Thursday, May 8, 2014
Optical illusions or the real thing? I leave that question to you, but this is the first time I caught these transparent globes of lights in my camera while in a tour inside the abandoned building of the Metropolitan Theater. Most ghosts hunters say these orbs are indications of a haunted place. Those into paranormal studies says that these white orbs are energies being transferred from a source (i.e. powerlines, heat energy, batteries, people, etc) to the spirit so they can manifest.Other say it is a ghost apparition. These orbs are balls of ectoplasm: the stuff that ghosts are made of. They might also be condensed spheres of spirit energy while skeptics say they are just duct particles or light reflected by duct particles in your camera.
Well, whatever they are; they still give me chills.
The orb in the door magnified.
That orb inside the empty room. I used a flash on this one. Notice the face of an "old man." Do you see it?
This is the stage area.
There are more orbs inside the ball room area and the lodge (upper most).
God created the Universe…. and the flowers… and the bees… and man.. and begins the world… end, begin… all the same huh! Big change… sometimes good… sometimes bad.
That’s how I see “creation stories”.
The Philippines are stuffed with many creation stories. Let me share with you some of it.
The Ifugao Version of Creation
According to an old mumbaki (Ifugao priest), in the beginning Kabunian , chief of the Ifugao Parthenon, created a world which he later destroyed will all things in it (including people) because of their many faults. (Strangely, a lot of gods seem to create defective products.) Well… after his second creation, Montalog, the god who taught all the customs and traditions of the Ifugao, married Montiling, a goddess. From their union were born Bugan and Wigan who were not supernatural beings.
Montalog, saw that the two were naked so he dropped some plants from the sky that could be turned into thread and inspired Wigan and Bugan on a fashion trend. Well…. since Bugan has no taste for fashion, she had a dream that changed her taste and started to make beautiful designs.
Meanwhile, Bugan was inspired to prepare the ground for rice production. Unlike the Judeo-Christian Genesis myth, food production is a source of inspiration and not divine punishment. Bugan breast milk became the first rice.
The Mangyan Version.
The Mangyan believe that our world came from worm shit. NO SHIT! In the beginning there was Mahal Makakaako - the sayer of the word (Nope, this is not John 1:1). From a tree which he held in his hands, a worm fell and from its feces came the first earth. More worms grew and more feces were deposited, making the world grow large.
Mahal Makakaako watched this earth grew and thought that it could be good for something from which he can enjoy. So he called his 2 brothers, Malway and Dali Dali, and set them to doing something that he could enjoy watching.
Malway was a slow worker compare to Dali Dali, who works really fast. Malway created flatlands since he always has the time to flatten the pile, while Dali Dali created the mountains in a hurry.
The Laguna (Tagalong) Version
In the beginning there was no world existing. There was only a community of the dead under the care of Queen Sinonggol (So here we begin the story from death. Well, that makes sense – because since before you were conceived in this planet by your parents – you don’t exist – Alas you’re “dead”.)
The queen had a brother, Sualla, who was an “albulario” or herb doctor and treated the other gods who got sick in their kingdom.
The two lived in a palace on the east side of which stood eight statues made of strong wood. The first statue was created by the Queen into the first man and the woman came from his body. The two had a son named Mentalalan.
The First man, one day did something wrong and displeases the Queen and as punishment, Queen Sinonggol mad him ill.
Sualla gave the man something to cure him, but there is a condition: Who ever touch the medicine other Sualla and the First man will die. The Queen heard of this and asked the devil to touch it to prove her powers over her creations. But instead of the devil, it was Mentalalan who died.
Mentalalan was buried and the place where his body was buried became the world.
Creation stories are stories in which our ancestor’s try to assume the beginning. They are told to answer the questions where we came from, how and why. These stories are equipped with a simple explanation about how our world came about. It doesn’t explain complex phenomena, but simple daily observations our ancestors have noticed on their everyday life. These explanations are sometimes enough for priests or village medicine men… simple stories to answer villagers’ tough questions. These stories don’t need to make sense, since the accounts require magic in order to explain the observable fact. It is just the same as how the Genesis story was created.
Until next time,
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Agemem - Co-creatrix of the sun, moon, earth and stars
Agui - God of fire; brother of Agwe
Agwe - God of waters
Amanikable - God of the sea
Amihan - North wind
Anitan - Guardian of lightning
Anitun Tabu - Goddess of wind and rain
Apolake - God of war, guardian of the sun
Aspene - The shell Goddess
Bagobo - God of war
Bakonawa - Lizard God; ruler of the underworld
Bathala - Supreme god of the ancient Tagalogs.
Bathla - Sky God, later known as Bathala
Bayoa - God of facts
Dal'lang - Goddess of beauty
Daraga - A volcano Goddess
Dayea - Goddess of secrets
Deltise - God of Mambabarangs
Detinos - God of evil; enemy of Bathla
Dian Masalanta - Goddess of love.
Dihas - Goddess of medicinal herbs
Habagat - God of winds
Halmista - God of magic; highest of all the Magical Gods
Haspe - King of the Tamaos
Hukluban - Goddess of death
Ideale - Goddess of harvest
Idianale - Goddess of agriculture and husbandry
Ikapati - Goddess of fields, fertility, and lands
Kalinga - God of thunder
Kan-Laon - Ancient Visayan god, king of time.
Kidul - God of earthquakes
Kilubansa - God of healing; father of Dihas
Kuntalapa - Goddess of childbirth
Lalahon - Goddess of fire, volcanoes, and harvest
Mangaragan - Goddess of war
Manggagaway - Goddess of sickness
Mangkukulam - God of fire
Manisilat - God of broken homes
Maria Makiling - Protector of Mt. Makiling.
Mayari/Bulan - Lunar goddess
Oghep - God of mountains and hills
Pamahres - God of knowledge
Pasipo - God of music
Pughe - King of the Dwendes of the North
Punho - God of trees
S'dop - Goddess of gold
Sehana - Goddess of love
Sidapa - Kind and caring God of Death
Siginaguran - God of hell
Sirenha - Goddess of fishes
Sitan - God of afterlife and the underworld
Somilge - Goddess of Magick, Queen of Witchery
Tala - Goddess of the stars
( One of the most haunted place in the Philippines was the Manila Film Center. The following write up comes from the internet and it's about the Manila Film Center haunting: )
HAUNTING AT THE MANILA FILM CENTER
(The events following were reported by a production designer J. M. who worked on a commercial shoot at the Manila Film Center)
Most Filipinos are familiar with the infamous history of the Manila Film Center. Built sometime in the 80's, it was a gargantuan film hall complete with Grecian columns, a massive theater hall, and breathtaking fountains. It was supposed to host the first ever Manila International Film Festival-- the Philippines own version of the Cannes.
During its construction, it was hopelessly behind schedule. If it was not finished on time, the Philippine government then faced potential international embarrassment. Workers were ordered on double shift. The construction was a 24 hour operation. Corners were cut. Bad decisions made. Disaster struck when a whole floor caved-in and buried many workers underneath. Because the project could not be stopped, the orders came to leave the bodies there and continue with the work. Today, many suspect that hundreds of bodies are still buried in its foundations. Many researchers in the paranormal have positively identified that energies are at work within its walls.
The MIF's lonely edifice now stands mute in a quiet square near the shores of Manila Bay. It is all but abandoned. Cracks appear on a once huge and majestic staircase. Some of the front columns have fallen. Grass and bushes have overgrown most of the surrounding areas. Because barely anyone comes near the place, it was very quiet and serene. It was a perfect location for a commercial.
J.M. the production designer we met, witnessed everything first hand. And gave very vivid descriptions of all that happened. The shoot began early in the day. The production crew set up all the necessary equipment. It was by no means a smooth shoot. As the day wore on, many little "accidents" were happening. The usual lights that wouldn't go, the faulty cameras. He also noted that the talents for the ad frequently flubbed their lines. These are veteran actors and normally, they would have everything done in two or three takes. But today, the cameras were racking up 30 or more takes for almost all the scenes.
Highly unusual but not unheard of. The troubles caused enough delays that the shoot dragged on into the early hours of the morning. This is when the truly strange began to happen. At near 1:00 in the morning, the whole set was suddenly plunged into total darkness. Flashlights began to flicker everywhere. The crew frantically searched their equipment to find out what had happened. Eventually, they traced the problem to the main power line. This was a huge cable connected to the main power supply of the MIF.
But, as they gazed on the tattered end of the cable, they realized that it had, with impunity, being pulled off the terminals. Massive bolts firmly secured the cable onto the terminals. Pulling it off would require considerable strength. This was not just someone tripping over the cable.
The feeling of eeriness continued to pervade the set. Everyone felt that somehow they were not welcome here. The next thing that happened seemed like a very firm warning. As the shoot wore on, a 20 foot coconut tree suddenly burst into fiery flames. It burned intensely. The fires etched the night sky. The flames towered over the people watching. The tree was obliterated. The leaves were crumbly white ash. And, as they inspected the fallen trunk, they saw that inside, the trunk was completely charred black. It was as if the fire had begun from the inside of the tree and spread up and out until it consumed the whole thing. The skies were clear that night. No lightning or storm could have caused it.
J.M. and the crew were convinced, these were the restless spirits of the Manila Film Center talking. Maybe pleading their case. After all, nearly 20 years later, justice has yet to be served.
The word witch was derived from the Old English noun wicca (sorcerer) and the verb wiccian (to cast a spell). Well, that's the general point of view. Most Wiccan disagree with this definition.
The word "witch" seems to denote etymologically "one that knows" and it is historically both masculine and feminine in form. In the Old Anglo- Saxon language, Wicca is known as the "Wise Ones". In fact, by the time of the Anglo-Saxon kings in England, the king would never think of acting on any important matter without consulting the Witan; the Council of Wise Ones.
The Old Religion, that which in the Middle Ages came to be known as witchcraft, is thought to have had its genesis in the late Paleolithic period, a time when early humans faced the elements and their environment with little more than their hands and a few crude tools of bone and stone to aid them in the struggle to survive. In those days, people believed in a multitude of gods. Nature was overwhelming. Out of awe and respect for the gusting wind, the violent lightning, the rushing stream, humans ascribed to each a spirit; made each a deity... a God. This is what we call Animism. A god controlled that wind. A god controlled the sky. A god controlled the waters. Nevertheless, a god controlled the all-important hunt... a God of Hunting. Primitive humans were primarily hunters. They needed the meat obtained from their prey, and they needed the animal skins for clothing. From the teeth and bones of the slaughtered animals, they fashioned simple tools and weapons. When the hunting was bad, they knew that their own existence was threatened. Why was the hunt successful at times and not at others? Perhaps there was a spirit who decided these things. If so, perhaps that spirit could be persuaded to control the hunt in favor of the human hunter.
When agriculture was developed, the Fertility Goddess of the Fields joined the Horned God of the Hunt. This is how Nature worship developed. With the advance of different rituals—for fertility, for success in the hunt, for seasonal needs—priesthood were developed – these ritual leaders, or priests and priestesses, became known as the Wicca – the wise ones.
Witches in the ordinary sense.
So now, let us go to the use of the word "witch" in the ordinary sense. There really is a big difference between sorcery and witchcraft. In the case of witchcraft, it is more about some knowledge that a witch can perform with the guidance of the spirits, such as divinations and herbalism. A witch seeks only to control those forces within her/himself that make life possible in order to live wisely and well without harm to others and in harmony with Nature. As I have already told you, witchcraft is about Nature worship and using the powers of nature.
Sorcery is more complicated. Sorcery is a system of beliefs and practices whose goal is to manipulate nature in order to bring about specific changes that benefit the sorcerer or her or his clients. Healers, medicine men, and so-called witch doctors are sorcerers who by definition have a positive function in society, for their work is to cure victims of the effects of malevolent magic.
Therefore, here in the Philippines a mangkukulam (hexer) or a mambabarang is more appropriate to be called a sorcerer than a witch. Now an albulario is also considered a socerrer, not a witch, so does a manggagaway and the mangtatawas.
Unlike sorcerers, witches do not actually have to perform any actions to harm people. Some cultures believed that witchcraft was a psychic act; it required no magic spells or actions, and could even be done involuntarily.
Thanks to these two Dominican inquisitors, Henrich Institoris (Kramer) (c. 1430–1505) and Jacob Sprenger (c. 1436–1495) and their book "Malleus Maleficarum," A Hammer for Witches – we have now stereotyped witches as evil and Satan spawn. In this book, definite instructions were given to the prosecution of witches. The infamous Witch Hunt that has killed over nearly tens and thousand of innocent women as three hundred years of persecutions raged was the result of this book.
One important note, the ideas about "witch" and "witchcraft" were unknown in Bible times. The word "witch" occurs twice in the King James Version, namely, (1) in Ex 22:18, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live"; (2) in De 18:10, "or a witch".
The Hebrew word is in both cases the participle of the verb (kishsheph), denoting "to practice the magical article". Most of those words in the Bible that speaks about witches and witchcraft is properly rendered as "practiced sorcery" or "magical arts" (See: 1Sa 15:23, and 2Ch 33:16) The word translated in the King James Version "witchcraft" in Gal 5:20 (pharmakeia) is the ordinary Greek word for "sorcery.”
The word pharmakeia is a Greek word that means
poisoning or sorcery, and magical arts. It often found in connection
with idolatry and fostered by it.
Pharmakeia (sorcery) is a form of the Greek root from which we get
our English words pharmacy,
pharmacist, and pharmaceutical. Pharmakeia (sorcery) fundamentally
has to do with drugs or
medicine. Originally the word was used only in the sense of medicine.
In the Strong Bible Concordance:
Strong's Number: 5332
Text: from pharmakon (a drug, i.e. spell-giving potion);
a druggist ("pharmacist") or poisoner, i.e. (by extension) a
Strong's Number: 5331
Text: from 5332; medication ("pharmacy"), i.e.
(by extension) magic (literally or figuratively): --sorcery,
Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary:
"pharmaceutical ... from Greek pharmakeutikos ... a medicinal drug."
"pharmaco- ... Greek pharmako-, from pharmakon ... medicine : drug."
"pharmacology ... the science of drugs."
"pharmacy ... from Greek pharmakeia ... the art or practice of
preserving, compounding, and dispensing drugs ... a place where
are compounded or dispensed ... DRUGSTORE."
In the Didache, also called the Teachings of the Twelve Apostles,
written about the year 80 CE, two ways are proposed: The Way of Life
and The Way of Death.
In following the way of life, the exhorts, "
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not seduce boys.
You shall not commit fornication.
You shall not steal.
You shall not practice magic.
You shall not use potions.
You shall not procure abortion, nor destroy a new-born child.
You shall not covet your neighbor's goods...."
Sadly, there are still those who believe in them, especially from the countryside, and remote areas where the march of progress is a bit slow.
However, in these times of computer age, such creatures were fast being forgotten. Maximo B. Ramos; a scholar has classified these night dark beings into twelve groups: Demons, Dragons, dwarves, elves, ghouls, giants, mercreatures, ogres, vampires, werebeasts, viscera suckers and hexers.
The demons are tall, dark men or men-like creatures. Some were large bodied and smokes giant cigars (Kapres) some had the head of horses (Tikbalang) others could perform self-segmentations (Pugot). These demons can take on various shapes such as carabaos, horses,
pigs or even a ball of fire or they can disappear at will. A person who is frightened by these creatures goes insane. These creatures live in huge trees with thick, oval leaves like the Calumpang tree or Balete tree.
Dragons are said to have combined images of other creatures like snakes, fishes, crocodiles and bird-like. The legends told stories about giant serpents (Marcupo), island size monster birds (Bawa) and the monstrous Baconawa of the sea.
Dwarf and dwarf-like creatures are small and their features are all out of proportions. They were said to have potent powers and at sunset, they roam the countryside. Because they are invisible, people were extra careful not to step on or brush off any of these supposed beings as not to rile them. Dwarves like the "Nuno sa Punso" are said to release a murderous curse at their oppressors.
Elves are handsome and beautiful beings said to have albino-like characteristics. Some of these creatures turn ugly after they married a hapless victim. Elves are said to live in trees and they forbid the climbing and cutting off their tree home. They are said to retaliate by releasing powerful hexes at the trespassers. Some elves are said to communicate with people by whistles and making prank jokes and stealing food.
Ghouls (Aswang) are animal-like with curved nails that they use to dig the grave. They are also notorious snatchers of living people, especially children and they also victimize old ailing people. Because of what they do, ghouls are terribly smelly. And fire, garlic, loud talking, sharp bamboo poles and copper knives scare them away.
Giants in Philippine folklore seldom hurt people. They were even legends about them helping farmers and fishermen. They are said to live in crude houses, and were said to be very stupid.
Ogres are man-eating giants said to live in crude houses. These creatures are extremely ugly and can change into beasts.
Mandurugo are Philippine vampires who seduce a victim and gives him a kiss. This "kiss" is actually a blood sucking were the fiend uses her pointed tongue to bore hole inside the victim's mouth where she can suck blood.
The self-segmenting viscera suckers (Mananangal) are said to be the flying variety of the land ghoul (Aswang). They eat the unborn fetus, the internal organs and the phlegm of tuberculosis sufferers. These looked like ordinary women by day, but at night, they sprout giant bat wings and separate their lower half, to fly out in search of victims.
Hexers are like Voodoo Witches. They have small wax or straw dolls of their victims that they prick needle with. Another type of hexer, called the Mamalarang (Mambabarang) uses hard- shelled insects to enter the body of the victim with excoriating pain.
The "Kataw" are Philippine mermaids said to abduct young boys where they can play with in their undersea domain. They will give their victim trick questions and if they heard the wrong answer, they will drown their said victim. If they heard the right answer, they will keep him alive.