In ancient Philippine mythology, Mayari is the one-eyed moon-goddess of war, revolution, beauty and strength- daughter of the chieftain of the gods, Bathala, and a mortal woman, Mayari battled with her brother Apolaki, over who would rule the earth.  

She graces the night sky with her light, and she is said to be the loveliest out of all the gods. 

Before you say you made a Filipino character or headcanon a character as Filipino

Please ask yourself what kind of Filipino exactly.

There are at least 175 ethnolinguistic groups (or ethnolinguistic nations, if you prefer the term) in the Philippines — quite an impressive number for such a small archipelago, yes? — with their own distinct languages, cultures and traditions, yet I keep seeing the same vaguely Catholic, Filipino-speaking flavorlessly pan-Filipino characters running around. Why?

Filipino is more of a national allegiance than an ethnic identity. Filipinoness is not a monolith. There is no such thing as just a Filipino. Filipinos are regionalistic and intensely clannish, and might even be antagonistic towards each other. For example: Tagalogs and Cebuanos are going to be different from each other and they will gladly tell you so, and these are both lowland-coastal Catholic ethnic groups.

To put things into perspective:

As was previously said, there are over 175 ethnolinguistic groups in the Philippines, only twelve of which number over one million members. Namely and in order from most to least populous: Cebuano, Tagalog, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, Central Bicolano, Waray, Kapampangan, Albay Bicolano, Pangasinense, Maranao, Maguindanao and Tausug. The first nine are predominantly Catholic and the last three are predominantly Muslim. Each group speaks a different language and adheres to its own set of traditions.

The majority of Filipinos are from lowland-coastal Catholic (or some other Christian denomination) ethnic groups that have been subject to Spanish colonization, but there is also a sizeable and growing Muslim minority that had never been under Spanish control with cultures quite distinct from their Catholic brethren; might I add that the arrival of Islam predated the arrival of Catholicism in the Philippines? There are also the indigenous peoples that comprise over 100 ethnic groups but only an estimated 3% of the population. The term is a misnomer — the vast majority of Filipinos are indigenous — and what they mean to say is non-Hispanicized, non-Christianized, non-Islamicized, mostly upland/highland or hinterland-dwelling ethnic groups. There are exceptions, though, and some groups that are otherwise classified as indigenous peoples have largely converted to Christianity (i.e. Ibanag) or Islam (i.e. Sama-Bajau). The lines can be arbitrary. There can be any number of mixtures and overlaps between these three major groups.

Then, there are immigrant and mixed populations, such as the Spanish mestizos (who, contrary to popular belief, are a small minority of the population), Filipinos of American descent, Chinese-Filipinos, Japanese-Filipinos, Indian-Filipinos, Koreans and Indonesians. Of course, they will have their own culture and traditions. Some of these groups have been here for centuries and, as such, have adopted a syncretized culture that combines the foreign culture with Philippine culture, leading to even more diversity.

The Chinese-Filipino community alone is already very diverse in itself. It is very old, with contact between the people of what would become China and the Philippines being established since the 9th Century BCE and immigration taking place as early as then. Roughly 2% of the population of the Philippines is Chinese-Filipino and up to 27% is of Chinese descent. Within this group, you can have different combinations of place of origin, ethnicity and social status in China, wave of immigration, method of and reason for immigrating to the Philippines, number of generations from the mainland, and where they settled in the Philippines and level of insularity vs. integration, and each configuration is going to be different, wildly or mildly, from the others. Some are going to be very similar to the surrounding community while some would be practicing and preserving traditions which are long gone and forgotten even in its native China.

tl;dr: The Philippines is ridiculously diverse for such a small collection of rocks by the Pacific. Disabuse yourself of the notion that you can simply say a character is Filipino and be done with it. Choose one and research.

The same applies to any ethnic group or race which you may wish to write or headcanon.

7

Marawi Update as of May 28, 2017, 2:19 pm local time 

As Ramadan has begun, thousands of people displaced from the fighting in Marawi are celebrating the holy month away from their homes, waiting for the fighting to stop so they can go back. To those still in the city, they wake up to gun shots, airstrikes, and pray that it will be over soon.

As of right now airstrikes and ongoing fire fight are still going on, however there has been more emphasis on airstrikes. The Maute group have been rounding up and killing Christians. Some were fleeing Marawi to Iligan but were stopped by Maute members where they separated the Christian citizens from those who were Muslim. They were told to recite Islamic prayers to prove they were Muslim and those who couldn’t were taken and killed. Eight bodies have been found, in a ditch, tied up, with gunshot wounds to their heads with placards saying “munafik”, traitor, by them, less than a kilometer away from a security checkpoint on the Iligan-Marawi border. They were bakers from a local bakery according to two women who identified them.

Those still trapped in the city are desperately hiding their Christian friends in hidden rooms, teaching them how to recite Islamic prayers in case their homes are raided and they are found by Maute members, to help them not be captured.

People who haven’t left Marawi yet but are fleeing to Iligan have been told by the military to wave white flags while walking through the streets of Marawi to show the military that they are innocent civilians passing through and not Maute members.

So far, 19 civilians including the 8 men found in the ditch, are currently known to have died. Among the 19 dead include 3 women and a young child found by the military near one of the universities during a rescue operation.

With the ongoing fights between the Maute group and the military thousands of citizens from Marawi are now displaced, unable to go home after almost a week since the siege. Food, water, and supplies are desperately needed in many places where the evacuee’s have escaped to.

nytimes.com
Florence Finch, Unsung War Hero Who Took On Japanese, Dies at 101
During World War II, Mrs. Finch quietly undermined Japan when it occupied the Philippines, and was tortured for it. Then she quietly raised a family in the United States.
By Sam Roberts

“Women don’t tell war stories like men do,” her daughter said.

Finch described her heroic feats - supplying fuel to Filipino rebels, sabotaging supplies, smuggling food to prisoners, and enduring torture after she was captured - with the utmost modesty. Almost nobody knew she was a Coast Guard veteran, or that in 1947 she had won the highest honor afforded to civilians.

She died at 101 years old, and was laid to rest with full military honors last week. She’d died in December, but didn’t want her funeral to ruin Christmas.

instagram

A large colony of garden eels sway and feed in the gentle currents off Dumaguete Philippines. Garden eels are extremely shy and harmless members of the conger eel family. They live in burrows on the sea floor and are very social creatures that form large colonies. The currents deliver a a continuous passing supply of plankton allowing the eels to feed in the comfort and safety of their sandy home. As our team approached this giant colony they quickly vanished into their burrows as if they never existed. I find these colonies to be hypnotic living gardens in the sea. Thank you to Leandro Blanco for video support. On assignment for @natgeo Philippines, Inside the Coral Triangle.
#DiscoverOcean

“My Family’s Slave” and the people who don’t want to understand Filipino culture

I got blocked within 1 minute of sending the second tweet

Instead of listening to actual Filipinos about Lola and her legacy, Miss “I study and value diversity so I will never listen to people who actually know the culture and context in which this occurred” just blocks them for disagreeing with her

So here’s a message for all y’all who think you can fight for Lola’s story but then entirely disregard the culture from which she came: 

Shut up and listen. 

I am so fucking disgusted by every “oh this is so sad” “how could anybody do this” “she should have killed that family” comment from a westerner who has no context of our culture or how they themselves contributed to it

The country that makes a Filipino maid joke every other time we as a race are mentioned shouldn’t take the moral high ground because you suddenly feel sad about it

You don’t understand how Filipinos treat family, how they’re willing to humble themselves to extremes, how being in America is already a huge fucking deal for those who grew up in the province, how that contributes to the “utang na loob” culture that while not necessarily good, is a big part of how every Filipino operates

Yes, what happened to Lola was bad. I call her Lola because 1) She would not have gone by eudocia, not even with her own family and community. Filipinos have nicknames, always, with some exceptions (our driver Tommy’s actual first name is Tommy, so). 2) Lola means old woman as much as it means grandma, so for a lack of a name that isn’t just on her grave stone and birth certificate, we call her Lola, which people in the community would have called her at that age regardless. Which Kendall might have known had she not blocked every single Filipino who actually knows a thing or two. 

What happened to her was slavery yes. Not because she served an abusive family, but because she didn’t have a choice and they didn’t pay her. It is not the kind of slavery you can put a black American context to, which is what Kendall did. In order to understand just why she didn’t leave even at the opportunities she was given, you have to understand her culture as much as her situation. 

To do otherwise is an affront to anybody who’s experienced or experiencing the same. Filipino maids are being abused in every country, even paid. They’re treated like slaves today, at this very moment, but are not considered such because they have income, little as it is. But instead of saying “huhu how sad” and “we have to end their slavery!” think about why we do it and what could be done to make sure they’re treated fairly. 

And actually listen.