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  • Philippine Arts Council

Sarimanok - Harang for our Anitos and Diwatas

The Filipino in Me - Insights into Living Heritage

Entry by Chef Earl Briones. Edmonton, Alberta


Harang for our Anitos and Diwatas


My submission aims to celebrate our pre colonial beliefs, rituals, and offerings through a cultural lens of someone from the diaspora. The Philippines has had a rich culture before the Spanish colonization absorbed some of our ancient beliefs with theirs. My submission aims to tell some of my favorite folktales from the three main geographic areas of the Philippines. From Luzon, the tale of Tala and how wet rice cultivation was introduced. From Visayas, the legendary moon eater Bakunawa and how we explained lunar eclipses in ancient times. From Mindanao, the legendary bird Sarimanok, and the old tales from the Maranao people.

I also aim to showcase our traditional food in a modernized look according to my interpretation. These submissions are my love letter to the Philippines. Our food, our culture, and who we are and were. A way of telling the past using the medium of our food and presenting it in the present.

Thank You!

Piaparan, Palapa, and Kuning

Art through food and plating while telling old folktales of Pre-Colonial Philippines


Maranao Folklore

According to the Maranaos, the Sarimanok is their totem bird named Itotoro which has a twin-spirit, Inikadowa. When Rajah Indarpatra married a water nymph, they had two sons: one who can be seen and the other, unseen. Seen became the ancestors of the modern-day Maranao people and Unseen is the spirit that they pay tribute to during rituals and rites. These two brothers made a pact that they will always protect each other from bad spirits and they chose the Sarimanok to be their totem bird and through the help of its twin, Inikadowa, it became the link between the seen and the unseen worlds. The fish on the beak of the Sarimanok symbolizes the food that the Maranao people offer to the spirit world. The kashawing (rice ritual) can be traced to the narrative. The ritual involves a reenactment of the pact made by the ancestors of the community and the unseen spirits that inhabit the lake.


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