Archive for the ‘Philippine Heritage’ Category

Christian Holy Week Practices and Traditions in the Philippines

00000003

There is no Holy Week tradition here in the US,  but my own family does  observe a few Catholic practices here at home , such as meatless Fridays, and fasting and abstinence. (  small breakfast and dinner , no lunch ). At Dad’s workplace, employees can choose one paid personal special non- working holiday …. Dad chose Good Friday.

 

But in the Philippines , there is a rich Holy Week  tradition ( where about 85% are Roman Catholics )  that Filipinos practice with great devotion.

 

Holy Week  ( called Semana Santa in the Philippines ) starts on Palm Sunday, and continuous on until   Black  Saturday. It is  called Black Saturday  because on that day, the Lord  is………. dead.     Easter Sunday is when He rises from the dead…… no Easter Bunny celebration in the Philippines though, and no matter how hard commerce tries to inject  that into Philippine culture , no can do. .  They  simply cannot relate to bunnies and eggs.

 

 

 

Several decades ago, the entire Holy Week was officially non- working holiday ( no office work , no school ) but was reduced to just Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.  To this day,  Philippine Airlines does not fly on Good Friday.  Never book a flight for Good Friday on PAL.

 

Metro – Manila has a reputation of having the most horrendous traffic in the whole world,  # 1, which is a bad thing.

but on Good Friday,

 

All radio stations are off- air, Tv networks that are on air   show  only religious movies,(  my parents say they’ve watched The Robe , Jesus Christ Superstar, and The Greatest Story Ever Told a million times ) some are off – air, too ( but then, there’s Netfix, which is not bound to observe traditions  ^_^ )  and on Good Friday,  Masses  ( Siete Palabras , or The Seven Last Words ) are shown on some TV networks.

 

Needless to say, no commerce. ( all stores and restaurants are closed )

 

 

But for some reason ,

 

 

And  religious processions all over the country.

 

 

Photo below is , uhm, Jesus in a coffin…… called Santo Entierro,  always  followed by  statue of  Mother Mary, called Mater Dolorosa ( Grieving Mother )

 

 

 

 

In some parts of the country, they hold this kind of procession.  (  reenactment of Christ’s  Via Crusis , or Way of the Cross)   <———  Moriones Festival on the island of Marinduque.

 

In some parts of the country, processions include self – flagellations (  as sacrifice, a vow, and penance ).   The images are a bit graphic, be forewarned ). Note: This is not condoned by the Catholic Church.

 

 

Real  Crucifixion where a man is physically nailed to the Cross.

 

 

 

 

Just an FYI from the country  where I came from, the Philippines.

 

Thanks for reading and PEACE .

 

Check out my manga/anime/ video games blogsite @  https://2megaworthitwordpresscomblog.wordpress.com/         I have a new entry, a review of  Netflix anime original , B: The Beginning. It’s a an excellent Japanese anime . Check it out on Netflix.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Para ! Para ! Para !

00000003

 

I was watching a subbed Argentinian thriller movie the other day…. then I heard the word Para.! Para ! The passengers in the car were shouting that word and I assumed they were telling the driver to stop. I was surprised because that word is  a  Philippine  word that  also means STOP .

They say there is actually no Filipino language. Filipinos  speak so many languages, 100 to 200 , depending on the classification being used. They are not ” dialects” .  It’s weird.  California is larger than the Philippines in terms of size, but the people living within that small area speak different languages . Drive about 100 miles from Manila to the province of Pampanga and you will hear people speaking an  entirely different language , I kid you not. Pampanga language is like Greek to me.

 

For example:

 

English   :   a) Where are you going ?

b)  I have no idea  !

Tagalog   :   a) Saan ka pupunta ?

b)  Ewan ko sa’yo !

Ilongo      :     a) Diin ka makadto ?

b) Ambot sa imo !

 

My mother provided the Ilongo translation.

 

In 1935,  the Philippine Constitution designated Tagalog, the language spoken in the capital city of Manila, as the ” official ” language of the country, together with English and Spanish, and it also stated that,   henceforth, ” Tagalog shall be taught in all schools, with requisite 24 units of Spanish in college,  and  English as the medium of instruction “. I am not surprised this  turned  Filipinos into a  Jack of all trades, master of none, to the point that Taglish   is now the accepted lingua franca in the country. Taglish is the use of Tagalog and English phrases or words in one sentence.

English : Let’s have lunch now. I’m so hungry.

Taglish :  Mag- lunch na tayo. I’m so hungry na.

Me    :      [  …….    ]

 

I watch Filipino language tutorials on You Tube  , then watch  other  videos to learn more, and I ‘m , like,  the heck .

 

I wonder……… if English is the medium of instruction from  elementary to college, is Grade 1 Math taught in English ?  Yes, and it blows my mind.  Just think……. Kindergarten and first graders are taught English grammar for the first time, and  Math 1 and History ( Civics  ), Science 1,  etc.   are simultaneously taught in English. How is that possible ?  I asked my parents about that, and they were as perplexed as I was. They did say that maybe , educators assume pre-schoolers  have a basic knowledge of the English language.  I remember when I was  in Kindergarten in the Philippines, we were taught Arithmetic this way……. 12 take away 6 is , what is the answer , class ?  Ma’m , ma’m , here, here ( Ren raises hand )…. Okay, Ren,  what is the answer ?  6 ! !   Very good !

 

The only subject that is taught in their native language  is ” Filipino Language .” All the rest , like Math, English Grammar , Reading, ( Run, Spotty, Run ,  I still remember the title ! ! )) Civics, and  Good Manners and Right Conduct , ( yes, they study  that over there ) are all taught in English.   Filipino kids have to do double time to learn stuff not in their own language, and I don’t know if that’s a good thing.  This is the subject of a well- read  book by Renato Constantino titled The Miseducation of the Filipinos which I read a few years ago.   It has something to do with abandoning the native language and favoring a mishmashed one .

 

But,

 

I understand. It’s easier  to read and understand NO ENTRY, instead of BAWAL PUMASKO DITO.

 

Photo below is a gasoline station in the Philippines. Notices are in English.

 

DSCN0245

 

Photo below…. the sign says  Php 2,000 Minimum Payment for Bumping Barrier

 

DSCN0040

 

Oh, well. I guess I have to go back to  my You Tube Filipino language tutorials.

 

PS: Example of Grade 4 English Grammar test in the Philippines which my Dad still remembers.

Choose  the correct word or phrase ;

A)  It’s raining,  _______________   ?

a) aren’t they ?

b) isn’t it ?

c)  none of the above

My Dad answered , It’s raining, aren’t they X    Ha ha ha !

 

This is just an FYI  about  the country where I came from.

 

This is all for now .Bye and Peace !

 

Impeach !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something Light-hearted From Me

 

Hi, hello, Renxkyoko Iglesias here

 

I was in the Philippines in 2014, with my cousin and  Mom, and stayed there for one month. So it was kind of strange that I did only 3 posts on my one – month vacation in the Philippines. I think I was side-tracked by politics………..

 

Well, never mind . Better late then never, right ?

 

So, okay, we had lunch at this restaurant that was  so popular for its jaw-dropping  tacky decorations.  It is located in the province of  Laguna, about a 2 – hour drive from Manila, the capital city of the Philippines.

 

I was at a  loss for words as soon as I got off our vehicle and saw these humungous statues…. well, just look at the pictures and be amazed.  LOL !  By the way, don’t get me wrong….. my cousin and I loved,  loved, loved the place ! ! ! And please, have mercy on me… it took me 4 hours to finish this post.

The restaurant’s frontage

DSCN0317

DSCN0318

The entrance

DSCN0316

DSCN0279

LOL ! A calculator was actually provided by the waiter.

 

DSCN0280

Yours truly and my cousin in the pic

DSCN0281

Cozying up to former Philippine President Corazon Aquino. * Oooh , I love my tan *

DSCN0292

Having a tete -a – tete with President Obama and Michelle. * How’s it goin’, Mr. President .  *

DSCN0294

DSCN0283

The sign on the wall says ,” For 25 pesos,  ( about US 50 cents ) you can throw a plate against the wall, but please  refrain from using vulgar words. ” Ha ha ha !

DSCN0286

Can you see the huge white statue of  Buddha in the distance ?

DSCN0295

 

DSCN0312

Even Superman and Mickey Mouse weren”t spared.

DSCN0310

There’s some serenading going on here….. oh, and those are the hands of KingKong\ It’s a full statue. You can just imagine how big that is..

DSCN0315
DSCN0297
DSCN0303

” Native ” plates covered with banana leaves. And that’s a pitcher of so delicious and refreshing ice cold coconut juice….. unbeatable ! !

DSCN0308

Rice, roast chicken, grilled pork ribs, fish in miso soup

DSCN0307

That brown blob is laing ( lah- ing )…. it doesn’t look appetizing, but that’s one of my most favorite Filipino dish. It’s taro leaves and shrimp cooked  in coconut cream. I wish I could cook that here in the US, but taro leaves are not sold here.

DSCN0300

 

DSCN0298

 

I wonder who did those huge statues , and how much it cost to build this restaurant.

 

It was jampacked with tourists when we were there.  It really pays to be different and unique. And the foods were delicious !

 

Okay, this is all for now. Thank you for reading . Bye !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philippine culture, part 2

Renxyoko Iglesias here, hello ! !

 

Here are some random Philippine habits, quirks, bits and pieces of culture and tradition that a tourist, like my friend @Ste J, may or may not encounter in the Philippines.

But before that, here’s something nice to watch.

 

 

Did you watch it ?  Of course,  I have to admit  there’s poverty all over, especially in urban areas ,  but Filipinos are consistently on the list of the happiest people on earth, despite the natural disasters that come their way,  year in and year out.(  off the chart typhoons, their current  president, earthquakes, volcano eruptions ….. Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption in 1991 was the biggest in the 20th century….. it caused the lowering of the earth’s temperature by at least 1 degree )  They say Filipinos eat disasters for breakfast, and no matter what happens, they just shrug them off. This is because of their ” Bahala na ”  attitude, which means, roughly, ” That’s the way it is, so live life to the fullest. ”  The exact translation is ” Whatever “, accompanied by shrugging of shoulders.  I’ve heard some Filipino friends say ” Bahala na si Batman. ” meaning, ” Whatever, Batman’s got my back. ”

 

In a crowd, Filipinos respond to ” Oy ! ! ”   ( Huh ? Who’s calling me ? )  Oy ! Comusta ! !  (  Hey, how are you ? ) However, Filipinos don’t say ” oy ” to older people.  That’s very disrespectful.

 

When Filipinos speak to older people, their language is interspersed with ” po  ”  or ” opo ” ( yes ).  It’s a sign of respect. However, the use of  po is nuanced.  Some people will not appreciate hearing ” po ” when, say,  a 25 year old person is speaking to a 30 year old woman . It’s like , ” Oh, noooooo !   She’s saying ” po” to me ! I’m getting olddddddd ! ! !”  Still…. it’s unimaginable for a Filipino to not say ” po ” to a …. okay, much older person. It’s okay, though,  for a 7- year old kid to say   ” po” to a 15 year old teenager ….. I think  ?

 

Filipinos are party animals…… and every Filipino household owns a karaoke. ( Videoke now ) We own a Magic Mic here at home, and my mother’s planning to update it to a videoke  soon. Yay ! ! I can now  sing my heart out . And yes,  Filipinos love fiestas!

 

Just like other Asians, Filipinos are big on honorifics.  I call my older sister ” Ate “,(pronounced Ah-teh,) meaning older sister, and my older brother,  Kuya (  pronounced Koo-yah, meaning , older brother ) .  Ate  Jennie,  Kuya Benjie, or just plain Ate and Kuya, unless one has other older siblings, then they have to add their names.

 

And this is where Filipinos differ from other Asians……… how they greet  each other.   Filipinos sometimes greet each other ( usually men ) by tossing their heads upwards. Oy, ‘  Pare,  comusta. ( ‘ Pare is short for Spanish word Compadre, meaning, pal/buddy), then a handshake, and a pat on the back.  Filipino women greet each other and relatives , male and female alike, with a hug and kiss on the cheek, sometimes, both cheeks. The term is beso- beso. Beso means kiss in Spanish, I think ?  Greetings are  boisterous. When we had a reunion in the Philippines, I think I hugged and kissed a hundred relatives and guests in one day. The kissing and hugging are repeated when they say  their goodbyes.    It is, indeed,  a touch culture. By the way, Filipinos greet their elders  by touching their elder’s hand to their foreheads, and saying, ” Mano po, Lola” ( grandma  or Lolo, grandpa) Mano means hand in Spanish.

pasko_mano-po

Filipino Customs and Traditions(

Got the image from the Internet. Whoever owns this, please don’t sue me. T.T

 

They call Restrooms/toilets in the Philippines, CR. ( Comfort Room )  ” Excuse me, Miss, where’s the CR ?”  @ Ste J, remember this. ^___^

 

This is all for now. Another one coming right up..

 

And check out my anime/manga site at http://2megaworthitwordpresscomblog.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bada** New Year’s Eve celebration in the Philippines

Renxkyoko Iglesias here, wishing you all a Happy New Year ! !

 

As the title says….. to see how the Philippines welcomes the new year,   click on the video.  ( you can start at 2:12,  I think that’s  11: 55 PM  )

 

And it’s not some government – sponsored  spectacular  fireworks display……. anyone with a pocketful of change can buy fireworks and shoot them up on New Year’s eve. The one on the video is just a small area of Metro -Manila.  The fireworks on the ground  are worse.   The Judas belt…..  sheesh .

 

 

My own father would start buying firecrackers ( yep, also that Judas belt )  in September.  * shakes head *

 

Even though there are so many injuries , the government can never make this illegal….. it’s like making eating adobo illegal, too.

 

By the way, international flights  going to the Philippines are cancelled on New Year’s day. ….. the haze over  Manila is deadly for arriving planes.

 

Over here in the US,  we can hear a pin drop on New Year’s eve.  It was a culture shock on our first New Year’s eve in the US.

 

Oh, well.  Happy New Year, everyone.  And to my Filipino readers, be safe.

.

Mystery Blogger Award, Part 2…. and Philippine mythology

Renxkyoko Iglesias here, hello there ! !

 

First off, I would like to thank Nayana Nair  for giving me an award, The Mystery Blogger Award. However, I have to forego  the rules and  just answer Nayana Nair‘s food- for -thought questions. So, without further ado……

 

a)  What is your current favorite song ?     I’m old school,  old soul.  To me, music is melody. I don’t pay attention to lyrics. Do the classics have lyrics?  Beautiful sound and melody give me goosebumps, and this may sound corny and emo, but listening to good music  makes me a bit teary-eyed, sometimes.  Even the current rock and pop songs have nothing on the old classic rock.  * sings *  Wake me up, before you go, go , la la la la…

 

I do like Justin Bieber’s.

 

b)  Most rude you have ever been ?  I don’t think I have  been rude  intentionally . I believe I am a nice, pleasant person, careful with words, mindful of manners, courteous, and  very polite ( My mother calls me todo pasa ). In other words, I’m perfect. Take that to mean as repressed. That’s why , I explode.

 

c)    One silly superstition that you actually believed in as a child ?  Two, actually….. the existence of duendes (  leprechauns , goblins ) and aswangs. (  shape shifters that eat  human livers and fetuses of pregnant women ). Those little mounds of dirt and soil ( anthills ? ) are supposedly the duendes’ abodes. Pass by their homes without asking permission and ignore them,  you do that at your own peril. Common punishment is explosive diarrhea.

About the aswangs……. they are humans by day and monsters at night, like our cousin , Violeta,  a very pretty lass from Aklan and Capiz (  two places in the Philippines where most aswangs live,  and where my  maternal grandparents came from , ahem )….. uhm ,  about Violeta ….. she had to move to another place to  escape  the nasty rumours about her,  which my mother suspected were spread by rejected suitors. Nevertheless, my grandparents wouldn’t eat anything that came from Violeta’s family.

 

I was watching one of these British crime series, and in one episode,  the detectives talked about  aswangs very casually. The people in a small, remote English village believed  the ” killings ‘ were perpetrated by aswangs.

One form of aswang is a human that can separate his/ her torso from the rest of the body and fly.

aswang, Philippine mythology, folklore

When I was a  kid living in the Philippines, aswangs did terrify me.

 

d)  One word that you use most in your conversation ?  I guess, ” really ” ?

 

e)  What is one good thing and a bad thing about getting awards ?   Good thing……  it’s a blog post.  Bad thing…….. I don’t have time to acknowledge  all the awards that I get. Sorry !  I’m trying to rectify this, hence, this post.

 

This is all for now. Thank you for reading folks. I hope you find this post interesting.

 

And please check out my anime/manga site  here, http://2megaworthitwordpresscomblog.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Boil an Egg, The Story

RenxKyoko Iglesias  here, hello .

Check out my anime/manga site  at http://2megaworthitwordpresscomblog.wordpress.com/

 

On my previous post  here, I promised I’d  give my reason  for my weird post, “How To Boil An Egg“.  I did make it like it was a  mystery.  Sorry , but there’s nothing earth-shaking there, no clap of thunder.  It does have a rather long back story , a story  that my parents had experienced, up close and personal.

 

I will try to keep it short, so here goes….

 

There was this person named Ferdinand Marcos, who was elected President of the Philippines in 1968.  He  was , well, I don’t know what he was, but  he   was an honor law student  and topped the Bar exams  before he became a Congressman , then the President.  But he was  brazenly corrupt (  together with his wife, Imelda Marcos  of 10,ooo pairs of shoes  ) and knew he would not be reelected .  There were massive  protests all over the country……..  so what he did was first, he suspended the writ of habeas corpus , and using his personal army ( The Armed Forces of the Philippines )  ,   was able to detain his political enemies,   and in 1971 just  3 months  after  the suspension ( September ) , and  before  the presidential election  in November, he  proclaimed Martial Law.  Philippine democracy was replaced with dictatorship and authoritarianism. He detained  senators, congressmen , and known critics, one of whom was then Senator Benigno Aquino  who was detained for more than 7 years , then exiled to the US, ( supposedly due to medical reasons ….  and here in the US, he was given a teaching job at Harvard University ) .     Marcos dictatorship lasted from 1971 to 1986 (  15 years ! ! ) when he was toppled down thru the famous People Power Revolution in February 1986,  the culmination of people’s protests that began when Senator Benigno Aquino went back to the Philippines on August 21, 1983, and assassinated right there at the airport tarmac.

EDSA Revolution pic1.jpg

The picture above was  the  funeral procession of  Senator Benigno Aquino .  The outrage was massive .  But, here’s the most unbelievable  part of the story. The day after the funeral march,  there was NO NEWS  that came out about that historical event. No photos.  None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Soon after,  journalists, especially opinion  writers ,  wrote nothing  but    HOW TO BOIL AN EGG  .

 

That, my readers, is the back story.

Alright, this is all for now. Thanks for reading.

 

Addendum :

 

My parents were so outraged that they joined the early protest movement in 1983, right after the assassination.  It was a very dangerous thing to do then because Marcos was still in power .  Soldiers  would come knocking on doors in the night . The victims became  part of the Disappeared , the Desaparecidos . Filipinos  called it  getting ” SALVAGED “.  There were thousands of  these victims  during Marcos’ dictatorship and kleptocracy.   It came to a point when my siblings , who were then 4 and 5 years old,  had to live with friends and were moved from one house to another over 3 years ( not with my parents’ families because , of course, the government  knew who they were ).  My parents were willing to die for the country. Great story !