Characters, legends, and imagery here.

 

photo by: A.Felipe, Me and the giant Tribesmen Statue

 

by vincent

It’s been a while since I posted. I’ve really just been in a place where I’ve been taking everything in. I guess like I said before, it’s interesting to be exposed to various art work and character depictions of Filipinos, that I would never be exposed to if I wasn’t here. In some ways it’s a bit overwhelming, unnerving, unsettling, and at the same time it’s brilliant, exciting, and overall amazing. The uncomfortable feelings come from the notion I instantly feel by saying to myself “why have I never seen or heard about this before?!” and then the good time feelings sprout up with “whoa, this is frickin cool, I want to know more about it!” Continue reading

Transitio

by Vincent

the group gathers for the tour start, photo by a.felipe

Transitio, a celebration where the world comes together. Well where various travelers, balikbayans, and Filipinos living in and around Manila come together to commemorate the end days of World War II in the Philippines. The event starts out with taking a large number of people through an amazing tour of the Intramurous area of Manila, and then ends at Fort Santiago with numerous performances, readings, art pieces, and installations on display. Carlos Celdran is the veteran tour guide and mastermind behind this well attended event. I have to say that I really admire and respect the work of Carlos and his tours. I find that his tours allow people to see an aged city in a brand new light, and I really dig that. People tonight came from all over, like Germany, Canada, Israel, and U.S. to name a few of the foreign countries I saw being represented. Continue reading

A Golden Past… now what about the present?

One style of dress the Spaniards saw when they arrived in the Philippines. Note all the gold they're wearing.

by alex

They called us “indios” back then.  They considered us savages.  But what were we?

Vince and I, with new friends from Manila [*thanks for the introduction Anjo!], went to the Ayala Museum to see the display of pre-hispanic indigenous gold.

You see, before the Spanish we were a people with a rapidly developing culture.  We were not only bahag (loincloth) wearing, hunter-gatherers.  We were also a group of stratified societies with it’s own textile, gold, steel-making, cannon-using industries.  We traded with several neighbouring empires among them the Malay Sri Vijaya, Javanese Majapahit, Brunei, Melaka empires.  Our peoples traded with Sumatra, Borneo, Thailand, Java, China, India, Arabia, and Japan.

When the Spanish arrived they would have met well dressed, gold clad, warriors and noblemen.  This gold drew in the Spanish coloniser, and even to this day remains a major draw for the current world powers that be.  Read up on the Boxer Codex for more info.

Continue reading

Thinking About Our Past and Future

by alex

San Augustine Church in Intramuros Manila is a heavy, heavy place for me.  My heart is heavy every time I’m there.  I feel the weight of its history.  I feel a great sense of loss.   Continue reading

Thoughts about People Power…

by alex

So yesterday was the 24th anniversary of the People Power “Revolution” of 1986.

I remember it pretty well for someone who was 10 and living in Markham, Ontario at the time.  What I remember was that my Dad called home from work after I got back from school to tell me to record the news for him so he could watch it when he got back from his job as a clerk at Ontario Hydro.

We had the most high-tech of systems at the time, a Betamax video player/recorder with a ‘remote control’ that was attached to the system via a long cord.  I had to do the same thing when Ninoy had died a couple years back (and also to record the world premiere of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”).   Continue reading

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