H N S T x P R S S N

Confront honesty, find freedom. Honest expression.

For what it’s worth: it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over again.

— F. Scott Fitzgerald  (via wtvr4vr)

(Source: nuclearharvest, via ibreathehiphop)

goodgodgreatguy:

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

"Kill every one over ten." Criminals because they were born ten years before we took the Philippines. - The New York Evening Journal
Images of US troops giving relief, sharing laughter with local Filipino children, etc. is going around the internet. But let us not forget the first time they were on those islands…
Via Bayan USA

2 million filipino civilians out of a country of 8 million were slaughtered during the resistance to US imperialism first rearing its head.

goodgodgreatguy:

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

"Kill every one over ten." Criminals because they were born ten years before we took the Philippines. - The New York Evening Journal

Images of US troops giving relief, sharing laughter with local Filipino children, etc. is going around the internet. But let us not forget the first time they were on those islands…

Via Bayan USA

2 million filipino civilians out of a country of 8 million were slaughtered during the resistance to US imperialism first rearing its head.

(via cultureofresistance)

pinoy-culture:

austro-nesian:

Planning for the 2015 year long backbacking trip in the Philippines. :)

The itinerary for the first 4 months is planned out with most of Luzon and Palawan out of the way. Currently planning the itinerary for Southern Luzon and the Bisayas region then eventually Mindanao. My goal is to travel around all 81 provinces and not just see the places I go to but speak with those who live there and talk about history and culture as well as social and political issues from illegal logging, mining, deforestation,  indigenous issues, human rights, etc. and let their voices be heard via episodes on Youtube.

pinoy-culture:

austro-nesian:

Planning for the 2015 year long backbacking trip in the Philippines. :)

The itinerary for the first 4 months is planned out with most of Luzon and Palawan out of the way. Currently planning the itinerary for Southern Luzon and the Bisayas region then eventually Mindanao. My goal is to travel around all 81 provinces and not just see the places I go to but speak with those who live there and talk about history and culture as well as social and political issues from illegal logging, mining, deforestation, indigenous issues, human rights, etc. and let their voices be heard via episodes on Youtube.

pag-asaharibon:

Reviving the art of Filipino tribal tattoos

The Spanish conquistadors who landed in 1521 dubbed the Philippines the Islands of the Painted Ones after the heavily tattooed locals. Nearly 500 years on, tribal tattooing is almost extinct. Aya Lowe met the islands’ last practitioner and those trying to keep the tradition alive.

For more than eight decades, Whang-Od has been inking the headhunting warriors and women of her Kalinga tribe.

Using the traditional “tapping” style, dating back a thousand years, she hammers ink into the skin using the spike of a calmansi (lime) tree attached to a bamboo stick that has been dipped in wet charcoal.

The simple designs are evocative of the nature around her in the mountainous region of the Cordilleras - outlines of centipedes, trees and snakes or basic geometric patterns such as diamonds and squares.

Not for the light-hearted, this slow, primitive method is extremely painful and would have been endured for short periods only. Large tattoos might take several months to complete.These, she says, are “earthly messengers from the gods [that] protect you from enemies or bad spirits”.

However, at 94, Whang-Od - whose own skin is etched with a variety of designs - is likely to be the last of her kind.

Training her niece

Tradition dictates that skills can only be passed down family lines. Having lost the love of her life at the age of 25 in a logging accident, Whang-Od did not marry again and bore no children.

"It can’t be passed on to anyone else," she insists. "It has to be within the same family because if someone else who is not from the same bloodline starts tattooing, the tattoo will get infected."

However, the young in her village are not keen on adopting the body work of their elders. Though she is training her niece to carry on her work, Whang-Od says that her young relative is more interested in her studies to become a teacher.

The preservation of tribal tattooing may, however, lie thousands of miles away in Los Angeles, where a group of dedicated members of the Filipino diaspora has been working hard to ensure the tradition is not lost.

Tatak Ng Apat na Alon, which translates as “Mark of the Four Waves Tribe”, was formed nearly 15 years ago in Los Angeles by Filipino-Americans.

Their name is a reference to the “waves” of immigrants who came to the Philippines.

The group has grown to become a global community made up of hundreds of people with Filipino heritage looking to revive the tattooing traditions of Filipino tribes by having their designs etched on their skin.

"People are sacrificing their skin to revive this ancestral form of art and make sure it is not forgotten," says Elle Festin, the co-founder of the community.

"The only way you can find proof of designs is through oral history and artefacts. The only way to stop it becoming obsolete is by reviving the designs."

Having left the Philippines as a teenager, Mr Festin said his journey into the world of tribal tattooing became a way for him to connect with his own heritage, something he felt he had lost growing up in the US.

"Filipinos in the Philippines don’t need to define themselves, but for the Filipino diaspora many are looking for a connection back to their heritage," he says.

"It’s more important for them to define themselves as Filipino in a foreign country."

Tattoos were a prominent feature among pre-Hispanic tribes of the Philippines. They acted as a corporal roadmap designating people by tribe and rank, acting as a protection charm or medal, or as permanent make-up.

Dr Lars Krutak, a tattoo anthropologist knowledgeable about the Visayas region of the central Philippines, says traditional tattooing practices had vanished in the region by the 1700s because of the presence of the Spanish military and the influence of the Church.

But in Mindanao, an island in the country’s far south, and the mountainous region of the Cordilleras - the home of Whang-Od - the practice survived because of the area’s remoteness and warrior tribes who successfully defended their ancestral homelands from foreign invaders, like the colonial Spanish.

Pilgrimage

People who receive a tattoo have to be of Filipino heritage. The artists work closely with their clients to research their family histories and life events to create a design.

"We were very careful about how it grew and who our tattoo artists were," said Mr Festin. "We didn’t want it to go viral and turn into a trend like Polynesian designs. We wanted to encourage curiosity to getting people talking about the meaning behind the markings."

In 2008, Mr Festin made perhaps the most important pilgrimage in his career as a tattooist when he returned to his homeland to visit Whang-Od and the Kalinga tribe.

"When I first met Whang-Od I was afraid of what she would think of my designs, especially as they were modified from original form," he said.

"But she was impressed with my tools and asked me to tattoo her. You could tell she was experienced by the way she lay down and stretched her skin."

While the sight of a fully tattooed man or woman is becoming a rarity in the Philippines, it is this small dedicated group of enthusiasts, far across the ocean, that is keeping the art form alive, hopefully for many decades to come.

About the author: Based in Manila, Aya Lowe writes business, travel and human interest stories around South East Asia and the Middle East.

Photos of Tatak Ng Apat na Alon are from Dr. Lars Krutak’s Kalinga Tattoo: Ancient and Modern Expressions of the Tribal

See also: 

(via pinoy-culture)

The last significant migration of Asians to the United States in the early twentieth century came from the Philippines. Because the Philippines was a U.S. territory and its residents were U.S. nationals, Filipinos carried U.S. passports and could travel freely within the States—they were the only Asians eligible for immigration after 1924.

[…]

The white exclusionists strategized that there was only one way to end Filipino immigration: the United States would have to grant “independence” to the Philippines. Their racially inflamed arguments persuaded Congress to pass another law specifically targeting Asians, the Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1934, converting the Philippines to a commonwealth. Immediately, all Filipinos were reclassified as aliens and prohibited from applying for citizenship because they weren’t white. Only fifty Filipinos from any nation of origin would be permitted to immigrate each year, except for plantation labor to Hawaii. As with the Japanese in Hawaii, Filipinos were debarred from leaving the Hawaiian Territory for the mainland. Congress even offered to pay for workers’ fare to the Philippines if they agreed never to return; the Los Angeles Times urged Filipinos to “go back home.” Fewer than 5 percent took the offer—in spite of the elusiveness of citizenship, the rest wanted to stay in America, as Americans.

Helen Zia, Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People (via susurrations)

Basically, our so called “independence” wasn’t because of the “goodness” of the U.S. The U.S. State Department and War Department strongly opposed the idea of giving independence to the Philippines because it was and still is today a strategic military location as a gateway to Asia and the Pacific. It is one of the main reasons why the U.S. wanted the Philippines as one of their territories in the first place and “fought” the Spaniards in their mock battle in Intramuros and “helped” the Pilipin@s fighting against Spain for their independence. It is still one of the main reasons why the U.S. today is still trying to get a foothold in the Philippines, finding loop holes around our so called “independence” and with the compliance of the U.S. dogs such as President Aquino, to bring in the U.S. military back into the country like what you are seeing now. Different times, different situations, but still it’s the same motive.

Our so called “independence from the U.S.” was based on racism. By the white extremist groups who feared the inter-racial marriages and relationships and who blamed Pilipin@s and other PoC groups for taking jobs.

The Repatriation Act of 1935 added more fuel behind the racism. Because of the restrictions and immigration quotas under the Tydings-McDuffie Act, many Pilipin@s had no hope in reconnecting with their families who were back home in the Philippines who now couldn’t join their loved ones who worked abroad. Those who were brought to Hawai’i to work in plantations couldn’t leave for the mainland as they were considered as aliens. With low wages, long hours, and no family for support, the Repatriation Act now seemed as the better alternative to go back to the Philippines for free. This Act was was made behind the reasoning of sending Pilipin@s who arrived in the states and Hawai’i back to the Philippines and to never return back to the states.

Our so called “independence from the U.S.” was based on the racism of white Americans who wanted to stop the immigration of Pilipin@s and the racism that came with it. 

Even today, if y’all still think the Philippines is truly independent from the U.S., you are very wrong. We may be truly independent from Spain, and that is what we truly celebrate today every year on June 12. Our independence day is not celebrating the independence from the U.S., it’s celebrating the independence from Spain after 300 years of oppression and from the uprisings and revolts against our original colonizer by our people. We don’t celebrate our independence from the U.S. One reason is because we never saw the U.S. as our government and never acknowledged them as we already formed our own government that the U.S. said, “oh our little brown brothers can’t fend and rule for yourselves so we will help uplift you and save you from yourselves!”

The U.S. still has political, economical, and cultural power over the Philippines. Today it is now increasing its military power in the Philippines. Our sovereignty is questioned when our leaders still depend on their previous colonizer. When our colonial mentality is still strong. Until our we stop depending on the U.S. for every little thing and praising them like they are our “hero”, we aren’t truly independent and as our Independence day comes up and with independence day celebrations happening from the Philippines to the states, remember that we still continue to fight for true independence and remember the battles and hardships our ancestors fought and struggled in the name of a truly free and independent Philippines.

(via pinoy-culture)

(via pinoy-culture)

The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.

Samuel P. Huntington, cited on the ‘Where is Raed?’ website, a day-to-day journal of everyday life in Baghdad under bombardment.

Extract in Robert J. C. Young, Postcolonialism, A Very Short Introduction (UK: Oxford University Press, 2003), p. 32.

(via literature-and-cats)

(via disciplesofmalcolm)

We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and defected with a lost opportunity. The ‘tide in the affairs of men’ does not remain at the flood; it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is deaf to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: “Too late.” We still may have a choice today. This may well be mankind’s last chance to choose between chaos and community.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Taken from his last book “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?” (1967) (backside)

(Source: disciplesofmalcolm)