Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Bente Nueve (Balisong)

Its not the number of days in February in a leap year calendar. It is in fact name of a knife here in the Philippines. The bente nueve is the Balisong.

BatangueƱos are notoriously known for their courage and bravery, and the special knife they bring with them all the time. Ornate with anything from hardwood, buffalo horns, ivory and bone, the balisong traces its roots to Europe according to recent resources. Popularized in the Philippines because of the Filipino knife-based martial art system, and the fancy, but intimidating manipulations of the knife, its fame spread far and wide.

The bente nueve is the Spanish for twenty nine, describing the length of a fully opened balisong, 29 centimeters. It is safe, even safer to handle than kitchen knives yet extremely deadly when used as a weapon, especially in the hands of a guy who knows Pinoy fighting. Outlawed on most countries because of its intimidating nature and fast deployment, the balisong enjoys popularity even if prohibited.

The best balisongs are made in a town in Batangas called Balisong. Only, one has to be careful in buying because some sell cheap China imports instead of the locally made knives.