Datu Lapu-Lapu/Kolipulako (1491-1542)

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Datu Lapu-Lapu/Kolipulako (1491-1542) Lapu-Lapu is considered one of the greatest figures of ancient Philippine history. Although the first thing that usually comes to mind when the name of Lapu-Lapu is mentioned is the fact that his battle with Magellan led to Magellan's death, Lapu-Lapu was not honored because of that. Rather, he is honored because he was among the first to reject submission to a foreign power even though Raja Humabon, ruler of the neighboring island of Cebu, and other chiefs recognized the king of Spain as their ruler and agreed to pay tribute. Chief Lapu-Lapu's (1491-1542) other name is Kolipulako. The hero of Mactan and conqueror of Magellan, is described as stern, proud, intelligent, unyielding. He waged continuous war against the powerful ruler of Cebu, then a very much greater kingdom than his little island of Maktang. Of him, President Gullas of the University of the Visayas writes: Lapu-Lapu is a good example of determination and willingness to work well. He learned how to ride on a horseback and on carabao proficiently at the age of six years; knew how to read and write at seven; boxed well at nine; became a champion swimmer, boxer and wrestler at eighteen; beat the Bornean marauders and pirates twice at twenty'. In the lives of men who have almost become legendary one finds it diffucult to separate fact from fiction. This must be true in the case of the material quoted above. History has it that Mactan Island although small was a thriving community when the great Magellan was in Cebu. The brave Spanish navigator and soldier, upon learning that some inhabitants on this tiny island across Cebu refused to recognize the King of Spain, burned one of the villages. Lapu-Lapu was one of he native leaders who refused to acknowledge the sovereignty of Spain over the Islands. When Magellan, with three boatloads of Spaniards and twenty boatloads of Cebuanos, went to Mactan to help a friendly chief, Lapu-Lapu and his men armed with native fighting elements, wooden shields, bows and arrows, lances, met them. The invading Spaniards and Cebuanos were driven back to their boats, but their brace leader, Magellan, met death in the hands of Lapu-Lapu. On what is believed to be the exact spot where Magellan fell and died, now stands an imposing monument in honor of the gallant explorer. In the well-kept plaza of Opon, one of the two towns on Mactan Island, stands today an inspiring monument in honor of Lapu-Lapu, considered the first Filipino to have repelled European aggression. The battle between Mactan Island Chieftain Lapu-Lapu and the Foreign aggressor Ferdinand Magellan occurred in April 27, 1521. It depicts the hero holding a bolo in one hand and a pestle on the other. Said weapons were believed to have been used during his combat with Magellan. This monument stands as a reminder of Filipino bravery. The historic battle for Mactan (Kadaugan sa Mactan) is re-enacted each year on the beach at Magellan Bay by amateur actors, providing a sponsor can be found. The Tourist Office should be able to provide you with up-to-date information.   Lapu Lapu Comic by Francisco V. Coching   … [Read more...]

Anting Anting by Reynaldo S. Galang

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Anting Anting Shrouded in secrecy and mystery, the anting-anting is a subject close to the Filipino’s heart. It holds promise of invincibility, of victory and of heroic deeds. Legends have been born and men have died because of the lure of the mysterious and powerful anting-anting. The anting-anting made a resurgence into popularity in the early 70’s when the film Nardong Putik chronicling the life of the outlaw Leonardo Manecio made its debut. The hero of the film, a local Robin Hood, credited his ability to survive and escape numerous ambushes and gunfights to his anting-anting. There is much dispute as to what his anting-anting really was. Some claim it was a smooth pebble of rare and mysterious material that Nardong Putik kept under his tongue. While others say it is a 66-day old fetus that he kept in a small crystal container. Whatever his anting-anting was, Nardong Putik’s ability to elude the law and his enemies made him a legend and a hero to many people. Jikiri, the noted Muslim pirate, eluded the Philippine Constabulary and U. S. soldiers for over three years. Yet Jikiri boldly operated in broad daylight. The legendary source of his galing (gift) — an anting-anting, of course. These stories and more contribute to the growing number of legends and belief in the efficacy of the anting-anting. Combined with the equally mysterious Orascion (a special verse or prayer), warriors can be psyched to become confident and daring to undertake suicidal missions. There are many prescribed ways of acquiring an anting-anting. The easiest is to have an existing, sacred anting-anting bestowed to you as an inheritance or reward. This happens very rarely, for the agimat (amulet) is usually buried with its owner and master for continued protection against spirits from the nether world. Stealing an anting-anting makes it lose its power and is therefore a useless alternative. An anting-anting loses its power when it leaves its master’s possession without his knowledge or blessing. Various types of anting-anting can be bought at holy places but these are patay (dead/blanks) with no power whatsoever.  These blanks have to undergo sacred and secret rituals to become empowered and effective. There are many different methods to make an anting-anting sagrado (sacred). The most popular day for the anting-anting to have birtud (power) is on Good Friday. This, according to legend, is when God abandons His creation and the spirits roam freely and can be lured, captured, harnessed and enslaved by the brave and mighty. Another popular occasion is at midnight during a full moon with the ritual taking place at a cross road or a cemetery with a sacrificial black cat as a bait or offering. Another kind of anting-anting, known as Mutya, comes from plants, such as a banana or a palm tree. This requires a lot of patience and diligence for one has to wait until the heart of the banana discharges its essence, a crystal clear solid drop that must not be allowed to touch the ground and must be swallowed immediately. With this captive prize, legends say that a successful and prosperous life is guaranteed. Some types of anting-anting or orascion are meant as love charms. Most are for protection — against the forces of darkness, against one’s enemies, and even against sickness. Others are for special gifts, such as the mysterious and esoteric art of Hilot (massage and healing), Hula (fortune telling) and Kulam (spells and witchcraft). However, every anting-anting and every orascion carries with it an immutable commitment. One must be prepared to perform the required rituals, the mandated daily devotion, the annual pilgrimage, to keep the birtud of the anting-anting. Man will always be fascinated with this mysterious harbinger of success, victory and protection. Many, though not all, of the Philippine Grand Masters and Masters of martial arts believe in the power and protection of the anting-anting and orascion. And everyone of these believers, without exception, recognize the value and worth of diligence, dedication and discipline in martial arts training. Like the anting-anting, the easiest way to learn a martial art is to find a good teacher, a worthy master. Someone who, like the anting-anting’s master,  will pass on to you, the secret and power of his own knowledge and skills. Again, like the anting-anting, this knowledge and skill must be nurtured with diligent practice, with moral righteousness, discipline, devotion and dedication. Written by Reynaldo S. Galang   Copyright © 1994, 1997 Bakbakan International … [Read more...]

Manila Galleon Trade, 1565 to 1815

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Manila galleon The Manila galleons or Manila-Acapulco galleons (Spanish: Galeones de Manila-Acapulco) were Spanish trading ships that sailed once or twice per year across the Pacific Ocean between Manila in the Philippines, and Acapulco, New Spain (present-day Mexico). The name changed reflecting the city that the ship was sailing from. Service was inaugurated in  1565 with the discovery of the ocean passage by Andrés de Urdaneta, and continued until 1815 when the Mexican War of Independence put a permanent stop to the galleon trade route. Though service was not inaugurated until almost 50 years after the death of Christopher Columbus, the Manila galleons constitute the fulfillment of Columbus' dream of sailing west to go east to bring the riches of the Indies to Spain, and the rest of Europe. Contents Discovery of the route The Manila-Acapulco galleon trade began when Andrés de Urdaneta, sailing in convoy under Miguel López de Legazpi, discovered a return route from Cebu City to Mexico in 1565. Attempting the return the fleet split up, some heading south. Urdaneta reasoned that the trade winds of the Pacific might move in a gyre as the Atlantic winds did. If in the Atlantic ships made a wide swing (the "volta") to the west to pick up winds that would bring them back from Madeira, then, he reasoned, by sailing far to the north before heading east he would pick up trade winds to bring him back to the west coast of North America. Though he sailed to 38 degrees North before turning east, his hunch paid off, and he hit the coast near Cape Mendocino, California, then followed the coast south to San Blas and later to Acapulco. Most of his crew died on the long initial voyage, for which they had not sufficiently provisioned. By the 18th century it was understood that a less northerly track was sufficient, but galleon navigators steered well clear of the forbidding and rugged fogbound California coast; According to historian William Lytle Schurz, "They generally made their landfall well down the coast, somewhere between Point Conception and Cape San Lucas...After all, these were preeminently merchant ships, and the business of exploration lay outside their field, though chance discoveries were welcomed". The first motivation for exploration of Alta California was to scout out possible way-stations for the seaworn Manila galleons on the last leg of their journey. Early proposals came to little, but in the later 18th century The Manila-Acapulco trade route started in 1568 and Spanish treasure fleets and its eastwards rivals, the Portuguese India Armadas routes of 1498-1640. Trade served as the fundamental source of income for Spanish colonists in the Philippine Islands. A total of 110 Manila galleons set sail in the 250 years of the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade (1565 to 1815). Until 1593, three or more ships would set sail annually from each port. The Manila trade was becoming so lucrative that Seville merchants petitioned king Philip II of Spain to protect the monopoly of the Casa de Contratación based in Seville. This led to the passing of a decree in 1593 that set a limit of two ships sailing each year from either port, with one kept in reserve in Acapulco and one in Manila. An "armada" or armed escort of galleons, was also approved. With such limitations it was essential to build the largest possible galleons, which were the largest class of ships known to have been built anywhere up to that time. In the 16th century, they averaged from 1,700 to 2,000 tons, were built of Philippine hardwoods and could carry a thousand passengers. The Concepción, wrecked in 1638, was 43 to 49 m (140–160 feet) long and displacing some 2,000 tons. The Santísima Trinidad was 51.5 m long. Most of the ships were built in the Philippines and only eight in Mexico. The Manila-Acapulco galleon trade ended in 1815, a few years before Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821. After this, the Spanish Crown took direct control of the Philippines, and was governed directly from Madrid. This became manageable in the mid-19th century upon the invention of steam power ships and the opening of the Suez Canal, which reduced the travel time from Spain to the Philippines to 40 days. The galleons carried spices, porcelain, ivory, lacquerware, processed silk cloth gathered from both the Spice Islands, and Asia-Pacific, to be sold in the Americas, namely New Spain and Peru as well as in European markets. East Asia trading was primarily on a silver standard; the goods were mostly bought by Mexican silver. The cargoes were transported by land across Mexico to the port of Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico, where they were loaded onto the Spanish treasure fleet bound for Spain. This route was the alternative to the trip west across the Indian Ocean, and around the Cape of Good Hope, which was reserved to Portugal according to the Treaty of Tordesillas. It also avoided stopping over at ports controlled by … [Read more...]

Majapahit Empire: 1293 – 1500


Majapahit Empire The Majapahit Empire was an Indianized kingdom based in eastern Java from 1293 to around 1500. Its greatest ruler was Hayam Wuruk, whose reign from 1350 to 1389 marked the empire's peak when it dominated other kingdoms in the southern Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra, Bali, and the Philippines. The Majapahit empire was the last of the major Hindu empires of the Malay archipelago and is considered one of the greatest states in Indonesian history. Its influence extended to states on Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula, Kalimantan and eastern Indonesia. Historiography The detailed history of Majapahit is not very clear. he main sources that are used by historians are: the Pararaton ('Book of Kings') written in Kawi language and Nagarakertagama in Old Javanese. Pararaton is mostly about Ken Arok (the founder of Singhasari) but includes a number of shorter narrative fragments about the formation of Majapahit. Nagarakertagama, on the other hand, is an old Javanese epic poem written during the Majapahit golden age under the reign of Hayam Wuruk after which events are not so clear. In addition, there are some inscriptions in Old Javanese and Chinese records. The accuracy of all of the Javanese sources is in dispute. There is no doubt that they incorporate some non-historical, mythological elements, and some scholars such as C. C. Berg consider the entire corpus to be not a record of the past, but a supernatural means by which the future can be determined.However, most scholars do not accept this view, as the basic outline corresponds with Chinese records that could not share this intention. The list of rulers and the nature of the state, in particular, seem rather certain. After defeating Srivijaya in Java in 1290, Singhasari became the most powerful kingdom in the area. Kublai Khan, the ruler of the Chinese Yuan Dynasty, challenged Singhasari by sending emissaries demanding tribute. Kertanegara, the last ruler of Singhasari, refused to pay the tribute. In 1293, Kublai Khan sent a massive expedition of 1,000 ships to Java. By that time, a rebel from Kediri, Jayakatwang, had usurped and killed Kertanagara. Raden Wijaya, Kertanegara's son-in-law, allied himself with Yuan's army to fight against Jayakatwang. Once Jayakatwang was destroyed, Raden Wijaya forced his allies to withdraw from Java by launching a surprise attack. Yuan's army had to withdraw in confusion as they were in hostile territory. It was also their last chance to catch the monsoon winds home; otherwise, they would have had to wait for another six months on a hostile island. In AD 1293, Raden Wijaya founded a stronghold. The capital was named Majapahit, from maja (a fruit name) and pahit (or bitter). His formal name was Kerjarajasa Jayawarddhana. The new kingdom faced challenges. Some of Kertarajasa's most trusted men, including Ranggalawe, Sora, and Nambi rebelled against him, though unsuccessfully. It was suspected that the mahapati (equal with prime minister) Halayudha set the conspiracy to overthrow all of the king's opponents, to gain the highest position in the government. However, after following the death of the last rebel Kuti, Halayudha was captured and jailed for his tricks, and then sentenced to death. Wijaya himself died in AD 1309. Wijaya's son and successor, Jayanegara was notorious for immorality. One of his sinful acts was taking his own step-sisters as wives. He was entitled Kala Gemet, or "weak villain". In AD 1328, Jayanegara was murdered by his doctor. His stepmother, Rajapatni, was supposed to replace him, but Rajapatni retired from court to become a bhiksuni (a female Buddhist monk) in a monastery. Rajapatni appointed her daughter, Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi, as the queen of Majapahit under Rajapatni's auspices. During Tribhuwana’s rule, the Majapahit kingdom grew much larger and became famous in the area. Tribhuwana ruled Majapahit until the death of her mother in AD 1350. She was succeeded by her son, Hayam Wuruk. Golden age Hayam Wuruk, also known as Rajasanagara, ruled Majapahit in AD 1350–1389. During his period, Majapahit attained its peak with the help of his prime minister, Gajah Mada. Under Gajah Mada's command (AD 1313–1364), Majapahit conquered more territories. In 1377, a few years after Gajah Mada's death, Majapahit sent a punitive naval attack against Palembang, contributing to the end of the Srivijayan kingdom. Gajah Mada's other renowned general was Adityawarman, known for his conquest in Minangkabau. The nature of the Majapahit empire and its extent is subject to debate.[citation needed] It may have had limited or entirely notional influence over some of the tributary states in included Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula, Kalimantan and eastern Indonesia over which of authority was claimed in the Nagarakertagama. Geographical and economic constraints suggest that rather than a regular centralised authority, the outer states were most likely to have been connected mainly by … [Read more...]

Srivijaya: A primer


Srivijaya: A Primer - Part 1 by The Southeast Asian Archaeology newsblog Victorious is the king of Srivijaya, whose Sri has its seat warmed by the rays emanating from neighbouring kings, and which was diligently created by Brahma, as if this God has in view only the duration of the famous Dharma. - The Wiang Sa Inscription (Thai Peninsula) dated 775 AD. With a reach spanning from Sumatra and Java to as far north as the Thai peninsula and a reign of some 600 years, it’s remarkable that what is now known as the Srivijaya empire was only unearthed relatively recently. The first hint of a Sumatran-based polity was first alluded to by the eminent French scholar George Coedes 1918, based on inscriptions found in Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula. In this primer, we’ll talk about the Srivijayan empire, the extent of its influence and its eventual fall. The kingdom of Srivijaya, a name which translates to “shining victory”, was a Malay polity centred in Palembang in south Sumatra. At its height, its area of influence included neighbouring Jambi, to the north the kingdoms of the Malay Peninsula: Chitu, Pan-pan, Langkasuka and Kataha, as well as eastwards in Java, where links with the Sailendra dynasty and Srivijaya are implied. The same Sailendra dynasty was responsible for the construction of the massive Buddhist stupa of Borobudur between 780 and 825 AD. Indeed, Srivijaya was considered to be one of the major centres of learning for the Buddhist world. In the 7th century, Yijing, a Buddhist monk who travelled between China and India to copy sacred texts mentioned the high quality of Sanskrit education in Palembang, and recommended that anyone who wanted to go to the university at Nalanda (north India) should stay in Palembang for a year or two to learn “how to behave properly”. Srivijaya’s prominent role in the Buddhist world can be found in several inscriptions around Asia: an inscription in Nalanda dated 850-860 AD described how a temple was built in Nalanda at the request of a king of Srivijaya. In the 11th century, a temple in Guangzhou in China received a donation from Srivijaya to help with the upkeep. The Wiang Sa inscription quoted above recounts how a Srivijayan king ordered the construction of three stupas in Chaiya, also in the Thai peninsula. The Srivijayan empire controlled the important Strait of Melaka (Malacca) which facilitated trade between China and India. With its naval power, the empire managed to suppress piracy along the Malacca strait, making Srivjayan entrepots the port of choice for traders. Despite its apparent hegemony, the empire did not destroy the other non-Srivijayan competitors but used them as secondary sources of maritime trade. Srivijaya’s wide influence in the region was a mixture of diplomacy and conquest, but ultimately operated like a federation of port-city kingdoms. Besides the southern centre of power in Palembang, Arab, Chinese and Indian sources also imply that Srivijaya had a northern power centre, most probably Kataha, what is now known as Kedah on the western side of the Malay peninsula. Kedah is now known for remains of Indian architecture at the Bujang Valley. This was due to the invasion by the Chola kingdom from South India – an invasion which ultimately led to the fall of Srivijaya. How did this happen? Srivijaya: A Primer -  Part 2 by The Southeast Asian Archaeology newsblog In the first part of Srivijaya: A Primer, we learnt about the empire’s role in controlling trade between China and India and as a Buddhist centre of learning. In this segment we learn about the fall of this once-great maritime kingdom. In the 11th century, the south Indian Tamil kingdom of Chola launched an attack on Srivijaya, systematically plundering the Srivijayan ports along the Straits of Malacca, and even captured the Srivijayan king in Palembang. The reasons for this change in relations between Srivijaya and the Cholas are unknown, although it is theorised that plunder made up an essential part of the Chola political economy. While it seemed that the Cholas only intended to plunder Srivijaya, they left a lasting presence on Kataha, the remains of which are still visible at the Bujang Valley archaeological museum. The successful sack and plunder of Srivijaya had left it in a severely weakened state that marked the beginning of the end of Srivijaya. Having lost its wealth and prestige from the Chola attack, the port cities of the region started to initiate direct trade with China, shrugging off the exclusive influence Srivijaya once held over them. Towards the end of Srivijaya’s influence, the power centre of Srivijaya began to oscillate between Palembang and neighbouring Jambi, further fragmenting the once-great empire. Other factors included Javanese invasion westwards toward Sumatra in 1275, invading the Malayu kingdoms. Later towards the end of the 13th century, the Thai polities from the north came down the peninsula and … [Read more...]

A French Documentary about Arnis in the 1950′s.

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A rare look at the Warrior Arts of the Philippines in the Nineteen Fifties. Filmed in black and white in French with English subtitles. View it on the Mandirigma Research Organization Youtube Channel. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZg2i6Yq9rc     … [Read more...]

Cordillera Administrative Region – Northern Philippines


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


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...]