The origin of the word “undás

Each time All Saints’ Day draws near, we usually hear the word “undás” to pertain to it. Many people are puzzled as to the meaning of the term. Some who are well-versed in etymology say that it was derived from the Spanish word “honrar” meaning “to honor”, and it is associated to All Saints’ Day because we honor our dearly departed dead during this event.

But how did honrar become undás?

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I Precursori Di Cristo Con Tutti I Santi Ed I Martiri Del Paradiso (The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs), tempera on poplar wood by Fra Angelico.

When you conjugate the word honrar to the first person in present tense, it becomes “honras” (you honor). Filipinos back then tend to mispronounce many Spanish words, and through time, such words have evolved: “pared” became “pader“, “jabón” became “sabón“, “cebollas” became “sibuyas“, etc. In linguistics, this phenomenon is called sound change.

In some parts of Southern Luzón such as Batangas, Tayabas (now Quezon), and Mindoro Island, undás is pronounced as “undrás” (with an “r”). As you can now see, honras and undrás sound the same (by the way, the letter “h” has no sound in Spanish).

Now let’s go back to the Spanish word honrar. It is said that the use of the term undrás to pertain to the triduum of All Hallows’ Eve (October 31), All Saints’ Day (November 1), and All Souls Day (November 2) came first before it further got corrupted to undás through time. But we could even go back further and trace its roots to the Spanish term “honras fúnebres” which means “funeral honors”. This should close any doubt that undás or undrás originated from honras.

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Una exposición de arte por una buena causa

Ayer por la tarde asistí la apertura de una exposición de arte por una causa organizada por mi amigo, el Dr. Nilo Valdecantos. Él es un dentista de profesión pero un patrón de arte por vocación. Después de todo, es de Paeté, un pueblo (municipalidad) en la provincia de La Laguna que es famoso por sus escultores. Pero a través de los años la tradición escultórica de Paeté se vio aumentada por una nueva generación de artistas: pintores y también músicos. Por lo tanto, Paeté ahora puede ser considerado como un refugio para artistas.

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Kalikasan, Kultura, at Kasaysayan” en LRI Design Plaza, Ciudad de Macati.

El Dr. Valdecantos es un sobreviviente de cáncer. Fue capaz de sobrevivir a esa dolorosa experiencia porque tenía los medios para hacerlo. Pero durante esa dolorosa experiencia, pudo conocer a otros pacientes de cáncer que no eran tan afortunados como él porque eran pobres. No podían pagar la costosa medicación ni la quimioterapia. Así, su destino quedó sellado.

Después de sobrevivir a su terrible experiencia, el Dr. Valdecantos no olvidó a los otros pacientes de cáncer que había conocido durante su paso inolvidable. Por eso lanzó una exposición de arte para una causa se llama “Kalikasan, Kultura, at Kasaysayan” (Naturaleza, Cultura, e Historia) para el beneficio de los pacientes de cáncer. El evento presenta las obras de arte (pinturas y esculturas) de los mejores artistas de Paete en la actualidad como Fred Baldemor, Glenn Cagandahan, Ysa Gernale, y mucho más. Una gran parte de los ingresos de sus magníficas obras de arte serán para los pacientes con cáncer que están internados en St. Frances Cabrini Medical Center en Santo Tomás, Batangas. Kalikasan, Kultura, at Kasaysayan se encuentra en LRI Design Plaza en la Ciudad de San Pedro Macati (Makati City) y se extenderá hasta el 16 de octubre.

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“Three Graces Series” (Serie de Tres Gracias), una escultura en bronce por Fred Baldemor, considerado como el “Miguel Ángel de Filipinas”.

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“Fiesta”, óleo sobre lienzo por Amador Barquilla.

El Dr. Valdecantos, un patrocinador genuino de las bellas artes, espera que muchos otros patrocinadores del arte como él organicen más eventos como este. Que Dios bendiga su hermosa alma.

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El Dr. Nilo Valdecantos y yo. Detrás de nosotros está Joey Ayala, un famoso músico, junto con su percusionista vocalista de respaldo.

La reliquia del corazón del Padre Pío de Pietrelcina visita Filipinas

Por primera vez, el corazón “incorruptible” de un santo célebre visitará Filipinas este mes, empezando mañana.

El relicario con el corazón de Padre Pío (foto: P. Joselín Gonda).

Padre Joselín Gonda, rector del Santuario Nacional y Parroquia de San Pío de Pietrelcina en Santo Tomás, Batangas dijo que la reliquia de San Pío de Pietrelcina, o más conocido entre los filipinos como Padre Pío, estará en el país por al menos 20 días, del 5 al 26 de octubre.

Inicialmente, dijo que la visita estaba programada para 10 días a principios de septiembre para coincidir con el centenario de la aparición de los estigmas ampliamente venerados del Padre Pío.

Sin embargo, el plan no se concretó porque coincidirá con la asamblea de obispos italianos en San Giovanni Rotondo, en el sur de Italia, donde se encuentra el santuario que alberga los restos y reliquias del santo.

<<Pero estamos bendecidos de tener esta reliquia de San Padre Pío durante 20 días en lugar de 10,>> dijo P. Gonda en una publicación de Facebook.

El sacerdote dijo que también están coordinando con la Comisión de Clero de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Filipinas (Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines) en la planificación de las actividades.

Según P. Gonda, la visita pastoral se vuelve más significativa a medida que la Iglesia local celebra el Año del Clero y la Vida Consagrada. <<Padre Pío fue elegido como modelo para todos los sacerdotes y religiosos,>> dijo.

Nacido en Pietrelcina en Italia, el Padre Pío llegó al monasterio de los capuchinos en San Giovanni Rotondo en 1916 e hizo su hogar allí por 52 años hasta su muerte en marzo de 1968. Además de ser devoto a Dios, era conocido por su cuidado de los enfermos y su poder de curar y profetizar. Fue canonizado por el Papa Juan Pablo II en 2002.

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El horario completo de la visita. Imagen: Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, S.V.D.

Haga clic aquí para saber más sobre la vida y el legado el Padre Pío.

Esta publicación es mi edición traducida del artículo de Roy Lagarde que apareció por primera vez en CBCPNEWS.

 

Ultranationalism: what does it really mean?

It has been observed that the term ultranationalism has become a pejorative description for nationalists who display an extreme fervor to or advocacy of the interests of their country. Those who claim to be “citizens of the world” are the ones who are quick to calumny nationalists, often accusing them of being this so-called ultranationalism.

But what, really, does ultranationalism connote? Legendary nationalist Claro M. Recto had this to say:

It is evident that our brand of nationalism is different from that of our accusers. We have no desire and we have never attempted to deny the national self-interest of other peoples in their own countries. We merely want to defend our own, in our own territory. We are nationalists but we can live in harmony with other nationalists, because all nationalisms can work out a plan for coexistence which will not detract from the sovereignty of any one nation. Those who are bent on carrying their nationalisms beyond their national frontiers in order to overrun other nationalisms have ceased to be true nationalists and have become ultra-nationalists, which is another word for imperialists. Ultra is a Latin word which means beyond in space, as in the terms plus ultra and non plus ultra. An ultra-nationalist, therefore, is one who wants to be first not only in his own country, but also in other countries to which he is a foreigner; that is, an imperialist.

We would rather take the meaning of ultranationalism from a master of words and an expert in etymology (many critics in literature regard him as our Filipino version of Miguel de Cervantes) than from those with shallow understanding of the true import of nationalism. Nevertheless, we have to admit that there really are nationalists who do show an extreme kind of nationalism to the point that they have disregarded or neglected the interests of other countries. But such people are a minority and do not really represent the lofty ideals of nationalism. The kind of nationalism they adhere to can be classified as bigoted or chauvinistic. But it doesn’t really matter. What matters the most is placing ultranationalism in its proper etimological perspective, that ultranationalism is imperialism after all. Period.

And speaking of bigotry or chauvinism, there are actually no “ultranationalists” (to borrow from anti-nationalists’ twisted definition of the term) in Filipinas. What we have are regionalists who claim that their province or region or town/city or ethnicity is better than the rest. Take this photo, for instance:

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Photo taken at the border of Tagaytay, Cavite and Nasugbú, Batangas last 13 September 2011.

“Welcome to the Province of the Brave”, says this welcome arch, signifying that travelers are about to enter the Province of Batangas. Aside from the “warm welcome”, what does the message really want to imply? That Batangas is the only province of the brave? And what does that say of the other provinces? You see, there are many ways to promote provincial or regional pride without overdoing it or putting others down. Regionalism is not only anti-nationalist but anti-Filipino as well. We have to remember (and treasure) that the concept of the Filipino is what united our once divided and warring ethnolinguistic groups.

Other than the parochial message, this arch is a total waste of tax payer’s money. As if the arch behind it is not enough (they could’ve just added the name Batangas with that of Nasugbú).

Originally published in FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES.

Kalikasan, Kultura, at Kasaysayan (art for a cause)

After successfully launching the “Apo Ni Isaac II” art exhibit last September 22, Kape Kesada Art Gallery, in cooperation with LRI Design Plaza, brings us yet another art exhibit, this time for a cause…

Kalikasan, Kultura, at Kasaysayan, an art for a cause exhibit.

The proceeds of this art exhibit which features the works of visual artists from the Laguna Artists Guild will be for the benefit of cancer patients confined in St. Frances Cabrini Medical Center in Santo Tomás, Batangas. This project is a brainchild of Dr. Nilo Valdecantos, art patron of La Laguna Province and owner of Kape Kesada Art Gallery, who himself is a cancer survivor (Non-Hodgkin lymphoma).

Screengrab of Dr. Nilo Valdecantos’s CNN interview last September 27 for Cherie Mercado’s “Serbisyo Ngayon“. Click on the image to watch the interview.

“Kalikasan, Kultura, at Kasaysayan” will have a grand opening this coming Friday, October 5, and will run until October 16 at the 2nd floor of LRI Design Plaza. For more details, please contact Francis Valdecantos at (0917)632-7131, or send a private message to Dr. Valdecantos himself right here.

 

 

 

Lobó, Batangas needs our dire support

I’ve never been to Lobó, Batangas. But the closest that my family and I have been there was when we visited the charming pebbled shores of Kamantigue Beach in Batangas City a few years ago, and whenever we visit the popular but still pristine beaches of Barrio Laíya in nearby San Juan. And since Lobó’s whitish coastlines are wedged between the scenic beaches of Batangas City and San Juan, it’s not difficult to surmise how they look like: paradisiacal to say the least. Of course, there’s good ol’ Mr. Google to rely on if you need to see the natural beauty of Lobó from the comfort of your homes.

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Gerthel Beach Resort (photo: My Resorts Batangas)

But Lobó’s natural beauty is in grave danger. Just this morning, a friend alerted me about a planned mining operation that could take place there anytime. He shared to me a video which was uploaded on Facebook by the Southern Tagálog Exposure three days ago (as of this writing, it now has 1,060 shares, 339 reactions, and 38,863 views). The video is actually a five-minute documentary spoken in Batangueño dialect because the interviewees are residents themselves of Lobó, including the parish priest. All of them clearly explained their reasons why they are against mining.

Monte Naguiling (photo: City Boy Tripper).

It doesn’t take rocket science to determine the ills of mining, whether government-sanctioned or not. Time and again, we keep on hearing news reports about mining companies  and their local political lackeys being the real winners while the residents barely receive a trickle of the profits, if at all. And the worst victim, of course, is nature. Because once destroyed, the damage is irreversible.

Pico de Laláyag (photo: All Events)

Five years ago, ABS-CBN’s Ted Failón made an investigative report about the pros and cons of mining in our country. Although it is well-known that Failón is anti-mining, his documentary may still be considered as well-balanced (despite its obvious derision of mining companies) because he was able to interview both pro- and anti-mining individuals in our country’s mining hotspots such as Caraga and Surigáo del Norte. President Rodrigo Duterte himself praised Failón’s documentary in his recent SONA. In the end, that Failón documentary has clearly proven that modern mining produces more ecological and social ills than economic cures.

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Punta Malabrigo Beach Resort (photo: Trip Advisor).

According to the video that was shared to me, Mindoro Resources Ltd., a Canadian-based mining corporation, is the company that is currently leading the planned mining explorations in the mountains of Lobó (and even nearby Batangas City). The company believes that the land covering these areas are high in gold, copper, and nickel content. Once they are given the go-signal by local government units and other concerned offices such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, then say goodbye to the beautiful beaches and mountains that you see on this blogpost. “Responsible mining”, whatever that is, is still a myth insofar as residents of mining communities are concerned. What has been in existence is irresponsible mining, something that might not be corrected in our lifetime due to rapacious greed.

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Monte Lobó (photo: Jovial Wanderer).

What is disturbing is that there seems to be lack of media interest (short of a news blackout, according to my source) regarding the circumstances behind the planned mining of Lobó’s beautiful landscape, as it is more focused on government-sanctioned extrajudicial killings and the suppression of fake news. But a terrible catastrophe is brewing in Batangas Province, and all of us ought to know about it. Late last month, aerial bombings were reported in Lobó’s Mount Banoí, said to be the mountain which is of high interest to Mindoro Resources Ltd. Those bombings, according to one media report, was said to be a military operation against alleged communist rebels. When my family visited Kamantigue Beach, which was just a few kilometers away from Lobó, I didn’t hear about any communist activity in the surrounding areas (I have a penchant of asking around for NPAs during our out-of-town trips to faraway places simply out of curiosity). If there was indeed any communist activity, I don’t believe that it’s that big to merit any aerial bombing. Islamic terrorists in western Mindanáo deserve better.

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Monte Banoi, considered as the fifth most biologically diverse mountain in Filipinas (photo: Discover).

If we are able to create human barricades to protect an ideal, a political cause, or even a politician, why not do the same for nature? Besides, Lobó belongs to all of us Filipinos. Only we should be allowed to determine its destiny, not some foreign entity.