Books: Books on America and the Philippine Moros by Robert A. Fulton

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Books on America and the Moros by Robert A. Fulton http://www.morolandhistory.com/Books_page/Book_Page.htm         Released January 15, 2012     The Battle of Bud Dajo took place over three days, March 5-8, 1906. It pitted the U.S. Army. U.S. Navy, and the Philippine Constabulary against 800-1,000 dissident Muslims who had fortified the top of a rugged, 2,175 feet high dormant volcano on the island of Jolo in the southern Philippine Islands. Although beginning as a genuine military contest, it ended as a tragic and terrible, one-sided massacre, with no more than a small and pitiful handful of the Muslims left alive.      Although lesser known. It ranks beside such infamous names as "Sand Creek" (1864), "Wounded Knee"(1890), and "My Lai" (1968) as one of the darkest, bloodiest, and most controversial episodes in America's long and troubled history of deadly encounters with indigenous peoples.     More than just a straightforward account of an epic fight on a spectacular mountain, it is also the story of a second and equally vicious donnybrook within the nations' press and on the floor of Congress to comprehend what had actually occurred on that remote field of battle and why. At stake were the careers of one the most well known soldiers of the early 20th Century, General Leonard Wood, former commanding officer of the famed Spanish-American War cavalry regiment, the Rough Riders. Also risk was a future President and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, William Howard Taft, as well as the reputation of one of the country's most popular Presidents, Theodore Roosevelt.     But there is also a mystery here. The real story of what happened would remain buried for more than another century. Why? Was there a deliberate, and successful, cover up? If the real facts had come to light sooner, would it have mattered? Could it have impacted the course of American history? Is there a lesson to take away here, or at least a warning?     HONOR FOR THE FLAG is based on path finding research into the original files, which was first published in 2007 my book MOROLAND; but it is much broader in scope and not only narrates a reliable account of the battle itself but how it rapidly evolved into a contentious and divisive debate over the moral basis of American intervention in foreign lands.     200 pages, including 72 photographs and illustrations. To see reviews and purchase, click on the web links below:         Moroland is the lost history of the once-famed struggle between the United States Army and the "wild" Moros, the Muslims of the southern Philippine islands. Lasting over two decades, it was this country's first sustained encounter with a volatile mixture of nation building, insurgency, counterinsurgency, and militant Islamism.     An unanticipated byproduct of the Spanish-American War, the task of subduing and then "civilizing" the "Land of the Moros" was delegated to the U.S. Army. Working through the traditional ruling hierarchy and respecting an ancient system of laws based on the Qur'an, Moro Province became an autonomous, military-governed Islamic colony within a much larger, overwhelmingly Christian territory, the Philippine Islands.     An initially successful occupation, it transitioned to a grand experiment: an audacious plan to transform and remake Moro society, values, and culture in an American image; placing the Moros on an uncertain and ill-defined path towards inclusion in an eventual Western-style democracy. But the Moros reacted with obstinate and unyielding resistance to what they perceived as a deliberate attack on the religion of Islam and a way of life ordained by God. This ignited a constant stream of battles and expeditions known in U.S. Army history as the Moro Campaigns and lasting more than a decade. In violence and ferocity they may have equaled, if not surpassed, the more famous late-19th Century Indian Wars of the Great Plains. It also led to the creation of the fabled Moro Constabulary, small contingents of native troops led by American, European, and Filipino officers.     The backdrop is a bustling, raucous, newly-prosperous nation finding its way as a world and imperial power. But with this new-found status came a near-religious belief that the active spread of America's institutions, values, and form of government, even when achieved through coercion or force, would create a better world. A subtext is a deep and bitter rivalry between two of its most prominent players, Captain John J. Pershing and General Leonard Wood, born only one month apart, each championing markedly opposed military philosophies. Eventually they would compete to lead one-million American "doughboys" into the cauldron of the world's first Great War.     Few Americans are aware that a century later the U.S. military has quietly returned to Moroland, to battle "radical Islamist terrorism"; … [Read more...]

Massive balangay ‘mother boat’ unearthed in Butuan By TJ DIMACALI,GMA News

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Massive balangay 'mother boat' unearthed in Butuan By TJ DIMACALI,GMA News The largest sailing vessel of its kind yet discovered is being unearthed in Butuan City in Mindanao, and it promises to rewrite Philippine maritime history as we know it. Estimated to be around 800 years old, the plank vessel may be centuries older than the ships used by European explorers in the 16th century when they first came upon the archipelago later named after a Spanish king, Las Islas Felipenas. Continue at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/321334/scitech/science/massive-balangay-mother-boat-unearthed-in-butuan The find also underscores theories that the Philippines, and Butuan in particular, was a major center for cultural, religious, and commercial relations in Southeast Asia. 'Nails' the size of soda cans National Museum archeologist Dr. Mary Jane Louise A. Bolunia, who leads the research team at the site, says almost everything about the newly-discovered "balangay" is massive.She holds up her hand and curls her fingers into a circle, as if grasping a soda can. "That's just one of the treenails used in its construction," Bolunia says. An aptly descriptive term, a "treenail" is a wooden peg or dowel used in place of iron nails in boatbuilding. So with "nails" that size, exactly how big is this boat? Dr. Bolunia produces a piece of onionskin paper with a carefully-inked map of the archeological site. On the upper corner is a roughly pea pod-shaped boat wreck, about 15 meters long, one of nine similarly-sized balangays discovered at the site since the 1970's. But right next to it, discovered only in 2012, are what seem to be the remains of another balangay so wide that it could easily fit the smaller craft into itself twice over – and that's just the part that's been excavated so far. Although the boat has yet to be fully excavated, it's estimated to be at least 25 meters long. Aside from the treenails, the individual planks alone are each as broad as a man's chest – roughly twice the width of those used in other balangays on the site. The planks are so large that they can no longer be duplicated, because there are no more trees today big enough to make boards that size, according to Dr. Bolunia. Proceeding with caution Historians, and Bolunia herself, caution that much work still needs to be done before the boat can be conclusively dated and identified."(The newly-discovered boat) will need more technical verification to establish its connection and relationship with the other boats already excavated, so that we can know its date, boat typology, and technology," said Dr. Maria Bernadette L. Abrera, professor and chairperson of the Department of History at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, in an email interview. "We have to be careful," said Ramon Villegas, a scholar who has done extensive research on pre-colonial Philippine history. "There has not been enough time to study (the artifacts). It could be a Spanish boat or Chinese junk." Aside from carbon dating to determine the age of the wood, the construction techniques used and even the type of wood itself need to be ascertained before anyone can come to a definitive conclusion. "Everything depends on the construction, on how the boat was built, before you can properly call it a 'balangay'," explains archeologist and anthropologist Dr. Jesus Peralta. He said he has yet to see the newfound boat for himself. Nevertheless, the boat's proximity to previous sites of buried balangays promises to send ripples through the academic world. "It's a 'mother boat'," Dr. Bolunia says with little hesitation, "and it's changing the way we think about ancient Filipino seafarers." Rewriting Philippine history It has long been established that Filipinos traveled across Southeast Asia as early as the 10th century, reaching as far as Champa – what is now the eastern coast of Vietnam – in groups of balangays. These groups or flotillas have always been thought to consist of similarly-sized small vessels, an idea perpetuated by the term "barangay" – the smallest administrative division of the present-day Philippine government. But, according to Dr. Bolunia, this new discovery suggests that these may just have been support vessels for a much larger main boat, where trade goods and other supplies were likely to have been held for safekeeping. The discovery also suggests that seafaring Filipinos were much more organized and centralized than previously thought. Butuan as a major center of culture and trade "This balangay reinforces the findings of the earlier excavations about the role of Butuan as a commercial and population center in precolonial Philippines," Abrera told GMA News."Butuan seaport had long-time trade links with Champa and Guandong (China). You can retrace the importance of (the newly-discovered boat) by utilizing it as an archeological key to that period when Butuan … [Read more...]

Cordillera People’s Flag – Igorot Autonomous Region – Northern Philippines

Cordillera People's Flag (Igorot Autonomous Region)

Cordillera People's Flag - Igorot Autonomous Region - Northern Philippines Explanation of the flag The Cordillera people are 7 interior people native to Cordillera mountains which stretch from North Borneo all the way to Luzon Island. The flag has 8 lances: 7 which represent the 7 interior people and 1 which represents the Tagalog people. The flag is also used with the letters CPDF in black under the emblem when it is used as the flag of the Cordillera People's Democratic Front. … [Read more...]

Documentary: Itinaga sa Bato – Baybayin Documentary written by Howie Severino and directed by Cris Sto. Domingo

Itinaga sa Bato baybayin

Documentary: Itinaga sa Bato - Baybayin Documentary written by Howie Severino and directed by Cris Sto. Domingo   http://youtu.be/nk2SF81q7kY Part 1   http://youtu.be/HWmFhBlJLko Part 2   http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/227829/publicaffairs/iwitness/itinaga-sa-bato-documentary-by-howie-severino http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2010078/ Many Filipinos are in the dark about their pre-colonial past, or Philippine history before the Spaniards came. That past is coming to light with Amaya, the first prime-time teleserye about Philippine society and culture before Europeans knew these existed. But even that history is based on what Spanish chroniclers wrote about the islanders they called indios. A recently discovered stone may change all that. A doormat for many years outside a Masbate classroom, the stone slab was cleaned by school children, revealing beneath the hardened mud writing in the ancient Filipino script called baybayin. Is it really a window into our pre-colonial past, or simply the work of a more recent hobbyist? Howie Severino and his documentary team accompany scientists to Ticao Island in Masbate as they try to authenticate the stone's origins and unlock its secrets. What does the writing say? Their investigation leads Howie's team's to living baybayin writers in Manila trying to keep the ancient script alive, convinced that it is an essential element in Filipinos' modern identity and a way for them to stand tall in a globalizing world where many languages, and the cultures they represent, are vanishing.       … [Read more...]

Book review: “Baybayin Atbp.: Mga Pag-aaral at Pagpapayaman ng Kulturang Pilipino” – Why is baybayin relevant today? Ime Morales

Baybayin Atbp book cover

Book review: Why is baybayin relevant today? Text and photo by IME MORALES If you think that baybayin, or the alibata, as it has come to be known in recent times, is simply our Filipino ancestors’ way of writing, then the contents of “Baybayin Atbp.: Mga Pag-aaral at Pagpapayaman ng Kulturang Pilipino” (Teresita B. Obusan, Raymond M. Cosare, and Minifred P. Gavino) will awaken your curiosity and, hopefully, your spirit. It is true, first of all, that baybayin is the indigenous writing form invented by our great grandfathers. But it is also true that it is much more than that. During a September 28 lecture organized by UP Tomo-Kai in Palma Hall, UP Diliman, social worker and writer Dr. Teresita B. Obusan said that the baybayin is a symbol of our culture and a means to study and understand mysticism. She explained, “We did not copy this. It was created by our ancestors and it becomes us.” In the booklet, which was printed earlier this year and written in the vernacular, she writes: “Baybayin is a gift from heaven, given to us through our ancestors; it is a legacy for the Filipino people... and it is our responsibility to take care of it and nurture it.”   Article continues at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/278915/lifestyle/reviews/book-review-why-is-baybayin-relevant-today … [Read more...]

Boxer Codex Manuscript – circa 1595

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Boxer Codex Boxer Codex is a manuscript written circa 1595 which contains illustrations of Filipinos at the time of their initial contact with the Spanish. Aside from a description of and historical allusions to the Philippines and various other Far Eastern countries, it also contains seventy-five colored drawings of the inhabitants of these regions and their distinctive costumes. Fifteen illustrations deal with Filipinos. [1] It is believed that the original owner of the manuscript was Luis Pérez das Mariñas, son of Governor General Gómez Pérez das Mariñas, who was killed in 1593 by the Sangleys (Chinese living in the Philippines). Luis succeeded his father in office as Governor General of the Philippines. Since Spanish colonial governors were required to supply written reports on the territotries they governed, it is likely that the manuscript was written under the orders of the governor. [2] The manuscript's earliest known owner was Lord Ilchester. The codex was among what remained in his collection when his estate, Holland House in London, suffered a direct hit during an air raid 1942. The manuscript was auctioned in 1947 and came into the possession of Prof. Charles R. Boxer, an authority on the Far East. It is now owned by the Lilly Library at Indiana University. [3] The Boxer Codex depicts the Tagalogs, Visayans, Zambals, Cagayanons and Negritos of the Philippines in vivid colors. Except for the Chinese, however, its illustrations of inhabitants of neighboring countries are odd looking. This suggests that the artist did not actually visit the places mentioned from the text, but drew from imagination. Boxer notes that the descriptions of these countries are not original. The account of China, for example, was largely based on the narrative of Fray Martin de Rada. The technique of the paintings suggests that artist may have been Chinese, as does the use of Chinese paper, ink and paints. [4]   Native Pre-colonial inhabitants of the Philippines   Tagalog royalty and his wife, wearing the distinctive color of his class (red).   Tagalog maginoo (noble) and his wife, wearing the distinctive color of his class (blue.   A timawa or tumao (noble) couple, Visayan Pintados   Visayan kadatuan (royal) couple . References ^ Alfredo R. Roces, et. al., eds., Boxer Codex in Filipino Heritage: the Making of a Nation, Philippines: Lahing Pilipino Publishing, Inc., 1977, Vol. IV, p. 1003. ^ Ibid., p. 1004. ^ Ibid., p. 1003. ^ Ibid.     … [Read more...]

Warrior’s Helmet (Oklop), Ifugao, 19th-early 20th c., National Gallery of Australia.

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Warrior’s Helmet (Oklop), Ifugao, 19th-early 20th c., National Gallery of Australia.   Courtesy of http://pupuplatter.tumblr.com … [Read more...]

Helmet, Masbate, 19th c., Museo Nacional de Antropología, Madrid.

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Helmet, Masbate, 19th c., Museo Nacional de Antropología, Madrid.   Courtesy of http://pupuplatter.tumblr.com … [Read more...]

Shield, Bagobo, c 1900-1910, Penn Museum.

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Shield, Bagobo, c 1900-1910, Penn Museum.   Courtesy of http://pupuplatter.tumblr.com … [Read more...]

Dagger Hilt, Butuan, 10th-13th c., Tony and Cecile Gutierrez Collection.

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Dagger Hilt, Butuan, 10th-13th c., Tony and Cecile Gutierrez Collection.   Courtesy of http://pupuplatter.tumblr.com … [Read more...]

“Comisión encargada por el Sultán de Joló de visitar al Capitán General de las Islas Filipinas,” La Ilustración Española y Americana,” 1879.

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“Comisión encargada por el Sultán de Joló de visitar al Capitán General de las Islas Filipinas,” La Ilustración Española y Americana,” 1879.   Courtesy of http://pupuplatter.tumblr.com … [Read more...]

Indigenous peoples of the Philippines

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Indigenous peoples of the Philippines From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The indigenous peoples of the Philippines consist of a large number of indigenous ethnic groups living in the country. They are the descendants of the original inhabitants of the Philippines who have managed to resist centuries of Spanish and United States colonization and in the process have retained their customs and traditions.[1] In the 1990s, there were more than 100 highland tribal groups constituted approximately 3% of the population. The upland tribal groups were a blend in ethnic origin like other lowland Filipinos, although they did not have contact with the outside world. They displayed a variety of social organization, cultural expression and artistic skills. They showed a high degree of creativity, usually employed to embellish utilitarian objects, such as bowls, baskets, clothing, weapons and spoons. These groups ranged from various Igorot tribes, a group that includes the Bontoc, Ibaloi, Ifugao, Isneg, Kalinga and Kankana-ey, who built the Rice Terraces. They also covered a wide spectrum in terms of their integration and acculturation with lowland Christian and Muslim Filipinos. Native groups such as the Bukidnon in Mindanao, had intermarried with lowlanders for almost a century. Other groups such as the Kalinga in Luzon have remained isolated from lowland influence. There were several indigenous groups living in the Cordillera Central of Luzon in 1990. At one time it was employed by lowland Filipinos in a pejorative sense, but in recent years it came to be used with pride by native groups in the mountain region as a positive expression of their ethnic identity. The Ifugaos of Ifugao Province, the Bontocs, Kalinga, Tinguian, the Kankana-ey and Ibaloi were all farmers who constructed the rice terraces for many centuries. Other mountain peoples of Luzon are the Isnegs of northern Kalinga-Apayao Province, the Gaddangs of the border between Kalinga-Apayao, and Isabela provinces and the Ilongots of Nueva Vizcaya Province and Caraballo Mountains all developed hunting and gathering, farming cultivation and headhunting. Other indigenous people such as the Negritos formerly dominated the highlands throughout the islands for thousands of years, but have been reduced to a small population, living in widely scattered locations, primarily along the eastern ranges of the mountains. In the southern Philippines, upland and lowland tribal groups were concentrated on Mindanao and western Visayas, although there are several indigenous groups such as the Mangyan living in Mindoro. Among the most important groups found on Mindanao are collectively called the Lumad, and includes the Manobo, Bukidnon of Bukidnon Province, Bagobo, Mandaya, and Mansaka, who inhabited the mountains bordering the Davao Gulf; the Subanon of upland areas in the Zamboanga; the Mamanua in the Agusan-Surigao border region; the Bila-an, Tiruray and Tboli in the region of the Cotabato province, and the Samal and Bajau in the Sulu Archipelago. The tribal groups of the Philippines are known for their carved wooden figures, baskets, weaving, pottery and weapons. Reservation The Philippine government succeeded in establishing a number of protected reservations for tribal groups. Indigenous people were expected to speak their native language, dress in their traditional tribal clothing, live in houses constructed of natural materials using traditional architectural designs and celebrate their traditional ceremonies of propitiation of spirits believed to be inhabiting their environment. They are also encouraged to re-establish their traditional authority structure in which, as in indigenous society were governed by chieftains known as Rajah and Datu. Contact between "primitive" and "modern" ethnic groups usually resulted in weakening or destroying tribal culture without assimilating the indigenous groups into modern society. It seemed doubtful that the shift of the Philippine government policy from assimilation to cultural pluralism could reverse the process. Several Filipino tribes tends to lead to the abandonment of traditional culture because land security makes it easier for tribal members to adopt the economic process of the larger society and facilitates marriage with outsiders. In the past, the Philippine government bureaus could not preserve tribes as social museum exhibits, but with the aid of various nationwide organizations, they hoped to help the tribes adapt to modern society without completely losing their ethnic identity.   … [Read more...]

Ilustration: Early Sulu Warriors and Weapons & Ilanoan Warrior

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The Filipino People – Early contacts of the Malays and Hindus, and the rise Islam

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Original Source: https://kahimyang.com/kauswagan/articles/792/the-filipino-people-early-contacts-of-the-malays-and-hindus-and-the-rise-islam The Filipino People - Early contacts of the Malays and Hindus, and the rise Islam   More than two thousand years ago, India produced a remarkable civilization. There were great cities of stone, magnificient palaces, a life of splendid luxury a highly organized social and political system. Writing known as Sanskrit have been developed. Two great religions, Brahminism and Buddhism, arose, the latter still the dominant religion of Tibet, China, and Japan. The people who produced this civilization are known as the Hindus. Fourteen or fifteen hundred years ago Hinduism spread over Burma, Siam, and Java. Great cities were erected with splendid temples and huge idols, the ruins of which still remain, though their magnificence has gone and they are covered today with the growth of the jungle. This powerful civilization of the Hindus, established thus in Malaysia, greatly affected the Malayan people on these islands, as well as those who came to the Philippines. Many words in the Tagalog have been shown to have a Sanskrit origin, and the systems of writing which the Spaniards found in use among several of the Filipino peoples had certainly been developed from the alphabet then in use among these Hindu peoples of Java. A few hundred years later another great change, due to religious faith, came over the Malayan race - a change which has had a great effect upon the history of the Philippines, and is still destined to modify events far into the future. This was the conversion to Islam. Of all the great religions of the world, Mohammedanism was the last to arise, and its career has in some ways been the most remarkable. Mohammed, its founder, was an Arab, born about 572 A.D. At that time Christianity was established entirely around the Mediterranean and throughout most of Europe, but Arabia was idolatrous. Mohammed was one of those great, prophetic souls which arise from time to time in the world's history. All he could learn from Hebraism and Christianity, together with the result of his own thought and prayers, led him to the belief in one God, the Almighty, the Compassionate, the Merciful, who as he believed would win all men to His knowledge through the teachings of Mohammed himself. Thus inspired, Mohammed became a teacher or prophet, and by the end of his life he had won his people to his faith and inaugurated one of the greatest eras of conquest the world has seen. The armies of Arabian horsemen, full of fanatical enthusiasm to convert the world to their faith, in a century's time wrested from Christendom all Judea, Syria, and Asia Minor, the sacred land where Jesus lived and taught, and the countries where Paul and the other apostles had first established Christianity. Thence they swept along the north coast of Africa, bringing to an end all that survived of Roman power and religion, and by 720 they had crossed into Europe and were in possession of Spain. For the nearly eight hundred years that followed, the Christian Spaniards fought to drive Islam from the peninsula, before they were successful. Not only did Islam move westward over Africa and Europe, it was carried eastward as well. Animated by their faith, the Arabs became the greatest sailors, explorers, merchants, and geographers of the age. They sailed from the Red Sea down the coast of Africa as far as Madagascar, and eastward to India, where they had settlements on both the Malabar and Coromandel coasts. Thence Arab missionaries brought their faith to Malaysia. At that time the true Malays, the tribe from which the common term "Malayan" has been derived, were a small people of Sumatra. At least as early as 1250 they were converted to Islam, brought to then by these Arabian missionaries, and under the impulse of this mighty faith they broke from their obscurity and commenced that great conquest and expansion that has diffused their power, language, and religion throughout the East Indies. A powerful Muslim Malay settlement was established on the western coasts of Borneo probably as early as 1400. The more primitive inhabitants, like the Dyaks, who were a tribe of the primitive Malayans, were defeated, and the possession of parts of the coast taken from them. From this coast of Borneo came many of the adventurers who were traversing the seas of the Philippines when the Spaniards arrived. The Muslim population of Mindanao and Jolo owes something certainly to this same Malay migration which founded the colony of Borneo. But the Magindanao and Illanon Moros seem to be largely descendants of primitive tribes, such as the Manobo and Tiruray, who were converted to Islam by Malay and Arab proselyters. The traditions of the Magindanao Moros ascribe their conversion to Kabunsuan, a native of Johore, the son of an Arab father and Malay mother. He came to Magindanao with a band of … [Read more...]

Book: Sinaunang Habi – Philippine Ancestral Weave by Marian Pastor-Roces

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The Nikki Coseteng Filipiniana Series "Sinaunang Habi: Philippine Ancestral Weave" by Marian Pastor-Roces Photographs by Dick Baldovino and Wig Tysman Published by Anna Dominique "Nikki" Coseteng   ABOUT THE BOOK "Sinaunang Habi's first edition was published in 1991, and reprinted in 2000. It has become a sought-after book in the international circuit of textile connoisseurs of indigenous traditions. This unique book gives us not only a rich collection of haberdashery imbued with artistry and beauty, but also a rich insight into the different ethnic groups in the Philippines. The extensive and informative essays provide a historical and anthropological background on the indigenous people inhabiting each region. The clothing silently but expressively speaks of a nation's unique cultures, customs, ceremonial life, rituals, and practical needs, lending beauty to handcrafted objects while continuing age-old traditions."                               … [Read more...]

Cordillera Administrative Region – Northern Philippines

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Cordillera Administrative Region The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) of the Philippines is a land-locked region consists of the provinces of Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province and Apayao. Baguio City is the regional center. The Cordillera region encompasses most of the areas within the Cordillera Central mountain range of Luzon, the largest range in the country. This region is home to numerous indigenous tribes collectively called the Igorot. The Cordillera Administrative Region is the only landlocked region in the country. Source: wikipilipinas.org Cordillera Administrative Region Flag   Cordillera Administrative Region Map   Cordillera Administrative Provinces/Seals   … [Read more...]

The IGOROT People – Bontoc, Ibaloi, Isneg (or Apayao), Kalinga, and Kankanaey

IGOROT Bontoc, Ibaloi, Isneg Apayao Kalinga Kankanaey IGOROT Bontoc, Ibaloi, Isneg Apayao Kalinga Kankanaey

Inhabiting the rugged terrain of the Cordillera Region of Northern Philippines are six ethno-linguistic tribes known as the Ibaloy, Kankana-ey, Ifugao, Kalinga, Apayao/Isneg, and the Bontoc. They are referred to by a generic term, Igorot, a word coined from the root word, "golot" meaning mountain. Unlike most of the Philippines, which were ruled by Spaniards for about four hundred years, the Cordillera region was generally unfazed by Spanish colonization. The Igorot tribes are held together by their common socio-cultural traits as well as their geographic proximity to each other. During pre-Christian Cordillera (and to some extent, the present), the six different tribes shared similar religious beliefs, generally nature-related, and they make proprietary offerings to "anitos" (spirits) as well as to household gods.   Cordillera ethnic groups The Igorots are grouped into six ethno-linguistic groups, the Bontoc, Ibaloi, Isneg (or Apayao), Kalinga, and the Kankanaey. Below are brief descriptions of the Igorot ethnic groups The Bontoc A Bontoc warrior (c. 1908) The Bontocs (alternatively spelled Bontok) live on the banks of the Chico River in the Central Mountain Province. They speak the Bontoc language. They formerly practiced head-hunting and had distinctive body tatoos. The Bontoc describe three types of tattoos: The chak-lag′, the tattooed chest of the head taker; pong′-o, the tattooed arms of men and women; and fa′-tĕk, for all other tattoos of both sexes. Women were tattooed on the arms only. In the past, the Bontoc engaged in none of the usual pastimes or games of chance practiced in other areas of the country, but did perform a circular rhythmic dance acting out certain aspects of the hunt, always accompanied by the gang′-sa or bronze gong. There was no singing or talking during the dance drama, but the women took part, usually outside the circumference. It was a serious but pleasurable event for all concerned, including the children.[4] Present-day Bontocs are a peaceful agricultural people who have, by choice, retained most of their traditional culture despite frequent contacts with other groups. The pre-Christian Bontoc belief system centers on a hierarchy of spirits, the highest being a supreme deity called Lumawig. Lumawig personifies the forces of nature and is the legendary creator, friend, and teacher of the Bontoc. A hereditary class of priests hold various monthly ceremonies for this deity for their crops, the weather, and for healing. The Bontoc also believe in the "anito"—spirits of the dead who must be consulted before anything important is done. Ancestral anitos are invited to family feasts when a death occurs to ensure the well-being of the deceased's soul.This is by offering some small amount of food to show that they are invited and not forgotten. The Bontoc social structure used to be centered around village wards ("ato") containing about 14 to 50 homes. Traditionally, young men and women lived in dormitories and ate meals with their families. This gradually changed with the advent of Christianity. In general, however, it can be said that all Bontocs are very aware of their own way of life and are not overly eager to change. The Ibaloi The Ibaloi (also Ibaloy and Nabaloi) are one of the indigenous peoples of the Philippines who live mostly in the southern part of Benguet, located in the Cordillera of northern Luzon. The Ibaloi people were traditionally an agrarian society. Many of the Ibaloi people continue with their agriculture and rice cultivation. The Ibaloi language belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian languages family. The Ibaloi language is closely related to the Pangasinan language, primarily spoken in the province of Pangasinan, located southwest of Benguet. Baguio City, the major city of the Cordillera, dubbed the "Summer Capital of the Philippines," is located in southern Benguet. The Ibaloi' major feast is the Pesshet, a public feast mainly sponsored by people of prestige and wealth. The Pesshet feast can last for weeks and involves the butchering and sacrifice of dozens of animals. One of the more popular dances of the Ibaloi is the Bendiyan Dance, participated in by hundreds of male and female dancers. The Itneg The Isneg (or Apayao) inhabit the banks of the Apayao River and its tributaries in Northern Luzon. Like most erstwhile headhunters, they are slash-and-burn farmers who have recently, under the influence of their neighbors, begun to practice wet-rice agriculture. As a dry rice farmer, the male head of a household annually clears a fresh section of tropical forest where his wife will plant and harvest their rice. Itneg women also cook the meals, gather wild vegetables and weave bamboo mats and baskets, while the men cut timber, build houses and take extended hunting and fishing trips. Often when a wild pig or deer is killed, its meat is skewered on bamboo and distributed to … [Read more...]

“PHILIPPINE LANGUAGE TREE” Diagram, by William Henry Scott (1984)

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"PHILIPPINE LANGUAGE TREE", William Henry Scott (1984) … [Read more...]