Saturday, September 24, 2011

Historical Markers on Filipino Women’s Sexuality During Spanish Colonial Times

Historical Markers on Filipino Women’s Sexuality During Spanish Colonial Times

By Gloria Esguerra Melencio

The intention of this research paper is to compile data about the Filipino women’s activities, rituals and customs related to sexuality and mark its historical markers along the way from the 16th up to 17th centuries.

The paper asks the following questions: What did the Spanish colonizers find out when they first saw the women? How did the Spanish colonizers view the Filipino women through time? What were the Filipino women’s activities, rituals and customs that pertain to sexuality? How did they express their sexual desires? Why were polygamy, concubinage and abortion practiced ? How did the Spanish colonizers wield the Christian Doctrine to conquer the so-called Evils that plague the Filipino women? What was the perception of the Filipino women of the Spanish colonizers?

Why sexuality? Why Historical Markers?

First, the researcher chooses the sexuality aspect of women as a topic because most of the materials gathered about womanhod focus on chastity, modesty, virginity, relationship with men and everything related to her being a woman that involves conception, childbearing, giving birth or failing to give birth. Sexuality here as the Webster’s Dictionary defines is the “possession of the structural and functional differentia of sex.”

Second, the researcher sees putting historical markers on the important events related to women’s sexuality using the historical process of Spanish colonization as a backdrop while putting forth forward the social issues that have arisen as past and present-day problems.

Third, the researcher categorizes the historical markers as nodal points in the meeting of two different peoples and cultures – the paganistic native Filipinos and the Christian Hispanics – and discovers along the way a metamorphosed culture where can be threshed out specific issues of Filipino women related to sexuality. The periodization, as the researcher discerns, is fluid. It means the event or symbolical object had begun or surfaced when the Spanish colonizers set foot on the islands in the 16th century and continued until the 17th century. Or may have been continuing up until the present time.

Further study on the periods that are marked as nodal points in women’s sexuality is a must in the future because it will provide explanations and clarifications as to what had transpired in the past that led the way to where the women are now in history.

Full Link posted 17 September 2009 on Philippine History and provided to the Babaylan Files by Letecia Layson

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Curing Colonial Stupor, A booklist

Why is decolonization and indigenization important to Filipinos today? One of the reasons is that it helps Filipinos become more integrated in their own cultural identity. It also helps them become strengthened as a collective of people who are of the archipelago called the Philippines or whose ancestry hails from there. Why do Filipinos have some sort of cultural identity crisis? Maybe this can help you find answers:

Here is the intro to a booklist called Curing Colonial Stupor, at
When an imperial power comes and colonizes indigenous people, takes away their culture and language and teaches native people to become eurocentric and to look down upon their own kind... a human sickness sets in that is called colonial mentality. This is a systemic and traumatic kind of educational and programming of minds. It is a set of dysfunctional human beings, with a superiority complex, teaching with brutal methods, another set of human beings how to have an inferiority complex and how to be innately dysfunctional as a human being.
This dysfunction, this colonial mentality and colonizers mentality can be cured.
How to find healing?
First, get very angry. The first book listed here will help you do that and is called The Forbidden Book for a reason. Who among the U.S. imperial forces want the little people, among those they colonized and in their own country, to understand the demented thinking they have that justifies their colonization of people who seek their own independence and ways of life?
Next, figure out that this whole Life thing and how people think is all a Game of sorts. The illusions that people project upon us, that we agree to uphold can be shattered.
Next, find ways to rid yourself of programmed thinking that you unconsciously began to subscribe to throughout your life. Aha! That's the catch---it takes years to deprogram. But a personal practice of meditation and self-reflection can help you achieve that.
Return to your roots.
Unsubscribe from belief systems that were constructed to benefit one people and take away from another.
Find healing, wholeness, Clarity.
This booklist includes titles such as:
  • Forbidden Book, by Abe Ignacio, Enrique de la Cruz, Jorge Emmanuel, Helen Toribio 
  • Waking Up In Time: Finding Inner Peace In Times of Accelerating Change by Peter Russell
  • Coming Full Circle, by Leny Strobel
  • If Life is a Game These are the Rules by Chérie Carter-Scott
  • How to See Yourself as You Really Are... by by Dalai Lama
See the amazon booklist on "Curing colonial stupor" here