Tropang pula

by Be-Blogger Pilipinas on: Enero 20th, 2012


Para sa akin, higit pa sa itim (na di kasing dali suotin kapag mainit), di nawawala sa panahon ang pula (o ang mga pinsan nitong kulay, tulad ng kahel at burgundy). Sa totoo lang, medyo nakakasawa na ang itim, at madalas mas masayang suotin ang pula.

(Si Andres Espinosa mula sa Bucaramanga.)



Kumbaga sa apoy, sa pula lamang lumalabas ang tapang ng mukha.

(Si Vini Uehara mula sa Brasil.)



Pula lamang ang nagpapapusok sa labi.

(Si Kamil Gabriel mula sa Poland.)




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 A Land of Feasts

by United Blogs of Benetton on: Mayo 23rd, 2010

Some highlights among the country’s festivities in PhilippinesIn the middle of the rich mix of folklore, superstition, mythology, and religion in the Philippines – where one is taken for the other, interchangeable, if you may – there is a constant annual calendar of fiestas, or feasts, to celebrate the parthenon of patron saints and the different manifestations of Mother Mary that have made itself part not only of officially sanctioned events by the Catholic Church (days of obligation), but also of the cultural fabric of the country and its different regions. The feasts also make pageants and celebrations of rain dances, thanksgiving for good harvests, and also moments in the country’s history.

Mind you: the Philippines is known as Asia’s biggest Roman Catholic population, but there are also other religions, like Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, the traditional religions of aboriginal and tribal groups, and not to mention other Christian denominations that have their own schedules of celebrations. Over and above these, towns may also have their own festivities aside from the national ones. So this list can only offer a partial glance across the islands.)

The Feast of the Black Nazarene is held every ninth of January in the Quiapo district of Manila. Devotees flock in the thousands just to get a glance – or even touch – the life size statue of the Black Nazarene, which depicts Jesus Christ carrying the cross, as it moves slowly amongst the packed streets on a path from Intramuros (the old walled city capital) towards Quiapo church. Devotees attribute many miracles to the 400 year old image that was brought to the country from Mexico in the 17th century.

The Sinulog festival is celebrated every third week of January in Cebu City, in the country’s Visayas region. The fiesta pays homage to the Santo Ni-o, as the child Jesus is called, whose image is dressed like a decadent little doll. The celebration is comprised of a religious procession held on a Saturday and a grand street parade the following day.

The Ati-Atihan festival, which lasts from the 16th to the 22nd of January, is the original form of the feast that commemorates the Santo Ni-o. Also in the procession parade format, the main difference of the Ati-atihan is that revelers paint themselves black and wear colorful and outlandish costumes to masquerade as Negritos, one of the earliest tribes to inhabit the country. The fiesta is held in Kalibo, Aklan. It is a Christianized version of a pagan festival, which has also been copied by the Dinagyang in Iloilo, and the Masskara in Bacolod, all in the Visayas region.

The Moriones Festival, reenacted during the Holy Week in Boac, Marinduque, is based on a play about the story of Longinus, the centurion whose blindness was cured by a drop of blood from Jesus. The masks that actors – both men and women – wear, represent the Roman soldiers. Morion means mask or visor.

Flores de Mayo, as the name suggests, is held on the month of May. Literally meaning the flowers of May, this nationwide festival commemorates the search of Queen Elena of Constantinople, together with his son, Emperor Constantine, for the actual cross carried by Jesus. Among all the fiestas, this comes nearest to the format of a beauty pageant, as the parade consists of maidens escorted by young men under floral arches. In many areas, it is also considered a ritual for the coming of age of young ladies.

The Pahiyas (hiyas meaning decoration) is celebrated every 15th of May in Lucban, in the Quezon province. Agricultural households give thanks to San Isidro Labrador (Saint Isidore the Laborer) for a bountiful harvest by decorating their houses with brightly colored rice wafers called kiping, along with fruits, vegetables, other produce, and also handicrafts. Each year, there are judges who decide which house looks the best and awards the family a prize. The kiping can be eaten grilled or fried after the judging.

By the third week of August, the people of Davao City, in the southern region of the Philippines, celebrate the Kadayawan. This festival gives thanks to the harvest of fruits and flowers as the waling – waling orchid blooms. Floats of all colors are bedecked with orchids and other flowers in the city’s grand parade. The Kadayawan draws its name from the friendly greeting “Madayaw”, derived from the Davao word “dayaw”, meaning good, valuable, superior or beautiful.

The Masskara Festival is held every third week of October in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, where people from all walks of life don their colorful masks as they participate in street dances. The festivities mark Bacolod City’s charter day.



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 Color-Coded Politics

by United Blogs of Benetton on: Mayo 9th, 2010

On May 10, the Filipino electorate will be heading to the precincts to cast their votes. They have 9 presidential candidates to choose from, coming from 7 political parties, which went through reshufflings even in the middle of the campaign period.

With “turncoatism”, political opportunism, and the sheer circus of advertisements, conflicting polls, and mudslinging, it is no wonder that the ordinary citizen is mostly confused and left vulnerable to the influence of the newest TV campaign as they are to the latest shampoo commercials. Who can keep track of it all?

With more than 30% of the populace under the poverty line and the majority struggling to sustain themselves with three square meals a day, who can keep tabs of past political controversies, gross deficiencies in public services, anomalies in government dealings – in two words: graft and corruption? The state of affairs of politics in the Philippines is so entangled, complicated, and needless to say, dirty, that it requires not only a vast memory, but also a sharp and incisive understanding of the history and intentions of all parties involved.

There are no clear platforms or party delineations, unlike the division between the blue Republicans and the red Democrats in the US, red Labour and blue Conservatives in the UK, and Thaksin Shinawatra’s red shirts vs King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s yellow shirts in Thailand.

Of course, these divisions may only be simplistic demarcations between parties that are not really that different from each other, but two colors definitely make it easier for voters than four, five, or all the colors of the rainbow.

This is the case in the Philippines, as illustrated by a hilarious caricature of five candidates running for president and vice president. The colors – orange, green, blue, yellow, and pink – do not really stand for anything, except for yellow (which was the banner color of former president Corazon Aquino, who helped topple Ferdinand Marcos, who was himself associated with the color red) and pink (which is used prominently in the city by the head of an urban authority). Colors are used in this case as part the defining characteristic of their brand names as candidates competing against each other.

They say they stand for different things, that one platform is better than the other, that experience is superior to a testament of honesty in public office. Others raise background, political allegiance, and personal achievement as their trump cards. “I am orange and you are yellow, while he is pink and they are blue”: they say this when no one can see clearly that one color will do better than the other.

So it makes perfect sense that the creator of the spoof relate them to TV series about superhero fighters. Voters are invited to pick one as their favorite – a trivial choice that will not have any effect on their day-to-day living – just like picking an idol from a roster of equally inane and only superfluously different collection of painted plastic action figures.

El Bosquejo


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 The Colors (and Layers) of a Tropical Summer

by United Blogs of Benetton on: Mayo 3rd, 2010

It seems to get warmer and warmer…Manila has just reached the upper 30s (degrees Celsius) and it seems more and more unimaginable to stay outdoors for long periods of time, and not just from noon till early afternoon, but increasingly from as early as 9am.

I used to think that for the sake of fashion, a certain level of discomfort is negligible. A jacket here and there, maybe a scarf, and if I feel brave, then a blazer. But when it has come to the point that it is even hard to think under the heat, fashion becomes less of a concern. All that my mind is registering is my body’s plea to the nearest air-conditioned room.

Of course, that is not always possible, and, in these days of severe drought and strained energy supply (my apologies for the technicals), more expensive. So is there a solution out of all of this? A style eureka that will not be constrained by the apparent boredom that single layered outfits seem to suggest?

The answer is both yes and no, since layers are indeed possible for boiling tropical summers and dressing in one layer doesn’t always have to be unexciting. These pictures I have snapped around the capital attempt to prove that point. (Sorry guys, the women of Manila definitely have one over you).



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