Archive for June 12th, 2012

Animated video of ‘Lupang Hinirang’ released

MANILA, Philippines – Here’s a breath of fresh air from the usual “Lupang Hinirang” videos seen on televisions, which usually feature actors or politicians.

Animated characters make up the new music video of the country’s national anthem presented by Rock Ed Radio and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

The 1-minute-38-second clip, which uses the Radioactive Sago’s performance of “Lupang Hinirang,” is directed and animated by Arnold Arre.

Gang Badoy-Capati, founder and executive director of Rock Ed Philippines, said the animated video aims to pay tribute to all Filipinos who worked hard to make the Philippines “as free as it is today.”

The country celebrates its 114th day of independence today, June 12.

“I think it’s about time that we have new visuals about the Philippines,” Badoy-Capati told ANC. “Animation can make it as adventurous as it can be.”

She also shared one of the many lessons that both children and adults can learn from the video.

“We wanted to emphasize that something can grow from someone’s sacrifice,” she said. “I think Araw ng Kalayaan is really about that.”

Here’s a look at the new animated video of “Lupang Hinirang.

Turning ‘Banig’ Into Symbol Of Patriotism

Whenever Filipinos see a banig (native hand-woven mat), chances are, they would instantly conjure up images of themselves having a relaxing sleep.

With the country’s 114th Independence Day celebration fast approaching, leading real estate developer Ayala Land, Inc. sought to associate banig with something other than nap time – transforming the hand-woven wonders into the ultimate symbol of Philippine patriotism.

What symbol? The Philippine flag, of course. After all, somebody would’ve gotten killed waving such flag over a century ago.

Friday night, Ayala Land, in partnership with the Makati City government and the Makati Commercial Estate Association, Inc. (MACEA) unveiled the largest hand-woven Philippine flag at the Ayala Triangle Garden. It is the first and only Philippine flag made out of banig.

Mounted horizontally at the heart of the Ayala Triangle Garden, the imposing masterpiece was crafted by artisans in Basey, Samar, said Ayala Land Assistant Vice President Mel Ignacio.

“It is 50 square meters and is made of tikog grass, which is the material used to make banig. The weaving was done by 25 people and they worked on it in a little over a month,” Ignacio said.

Incidentally, the old practice of tikog-weaving still flourishes in the old town of Basey even as banig took on other forms and uses such as bags, throw pillows, framed decors, and furniture matting. Souvenir-hunters and tourists eat it up, too.

“The flag symbolizes our independence. We wanted to do something to symbolize our ingenuity and culture. Our ancestors have been using it for a long time. The banig has also proven to be important in the lives of many people,” cited Ignacio.

Indeed, banig is symbolic of Filipino culture and identity.

The beautiful stories behind these hand-woven mats are further showcased in a Banig Exhibit, which complements the huge flag display and was put up in with the help of the Filipino Heritage Festival.

The banig flag may be the most meaningful Philippine flag-inspired, large-scale installation yet at the Ayala Triangle Garden.

Ignacio said that last year’s display, which was also unveiled during Independence Day celebration, featured a “3-D flag” while the previous year saw a Philippine flag image formed from plants.

“Maybe the school children can come here. We want them to be proud about their heritage and see the flag,” Ignacio said.

For his part, Ayala Land, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Tony Aquino, said: “Ayala Land is committed to continue working with key stakeholders, led by the local government of Makati City, to ensure the growth and development of Makati as it evolves beyond its borders into the country’s leading city for business, lifestyle, entertainment and culture.”

The banig flag, Ignacio said, would be on display for up to a month. Hopefully, the message of this powerful symbolism would linger. 🙄

The Gift of Stories – The Caliph of Bagdad

Many Centuries ago, a banquet was held in the palace of the Caliph of Bagdad to celebrate the birth of a new son. As was the custom, leaders and men of high station came from all across the land to present gifts and enjoy the feast provided by the Caliph. Each brought a costly gift, except for one very wise sage named Mehelled Abi. Abi came to the feast empty-handed.

Each guest paraded in elegance before the Caliph to present his gift. Fine cloths, jewels and gold were given in abundance. As each gift was received with a smile from the Caliph, the givers turned and gave a frown as they watched the sage standing at the end of the line with no gift to give.

At last the sage came before the Caliph, and the room grew silent as all wished to hear what words he shared with their ruler. “Fine rainments, jewels and gold the prince has received, and may he be blessed by many more gifts as he grows to manhood. But, I bring the most precious gift of all. I bring the gift of “Stories.” Laughter broke out in the room until the Caliph held up his hand to silence everyone and let the sage continue.

“From the time that your son is able to understand my words,” said the sage, “I will come to the palace every day and tell him stories. The tales I tell him, both true and fanciful, will make him wise and righteous as he grows in wisdom through my words. When the day comes, my Caliph that you can rule no longer, your son will sit above your people as their chief. He will be just and merciful, and all of Arabia will rejoice in his leadership.”

Mehelled Abi kept his word. The child, who was named Haroun-al-Rashid, was tutored daily by the wise old man and told stories from all around the world – tales both true and fanciful. When the time came for him to rule as Caliph, he extended the borders of his empire from the Byzantine Empire in the West to China in the East. He ruled with wisdom like few other men possessed.

Harun (called Aaron by westerners) is still know as Aaron the Upright, Aaron the Just and Aaron the Rightly Guided. Bagdad grew in power. Art and music flourished as did the art of storytelling. Some say that the Book 1001 Arabian Nights was stimulated by the rule of this Caliph – all because of the gift of stories.

May your children be blessed by the gift of your stories.