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‘Los Pintados’ – Our Philippine Tribal Tattoo History

The Philippines is an ancient Archipelago

Long before the Spanish land grab and unification of all islands under the name ‘Las Islas Filipinas’ (the islands that belong to Philip), there was rich culture, art, commerce, traditions, language, writing systems with localized political units and organized kingdoms.

 

Selection of Gold jewellery, treasures and artifacts, c.10th-13th Century, from the Ayala Collection. Courtesy of Inquirer.net

Selection of Gold jewellery, treasures and artifacts, c.10th-13th Century, from the Ayala Collection. Courtesy of Inquirer.net

 

Many belief systems and traditional practices have been forgotten or adapted over the years, through Islamic migration and enforced Christian conversion to mass waves of migration of people from Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Mainland Asia, Europe and the Americas to over 400 years of Colonisation.

Throughout the centuries of mass migration and cultural upheaval, certain aspects of regional and indigenous culture have survived and that sets us apart from many Spanish Colonies.

We have over 150 dialects spoken in the Philippines, with 13 indigenous languages spoken by at least 1m people. We have indigenous martial arts systems practiced throughout the islands, our writing systems have survived even though it is not taught in formal Philippine education, we have regional dances that are still practiced today, festivals with roots in naturist beliefs and we have our own style of tattooing.

 

'Los Pintados' image from the Boxer Codex c.1590

‘Los Pintados’ image from the Boxer Codex c.1590

 

Mainly due to the Spanish colonial occupation, did a negative stigma arise regarding the practice of tattooing, in fact, when the Spanish first arrived on the islands, they named us ‘Los Pintados’, the painted ones.

 

Global Cultural Revival

Recently we have seen a revival of traditional Filipino tribal tattoos among the Filipino diaspora, those of Filipino heritage born or brought into life away from the Philippines. These people long to identify with their heritage and amongst comparable diaspora from India, China, Korea, Japan and Thailand, feel that the Philippines too has as much of an indigenous and traditional culture to offer. We too have our own cuisine, our own arts & dances, our own martial arts and our own writing system.

With the emergence of Polynesian tribal tattoos coming from people Maori, Samoan and Hawaiian heritage, to name a few, this too struck a chord with Filipinos, as migration through the Philippine Islands affords the Philippines and Polynesia/Austronesia/Oceania a shared history.

 

Kalinga Tattoo Artist Whang-Od. Courtes of BBC

Kalinga Tattoo Artist Whang-Od. Courtes of BBC

 

There are global visionaries such as world famous 90+ yr. old Whang-Od, one of the last remaining traditional Kalinga tattooists in Luzon, Elle Mana-Festin, co-founder of the ‘Tatak ng Apat na Alon’ (Mark of the Four Waves – signifying the 4 main waves of migration through the Philippine Islands) Tribe from LA, godfather of the current Polynesian revival Aisea Toetu’u, a Tongan / Filipino from Hawaii credited for bringing tattooing back to Tonga after 200 years of Christian censorship, Aisea also serves as a mentor for the aforementioned Elle. Another notable personality is the famous Bong Tatau of Humble Beginnings in San Jose, CA, a specialist in Polynesian tattooing, increasingly he is incorporating Filipino designs and symbolism into his work. These people are helping to raise the profile of the practice of tribal tattoos.

 

Native Representation

Just this month, New Zealand had its first female MP; Nanaia Mahuta, Labour MP for Hauraki-Waikato, with a traditional facial Maori tattoo, ‘Moko’, present in Parliament. This is a beautiful moment for the indigenous people of New Zealand, this is not cultural appropriation as we have seen with the ‘Haka’ in New Zealand Rugby, this is a native person exercising her freedom of traditional expression while making a difference in her country.

 

Nanaia Mahuta, Labour MP, with her Moko facial Tattoo. Courtesy of MaoriTelevision.com

Nanaia Mahuta, Labour MP, with her Moko facial Tattoo. Courtesy of MaoriTelevision.com

 

In the Philippines, many have long discussed what representation means. How can the country move away from Oligrachs and the biggest and most wealthy families continuing to run the show? When the elite are so far removed from the masses? A big part of that process is by affording the native and indigenous peoples of the Philippines a platform and a voice. Hopefully we will find our own Nanaia Mahuta.

 

Join Us this September

This September, is the annual London Tattoo Convention, which brings together artists and practitioners from across the globe to London. This year, Elle Mana-Festin, Co-Founder of the ‘Tatak ng Apat na Alon’ Tribe will be visiting the UK to meet his international peers and has agreed to giving a talk and presentation in partnership with Philippine Generations on the 26th September, venue TBC. Just as we brought you Kristian Kabuay and Baybayin in 2013, we will be enabling Elle to share his knowledge and experience from more than 20 years of research and practice of traditional Filipino tattoos!

 

Elle Mana-Festin with leaders of the 'Tatak ng Apat na Alon Tribe'. Courtesy of BBC

Elle Mana-Festin with leaders of the ‘Tatak ng Apat na Alon Tribe’. Courtesy of BBC

 

Please watch this space, as we will soon announce where this talk and networking opportunity will take place.

If you would like to find out more about ‘Tatak ng Apat na Alon’, Philippine Generations or Traditional Filipino Tattoos, feel free to get in touch.

 

By Adrian Williams

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Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games and the Philippines

Philippines' Eric Cray holds the national flag as he celebrates winning the gold
SEAGAMES28 
Image Courtesy of Rappler

The Olympics are almost upon us.

In 1924, the Philippines was the first Southeast Asian nation to compete and win a medal at the Summer Olympic Games.

 

[caption id="attachment_1253" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Philippines Rio 2016 Olympic Team and Pres. Duterte.

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Filipino Word Search

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Our students enjoying Filipino word search in class on Sunday. Most finished in 5mins! They asked for more word search next week. #filipinoschoollondon #Filipinolanguage #sundayclass  #filipinoclasslondon #wordsearch #tagalogclass #sundayschool #filipinosundayschool #pimlicoacademy #Philippinegenerationssupplementaryschool #supplementaryschool #philgenuk

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PG Speaks to Paul Masangcay, Muay Thai Fighter

On Saturday 26th March, Paul Masangcay is fighting Kieran Manwaring at the O2 in London in the Muay Thai Grand Prix.Paul Kick

Philippine Generations caught up with Paul to learn more about his journey as a Second Generation Filipino in the UK…

PG: How old are you?

Paul: Just turned 24 a few days ago.

PG: Where are your parents from in the Philippines?

Paul: Both parents are from Pampanga; Father – Macabebe and Mother – Capas Tarlac

PG: Tell us about your family?

Paul: First and foremPaul and Familyost I love my family to bits; always support me in whatever I do – fighting wise and in general life.My dad works as a chef in a English/Filipino restaurant check them out on Facebook – Benso Cafe, mum works in a hospital within the catering department and my sister works for HSBC.

PG: What inspired you to take up fighting?

Paul: I wasn’t the athletic type throughout my childhood and was overly obese (not ashamed to say) but I’ve done martial arts since the age of 4. I found Muay Thai at a later age of 17, was going to just participate for general fitness and weight loss (started at 122kg) but a few months later found myself doing a no win no lose bout and been competing since professionally. So far throughout my fighting career I haven’t seen much Filipinos in this sport so this gave me a drive to show people how talented we are and to give us Filipinos more recognition as we deserve it. Always want to make myself and family proud!

PG: Who is your fighting hero and why?

Paul: My fighting hero would have to be my team mate and training parter Luciano ‘Lucky’ Mendola both training out of The Knowlesy Academy. The reason I look up to him as no matter what, Lucky has no excuse not to train even if he isn’t in fight camp he trains like he is, he eats healthy all year round, doesn’t let any barriers stop him, motivates his team mates, gives off good vibes, always gives an amazing performance in the ring, doesn’t dodge anyone to fight/ fight who ever, never complains and he is only 18 years old! Love this guy like a little brother.

PG: Who is your Filipino hero and why?Paul with Dad and Cops

Paul: My Filipino hero/s would have to be my parents as without them I wouldn’t be here doing what I love and they have shown me how to live the right way in life following their family traditions which I’m proud to show people. They tell me off but it’s for the best and want to prove to them they have raised my sister and I correctly.

PG: Why Muay Thai? Where do you train?

Paul: Muay Thai is a beautiful fighting art, very technical but brutal so you get the best of both worlds. It’s very disciplined which has helped me in my everyday living life, the training is very challenging which I like and I can show it off in the ring making it a bigger test. I’ve met so many amazing people in the Muay Thai world, which I’m happy! I train at The Knowlesy Academy in north west London, check them out.

PG: How much do you know about Eskrima also known as Arnis the Filipino martial arts?

Paul: I’ve always wanted to try Arnis out as its our own martial art, seen many videos of it and have a big interest to try it out. Watch this space!

Paul and SisPG: Where did you grow up and did you mix with the Filipino community?

Paul: I grew up in north west London where there are many Filipinos and have always mixed with them. More or less in my childhood I’ve been going to Filipino events and family parties.

PG: When did you last go to the Philippines and where did you visit?

Paul: Last time I visited Philippines was May 2015, it was just a short visit of 10 days so had to travel between parents places. I managed to go to Baguio, a few beaches but forgot their names and many malls for the shopping. Love going back to the Philippines!

PG: What’s your favourite Filipino food?

Paul: Kare Kare with Bagoong also Balut!

Good Luck Paul!

Philippine Generations is committed to Educating, Inspiring and Empowering Filipinos in everything we do. It is always great to hear of young Filipinos like Paul, who are proud of their heritage and use that strength to better themselves and the people around them.

If you have a great story to tell, get in touch!

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Philippine Generations attend Schools Awards Night for Supplementary Schools in London

RJMAE
The National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education (NRCSE) held its schools awards night on 3rd March 2016 at the Paddington Arts Centre.
Registered supplementary schools from the councils of Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea attended the ceremony and accepted certificates and awards by the Lord Mayor Locum Tenens.
For its part, Philippine Generations’ Mae Magnaye-Williams and Rafael J Maramag, received Level 3 awards for successfully completing the NRSCE course entitled “Effective Teaching Skills for Supplementary Schools,” a 10-week evening course focusing on core teaching skills and best practices, together with other supplementary schools in the tri-borough.
These initiative and accomplishment are in line with Philippine Generations’ current thrust in consolidating and expanding its supplementary school, currently offering Filipino Language classes for adults and now extending its classes for children this April term.
We are pleased to announce that registration for the spring term is now open. Please go to: http://www.philippinegenerations.org/filipino-school/filipino-language-classes-london for more information.
If you want to get involved or for more information about our Filipino language classes, please contact: filipinoclasses@philippinegenerations.org or maew@philippinegenerations.org
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Maraming Salamat! Thank you!

Lantern "Parol" making

Lantern “Parol” making

To all those who turned up to help us make the Parols for day 1 and 2 of our Lantern “Parol” making session, MARAMING SALAMAT! We have such lovely parols of all colours and sizes hanging up at the Museum of London Docklands! #‎parol2015‬

lantern "Parol" making

A big well done to all the participants, families and children who put in a stellar effort this year. Thank you to all who got involved and the volunteers who made the event run smoothly! All the media who came, Rose Eclarinal from TFC for covering it once again and Sonny Laragan from Pinoy Radio UK.

Day one of the Parol ‘lantern’ making event hosted by Philippine Generations at the Museum of London, Docklands.A big…

Posted by Philippine Generations on Sunday, 6 December 2015

Day two of the Parol ‘lantern’ making event hosted by Philippine Generations at the Museum of London, Docklands.A big…

Posted by Philippine Generations on Sunday, 6 December 2015

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Lastly…a massive thank you to all our amazing volunteers who helped make‪#‎Parol2015‬ a raging success this weekend! A special thank you to our photographer Lawrence Carlos who took amazing photos on both days. We couldn’t have done without all of your help and support, Thank you!

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Thank you! Maraming Salamat!

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We would to thank everyone who attended our networking event last night at the Philippine Embassy. It was great to see old as well as new faces. At some point, it felt like a reunion, seeing people we haven’t seen in ages but we’re fundamental in the growth of PG.

We would like to thank our speakers Rafael Joseph Maramag , Tim Dela Cruz and Jena Sanchez-Krause who left us all inspired with their wonderful anecdotes and words of wisdom.dsc_1365_22847735310_o

A big thank you also goes out to Vice Consul Rommel Romato who supported us in this event. Each year, we do our best to develop and stay true to our vision and mission in implementing our activities.

This is made possible by every single volunteer who contributes their time, talents and expertise for the events that we do. So a big thank you to our dear volunteers indeed.

We look forward to seeing you all again in our upcoming events! Parol-making event and PG Socials in December!

More Photos: https://www.flickr.com/gp/philippinegenerations/Qk7M4m

Kapihan Sa Pasuguan with Philippine Generations

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8 years of Philippine Generations

It was a bright and sunny August day in 2007 when 5 young second generation Filipinos, the children of migrant workers, formalised an idea into an organisation. Present were signatories at the inauguration; the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Chairman of the Westminster Partnership for Racial Equality (WPRE) and the Deputy Chief of Mission from the Philippine Embassy,

2007-Philippine-Generations29

The idea behind it all was to give a generation of under-represented young Filipinos a voice and to provide a vehicle for future generations to educate themselves, to be inspired and to feel empowered to make a difference. The legacy of this for Philippine Generations are the people we have inspired and enabled to make a difference. The organisations that have grown and those we have collaborated with since 2007 are testament that the decision to focus on the community in the UK was the right one.

Kapihan Sa Pasuguan with Philippine Generations 6:30 on Thursday, 19th November 2015 at the Philippine Embassy, 10 Suffolk Street, London W1Y 4HG

At our first AGM in 2008, we reported on our first year’s activities, our financial position and we had 3 fantastic speakers talk about their experiences as Filipinos in the UK; Peps Villanueva spoke about his migration to the UK from the Philippines and proactivity in the community and the need for young Filipinos to be seen and heard. Omar Shah described his hard work in establishing his restaurant and growing up in the UK as a second generation Filipino. We finally had Rina Atienza talk about her experiences as a young Filipino who lived through the transition of moving to the UK at a young age.

This year we will have speakers once again sharing their story as well as a few announcements from the PG team and a review of what has happened this past year.

We invite you all to attend and share some stories of how our community has grown and developed over these past 8 years! Please RSVP here!

 

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Making a Filipino Christmas – PG’s Annual Parol Workshop 2014

Parol Workshop 2014

Christmas is nearly upon us, and that can mean only one thing: the return of PG’s ever-popular Parol Christmas Lantern Workshop!

Every year, this free event has welcomed young and old, Filipinos and non-Filipinos, friends, families and strangers to come buy one of our easy-to-use Parol kits and create their very own Filipino Christmas lanterns.

Evocative of the Star of Bethlehem, a Parol will add a distinctly Filipino touch to any Christmas – so do come join us and partake in our rich cultural heritage!

The details of this year’s event are below:

Date and Time: Saturday 6th December, 12pm – 4pm
Location: St Saviour’s Church Hall, St. George’s Square, Lupus Street, SW1V 3QW
Prices: Entry is free, but Parol kits will be available to buy on the day
Food and drink will be available to buy on the day

For more details, do check out our Facebook event which we will update as we get closer to the big day.

As Christmas is a time of giving, we at PG are teaming up with What You Do Matters for their Christmas Appeal 2014. They are aiming to fill up 200 shoeboxes filled with children’s gifts to distribute to disadvantaged and homeless families in Newham, in coordination with Community Links. So please do bring along anything you can spare, as well as those unused shoeboxes you may have cluttering up your home!

Anyone and everyone is welcome to join us as we, you, your friends and family make Parols – as simple or as complex as you want – using our starter kits as well as the expertise of our helpful volunteers to create a wonderful decoration for the home.

PG love,
The PG Committee and Directors