Anting Anting by Reynaldo S. Galang

kali arnis eskrima lameco ilustrisimo

Anting Anting

The Filipino Warrior's Amulet

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

%d bloggers like this: