Archive for the ‘Philippine Heritage’ Category

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.

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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 !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” sigh “

Hello !  RenxKyoko Iglesias here !

I’ve been staring at a white, blank screen for hours now. I am still deciding  whether I will post something  about my job – hunting,  or go ahead and write about  my 2014  vacation in the Philippines.  I have tons of pictures  all ready to be posted here,  but  I don’t feel like writing about  a country,(  it does not  matter that this is where I was born, and came from) that tolerates, approves of ,  and seemingly delights  in   extra-judicial  killings of ” ALLEGED” drug pushers.  I’m sure my Filipino blogger friends would tell me I have no right to criticize  the country because 1. I am not a Filipino  2.  I  have no idea what they are going through  living in  a country with acute drug problem.

 

I do understand that. I know  the country has become the dumping ground of  all sorts of drugs  ( they call  one drug shabu  )……. Why is the Philippines the dumping ground , you ask ?  Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and other South East Asian countries have extremely strict laws against possession. It’s death penalty  . The Philippines, on the other hand,  is less strict, not to mention law enforcers are extremely corrupt.  I’m sure the authorities know exactly who the drug lords are .  They are untouchable, and, obviously  we know why.

I always write about the Philippines and its people in glowing terms. They are naturally gentle, generous,  happy, smiling people, and this is true.  But not at this time,  and unfortunately,  not for 6 years.  They just elected a rogue president who disrespects  just about anybody… President Obama,  the Pope, and Jesus Christ  Himself. And  I am  not making this up.

dscn0764

Random photo. (  just because I mentioned The Pope ,and there has to be a picture, right ?)

Above is just a random pic of myself at the Vatican Museum. I think its one of  the best  pic ever taken during our  tour. I am exactly in the middle of the museum hallway,  and equidistant from the 2 walls. It’s true. I checked it.  Maybe there was divine intervention when my Mom took the pic.

To continue……

Oh, we are not entirely disconnected  from  the country. My family still own more properties in the Philippines  than the average Filipino, and we pay  taxes , without fail.  We therefore  have a reason  to pay close attention to  what’s going on there.

To my Filipino blogger friends  who have declared  their  heartfelt approval of this president’s  behavior…. I am sorry  to have a different opinion. I just hope and pray  this does not become the standard by which the country elects its officials.

I am sad and a bit demoralized.

This is all for now. Thank you for reading.

Please check out my manga/anime blogsite HERE    http://2megaworthitwordpresscomblog.wordpress.com/

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I’ll Just Sing. Philippine Music 101, Part 1

Hello. Renxkyoko Iglesias here.

I’ve been reflecting on what I wrote on my previous post. Am I regretting it ?  No, not at all.  I needed to vent…. either that, or I’d  burn my computer table. j/k   No more  political rant, okay ? Promise. I’ll just sing ! ! !

First things first…. A MILLION THANKS TO THE MY DEAR READERS WHO HAD GIVEN SUGGESTIONS  ON HOW TO POST  VIDEOS HERE ! ! YOU ‘RE AWESOME !  WHOOH ! 

Now  make it worth my agony and distress by clicking the videos.  Ha ha ha !  C’mon. ~_~ You will click them, right ?

Anyway, I’ve been watching  some Philippine music videos on YouTube and find them so interesting  I feel I need to write about it, and I’m going to call this Philippine Music 101.  Let me tell you though,  there’s no such thing as Filipino “language”.  Tagalog has been designated as the official national language, but the truth is, it’s only one of the many dialects  Filipinos speak. What’s so fascinating about this is, Filipinos speak  dialects that are  , shall I say,  as different  as Greek  from Italian.  I can understand Tagalog, which is the lingua franca in Manila, the capital of the Philippines,  but the dialect spoken in Pampanga,  a province that is just less than a hundred miles from Manila,  is like Greek to me.

Now, some of the music videos I saw on YouTube are sung in different dialects, but they have become my favorite songs to sing nowadays, even though I don’t understand the language.

Here’s a sample  of a Tagalog song,  sung by an American  .  The facial expressions of the guy in black shirt are perfectly attuned to the lyrics, as if he understands  the words. lol   ( I’ve memorized the lyrics myself ) The accent  is okay, except that ” t ” sound which we Americans pronounce as  ” ts”  ( sort of )  The song is IKAW  ( You ).  Loving this song. (  sounds karaokish to me,though. he he ) Listen to all the songs here  full volume to appreciate them more.

This  next one is a favorite. I don’t understand the lyrics. The dialect is Chavacano, (  ” bastardized “Spanish )  spoken in Mindanao, the second biggest island in the Philippines .  The title is Porque (  Because ? ) Loving this, too. I’ve memorized the lyrics and singing it as I’m typing here. The girl singing is Filipina, the guy is American. You know what  ,  the girl kinda looks like me.  * scratches head *   ( But then , people of  same race do look alike, ha ha ha )

Though the Philippines is in Southeast Asia, the culture is very distinctive , even in music.  I’m sure it’s the influence of 333 years of Spanish rule . The sound is definitely very different compared to say,  Chinese  sound or Indian sound.

Here’s another old, old Tagalog song, sung again by  an American choir. I saw more than a dozen of this song sung by American choirs. Dahil  Sa ‘Yo (  Because of You )

Perfect accent guys. (  except  that explosion of t’s , he he )

Next is an ancient Philippine folk song in Waray dialect.  This is sung by a Russian choir. If there’s a Russian reader here,  don’t hate me, but this is an awful version.  I think they lost control of the song. LOL !  Cringe -worthy, but fun to listen to.  The title is Waray, waray.  Filipinos who live in that region are called warays,  and it’s sung by a woman  who says waray women are tough as men  and  can fight to the death , who cares what happens, and so what if we look like thugs ,our   kisses are as sweet as wine.

The next is  another ancient Philippine folk song,  Ayayay, O,  Pag-ibig (  Ayayay, Oh, Love ) sung by a German Choir . Okay, at the end of the song, the all-male German choir  raised their hands and said  HEY… and I was like , O_O, (  I thought I heard Heil !  Sorry, sorry,  just kidding !!!!!   ) but that’s the way it’s sung, actually….. at the end of the song,  Filipinos raise their hands too, and  say ‘  Hey ! ”

 

Here’s another version of Ayayay sung by a Korean choir,  and listen up to the end. It’s a nicer version. Seriously.

It does seem choirs all over the world like to sing  Filipino songs, especially  ancient folk songs, because , I guess, the melodies are catchy and choir material ?  There’s this song Rosas Pandan  that has been sung by  literally hundreds of choirs all over the world, like, it’s supposed to be part of their repertoire.  If you’re a choir, you have to sing this.

Here’s another version by grown – ups.

Russian choir not far behind.

This is all for now. I’ll have a Part 2 next time.

And check out my anime/manga  blog

http://2megaworthitwordpresscomblog.wordpress.com

Again,  a BIG THANK YOU !!  You just saved me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Amusing Musings

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Hi there !

Okay, I’m sure you’ve heard  of  this Miss Universe fiasco already.  I’m surprised  the media had taken notice of this  inane and anachronistic  event  * sings and dances *  I feel pretty , oh so pretty, I feel pretty, and witty and gay,  And I pity any  girl who isn’t me today, lalala….,  but  hey,  we do need to lighten up, right ? Well, I have to be honest and say it got me interested , too, because,  *  cough , cough * the new Ms.U  is from the Philippines.  Not that it’s such an earth- shaking event  to me, or to the Philippines,  for that matter. After all,   she’s  now the Philippines’ 4th Ms. Universe.  The Philippines has been winning  at most of  these international beauty pageants, big and small… in fact, some  complain that  it seems   Ms. Phil is automatically included in top 10, top 5 , or the runner -up.

So what exactly was the brouhaha all about ?  The host, Steve Harvey announced the wrong  girl, Ms. Columbia. They handed her the bouquet of flowers, placed the crown on her head, she started waving, then Boom !  You ain’t the winner, Ms.  It’s Ms. Philippines.  Wait, what, waaaaaaa !   Yikes !  Stupid host…..

You’d think the Phiippines would  feel  pretty blasé about this  kind of thing already, right ? .  Well……. no, not really . I’m sure they’re jumping for joy.   Filipinos love beauty pageants. There’s this Miss Barrio San Jose,  Ms.  Del Monte Street,  Ms. Boracay, Ms. Manila…. yep, there’s a Miss for every freakin’ occasion and place.  Oh, there’s a Miss  Gay Philippines, too.  Do you know  the Philippines is among the top 10 most accepting, gay -friendly countries  in the world ?  # 9, but would rank higher  if the strict Catholic country would allow same- sex marriage.” Oh, you’re gay ?  Let’s open a beauty parlor.  ”  Aunty,  not all gays go into beauty business.  I’m in college and majoring in Computer Science. Perish that stereo type. ”  This dialogue really happened.

So, where was I…….

By the way,  the very first Miss Philippines was my mother’s aunt.

I also need to mention my new Manga/Anime blogsite  Here.

This is also one of those posts that I wish I hadn’t written, ha ha…. Better get this published pronto before I change my mind.

This is all for now.  Happy Holidays to you all, and Merry Christmas.