Monday, October 17, 2011

Ang Tunay na Tropa ni Amaya

This is perhaps one of the treasures I’m proud of and jealously kept. It’s an 80-year-old National Geographic Magazine, issued on September 1930. One of its feature stories is about the Philippines, entitled, “The Unexplored Philippines from the Air” by George W. Goddard.

The article includes photographs of ethnic tribesmen in their traditional costumes, some of the earliest encounters of Americans with the pure-blooded Filipinos.

Nationalistic pride nowadays is inspired by non-Filipino-speaking half-breeds and over-rated mestizo’s and mestiza’s. The truth is, they don’t look like Marian Rivera, or Gardo Versoza, or any of those over-rated actors and actresses of the Philippine showbiz industry. They look more like these people- ang tunay na tropa ni Amaya:

Here's the portrait of an aristocratic family of a Negrito Village on Casiguran Bay. The man on the right is the leader and during those times he receives 48 pesos a year for keeping his people under control. His son, the man on the left, is the chief of staff, while his wife is the best-dressed woman in the neighborhood.

These are the Bagobos of Mindanao. Perhaps these men are one of the most affluent in their village. Observing their ornaments and apparel, they are probably leaders of their tribe.

This guy's one of the earliest rock artist of that time. Nasa dugo na talaga natin ang rock and roll! The writer said that Mangyans of Mindoro islands are "remarkable natural musicians". He uses human hair as strings for his ukelele.

The left portrait shows a Negrito girl who literally wears her perfume. According to the writer, "The women hereabout use the sweetest perfume in the world, a kind of herb which they find in the forest, crush and place in the split lobes of their ears, inside cylinders of rolled cloth." 

The right photo is a potrait of a Mangyan girl wearing the simplest fashion of their time and a singular smile.

The couple on the left are Ifugaos, tribesmen of extraordinary industry, the builders of the Rice Terraces. The man is the clan wise man who keeps a 13-month calendar. The guy on the right is an Igorot warrior. He is equipped with an ax and spear which he used in gruesome feuds between clans before the white aliens came to the country.

A Mangyan couple dressed for a holiday. Yan ang tunay na Filipino love-team- si Amaya at Bagani!

Note: All photos scanned from National Geographic Magazione, September 1930 issue, Volume LVIII, number three. All rights belong to The National Geographic Society, and no copyright infringement was intended or whatsoever. Well, what I want to say is that I'm not looking for trouble and I don't want to be fined for anything illegal. Basta yun na yon...


  1. whew! it's amazing na buo pa ang magazine after so many decades, kudos!

  2. sosyal ung isa nka yosi pa heheheheh..

  3. Do you own the magazine? You're lucky to got it.


Sige, sakayan niyo ang trip ko....