Archive for the ‘Stonehenge’ Category

From The Underbush, Some Notable Numbers

June 25, 2008

-Sulpicio Lines, the operator of the sunken Princess of the Sea, pegged the approximate insurance value (less than $4,000) of a dead victim’s life in the Philippines.

9 years
-The length of time it took Sulpicio Lines to know of the new guidelines on ship travel which was revised in June 27, 2007. Edgar Go, representing the ship company said they were not informed of the revision that could have avoided the sinking of the Princess of the Sea. =0=

P331.5 billion
The amount paid by the Philippine government (P133 billion in interest and P198.53 billion in principal) on maturing debts from January to May, 2008 according to the Department of Finance. As of April 2008, the country has a trade deficit of $531 million (approx. P24 billion.)

-The monthly travel allowance of a Philippine congressman in trips, local and abroad. This taxpayer’s money could be the source of cash used by 59 representatives (1/4 of the entire Congress,) in accompanying Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo in USA on July 21 to 30, 2008, a junket which critics call “extravagant and insensitive.”
The overall percentage of improvement in the National Achievement Test (NAT) for grade 6 Filipino public school students—from 43% in 2003 to 2008’s’s 65%; DepEd’s Jesli Lapus eyes a 75% mark by 2010.

1 month
-It took the media to correct the misleading news about the “lost Amazon” tribe, not having contact with civilization (mentioned in mesiamd’s blog on 05/31/08: “The stonehenge’s secret revealed, a lost Amazon tribe discovered…) The disclosure brings to recall similar hoaxes woven around indigenous forest-dwellers, like the Philippine Tasadays whose made-up secrets were revealed after Marcos was driven out of the country.

10 million
-The number of millionaires in the world with an asset of at least 1 million dollars; representing 1/5 of 1% of the world’s 6.7 billion people; a rise of 6% from 2006 to 2007; a third of these millionaires live in America.

24 million
-Center for Disease Control (CDC’s) estimate on the number of Americans afflicted with diabetes, representing 8% of the total US population; based on a 2007 data; another 57 million have deranged (prediabetic) sugar levels putting them at risk to have the disease.

-The average home price in America. According to the US Department of Commerce, May 2008 home value dropped 5.7% from last year’s prices, dragging down the economy and firing fears of a recession.

-Today’s percentage point advantage of Barack Obama against John McCain in the US presidential race. This double-digit (06/25/08) lead may not hold until November’s election.

-The price of Claude Monet’s impressionist painting “Le bassin aux nymphéas,” or “Water Lily Pond,” an exquisite artwork auctioned off at a highest price so far by Christie’s in Europe (see photo by Lefteris Pitarakis, AP)

The Stonehenge’s Secret Revealed, A Lost Amazon Tribe Discovered, & A Burial Urn Found To Bind The Ibalon Epic to Bicolanos

May 30, 2008

The Stonehenge’s secret was revealed, said the British archeologists who studied the prehistoric rock-edifice which baffled the world for centuries. Based on carbon dating of cremated human burial remains found in the site, the prehistoric relic served as cemetery 500 years before the rock monument was erected in 3000 B.C, about 300 years earlier than once thought. Yorkshire Post (05/30/08, Harvey J.)

The finding clarified some controversies surrounding the Stonehenge which carried myths including that one which told of the circularly arranged sarsen stone as a prehistoric outpost for extraterrestials in the British Isles.

Just as the Stonehenge’s report came out, in the forested border of Brazil and Peru where Amazon jungle’s vegetation grew sparse, was a sighting of scantily-clad primitive tribesmen believed to have no contact with civilization. According to Survival International, a London-based organization which defends rights of indigenous people worldwide, the discovery of the jungle-dwellers bolstered the need to protect the Amazon from the interferences of developers, loggers, and oil prospectors. (05/30/08. Brasiliero,A)

Such concern for human beings and history was shown in Naga City, Philippines as well. An ancient burial urn with a serrated border shed clues to the Ibalon epic, a mythical tale of Bicol’s past which the people hungered to know about. The 32 cm. rounded urn cover on which was carved a depiction of the Ibalon story (see top photo,) had been kept in the Museo Conciliar de Nueva Caceres, housed in the old Holy Rosary Minor Seminary building.

In the Ibalon epic, Handiong was the king of Libmanan who sent 1,000 warriors under the leadership of Bantong to kill half-man, half-beast giant monster Rabot. Bantong slew Rabot while asleep in a cave dwelling.

The epic narrates that Handiong and his warriors came to Ibalon (Spanish colonizers once called Bicol as Tierra de Ybalon) to “clear” the place and start planting but he was challenged by a serpent called Uryol who later became a close ally in building the civilization in the region.Bicol Mail (11/22/07, Escandor, J Jr.)

Anthropologist-professor Zeus Salazar of the University of the Philippines thought part of the Ibalon story was etched on the celebrated urn cover which was crafted somewhere in 5,000 BC to 10 AD. It placed the age of the urn to be two thousand years older than the Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England.

The one-of-a-kind pottery was part of the antique collection of Dr. Ermelo Almeda who went places to beef up his treasure-trove of Stone-age tools, historic artifacts, old ornaments, animal eggs, and earthen wares.

The urn’s authenticity was however doubted by Dr. Jesus Peralta, a retired archeologist of the National Museum for the “unscientific” way it was retrieved in Bigaho, Libmanan, Camarines Sur back in 1982. A minaret-like portion of the of the urn’s design, the lack of carbon-dating and documentation made him suspect the piece was bought from Mindanao.

But Dr. Salazar who traced the Ibalon epic from a fragmented five-part story published by Spanish Friar Jose Castano in the 1800s wove an interesting interpretation of the urn cover whose depiction of the Ibalon folklore might enrich the understanding of the myth which Bicolanos seek to know. The paucity of information about Ibalon made it all the more significant and intriguing.==0==

More of this burial urn in: Vol. XXIV, 11/22/07.