEARCH INSTITUTE (“Miracle Rice: its second coming!”)
REVISTA FILIPINA (“Gloria de Macapagal de Arroyo: ¿Promover el español en Filipinas?“)
REVISTA FILIPINA (“Nostalgia Filipina: Un gran regalo a los filipinos de hoy“)
DAILYPEDIA (“Republic of Big Penis? Netizen claims the origin of the word ‘Maharlika’”)
INTERAKSYON (“Filipinos look back on 1898 Treaty of Paris 120 years later”)
FASHION PULIS (“Tweet Scoop: Solenn Heussaff Replies to Persistent Netizen Questioning Her Being ‘Filipino'”)
ABS-CBN NEWS (LOOK: Netizens mock Sandro Marcos’ ‘Rogue One’ tweet)
PHILIPPINE ONLINE CHRONICLES (“On Filipinization and food: Cuisine as a metaphor for Pinoy identity”)
CASA SAN PABLO (“Casa San Pablo’s native cooking tour recognized as Best Tourism Practice”)
THE PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS (FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES: Finalist for Society, Politics, and History Category – National Level)
THE PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS (ALAS FILIPINAS: Finalist for Filipiniana Category)
THE PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS (ALAS FILIPINAS: Finalist for Philippine Blog Awards Bloggers’ Choice)
REVISTA FILIPINA (“Bitácoras Filipinas en español”)
CUARTEL DE SANTO DOMINGO (“Unveiling of the Marker of Cuartel de Santo Domingo” as an Important Cultural Property of the National Museum of the Philippines, 6 May 2019 [proxy for Ambeth Ocampo])
CUARTEL DE SANTO DOMINGO (“Public Declaration of the Cuartel de Santo Domingo as an Important Cultural Property of the National Museum of the Philippines”, 14 January 2019)
MATER ECCLESIAE SCHOOL (“Symposium of the Professionals”, 22 March 2018)
PACIFIC MALL (“Saysay-Pugay“, 3 November 2017)
SOLENAD 3 (“Buwan ng Wika, Buwan ng Kasaysayan“, 31 August 2017)
CUARTEL DE SANTO DOMINGO (“2nd National Conference on Local Heritage Preservation”, extemporaneous, 28 January 2017)
UNIVERSITY OF ASIA AND THE PACIFIC (“History, Culture, Nature: The Making of the Lagunense Artist”, 22 July 2014)
KAPE KESADA (“44nd Foundation Anniversary of La Laguna Province”, extemporaneous, 27 July 2013)
SOUTHERN LUZÓN ASSOCIATION OF MUSEUMS (“The Historical Province of La Laguna”, 12 September 2012)
TAPATAN SA THE ARISTOCRAT (“Balangiga Bells”)
CNN PHILIPPINES (“#Throwback Lent: Church celebrates Latin Mass”)
ANC SHOP TALK (“Career close-up: Historian”)
¡A Dios sea toda la gloria y la honra!