Singing, Merrymaking and Sociability Among the Early Filipinos

Filipinos have this reputation of being the entertainers of Asia.

You know this is true.

Go into any bar in Bangkok or Tokyo.  So many times, the band will consist of Filipino musicians and singers.

Now, self is reading Alcina’s Historia de las Islas Filipinas.  She found the book in Green Library at Stanford and spent an afternoon taking notes and photocopying batches.  Alcina talks mostly about the Bisayan people (the central islands of the Philippines are known as the Visayas).  Here is what he says:

“To put it briefly, seldom will these Bisayan natives be found not singing, unless they are sick or sleeping.”  During feasts, they sing and dance “unto exhaustion.  In all their activities they call upon one another and invite one another . . . ”

Comparing the Filipinos’ style of singing with that of the Europeans, Alcina noted that “ours sing according to artistic principles and are well-practiced with moving melodies, whereas the natives sing spontaneously and in such manner that their style of singing is not offensive to the ear.”  Alcina notes that the Filipinos “melodies seem to be out of pitch or tune, as far as our ears are concerned, and somewhat more harsh than gentle (more crude than refined).  We can see the same among the Chinese today, from whom, perhaps, these natives learned the mode of their songs . . . ”

Alcina describes a native instrument which he calls the kuriapi.  It is similar (as far as self can guess, from Alcina’s descriptions) to a banjo, with only two strings, the back consisting of “an empty coconut shell.”  Alcina writes:  “Many are attracted to listen when somebody plays it (this takes place in the evening, since during the day it is difficult to hear) so much so that the houses become quickly crowded, both inside and outside.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus 2

It is SO much fun to participate in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenges!

This week’s theme is FOCUS:  “Get out there and take a picture demonstrating the concept of focus . . . tinker with the manual settings, use the autofocus feature, or play around with an app.”

In response to which, self would like to say:  Easier said than done!

But here’s another try:

Flower Carpet "Red" on self's front porch

Flower Carpet “Red” on self’s front porch

Memories of another August:  Nerja or Nijar, southern Spain, August 1996

Memories of another August: Nerja or Nijar, southern Spain, August 1996

Steps by the castle at Hawthornden:  June 2012

Steps by the castle at Hawthornden: June 2012

Did she get it right?  Who knows?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

For this week’s photo challenge, as self understands it, we are supposed to be experimenting with depth of field and aperture.  So self went blithely over her stash of photos to find the ones that were most blurred —  NOT!

Anyhoo, here’s self’s first attempt to address the theme of “Focus”:

Chinatown, San Francisco, June 2013

Chinatown, San Francisco, June 2013

on the grounds of Hawthornden, Southern Scotland, June 2012

On the grounds of Hawthornden, Southern Scotland, June 2012

View from the Ponte del Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs), the Bridge That Led From the Doge's Palace to the Prisons

View from the Ponte del Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs), the Bridge That Led From the Doge’s Palace to the Prisons, April 2013

BTW, I just loved the way frizztext explored this theme!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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