SamareƱos, 1649

Faithful readers of this blog know all about Francisco Alcina, Jesuit, who wrote A History of the Bisayan People in the Philippine Islands (available in a bilingual translation from University of Santo Tomas Press)

He was sent to the province of Samar, in the Visayan Islands of the central Philippines, to replace two priests who had been murdered in an uprising.

From Bambi L. Harper, Philippine journalist:

. . . the 1649 uprising in Samar did not remain localized. It spread to Leyte, Cebu, Sorsogon, Camarines, Albay and Masbate … the island of Mindanao also followed suit. Churches were razed, friars and government officials killed.

Of course the Spanish quelled it, in the end. Spain remained in the Philippines until the Americans took over, in 1898. Self has written a 365-page novel that circles this traumatic event, which the clergy blamed on the “Evil One.”

In self’s novel, a young priest is sent direct from Spain. His task: to go the Philippines and fight demons (But the real demons are inside himself, who knew)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Currently Reading SOLVING STONEHENGE, by Anthony Johnson

The book was a gift from the author, who self has never met. He mailed it to Redwood City from Oxford University, where he taught. Self was blogging about Stonehenge (and was also writing flash about Stonehenge — those flash can still be found in Wigleaf). He left her a message on this blog. Then sent her the book.

In 1992, a burial site was discovered, 5 km east of Stonehenge. It was the grave of an adult man, “around 35-45 years old.” The man was deemed to be important because “ten times the usual number of finds accompanied the body.” He “had been laid on his left side … facing north.” Buried with him were:

  • two archer’s wristguards (one of which was made from black sandstone and came from the coast, 50 km away)
  • three copper knives
  • He must “have been buried with a bow and a quiver containing arrows, for 17 flint arrowheads were also present.”
  • a type of miniature anvil known as a ‘cushion stone’
  • a pair of sheet gold loop earrings

In 1993, a second grave was discovered, 6 km east of Stonehenge. This contained “the remains of seven individuals, all males: three adults, a teenager, and three children.” The oldest individual was “buried with his legs tucked up” and his head again pointing north.

The man in the 1992 grave has been given the name the Amesbury Archer.

In 2001, at Rameldry Farm, in Fife, Scotland, “a farmer’s plough caught the capstone covering an early Bronze Age” grave. Inside “a stone cist lay the skeleton of an adult male around 40 – 45 years, whose bones produced a radiocarbon date of 2280 – 1970 BC.”

Why is self reading so diligently about Bronze Age graves? She’s trying to finish her horror story and it’s about a team of scientists who stumble on some very disturbing findings in Antarctica. Hoping she can absorb some of the language.

She has so many questions: Why were people buried with heads facing north? Did they come from the north? Why were the oldest individuals around 40-45 years old, was that the normal life expectancy in the Bronze Age? Why were the graves of males exclusively? Where were the females buried?

More:

Suddenly, around 1700 BC, there is a disruption in the quality and quantity of metalwork found in graves in Britain. This coincided with “the apparent abandonment of Stonehenge.” By 1400 BC, “it appears that Stonehenge, already some 1,000 years old, had been abandoned.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Mesilla, New Mexico

Self read the following in a brochure she picked up from the Double Eagle, a restaurant facing Mesilla’s old plaza, itself a National Historic Landmark:

The name Mesilla is first found and inscribed on a map in a report to the King of Spain by Don Juan de Onate dated 1598. This makes it predate the arrival of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock by 22 years. It was first part of Mexico: the US border lay just 3 miles north. It became part of the United States as part of the Gadsden Purchase of 1854.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Looking Back: WIRED, 2010

SERIAL KILLER:

How the AK-47 became “the most deadly — and disruptive — technology of the past century

by C. J. Chivers

From the article:

The AK-47 was created by Stalin’s engineers in 1947. “When the Pentagon finally got its hands on a few of the weapons in the 1950s, officials scoffed.” Its name was the Avtomat Kalashnikova-47, and it “would become one of the most recognizable artifacts of the 20th century . . . It has helped ensure that even the poor, the small-statured, the dim-witted, the illiterate, and the untrained are able to acquire weapons and keep them functioning . . . . Stalin’s rifle became, and remains, the everyman gun, a success — and scourge — that is sure to last well into the 21st century.”

The M1943 cartridge: “In 1943, the Soviets captured an unusual cartridge from Nazi soldiers on Germany’s eastern front. The cartridge, roughly midway in size between traditional rifle and pistol ammo, lacked the power for effective long-range shooting but was more than adequate for most combat. It generated less heat and recoil, which meant that guns built around it could be lighter, cheaper, and easier to fire.”

Stay tuned.

Maybe Self Will Pull Some of the Letters in Her Novel and Send Out as Self-Contained Short Stories

Here’s one:

THE BISHOP OF MANILA WRITES TO HIS CATHOLIC ROYAL MAJESTY

26 Junio 1755

Most Powerful Lord,

When you assign someone to come to govern this land, your Majesty should take into account that you are not sending a person who will have to face investigation but an absolute king who does not have any superior, nor anyone to be accountable to but who should be solely motivated by fear of God, the service of Your Majesty and the zeal for the popular good, because there is no means to stop him, and all remedies are useless and without effect. In view of this, and of the fact that Your Majesty cannot make men of wax, nor know their feelings, nor have them close at hand, it does not amaze me that the person appointed does not turn out to be worthy.

 

20190906_132742

Manuel E. Benavides Library, University of Santo Tomas, Manila (founded 1611)

Self may have gotten a lot of things wrong, but not the tone. NOT THE TONE.

Stay tuned.

 

The Anointing Portion of an English Coronation

from Anne Glenconner’s engrossing memoir, Lady In Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown:

The anointing is considered the most vital part of any coronation, because without this sacred moment, the new King or Queen cannot be crowned. So significant and so holy is it that, despite the traditional canopy set up around her, held by four Knights of the Garter, the cameras were diverted so she was hidden from view, with only a handful of people, including me, able to witness it.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: Alcina Again, from HISTORIA DE LAS ISLAS e INDIOS DE BISAYAS (Published 1668)

from Chapter 7: Concerning a description of the looms (los telares) of these natives and an account of other arts like the working of precious metals which here are of gold alone, etc.

  • I left that region and lived in another until I returned to it after sixteen or eighteen years and saw her for the second time.

Sentence of the Day: Alcina

“The greatest chiefs are the best smiths.”

— from History of the Bisayan People in the Philippine Islands, published 1668

Women and Knives: from Alcina’s History of the Bisayan People in the Philippine Islands

Thank the gods self was able to carve out a week in Oxford. Since she left the Tyrone Guthrie Centre on Oct. 27, it’s been very hectic. She hasn’t had time to read the Philippine history books, like Alcina’s, which she checked out of Stanford’s Green Library and which she’s lugged from Stanford to Dublin to Annaghmakerrig to Dublin to Manchester to London and finally here, to Oxford.

But walking around the Oxford Botanic Garden, and wandering into stores that sell old maps, and attending services two days in a row at Christ Church — all of that — is certainly reviving her interest in Alcina!

Francisco Ignacio Alcina was a Jesuit missionary who ended his great work in 1665. Self is reading it in a bilingual translation published by the oldest university in the Philippines, the University of Santo Tomas.

20191111_100616

Christ Church, Oxford: Remembrance Day

from Chapter 6: Concerning other mechanical arts which they knew in their antiquity and have preserved till today with improvements

  • The women have different types of knives of various shapes, but all are of iron. Some resemble the bolo, others are like ours which they call sipul in some regions and in others, dipang. They are accustomed to place their little rings of iron on the ends so that they make little sounds. These are valuable to the women and rarely will one be seen without them. In some towns, they always carry them in their hands when they go out of their houses so that they travel prepared for whatever might occur in the way of cutting something and even of wounding each other perhaps when they quarrel. In a town one woman killed another with one of these little knives because of jealousy. A very small wound is required to draw the soul from the body.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: Francisco Ignacio Alcina, S.J.

  • It is an established fact that these natives came here in boats and since all these are islands, they could not come in any other manner.

History of the Bisayan People in the Philippine Islands, 1668

« Older entries

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Asian Cultural Experience

Preserving the history and legacy of Salinas Chinatown

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through style and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

litadoolan

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

CSP Archives

Archive of the CSP

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other

Random Storyteller

A crazy quilt of poems, stories, and humor

Kanlaon

Just another Wordpress.com weblog