Created on March 22, 2012, this blog is dedicated to the rich and diverse Philippine cultures and it's people. You will find here pictures of the indigenous, music, dances, baybayin art, places in the Philippines, tattoo's, animistic beliefs, myths and legends, deities, food, martial arts, and everything that makes us Filipino, as well as our fellow Pin@y's from all over the world.
So basically saying that innocent people dying and getting hurt in the name of God being with Filipin@’s because of the current disputes between Taiwan and the Philippines because the Philippines Coast Guard killed a Taiwanese fisherman and saying God is with “us” is fuckin karma. When the Taiwanese have every right to be in a dispute with the Philippines because the governments and Aquino’s sorry ass of an apology was just that, a sorry ass of an apology that wasn’t serious.
Because the lives of people getting killed or hurt is something to be proud of when it’s your coast guard who killed a fisherman and your government giving a lame, apology without a proper investigation.
And this is why I’m sick of the ASEAN Facebook page because of the Filipin@ admin representing the Philippines and Filipin@’s on there. Not only have they posted things that shame and look down upon our Muslim Filipin@ brothers and sisters and praising the U.S. and how we were colonized by them and how they are our “saviors”, but now she does this.
And you wonder why I have a love-hate relationship with the Filipin@ community,
Notable People of Filipin@ Ancestry Preciosa Caballero (aka Anggoran)
Preciosa, also known as ‘Susa’ or Anggoran, her native name, was a 73 year old babaylan, (priestess) and epic chanter from the Barangay, Garangan, in Calinong, Iloilo, Panay who passed away in December of 1993.
She is one of the many epic chanters to be recorded and contributed in the help of preserving epics from Panay. On a journey and mission to record 9 other epics following the Filipin@ folklorist and anthropologist, Dr. Felipe Landa Jocano, Alicia P. Magos from the University of the Philippines in the Visayas, with her research assistant and guide, and with funding from the French government, met Anggoran and from August to November of 1993, Anggoran was recorded when she spoke lines of two epics, Humadapnon sa Tarangban (which is recited for 24 hours) and Derikaryong Pada (recited in 7 hours).
During those months she would sing lines from the epics for 10 minutes at a time and would rest. Due to her old age Alicia Magos gave her plenty of time to chant at her leisure. Anggoran would chant when she felt like it and was inspired to, at times waking up at dawn around 4 in the morning to chant and be recorded.
At the end of November of 1993 she finished recording both the epics, but unfortunately she passed away in December of that year leaving at least 2 other epics she knew about and spoke of to be unrecorded.
Salakot is a traditional wide-brimmed hat from the Philippines. It is usually made of either rattan, reeds, or bamboo, and is known as the native hat, one of the traditional hats worn in the country.
It’s use predates Spanish colonization and is also recorded being worn by the wife of Rajah Humabon of Cebu, where she wore a salakot greeting the Spaniards.
Like many other conical hats found in pretty much most of Asia, especially in China and practically all Southeast Asian countries, the hat was designed to protect the head of the wearer from the heat of the sun as a shade especially for farmers who were out working in the fields and from the rain.
The Itik-Itik dance is popular among the Visayans of the province of Surigao del Norte. It has many variations of steps from which the dancers choose and combine. Its steps are similar to the movements of a duck (itik, in Filipino), as it walks with short, choppy steps and splashes water on its back while attracting its mate. It is used in folk dances in different parts of the Philippines.
The dance is believed to have originated from the dance Sibay danced to the Dejado music. The Sibay is a bird dance that came from neighboring Visayan Islands. Philippine dance authority Reynaldo Gamboa Alejandro identified that Visayan Island to be Samar. True enough, since a 1668 book written by Fr. Ignacio Alzina (a Jesuit missionary to Samar) described a ‘bird imitating dance’ popular in Samar then, the Sabay. According to Fr. Alcina the dance imitates flying birds. An illustration in that same book had a caption: “su danza para hombre y mujer” (dance for man and woman); very appropriate for the characteristic Waray amenudo dances.
The present form of the Itik-itik is from Carmen, Lanuza, Cantillan, and Carrascal towns of the present-day Surigao del Norte province in the Caraga Region. A tale says that a lady named Kanang came up with the popular version. Dancing in one baptismal party, Kanang grew so spirited that when ducks from nearby pond caught her eye, she imitated their movements. The spectators found her dance so interesting that they themselves imitated her. The rest is history.
Despite the popularity of the Itik-itik Surigaonon, there are also other versions of the dance found mainly in Visayas. One version from Samar is danced to the same music. Two other versions came from Sibonga, Cebu, and Tibiao, Antique.
Ethnic groups from the mountain provinces of Luzon preserve their identity, customs and lore. Their dances celebrate important events in life such as birth, wedding, victory in war and thanksgiving. A Kalinga wedding dance is an important celebration. The bridegroom offers the bride the protection and comfort of his blanket. He simulates the movements of a rooster at love play, aspiring to attract and seize his love. The bride’s friends are ready to help prepare the bride by offering “bangas” (earthen pots) filled with fresh water from the mountain spring.
The B’laan teeth filing and blackening the teeth and the precolonial practices in the Philippines Video Submitted by:daavenrey Commentary by Ligaya
The B’laan are an ethnic group in southern Mindanao who have held onto their indigenous culture and practices being one of the few ethnic groups who have resisted colonial influences.
One of their cultural practices is of the blackening and filing of the teeth. For the B’laan it is sign of beauty as well as status. The younger generations however have started to choose not to practice them for being ashamed of their cultural practices due to being harassed and made fun of by their Christian peers who find it weird.
But what and who is weird exactly? The B’laan who have kept their cultural practices despite colonialism in the country or the colonized people who have long forgotten their indigenous practices and cultures who in fact their own ancestors practiced the very same tradition before colonization? What is wrong with keeping hold of your traditions and heritage?
Western beauty ideals differed with those of the early people that populated the islands of what is now known as the Philippines. Prior to colonization believe it or not it wasn’t just the B’laan who had this ideal of beauty of filing and blackening their teeth but many other ethnic groups that were colonized such as the Tagalogs and the Bisayans, also had this practice. Today the descendants of a colonized people who due to colonization some tend to have a mentality of separating themselves as the “civilized people” while those who have kept their indigenous cultures and resisted colonization as “uncivilized or tribal”. This mentality which still is strong in the Philippines, makes it so the uncolonized ethnic groups are looked down on and sometimes seen as a different people from the Christianized and colonized groups.
Having black teeth and filing teeth however was a practice that was spread throughout the Philippines prior to the Spaniards before it was eradicated. It was a form of beauty and the more black it was, especially when you put gold piece like brackets which was a good contrast between the gold and the black, it was seen as more beautiful by our ancestors. Also because they considered white teeth as ugly because to them it was like animals like dogs so they often would chew betel nut to try and make it black. So having black teeth and tooth filing isn’t just something only found in the South but it is in indigenous old practice that died out with the indigenous ethnic groups who were colonized along with many other indigenous practices like tattooing.
Watching this video brings to light what our ancestors did in pre-colonial times. Even the mention of how the tooth filing is done with the use of a stone is also recorded in dictionaries such as the old Tagalog term al-al, which in the Vocabulario de lengua Tagala by Pedro de San Buenaventura in 1613 is recorded as tooth-filing with a stone tool. It also ‘kindly’ mentions in a passage of the disapproval of tooth filing in a sentence, “Whoever files his teeth, I will surely punish”.
According to William Henry Scott in his book Barangay: 16th Century Philippine Culture and Society, he mentions that the Visayans term for tooth filing was sangka, leveling, and just like what was seen and recorded of the Tagalogs and what the B’laan still practice today the process of tooth filing was by using a stone. According to Sanchez 1617, he mentioned that one of the features the early Visayans noted of the Spaniards besides their lack of tattoo’s (as they really didn’t care for skin color as among themselves their were variations of skin pigments) which they called the Spaniards, mapuraw, (undyed, natural), (which was actually an insult really), but they also noticed their white teeth. Basically to the eyes of the Visayans the Spaniards were pretty much the total opposite of beauty as they weren’t tattooed and had white, unfiled teeth, which they saw those with white teeth as being like unclean animals.
There were different methods of coloring the teeth. One was by the chewing of anipay root which made the teeth black. Another way was just like the method shown by the B’laan. It was by applying a tar-based coating which the Visayans called tapul, which not only gave a black polishing effect on the teeth but act as a preservative. Other methods were using red lakha ant eggs and kaso flowers to color not only the teeth but fingernails a deep red which was another color found beautiful besides black. The preserving of the color was then preserved by the chewing of betel nut.
So this practice isn’t something to be ashamed of. Western ideals of beauty may have influenced the way many people see what beauty is and is not but for the youth of the B’laan once mustn’t be ashamed nor shall people looked down on them as this practice is as much as a traditional indigenous practice to many other ethnic groups in the Philippines.
For more on the dentistry of the early Filipin@’s read this post here.
Aliwan Fiesta harnesses the power of Philippine festivals to showcase how religion, culture, and tradition are woven into the fiber of our existence. Traditional fiestas, which are held annually to commemorate the foundation of a town or province, or honoring its patron saint, are brought together en masse to highlight the Pinoy’s indomitable and ebullient spirit, together with his mien for creativity and innovation. With most major fiestas rooted in the pre-colonial period, there is understandably a festival sector that celebrates Nature’s bounty. Our Filipino forebears worshipped pagan gods who, to them, were responsible for bountiful harvests on land and sea.
The agricultural basins in the lowlands of Luzon as well as the highlands of the Cordilleras are rife with stories handed down through generations about Nature’s mystical denizens who are then honored in quaint shamanic rituals and festivities by the townsfolk.
The coming of the Spaniards, led by soldiers who brought forth the sword and the Cross, left large imprints on our national psyche. Catholicism as defined by the friars brought with it religious fervor not much different from pagan practices, and which is seen today in the near-fanatic worship of iconic imagery highlighted during festivals in honor of the Virgin Mary, the Infant Jesus as well as the individual patron saints. Folks in the Visayan region, cradle of Christianity in the Philippines, are among the most avid religious fiesta-goers, particularly those venerating the Sto. Nino.
Mindanao, in turn, with its majestic interplay of influences from Muslim and tribal cultures, displays the opulence of its festivals through visual narratives commemorating the coming of Islam and the staunch determination of the people to stem foreign invaders. Being the richest in terms of natural resources, the largest island in the archipelago also celebrates the fruits of the land as well as the endless gifts of the seas.
Aliwan Fiesta is both celebratory and commemorative. It is grassroots theatre at its best. But in the myriad faces of its participants, we see our very selves. Regale in these festivals…join in the merriment…and be prepared to be awed. …Makiisa, makisaya, pista’y narito na!
Mabuhay to all our heroes and heroines. Our mandirigma. Mga bayaning Pilipino. Our kababayan. Mga kapatid.
Mabuhay to those in the past and the present. Who have fought and died for our people and country. For the sake of our freedom and against oppression. And to those who continue to fight and die today.
Mabuhay to those who work to strengthen the nation. Whose beating hearts resonates with the heart of the homeland. To those who have been sent overseas. Away in foreign lands to build a better life for their family both abroad and back home. Who are separated by distances away from their loved ones. And the lands of their ancestors. Who despite working abroad, long for the days to be reunited with her.