Monday, October 30, 2023

1948 State of Israel proclaimed - from


On May 14, 1948, in Tel Aviv, Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion proclaims the State of Israel, establishing the first Jewish state in 2,000 years. Ben-Gurion became Israel’s first premier.

In the distance, the rumble of guns could be heard from fighting that broke out between Jews and Arabs immediately following the British army withdrawal earlier that day. Egypt launched an air assault against Israel that evening. Despite a blackout in Tel Aviv—and the expected Arab invasion—Jews celebrated the birth of their new nation, especially after word was received that the United States had recognized the Jewish state. At midnight, the State of Israel officially came into being upon termination of the British mandate in Palestine.

Modern Israel has its origins in the Zionism movement, established in the late 19th century by Jews in the Russian Empire who called for the establishment of a territorial Jewish state after enduring persecution. In 1896, Jewish-Austrian journalist Theodor Herzl published an influential political pamphlet called The Jewish State, which argued that the establishment of a Jewish state was the only way of protecting Jews from anti-Semitism. Herzl became the leader of Zionism, convening the first Zionist Congress in Switzerland in 1897. Ottoman-controlled Palestine, the original home of the Jews, was chosen as the most desirable location for a Jewish state, and Herzl unsuccessfully petitioned the Ottoman government for a charter.

After the failed Russian Revolution of 1905, growing numbers of Eastern European and Russian Jews began to immigrate to Palestine, joining the few thousand Jews who had arrived earlier. The Jewish settlers insisted on the use of Hebrew as their spoken language. With the collapse of the Ottoman Empire during World War I, Britain took over Palestine. In 1917, Britain issued the “Balfour Declaration,” which declared its intent to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Although protested by the Arab states, the Balfour Declaration was included in the British mandate over Palestine, which was authorized by the League of Nations in 1922. Because of Arab opposition to the establishment of any Jewish state in Palestine, British rule continued throughout the 1920s and ’30s.

Beginning in 1929, Arabs and Jews openly fought in Palestine, and Britain attempted to limit Jewish immigration as a means of appeasing the Arabs. As a result of the Holocaust in Europe, many Jews illegally entered Palestine during World War II. Jewish groups employed terrorism against British forces in Palestine, which they thought had betrayed the Zionist cause. At the end of World War II, in 1945, the United States took up the Zionist cause. Britain, unable to find a practical solution, referred the problem to the United Nations, which in November 1947 voted to partition Palestine.

The Jews were to possess more than half of Palestine, although they made up less than half of Palestine’s population. The Palestinian Arabs, aided by volunteers from other countries, fought the Zionist forces, but by May 14, 1948, the Jews had secured full control of their U.N.-allocated share of Palestine and also some Arab territory. On May 14, Britain withdrew with the expiration of its mandate, and the State of Israel was proclaimed. The next day, forces from Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq invaded.

The Israelis, though less well equipped, managed to fight off the Arabs and then seize key territory, such as Galilee, the Palestinian coast, and a strip of territory connecting the coastal region to the western section of Jerusalem. In 1949, U.N.-brokered cease-fires left the State of Israel in permanent control of this conquered territory. The departure of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs from Israel during the war left the country with a substantial Jewish majority.

During the third Arab-Israeli conflict—the Six-Day War of 1967—Israel again greatly increased its borders, capturing from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria the Old City of Jerusalem, the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the Golan Heights. In 1979, Israel and Egypt signed a historic peace agreement in which Israel returned the Sinai in exchange for Egyptian recognition and peace. Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) signed a major peace accord in 1993, which envisioned the gradual implementation of Palestinian self-government in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Israeli-Palestinian peace process moved slowly, however, and throughout the 21st century, major fighting between Israelis and Palestinians has resumed in Israel and the occupied territories.

BY: HISTORY.COM EDITORS works with a wide range of writers and editors to create accurate and informative content. All articles are regularly reviewed and updated by the team. Articles with the “ Editors” byline have been written or edited by the editors, including Amanda Onion, Missy Sullivan, Matt Mullen and Christian Zapata.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Trivia: Flag of the Marinduque Revolutionary Forces!

There was such a flag of the Marinduque Revolutionary Forces under the command of Col. Maximo Abad. The said flag fell into the hands of American forces in Marinduque in a skirmish in 1901 and is described as “a field flag measuring 18x30 inches. Its colors are red, white and blue with but two bars and a triangle white. In the triangle are handpainted characters representing the sun, surrounded by three large stars, which are black. The material of the flag is ordinary bunting”.

The above drawing is one version only of the flag posted by based on a written description. Full text of the undated newspaper clipping, main source of the information, is found below.

Full text of the mentioned article: "Senator W.A. Harris has received a Filipino flag from Major Whitman, formerly a member of the famous twentieth Kansas regiment, who is now in the Philippines. Major Whitman is serving in the second  infantry, U.S.A. as a first lieutenant. The flag was captured in a recent skirmish on the Island of Marinduque. It is a field flag and measures 18x30 inches. Its colors are red, white and blue, with but two bars and a triangle white. In the triangle are handpainted characters representing the sun, surrounded by three large stars, which are black. The material of the flag is ordinary bunting. Senator Harris also recived a copy of the Filipino constitution, which was captured at Tacloban,  Isle of Leyte. It is a diminutive edition, being a handy size to carry in the pocket. It is said that every Filipino soldier carries with him at all times a copy of their constitution. The copy which Senator Harrris has possession of is the property of Senor Bernabe Odayate, whose name is very legibly inscribed on the cover."

Information about this flag came to the knowledge of local historical researcher, Curtis Shepard, and was shared with this blogger years ago. Shepard maintains a blog, devoted to publication of research materials on Marinduque's past. 

Monday, August 7, 2023

Ang pinagmulan ng Potong (orig spelling 1609 ni Morga), later, naging Putong sa panulat ni Rizal mismo (1890)

Marinduque's Gov. Presby Velasco with a putong of nito.

     Not Bruno Mars but a 19th century Tagalog gentleman with original putong

Isinulat ito ni Antonio de Morga sa kanyang Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas,  literally Events in the Philippine Islands, 1609. Isa sa pinakamahalagang panulat tungkol sa kasaysayan ng pananakop ng mga Kastila sa ating bansa.

Sa pagsasalarawan niya stungkol sa kasuotan ng mga katutubo ng Luzon, ito ang sinabi: 

"Nagsusuot din sila ng kapirasong may kulay na tela na nakabalot sa paligid ng baywang, at pinapadaan sa pagitan ng dalawang hita, para matakpan ang pribadong mga bahagi, hanggang umabot ito pababa sa mga hita; bahag ang tawag dito. Naglalakad sila ng nakayapak, walang takip ang mga paa, at sa ulo na walang takip, binabalutan nila ng makitid na tela, na tinatawag na potong". 

{In describing what were worn by the natives of Luzon before the coming of the Spaniards, Morga wrote:

 “ They also wore a strip of colored cloth wrapped about the waist, and passed between the legs, so that it covered the privy parts, reaching half-way down the thigh; these are called bahaques. (bahags) They go with legs bare, feet unshod, and the head uncovered, wrapping a narrow cloth, called potong”.}

'To crown', 'Para Koronahan"

Hinangaan ni Dr. José Rizal ang mga isinulat ni Morga at ini-annotate niya ito, para mabigyan ng higit na paliwanag ang mga naisulat na. Natapos ito ng dakilang bayani natin a Paris noong 1890. Ipinaliwanag ni Rizal kung ano yung "potong". ("Putong" na ang ginamit niya sa pagsusulat).

 Rizal wrote:

“They wrapped it in different ways, now in the Moro style, like a turban without the top part, now twisted and turned in the manner of the crown of a hat. Those who esteemed themselves valiant let the ends of the cloth, elaborately embroidered, fall down the back to the buttocks.
In the color of the cloth, they showed their chieftaincy, and the device of their undertakings and prowess. No one was allowed to use the red potong until he had killed at least one man. And in order to wear them edged with certain edgings, which were regarded as a crown, they must have killed seven men” (Colin). Even now any Indio is seen to wear the balindang in the manner of the putong. Putong signifies in Tagál, “to crown” or “to wrap anything around the head.”—Rizal.

To this, the joyous welcome ritual. 

In Marinduque, where the historic putong (or tubong) has evolved into the practice of performing a happy song-and-dance ritual for a celebrant, an honoree, a special guest, or a family member as a form of thanksgiving.Everyone wishes them the best now and in the days to come. 

Te meaning of the Tagalog word has remained the same - four centuries after Morga wrote it. But it has now evolved into a new form, in celebration of the past, present and future.

Friday, August 4, 2023

Harold, his father, brother, and how much they cared for Teatro Balangaw

Cover of 'Community Theater: Global Perspectives' by Eugene van Erven

 Harold Glenn Miciano has joined his father, Melo, in heaven. 

Yes, I do remember how proud his father was of his Harold, especially, and his brother Hajun, particularly of his sons’ artistic contribution to our humble Teatro Balangaw in the late 90’s.

After all, Mara Unduk, that dance-drama where the brothers were lead players had performances then in several Marinduque towns and some barangays in Boac. Not to mention the group’s performances at the Rajah Sulaiman Theater then at Fort Bonifacio, Nayong Pilipino and at Museong Pambata in Roxas Boulevard.

The brothers also took part in a Teatro Balangaw-PETA play way back in 1997, "Putik sa Karamihan, Ginto sa Iilan" in Boac. That’s about the Marcopper disaster that transpired a year before and how it affected the lives of the people.

That particular project was filmed by Oceanic Films for European television and titled "Swapping Stories". There was a segment in it that included an interview with Tatay Melo,, Hajun and Harold while fishing along the coast of Laylay. There, the old man was heard complaineing about their dwindling catch after the mine spill.

Then a book was later published, Community Theater: Global Perspectives by renowned expert of community theater, Eugene van Erven who came with his crew. The book that featured Teatro Balangaw’s work and the Miciano’s was released with the said unique video record of van Erven's journey in Marinduque.

On page 49 of the book, van Erven wrote:

After the show, Ernie (Cloma) takes the microphone to tell the audience that the play they have seen is the result of a five-day workshop with members of Teatro Balangaw and artist-teachers from PETA and that they dedicate the performance to the people of Marinduque. Melo Miciano, Harold's and Hajun's father, tells me he is proud of his sons and expresses the hope that they will perform the play in other Marinduque communities as well. Several unidentified local environmental activists comment that they equally enjoyed it and that they noticed that a lot of the factual information in the play was new to the audience:

Many people from Boac town have never been up to the barrio. They know about it, generally, but don't seem to care. Looking around me I also noticed how people tuned in to the entertainment elements in the show, but turned off during the more serious parts. But this kind of theater is good; it will draw people's attention, like fish to a bait.


Part of a page from Community Theater: Global Perspectives:

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Ang Battles of La Naval de Manila ay sa dagat ng Marinduque naganap hindi sa Maynila


Pagsasalarawan ng tinawag na Battles of La Naval de Manila

Tipong lihis ang pagtawag ng mga historyador sa kabanatang iyon ng "Battles of La Naval de Manila" dahil ang totoo, ang sagupaang iyon ay nangyari sa dagat ng Marinduque noong 1646 ngani. 

Ginugunita naman hanggang ngayon ang kabanatang ito bilang bahagi ng Pista ng Virgen ng Santo Rosario sa Santo Domingo Church sa Maynila. Ito ang ganap tuwing ikalawang Linggo ng Oktubre taon-taon. Ito na nga po iyong Mahal na Ina ng Santo Rosario ng La Naval de Manila, tawag din ay Santo Rosario o kaya ay Our Lady of La Naval de Manila.

Di baga mas tumpak na tawaging La Naval de Marinduque ang kabanatang iyon? Nangyari nga lang na hindi pa kilala ng mga panahong yaon ang probinsya natin. 

Anyway, ano ba yung madugong labanan na iyon sa pagitan ng Spanish at Dutch sa dagat ng Marinduque? 

Ito ang lugar sa may pagitan ng Marinduque at Banton na ngayo'y pinaliigiran ng rich divesite areas. Naroon ang mga Dutch ship, fallen, cold and coral encrusted na.

1646 naman naganap sa pagitan ng Marinduque at Banton ang bombahan sa pagitan ng dalawang Spanish galleons at pitong Dutch warships. Ito ang labanan na itinuturing ng mga mananampalataya na isang tunay na milagro. 1652 nadeklarang milagro ng Cathedral Chapter of Manila at doon pa lamang nagamit ang branding na 'La Naval de Manila'.

Magkahiwalay na sumumpa (vowed), sa publiko baga naman ang mga Kastilang sina Heneral Orellana at Admiral Lopez na kapag napanalunan nila ang laban na ito ay maglalakad silang nakayapak mula Cavite hanggang sa Santo Domingo Church sa Manila sa ngalan ng Virgen ng Santo Rosario. 

Naganap sa karagatang ito ang pinakamadugong labanan na mula mga alas-siete ng gabi, July 29, 1646. Pinaligiran ng pitong Dutch ships ang Encarnacion. Palitan ng mga putukan at may napuruhan sa panig ng mga piratang Dutch.

Ang Rosario naman ay nasa labas ng nakapaligid na kaaway sa Encarnacion. Walang hirap sa ginawang pambobomba ang Rosario mula sa likuran at lumala ang kalagayan ng mga kaaway. Sinubukan ng mga Dutch na pasabugin ang Encarnacion sa pamamagitan ng isa nitong fire ship, subalit sinalubong ito ng mga kanyon kayat umurong. Binalingan naman ang Rosario subalit sinalubong din ng sampung sabay sabay na kanyon. Nahagip ang mga fireworks ng fire ship at sumabog ito, nasunog at lumubog, kasama ang mga tripolante.

 Walang namatay sa Encarnacion pero nalagasan ang Rosario ng limang sundalo. Nang sumunod na araw ay ang Spanish-Filipino fleet naman ang humabol sa kaaway. Nakorner ng dalawang galleon ang mga Dutch noong July 31, 1646 mga alas-dos ng hapon. 

Nakarating ang labanan sa pagitan naman ng Mindoro at isla ng Maestre de Campo. Inihalintulad ang putukan ng magkabilang panig sa animoy "pagsabog ng maraming bulkan". Nalampang isa-isa ang mga barko ng Dutch at lumubog naman ang isa pang barko kasama ang crew at mga armas.

 "Ave Maria! Ave Maria! ang sigaw ng mga bida, "Viva la fe Cristo y la Virgen Santissima del Rosario!" (Long live the Faith in Christ and the Most Holy Virgin".




Tuesday, August 1, 2023

More intrigue about Mara Unduk, the dance-drama

Water-damaged photo of the delubyo scene while the mine tailings continued
to enundate daily the Boac nearby.

Teatro Balangaw's Mara Unduk was restaged in 1996 as part of the Easter Sunday program in Boac. One week before the event, in the middle of rehearsals hit the infamous Marcopper mine tailings disaster. All too suddenly, death and destruction was wrought to the historic Boac River.

But coincidentally, there was a scene in Mara Unduk that depicted death and destruction (delubyo), reminiscent of the man-made killing of the river at that time (above photo}. Like life imitating Art, kumbaga, and that did not escape our attention.

Alon and Baylana dance. Daupan Festival for Philippine Revolution, Centennial 1998

To this day, but elsewhere online, people still talk about the Mara Unduk tale. Other than NASA trying to study the two-moon theory which Mara Unduk presented more than a decade before, blogger Bob Demaria stated: "You need to listen to the ancients rather modern science that dreams up scenarios that have no reality."

He went on to mention the Mara Unduk tale providing a link to it, and shared a related story about Mani the moon from the Prose Edda.

He just wants to remind his followers and readers, thus: “Listen  and read the old tales of the ancients who passed them down to us. Modern science knows nothing and is thoroughly ignorant because they’re more intelligent and ancient man was primitive and full of superstitious beliefs.”

Today, I read the news about the passing of Harold Glenn Miciano who played the lead, Alon, many times in many places. Am sharing some of the pictures that have survived natural and man-made disasters. Incidentally, a photo of him as Alon in a Fort Santiago performance had graced The Asia Magazine.

                Harold Glenn at extreme right

A Mara Unduk prformance for Tagalog Fiesta at Nayong Pilipino, 1996.

               Harold Glenn Miciano

Pakibasa rin, read:

A colossal intrigue! From Teatro Balangaw's 1992 two-moon myth to NASA's 2013 two-moon theory.

Monday, July 31, 2023

A colossal intrigue! From Teatro Balangaw's 1992 two-moon myth to Science@NASA's 2013 two-moon theory

 Nawindang lamang ako. Una naming pinalabas sa Boac Town Plaza noong 1992 para sa pista ng bayan ang Mara Unduk. Tungkol ito sa alamat ng dalawang buwan. si Mayana at si Buwana na nagpaikot sa buhay ng mga taga Mara Unduk (nasa ibaba ang buod ng istorya}.

Taong 2013, biglang pumasok sa eksena ang NASA para pag-aralan diumano sa unang pagkakataon ang misteryo ng dalawang buwan sa ating mundo...

Who wouldn't be intrigued? The earth had two moons? My original 1992 Mara Unduk story that our community theater group developed as a dance-drama depicted exactly that, How one of the two celestial bodies crashed onto the earth when a moon goddess was angered causing an end-of-days scenario. Few survivors were washed into an island that sprang from the sea, building a community there, yet over time old mistakes were committed, spreading chaos and corruption, angering the gods once more and causing a new delubyo. Enlightenment ensued finally thereafter.

Now, NASA is investigating the two moon theory, part of its GRAIL Mission launched from Kennedy Space Center on September 10, 2013, watch video.



From NASA's video, "Did Earth Have Two Moons?" recently posted on YouTube:

"Did earth have two moons? Nothing stirs the soul of poets and lovers like the                    sight of a full moon rising on a warm autumn night. Nothing that is, except the                     sight of two moons rising…

If a paper published recently in the journal "Nature" is right, two moons once                      graced the night skies of earth. 

The idea has not been proven but it is drawing the serious attention                                of researchers. “It’s an intriguing idea”, says David Smith of the                 Massachussets Institute of Technology and it would be a way to explain                           one of the great mysteries of the earth moon system."


"…the two moon theory introduced by planetary scientists Martin Jutzi and Erik
 Asphaug of the University of California at Santa Cruz is the latest attempt. 
NASA’s GRAIL Mission launched from the Kennedy Space Center on 
September 10 could help unravel the mystery. Smith is the deputy principal 
investigator for GRAIL which stands for Gravity Recovery and Interior
Laboratory. GRAIL consists of two aircrafts that will orbit the moon in 
tandem precisely mapping the moon’s gravitational field and thus reveal
 how the moon’s interior is layered. Among other things, this could test the 
two moon theory. Most scientists believe that when a Mars sized object 
crashed into our planet about 4 1/2 billion years ago the resulting debris cloud  
coalesced to form the moon… the debris cloud actually formed two moons..."

Two moon goddesses, Mayana and Buwana in the days of Bathala.
The subject of Mara Unduk, a Teatro Balangaw play first presented in 1992.
Photo by Mel Cortez (1997), published in BusinessWorld.

by Eli J. Obligacion

In the days of Bathala, when two moons still sailed the sky, the earth was inhabited by highly-gifted spirit-people who lived in harmony with all existence. Such immense powers they possessed, for they controlled the four elements of Fire, Air, Water and Earth.

Mayana angered.

Over time, they became too proud to the point that Mayana, the Goddess of the Lower Moon, was angered, smashing her lunar abode onto the earth. 

Unang Delubyo.

This was known as the first upheaval - that caused an island to spring from the bottom of the the ocean. The few survivors named it Mara Unduk, sea mountain.


The Earth was left under the care of the gentle Goddess of the Higher Moon, Buwana. A new order was established under the rule of the sorcerer, Katalona, who dominated the people's lives. But the survivors who have learned to hunt for food have forgotten who they were or where they came from. They had no notion of their destiny.


Strange dreams haunted the people for a long time. Through magical rituals they began to understand those dreams with the help of the spirit-protector, Marindik.
Alon and Baylana.

Alon, a hunter who served as Katalona's apprentice falls in love with the prettiest maiden, Baylana. The relationship ended in a tragedy for the maiden and for Katalona, he who believed that Alon's mission to chart his people's destiny was loftier that Alon's love for Baylana. 


Such lawlessness and disorder descended upon the village that the people lost their sense of hope and direction. Marindik was so displeased that she caused her dwelling on the mountaintop to emit burning rocks, and the heaven to weep.


The villages were submerged in mud and sand, bringing havoc and destruction once again. In the midst of it all, Alon finds union with his primeval past, and emerged in harmony with the elemental spirits and with all existence.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

When Poctoy beach was grassy and deserted we were there

The year was 1996. BusinessWorld ran an article for its Travel & Tourism page entitled Marinduque Memories. It mentioned Teatro Balangaw with an accompanying photo of the cast that performed in the Mara Unduk dance drama. The photo was taken in Poctoy, Torrijos’ grassy and deserted white beach then with Mt Malindig in the background. Photo by Miguel Cortez.

Excerpts from the article: “TREASURES. A theater group, Teatro Balangaw, performed a dance drama recreating the rich folklore of the province. Utilizing expressionistic and experimental forms as well as stylized dance movements, the group aims to create an awareness and foster a higher sense of appreciation for Marinduque’s culture and history...”

Lookback: Walang Sugat dinala muli sa Marinduque after a hundred years

Culture vulture ka baga? Alam mo baga that in 2010, the MIMAROPA ARTS & CULTURE SUMMIT was held in Marinduque as part of Araw ng Marinduque commemoration. A Grand Parade showcasing local festivals was also held.

May big surprise pa na naganap.The sarswela "WALANG SUGAT" returned to this island-province after its Marinduque premiere in, take note,  1902.

"Walang Sugat", the well-loved sarswela masterpiece by Filipino librettist Severino Reyes was presented in Marinduque on February 18 & 19, 2010, only the second time it was seen on the island after more than a century! 

This zarzuela was first presented here in 1902 on the occasion of the Boac town fiesta with no less than then Fiscal of Tayabas and future Philippine president, Manuel L. Quezon as guest of honor. 

That original production was mounted by Gran Compania de Zarzuela Tagala of Manila and was brought to Marinduque in the same year it was premiered to the world. 

The 2010 production was staged by Barasoain Kalinangan Foundation, Inc. (BKFI), recipient of CCP's Gawad para sa Sining as best theater group in the Philippines. 

The project highlighted the 90th Anniversary of "Araw ng Marinduque" and Philippine International Arts Festival 2010 celebration on this island, spearheaded by the provincial government of Marinduque headed by Gov. Bong Carrion in cooperation with National Commission for Culture & the Arts (NCCA), CCP, BKFI and the island-province's six municipalities. 

The occasion also served as an avenue to promote NCCA programs and partnership with LGUs in the MIMAROPA Region with the holding in Marinduque of the "Gintong Binhi" the 1st Mimaropa Arts & Culture Forum. - ej obligacion