Special Edition Spring/Summer 2020
TABLE of CONTENTS
Cover Page..........................................Rajah Humabon & Hara Humani
Special Feature...................................The Legacy of Rajah Humabon: Living Amongst Us
Updates & News
The Immigrant Filipinos
Las Islas Filipinas Chronicles
This past March and April in the Philippine Consulate and New York University, the cast of Raised Pinay took the stage in solidarity of reproductive justice in the Philippines. Directed by Jana Lynne Umipig, this community-created production raised money for the Palawan-based non-profit organization Roots of Health/Ugat Ng Kalusugan. The show’s producers, who are also board members, Justine Ang Fonte and Rachelle Peraz Ocampo, were joined on the stage by 11 pinays from the New York City area. The narratives of these women captured their Filipina identity via spoken word, martial art, and song.
The entire production raised more than $14,000 that will fund programming in Palawan that includes clinical maternal health services for expecting mothers and sex education courses in high schools and colleges. Roots of Health has been meeting a need in reproductive healthcare and education in the rural communities surrounding Puerto Princesa for since 2009.
Justine Ang Fonte
The term Kali-Silat is an amalgam of two Southeast Asian martial arts that are still practiced extensively in the Philippines and Indonesia. Kali is derived from the word “kalis,” which means blade in an older Filipino tongue, and has nothing to do with the Indian goddess Kali. Being that Filipinos and Indonesians are racially (and linguistically) first cousins, a lot of the techniques of the two martial arts share many similarities. In a much older time, Filipino martial arts practiced prior to the arrival of the Spaniards, utilized the same bladed weapons popular throughout both archipelagos. (i.e., Barong, Hagibis, Kerambit, Kris, etc.)
The Indonesian relative of Kali is called Pencak Silat (pronounced Penchak Silat). Depending on the region, it is referred
to as Bajau, Bali, Javanese or Sumatran Silat, or simply Silat. There are many regional variants with both styles, but one thing they share is their emphasis on
the bladed weapon, and how to neutralize it defensively, and conversely, how to dominate your opponent offensively.
What you’ll be seeing tonight is a demonstration of Kali, and aspects of Silat performed as a dance or “sayaw.” Traditionally, to show one’s expertise and command of the art, teachers and masters require their students to perform the techniques and drills as a dance. Tonight’s use of the doble baston (or double sticks) is a vestige of the Spanish ban on the practice of the art using bladed weapons. The Spaniards, however, didn’t realize that the Filipinos were resourceful enough to effectively adapt the deadly techniques of the knife and sword, into the seemingly harmless stick.
~Erving del Pilar
Kali Silat Dancer, NYC
WHO IS (The Legend and Legacy)
RAJAH HUMABON and Lakan LAPU-LAPU
Rajah Humabon is well-known as the first Filipino chieftain who accepted Christianity by being baptized, along with 800 others, which started the spread of Christianity in Las Islas Filipinas. On the other hand, Lakan Lapu-Lapu is well-known as the first Filipino who resisted foreign aggression and a left legacy of freedom, extraordinary bravery and love for his own land.
We can only know these 2 well-known characters side by side as they existed in our pre-history. We must understand the geographical & socio-economic context of this period before the landing of Magellan in March 1521, and the eyewitness accounts of Antonio Pigafetta, Italian scholar & explorer from Venice, the AGINID Chronicles, and other contemporary scholars like William Henry Scott, and Rosario M. Cortes, Celestina Boncan, Ricardo T. Jose.
There existed the Rajahnate of Cebu, founded by Sri Lumay or RajamudaLumaya, a minor prince of the Chola dynasty which occupied Sumatra. Sri Lumay is half Tamil & half Malay, whose brother Sri Bantug had a son Sri Hamabar or Humabon.
During Rajah Humabon’s reign, the region became an important Trading Center where agricultural goods were bartered for goods from:Japan – perfumes & glass utensils;
India & Burmese traders – ivory products, leather & precious/semi-precious gems, and sarkara(sugar);China – silk, porcelain jars, bronze items.
“Kota Raya Kita” was an indigenous Malay phrase of merchants under Humabon’s authority to refer to Cebu, which meant in English, “Our Capital City.” Kota – fortress; Raya – great; Kita – we/our.
Rajah Humabon, in 1521, along with Rajah Awi of Butuan and Rajah Kolambu of Limasawa, formed a triumvirate of Chiefdoms, a loose federation of chiefs, bound by loose tries of personal allegiance to a senior among them. They were also called “datus.” The head of such a chiefdom exercised authority over his supporting chiefs, but not over their subjects or territory. His primacy stemmed from his control of local or foreign trade, and the ability to redistribute luxury goods desired by others. Philippine chiefdoms were usually located at river mouths, where they could facilitate the sort of lowland – highland exchanges of goods & produce between the mountain and coastal peoples.
We can then surmise that Rajah Humabon was king of this region, very much like a commercial tycoon who demanded tariffs from all ships plying the waters in and around Cebu. Rajah Humabon was an independent King, just like Rajah Kolambu of Limasawa& Rajah Awi of Butuan, to whom homage had to be paid or blood compacts executed to seal friendships and/or partnerships.
It was during Humabon’s reign that Lapu-Lapu arrived from Borneo & was granted by Humabon the region of Mandawili (now Mandaue) and Opong/Opon later known as Mactan. We do not know what title Lapu-Lapu claimed, but Mactan’s location put him in a position to intercept shipping in Cebu harbor. When Magellan tried to force him to acknowledge Humabon as overlord, he replied that, “he was unwilling to come and do reverence to one whom he has been commanding for so long a time.”
There is a possibility that Lapu-Lapu may have been Tausug or Sama-Bajau and Muslim, since he is recorded in the AGINID Chronicles as being ‘orang laut” (man of the sea), and an outsider who settled in Cebu from Borneo.
In March 1521, after being introduced to Magellan by one of the co-kings, Rajah Kolambu of Limasawa, Rajah Humabon formed a strategic alliance with the Spanish forces in a bid to increase his power and influence. This led to his conversion to Christianity, and the establishment of Cebu as the commercial seaport center for trade with the Spaniards. In April 21, 1521, just over a month after he landed, Magellan, with Rajah Humabon’s consent, established the FACTORIA, a permanent trading base in Cebu, (Cristo Rey Alunan, Las Islas Filipinas, Vols. 1 -2).
The AGINID Chronicles also records that Rajah Humabon had actually & purposefully goaded the Spanish into fighting Lapu-Lapu, who was his enemy at that time. However, men of Humabon who accompanied Magellan, did not engage in battle with Lapu-Lapu, although they helped in recovering wounded Spaniards.
Raja Humabon later poisoned & killed 27 Spanish sailors during a feast. According to the AGINID, this was because they had started raping the local women. It was also possibly to help Magellan’s Malay slave interpreter, Enrique of Malacca, in gaining his freedom. The Spanish were refusing to release him, although Magellan has explicitly willed that he be set free upon his death.
The Discourse by Giovanni Battista Ramusio claims that Enrique warned the Chief of “Subuth” that the Spaniards were plotting to capture the King and that this led to the slaughter of the Spaniards at the banquet. Enrique stayed in Cebu with Humabon, while the Spaniards escaped to Bohol. With too few crew men left, they abandoned the ship “Concepcion.” The remaining ships, “Trinidad” and “Victoria” sailed to the Spice Islands in present-day Indonesia.
As for Lapu-Lapu, little is known about how he died. Some historians say he decided to return to Borneo with his 3 wives, 11 children, and 17 men, and was never heard of. However, some locals believe that in his final years, Lapu-Lapu did not die but turned into stone, forever guarding the seas of Mactan. It is said that fisherman see this stone shaped like a man and throw coins at it for good luck.
Researcher/Las Islas Filipinas.Org
THE DIVINE CHILD & RELIGIOUS ART MUSEUM
The most beautiful art in the world have been inspired by deep religious fervor. In the history of the Christian Church, one of the most fervent devotional practices has been devotion to The Divine Child, more popularly known as The Infant Jesus of Prague, or SANTO NIÑO.
The physical space, called The Divine Child & Religious Art Museum, or hereinafter known as “Divine Child Museum”, “Casa Santo Nino”, “Bahay ni Santo Nino”, “Casa Do Mininho Santo”, is housed in the property of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church Parish, 220 East Blancke Street, Linden, New Jersey 07036.
VISION: A fervent, inspirational, and contemplative space for experiencing the power of Innocence embodied by the Santo Niño, or The Divine Child, as the patron for Immigrants..
1) To create an open environment to reflect on God's Love for us.
2) To contemplate and evoke feelings of devotion to our Faith Community.
3) To inspire Service to others, especially those with True needs.
GOALS & OBJECTIVES:
To lead and reach the highest peak of spirituality in man, so they may view the world from the greatest perspective that fosters the relationship of mind, body and spirit.
To dramatize the historical events that led to this devotion and to engage the participation of the Parish community members in constantly commemorating its symbolism and significance in our religious and spiritual life.
To display the various collections of statues and artifacts inspired by this devotion to the Infant Jesus, the Divine Child or the Santo Niño; and
To encourage arts and crafts activities and host exhibits, demonstrations, festivals, and other varied activities centering on The Divine Child or Santo Niño.
To demonstrate the origins of The Divine Child, or devotion to the Infant Jesus, its symbolic meaning as well as the advent and development of the widespread devotion.
4. Health and Healing
To create a venue for community and public health delivery by designing programs and servicesthat improve health education and health literacy that is culturally appropriate and for parishioners and other groups, and address the real and true needs relating to Mothers, Children, Seniors, and their Families.
5. Community Service/Social Philanthropy
To establish an alliance of the Parish with the community and design sustainability for the Program by maximizing and cost-effective utilization of available resources.
Peoples Theater Awards
They call themselves Raised Pinays, a sisterhood of young Fil-Am women with a cause, preserving Philippine arts, culture, values and traditions in their own creative ways.
This past March and April, they took the stage in solidarity with reproductive justice in the Philippines, presenting at the Philippine Consulate and New York University. Directed by Jana Lynne Umipig, this community-created production raised money for the Palawan-based non-profit organization Roots of Health/Ugat Ng Kalusugan. The show’s producers, who are also board members, Justine Ang Fonte and Rachelle Peraz Ocampo, were joined on the stage by 11 pinays from the New York City area. The narratives of these women captured their Filipina identity via spoken word, martial art, and song.
The entire production raised more than $14,000 that will fund programming in Palawan that includes clinical maternal health services for expecting mothers and sex education courses in high schools and colleges. Roots of Health has been meeting a need in reproductive healthcare and education in the rural communities surrounding Puerto Princesa since 2009.
Tonight, Las Islas Filipinas is very proud to present The Peoples Theater Awards to Raised Pinay.
Las Islas Filipinas:
Coalition of 7,107 Islands
Campaign for 7,107 islands
To raise consciousness of global Filipinos with the bonds of a confirmed identity of WHO WE ARE and ground Filipino youth and future generations with a firm and proud understanding of our Filipino Heritage, Culture, and Values.
· Automatic Membership to all Filipino- Americans
· Honorary Membership to all those who want to connect with Filipinos by all means
Benefits of Membership:
While membership will give you that special feeling of belongingness to your Filipino heritage, we will give you a lot more with our activities, programs, services and events.
“Ask not what you will receive, but ask, how can you be a part of it?”
VOLUNTEERS: (Calling all Fil-American Friends and Filipinos in Diaspora)
Please let us know how you can help.
We need help in all these areas of Management:
- Budget & Finance
- Public Relations
(Established April, 2013, Mood Lounge, Union County, New Jersey))
"It is the duty of every Filipino to advocate for the renaissance of Philippine Art, Culture and Tradition now and until the end of time".
~Cristo Rey Alunan/Dr. Zal Velez