Sabado, Agosto 28, 2010


Agimat or bertud or anting-anting, is a Filipino word for amulet or charm.[1] Although stereotyped as a cross, a flat, round or triangular golden pendant accompanying a necklace or a necklace-like item, it is also depicted as an enchanted stone that came from the sky or from the heart of a banana tree at midnight (mutya). In relation to the latter, it is usually ingested. It is usually accompanied by a small book of magic incantations which must be read during Good Friday or a certain special date to attain the amulet's full power and benefit. An agimat could also be in the form of a clothing with magic words inscribed on it, or even in the form of edible enchanted mud (in Tagalog, mud is putik).[2] Other methods of obtaining an agimat is by getting the liquid that is drained from an exhumed body of an unbaptized child or aborted fetus or offering food and drinks to the spirits in a cemetery during midnight of Holy Wednesday or Holy Thursday.[3] Most of the amulets bear Latin inscriptions into it, and most of the places these Agimat are sold near churches or on its courtyard or in the market near the church, like in Quiapo district in Manila. Filipino fighters also wore anting-anting to battle against the Spaniards and the Americans. Filipino hero Macario Sakay wore a vest that has religious images and Latin phrases to protect him from bullets.[4] Former Philippine-President Ferdinand Marcos, was given an anting-anting by Gregorio Aglipay that could make Marcos invisible.[5] Marcos said that the agimat is a sliver of wood that was inserted into his back before the Bataan campaign on 1942.[6]
Anting-anting is also a Filipino system of magic and sorcery with special use of the above mentioned talismans, amulets and charms. It is part of a wider South-East Asian tradition of tribal jewelry, as "anting" in Malaysian means 'to hang', and "anting-anting" in Javanese means 'ear pendant'. Earliest reports of anting-anting are from the records of Spanish priests in the early colonial period. Pardo de Tavera defines the anting-anting as "an amulet, of super natural power, that saves lives." With the Christianization of the Philippines, anting-anting appropriated the forms of the new religion, and incorporated as well the esoteric symbolisms of Freemasonry. An Islamic version of anting-anting exists in the Southern Muslim islands.[2]
In Filipino films, the wearer of the agimat gains superhuman strength, invisibility, heightened senses, self-healing and elemental powers. With it, the person can also be able to shoot or fire lightning via hands, or generate electricity throughout one's body. The person can also perform telekinesis , stop a live bullet, can have premonitions, morphing abilities, camouflage abilities like a chameleon, can have extreme good luck, invincibility or miracle curative powers. In his Filipino films, the actor Ramon Revilla, Sr., as Nardong Putik, was depicted to have protection from bullets and slash wounds, provided he eats a certain special mud.[7]
Also, the agimat has been featured in one of Lola Basyang's stories, starring a cowardly man who thinks that his love rival has an enchanted agimat that gives him incredible bravery. The man is courting a woman, so he summons a wise man. The coward is instructed but he is purely afraid, so he never gets the agimat.

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