You are on page 1of 8

Islas de los Pintados: The Visayan Islands

Nestled in the bosom of the Philippines central seas are islands which Spanish conquistadors called Islands of the Painted People, Islas de los Pintados, because of the ancient people's custom of tattooing. Tattoos expressed a person's role and achievement in society. Men tattooed themselves almost totally while women were tattooed only in select parts of their anatomy, like arms. Tattoos served like a piece of clothing, and complemented the simple cut of clothes and jewelry, which the people wore. Land. This cluster of islands consist of

six large onesPanay, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Samar, Leyte; seven mediumGuimaras, Siquijor, Bantayan, Mactan, Camotes, Biliran, Panglao and many small ones, some named Maripipi, Capul, Lauang, Batag, Cabilao, Olutayan, and countless unnamed island and isles

The Visayas is situated around 12.5 to 9 degrees latitude north; 121 to 126 longitude. Its climate is tropical and has marked seasons of rain, cool and dry enjoyed by the rest of the Philippines. Its northern islands are within the typhoon path with the island of Samar being buffeted the most, hence its depressed economic condition. The islands are either of volcanic or marine origin. The islands of Panay and Negros are primarily volcanic, and the lofty volcanoes Mount Kanlaon in Negros Occidental and Mount Talinis near Siaton, Negros Oriental supply not only the energy needs of the island but neighboring islands as well. But Cebu and Bohol are mostly of limestone and fossilized coral giving away their marine origins. Name. The islands, however, are known collectively and locally as the Visayas. The names origins are nebulous, some hypotheses have been proposed one suggests that the name derives from the Shrivijaya Empire based in Palembang, Sumatra. A major maritime power it influenced much of Southeast Asia from the 7th to the 12th centuries, it had converted to Islam toward its later history after being Hindu-Buddhist. However, the almost total absence of adherents to Buddhism or Islam in Visayas at colonial contact (1521) suggest otherwise. One could hypothesize that a kingdom deeply attached to Islam would have brought the religion to the Philippines. Islam came to southern Philippines through Arab traders and through the Borneo route and had not advanced much beyond Mindanao in the 16th century. Bisaya in archaic Tausog means slave; however, this is a case of later development when Visayan caught by slave raiders were being traded in Jolo to supply the manpower needs not just of the local datus but of Dutch merchants who run an active trade in Batavia (Jakarta). A Spanish missionary, Ignacio Alzina, writing about the history of the Visayas in 1668 claims that the term comes from aya or caya, meaning a happy person. Pre-history. The nebulous origins Visayas coupled with a poor knowledge of the regions history prior to colonization seems to be the reason why the Maragtas story and the subsequent tale of wise lawgiver Datu Kalantiaw is accepted as historical truth in many places, notwithstanding the dubious origins of the stories. Briefly the Maragtas narrates that a group of Borneans , fleeing persecution and headed by Datu Puti arrived in the Visayas, in the 13th century where they encountered the dark complexioned Ati under Datu Marikudo. The Borneans negotiated with the Ati to allow them to settle along the coast in exchange for a golden salakot, basin and necklace. In the 20th century, the Maragtas was retold as an epic poem by the Ilongo poet, Ricaredo Demetillo, The Barter of Panay; staged as a multi-media drama, Dularawan, for the inauguration of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and has become the subject of a dance suite by the famous Bayanihan Dancers. The rest of the tale is taken as historical truth (complete with dates) as shown in the following quotations from government publication (DOT Website) about: Iloilo Irong-Irong appears in the Maragtas legend of the coming of the ten Bornean datus to Panay who bartered gold for the plains and valleys of the island from a local Ati chieftain. One datu, Paiburong by name, was given the territory of Irong-Irong in what is now Iloilo. For 300 years before the coming of the Spaniards, the islanders lived in comparative prosperity and peace under an organized government and such laws as the Code of Kalantiaw.

Capiz Capiz is another province whose name possesses a rather interesting etymology It was named based on the story that when the Spaniards came to Capiz in 1570, it was the time when Datu Bankayas wife of the Aklan district gave birth to twin daughters. Twin is "Kapid" in the local dialect, so the Spaniards adopted the name Capiz (Kapid) as inadvertently miscommunicated to them by the natives. Capiz, known as Aklan in pre-Spanish times, was one of the early settlements of the Malayas, centuries before the coming of the Spaniards to the Philippines. It was part of the Confederation of Madjaas, formed after the purchase of Panay by the Bornean datus from the Negrito king named Marikudo. And Aklan: Aklan is the oldest province in the Philippines, organized in 1213 by settlers from Borneo as the Minuro it Akean to include what is now Capiz. The capital of Aklan changed location several times. Towards the end of the 14th century, Datu Dinagandan moved the capital to the present site of Batan which was captured in 1399 by Chinese adventurers under Kalantiaw, who forthwith ruled Aklan. In 1433 the son of Kalantiaw, Kalantiaw III laid down a written code of laws now known as the Code of Kalantiaw. The short-lived Kalantiaw dynasty ended when Kalantiaw III was slain in a duel with Datu Manduyog, legitimate successor to Datu Dinagandan. When Manduyog became the new ruler, he moved the capital to Bakan (ancient name of Banga) in 1437. Several datus succeeded Manduyog when Miguel Lopez de Legaspi landed in Batan in 1565, Datu Kabayag was ruling Aklan from what is now the town of Libacac. Unfortunately as the historian William Henry Scott has pointed out the Maragtas goes no further than 1907. the Maragtas is an original work by Pedro A. Monteclaro published in mixed Hiligaynon and Kin-iraya in Iloilo in 1907 which claims to be nothing more than that. It is based on written and oral sources then available, and contain three sorts of subject matterfolk customs still being practiced or remembered by old folks, the description of an idealized confederation whose existence there is reasonable grounds to doubt and for which there is no evidence, and a legend recorded in 1858 of a migration of Bornean settlers, some of whom are still remembered as folk heroes, pagan deities, or progenitors of part of the present population of Panay. There is not reason to doubt that this legend preserves the memory of some actual event, but it is not possible to date the event itself or to decide which of its details are historic fact and which are the embellishments of generations of oral transmission (Scott 1984:103). Regarding the Code of Kalantiaw, Scott observes that its source is the Marco-Pavn Antiguas Leyendas. Jose E. Marco of Pontevedra, Negros Occidental was a stamp collector and antiquarian who brought to the director to the American director of the National Library, Alexander Blair, supposedly ancient manuscripts about the Visayas. The Pavon manuscript was allegedly written by Fr. Jos Mara Pavon y Araguro, a priest of the Diocese of Cebu and assigned parish priest of Himamaylan (1843-49 [50?]). In 1848-49, the Recollects took charge of Negros and Pavon presumably returned to Cebu. Other historians aside from Scott doubt the authenticity of manuscripts presented by Marco to the National Library. Regarding the Pavon manuscript, Scott concludes: The Jose E. Marco contribution to Philippine historiography appear to be deliberate fabrications with no historic validity. There is therefore no present evidence that any Filipino ruler by the name of Kalantiaw ever existed or that the Kalantiaw penal code is any older than 1914 (Scott 1984: 134). The postwar impetus to provide the Visayas a facile prehistory does not deny that the Visayas had a rich history. Although the archaeological of the islands is very much incomplete, tantalizing evidence of rich culture have been found. In the island of Banton, Romblon (politically part of Region 4, Southern Tagalog, though culturally Visayan) a warp ikat cloth was found in a burial site. Dated to the 12th century it is probably the oldest example of ikat weave from Southeast Asia. The Museo de Iloilo display not just Neolithic pottery and implements but a gold death mask unearthed in Oton. Samar is yielding many gold ornaments from areas controlled by the NPA. These prehispanic jewelry finds its way to the antique market, though badly documented regarding provenance, and almost useless archaeologically. Cebus University of San Carlos displays artifacts unearthed within Cebu City during an archaeological excavation conducted by the University. Bohols Baclayon church stores some haligi or house posts (claimed to be pre-colonial) recovered from the Dauis Strait. All these evidences point to a rich history needing reconstruction. Extensive excavations along the Tanay River have uncovered prehistoric evidence of settlements, of associated artifacts, including Chinese trade ware, suggesting a lively commerce along this waterway. Languages and dialects. The Visayans speak a variety of related languages, not just dialects, although dialect varieties exist.

The principal languages are

Hiligaynon, with variations especially marked among the Ilongo, Antiqueo and Capiznon, spoken in the provinces of Iloilo, Capiz, Antique and Negros Occidental Sugbuhanon , Bisaya, Binisaya or Cebuano Visayan is spoken in Cebu, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Western Leyte, Bantayan and Camotes; and a dialect, characterized by the hard pronunciation of y, Boholano or Bol-anon in Bohol, although constant interchange between Cebu is slowly eroding the distinctions; Popularly called Waray (because the prevalence of the rolling R sound) but Samar-Leyte Visayan by linguistic scholars is the language distinct to Samar and Eastern Leyte.

Other minor languages exist

Akaenon or Aklanon spoken in Aklan, Kinaray-a or Kin-iraya, an older variety of Hiligaynon, is spoken in the interior towns of Panay Island. Abacnon, Capulon, a cognate of Tausog, spoken by about 1500 persons in Capul Island, off northern Samar Although Romblon and Cagayancillo now belong to Region IV, Southern Tagalog and Masbate to Region V, Bicol, inhabitants of these islands speak a language akin to Hiligaynon o Rombloanon in Romblon o Bantoanon in Banton o Masbateo in Masbate o Cagayancillos lingua franca is Hiligaynon as most of the inhabitants are from Iloilo or Antique. These settlers continue maintaining economic ties with Panay for it is far more convenient to sail to Anini-y on Panays southwestern tip than to go to Puerto Princesa under whose political jurisdiction Cagayancillo falls. and a variety of languages tribal languages spoken by minorities: the Sulod of Panay, Bukidnon, Mahagat and Karolon of Negros, and Ati or Ayta.

Administration. For purposes of administration the islands are divided into Western, Central and Eastern Visayas. Western Visayas is made up of the principal islands of Panay and Guimaras, the province of Negros Occidental and nearby islands and islets. Central Visayas is made up of the islands of Cebu, Bantayan, Camotes, Bohol, Panglao, Negros Oriental, Siquijor and nearby islands and islets; and Eastern Visayas, Samar, Leyte, Biliran, Lauang, and neighboring islands. Travel: The Visayan islands, though related culturally, are distinct from each other, so that island hopping becomes a pleasant experience of variety. And most islands are physically not too far from each other, on the average 20 to 30 nautical miles distant. The distance is even made shorter by the ready availability of fast, hi-tech catamaran type ferries that sail from the principal harbors for adjacent islands, approximately every hour. It is possible to plan trips so that you can tour an island one day, and be on the next island the following. It is also possible to travel by public transportation from one island to the next. A bus line connects Bacolod City, Negros Occidental with Cebu. The bus is loaded on a roro (roll in, roll out) ferry for the sea crossing. Within the islands aside from buses, FX vans are available. These are probably more convenient because of their frequent trips and few stops along the way, although sitting is tight because the vans are small and crowded. Our island-hopping heritage tour of the Visayas takes advantage of this convenience. It begins with Cebu as a hub, moves south to Bohol, then north to Dumaguete, Bacolod, Iloilo, ending in Capiz for the culture buffs or the very popular white-sand beach of Boracay. To get from Manila the Cebu the most convenient way is to travel by air, however, sea travel is also available. The government has recently rationalized the roro services between islands. It is now possible to travel to Boracay, Aklan from Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila. The trip takes 15 hours. From then onwards public buses are available. But be warned, the buses may lack in comfort. So the bus and roro option are for the adventurous.

Repost ko lang ang AMAYA Glossary: GlossaryAbba - God Anito - sacrifice, formal act of worship conducted by a babaylan

Alabay - Babaylan apprentice Babaylan - shamans or spirit mediums, priestess Baba - Father Banwa - territory/community Baroto - boat or canoe Bata-bata - dolls made from wood Batuk - tattoo Bankaw - spear Baladaw - short broad dagger Binukot - young women(usually the daughters of a datu or rajah) who were kept inside the house away from public eye Bingil - virgin Bugay - dowry Bulawan - gold Datu - Chief or a lord of vassals Dada - Auntie Diwata - Gods/Goddesses Gahat - to raid by land Gubat - general term for warfare Haop - Datu's following (barangay) Hayohay / Uripon - slave Hilugo - blood price Ilawod - downstream Iloy - Mother Iraya - upstream Kadatoan - from a lineage of a Datu or any nobility Kalag - soul Kampilan - a heavy pointed cutlass or sword Karakoa - warship Kandu - poem Kiral - lewd or a prostitute Kalis / Kris - sword Kunggit - sungka Mangayaw - to raid by sea Paganito - an act of sacrifice Panday - blacksmiths, general term for carpenters ,boat-builders and jewellers Rajah - ruler Sandil - secondary wives Silat - a kind of toothbrush made of vegetable husk for cleaning and polishing the teeth Sulad - land of the dead Timawa - freeman Tinubos - redeemed or ransomed Oyo - a polite term of address of an older brother to his younger brother Umalagad - ancestor spirits Uripon - slave Umbo - term for older sister Yoyo uncle

Hello PEX and AMAYA fans...Pagpasensiyahan na po ang aking medyo mahaba-habang narrative below as AMAYA and reading this thread inspired me to write it. It is a reflection on what AMAYA made me think about as an academic including the whole shenanigan of trolling and network loyalties. I felt the need to voice out my perspective on the importance of this TV show. I hope that you will read my effort. Salamat! --------------------------------Reflections due to "Amaya" Hi all. I've been meaning to join in this conversation to let GMA know that I am so pleased with the risk they have taken. I took up history in Diliman and studied under Zeus Salazar with Dr. Maris Diokno as my thesis adviser a decade ago. I have gone on to study pan-Asian history since then in Chula in Bangkok and Tel-Aviv uni in Israel and now I am working, teaching, lecturing and about to start my PhD here in the UK. Whenever I do anthropological studies, I am often asked about focusing on pre-colonial South-East Asian cultures because it is my ethnic heritage just like the Scandinavians have their Nordic heritage. Oftentimes I wondered if I should study our ethnic heritage but access to that is very limited. We have records of our pre-colonial days but they are not much. What we can learn about those periods we can only do so via archaeology. Recorded data about said period in our history are only recorded via very ancient codex and these alibatawritten-data are very few and far between. In UP Diliman we had access to some of these samples and how I wish I took the time to learn alibata and study these in my undergrad days. What we can glean of the this period we can view via the study of the Srivijaya and the Majapahit empires located in the Indonesian archipelago but their influence stretched all the way to the Visayas as these island-empires traded with Micronesians and polynesians in the East and Northeast aside from their trade with Chinese,Indian and even Arabian sailing merchants. At this time, there was not yet a notion of the Philippines and the island archipelagos were ruled by tribal leaders (mga datu) who were themselves made vassals by blood-pact by more powerful lords (rajahs). In our epic-poems and sagas, we learn of their names like trickles from time immemorial, pale voices of the past almost eradicated by colonial Europeans. In our islands, the Spanish via their Portuguese explorers took Visayan territories, in the South in Indonesia the Portuguese, the British and eventually the Dutch took power due to the attraction of the Spice trade routes & plantations of the Malaccas (trade in pepper, cloves,cinnamon and spices only found in those islands). It is so awesome to read that Ms. Doctolero is working hard to ensure that elements of our very ancient ethnic culture is included in this fictional story making it a lens from which to view how our ancestors lived in a social order unique to our islands with their mythology, beliefs, agricultural practices and way of life. While the Norse have their Elder Edda and the Song of the Volsungs/Nibelungs, we also have the epic-sagas of Lam-Ang, for example introducing us to the world of the ancients from their own tongues left in the songs, lullabies, chants and poetry - our oral history. Studying under Dr. Luisa Camagay in UP Diliman and then Dr. Tantoco, I learned that during said period our islands were referred to by the Chinese (and this includes the Philippine archipelago, the Indonesian Archipelago and the Malaysian-island territories collectively) as Ma-i but each group of islands with their datus and specific traditions had their own specific names like Palayu for Palawan, Liusung for Luzon, Mintona for lands around Mindanao. Our ethnic cousins in the Indonesian and Malay archipelagos referred to a powerful island archiepelago in the Visayas as the Mahardlikas who had centers of power in bays in Sugbu (Cebu), Aninipay (Panay - with Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz included) and Mindoro (also referred to then as Mayi). These peoples had Barotos (ancient seafaring ships far smaller than the karakoas) comparable to the ones used by our

Polynesian and Melanesian cousins which they used to travel from island to island for trade. Far smaller than them are little sailboats known as Paraw which had small masts made of textile or woven nipa fibres. Our ancestors knew how to weave well and used bright inks from natural sources. When I was growing up in Iloilo (I am Ilonggo and a product of UPHSI), my Wawa (greatgrandmother) would tell me tales of giants, ancient kingdoms and heroes - mga estorya sang nauna pa nga tiempo (time). Its so refereshing to hear the words of my lingua franca spoken in Amaya (iloy - mother, bulan - same pronounciation to refer to the Moon but also the month - one month to be exact as they used a lunar calendar, bulawan-gold, abbang - ancient creator god, uripon slave, although in our tongue it is ulipon and is still used today, etc.). In the town I grew up in, there were tales of 'ginbukot (binukot in Tagalog with gin/gi becoming bin/bi) nga mga babaye (tagalog na mga babae)' who were so beautiful and blessed that they were hidden from view. My great grandmother said that they were offered to Giants and 'mga Hari sang Aninipay' (kings of Panay). While these fantastical tales belong in the imagination, in my study of linguistics and the use of metaphors, I have come to realize that my ancient ancestors used the fantastical to make sense of, and give meaning to what they attributed power to be, using supernatural explanations to make sense of reality. It saddens me that our ancient history had been relegated to the back burner when we consume the ancient history of other civilizations from the Incas, to the Amerindians, to the Celts, the Norse, the Greeks, the Ancient Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Khmers, the Chinese and even the Koreans. Many Indian traders believed that Mahardlika is home to the 'isle of Ophir', a biblical land written about in Genesis, a source of ivory, sandalwood and cedar. The Spanish colonizers looked for Ophir here in our islands and we can find this in the document 98 of the Royal document 'Collecion General de Documentos Relativos a las Islas Filipinas' which can be found in the Royal Library in Spain. From 1519-1522 the Spanish scoured our islands to look for Ophir for it can be found by following the Cape of Good Hope in Africa, to India, to Burma, to Sumatra, to Moluccas, to Borneo, to Sulu, towards China. The Indians, who traded with the Mahardlikas called our islands Suvarnadvipa and asserted that our rajahs and datus and even our littlest kids had gold on their bodies with our women differentiated from their state of undress. The Timawa or nobles were clothed from shoulder down with colorful textile and sarongs while the ulipons had hair all the way to their bellies becoming in itself their upper garment with their lower bodies covered in Sarong and Batik. Only the Spanish introduced the idea of 'covering the bodies' for dignity. Our ancients lived in a humid environment under hot tropical sun and it was always more refreshing to be without cover for the top. Our concept of 'hiya' did not include being naked as textile was far and few between. We learned 'hiya' associated with nakedness after we were forced into Christianity by our colonial Spanish masters which associated our ancient way of life to Barbarism even though as animists and an ancient people, we had our own social structure that nurtured each balangay and banwa (clan/village and town). Even to this day the words balangay and banwa is still used in Iloilo to refer to village and town with the Tagalog equivalent being baranggay and bayan. Incidentally, speaking of 'Timawa' said word is still used in Hiligaynon to refer to the notion of 'something greater' , for example 'Ang Timawa sang akon Kabuhi' or 'the better hope of my life'. There is also a place in Iloilo city called 'Timawa' presumably, it being one straddled by river and shoreline used to be the location of 'mga tawo nga mga Timawa sang una pa nga tini-on' (mga tao na Timawa noong unang panahon). It saddens me that so many of our fellow kababayans cannot appreciate the effort that GMA and Ms. Doctolero has taken . Amaya is so unique in that in celebrates a time so distant but is still as important in our national identities. With UP Historians on board, details of our past are included in

this effort. Although one can argue that it is interpretative, it does not take from it its cultural and historic relevance. We cannot remove culture from history and it is ridiculous to argue that something historical is not cultural. Those who do fail to understand that social events are rooted in time and culture percolates over a chronological timeline. In order for traditions, practices and norms to 'become', it has to be practiced over time, hence traditions and cultures are situated both in time and in social context.In other words those who claim this have no real academic understanding of history and the social sciences. As historians we use the method of historiography, a form of scientific method of study used to validate events from the past. It is not just mere conjecture, it follows the scientific method of establishing theories of the past. In science methods can either be quantitative (i.e. what natural scientists like biologists use) or qualitative (i.e. what we use in the social sciences, i.e. ethnography) or a mixture of both to arrive at new knowledge. So far in my studies my colleagues and I have come to realize that there is no one truth. What we have are what we refer to in philosophy as verisimmilitudes - they are versions of the truth, applicable only to a certain context, to a certain extent. When people argue about something, they create a number of narratives all contributing to create a discourse. Even people who have no academic training who give their own opinions contribute to it, even when their opinions are not at all informed and unstructured. Here we can study their purpose to be one of otherness, a distinguishing mark to create certain notions and positioning in conversation to assert their ideas which can be negated and repositioned in the ensuing conversation. Sociologist Stuart Hall calls this effort 'otherness' essential in creating identities. The identity created here is obvious we have a host of interested Filipinos keen to discover their past, appreciative of the effort of a TV station and keen also to share the effort with more and more people to learn about threads of their ancient history. The 'other' identity are those keen to disregard the value of GMA's effort for many reasons including the distinct non-importance of learning about their past, the obvious emotional root of dislike and envy attached to the network and to it's star with the belief that any effort taken up to 'troll' is points for his/her own team. If one takes up the axiological value of trolling an effort such as this, the ethical and aesthetical virtues of the TV show in question can quite easily be seen to one that encites reactions of great mental disturbance. Therefore one can discern that the mentality behind such trolling efforts had been brought about by the internalization of an identity based on ideological-efforts of a conflicting discourse - that which belongs to ABS-CBN. In other words, the trolls on this forum are products of fanaticism that according to Foucault utilizes 'technologies of the self' reinforced by an authoritative source. As long as they listen to narratives that make GMA the enemy, their psyches are under the influence of deep bias and prejudice. Its sad as this effort is worth watching however good or bad it may turn out to be. For in so doing, a new genre can be established and all networks, ABS, GMA and TV5 can take it up and produce historic epics and shows that celebrate our past separate from that which was created by our colonial, and now Western, experience. Misskopinas P.S. - message me if you want a list of some interesting books and online resources with regards to our ethnic past, I have come up with some due to my reawakened interest via Amaya! Karon Liwat! (Hiligaynon for 'See you again later' literally translated to 'Later, again') Ex Deo - really? I think Neil was already teaching when I was graduating...I finished my BA History degree in Diliman '99, tagal na...I miss those undergrad days where fishballs were piso isang tusok. History could be boring though and I admit I slept in some classes and have come to question the Luzon-centric focus of our colonial history. Kaya Amaya is important, it brings us to a time before

the Spanish where we can see the source of our ethnic heritage. This reinforces Prof. Zeus Salazar's pantayong pananaw as it allows us to view the world from the eyes of our non-colonial ancestors (syempre we have the Chinese and Spanish blood in our systems already due to assimilation and of course, pati na rin elements of their culture na ginawa na rin nating sariling atin). In relation to the snake-twin and the Bakunawa, makikita natin dito ang importance attached to the snake as a 'divine' animal. Only in Judaic view and European view were snakes villified. Sa panAsian cultures including Thai, Khmer and Srivijayan (Indonesia), importante ang ahas at reptiles. Sa Thailand, they have the Naga and this holy serpentine animal lives in the rivers and in their myths in the heavens. They appear in the Thai, Buddhist and Hindu temples as guardians of the heavens and the gods. There is a jungle-temple complex in Cambodia known as the Angkor ***, these ancient temples are replete with the snake and serpentine Naga reliefs. Their God-Kings have the ability to turn to 'snakes' to protect their empires. Their 'Apsaras' - concubines of the king dancing for his pleasure and that of the Gods - when impregnated by him in his serpent-form procreate the most important children of the Kingdom - ones that are divine and hold great power. In Thailand, the whole naga-serpent tradition is intrinsic in their religion. For example, in Northeast Thailand every October, in a city called Nongkhai by the Mekhong (right beside Laos' Vientiane city), a festival is held to honor the Naga. This is very important because they also believe that the Naga can swallow the sun and the moon, just like the Mahardlika belief of the Bakunawa. The thing about this festival is balls of fire 'float' from the Mekhong river to the sky. It is a phenomenon not yet explained and it happens every year in Nongkhai. When I was studying in Chulalongkorn university, there were scientists even from the US expert in geophysics trying to investigate it but no credible explanation had been arrived at. The Thais believe that the Naga dwelling in the Mekhong visits them at the period and releases these fireballs to the heavens (the fireballs perhaps are an equivalent to our 'Santermo' in the Philippines). Tha Thais have this movie called 'Mae Bia' about a woman whose life is twinned to that of a cobra. A surreal film but it exemplifies the regard given to snakes as the animals of choice by the Gods and the Divine. It also goes to show that prior to the arrival of our colonial masters we had our own beliefs and practices and the 'snake-twin' is one of them. Its fantastic that this is currently central in Amaya so we can explore it. Even to this day the snake-twin belief is central to explain power as people with such twins are said to be rich and powerful. For example the urban legend about Robina Gokungwei of Robinson's having a snake twin is very popular. Funny enough, this urban legend about her began in the Visayas although in Iloilo, one of the Gaisano's of the Gaisano mall was also said to have her own snaketwin. You can discover so much about our beliefs and origins if Amaya leads you to think and interrogate what you see, di ba? I hope DECS will make kids across the country watch to learn about our prehistoric practices.,00.html

BTW - another thing about our colonial past erased by the Castillians (Kastila - coming from Castille, a region in Spain where most of the colonists to our archipelago hailed from) is our cuisine.Halos wala na ang mga sinaunang recipe ng mga ninuno natin. So while Indonesia have their own very unique flavours ad the Vietnamese and the Thais have their own inherent recipes establishing them to global gourmets, ang Pinas eh amalgamation na ng lahat ng cooking style ng mga nanakop o nakipagtrade satin - but the bulk of it is Castillian cooking. Sayang no, wala tayo halos sa culinary map

Related Interests