Pavilion Guide


Pavilion Guide - Cover
Logo of the Board of Travel and Tourist Industry
this booklet is offered as a public service of the
Republic of the Philippines

art in wood
art is expressed in many forms ... in ballet, painting, music ... in any reflection of beauty and grace.
The carving of wood is one of the oldest forms of art known to man. In this particular art form the Philippines has achieved world acclaim. Therefore, it was only natural in planning the Philippine Pavilion at the New York World's Fair to turn to the skilled woodcarvers in the town of Paete in Laguna Province for the execution of the wood murals that are featured in the Pavilion. Designed by muralist Carlos V. Francisco, these carvings, which are described in this brochure, trace the history, culture and rich heritage of the Filipino.
It is hoped that this inspiring exhibit of art in wood will provide Fair visitors with the opportunity to see this unique art form as interpreted by the Filipino and more importantly, help them know better their thirty million friends from the island archipelago that is the Republic of the Philippines.

malakas at maganda
"malakas at maganda" "In the beginning of Time, there was only the blue sky above, and the green sea below dotted here and there by islands filled with lush vegetation ... and flying about was a magnificent, black bird called the tigmamanukin.
"While resting on a bamboo thicket one day, the great bird heard an unusual noise coming from within a large bamboo stalk. In curious concern, the bird pecked on the stalk, the bamboo split in two, and lo! from one hollow side emerged a handsome and powerfully-built brown man, and from the other side a beautiful brown maiden.
"The man addressed the woman as Maganda (Tagalog word for 'beautiful') and she, in turn, called him Malakas (meaning 'strong'), and this is how they came to be known.
"Shortly thereafter and with the approval and blessing of Bathala, the god-creator of all, Malakas took Maganda for his wife and their children and grand-children and other generations that followed peopled the country now known as the Republic of the Philippines."

The Malay Migrations
      the malay migrations The Malays were not the first people in the Philippines. Aetas, and a scattering of pygmy tribes now almost extinct, already inhabited the country when the Malay migrations began.
      Recorded history tells of a fleet of fast-sailing binidays (outriggers) comprising well-organized barangays (village communities) of some ten brave datus (tribal chieftans) from neighboring Borneo who, in the 13th century, fled their native land to escape the tyranny of Mukatunaw, their sultan. They landed in Panay, westernmost island in the Visayan region that comprises the central area of the archipelago, where they settled. Shortly thereafter, other migratory waves from Borneo followed which accounts for the Malay racial stock of present-day Filipinos who now number well over 30 million.

      code of kalantiaw Unknown and unpublicized is the fact that, long before Europe made its first contact in the Philippines, the country and its people enjoyed a fairly advanced civilization of its own.
      One of the wisest and most beloved rulers during the 13th century was Kalantiaw, who instituted a code of laws for the members of his barangay in the island of Panay.
      Generally conceded as more humane than the Code of Hamurabi, the Code of Kalantiaw provided penalties for such unlawful acts as killing, stealing, sacrilege, and disrespect for the aged and persons of authority.

Battle at Maktan
      battle at maktan A Spanish expedition under the command of Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese-born navigator, came upon the Philippines in 1521 in the course of a voyage in search of the Spice Islands. Magellan claimed the islands for Spain.
      Little did Magellan fancy that the golden-brown-skinned natives were fierce fighters in the defense of their freedom, and the Battle at Maktan is one of the most dramatic and historic episodes in the history of the Philippines, testifying as it did to the bravery and heroism of its people.
      Maktan is a small island off the eastern coast of Cebu in the Visayan region. As Magellan and his helmeted warriors attempted to subdue the islanders, Rajah Lapulapu led his valiant men in a spirited combat against the superiorly-equipped Spanish forces. Magellan was slain by Lapulapu and the invaders lost the battle.
      (The expedition's remaining ship, the Victoria, returned to Spain in 1522 under Sebastian El Cano. It was the first ship to circumnavigate the globe.)

Conquest of Maynilad
      conquest of maynilad Spanish defeat at Maktan did not discourage subsequent expeditions to the archipelago named after Philip II. Cebu was taken in 1565 and soon after, other islands also fell to Spanish arms.
      In 1570 the conquistadors sailed north to the rich port of Maynilad but it was not until the following year -- and only after a long and heroic resistance by its people -- that the Spanish forces won. Maynilad's great king, Rajah Soliman, died fighting off the invaders.
      After its conquest, the port was organized into a city by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, renamed Manila, and proclaimed capital of the Islas Filipinas. Legaspi became the first Spanish governor of the country.
      An unsuccessful invasion attempt by Chinese forces led by Limahong resulted in the building of a massive wall around Manila, with a moat around it similar to those of European medieval cities.
      (The one-mile square area, known popularly as Intramuros, which is Spanish for "within walls," was razed to the ground during the Battle for the liberation of Manila in World War II, and the ancient walls were destroyed.)

The Sword and the Cross
the sword and the cross The administration of Spanish rule over the island-archipelago was shared jointly by the Office of the Governors-General appointed by the Crown of Spain, and the Church. Thus came into being the popular reference, "The Rule of the Sword and the Cross."
Three centuries of this rule witnessed the birth of towns and cities from native barangays; the building of public offices, market centers, fountain-centered plazas, bridges and roads; the establishment of hospitals, orphanages, asylums as well as grammar schools and colleges; and the start of a more advanced social system.
Above all, the native population was Christianized. And the Philippines remains, to this day, the only Christian country in Asia.

period of oppression The 333-year rule of Spain over the Philippines failed to obtain full and voluntary submission from the Filipinos.
Outwardly, there was a show of humility and respect for authority. But the yoke of oppression became gradually heavier and more unbearable.
Protest against forced labor, abusive treatment by both civil officials and friars, and other offenses to the dignity of man resulted in revolts led by patriots such as Dahohoy, Palaris, Tamblot and Diego Silang. But these uprisings failed due to lack of concerted actions on the part of the rebels.

Period of Oppression

The Philippine Revolution
the philippine revolution The year 1896 marked a turning point in the history of the Philippines. Inspired by the now-immortal writings of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, Emilio Jacinto, Marcelo H. de pilar, Graciano Lopez Jaena, Antonio Luna, Dr. Pedro A. Paterno, Mariano Ponce, Dr. Pio Valenzuela and other Filipino intellectuals, the nation rose as one in fiery and determined rebellion against tyranny.
The immediate cause of the Revolution was the discovery by the Spanish authorities of the Kataastaasan Kagalanggalangang Katipunan Ng Mga Anak Ng Bayan (Highest and Most Respected Association of the Sons of the Country), often referred to simply as the Katipunan. It was organized in 1892 by Andres Bonifacio as a secret revolutionary society; its birth and rise signalized the end of a long crusade to secure reforms from Spain by means of a peaceful propaganda. Its discovery on the night of August 19, 1896 resulted in a stormy meeting of the Katipuneros in the hills of Balintawak north of Manila. Bonifacio took out his cedula certificate, a symbol of vassalage, and tore it to pieces. Everyone followed suit amid shouts. This was the so-called "Cry of Balintawak" which reverberated throughout the land.
When Spanish authorities in the Philippines ordered and carried out the execution of Rizal -- who had lived in exile since 1892 and had not taken part in the armed uprisings -- the Revolution surged to greater fury. Historians state: "Spanish bullets destroyed Rizal but his ideas destroyed the Spanish empire in the Orient." Dr. Rizal is regarded as the foremost hero and patriot of the Filipino people.

Battle at Tirad Pass
      battle at tirad pass The victory of Commodore Dewey and his American warships at Manila Bay (May 1, 1898) sounded the death-knell of Spanish rule over the Philippines. And from the ruins of the Filipino Revolution against Spain (1896-98) arose the First Philippine Republic, with a proclamation of independence held amid solemn rites at Kawit, Cavite.
      Led by the belief that the United States would recognize the independence of the country, General Emilio Aguinaldo rallied his people to the siege of Manila by Filipino and American forces on August 13, 1898 and before the day was over the white flag of surrender was hoisted from behind the city walls.
      But in the Treaty of Paris signed on December 10, 1898, Spain ceded the Philippines to the U.S. The Filipino people protested bitterly against the Treaty and, shortly after the Republic was inaugurated in Malolos, Bulacan on January 23, 1899, hostilities between the Filipinos and Americans broke out.
      A stirring episode during this Filipino-American War was the Battle at Tirad Pass, in the province of La Union. A 23-year-old Filipino-Brigadier-General, Gregorio H. del Pilar, with only 60 soldiers under his command, died fighting the American troops led by General Frederick March. Of the gallant hero, the Americans said: "He died a great officer and gentleman."

      a commonwealth government ... then war! Thirty-seven years after the acquisition of the Philippines by the United States, a Commonwealth Government was organized in preparation for the return of Philippine independence in 1946. Veteran Filipino statesman Manuel Luis Quezon was the people's choice for President.
      But in December 1941 the Pacific War broke out and the country, still ill-prepared for invasion and armed conflict, soon fell under the might of the Japanese forces.
      The gallant stand of Filipino-American troops in Bataan and Corregidor after all of East Asia had fallen into enemy hands will forever be remembered. This heroic stand in a hopeless situation gave enough time for the evacuation to Australia and thence to the U.S., of General Douglas MacArthur and President Quezon. The flight was a matter of military expediency and political significance, and history has borne this out.
      Nor will anyone forget the infamous "Death March." About 36,000 prisoners of war -- hungry, thirsty, fatigued, diseased and dying -- were forced to march from Bataan to Pampanga. Those unable to walk further were brutally beaten or bayoneted to death. But the handful of survivors gave testimony, once more, to Man's determination to live for freedom. And the courage of the Filipino shone in his darkest hour.

Liberation at Leyte
      liberation at leyte and the rebirth of a republic On October 20, 1944 an invasion fleet of 650 American ships sailed into Philippine waters off the eastern coast of Leyte. After the first wave of assault had made a beachhead at Palo, General Douglas MacArthur waded ashore. He had fulfilled his now-famous pledge to the Filipino people: "I shall return!"
      MacArthur was accompanied by Filipino leaders headed by president Sergio Osmena (successor to Quezon, who had died only a few months before). Three days later the Commonwealth Government was reestablished and shortly thereafter the last national election held under the Commonwealth regime witnessed the ascendancy of Manuel A. Roxas to the Presidency.
      On July 4, 1946 the United States, in keeping with its promise, withdrew its "trusteeship" over the Philippines. Amid solemn and impressive ceremonies, the proclamation of Philippine independence issued by President Harry S. Truman was read by American High Commissioner Paul V. McNutt. The Philippine national anthem was played as the Filipino flag was hoisted alone at last under sunny skies. Manuel A. Roxas was inducted into office, the first President of the Republic of the Philippines just reborn.
      All these took place at the Luneta Park where, under the darkness of dawn 50 years earlier, volley shots from a firing squad snuffed out a young patriot's life, but not his fondest dream.

The Republic Marches On
      the republic marches on The expedient physical reconstruction of the Philippines, war-torn and economically dislocated, reflects the indomitable spirit of the Filipino. Presidents Manuel Roxas and Elpidio Quirino contributed greatly towards the implementation of the country's program of post-war economic rehabilitation. Presidents Ramon Magsaysay and Carlos Garcia added their own efforts to the task of rebuilding the nation.
      Today, as the Republic of the Philippines begins its 18th year of life, the herculean responsibility of leadership rests on the shoulders of young, vigorous and resourceful President Diosdado Macapagal whose new socio-economic program envisions even greater improvement in the agro-industrial life of the country and a healthy and happy citizenry.
      A progressive educational system with one fifth of the population in school; a high degree of literacy and the freest press in Asia (possibly in the world); advanced public health, continued hospital-building, and thousands of highly-competent surgeons, physicians and nurses; a growing tourist industry and new public highways; new and bigger industrial enterprises ... these, and a free representative government that is the bastion of democracy in Asia, are among the many blessings enjoyed by the Republic of the Philippines as it marches on.

an Map of the Philippines
Colorful Filipino Ships invitation

Whatever it was in the past that lured people to travel, the fact remains that today people travel because of their deeper interest in their fellow human beings.
More than ever before, they cover greater distances and visit places they have barely heard of. And in the adventuresome process they acquire a broader and exciting knowledge of other peoples, of their foods and festivals, their customs and traditions, their art and folklore.
Among the peoples of the world who offer the traveler a discovery of a different and exciting way of life are the Filipinos. Their country, an archipelago of 7,107 islands and islets, lies at the air and sea crossroads of the Orient. It is a natural destination for today's traveler coming from Europe, and a veritable gateway to the fabled lands in the exotic Far East for those crossing the blue Pacific.
The country itself offers spectacular scenery: forests of wild orchids, volcanic lakes, enchanting waterfalls. It offers tourist attractions found nowhere else: the magnificent centuries-old, man-made rice terraces scaling the Banaue mountains, historic Corregidor, the mountain city of Baguio, Tagaytay, overlooking Lake Taal and Taal Volcano, Cebu, "Queen City of the South" and the colorful Muslim region of Zamboanga on the island of Mindanao.
But more important, the Philippines offers its own people -- 30 million friendly people known the world over for their warmth and hospitality. If for no other reason than to meet the Filipino, the modern traveler owes it to himself to visit the Philippines. The experience couldn't be more rewarding.

Philippine Scene
Prepared and Edited by the
Philippine Travel Information Office
New York City

Source: Souvenir Brochure and Pavilion Guide to the Philippine Pavilion

Back Page