Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Our Time To Shine

It has been 487 years since the Spanish Conquistadores set foot on the beautiful island of Limasawa aboard three ships. Since then, the Philippines, which were formerly called the Maharlikas, were an untarnished virgin island rich with Malay culture, religion and trading systems unknown to the western world. A prevailing alphabet and language was present, which was later abolished by the Spaniards when they Christianized the islands.

Katipuneros during the Spanish regime

The archipelago was often frequented by the Chinese, Malay and Arabic tradesmen. It was the most beautiful island in the Pacific. The existing fighting code was called Kali, which was an age old fighting system used during the prevailing Majapahit empires of the Indo-Malay era. To the east, it was the golden era at the time.

The Filipinos have survived three major wars and came out victorious in all. No Spanish, American, or Japanese were able to dominate the island. The battles in the northern parts of Manila and Cavite were often made through skirmishes and plunder due to the lack of rebel forces. While the Visayan and Mindanao region were merely impenetrable by the invaders, the northern region suffered severe loss and deaths since this was where they concentrated their attacks. The weapon of choice was the itak or bolo which was used primarily as a farming and hunting tool. In the south, a variety of blades were used from parangs, barongs and ginuntings. Before World War II started, the Filipinos assembled a troop of experts in the field of blade fighting called the Bolo Battalion. The Filipino Bolo was feared throughout the history of foreign occupation and the art of Kali brought many regional victories all over the archipelago. Where the Filipinos lack in firepower and ammunition, they made up with tenacity and resilience to the enemy.

Manny Pacquiao vs. David Diaz

To this day, Filipinos continue to excel in different fields. Our fellow countryman and fighting pride of the Philippines Manny Pacquiao recently claimed his 5th world title in 4 different weight divisions in the field of boxing, the first Asian boxer who has accomplished such a feat. In tough times, the courage and fighting spirit inherent in the Filipino blood is rekindled. Fighting through poverty and oppression, the battle-hardened warrior will dominate. True Filipinos will not surrender. Whatever it takes, we will prevail.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very nice article and the pics are nice