Saturday, December 15, 2007

Filipino Folk Tales - The Hawk and the Hen

Soon the Czech readers will have a chance to read one of the best folk tale books I have ever read. It is funny, amusing and educating at the same time. The book should be out in January 2010.

Mabel Cook Cole (1916)

The Hawk and the Hen (Visayan)
A hawk flying about in the sky one day decided that he would like to marry a hen whom he often saw on earth. He flew down and searched until he found her, and then asked her to become his wife.

She at once gave her consent on the condition that he would wait until she could grow wings like his, so that she might also fly high. The hawk agreed to this and flew away, after giving her a ring as an engagement preesent and telling her to take good care of it.

The hen was very proud of the ring and placed it around her neck. The next day, however, she met the cock who looked at her astonishment and said:

"Where did you get that ring? Do you not know that you promised to be my wife? You must not wear the ring of anybody else. Throw it away."

And the hen threw away the beautiful ring.

Not long after this the hawk came down bringing beautiful feathers to dress the hen. When she saw him coming she was frightened and ran to hide behind the door, but the hawk called to her to come and see the beautiful dress he had brought her.

The hen came out, and the hawk at once saw that the ring was gone.

"Where is the ring I gave you?" he asked. "Why do you not wear it?"

The hen was frightened and ashamed to tell the truth so she answered:
"Oh, sir, yesterday when I was walking in the garden, I met a large snake and he frightened me so that I ran as fast as I could to the house. Then I missed the ring and I searched everywhere but could not find it."

The hawk looked sharply at the hen, and he knew that she was deceiving him. The he said to her:
"I did not believe that you could behave so badly. When you have found the ring I will come down again and make you my wife. But as punishment for breaking your promise, you must always scratch the ground to look for the ring. And every chicken of yours that I find, I shall snatch away."

Then he flew away, and ever since all the hens throughout the world have been scratching to find the hawk's ring.

Filipino Folk Tales - The Battle of Crabs

Soon the Czech readers will have a chance to read one of the best folk tale books I have ever read. It is funny, amusing and educating at the same time.

My friend Lea will hopefully get to illustrate the book.

Mabel Cook Cole (1916)

The Battle of the Crabs (Visayan)

One day the land crabs had a meeting and one of the said:
"What shall we do with the waves? They sing so loudly all the time that we cannot possibly sleep."

"Well," answered on of the oldest of the crabs, "I think w should make war on them."

The others agreed to this, and it was decided that the next day all the male crabs should get ready to fight the waves. They started for the sea, as agreed, when they met a shrimp.
"Where are you going, my friends?" asked the shrimp.

"We are going to fight the waves," answered the crabs, "for the waves are very strong and your legs are so weak that even your bodies bend almost to the ground when you walk." Wherewith he laughed loudly.

This made the crabs very angry, and they pinched the shrimp until he promised to help them win the battle.

Then they all went to the shore. But the crabs noticed that the eyes of the shrimp were set unlike their own, so they thought his must be wrong and they laughed at him and said:
"Friend shrimp, your face is turned the wrong way. What weapon have you to fight with the waves?"

"My weapon is a spear on my head," replied the shrimp, and just then he saw a big wave coming and ran away. The crabs did not see it, however, for they were all looking toward the shore, and they were covered with water and drowned.

By and by the wives of the crabs became worried because their husbands did not return, and they went down to the shore to see if they could help in the battle. No sooner had they reached the water, however, than the waves rushed over them and killed them.

Some time after this thousands of little crabs appeared near the shore, and the shrimp often visited them and told them of the sad fate of their parents. Even today these little crabs can be seen on the shore, continually running back and forth.

They seem to rush down to fight the waves, and then, as their courage fails, they run back to the land where their forefathers lived. They neither live on dry land, as their ancestors did, nor in the sea where the other crabs are, but on the beach where the waves wash oveer them at high tide and try to dash them to pieces.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Taste of Adobo

This time we did not produce a film but a meal loved by all Filipinos all over the world - adobo. There are tens of recipes of this tasty garlic based meal, some traditional, some completely jazzed-up.

If you ever run out of fantasy how to cook your adobo, go and buy The Adobo Book by Reynaldo Gamboa Alejandro and Nancy Reyes-Lumen. They offer tens of "free-style" recipes, some of which date back to Spanish times.

Each time we cook it, it turns out completely different. As Ronnie says in the Adobo book, there is nothing wrong with it - adobo deserves its own personality.

The book is accompanied by a bunch of essays, tracing down the etymology of the word and the history of adobo cooking etc. In other words a new science was born - adobology .

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Taste of the Script

The beginning of the script of our first documentary film called Democtatorship goes like this:

"There is a long tradition in the Philippines of standing up to an opressive authority. In fact, it was most of the Philippine national heroes´ doing …. and sometimes also their undoing.

Mounting a series of rebellions and insurgencies first against Spanish colonizers, then their American successors and finally against Japanese occupation during World War II, Filipinos were bleeding all along on their way to freedom.

They finally achieved independence in 1946, but being independent doesn´t necessarily mean being free as Filipinos were to painfully find out when they reelected Ferdinand Marcos for president in 1969.
Not happy with the prospect of having to leave the presidential palace for good when his second term is over he declared martial law in 1972 effectively monopolizing all the state power for years to come. His time finally came in February 1986 when the nation managed to rid itself of the dictator in what was one of the first modern people power revolutions.

It was over in four days and became known as EDSA after the long avenue that circles around Manila. For once it wasn´t traffic jamming it to standstill but people. They came in huge numbers to show support for military rebels who abandoned president Marcos for the sake of democracy.

Since then, as you can read in any Philipppine history schoolbook, EDSA symbolizes courage, unity, justice and truth to Filipinos and is their constant source of pride. Fully aware of this we had every reason to believe the 20th anniversary of the revolution would be a splendid celebration of everything that is good in the Filipino.
As we boarded our plane headed for Manila in February 2006 we had no idea how wrong we actually were…"

If you would like to know more about the film or get your own copy, just email us: