Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Vanishing Culture


Even though it has not much talk about these days, it is worth mentioning.  
Bayanihan, and what it stands for. Pronounced like "buy-uh-nee-hun ,"
Bayanihan is a Filipino word derived from the word bayan meaning town, nation, or community in general. "Bayanihan" literally means, "being a bayan," and is thus used to refer to a spirit of communal unity and cooperation.

Although bayanihan can manifest itself in many forms, it is probably most clearly and impressively displayed in the old tradition of neighbors helping a relocating family by getting enough volunteers to carry the whole house, and literally moving it to its new location. They do this by placing long bamboo poles length-wise and cross-wise under the house (traditional Filipino houses were built on stilts), and then carrying the house using this bamboo frame. It takes a fairly large number of people -- often 20 or more -- working together to carry the entire house.

All this is done in a happy and festive mood. At the end of the day, the moving family expresses their gratitude by hosting a small fiesta for everyone. Bayanihan has been a favorite subject of many artists.

The picture above is from a mural by Filipino National Artist Carlos "Botong" Francisco, commissioned in 1962 by UNILAB founder Jose Y. Campos, and currently on display at UNILAB's administration building in Manila.

There is also an impressive real-life photograph of bayanihan in action in National Geographic Magazine, March 1977, p. 382.  

Under the http:philippines-revolution110mb.com, they are silently bringing the project of Bayanihan.
Project Bayanihan seeks to bring the bayanihan spirit into the realm of world-wide computing, making it possible for people around the world to help each other and work together toward a common goal.
The software frameworks they are currently building serves as a tool that, much like the bamboo framework in traditional bayanihan, will allow people to more easily pool together and coordinate their processing resources.  




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The Wonder Tree


Its water is almost perfect, never been touch by air. It is biologically pure, with natural sugar, salt and vitamins to overcome fatigued. It is a real thirst quenching and energy giver and de-hydrator. It is best taken at freshly open cause it ferments rapidly.

Here are some benefits of coconuts water:

  1. Keep the body cool and at the proper temperature.
  2. Orally re-hydrate your body; it is an all natural isotonic beverage.
  3. Carry nutrients and oxygen to cells.
  4. Naturally replenish your body's fluids after exercising.
  5. Raise your metabolism.
  6. Promote weight loss.
  7. Boost your immune system.
  8. Detoxify and fight viruses.
  9. Cleanse your digestive tract.
  10. Control diabetes.
  11. Aid your body in fighting viruses that cause the flu and colds
  12. Balance your PH and reduce risk of cancer.
  13. Treat kidney and urethral stones.
  14. Boost poor circulation.
The body or trunk of the coconut tree can be use as lumber and it is already commercialized. It can be used as construction support woods but not for house building itself because of it is not consider as hard wood.

Matured coconut fruit is a highly useful part of the coconut tree.

Coconut milk is extracted from grated coconut meat from these matured fruits, and makes innumerable delicious recipes. There are many tasty and healthy food mixes with coconut milk, aside from the native sweets, a mixture of the milk with malagkit, sticky rice, and many more.

Coconut oil is also extracted from these matured fruit, copra. The shell can be use as fuel and even d├ęcor as well.

The husk of coconut is natively used as husk – for scrubbing wood floors.

The leaves of the coconut tree when dried make the native broom – walis tingting.

In rural areas, folks from rural areas pick-out the ubod – heart of the palm from coconut tree that yields less or unproductive tree or coconut tress damaged by typhoon.

It is delicious in salads and lumpiang ubod, and also good to cook it with coconut milk.


Another product from coconut tree is Tuba - coconut toddy that has a stinging sweet and bittersweet taste. The process involves extracting the sap of an unopened coconut bud. The tip of the bud is lopped and the pale juice allowed trickles into bamboo containers. A sturdy tree yields about a gallon of liquid daily. The fermenting process involves the sweetish liquid is stored for one to three days in earthen jars or bottles in modern times. The rust tint of tuba is acquired through the addition of powdered bark called tangal.
In some rural places, patients suffering from tuberculosis were advised to drink or even bathe with Tuba as a cure. It is also consider as a hard drink. As Tuba is fermented, it is a good source of vinegar.


Go nuts with coconut!
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Monday, March 1, 2010

The Identity Crisis - Homosexuality

Homosexuality is a justly case of identity crisis. It is not just a gender crisis but a more subtle situation. They identify themselves not their body but they identify themselves with their mind. Entrap inside a male body, they think, the mind dictates a female identity, same as in the case of lesbians. Lesbians think they are masculine male entrap in a female body.

Every body identifies themselves as the tags as mark of their location, race or religion. One thinks I am black or brown, Chinese or Americans, catholic or Muslim, fat or skinny, tall or short, and male or female. These are the bodily levels we set note on our identity.

Just because a person is in male body doesn’t mean that the person is male; and just because a person or soul is in a female body doesn’t mean that the person is female. This is because the person is not the material body, you are not the body, I am not this body. At death you will all leave this suit of clothes behind, these bodily designations.

The gross material body is made up of the elements earth, water, fire etc., can be compared to the jacket and shirt and the subtle material mind, material desires etc., can be compared to the undershirt or underwear. In fact you are all these, you are not the jacket or the under shirt. You are covered by a gross material body and a subtle material body. You are the living entity, the life force situated within these gross and physical casings. The identity crisis exists for a person who is not aware of this fact.

Individuals in men’s bodies but who want to enjoy as women should appreciate the fact that they are not women trapped in men’s bodies rather they are living entities covered by their desire to enjoy as women, but their “female” desire is encased in a male’s body. In other words, they are actually identifying themselves to be the subtle body, the mind and desires. A person can realize that the mind is not the self. Homosexuals, for example, can separate themselves from the tendency to enjoy as women as something apart from themselves; in the same way that they can experience their body as apart from themselves.

Through meditation, a person says, “my body”, as if the body is their possession, “My mind” which point to the fact that the mind is also a possession of the person. I have a body and I have a mind – but I am neither the body nor the mind.

A person can watch images going through his mind in the same way he watches television. One can act as a witness to the activities of the mind or he may dream and say, “Oh, I had a terrible nightmare”, but as soon as the dream is gone, you still exist, as the witness viewing your dream. So you are not the mind.

Desires are continually changing. A desire to enjoy in a certain way may exist but then it goes away but the living entity stays. The living entity, who is aware of that desire, continues to exist. The homosexual should be aware that desires are changing day to day, moment to moment. The person is the one aware of these ever-changing desires, feelings and thoughts. Homosexuals can choose his ever changing desires, he can just watch and be the spectator of the streams of his desires, he can rid those perverted desires or thoughts and experience how hard to control them or he can give in to them. This shows that the person aware to make choices is apart from these flows of desires and they are not the mind’s desires or the mind itself.

Homosexuals somehow experience that their gross body is something foreign; they have the wrong kind of body on. Their subtle body, the mind does not match their gross body.
This is all due to their desires and activities in their past life, such desires and activities caused them to transmigrate to gross body which does not match up with their subtle body.

In this lifetime, we had already experienced transmigrating from on kind of body to another. The soul transmigrates from a baby body to a boyhood body, and then migrates into a young man’s body. A person who used to live in a young body now lived in a middle-aged body. And the person who used to live in a middle-aged body now lives in an old body. We see this process around us, person dropping one body, then leaving that body and taking a new one.
It is not the same body – the body of an old man is not just an old version of the same body he had as a youth. All the cells have changed, the bones have changed, the whole body is different. This is a scientific fact. The body is made up of cells which are constantly being replaced. The body is constantly changing.

“As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body,
from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes
into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not
bewildered by such a change.”
(Bhagavad-gita 2:13)

In the same way that there is continuity throughout the gradual changes of the present body, there is continuity in the life of the conditioned soul. The desires that a person cultivates during the lifetime of the present gross body do not die when the body dies. They remain with the living being and act as a link or connection with the next body. The bridge between one type of body and the next is the mentality of the living being – the subtle body or mind.

To be continued.



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