Posts Tagged With: Mindanao

Wishing Island | Samal Island Hopping #6

Wishing Island is a very tiny isolated island on the north of Malipano Island, both being parts of the Island Garden City of Samal.

It is our last stop in our summer island.

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Categories: High School Reunion, Mindanao, Throwback, Travel, Vlogging | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Umbrella! | Kids in the Neighborhood

Little Dos wants to get an umbrella. Will he be able to get?

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“A Current of Narratives” – Now Published!

After seven months of photo shooting (http://mlimba.com/photoshoots-for-a-book-project) and writing, and countless copy-editing in between, the coffee table book is NOW out!  

“Muslim Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago: A Current of Narratives” presents a panoramic tableau of the rich culture of the Southern Philippines as shaped by the customs and traditions of its people. It leads us through an exploration of the life-giving waterways that abound in Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago; waterways that, for centuries, have connected the peoples of the region, borne witness to their struggles and hardships, and enriched their narratives and dreams.

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Video – What is Palendag?

What is palendag? What does it literally mean? What is the secret behind its melancholic sound?

Categories: Cultural Heritage, Ethics and Mysticism, Vlogging | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jawi Script in Mindanao Speech

What is Jawi? What is the status of Jawi documents in Mindanao through the years? What is their significance in shaping national Muslim narrative?

Watch this partial video footage of my 20-minute presentation of the paper “Jawi Documents in Mindanao: Their Significance in Shaping National Muslim Narrative” at the 2016 Philippine National Historical Society’s National Conference, Almont Resort Hotel, Butuan City, October 20, 2016.

Categories: History, Public Speaking, Seminars, Trainings, and Conferences | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kabuntalan Granny’s Bayuk

Seated at the middle: Bai Baubang Mauyag, a centennial Maguindnaaon ‘pababayuk’ (poet), with her forefather Sultan Namil’s graveyard at the background.

A prominent example of Maguindanaon folk speech is the bayuk, or alternatively, bayok (lyric poetry). Bayuk also refers to a Maguindanaon chant which is syllabic and tetrachordal. As the Maguindanao language is metaphorical, whenever extra care is needed to express a feeling, it is done through bayuk.

Nowadays, there has been a diminishing number of Maguindanaon ‘pababayuk’ (bayuk-reciters) who could spontaneously compose bayuk or know them by heart. One of these remaining ‘pababayuk’ is Bai Baubang Mauyag of Barangay Bagumbayan, Municipality of Kabuntalan, Province of Maguindanao. According to her estimate when I interviewed her in May 2018, she is almost a hundred years old, and a descendant of Sultan Namil of the Rajah Buayan whose graveyard is also near her house.

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Mindanao Studies: A Proposed Framework

(A modified transcript of fifteen-minute presentation under the panel “Peoples and Faiths: A Mindanao Overview” at the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU)-School of Social Sciences (SOS) – Mindanao Scholars’ Consultation-cum-Conversations on Mindanao Studies” on September 12, 2018 at Ateneo de Davao University, Davao City, Philippines.)

Salamun ‘alaykum and good morning to all of you!

Thank you, Sir Joey [Sescon] for giving me carte blanche to focus on any topic; hence, I opt for “Mindanao Studies: A Proposed Framework”. In continuing this conversation started by Br. Karl [Gaspar], I shall give an introductory anecdote, then state the existing conceptual framework in the study of Mindanao. Thereafter, I shall propose an alternative framework. After laying down this proposed framework, I shall talk about the ‘target profile’ to be followed by the objectives. Then I will proceed with my recommendation and finally make my concluding remarks. Read more »

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Photoshoots for a Book Project

Pictorial glimpses of childhood and innocence while taking photoshoots for an upcoming coffee table book project on the connectivity of waters, peoples and cultures in Muslim Mindanao.


“Like the Simorg in Fariduddin al-‘Attar’s ‘Mantiq al-Tayr,’ the Sarimanok will rise and soar high again by means of knowing its true self,” said Orak as he’s looking through the window.
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My Magic Wand While Lecturing on Federalism in Maguindanao

As the 2018 Philippine Political Science Association (PPSA) International Conference draws to a close, last weekend I reluctantly accepted – as I’m still recovering from a minor surgical operation – the invitation to be the resource person of a three-hour “Municipal Orientation on Federalism” of a Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-recognized Drug-free municipality in Maguindanao and a recipient of 2017 Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) Award.

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The Mystical Sound of Maguindanaon ‘Palendag’

MAKATI CITY (19 March) – Though for only a short while, yesterday I was able to drop by the ribbon-cutting ceremony of a new social enterprise in Cotabato City, led by no less than the incumbent city mayor, Atty. Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi, as the guest of honor.

Beyond its acclaimed feat of “brew and books,” Café Mindanaw is indeed a showcase of Mindanao coffee and foods, books and old photos, traditional music and artifacts. In short, it is a perfect place to nourish one’s body, mind and spirit combined together.

While savoring native cuisine for free, the most refreshing for me was the rare presence of Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan-awardee (National Artist) Bapa Mael as he fascinatingly serenaded the jubilant visitors with the mystical sound of his ‘palendag’.

Also called ‘pulalu’ (among the Manobos and Mansakas), ‘palandag’ (among the Bagobos), ‘pulala’ (in Bukidnon), and ‘lumundeg’ (among the Banuwaens), the ‘palendag’ is a kind of bamboo flute in the Philippines, the largest being used by the Maguindanaons. Being a lip-valley flute, it is regarded by music experts as the toughest of the three bamboo flutes (the others being the ‘tumpong’ and the ‘suling’) to play due to the way one must shape his or her lips against its tip to make a sound. Accordingly, the construction of the mouthpiece is such that the lower end is cut diagonally to accommodate the lower lip and the second diagonal cut is made for the blowing edge.

In the parlance of Maguindanaon and other vernaculars, ‘palendag’ literally means ‘wailing,’ ‘lamentation’ and ‘crying for grief’. It symbolizes the cry of the bamboo stalk (which was turned into a flute) as it was cut off from the bamboo ‘tree’. It symbolizes complaint of separation and longing for return to one’s roots. It represents uneasiness for being driven away from one’s comfort zone and the corollary desire to regain this lost comfort. Simply put, it is a litany of unwanted rupture and yearning for union.

What’s the secret behind the melancholic sound of ‘palendag’?

In Islamic mysticism (‘irfan), this flute’s lamentation is a symbol of the soul’s sorrow at being parted from the Divine Beloved. This is exactly the subject of the first poem – “The Song of the Reed” – of the four-volume Mathnawi-ye Ma‘nawi (Spiritual Couplets), which is the Persian magnum opus of the classical Muslim poet-mystic Mawlana Jalaluddin al-Balkhi, better known in the Western world as ‘Rumi’.

Rumi thus sings:

Listen to this reed, how it makes complaint,
Telling a tale of separation:

“Ever since I was cut off from my reed-bed,
Men and women all have lamented my bewailing.

I want a breast torn asunder by severance,
So that I may fully declare the agony of yearning.

Everyone who is sundered far from his origin
Longs to recapture the time when he was united with it.”

Everyone who is sundered far from his origin
Longs to recapture the time when he was united with it.”

The reed (flute) also reveals that it expresses its sorrow to everyone, and everyone attentively listens to but none is capable enough to understand the secret behind the agony:

“In every company I have poured forth my lament,
I have consorted alike with the miserable and the happy:

Each became my friend out of his own surmise,
None sought to discover the secrets in my heart.

Body is not veiled from soul, nor soul from body,
Yet to no man is leave given to see the soul.”

Body is not veiled from soul, nor soul from body,
Yet to no man is leave given to see the soul.”

For Rumi, the reason behind this failure to perceive is the human beings’ wrong assumption that the reed’s sound is just sound wave, where in fact it is a glowing fire! And one cannot truly perceive fire unless he himself is set ablaze:

This cry of the reed is fire, it is not wind;
Whoever possesses not this fire, let him be naught!

It is the fire of love that has set the reed aflame;
It is the surge of love that bubbles in the wine.

It is the fire of love that has set the reed aflame;
It is the surge of love that bubbles in the wine.

Whoever is not a fish is soon satiated with His water,
He who lacks his daily bread, for him the day is very long.

None that is inexperienced comprehends the state of the ripe,
Wherefore my words must be short, and now, farewell!

***

Click below to listen to ‘palendag’:

Categories: Ethics and Mysticism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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