Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Father's day, Gold at the Ayala Museum

The third Sunday of June is Father's Day. Other countries have their own Father's Day. Wikipedia gives the calendar here. Well it seems that we have stereotyped what to give dear old dad on his day. Why do we have to run to the nearest hardware store every June to buy an electric drill?

In Germany, dad gets all the beer he wants!

But that is just icing on what really dad deserves. It is easy to father but extremely hard to be a father. Fathering is both physical and spiritual.

While dad may not need you to show affection for him, he needs your love and prayers.

Prayer is what makes a father go along the way with you.

Sometimes the fact that you are a father dawns on a man in an unexpected way, like what happened to Indiana Jones in the last adventure. But whether you know you will be a dad, or one day you realize that you are a dad, everything changes.

I extend my Father's day greetings to all fathers, biological ones, foster ones, step ones and of course the Reverend Fathers.

The Reverend Fathers are often missed out on Father's Day but although they are not biological fathers, they are spiritual fathers to a multitude and spiritual fathering is tough too.

Gold!

I'm a bit late in commenting as compared to other bloggers who have been to the "Gold of Ancestors" exhibition at the Ayala Museum. This is the only time ever that I have seen so much gold in one place. I have no words to describe it. "Que maravilloso" isn't enough. I had no guts to steal photos like some bloggers did but the Ayala Museum website have some pics of the objects.

It is a real hoard! We seen it in Indy Jones movies but of course those are all fakes,movie props.

I was with a group of Spanish speaking Pinoys and frankly speaking this one of the rare times that I get to hear Filipino Spanish spoken. I learned my Castellano in school and this was the Madrid kind.

But I was stunned at the metalwork. I have seen gold artifacts in museums in Europe, the US,Korea and Japan and these don't compare to the golden halter or Upavita that a Datu wore. The workmanship of medieval European royal crowns don't even compare! The Boxer Codex shows how these were worn by the ruling class in pre-colonial times. The halter in Hindu belief signifies that one belongs to the brahmin caste.

Who made the gold artifacts are not known but we can assume Philippine pre-Colonial metalsmiths made them. Jessica Zafra writes more about the significance of the finds. But the finds show that Hindu influence in Philippine culture is more pervasive than first assumed. Linguists have long shown that Philippine languages have words of Hindu provenance. We can also surmise the presence of a caste system.Whether this became as developed as in India remains a question for historians.

But an interesting question is a what if. What if Islam and European colonization failed to establish themselves, would the Philippines turn out to be like Bali?

Also what intrigued me is the icons and worship objects. One of the representions of a female deity is similar to how Catholic Filipinos represent the Virgin Mary, especially when the Mary icon is decked in gold thread. The Kinnari icon vaguely represents angels made by local craftsmen during the Spanish colonial period.

It seems that these pre-colonial influences live on today. But of course women no longer wear those chastity plates!

Some gold artifacts were even found in San Juan, Metro Manila. Who knows, a hoard may be buried in UP Diliman and not just WWII bombs!

The Upavita halter is the closest we have to crown jewels. Since our President is Queen,why don't we invest her with something like that? Well we have made her a Brahmin didn't we?

The exhibit gave me a better appreciation of what Rizal wrote in his annotation of Morga. Our ancestors were culturally advanced.

The Locsins (Lindy Locsin, the National Artist-Architect funded the digs) owned the finds until they found a suitable museum to exhibit them.

The Ayala Museum is probably our first world class museum. So as Jessica Zafra writes ala Indy Jones, it belongs there.

1 comment:

DJB Rizalist said...

Glittering!