Sunday, January 29, 2012

All About Agimat

There is something about the Philippines that we share with all the other cultures in the world. Man has always been fascinated by the supernatural and have longed to harness its powers. It has been believed that thru certain rituals, a supernatural attribute can be stored in an object and used in times of need. Here in the Philippines, we call these objects anting-anting or agimat.

Since time immemorial, a special object bestowed with extraordinary powers is kept by warriors, shamans and healers believed to give superhuman powers to overcome hostilities both human and non-human. Our ancestors believed that a special stone, a tattoo, a part of an animal or some mysterious object with the right oracion and rituals will protect from arrows, spears, swords and sickness. Some also believe that these anting-antings can make someone invulnerable and possess unnatural strength and speed, specially on a battlefield. Many are convinced these still exists up to these modern times.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spanish-Filipino Caste System

In India, the caste system is very inconvenient. You have to die and get reincarnated before you can either move up or move down the caste. There's hope if you believe in reincarnation, but what if you don't? In the Spanish times here in the Philippines, it wasn't as rigid as it was in India, and your children can inherit a different class when you marry a foreigner. Although being reincarnated to a different class should work fine too.

With a working caste system, it is just normal that discrimination exists. This system defined the lifestyle of many individuals in the Philippines, as well as opportunities in education, occupation and marriage. For a few hundred years in the Spanish territories, this has been the case. Note that the use of "Filipino" here refers to natives of the Philippines. The following are the classes and their differences:

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Malolos Republic

January 23, 1899. A date that forever will be in the history books of the Philippines and the world when the country became the first republic in Asia. After gaining independence less than a year ago, a constitution was drafted, ratified and put in to effect quickly. Emilio Aguinaldo was declared the first president, thus establishing the Malolos Republic.

Of course this wasn't really a stroll in the park. Before they were able to pull this through, a lot of forces had taken their play and influence. You would have to consider the current politics, the coming Americans and the looming war. But we were ready to prove that we, the Filipino People, could govern the country ourselves.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Knowing Carlos P. Romulo

Photo from CarlosPRomulo.Org
Never has there been a Filipino like Carlos P. Romulo.

A diplomat, politician, soldier, journalist and an author, Carlos Romulo has been an overachiever throughout his life. It was during his lifetime that the Philippines had produced the brightest and the most sensational Filipino statesmen, and he was among them. Though in history books, his name is a frequent print, not too many nowadays remember who he was.

Imagine a boy becoming a journalist at the age of 16 years old. When everyone was busy chasing after girls, he was already chasing news. It isn't surprising that he becomes a newspaper editor by the age of 20. With such accomplishments at an early age, you know outright there's going to be more from this guy.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

LRT Rush Hour

There are many ways to commute around Metro Manila. Available in every road is an assortment of vehicles such as jeepneys, cabs, tricycle, pedicabs and many others. Its fun riding in those, but the fastest way to get from one point to another during rush hour is riding something that doesn't get stuck in heavy traffic (i.e. something that doesn't use the roads).

No roads? Of course.

Trains don't use roads. Trains don't get stop signs or pedestrian crossings. Trains don't wait that long for passengers. In short, its faster riding trains.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Are Pinays Still Respectable?

The world knows about Filipino women. 

They are very beautiful, shy, reserved, submissive and "maasikaso," though at the same time assertive at the right moment. Call it an irony, but yeah, I would have to agree on that. A working knowledge of the English language, very charming smile and superb hospitality could always be a deal breaker. And all of these are possessed by a Filipina. A perfect mate as many foreigners would say, comparing with women in their respective countries. It could be the reason why for a while, a Filipina was treated like a commodity. Is it their fault or is it ours too?