Saturday, June 6, 2009

Dear Senator Mar

Capiznon Van Helsing?

I rarely go political, but this one is more 'cultural' than political.

Dear Senator Mar Roxas,

Kumusta Kasimanwa? I am hoping you are in good health. I admire your brazen and bold privilege speech in Senate last Wednesday, June 3, 2009. We have become so 'graphic' and 'theatrical' haven't we? What with your garlic necklaces and your play on the word con-ass, calling it con-asswang! At the outset, let me tell you that I am one with you on your fight against the con-ass. However, let me point out one big glaring mistake.

Aswangs: Capiznon Freedom Fighters

See, dear Senator, Garlic WILL NOT drive away an Aswang. Too much Hollywood, and Pop Culture perhaps, or you need to fire your 'creative' writer/researcher. It is doubly disappointing that you, above everyone else, a proud Son of Capiz, should miss this fact and further propagate this 'myth'. Again, let me point out that Garlic will not drive aswangs away. This shows how poorly you know of your very own local culture and traditions. To think that Capiz proudly claims title as the "Aswang Capital of the Philippines."

The Kapre: Capiz Awang Festival

Let's forget about how efforts of us, young Dugo Capiznons, in putting up an Aswang Festival to demystify the negative tag and connotation of Aswangs, and put it in the proper light, has been effectively put to death by the ash and salt of the Catholic Church's elitist, paranoid, and misinformed campaign that it could lead to a 'glorification' of devil worship.

Buto ni Kurakog

Much as elsewhere in the country, some Bishop also objected to the naming of a landmark as "Boto (buto) ni Kurakog" (Kurakog's Penis). Why? What the heck! Do being priests and bishops make them loose their "buto's"? Does 'Espada ni Kurakog' sound less profane? What's so profane with your penises, Your Grace? This is what it has always been called by natives since then, and it's very name is 'cultural assertion' in itself, I daresay, but that's straying from the point.

Going back to Aswangs and what drives them away, consider the following to be included in your next speech:

1. Witch is not the correct English equivalent of the term 'Aswang'
2. Apog (lime) Agbon/Abo (ash) and/or salt are better aswang deterrents.
3. Ikog pagi or the manta ray's tail fin is more potent in injuring the aswang.
4. Tingga (Brass)or Saway (bronze) bladed weapons such as sanduko, espading, and the like prove more fatal once it injures an aswang.
5. Thorny bushes and branches serve as effective aswang deterrents.
6. The vines of the bitter manunggal (cat's paw) are very effective in keeping aswangs at bay.
7. A bamboo sibat (spear) driven from the back kills an aswang.
8. Call forth the brave babaylans from the mountains of Panay to battle the aswang. Call forth the powerful Estrella Bangotbanwa of lore! She who can flip her hair for the storms to cease!

Thr Babaylans: Healers, Chroniclers, Priestesses and Revolutionary Leaders

Now, now, dear Senator. On second thoughts, why vilify the aswangs? prof. Alicia Magos an anthropologist from UP Visayas in her paper has proofs that Aswang was a Spanish friar brewed negative tag. They gave this tag, along with 'erehes' and 'filibusteros' and cooked up a fantastical tale of these night creatures and gave them to women freedom fighter struggling against Spain at that time to dissuade people from giving them their full support. They were the babaylans whom, the Spanish Friars found as rivals in spreading Catholicism and pose as challenge to their modern doctors and medical wonders. I suggest you reform your speech entirely Mister Senator. Instead of brandishing garlic necklaces to fend off the Con-Asswang, this is what you should do.

Babaylans: Cultural Frontliners

Call forth the brave 'Aswangs' among your ranks: Freedom fighters all, to serve as freedom fighters to liberate the country from the kama-kama (gnome) in Malacañang, together with her Fray Butod of a husband! Call forth the aswangs to do battle against the oppressors, and liberate our country from tyranny. Call forth the new ASWANGS! Do not Viliffy them dear Senators. Forget your garlic. That is so Bram Stoker, dear Senator. Take pride in your Capiznon roots and traditions dear Senator. Oh and yes, please fire your head researcher.

Kamakama - Small, vengeful, dangerous and deadly adversaries

Trully yours,

Luis Batchoy
Aswang sang Capiz!

PS: Dear Senator, if you do not have time to come back here to Capiz for a culture reorientation, please have a good talk with Sir Ambeth Ocampo.

Photo Credits:


<*period*>; said...

agree ako!

kahit batangenyo ako, ganiyan din ang gamit sa amin para pampalayas ng aswang..hindi bawang!

Ming Meows said...

andami kong natutunan. parang gusto ko tuloy pumunta sa capiz.

Lyka Bergen said...

Tinyente Gimo was a good man... says my Lola. He likes his adobo cooked with lots of garlic. Adobong paa ng bata with burnt garlic nga lang. Chos!

Mabuhay si Korina!

wanderingcommuter said...

grabew ang dami kong natutunan... ngayon paano ako makakatulog mamaya?

Luis Batchoy said...

period: ala ey, si senator kasi... akala nasa transylvania tayo

ming: punta ka... samahan kita... igagala kita kung may time

lyka: thats another 'set-up' story for another post

ewik: gusto mo tabihan kita para makatulog ka? hehehehe