Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dusk Blogspot Header

This is a photo I took of a sunset at my front yard.
Header size: 910 x 242
Perfect for a 3-column Minima Dark layout.

I placed a signature at the bottom of the photo. If you want to take it off, you can do so, but please give credit where it is due.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

American Indian Book Finds

When I joined the Davao Readers Circle last June, I found out a college friend was also interested in American Indians. She's an artist and a writer, which explains her love for culture and the arts. The Readers Circle started out with only five members. It's almost four months now, but we're still a small group of less than ten. The good thing about it though is it's easier to contact and get to know everyone.

To date, I've borrowed a total of seven books. The first book was from my college friend. I particularly asked for her copy of "Lakota Woman" by Mary Crow Dog. At that time, I was also reading "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown. For those who are not familiar or interested with American Indians, reading these two books at the same time may be too much. Bury was all about American Indian history from the 1860s to the 1890s. In Lakota Woman, Mary Crow Dog talked about what happened to her at the time of the Wounded Knee Siege (1973). The events at Bury pretty much precipitated the Siege. My friend's book looked a little beat-up. "I got mad," she explained. After I finished Bury, she borrowed and, surprisingly, returned it in good condition. hehehe

After that, we were literally scrounging for more related books at Book Shops everywhere. Not only that, I gave myself the privilege of introducing her to films featuring American Indians, the obvious choices being Into the West and Dreamkeeper. I'm glad she liked these two films, which led her to discover a co-worker who also shared the same interest. Then, she found a copy of a Poetry Anthology, which includes traditional songs and chants translated to English. I finished reading it this week. There were a lot of good ones in the book. Their poetry was simple. Some were a bit frank to the point of being funny. The Hako Ceremony of the Pawnee tribe almost felt like I was reading a Greek play (very interesting!). The only downside was the fact that I didn't know anything about their symbolisms, so I couldn't understand parts that were more spiritual in a sense. I think I'll need more research =)... but have to rest for now and move on to other genres before it turns into a bad obsession.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What about them?

This is just an afterthought I had of the Kadayawan festival. My experiences recently at the festival and the museum gave me new insights about the people who lived here long before the colonists came. It immersed me into our very own culture the same time I was seeking more from those in foreign lands, specifically the American Indians. And I thought what a great way to be learning about different cultures. But that's not what I'm supposed to be writing about.

I was thinking about our neighbors who are just there, waiting to be noticed, these outcasts of our society. They are the Badjao. What about them? Are there any festivals that include them in the celebration? I understand why they were not included in the Kadayawan. Although their roots are uncertain, here in the Philippines, they most probably came from Sulu (the west end of Mindanao). They are a Muslim group, but a Muslim classmate told me the Badjao had different beliefs from the other tribes, in some ways. A lot of people cringe at the sight of them (like they carry a contagious disease or something). Outcasts: that's what I think our society has made them.

I remember back in grade school, we had a field trip to one of the Badjao communities in Davao City. It was like a center or a reservation beside the sea. When we got there, they gave us performances which were very interesting. I'm not a very good dancer, but I know a difficult dance when I see one. And the Badjao ethnic dance was difficult (for me anyway). They had all these artworks and crafts made of seashells. (Remember that they are people of the sea.) Then they treated us with a beach volleyball game, their boys versus our grade six (Holy Child) boys. They were just the same size, but we lost pretty bad. I could see there was potential in them. If they could only get more support... But then, most of them probably don't want it anyway, especially in the form of education. I don't know why...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Davao Museum and the Mangyan Exhibit

I finally got to visit the Davao Museum after years of wondering where it was and what was inside it. A friend who works there invited me to an exhibit opening. Luckily my companion and I arrived early because the minute we walked in, it was obvious we were underdressed (jeans, rubber shoes, you get the idea). There were only a couple of guests by that time, so we were first given a tour of the tribal artifacts at the second floor. For sure, it was full of Davao's ethnic history from costumes, accessories, weaving, musical instruments to burial jars and weapons. It's almost all there and it looked wonderful in that renovated room. Further studies and researches would fill up what deficiencies we have.

Then the national anthem was sung. We joined the others downstairs for the celebration of another ethnic group from Luzon: the Mangyans.

Mangyan ExhibitHere's all the information you need about the exhibit (Source: Chi)
The Davao Museum of History and Ethnography will present Mangyan Heritage Center’s traveling exhibit “The Mangyans of Mindoro: Myth and Meaning” on September 5 until October 10.

The multimedia exhibit will feature the Mangyan’s rich cultural heritage through a display of their artifacts, images, poetry, and crafts. Guests will not only be engaged visually but will also experience hands-on lessons in writing the Hanunóo-Mangyan’s centuries-old pre-Spanish script, Surat Mangyan, and traditional Mangyan weaving and bead-working from Anya Postma, a stay-in half-Mangyan and half-Dutch whose father is the esteemed Dutch anthropologist and Mangyan historian Antoon Postma.

Mangyan is the generic name for Mindoro’s eight indigenous peoples (IPs) groups. Each tribe has its own distinct language and cultural traditions. Among them, the Hanunóo-Mangyans have retained their use of their ancient syllabic writing which they have kept practicing even today despite constant threats of foreign influences. Their preservation of their traditional writing has also enriched and upheld their literary tradition, the “ambahan”, which is widely practiced among the tribe.

Also on display are information and a copy of the tracing of the Laguna Copperplate Inscription, the oldest Philippine document found in Laguna dating from the 10th century. The Copperplate was transcribed and translated by Antoon Postma in the early '90s.

Discover the Mangyan experience at the Davao Museum. Visit the Museum at Zonta Bldg., Agusan Circle, Lanang, Davao City. For more information on the exhibit and tour schedules, please contact Davao Museum’s Information Desk at 233-1734 and look for Wilma or Chi.
And yes I know how to write my name in Mangyan now.

Photo courtesy of Dom.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Celebrities who look alike - Batch 2

More than a year has passed since I posted my first batch of Celebrities who look alike and since then I have noted new ones. In this batch, I'm glad, I have included more Asian celebrities especially Filipinos. Some of the pairs here might have been identified by other people already like in forums. But I didn't have the time to check for everyone.

I would also like to mention these three pairs because sometimes, one reminds me of the other. It may be because of similarities in their manners (the way they move, talk, etc.) or facial features.

1) James McAvoy and David Thewlis
2) Billie Piper and Neve Campbell
3) Eva Mendes and Assunta de Rossi (what do you think eh?)

Batch 2:

Ely Buendia and Lee Sun Gyun (Korean actor. Major role in Coffee Prince)Ely Buendia and Lee Sun GyunAngel Locsin and Kristin Kreuk (I think a lot of people already know this and some do get offended. I don't know why. There's nothing wrong with either of these girls.)Angel Locsin and Kristin KreukEmile Hirsch and Whitfield Crane (Crane is the lead singer of Ugly Kid Joe. Most people would name Leonardo diCaprio and Jack Black as Emile's look-alike. But not me. Watch his movies, watch Crane's music videos. Both of them are very playful. Maybe they are in real life, too.)Emile Hirsch and Whitfield CraneDrew Arellano and Robert Downey, Jr. (yeah?)Drew Arellano and Robert Downey, Jr. Nuno Bettencourt and Gael Garcia Bernal (Nuno is the lead guitarist of the band Extreme. Remember "More than words"?)
Nuno Bettencourt and Gael Garcia BernalToma Ikuta and Ryan Agoncillo (Toma is a Japanese actor)Toma Ikuta and Ryan AgoncilloSerena Dalrymple and Camila Bordonaba (Camila is an Argentine singer and actress. If you watch TV 5's Rebelde, you'd see her. I miss Serena.)Serena Dalrymple and Camila BordonabaJustin Bartha and Dominic MonaghanJustin Bartha and Dominic Monaghan