21 February 2012

Tidbits of Research

Here are some tidbits I've learned while conducting research for this soon-to-be epic Filipino children's book fantasy series. Each of these things may play important roles in the upcoming novels. Hopefully they will help spark some inspiration in some of you to learn more about the mythology and folk beliefs of the Philippines...

Suku - a magic stone endowed with supernatural power usually given to heroes or gallants who have obtained the protection of some diety in the skyworld.

From the Manuvu tale of The Sweet and Sour Sisters:
Mepiya - good
Mebaat - bad

Rainbow - only in Western stories is the rainbow a symbol of luck and hope. In the Philippines, people regard the rainbow as an unfavorable omen for planting and other activities. (Hence the superstition: Do not point your finger at the rainbow or it will be cut off)

Betel-nut - the nut of the areca palm. Betel-nut is prepared for chewing by cutting into quarters, each piece wrapped in a betel leaf spread with lime. It was once used quite extensively in the South. Great significance is given to the chewing of betel-nuts before names are told or anything is duscussed. To refuse it is to refuse friendship. (Cole)

Santelmo - a bright ball of fire that bounces and rolls without burning anything. Its objective is to confuse travelers and cause them to love their sense of direction...