Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Pagan Caravan

Being a Pagan in this Christian dominated country is very difficult. Although there are a lot of Pagan practices still existing in the highlands, these are practices which are tainted with Catholicism. Shamans and other common folks would normally put their worship of the Anitos and the dead side by side with the statues of the Catholic Faith. Prayers that would normally ask the help of an "abyan" or a "Surog" has become Pidget Latin with invocations to the saints, angels and the Mother Mary.

Majority of the Pagans here in the Philippines are influenced by the Christian Faith. Most if not all of the merkos, albularyos, siruhano and siruhanas that we have would utter Pater Noster prior to doing "but-but" or "Luy-a" to discern and heal afflictions. Compared to the pre-Hispanic practices which requires these Babaylanes to call the Diwatas and offer them food. Though there are still some rituals that are untainted, majority of the libretas that these people own are full of Latin Christian prayers.

I have heard from my lola that prior to doing "luy-a, luy-a", you need to pray a few Christian prayers, unlike witchcraft that would just call for the inherent power of the herb to heal. This could be attributed to the Christian belief that no matter what you do if God would not permit it, it wont happen. In the Pagan practice, the Will of the Gods will be followed, however, if one knows how to utilize the power of Nature, then it is simply saying that the Goddess really wants you healed.

As a still existing pre-Spanish practices, these cultural treasures should be preserved. Knowledge such as these are priceless and since these are verbally transferred, once the person who knows about this will be gone, this will vanish forever. I am planning to have the entire Arcana document lost tribal practices in the highlands. I know that this project will be quite difficult but if this would mean learning and saving some hidden knowledge, then it'll be worth it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Happy Synthesizer made me Happy

There are times when we are attached to some songs that would really mean a lot to us. Some people would be attached to some old songs, rock, pop etc. I am into Irish Folk songs, world music, gothic and gypsie music because these songs make me relax. Listening to Enya, Blackmore's Night, Loreena Mckennitt really has a calming effect to me. It makes me contemplate on things like my life, my existence, my spirituality, etc.

I do not really want to listen to songs which I cannot understand. For me, it defeats the purpose of the song which is to impart the lyrics to the listener. It should give an advice, should make you feel good and should be something that you can relate to. That's why I would often scoff at people listening to KPop or Jpop because for me, if you do not really know the meaning of the song, it loses the purpose of even listening to the song.

Lately however, since I am back to Cosplaying, I saw some Cosplayers dancing to a very nice song in SM City last December. When the music played, everyone just danced the same exact moves without even practicing together in the first place. Everybody moved the same way, turning to the exact same side at a precised part of the song. They would also do the same hand gestures, head movement, steps and turn. I tried to check what the music's title was because it is very enticing to listen to. I learned that the title is Happy Synthesizer from the virtual group called Vocaloids.

Vocaloid is a voice synthesizer program designed to create voice variation. However, from this voice synthesizer evolved some virtual characters like Hatsune Miku and Kaito. According to Wikipedia there were more than a thousand songs attributed to these virtual artists- Hatsune Miku (first), Kagamine Rin (second), Gumi (third), Megurine Luka (fourth), Kagamine Len (fifth) and Kaito (sixth), based on the download ranking. 

 Happy Synthesizer is a joyful song for me. I really love the tempo and the beat of the song. It is somethng that one could easily dance to. This song was sung by Gumi and Megurine Luka and it's number 1 on my Rhapsody tracklist. I am just planning to not just memorize the song but do the dance move by October.


happii shinsesaiza kimi no mune no oku made

todoku youna merodei kanaderuyo
tsumaranai "tatemae" ya ya na koto zenbu
keshite agerukara kono oto de

Photo from-

Boys of Cosplay-May: Stephen Guilaran

Let me introduce the first guy we have on our Boys of Cosplay Collection, Stephen Guilaran

I first saw Stephen in an event in SM City Davao in December of 2011 for the MCX. He was wearing a Rouge costume from Ragnarok online and was there with other cosplayers. Of course, anyone would notice this tall mestizo guy walking around in costume but I didn't really approach him or talk to him.

The next time I saw this guys was in Gaisano Mall in Tagum City in a cosplay event early this year. He was one of the guys that everyone wants to take their pictures with. In a group of anime and cartoon costumed people, he was very noticeable because he was polite and silent and is very accommodating when facing the people who wants to take his pictures.

Stephen is a member of the Cosplay Group MinATO from Davao and like other members of the group, he live by the motto "Cosplay to Express, not to Impress". He also did some Crossdressing in an event in SM City Cyberzone Launching where he dressed up as a girl (and what a cute girl he is). He is 16 years old and just graduated his secondary education. He is opt to start his college education this year as a Computer Graphics or an HRM Student. He loves to play computer games and take pictures. You could catch him in any Cosplay event around Davao City. Here are some pictures of Stephen...

***If you want to have a pictorial and be featured in the next installment please post a message to my fotopage:

Photos from caelfotos2012