Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Lolas with Phalluses (hindi ito bastos)

Last night i watched this documentary on GMA7 by Howie Severino. That was a vivid documentation of various rituals involving phalluses, giant artifical penises that symbolize everything from fertility to Judas. Some of them are no longer practiced, made extinct by modern notions of what is "bastos". But at least one of these traditions is alive and well. Showing us footage of a sagala in Kalayaan, Laguna -- a bizarre, rapturous wedding ritual featuring lolas wielding phalluses. There are typical rural grandmothers tending to fields or seeing patients as barangay health volunteers. But on the day of a local wedding, they are transformed into uninhibited wenches, dressed like clowns called lukayo and teasing newlyweds with wooden male organs taken out of their hiding places. The newly assigned parish priest does not approve, and wants to stop it.
Watching that documentary made me wonder not only about the fate of this age-old custom, but about our definition of bastos, the purpose of such traditions, and how the past intersects with our present.

images by: SIDETRIP

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