Monday, June 12, 2017

116. June 12 - Philippine Independence Day

We all know – and celebrate – June 12 as Independence Day, the day President Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine independence from Spain in 1898. But aside from the proclamation itself, the country actually celebrates two more anniversaries on June 12: The anniversary of the Philippine flag and the anniversary of our National Anthem.

And while every Filipino is familiar with the Philippine flag and Lupang Hinirang, very few people know a few significant things about the symbolisms and history of the country's flag and anthem. As we marked the 117th anniversary of the Philippine Independence Day, here are some facts you're not probably aware of about our national emblem and hymn:

• Aguinaldo himself made the sketch of the flag that he personally submitted to Doña Marcela Agoncillo who was living in Hong Kong at the time.

• It took Agoncillo and her two assistants five days of hard work to finish the flag which, as described by the maker herself, was "made from fine silk with a white triangle at the left containing a sunburst with eight rays at the center, a five-pointed star at each angle of the triangle, an upper stripe of dark blue and a lower stripe of red."

• The three stars represent Luzon, Panay, and Mindanao — not Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Panay was part of what the Proclamation of Independence in Kawit, Cavite referred to as "the archipelago's three principal islands."

• In 1907, the Philippine flag and any nationalist flags, banners, emblems or symbols, particularly those identified with the Katipunan, were once outlawed in the country under the Flag Law of 1907 or Act No. 1696. With the country under American rule, the three stars and a sun was then replaced by the stars and stripes of the U.S. It took the Philippines 11 years before the law was repealed and the country's flag to be raised anew.

• The original Philippine flag hoisted in Kawit on June 12, 1898 was lost somewhere in Tayug, Pangasinan when Aguinaldo retreated to Northern Luzon during the Filipino-American war. Aguinaldo himself mentioned this incident in his letter to Captain Baja dated June 11, 1925.
Until now, the whereabouts of the original flag of 1898 remains a mystery. 

Source: CNN News

Monday, March 6, 2017


Tektites being sold at World Treasures for as low as 100 pesos

TEKTITES are unclassifiable with earthly rocks, and so are thought to be of cosmic origin.

Philippine Magazine November 1935 issue called Philippine Tektites as Rizalites (perhaps since many specimens came from Rizal Province)

Mabuhay Magazine in an article entitled "ALIENS THAT CAME TO STAY" authored by Roland Hanewald have fully explained various theories about tektites.

No one as yet has put a claim on having discovered the origin of tektites and lip to now science has yet to make an official declaration as to the source of tektites. One theory if. that tektites came from the moon created by the impact of a meteor that slammed into the lunar surface and may have formed the crater Tycho - some 700,000 years ago which still is visible on earth until today.

Another theory is that tektites were flung into space, perhaps as high as earth orbit, when giant meteorites crashed into the surface of our planet. Tektites are however known to be only confined to few geographical areas on earth, such as Eastern United States, Moldavia in Czechoslovakia, Ivory Coast in Africa and Australia and almost all of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines. Tektites (derived from the Greek word tektos, meaning "molten") must have had a very "hot" encounter with other extraterrestrial objects because tektites - based all their physical and chemical properties - do not fit into any geological "map" of the earth. The physical composition of tektites shows their resemblance to obsidian (hard volcanic glass), but their chemical content shows that they are, well, nothing but glass. Scientific evaluations are that tektites could only have been formed in temperatures higher than any of the recorded volcanic events all earth. These must have been "flying about under almost zero gravity conditions for at least short periods during their formative phase, because of gravitational force, materials formed on earth exhibit a definite crystalline direction. The ultimate proof of the absence of gravitational influence is the hardness and strength of an object - which is the unique characteristics of tektites.

Philippine tektites are know as RIZALITES
Tektites are out of this world so to speak and a mystical "aura" surrounds the existence of tektites. Primitive people believed that these are "messengers from the skies" and these were first mentioned in the writings of the Bohemian Society of Sciences in 1787. Some "moldavites", as they were originally called, were first unearthed in today 's Czechoslovakia. Their discovery "differed considerably from obsidian". The origin of modavites long remained a mystery but because or their bottle-glass color, they came to be popularly known as bou- teil-Ien-stein ("bottle-stone") . Jewelers in Central Europe later sold cut and polished moldavites under the label "pseudo-chrysolite" or "warer-chrysolite". 

Button-shaped objects of greenish-olive-brown glass were then discovered in Australia and Tasmania and the first such specimen to be mentioned in Western recorded history was described and illustrated by Charles Darwin in the middle of the 19th century wherein he referred to his specimen as an “obsidian-bomb" Today 's literature term tektites as "Darwin glass".

The Dutch thereafter reported some strange black nodules which they called glas-ko-gels, or "glassballs". Regarding their origin, the Dutch then believed that glass-ko-gels might have come "from the volcanoes of the moon".

Surface texture may have deep grooving and winding 
channeling into the surface.
In 1900, the international scientific community accepted the following description: "tektites are glass meteorites that have rained in from outer space".  In the Philippines, tektites are called taeng bituin, or taeng kulog, literally "refuse of the stars", or of thunder. In other cases, tektites have come to be associated with the sun, the moon and other celestial bodies, either as sunstones, moonballs, black diamonds, and the like. Here these are also known as bulalakaw, shooting stars, and meteorites and are believed to bring "goodluck" specially in business. 

"The Philippines is perhaps the only country in the world to have received the largest share of tektites that could have rained in Austral-Asia some 700,000 years ago. It is reported that more than one million pieces of tektites have been dug up so far during construction works, unearthed by farmers, or recovered by gold partners in the Philippines. This is more that the total tektite find for the rest of the world. About two thousand years ago, early Philippine man, as evidenced by archaeological excavations, had already prized the incomparable hardness of tektites and fashioned the "refuse from the stars" into primitive but lasting handtools." 

Philippine tektites have different shape and sizes

"When man-made metals reached the Philippine island from China, tektites were turned Into keepsakes greatly valued for their magical powers and mystical properties. Anybody who possessed a tektite was - and still is - regarded as having a charmed life endowed with the power not only to bewitch but also to afflict enemies with sickness, or even death. Some people swallow tektite hoping to relieve pain and cure diseases. This is, however, not an exclusive Asian custom, as tektite collectors from Europe have assured. There is no mineral collectors' fair anywhere in the world, they contend, without some people besieging the stands hoping just to touch a specific tektite, or to obtain a bit of ground-up "star-refuse" as a remedy against all sorts of afflictions- from cancer to impotency ... but mainly the Iatter." -Mabuhay Magazine.

Tektites are made of crystal like glass material

A curious Philippine lore, is that tektites attract gold, thus leading the locals to believe that these are asawa ng ginto, or gold's mate. Being of high specific gravity, tektites will follow the course of topographic erosion like gold, and both tend to accumulate as strange bedfellows in diluvial deposits. Dealing in tektites is indeed one way of making a private gold collection increase, and international collectors who indulge in this peculiar hobby trade tektites at a dollar or so per gram, sometimes more, depending on the size, shape, and other unique features. Yet the price is cheap since those little black "ETs" may have come straight from the moon. The Apollo lunar missions in '1960's where some 200 kilograms of lunar rock had been carted away, NASA's bookkeepers compute how much the stones were worth, transport and all their figure, $73,000 per gram.

By: Jose M. Escano 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

114. Remembering RIZAL DAY


RIZAL DAY , a national holiday celebrated annually in the Philippines.  It  was first instituted with a decree from President Emilio Aguinaldo issued December 20, 1898 and celebrated December 30, 1898 as a national day of mourning for Rizal in Malolos, Bulacan and all victims of the Spanish colonial rule of the Philippines.

Rizal Day commemorates the work and life of José Rizal. José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda (June 19, 1861 – December 30, 1896) was a Filipino nationalist, novelist, poet, ophthalmologist, journalist and revolutionary. He is credited with starting the Philippine revolution against the Spanish colonizers.

Rizal is the author of two novels, “Noli me Tangere” and the sequel “El Filibusterismo” , which exposed the injustices brought on by the Spanish colonizers in the Philippines.  His undated poem, Mi Último Adiós believed to be written a few days before his execution, was hidden in an alcohol stove, which was later handed to his family with his few remaining possessions, including the final letters and his last bequests.

With the victory of the Americans against the Spaniards in the Spanish-American War, the Americans took control of the Philippines. In an effort to demonstrate that they were more pro-Filipino than the Spaniards, the American Governor-General William Howard Taft in 1901 named Rizal a Philippine national hero. A year later, on February 1, 1902, the Philippine Commission enacted Act No. 345, which made December 30 a public holiday.

To underscore the solemnity of the event, President Elpidio Quirino signed Republic Act No. 229 into law on June 9, 1948 that prohibits cockfighting, horse racing and jai-alai every December 30. The  law also requires that flags across the country remain at half staff throughout the day.

Rizal Day is celebrated every December 30, the day of Rizal’s execution at Bagumbayan, now known as Rizal Park, in 1896. 

Source:  Wikipedia.