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Ifugao Hudhud

Local to Global Dimension of the Sacred (By Dr.Jesus T. Peralta)

The effect of acculturation among the Ifugao of the Cordilleras of northern Luzon, Philippines is the transformation of a sacred chant, alim, into theatrics, while endowing the nature of the non-ritual chant, hudhud, with a sacral character through institutional recognition.

There is a causal relationship between mundane practices of people with aspects of their belief system. When this relationship erodes due to acculturation, the cohesion of an indigenous culture is altered. There are state-coordinates that keep societies in a more or less stable equilibrium. It is due to these coordinates that traditional societies remain conservative in their ways. The disruption of even one of these stasis-maintaining mechanisms will erode these relationships and create new ones. What results from this are maladjustment in the causal association between practice and belief system.

Hidden In The Heart

The betel-nut tradition once bound together Filipinos from the Cordilleras to Sulu (By: Rosa Maria Magno)

In the varicolored tapestry of Filipino culture, a thread which remains unbroken across space and through time is the betel-chew tradition. Consistently noted by casual observers and scholars alike, the custom of chewing the mixture of areca nut and lime wrapped in betel leaf has been traced to as early as 4500-5000 BP. Anthropologist F. Landa Jocano cites the shell lime holders found in ancient Palawan graveyards as proof that betel chewing was popular among the prehistoric inhabitants of the Philippines.

Although the tradition is fast dying among the Christian majority ( only a few old people in the rural areas still chew betel), and it is definitely dead among the westernized urban folk (having been replaced by the chewing gum and cigarettes), it is still very much alive among the rest of the Filipinos.

A Heritage Of Nobleness

(By Felice Prudente Sta. Maria)

A Heritage of Nobleness

Andre Malraux's definition of culture as the "heritage of the quality of the world" is a most inspiring concept. His message can denote the excellence of a people's way of life. It can also mean its nobleness. Culture is both the pamana ng kagalingan and pamanang karangalan.

Excellence

The tangible products of a culture can be made excellently or poorly. A generation's works of art and science can be compared with those of other periods . One generation, average level of "quality" can be inferior or superior to that of another generation's. For instance, Filipinos of the 19th century embroidered by hand more finely than Filipinos today. The work of the best 19th century Filipino embroiderer possibly is as accomplished, however, as the products of the best Filipino embroiderer working today. But there were more fine products in the previous century than today's partly because hand embroidery was the fashion and because the machine alternative had not yet taken root.

A Celebration Of Her Story

Filipino Women in Legislation and Politics

In a conference on women's role in Philippine history in March 1989, feminist historians were excited over discussions on the etymology of the word bayani. They said the word bayani comes from the combination of two words - bayan which means community or village or settlement and babayi woman. This affirms of course the present day notion of usually referring to country in feminine terms - motherland , etc. More significant perhaps is the implication that the notion of woman in the Philippines is also affixed to the concept of nation, of heroism and valor - a revelation which seems to defy the western notion of referring to heroism, patriotism and valor usually in masculine terms.

The historical revelation on the word bayani is supported by a cursory review of the history of the Philippines. From pre-colonial Philippines to the present, women have played an important role in the development of the village and town until the emergence of the Filipino nation . From the pre-hispanic babaylan or katalonan - the chief priestess in the barangay to the women leader and advocate of recent times , history presents a tableau of the Filipinas bravely asserting their inherent rights to participate in the shaping of the community and nation equal to Filipino men.

Heritage Movement Restores

(By Augusto F. Villalon)

A pioneering partnership by the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Heritage Conservation Society (HCS) has been implementing the Heritage School Building Restoration Program.

Originally conceptualized by former Education Secretary Armand Fabella and later by his successor, Brother Andrew Gonzalez, the program is now being put into motion by Education Secretary Edilberto de Jesus and Undersecretary Juan Miguel Luz.

DepEd and HCS will identify and restore one heritage schoolhouse in each region of the country. HCS will then organize a consulting team to provide the restoration and technical expertise and oversee the restoration together with DepEd engineers.

 

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