IN 1969, Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdal with an international crew that included scientists went through a voyage in a boat named Ra, after the sun god of Egypt.
SINCE February is known as the Philippine Arts Festival Month, I wanted to write something about the prehispanic Visayan literature that is part of our cultural heritage. But what I found were two ancient Visayan epics that were originally sung for several nights and were later written down by the 16th century Spanish missionaries.
What is lamentable is the fact that these works were summarized and because of its brevity, so many of the beautiful lines were excised. Now you can read the epics in less than fifteen minutes!
LAST week I received this text message from my cousin, Atty. Caridad R. Valdehuesa, that I found so apt and telling that I decided to write about it in this column. Because she is fluent in Spanish, I would at times request her to translate to English some old Spanish documents and recently, I asked her help in translating a portion of Jose P. Rizal's Mi Ultimo Adios. That done, she then sent me this text message: “I wonder why the Spaniards executed him (Rizal) during the happiest season of the year. They were adding ignominy to injury!"
DEJA VU in French means "already seen." This term describes a unique human experience where one has already seen or heard or been in a similar situation before.
I had this feeling of deja vu when I watched, for days, the wake and funeral of our Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary, Jesse M. Robredo.
THE military governor, Major Juan Zanon, distinguished himself as having built many bridges over rivers and even creeks around Misamis Province during his administration.
His biggest and most ambitious project was constructing the first bridge in Cagayan de Misamis (now Cagayan de Oro) that was to connect the poblacion to the barrio of Carmen and beyond. It was touted as the longest suspension bridge in the country and was named the Puente del General Blanco in honor of then incumbent Governor General Ramon Blanco.
OVER the years, the street dancing festival for our August fiesta is mainly a promotion and celebration of the so called "Bukidnon roots" of the Kagay-anon. To drive home this point, the logo of the Kagay-an Festival has the ubiquitous fan like headdress known as the "panika" as one of its symbols together with the lambago tree and the whitewater rafting.
THE first documented description of the Kagay-anons was written by two Augustinian Recollect missionaries, namely, Fray Juan de San Nicolas and Fray Franciso de la Madre de Dios, who were the first Spaniards to enter the Cagaiang (Cagayan) territory in 1622.
Their historic account was included in their order's journal that was chronicled by Fray Luis de Jesus and printed in Madrid, Spain in 1681.
AGAIN, here is another gem from the book titled, "Historical Glimpses of Old Balingasag" by Garcilaso Vega y Fernandez (1997) about the American occupation in his hometown of Balingasag.
(Excerpts taken from the book of the same title by William Henry Scott with Chinese translation by Go Bon Juan.1989 Chinese Studies Program, De La Salle University, Taft Avenue, Manila)
SULU’S first tribute mission to the Chinese imperial court was in 1417 when three royal personages arrived with a retinue of 340 wives, ministers and retainers and presented a memorial inscribed in gold and such tribute as pearls, precious stones and tortoise shell.
YEARS ago, the late National Artist Alejandro Roces came out with a coffee table book about the fiesta culture of the Philippines.