The Philippines and Its People

This was posted on my other blog – Subli. There was a problem on reblog so I just repost it here. Enjoy the dance at the bottom of the blog.

Family of Negritoes
Family of Negritoes – Photo Credit: Compton Encyclopedia 1931 Edition

Archeological evidence suggests that the Negritos, a broad term for indigenous people of dark complexions, reached the Philippines over 30,000 years ago by a land bridge from the Asian mainland following the migration of animals. Excavation at Palawan’s Tabon cave yielded a human skull carbon-dated to 22,000 B.C. About 10,000 years ago, the ice melted, the sea level rose and the land bridges disappeared.

Waves of Indonesians followed by sea from 3,000 BC, and Malays got a firm foothold around 200 BC, followed in later centuries by waves of Chinese settlers. Most of today’s Filipinos have grown out of intermarriages between indigenous and Malay people. Modern Filipino culture, including language and cuisine, was heavily influenced by the Malays, who also introduced arts, literature, and a system of government.

A few centuries before the Spanish reached the Philippines in the 16th century, Filipinos involved in trade had also met Arabs and Hindus from India, while the expanding Chinese population wielded considerable commerical power. Muslim clergy start to bring Islam to the Philippines from Indonesia and Malaya via Borneo in the late 14th century.

The Philippine population is a mix of tribal and ethnic groups representing 111 linguistic, cultural and racial groups. The majority is of Filipino-Malayan descent with Japanese, Chinese, European and American added to the mix. The minority is the aboriginal group called Negritos whose average height is about 58 inches, dark brown to almost black skin color, wide noses and tight curly hair. The Negritos or Little Negroes are one of the dwarf Australoid people of the ancient populations of the world. It is believed that inland forest situations with very few proteins and steep terrain contributed to their short stature. They kept to the deep forests while the Igorots kept to the mountains. They have survived because of their secluded location. The Negritoes survived by hunting and fishing and eventually had adopted a rudimentary form of farming. Local groups were composed of five to ten families living in a group of thatched lean-tos around a circular space. The leader of the band was determined by age or consensus. The group moved frequently for economic reasons or because of deaths, feeling of ill luck or quarrels. They have their own distinct language.

There are about 87 different languages and dialects spoken in the Philippines. Tagalog was made the national language in 1946. Tagalog was changed to Pilipino in 1962. Most of my generation still call it Tagalog. English is also widely used. Some young people nowadays used Taglish which is a mixture of both Tagalog and English in their conversation.

The Philippines is a conglomeration of various cultures due to the influence of different civilizations over the past 1500 years. Perhaps because of their over three centuries of Spanish rule, the Filipinos are passionate about life in a way that seems more Latin than Asian and because of their 48 years under the American administration, they can communicate easily in English and have been great imitators of American culture.

In spite of new influence from neighboring Asian countries, culture from the first settlers still remain. These include belief in the active powers of spirits and the importance of omens. Spirits once played an important part in the lives of all Filipinos, and many who have been converted to Christianity or the Muslim faith still retain a few of their ancient beliefs. The Igorots still worship their ancient gods, the highest of them is called Diwata. The Philippines is the only predominantly Christian nation in Asia.

The Philippines has been ruled by various Asian and western empires. From 200 to 1565 AD, part of the Philippines may have been ruled by Hindu-Malay empires, the Javanese Madjapahit empire and the Ming Dynasty of China. From 1440 to 1565, the northern Luzon was controlled by the Japanese and Borneo and Brunei controlled the south.

Until 3,000 years ago, contact with the outside world was minimal. Between 1500 BC and 1440 AD, the Philippines traded with Borneo, Indonesia, Japan, Persia, India and China who made the Philippines their base of operation. The earliest known trade with China occurred during the T’ang Dynasty (618 to 906 AD), although contacts did not become extensive until the Sung Dynasty (960 to 1279), Yuan Dynasty (1260 to 1368), and Ming Dynasty (14th to 16th centuries). Records show that the Chinese name the Philippines largest island “Liu sung” which became Luzon later on. Historian says that the name Visayas was derived from Swirijaya, the Indo-Malay Empire that ruled Sumatra from the 7th to 13th centuries.

Here is something from YouTube to entertain you from young Filipinos at UCLA dancing the Philippine native dance called Tinikling.

The Tinikling is a pre-Spanish folk dance inspired by the tikling (heron) bird. The steps imitate the movement of the bird as they walk between grass stems and tree branches escaping the bamboo traps set by farmers.

It is the best performance I have seen so far. Watch those feet while they dance with blindfolds. Enjoy.

Until next time. The Philippine story continues.
Rosalinda

Sources:
Philippine Guide by Jill and Rebecca Gale de Villa
Philippine Handbook by Carl Parkes
Compton’s Pictured Encyclopedia

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When the American soldiers landed in Batangas – 1945

Batangas Map
Map of Batangas province. Way below it (the white space) is Mindoro. Alitagtag borders Taal Lake on the south side.

 

This is the continuation of the article that appeared on Pacific Paratrooper’s blog about my parent’s escape from the Japanese when the American soldiers landed in Batangas in 1945. If you have not read it yet, I advise you to go to Pacific Paratrooper’s blog first before you continue reading this article. Thanks.

 

My father was uncomfortable staying in Alitagtag because where they were hiding was not that far from the main road. It was only a mile away even though it was wooded and close to a ditch. Dad decided to take a chance and leave Alitagtag. After dark, they joined another group and moved to another location south of the main road somewhere near Bauan where my mom’s family lived. Some of the townspeople were moving to farms farther south away from the main road.

They decided to leave after dark. Dad made a papoose bag and carried me in it. Mom grabbed some clothes for us and a scarf to cover her head. They thought it would be safer where they were going because the Japanese camp was so close to Alitagtag and the Japanese might advance to Alitagtag and meet the Americans head on.  Dad’s two younger brothers joined them. They left under the cover of darkness.

As they passed the main road, they looked all around them to see if there was anyone in sight.  Nobody was around. They safely crossed the main road, went quietly through people’s yards and began their trek. It was total darkness and not a sound could be heard except their footsteps. As they reached the farm beyond the houses, there was a faint glow from the moon above. They walked at a very fast pace. Dad was leading the group as they followed a trail he knew. They headed south passing through farmland. They reached a small rise then turned east towards the place where two big mango trees, a local landmark, were and turned south again. Every so often, they would stop and listened for strange sounds. When they thought it was not a Japanese patrol, they kept their steady pace. The quiet of the field was only broken by sounds from the night owl and bats roaming the night. They kept on looking back but could not see a thing.  

They veered left through another path which would take them to Bauan. This time, the moon disappeared behind the cloud. Everything around them went pitch black.  They slowed down their trek, trying to listen to any noise or movement. They had to be alert to any possible danger. They found a clearing and rested for a while. They might have dozed for an hour. Then they saw the moon begin peeking through the clouds again. They decided to move on. They kept on walking that seemed like forever. They reached Bauan as the dawn was coming up.

They went straight to their Ninong sa Kasal’s (wedding sponsor) house near Bauan town market. The town was still quiet. Not a soul was up yet. They knocked at the door. The mayordomo opened the door. Dad asked if his godfather was home but was told he left with his family for Mindoro where it’s safe.

“I’m not sure it’s safe anywhere anymore. The Japanese are killing civilians now, not just soldiers and guerillas. Are you staying here?” Dad asked. The old man told Dad they were leaving town soon and would go into hiding.  

“I think you should leave now and go to some remote barrio where the Japanese do not venture at all,” Dad told the mayordomo.

Dad decided to move on and find my mother’s family. They went to Asis, a small barrio between Alitagtag and Bauan far from the main road where my maternal grandmother and uncles were hiding. My maternal grandfather died when Mom was five years old.

They were only at Asis a few days when they noticed a black cloud coming from the west. From where they stood, they could not see the flame but it was definitely a big fire. They saw black smoke shooting up to the sky coupled with bright light on the horizon. They had the suspicion that the Japanese started burning some areas. Dad was worried about his parents who were hiding in Alitagtag. He hoped the fire was not there. Mom thought of her aunt and her aunt’s family who were hiding near Taal at a sugar cane field.

Dad told Mom he had to go back to Alitagtag to make sure his parents were OK.

“What about your brothers?” She asked.

“They are staying with you and the baby. You’ll all be safe here. Take care of the baby in case I don’t come back.”

Dad walked back to Alitagtag. He followed the same path he did a few nights before. It took him all day. He could smell the smoke as he was getting closer to the main road in Alitagtag but it looked like it was coming from the northwest of where his parents were. The air was gray with smoke. He crossed the main road and it was empty. Nobody was around. Looking right and left, he ran across the street beyond the houses and into the fields. So far he had not encountered any Japanese soldier.

He reached the area where his parents were hiding. His parents were glad to see him. He found out everything was fine there except the Japanese started burning the villages from Muzon about two kilometers from where they were all the way to Taal in retaliation for their losses in Muzon.

Filipino Guerillas – Photo Credit – Pinterest

Apparently, the Philippine guerillas in Batangas, a ferocious looking group of Batanguenos, ran into a group of Japanese soldiers a few days ago. A fierce skirmish with the Japanese soldiers ensued at the junction of Alitagtag and Muzon. The fight ended with some Japanese casualties. The Japanese thought the revolutionaries came from Taal so they set fire to all the houses from Muzon all the way to Taal.  

As the fire started to spread out, people near Taal did not think it would reach them since it started too far from where they were. But as the fire spread through several villages, people who were still in their home started scrambling and ran for their lives. They went running to the sugar cane fields away from the main road. They joined some villagers who were already hiding there. But the Japanese made sure they burned the whole perimeter of all sugar cane fields including those which dotted the roadways to Taal so people had no way of escaping. They were trapped.

My grandfather told Dad to go back to Bauan and bring back his family to Alitagtag. So the next day, Dad was back on the dirt path going back to Asis to take his family back to Alitagtag. However, Mom insisted on staying for a few more weeks till everything calm down. They stayed for a couple of months until they got word that Alitagtag was now safe.

After large-scale enemy resistance in southern Luzon had collapsed, the Japanese in Batangas unleashed their brutal campaign of torture, rape and butchery against the Filipino civilians. Groups of men were rounded up and sent to a building and then the building was doused with kerosene and burned. Thousands of residents were massacred both in Lipa City and in Bauan. One of Mom’s relatives went to one of the so called “meetings” in Bauan where people were locked up in a schoolroom and then the building was doused with kerosene and set on fire. He died in that massacre.

Alitagtag was lucky to be spared the wrath of the Japanese because rumor was the Mayor was a Japanese sympathizer. Behind their back, he was also working for the Americans giving them intelligence report on where the Japanese were. There was a saying around that time, “Pilipino Tagu, Pilipino Turu” meaning Pilipino hides then Pilipino points in the other direction”. The mayor was playing both fields thereby gaining good graces from both parties.

Thanks for reading this article. My parents survived the war. Mom is still alive at 95. Dad passed away in 2007. The story was related to me by my father on their last visit to the United States before Dad died.

Rosalinda

 

 

 

I Have Returned

Seventy-three ago today, Gen. Douglas MacArthur said, “I have returned.”

MacArthur

Below is an excerpt from “BAHALA NA (Come What May”:

“On October 20, 1944, MacArthur landed in Leyte, fulfilling his promise to the Filipino people by wading ashore at Leyte, but the evening before the Leyte landing, MacArthur spoke through a radio transmitter announcing . . .

“People of the Philippines, I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil. . . Rally to me! Let the indomitable spirit of Bataan and Corregidor lead. . . The guidance of divine God points the way. Follow in His name to the Holy Grail of righteous victory!”

MacArthur, wearing his field marshal’s cap, sunglasses and freshly pressed khakis wanted to land on the beach but ran aground in the shallows while still 100 yards from the beach. The commander of the craft could not bring the landing craft in any closer and so an irritated MacArthur accompanied by President Osmeña and their staffs had to wade ashore. It became one of the most famous images of World War II. Upon seeing the newsreels of his landing, MacArthur was so stirred by the picture that he ordered his staff to arrange for all subsequent island landings to begin offshore so he could walk through knee-deep water onto the beach.”

 

Until Next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda R Morgan

Author & Garden Writer

 

BAHALA NA (Come What May) reduced price in time for Memorial Day

 BAHALA_NA_(Come_What_Cover_for_Kindle (2)

With Memorial Day approaching, I am offering “BAHALA NA (Come What May)” on Kindle at a discounted price of $2.99 for a limited time starting today. “BAHALA NA (Come What May)” is dedicated to the men of the armed forces who fought bravely to protect my old country, The Philippines, against the Japanese forces. “BAHALA NA (Come What May) is about my father’s experience before and during WWII. There is a snippet of my parent’s love story in it.

With just over 75 years after Pearl Harbor and only a few WWII veterans left, we should not forget those brave men and women who fought to keep our country safe. Let us keep their memories alive.

“BAHALA NA (Come What May)” is available at Amazon.com both in Kindle and paperback.

Order you copy today!

 

Until Next time. Keep on reading.

Rosalinda R Morgan

Author & Garden Writer

I shall return

Gen. Douglas MacArthur fulfilled his promise to the Filipino people that he shall return to liberate them from the Japanese on October 20, 1944.

douglas-macarthurs-return

Excerpts from BAHALA NA (Come What May)

 

On October 20, 1944, MacArthur landed in Leyte, fulfilling his promise to the Filipino people by wading ashore at Leyte, but the evening before the Leyte landing, MacArthur spoke through a radio transmitter announcing . . .

“People of the Philippines, I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil . . . Rally to me! Let the indomitable spirit of Bataan and Corregidor lead . . . The guidance of divine God points the way. Follow in His name to the Holy Grail of righteous victory!”

 

MacArthur, wearing his field marshal’s cap, sunglasses and freshly pressed khakis wanted to land on the beach but ran aground in the shallows while still 100 years from the beach. The commander of the craft could not bring the landing craft in any closer and so an irritated MacArthur accompanied by President Osmena and their staffs had to wade shore. It became one of the most famous images of World War II. Upon seeing the newsreels of his landing, MacArthur was so stirred by the picture that he ordered his staff to arrange for all subsequent island landings to begin offshore so he could walk through knee-deep water onto the beach.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda, The Rose Lady

Rosalinda R. Morgan

Author – BAHALA NA (Come What May)

 

 

BAHALA NA (Come What May) – Special Offer

Limited Time Offer:  BAHALA NA (Come What May) – a WWII Story of Love, Faith, Courage, Determination and Survival is now at $0.99 at Kindle till Aug. 17, 2016. Download your copy now.

BAHALA_NA_(Come_What_Cover_for_Kindle

Book Description:

At a market near Baguio, out of boredom, Benjamin picks up a magazine to pass the time. Little does he know, reading the magazine will turn into an obsessive quest to meet the girl whose picture appeared in the magazine. He sees Adelaide’s picture as “Reyna Elena” and is smitten. And so begins the pursuit of meeting her. Will he ever meet Adelaide?

Then World War II starts and Benjamin is caught in a place 465 kilometers away from home as the Japanese are landing everywhere. How will he get home? The story takes you on a long and perilous journey across the mountains and plains of Northern Luzon, into the war stricken city of Manila into the Japanese occupied provinces. What happens if he encountered the Japanese on the way?

Through the start of the war into the Japanese occupation, Batangueños show their unswerving faith, love, courage and determination in the midst of never-ending struggle to survive. As Gen. MacArthur returns to liberate the Philippines, lives turn into an upheaval as evacuations are the norm of the day.

Bahala Na (Come What May) is a fresh look at the traditions and social mores of the era just before and during World War II. It also describes eyewitness accounts of World War II events that were never written before.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda, The Rose Lady

 

 

 

BAHALA NA (Come What May) on sale now

BAHALA_NA_(Come_What_Cover_for_Kindle

Download your SALE copy (Kindle) today for 99 cents! Limited time offer ends Sunday, June 5, 2016. BAHALA NA (Come What May) – A World War II Story of Love, Faith, Determination, Courage and Survival is dedicated to men and women of the armed forces. As WWII spreads into the Pacific, Benjamin is stranded in a faraway place and has to find a way to go home. Bahala Na is a dictum that he finds comforting in time of trouble.

Amazon

The post BAHALA NA on Sale first appeared on Rosalinda Morgan’s blog.

For more info, visit Rosalinda Morgan’s website.