Sunday, September 27, 2015

Why I'm Honoring the Moon Tonight

Tonight I'm going to honor the Moon--a truly rare event is happening. I've explored this theme in my second novel, Talking to the Moon.
Before Christians arrived and forced The Philippines to switch over to the solar calendar, my ancestors paid attention to the lunar calendar (like many other Asian countries). When we were forced to quit worshiping the Moon, all the dances, songs and celebrations died with it. In other words, cultural genocide took place. Read about the Popes apology to indigenous people HERE. (Though it was meant for the Americas, I believe it should extend to other countries.)

"Brighter, brighter, shine you moon; brighter, brighter shine you moon/
I will follow the trail to the hot lands; I will follow the trail to the hot lands*/Rocks, rocks to step on/ rocks, rocks to step on/Bamboo, bamboo to hold to; bamboo, bamboo to hold to."

Naboloi Songs, as recorded by C.R. Moss and A.L. Kroeber, UC Press Berkeley, May 10, 1919.

*I've pondered what "hot lands" means. I can guess that it means guiding one to another celestial deity, The Sun. Or I've guessed it to mean the lowlands of the Philippines, which is considerably warmer than the mountain provinces of the Philippines (where these words originate). Indeed, that journey down the mountain means stepping on rocks and holding onto bamboo trees for support, something the song also refers to. Other interpretations are welcome.

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