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sunday, june 19, 2011

The Mystery of Pirate Island: Realizing the Enemy Within
It's the 150th birthday of Dr. Jose Rizal—the Philippine national hero and the author of two anti-Catholic, Dan-Brown-like novels that led to the 19th-century Philippine Revolution and his execution in 1896. Rizal argued that he was a native Filipino even if his paternal lineage is Chinese. This was not such a bad idea since even Malays argue that they are native Filipinos even if the true natives of the Philippines are the Aetas or the indigenous Austronesian tribes. Indeed, every Filipino who is not an Aeta or an indigenous Austronesian living in the mountains is either an immigrant, alien or foreign invader (invasive exotic). Rizal wanted to know his Chinese and Malay roots, so he studied the book Chu Fan Chi (Zhu Fan Zhi or Description of Various Outsiders) written by customs official Chao Ju-kua (Zhao Rukuo) in 1225, which narrates pre-Hispanic Philippine history during the Song dynasty (960-1279). Unfortunately, Rizal didn’t know how to read Chinese, so he asked his friend, ethnographer Ferdinand Blumentritt, to translate an English translation of the book into German and to comment on the work. Naturally, the translation led him to significant incorrect conclusions. The Chinese first traded with the Kingdom of Ma-i in the Philippines, when the archipelago was not a single country, but a group of kingdoms. Ma-i or Mait, as the

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Mangyans call it, is Mindoro, but Blumentritt and Rizal thought that it was Luzon, Bulacan or Laguna. Under the Kingdom of Ma-i were the islands of Pa-lao-yu (Palawan), Ka-may-en (Calamian) and Pa-chi-neng (Busuanga). Traders from Ma-i visited Canton, China in 971 and 982. Ma-i had numerous copper Buddha statues all over the jungle, which were not from the Chinese. The natives were described as wearing loincloths similar to what Mangyans wear today. The Chinese also encountered Hay-tan (Aeta) who were described to have curly hair. The Aeta had a tendency to shoot traders passing by with arrows, so traders throw porcelain bowls in front of them which makes them stop and leap for joy. The Chinese traders favored Ma-i as the wholesale trading center in the Philippines, even though the more populous Pu-li-lu was nearby, because Ma-i natives were honest. None of their goods were lost or stolen, and the traders sold their goods on credit with no collateral. Commerce was done through an honesty system since the Ma-i natives who unloaded goods from Chinese ships were strangers who only paid for the merchandise much later, after local retailers were paid. Thus, Chinese ships that traded with Ma-i were the last ships from the Chinese fleet to come back home since they had to wait for the payment, but they did get paid. This honesty model is probably why Rizal wanted Ma-i to be within the vicinity of his hometown in Laguna. In contrast, the Chinese disliked Pu-li-lu because most of the people there were described as “cruel” “robbers” who also held Chinese traders as hostages during trade negotiations. Hence, Blumentritt believed that Pu-li-lu was Mindanao, currently described by the US Embassy's Travel Warning as a place inhabited by Muslim "terrorists." But Rizal believed that Pu-li-lu was Bohol, a much smaller island. Nevertheless, it couldn’t have been Mindanao since the HinduBuddhist Kingdoms of Puduan (Butuan) and Sanmalan (Zamboanga) in Mindanao visited China in 1004, 1007 and 1011. They had good diplomatic ties with China, just like Ma-i. In fact, Butuan—a small kingdom with golden Hindu-Buddhist statues—eventually achieved equal status, in the eyes of the Chinese court, with the larger Hindu-Buddhist Kingdom of Champa in Vietnam.
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Then an archeological breakthrough finally disclosed the location of Pu-li-lu. In 1989, the Laguna Copperplate was unearthed, and it dates back to 900 CE. It's a legal document that released a person and his family from a debt of approximately 926.4 grams of gold that would otherwise be punishable by slavery. It uses an ancient Javanese script with vocabulary from Old Malay, Indian Sanskrit and possibly Old Tagalog. It mentions witnesses from Pulilan (Laguna) and other neighboring towns under the leadership of Tondo (Manila)— all localities in the Kingdom of Tondo. Although Pulilan is also a place in Bulacan, the copper plate was found near Laguna de Bay. Pulilan is also the prehispanic name of Laguna de Bay or Laguna Lake, according to Vocabulario de Lengua Tagala (1613). Thus, settlements near the lake were also called Pulilan. Apparently, the name "Pulilan" was repetitively used throughout the area. In any case, Pu-li-lu is within the Kingdom of Tondo, which is currently the Philippines' National Capital Region and its surroundings. The plate also mentions that the creditor was the leader of Diwata near the Kingdom of Butuan, which was subject to the Hindu-Buddhist Kingdom of Medang in Java, Indonesia, their superior. Medang is the site of Borobudur—the world's finest Buddhist temple, constructed around 800 CE and still standing today. Medang was also part of the Srivijaya Empire, which extended from Java all the way up to parts of present-day Malaysia and Thailand. Thus, around 5,000 BCE, after natural climate change submerged the land that connected the Philippines to the mainland, creating the South China Sea, survivors of the "Great Flood" like the Aeta and the indigenous Austronesians, who fled from the rising sea levels, settled in the Philippine coasts in its current outline; then, Indonesians, especially from Java, colonized or mass migrated via balangay (boats and ships) to the Philippines in the 4th century CE, the 9th century CE and other wave periods. The "sinking" of South East Asia, just like the legendary Atlantis, forced ancient South East Asians to build arks or boats to save themselves. Starting from around 4,000 BCE, ancient Austronesians, including indigenous Filipino tribes, sailed eastwards and powered by Cold Air freezes Water, blows away Earth, extinguishes Fire and corrodes Metal

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settled in Pacific islands such as Guam, Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand, Hawaii and Easter Island. They eventually reached America around 300 to 700 CE and became part of Native American society. This allowed two trade routes between Asia and the Americas across the Pacific Ocean. One route was via the mentioned Polynesian islands, orchestrated by the Austronesians who originated from South East Asia. The other route was along the coast of China and the west coast of North America, organized by the Yuan Dynasty treasure fleets (1271-1368) of the MongolArab Chinese, as illustrated in Marco Polo's "Map with Ship," which is now locked in a vault in the US Library of Congress. Indeed, crops native to America—home of the Mayans—such as maize, sweet potato (camotli) and tobacco, were observed to be present in the Philippines by Ferdinand Magellan before the Spaniards colonized it. Sweet potato eventually became an important food for indigenous Filipino tribes like the Mangyans, just as it was important to Native Americans like the Mayans, courtesy of intercontinental Pacific trade. Meanwhile, in the 13th century, as Srivijaya was declining, Malay royalty or datus from Borneo invaded the Visayas in the Philippines and formed the Kingdom of Madya-as. Aboriginals like the Aetas, and even the honest Mangyans, had to flee to the mountains after they were forced out of the coastal areas by the Borneans, just as the earlier Indonesians stole the land of the aboriginals and pushed them up to the mountains to face suffering and extinction. Negros, the fourth-largest island in the Philippines, used to be inhabited entirely by Aetas, but their numbers dwindled over time, almost to the point of extinction, as invaders settled in. Records in the Chinese Yuan Dynasty, including the Yuan Dade Nanhai zhi (1304), narrate that Bo-ni (Borneo or the Empire of Brunei) now administered many places in the Philippine islands of Visayas, Luzon and Mindanao, including Ma-i. Records from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) also narrate that Ma-i's new chief who descended from Borneo was very brutal. He used up to 30 human sacrifices for his funeral. The Kingdom of Tondo also became more militant, powerful and influential. In 1373, they also visited China, but Manila eventually became a colony of the Bruneian Empire. Moreover, in 1363, Brunei converted to Islam from Indonesian Hinduism, so she spread Islam throughout her colonies in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Arab traders and Muslim invaders simultaneously influenced their conversion, especially in the southern kingdoms.

Sulu, one of those southern kingdoms, eventually attacked Borneo in the late 14th century, but Sulu was defeated after the Majapahit Empire based in Java, assisted Borneo. To prevent further attacks, Borneo begged China in 1405 to assist her, but Sulu also sent delegations to China in 1417, 1420 and 1421, presenting gifts, including a rare 350-gram pearl that impressed Ming officials in the Forbidden City. The Kingdom of Sulu also wanted the Middle Kingdom's support, so the Yongle Emperor, Zhu Di, supported Sulu just as it supported Borneo. However, Manila and other colonies in the Philippines remained under the control of the Bruneian Empire. At this point, China's treasure fleets, led by Zheng He, were the largest in the world, reaching as far as Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Australia and America. In time, after gaining knowledge—including maps and navigation technology from Chinese and Asian ambassadors who visited Pope Eugenius IV (1431-1447) as a trade invitation to Asia—the Spaniards (1521), Dutch (1600), Britons (1762), Americans (1898) and Japanese (1942) arrived in the Philippines, one after another, like “bigger” fish swallowing “smaller” ones, spreading Christianity or their own culture while subjugating the "natives." It makes one wish that all people could be as honest as the original Ma-i instead of being like Senator Manny Villar from the Kingdom of Tondo. But that’s life. As the French say, “c’est la vie.” It’s karma, but nobody’s perfect. The “evil one” is not within “others.” It is within the “self.”

posted by rodney st.michael at 12:28 am 0 comments reactions:

monday, june 13, 2011

The Tragedy of Rape: Remembering the Fight for Independence
It is very unfortunate that after the US raped Vietnam from the 50s to the 70s— murdering three million Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians—Vietnam has become crazy. She is now like one of those wandering women on the streets, wearing torn clothes, with dirt all over her face and body, shouting obscenities to everyone who passes by, thinking that people are trying to steal the precious doll that she holds in her hands. Once in a while, she laughs at herself, but most of the time, her angry outbursts become disturbing to pedestrians. She did the same thing to China in 1979, attacking China’s borders. Unfortunately, the passage of time was not therapeutic for her recovery. Yesterday, the Philippines celebrated her 113th "Independence" Day, remembering the 1.6 million lives that were lost in the Philippine-American War. Filipinos fought boldly despite American attempts to extinguish their spirits through torture methods like water boarding and leprosariums. President Aguinaldo, the hero of the Phil-Am War, didn’t want the Philippines to become America’s whore, but greedy politicians in the Philippine Congress today don’t care about that. They just want their own mansions like Manny Pacquiao—America’s pimp —ignoring the lives of millions. These congressmen are now like pirates of the South China Sea. America has become numb to crime. Bombing countries like Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan has become unemotional. Hundreds of thousands of civilians in the Middle East are now dead. People in the Middle East have also become insane, and they are now destroying their own governments and strangulating their own selves, thanks to American social networks and media that propagate greedy American culture. The UK’s Guardian wrote about “How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power.” Insanity runs in the family, and this disease is now spreading. Insanity is now an epidemic, thanks to America.

Pardon me. Remembering Buddha's Second Noble Truth, let me restate that: Insanity is now an epidemic due to greed.

Wait a minute. After recalling the accurate astrophysical predictions that I made last year regarding the Middle-East uprisings and 2011—the Year of Vietnamese Cat#13 versus Chinese Rabbit#4—I have to restate that again: Insanity is now an epidemic due to the forces of nature that imbalance the mind and create compulsive desires and aversions that people have to be mindful of in order to prevent suffering.

Fortunately, there is hope through the Middle Way. posted by rodney st.michael at 1:33 pm 0 comments reactions:

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