Happy Knife Day!

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Lapu-Lapu was given a knife by the elder chieftain of the tribe. The knife was made from carved carabao and stag horn and said to have some supernatural powers. “Go, my son and defend our village from the Spanish conquistadors. We had our own beliefs from centuries ago, so we didn’t really need to be converted to Christianity.” And so Lapu-Lapu with his warriors waited for a battle to commence, ready to defend their independence, ready to die for it.

Meanwhile, Ferdinand Magellan’s fleet had entered the Philippines and sailed to the island of Mactan with a small force. Magellan was a converting Catholic, and because of this he lost sight of his main goal, which was to find the Spice Islands. As an intensely religious man, he began to believe that his journey was ordained by God.

Lapu-Lapu had rejected the Spanish conversion and Magellan decided to use force. Due to his profound convictions and the easiness of converting other chieftains in the Philippines, Magellan had no hesitations about entering battle with the rebellious Lapu-Lapu and his warriors. He severely underestimated the capabilities of his opponents.

Magellan’s flotilla were allegedly greeted on the shores with near 1,500 fighters. The combatants recognised Magellan as the captain. Lapu-Lapu descended on him with the knife given to him by the elder chieftain and killed Magellan. The other warriors fought with their bamboo spears and cutlasses in the rocky shores of the island. The rest of the Spanish retreated.

For: Knife Day

The Indian Wedding Feast

Hello everyone! As you all know, we’ve just been to Kerala to attend HRH the son and his beautiful bride’s Hindu wedding. I just can’t forget the experience of the wedding feast, which was served for all of us guests, 500 of us. It was called Sadya which means banquet in Malayalam. It is a variety of pure vegetarian dishes traditionally served on a banana leaf.

We had the nalukootan sadya with four kari, which are istoo, avial, erisseri and kalan (Wikipedia). The spine of the banana leaf is taken as the central dividing line. The narrow end of the leaf is on the guest’s left. Pickles and chutneys are placed on the extreme left below the dividing line. The chutneys are pulinji and injithairu and the pickles comprise chetthumanga kari and lime pickle.

Above the pickles and chutneys on the other side of the dividing line, papadum, plantain chips, savoury elephant foot yam chips and a ripe banana are placed. The banana is the short, sweet kadalipazham. The papadum are placed over the chips without covering them entirely.

All the kari are served above the dividing line. They are placed in a row with a little space between each. Below the dividing line and on the extreme right, salt and a pigeon pea dish is placed.

The rice is served with a serving utensil woven out of split bamboo and in cylindrical. The rice is served by jerking the basket in a smooth motion. No ladles or spoons are used. Then the sambar is poured onto the rice.

Once the meal has been finished, it is closed along the centre. Closing the leaf away from you signifies complete satisfaction with the food and closing it towards you would means a signal to the cooks that it needs improvement. I closed my leaf away from me. The food was really delicious!

For: Dining in Tokyo, SEASONS – BEGIN THE FOURTH WEEK OF AUGUST

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Ten Things of Thankful 165 (Inspiration) #10Thankful – The Indian Wedding

Hello everyone! Hope you’re all fine. We’ve just got back from India to celebrate HRH the son and his beautiful bride their Indian wedding. We had a great time. Beautiful K’s parents hosted the wedding and everything was organised, from when we arrived in the city, to the henna evening with all the food (chicken, prawns, squids, curries, papadoms, etc.) and Kathakali and other Indian dances and martial art and fire performances. Not to mention we all had henna art work. We finished the night with dancing.

Him Indoors’ brothers and their families were able to join us and we were all happy that they could join us. HRH the son was happy to see all his cousins. The wedding started with the chanting and the first ritual is welcoming the groom by the bride’s family. Beautiful K’s brother washed his feet, dried them and greeted him with a garland. He then held his hand and guided him to the Mandapam or the stage. Beautiful K is brought to the Mandapam by her parents, along with young girls (their friends and cousins) carrying Deepam (symbolic to casting light along the way). She then took her place next to the groom on the Mandapam.

HRH the son and his beautiful K seek our blessings and all the elders. The Thaali or the wedding necklace is blessed by the priest and handed to HRH the son. The Thaali is a leaf shaped locket strung on a yellow thread which he tied around the beautiful K’s neck. The Nadaswaram is played loud and the couple exchanged garlands accepting each other as husband and wife.

HRH the son and his beautiful K took seven steps representing nourishment, strength, prosperity, happiness, progeny, long life and harmony and understanding.

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He then showed his bride the double stars of Arundhati and Vashishta, symbolic of marital fulfillment and loyalty.

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The wedding feast followed, known as Sadhya (banquet in Malayalam). It is a variety of pure vegetarian dishes traditionally served on a banana leaf in Kerala, India.

I’m really grateful that we can share with you our happiness. Here’s to the bride and groom, may their future be as bright as the ceremony, and be blessed forever. Have a great week everyone!

What made you smile this week?

For: Ten Things of Thankful 165 (Inspiration) #10Thankful, Weekly Smile 32 #weeklysmile, Three Things Thursday: August 11, 2016, Circus at Mercato Mall – Echoes of my neighbourhood, #MySundayPhoto – Blenheim Palace /August 14, 2016, Hello Kitty Bike (Sundays In My City), Tell Me Something Good #18

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My Superpower

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If I had a superpower what would it be? It would be the ability to appear and disappear at will, the ability to be a different person in different setting. I chose to be one of the different characters during the Philippine Revolution of 1896.

Tandang Sora was my old aunt – She was poor and her only means of livelihood came from the profits she got in selling. One day in August, the Supremo and his forces, tired and worn out, but determined to fight the enemy, came to the house of Tandang Sora, who immediately gave them a hundred sacks of rice from her storehouse, ten carabaos and tools they would need. She herself had become a revolucionario. Her help extended from giving provisions to the movement; she took care of the wounded and sick freedom fighters, not fearing that she would be caught by the Spanish authorities.

I was the Filipino Woman Married to a Spaniard – I overheard remarks about the Filipinos from my Spanish guests. I was in my room, went out and told them to stop. When they wouldn’t stop, I told my husband. He sided with his countrymen and ignored my request. I took a stick and sought to drive them away by beating them. They arrested me but I was able to escape through the window of my house.

I was Trining and took part in many battles – Dressed as a man with a wide brimmed hat, I went with rebels wherever they went. Some of the battles include the battle of San Ildefonso, the battle of San Rafael and the battle of Zaragoza. At the battle of Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija, the enemy shot my right foot. I fell unconscious but when I recovered, I spoke with the Katipuneros with a smiling face. In the midst of shots and bolo flashes, I never showed the proverbial female weakness.

I could have been one of the many brave Filipino Women – the Katipuneras or the Babaylans who took part in the Philippine Revolution of 1896. Thanks for letting me write about them and acknowledging their struggles for all of us.

women took part, too
Philippine Revolution
our own heroines

acknowledging them
they struggle for our freedom
we’re so proud of them

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For: What’s your superpower?