Paz Marquez Benitez

Paz Marquez Benitez was born on March 3, 1894 at the town of Lucena, Quezon. She is a short story writer in English and educator. Her short story "Dead Stars" is considered a landmark in the development of Philippine literature in English. She edited the Woman's Home Journal and the Philippine Journal of Education. She married Francisco Benitez, noted educator, whom she met while teaching at the U.P.

Juramentado: Fanatic or Freedom Fighter?

Juramentado is a Spanish term for "someone who has taken the oath." During the Spanish Period, it became popular as a derogatory term for Muslim warriors in Mindanao who made a vow to fight to death.

From the point of view of the Spaniards, the juramentados were fanatics used by their religious leaders to terrorize non-Muslims and foreigners. The usual description by Europeans gave the impression that the juramentados were maladjusted and descriptive individuals, who could not pay off their debts and thus swore to kill as many Christians as possible, or who turned fanatic to atone for their crimes.

Some accounts, however, point to their heroism in the Filipino fight for freedom. For example, in Datu Uto's campaign against the Spanish conquest, the juramentados were military assets. In 1874, forty of them fell upon the Spanish force that invaded Bakat. Another juramentado defended the mausoleum of the Nauyan ruling family when the Spaniards tried to raze it in 1886. Another group attacked Cotabato and Tamontaka, burning barracks and Jesuit houses.

A juramentado must first undergo rigorous training under a pandita or religious leader. He begins with fasting, prayers, courses in the forest, and then listens to the lengthy sermons on the joys of Paradise after death in the name of Allah. As one historian said, the juramentados' "movements toward their sure death were movements in the direction of Paradise; the more Christians they killed, the closer they came to fulfillment."

Tagalog Expressions: Linguistic Zoo

Animals are often used as points of comparison in expressing ideas and emotions or describing characters and events. Many of these Tagalog expressions are still used as of today. They call a treacherous fellow ahas (snake), a talkative guy loro (parrot), a slowpoke pagong (turtle), and a very thin and sickly person butiki (house lizard).

They also have idioms that begin with parang like and are followed by th ename of an animal. Parang ipis (like a cockroach) refers to a very shy and soft spoken person. Parang linta (like a leech) is a userer. Parang elepante (like an elephant) means a big and heavy person. Parang aso (like a dog) is someone who is servile.

Some expressions are colorful, like parang natuka ng ahas (as if bitten by a snake) which means stunned or speechless. Parang aso't pusa (like cats and dogs) is and idiom for persons, especially brothers or sisters, who always quarrel. Parang kinahig ng manok (as if scribbled by a chicken) is used to describe terrible hand-writing. Parang patay na lukan (like a dead clam) is someone who is very silent-either because he is timid or insensitive.