Thursday, January 27, 2011

A short history: Raiders of the Sulu Seas - History Channel

The History channel showed a documentary about what was claimed then as pirates of the Sulu seas from Mindanao, Philippines.  The documentary was on how these raiders were actually plying their trade before and during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines.  This bit of history would not have been taught and learned from Philippine history subjects in school.

The Spanish established their colony on the southern tip of Mindanao in Zamboanga.  Fort Pilar was constructed with ten (10) meter-high wall fortification all around. This was the base of the Spaniards to facilitate their trade.  Zamboanga is very close to Basilan, the Tawi-tawi and Sulu group of islands and the Maguindanao area where there we three different tribes of seafaring Filipino Muslims.  The three tribes were known as Balangingi-Samal, Ilanuns and Sultanate of Sulu, all which were employing Taosogs who were excellent warriors.
The three tribes are not really pirates during the times they were plying their trade of capturing people and selling them as slaves.  Slave trading was a business then and they were not raiding ships in high seas.  What they did was go and land in different shores posing as fishermen.  Without any warning, draw their 1-meter long swords and take as many slaves as they can.  Once captured, the slaves’ palms are punctured and tied to each other. The slaves are loaded in their 25 to 27 meter by 6 meter boats that has 30 to 34 oarsmen and sails.  It was said that their boats were the fastest that Spanish Galleons could not even give chase.

The History documentary was actually focusing on how the tribes were able to organize a flotilla of a hundred ships or more with more than 3,000 men.  This happened when the three tribes connived to raid Fort Pilar.  The Spanish were stricken with fear upon seeing the number of boats and the army they were to face.

How were the hundred or more boats gathered?  Well, the three tribes had some sort of a pact on how to go about their business and employing Taosogs as their warriors.  One tribe could set out to sea with a few boats then drop-by each of the several bases of the tribes along the shores.  They would call upon all available seafarers to join the expedition.  As they go along, their numbers grow.

The slavery trade of the three tribes ended only when the Spaniards ordered three steamboats from England.  The steamboats were faster, easier to navigate and had various armaments to take on the tribes.  Spaniards were now able to chase and follow the boats to their bases and conduct raids.  It was said that the conflict between the tribes and the Spaniards did not stem from business or trade but was more on belief, religious belief.
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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Panagbenga 2011 Schedule

It took me some minutes to search for the Panagbenga 2011 Schedule before I got to the web site.  In case you reach my page first here is the schedule: (this post is linked to the Panagbenga website - just click on the title to get there if you need more info. Thanks)

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Horoscope Zodiac signs shift

For a few days now, news at Yahoo almost always includes the change of Earths rotation that could affect a shift of some peoples' zodiac sign or probably fall under the 13th Zodiac sign Ophiuchus.  The article says that there are or were changes of positions of the zodiac constellations in the sky with the change in rotation of Earth.

A quick reference is copy/pasted below on the 'alleged' zodiac sign shifts including the months and dates they cover:

"According to the Minnesota Planetarium Society, here is where the real signs of the Zodiac should fall. Get ready for your world to change forever.

Capricorn:      January 20-February 16.
Aquarius:       February 16-March 11.
Pisces:           March 11-April 18.
Aries:            April 18-May 13.
Taurus:          May 13-June 21.
Gemini:          June 21-July 20.
Cancer:         July 20-August 10.
Leo:              August 10-September 16.
Virgo:            September 16-October 30.
Libra:            October 30-November 23.
Scorpio:         November 23-29.
Ophiuchus:    November 29-December 17.
Sagittarius:   December. 17-January 20."

The article about this I have shared at FaceBook for friends to check if their zodiac sign has changed.  Those who took note and had changes believe they are still in their original zodiac sign.

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Frost on Vegetables

This article was prompted after watching on TV news how frost is affecting vegetable plantations in the Cordillera Region.  The cold spell in the region starts some time every December until around mid or late February the following year.

The first time I went to Atok, Benguet where vegetable plantations are severely affected by frost, was in  January or Febraury of 1980.  It is part of the area I cover as a medical representative with a pharmaceutical company.  The Halsema Highway roads then were really terrible and you'll be glad to be on some very rare paved roads just a few meters long.  I was still not issued a service vehicle at that time, so I had take the bus.

Mystery Mountain thanks to
 My job requires me to stop at every medical clinic or emergency hospital along the road to promote our medical products.  The entire trip up to my final destination, Bontoc, Mt. Province is just around 120 kilometers but it would take about 6 to 8 hours, depending on loading and off-loading of passengers and baggage.

Atok is only about 25 to 30 kilometers from Baguio City where I started off at 4:00 in the morning.  When the bus was entering the boundaries of Atok, it was very visible that almost anything exposed to open air had some frost!  Green grass and Pine trees were not as green as they should be.  It never came to my mind that the vegetable plantations would be affected by frost.

After I alighted from the bus, I took the time first to touch the frost on grass and leaves around the hospital.  Maybe people watching me then saw how ignorant I was.  Well, it was the first time for me and I had to feel if it was true or if I was still in slumber and just having a wonderful dream.

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Filipinos relying on Luck

Many people around the globe believe in luck.  I have not lived in any country outside my own, the Philippines, and that's the reason for this luck blog!  The word "Luck" is "Suwerte" or "Swerte" in Tagalog or Pilipino.  There are many superstious beliefs in our country that may be 'indigenous' or copied from other cultures. The Philippines has been host to several 'rulers' and/or influences like the Chinese, Spaniards/Portuguese, Americans and Japanese.  But, mind you, the Filipinos might just have more superstitions when it comes to luck as against the combined superstitions of all the other cultures and countries.

Here are some, I believe, to be genuine Pinoy superstitious beliefs when it comes to luck:
  • Sweeping away floor dirt out and towards the main door of the house.
  • Cutting of finger nails at night.
  • Paying out money or a debt at night.
  • Leaving much unfinished food on dinner plate.
  • And, many others they claim that should not have been said or done in some hours of a day.
  • Also, some religious beliefs  or superstition that may have something to do with luck.
There are times that they might seem to be 'believable' - but checking on circumstances surrounding them could be a contrubutory factor.  Most of the the time some event that would look like miracluous is equated to luck.  Luck, as I see it is, happens to the right person at the right time and under some special right circumstances that could only be attributed to the previous 'rights'.

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