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 Butuan Silver Strip by Hector Santos

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The Butuan Silver Strip by Hector Santos © 1996 by Hector Santos All rights reserved. http://www.bibingka.com/dahon/mystery/silver.htm The Butuan area has been a rich source of material from ancient Philippines for both treasure hunters and trained archaeologists. So it was in the mid-seventies when a team from the National Museum of the Philippines excavating a site was told that a strip of metal with some kind of writing had been found by a treasure hunter. Fortunately, the artifact was already in the hands of Proceso Gonzales, the city engineer of Butuan. He understood the importance of the find and took possession of it. Butuan Silver Strip The metal strip was found inside a wooden coffin by treasure hunters who were looking for ceramic and gold objects that could be sold for high prices to private collectors. According to Dr. Jesus Peralta, similar burials in wooden coffins in the vicinity of Butuan had previously been found to contain human remains with skulls that have been artificially deformed. This practice was apparently limited to Southern Philippines, the beauty standard for such head shapes never finding its way to Luzon. Ceramics and ornaments were usually placed in the coffins, the ceramic pieces dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. If the metal strip was found within a typical coffin, it would have logically come from the same era. While the metal piece could have come from foreign shores, the safest and most conservative position one can take is that an artifact belongs in the place where it was found unless it can be proven otherwise. The letters were cut into the piece of metal with a knife. The difficulty of making curved lines on metal with a knife is apparent in the clumsy shapes of the letters. The strip measures 17.8 x 1.3 cm. Peralta reports that the late Dr. Boechari of Indonesia identified the script as "similar to a Javanese script that had been in use from the 12th to the 15th century" (late Kavi?). At this time, the writing has not been convincingly deciphered nor have the letters in the strip been identified. A successful transliteration would not guarantee a decipherment because of the brevity of the sample, though. A companion piece with similar writing was also reportedly found in the same coffin. However, the owner refused to part with it because he believed it held the key to the location of a treasure hoard. How he hoped to use that piece to locate the treasure without translating the message is not known. Neither do we know why it is that piece and not the one he gave up that holds the secret. That second piece will play an important role in solving the mystery of the Butuan silver strip. Additional Reading 1. Peralta, Jesus T. "The Butuan palaeograph: ethnographic implications of an ancient script," in Archipelago 6:A-55 (1979): 31-33. 2. Santos, Hector. "Artifacts with writing revisited" in Sulat sa Tansô, 2:5 (June 1995), 1. 3. -----. "Other pre-Hispanic writing artifacts" in Sulat sa Tansô, 2:2 (February 1995), 1. 4. -----. "The Butuan Silver Strip" in Sulat sa Tansô, 2:2 (February 1995), 3. Butuan Silver Strip Deciphered? by Hector Santos © 1996 by Hector Santos All rights reserved. "Butuan paleograph deciphered using Eskaya script" by Jes Tirol (in UB Update) attempts to show that a "translation" of the Butuan silver strip had been done by using the Eskaya script. A clipping of this article was provided by Antoon Postma of Mindoro, who in turn obtained it from the late William Henry Scott of Mountain Province. This proves that "real" scholars do share information. Eskaya is a secret organization based on the island of Bohol. Its members claim that their ancestors arrived on the island in 677 A.D. from Sumatra. Tirol writes: One of the books of the Eskaya of Bohol is entitled Unang Katawhan Sa Bohol (First People of Bohol). According to the book, Dangko and his 12 children of 11 boys and one girl and his men arrived in Bohol in 677 A.D. They started from Sumatra-Manselis which is the western side of Sumatra, Indonesia on board a "Lutsa." (See: "Lorcha," Webster Int'l Dictionary, Unabridged.) The only daughter of Dangko got married to a chieftain of Butuan. From that time on until the present, the inner psyche of an Eskaya is geared towards Butuan. Since the center of Eskaya culture is now at Biyabas, Guindulman, Bohol, the migrant Eskaya in Butuan maintain close contact with the Eskaya of Bohol. Further on, Tirol continues: The Butuan Kingdom is no more. Its literature and writings are gone, except for the Butuan paleograph. But the Eskaya of Bohol is still existing with their system of writing. It is logographic system not alphabetic, and therefore older than the Malayan-Bisayan recorded by the Spanish writers. The Eskaya scrupulously transmitted their system of writing and literature by conducting classes. At present, classes are conducted every Saturday and Sunday. The Eskaya … [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...]

June 12 as Independence Day by Diosdado Macapagal Former President of the Philippines

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June 12 as Independence Day by Diosdado Macapagal Former President of the Philippines "A nation is born into freedom on the day when such a people, moulded into a nation by a process of cultural evolution and sense of oneness born of common struggle and suffering, announces to the world that it asserts its natural right to liberty and is ready to defend it with blood, life, and honor." The promotion of a healthy nationalism is part of the responsibility of the leaders of newly independent nations. After they lay the foundation for economic development, they promote nationalism and spur the search for national identity. This we can do by honoring our distinguished forebears and notable periods in our history. A step we took in this direction was to change the date for the commemoration of Philippine Independence day. When I was a congressman, I formed the opinion that July 4 was not the proper independence day for Filipinos and should be changed to June 12-- the date General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the independence of the Filipinos in Kawit, Cavite, in 1898. Having served in the foreign service, I noted that the celebration of a common independence day with the United States on July 4 caused considerable inconvenience. The American celebration dwarfed that of the Philippines. As if to compound the irony, July 4 seemed tantamount to the celebration of Philippine subjection to and dependence on the United States which served to perpetuate unpleasant memories. I felt, too, that July 4 was not inspiring enough for the Filipino youth since it recalled mostly the peaceful independence missions to the United States. The celebration of independence day on June 12, on the other hand, would be a greater inspiration to the youth who would consequently recall the heroes of the revolution against Spain and their acts of sublime heroism and martyrdom. These acts compare favorably with those of the heroes of other nations. In checking the reaction to my plan to shift independence day to June 12, I found that there was virtual unanimity on the desirability of transferring the celebration from July 4. Likewise, there was a preponderant view for choosing June 12 as the proper day. A few suggested January 21, the opening day of the Malolos Congress in 1899, or January 23, when the Malolos Congress, ratifying the independence proclamation of June 12, established a republican system of government. The reason for this view was that the government temporarily by Aguinaldo when he proclaimed independence on June 12 was a dictatorship. There was no difficulty in adhering to June 12, however, because although Aguinaldo Government was a dictatorship in view of the military operations he was then leading, he led in converting it into a republican Government in the Malolos Congress. Moreover, the celebration of independence refers to its proclamation rather than to the final establishment of the government. In the case of America, when independence was proclaimed on July 4, the American Government was still a confederation and it was much later when it finally became a federal government. The historical fact was that the Filipinos proclaimed their independence from foreign rule on June 12. Even the national anthem and the Filipino flag which are essential features in the birth of a nation were played and displayed respectively at the independence proclamation in Kawit. When I became President, I knew that this was the opportunity to take action on what had been in my mind since entering public life. The specific question was when to make the change. The opportunity came when the US House of Representatives rejected the $73 million additional war payment bill on May 9, 1962. There was indignation among the Filipinos. There was a loss of American good will in the Philippines, although this was restored later by the reconsideration of the action of the US lower chamber. At this time, a state visit in the United States had been scheduled for Mrs. Macapagal and me on the initiative and invitation of President John F. Kennedy. Unable to resist the pressure of public opinion, I was constrained to obtain the agreement of Kennedy to defer the state visit for another time. To postpone the state visit, I wrote a letter on May 14, 1962, to Kennedy, which read in part as follows: The feeling of resentment among our people and the attitude of the US Congress negate the atmosphere of good will upon which my state visit to your country was predicated. Our people would never understand how, in the circumstances now obtaining, I could go to the United States and in all honesty affirm that I bear their message of good will. It is with deep regret theredore that I am constrained to ask you to agree to the postponement of my visit to a more auspicious time. On May 28, 1962, Kennedy wrote me explaining the situation on the war damage bill. His letter stated: In the meantime, I must respect your decision that … [Read more...]

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

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

Documentary WWII: Battle of Corregidor – The Fight for Manila – Philippines 1942

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http://youtu.be/RYlEC94XgGU   The Battle of Manila - Starts with discussion from 2 Vets memories of the WW2 Japanese invasion and internment of civilians to the military incursion to rescue the civilian prisoners at Santo Tomas and Battle of Corregidor. Battle scenes in Philippines, views of rescued US civilians, street fighting in Manila at Intramuros, bridges destroyed. Destruction of buildings from cannon fire. Japanese were told 'hold Manila or burn it' so it burned. They won by taking Intramuros. The surviving Filipinos from Intramuros did a mass exodus across the river. MacArthur then returned to Manila.   … [Read more...]

Baybayin: Pre-Spanish Philippine writing system

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Baybayin Baybayin is a pre-Spanish Philippine writing system. It is a member of the Brahmic family and is recorded as being in use in the 16th century. It continued to be used during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines up until the late 19th Century. The term Baybay literally means "to spell" in Tagalog. Baybayin was extensively documented by the Spanish. Some have attributed it the name Alibata, but this name is incorrect. (The term "Alibata" was coined by Paul Rodriguez Verzosa after the arrangement of letters of the Arabic alphabet  alif, ba, ta (alibata), “f” having been eliminated for euphony's sake." ) Versoza's reasoning for creating this word was unfounded because no evidence of the baybayin was ever found in that part of the Philippines and it has absolutely no relationship to the Arabic language. Furthermore, no ancient script native to Southeast Asia followed the Arabic arrangement of letters, and regardless of Versoza's connection to the word alibata, its absence from all historical records indicates that it is a totally modern creation. The present author does not use this word in reference to any ancient Philippine script. Modern scripts in the Philippines, descended from Baybayin, are Hanunó'o, Buhid, Tagbanwa, the Kapampangan script and the Bisaya script. Baybayin is one of a dozen or so individual writing systems used in Southeast Asia, nearly all of which are abugidas where any consonant is pronounced with the inherent vowel a following it— diacritical marks being used to express other vowels (this vowel occurs with greatest frequency in Sanskrit, and also probably in all Philippine languages). The term Baybay literally means "to spell" in Tagalog. Baybayin was extensively documented by the Spanish. Some have attributed it the name Alibata, but this name is incorrect. (The term "Alibata" was coined by Paul Rodriguez Verzosa after the arrangement of letters of the Arabic alphabet  alif, ba, ta (alibata), “f” having been eliminated for euphony's sake." ) Versoza's reasoning for creating this word was unfounded because no evidence of the baybayin was ever found in that part of the Philippines and it has absolutely no relationship to the Arabic language. Furthermore, no ancient script native to Southeast Asia followed the Arabic arrangement of letters, and regardless of Versoza's connection to the word alibata, its absence from all historical records indicates that it is a totally modern creation. The present author does not use this word in reference to any ancient Philippine script. Modern scripts in the Philippines, descended from Baybayin, are Hanunó'o, Buhid, Tagbanwa, the Kapampangan script and the Bisaya script. Baybayin is one of a dozen or so individual writing systems used in Southeast Asia, nearly all of which are abugidas where any consonant is pronounced with the inherent vowel a following it— diacritical marks being used to express other vowels (this vowel occurs with greatest frequency in Sanskrit, and also probably in all Philippine languages). Origins Baybayin was noted by the Spanish priest Pedro Chirino in 1604 and Antonio de Morga in 1609 to be known by most, and was generally used for personal writings, poetry, etc. According to William Henry Scott, there were some datus from the 1590s who could not sign affidavits or oaths, and witnesses who could not sign land deeds in the 1620s. There is no data on when this level of literacy was first achieved, and no history of the writing system itself. There are at least six theories about the origins of Baybayin. Kawi Kawi originated in Java, and was used across much of Maritime Southeast Asia. Laguna Copperplate Inscription. The Laguna Copperplate Inscription is the earliest known written document found in the Philippines. Butuan Ivory Seal It is a legal document, and has inscribed on it a date of Saka era 822, corresponding to April 21, 900 AD Laguna Copperplate Inscription#cite note-bibingka-1. It was written in the Kawi script in a variety of Old Malay containing numerous loanwords from Sanskrit and a few non-Malay vocabulary elements whose origin is ambiguous between Old Javanese and Old Tagalog. One hypothesis therefore reasons that, since Kawi is the earliest attestation of writing on the Philippines, then Baybayin may be descended from Kawi. A second example of Kawi script can be seen on the Butuan Ivory Seal, though it has not been dated. An earthenware burial jar, called the "Calatagan Pot," found in Batangas is inscribed with characters strikingly similar to Baybayin, and is claimed to have been inscribed ca. 1300 AD. However, its authenticity has not yet been proven. Old Sumatran "Malay" scripts Another hypothesis states that a script or script used to write one of the Malay languages was adopted and became Baybayin. In particular, the Pallava script from Sumatra is attested to the 7th century. Sulawesi The Liboginese and/or Makassarese … [Read more...]