Amaya Teaser


Amaya ᜀᜋᜌ
March 30, 2011

Amaya is the story of a Binukot Filipino Princess who is sheltered all her life, never letting the sun touch her skin, her feet touching the ground, and learning & memorizing dances, stories & epics, she becomes an alipin (slave) then a mandirigma (warrior) who uses the powers gifted to her to rise up and protect her people. Being the only princess to have a snake as a twin, the snake symbolizing excellence and braveness, she is the only one who can be the heir to the throne out of all her sisters.

This historical and cultural epicserye featuring Philippines Primetime Reyna, Marian Rivera, is the Philippines first epicserye that proudly shows and teaches our pre-hispanic Filipino culture. With the collaboration and help with the historians of the University of the Philippines everything in the show is based on facts of our ancestors as well as from today’s living tribes. From the tattoo’s, clothing, beliefs, stories, myths, legends, warriors, ships, weapons, and more everything is based on historic fact of our culture. The fighting throughout Amaya is the Filipino martial arts, Kali, Arnis, & Eskrima, which the actors and actresses are trained to fight using knives, bolo’s, rattan sticks, grappling techniques, and the way of the Philippine fighter.

Let us go back to the pre-hispanic era, the time of our ancestors, and relive and honor the glory in which is the Filipino people, heritage, and country.

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We dont only speak tagalog and ilocano

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Philippines - Pre-Hispanic Philippine Gold

15th century
(Left to right, top to bottom)

Ornaments made of gold have been excavated from a number of gravesites in the Southern Philippines. Manufactured in the Islands prior to the 16th century Spanish conquest, the articles include jewelry, buttons and other ornaments which may have been attached to clothing. Locations in the listings refer to excavation sites.

15th century
Cuyo Island
Diameter 4.1 cm
Private collection
Illustrated p. 87 Top row, left

One of a pair, this ear ornament, which adhered to the inside of the lobe, is a fine example of gold granulation.

15th century
Cuyo Island
Diameter 4.9 cm
Collection of Virginia B. Randolph
Illustrated p. 87 Top row, right

15 th century
Cuyo Island
Length 2.4 cm
Width 2.5 cm
Private collection
Illustrated p. 87 Second row, left

This flat pendant has a star design in repousse with two rows of beading.

15th century
Cuyo Island
Diameter 3.0 cm
Private collection
Illustrated p. 87 Second row, right

The sun is a common motif in pre-Hispanic Philippine gold. This hair ornament may also have been used as a costume facing.

15th century
Oton, Panay Island
Length 5.7 cm
Width 3.4 cm
Collection of Sheldon Geringer
Illustrated, p. 87 Third row

Rows of braided wire and dangles ornament this simple hoop earring.

15th century
Cuyo Island
Diameter 10.7 cm
Collection of Sheldon Geringer
Illustrated p. 87 bottom row

Made from sheet gold, the center of this six-petaled ornament is patterned with concentric rows of stylized scrolling pounded into the metal from the reverse.

Apo Reef

Apo Reef is a series of coral reefs encompassing 34 square kilometers within the waters of Occidental Mindoro in the Philippines. It is the world’s second-largest contiguous coral reef system and the largest in the country. The reef and its surrounding waters are administered as a National Park as part of the Apo Reef Natural Park project. It is home to almost twice as many coral species (500+) compared to the Great Barrier Reef. Alongside Tubbataha reef in the Sulu Sea, both reefs are the crowing glory of the coral triangle that spans the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

The site of the Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range. It is north-west of Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan Province. The topography varies from flat plains to rolling hinterlands and hills to mountain peaks. Over 90% of the park comprises sharp, karst limestone ridges around Mount St Paul, which is itself part of a series of rounded, limestone peaks aligned on a north-south axis, along the western coast of Palawan.

The focus of the area is a spectacular karst landscape which features both surface karst features (pinnacles, shafts, dolines and limestone cliffs), as well as an extensive underground river system. The subterranean river is 8.2 km long, one of the most unique of its type in the world and includes many speleotherms, several large chambers exist, up to 120 m wide and 60 m high. A distinguishing feature of the river is the fact that it emerges directly into the sea, and that the lower portion of the river is brackish and subject to tidal influences.

The underground river (the Cabayugan River) arises approximately 2 km south-west of Mount Saint Paul at an altitude of 100 m, and flows underground for almost its entire length to an outflow into St Paul’s Bay. All rivers and associated tributaries are within the park, which is important in relation to catchments impacts on the water quality of the Cabayugan River.

Approximately two-thirds of the site is forested, dominated by hardwood species. Three forest formations are present: lowland, karst and limestone. The karst forest is restricted to small pockets where soils have developed. In the coastal area, mangroves, mossy forest, seagrass beds and coral reefs are also found.

The faunal diversity in the park is moderate, especially with respect to invertebrates. Endemic mammals include the Palawan tree shrew, Palawan porcupine and Palawan stink badger. Dugong has been recorded in the marine component of the park. Monitor lizard and marine turtles are also present. The Palawan Peacock Pheasant has also been recorded in this site (recognized as an internationally threatened species). The subterranean fauna has not been studied in detail, but comprises fish, prawns, snakes and insects. The tunnel and chambers of the subterranean river are home to abundant populations of swiftlets and bats. Eight species of bat are also found in the cave, and cave swiftlets nest on some of the underground boulder piles. Further studies are required to determine the extent and diversity of the underground fauna.

The Philippine Native Dog

About the Aspin (a.k.a. Askal)

A medium sized dog is seen standing on its hind legs and dancing with its master. Nothing is extraordinary with this feat. Other dogs are seen dancing as well. However, after dancing the dog enters the bathroom, switch on the light and sat on the toilet bowl to poop. After doing its business the dog flushes the toilet. Amazing! Not many dogs can do these tricks let alone the other stunts in the dog’s repertoire. The ordinary looking dog that was trained to do these tricks is Saver, an Askal, a mongrel, a mutt, a cur… a mixed breed with no known parentage. Saver was found by its owner/trainer in the street when the dog was still a puppy.

Similar to the vira-lata dogs (trash can tipper) of The Dominican Republic and Brazil, the Askal is basically a stray dog in the Philippines. Askal is the Tagalog (Austronesian language) contraction of the word asong kalye or street dog. Irong Bisaya which means native dog is the Cebuano name for these stray dogs. In Bicol region these dogs are generally called Ido or Ayam. These dogs were developed for generations of natural selection.

Askals make wonderful pets. These amazing native dogs are loving and very loyal to their families. These smart dogs have an innate eagerness to please thus training will never be a problem. Sadly, people in the Philippines similar to people in other countries prefer imported purebred dogs. Owning a Great Dane, a Dalmatian or one of the toy breeds is a status symbol. These foreign purebreds are pampered and paraded in malls wearing fashionable dog accessories while a lot of Askals are rummaging trash cans for sustenance. These dogs have a rough life. Although some dogs are well cared for by their owners, hundreds of these dogs roam the street, belonging to no one. The grim fact is that about 300 dogs are slaughtered daily. The illegal dog meat trade in the Philippines has flourished for more than three decades. These ill fated dogs suffer horrible cruelty from wicked dog meat traders. Unlike their pampered purebred cousins, hundreds of Askals are destined to be eaten.

An Askal is a dog of mixed ancestry. Because of cross breeding the Philippine native dog does not have a definitive appearance. An Askal crossed with spitz type dogs would have the typical looks of a spitz. An Askal that is a Labrador mix or a pinscher mix would manifest the appearance of the parent breed. Generally, an Askal is a medium sized dog with a longer than tall body. These dogs have short dense coat that can be of any color. These dogs have various ear types. Some individuals would have pricked ears; others would have droopy and rose ears. Eyes can be variedly shaped and colored as well. These dogs have long pointed muzzle and complete set of evenly spaced teeth that meet in a scissor bite. Tails are long, thick at the root and taper to a point. These wiry dogs have long thin legs.

Askals are loving and loyal dogs. This dog may not be pedigreed but they make wonderful companions. An Askal would be content to lie under the table while the family dines and would patiently wait for the table scraps. These dogs may not have the gregarious personalities of other purebred dogs but the loyalty and the devotion it gives to its human family can never be doubted. The dog makes a wonderful playmate of the children in the same manner that it makes an ideal hunting or jogging buddy of the master. Askals generally are outdoor dogs. These dogs are accustomed to being tied in the yard to guard the family and the property. These dogs are not very territorial. An Askal will not fail to warn the family of strangers by barking but once the visitor is accepted inside the house, the dog will acknowledge the stranger to as a guest of the family. These dogs are not dog aggressive. Askals tolerate other animals as well. It is common for this dog to befriend smaller pets of the family. It is a sad fact that these wonderful dogs are looked down. It is really heartbreaking to see an Askal with doleful eyes being kicked by its master. The cruel action is a big betrayal of the dog’s affection and friendship.

An Askal is a healthy breed. Purebred dogs are generally inbred to get the desired characteristics. However, inbreeding increases the risks of genetically related diseases Since Askals are mixed breed, they possess greater genetic diversity giving them a higher resistance to certain diseases. Askals are low maintenance dogs. These dogs are low shedders. Brushing the coat regularly would be enough to maintain its good condition. Most Askals though have doggie smells thus they need to be bathed two or three times a month.

Aspin or Askal, the Philippine native dog practically littered the streets. These dogs are strays … belonging to no one as unlike in other countries, majority of the professed dog lovers in the Philippines prefer to care for imported and purebred dogs. The Askals are in fact viewed condescendingly. These stray dogs are often slaughtered and end up in the dinner table. In the Philippines, dogs are eaten. The Philippines though is not the only dog eating country. Dogs are eaten in Korea, in China, in Germany, in Canada and in many other countries. This does not mean though that the dogs are not loved in these countries… they are! Eating dog meat is simply in their culture.

For centuries, dogs have been man’s loyal, affectionate and functional friends. The Igorots, the ethnic groups in the Cordillera region of the northern Philippines are known to love dog meat. These people love their dogs as aside from being the loyal companions they are commonly used in hunting wild pigs and other prey. A valued pet may be slaughtered and eaten. More often dogs are sacrificed in rituals and ceremonies.

Askal, have existed in Philippine soil for centuries but the origin of these native dogs are unknown. Dogs have descended from wolves. As there are no wolves in the Philippines, the Askal cannot be indigenous to the Philippines. Because the appearance of the Askal resembles that of a Dingo it was speculated that the Askal has descended from Australia’s native dog. Historians believe that the Dingo was brought to Australia from Indonesia by the Austronesian sea travelers. The Austronesians have sailed and traveled to other countries, one of which is the Philippines. Dogs were brought along as they were used in hunting. Moreover, dogs have served as blankets that kept the owner warm at night. Through thousands of years, the dogs were bred and crossed with foreign dogs resulting to the present day Askals.

Askal dogs are a part of the Philippines’ national heritage. Sadly, these loyal and affectionate dogs are looked down upon. An adorable puppy may get the master’s attention for a while but when the dog matures it will be relegated to the backyard, leashed under a tree if not allowed to roam the streets to fend for themselves by rummaging trash cans and dodging the kicks of heartless individuals. Fortunately, the campaigns and programs were launched to preserve these dogs. The Animal Welfare Foundation spearheaded the rescue operations by establishing a two-hectare rescue center in Capas, Tarlac where dogs recovered from illegal slaughter houses were housed. Recovered dogs are open for adoption. The See Beauty Beyond Breed (SBBB) campaign was launched supported by movie and TV personalities with the aim of uplifting the image of the Philippine native dog.

Askals make wonderful companions. Askals are currently being trained to be bomb and narcotics sniffing dogs. There is a move to make the Askal the national dog of the Philippines. These hardy dogs may not be pedigreed unlike imported purebred dogs but these dogs are smart and loving… truly man’s best friends!

Singkil Dance

Singkil dance takes its name from the bells worn on the ankles of the Muslim princess. Perhaps one of the oldest of truly Filipino dances, the Singkil recounts the epic legend of the “Darangan” of the Maranao people of Mindanao. This epic, written sometime in the 14th century, tells the fateful story of Princess Gandingan, who was caught in the middle of a forest during an earthquake caused by the diwatas, or fairies or nymph of the forest.

The rhythmic clapping of criss-crossed bamboo poles represent the trees that were falling, which she gracefully avoids. Her slave loyally accompanies her throughout her ordeal. Finally, she is saved by the prince. Dancers wearing solemn faces and maintaining a dignified pose being dancing at a slow pace which soon progresses to a faster tempo skillfully manipulate apir, or fans which represent the winds that prove to be auspicious. The dancers weave expertly through criss-crossed bamboos.

When performed by ladies of the royalty of Lanao, the dancer is usually accompanied by a waiting lady, who holds a beautifully decorated umbrella over the Princess’ head wherever she goes. Royal princesses to this day in the Sulu Archipelago are required to learn this most difficult and noble dance.

I’ve personally danced to this playing the Princess role. It was quite hard at first learning the steps and not getting my feet caught in the bamboo poles. Tinikling is the much easier version of dancing through the bamboo poles. But the music and costume is just so breathtakingly beautiful. Now I don’t do the dances the younger kids do now and we are planning on making my brother and the oldest girl there learn it so they can continue doing this beautiful dance.

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Aginid Bayok sa Atong Tawarik

Legends and myth have been told about how the ancient name of Cebu City or as some old timers fondly call Sugbo originated. None of these versions have so far held up to the scrutiny scholars and historians until Jovito Abellana published his book Bisaya Patronymesis Sri Visjaya where he extensively wrote about Aginid, Bayok sa atong Tawarik (Glide on, Odes to our History). The Aginid a discovery made by Jovito Abellana’s great grandfather is probably the only pre-colonial chronicle of the history of Cebu written in ancient baybayin script on pandan leaves and other indigenous materials. Unfortunately most of the materials were lost in the subsequent upheaval that followed the Spanish defeat by Cebuano guerillas and the ensuing Filipino American War.

Extracted from Marivir Montebon’s book Retracing Our Roots – A Journey into Cebu’s Pre-Colonial Past are excerpts of the story of pre-colonial Cebu according to the Aginid, Bayok sa atong Tawarik (Glide on, Odes to Our History) as translated by Jovito Abellana:

“Sri Lumay of Sumatra settled in Sugbo with his son, Sri Alho, ruling the south known as Sialo which included Valladolid, Carcar, up to Santander.

His other son, Sri Ukob, ruled the north known as Nahalin which includes the present towns of Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela, Danao, Carmen, and Bantayan.

As a ruler, Sri Lumay was known to be strict, merciless, and brave. He assigned magalamags to teach his people to read and write ancient letterings. He ordered routinary patrol by boats from Nahalin to Sialo by his mangubats (warriors).

Although a strict ruler, Sri Lumay was a loving person that not a single slave ran away from him.

During his reign, the Magalos (literally destroyers of peace) who came from Southern Mindanao from time to time invaded the island to loot and hunt for slaves.

Sri Lumay commanded to burn the town each time the southerners came to drive them away empty handed. Later, they fought these Magalos (Moro raiders) so that they leave the town for good.

The town was thus permanently called Kang Sri Lumayng Sugbo, or Sri Lumay’s scorched town.

Trading was vibrantly carried on by Sri Lumay’s people with merchants from China, Japan, India, and Burma in Parian, located at the northeastern part of the city.

The archipelago was strategically positioned in southeast Asia that it naturally became part of the trade route of the ancient world.

Agricultural products were bartered for Chinese silk cloths, bells, porcelain wares, iron tools, oil lamps, and medicinal herbs. From Japan, perfume and glass utensils were usually traded with native goods. Ivory products, leather, precious and semi-precious stones, and sarkara (sugar) mostly came from the Burmese and Indian traders.

Sri Lumay was killed in one of the battles against the magalos and was succeeded by his youngest son Sri Bantug who ruled Singhapala (Mabolo district today).

Bantug carried on his father’s rules throughout his reign. He organized umalahukans (reporters) to urge people in Nahalin and Sialo to obey his orders, especially on agricultural production and defense.

During Sri Bantug’s time, Sugbo, Nahalin, and Sialo thrived on subsistence, self-sufficient economy. He died in an epidemic which spread in the island and was succeeded by his youngest son Sri Humabon.

Under Humabon, the sibo or sibu in Parian became more progressive. Here, the “sinibuayng hingpit” (meaning a place for full trade) was carried on. The word Cebu is thus coined from the old word sibo, an old word for barter, trade, swap.

At this time, Lapulapu Dimantag arrived from Borneo and asked Humabon for a place to settle. Being an orang laut (man of the sea), Humabon offered the Opong island but Lapulapu was later convinced to settle in Mandawili (now Mandaue) and make the land productive because it was impossible to cultivate food crops in Opong because of its rocky terrain.

Under Lapulapu’s leadership, trading in Parian further flourished because of the goods which he brought from the land and sea in northern Cebu. It did not take long though that his relationship with Humabon turned hostile.

Lapulapu eventually became a mangatang (pirate) who ordered his men to loot ships that pass by Opong island. This had lowered the trading transactions in Parian, thus creating tension between Humabon and Lapulapu.

Opong island thus earned the ill-reputed name mangatang which later evolved into the word Mactan.

In 1521, the Spanish conquistadors came to the Visayan shore. Humabon thought that they came to Cebu to establish ties with his kingdom as did the other traders from Asia.

The blood compact between him and the Spaniards and later, a mass baptismal, all meant to signify goodwill as far as Humabon was concerned.

But the Spaniards did not see it that way. For them, it was the start of the colonization of the island, signified by the planting of the cross. It was only a little later that Humabon realized this.

With the baptismal, Humabon’s subjects embraced a religion which they vaguely understood and without knowing that they had been converted at all, or so the Aginid said.

Known to be a wily man, Humabon encouraged the Spaniards to fight Lapulapu, his enemy. Thus the battle of Mactan.

Lapulapu proved to be a true warrior in that battle. He instructed his men not to waste their spears and bolos on the Spaniards. Instead, he taught them to strike with pestle or with a club so that when the armor coat of the ugis (white man) is dented, the man inside can never move. It was when they should hit hard with their keen tools for warfare.

Humabon’s men merely observed the battle but helped in putting back the wounded white men in their boats. Lapulapu, who was also wounded, lost 29 men.

The Aginid narrated that while the battle of Mactan raged on, the Spaniards who remained in Sugbo raped the women. This angered Humabon but he remained outwardly polite as he carefully planned his revenge.

The chief prepared a feast for the Spaniards by the beach. When the white men were drunk enough, the natives began to slaughter them. A few managed to escape and return to the three ships, the Concepcion, the Trinidad and the Victoria.

Since the Spaniards were considerably reduced in number, those in the Concepcion transferred to the other two ships. Later, the natives set the Concepcion on fire off the sea of Bu-ol (Bohol).

After the Spaniards left, the natives uprooted the cross which Magellan had planted annd returned to their animistic religious practices.

It was replanted later, upon the plea of Humabon’s wife Juana who, according to the poem, acted on her constant dream of a boy child who asked her to put up the cross again.

When Humabon’s wife found out that the boy in her dreams had the same image of the infant Jesus Christ the Spaniards gave her during baptismal, Humabon obliged to replant the cross. Thereafter, the dream no longer recurred.

In the succeeding years, Humabon and Lapulapu rekindled their friendship. Lapulapu decided to return to Borneo with three of his wives, 11 of his children and 17 of his men. Humabon thus ruled a much larger area than before.

After Humabon, Sri Tupas reigned. He was the son of Sri Parang, Humabons’ elder brother who could not rule because he was limp.

During the time of Tupas, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi came to Cebu, and another era of fierce battle ensued.

With Legazpi at the helm, Cebu and the entire archipelago were subdued by the Spanish crown for more than three hundred years, in the name of Christianity.”

Amidst strong support by some scholars to institutionalize the Aginid, the Cebu Normal University published it in 1998. Abellana wrote it in baybayin (Cebuano hieroglyphic) form with an English translation. The Aginid tells of the fiery story of pre-colonial Cebu then known as Sugbo – which means scorched earth. This version on the origins of Sugbo, is important as it establishes the basic hypothesis why eskrima was invented in the first place – in defense against Moro invaders. And to add credence to the discovery of the Aginid by Jovito Abellana, other cognates of the word Sugbo can be found in the Cebuano lexicon such as: sugba – to grill, subu’ – to forge steel, sug-ang – set a cooking fire, sugnod – to burn.

Let us go back to the story of how Sugbo got its name. In the olden times Sugbo (now present day Cebu City) was part of the island of Pulua Kang Dayang or Kangdaya. The ancient poem Diyandi tells us that so many hundred years ago natives had burned the town Sugbo as a way to drive away Muslim invaders from Mindanao. The natives would then flee to the mountains and later launch a counter offensive against the demoralized and exhausted invaders. The first ruler of Sugbo Sri Lumay who came from Sumatra successfully repulsed the invaders with his scorched earth tactics. Thus the place became known as Sugbo or scorched town. Jovito Abellana translated the Diyandi which was written in ancient baybayin script and probably written during the time of Datu Tupas. It is a stirring chronicle of the story of the rich culture and colorful history of pre-colonial Cebu.

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Tween Heart’s Cast

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Kapwa Kaluluwa

Kapwa Kaluluwa ᜃᜉ᜔ᜏ ᜃᜎᜓᜎᜏ is a blog created to showcase the Filipino culture. You will find here pictures of native tribes, music, dances, my thoughts, baybayin art, tattoo's, animistic beliefs, myths and legends, deities, food, martial arts, and everything that makes us Filipino.

This is basically to connect with other Filipino's who want to connect with their roots, especially those outside the Philippines. Many of us don't know our identity and I think it's a shame. To not know your past, your heritage, you will never know yourself.

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