Philippine Astronomy in U.P. Diliman
The University of the Philippines Diliman will have its Alternative Classroom Learning Experience on August 14, 2008 (Thursday) from 12:00 nn to 5:00 pm.
The Alternative Classroom Learning Experience, popularly known as ACLE, is an event hosted by the University Student Council every semester. Students are invited (or sometimes required) to attend lectures prepared by various organizations inside the campus. The topics of each lecture should be related to the overall theme of the ACLE. For this semester, the theme is Juan vs. 100, in commemoration of the University’s 100th year.
As one of the participating organizations, the U.P. Astronomical Society invited Dr. Dante Ambrosio, a professor in the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP), to give a lecture about Philippines’ History of Astronomy (Sinaunang Astronomiya). Dr. Ambrosio has written several articles regarding Philippine Astronomy. You could read his published articles in the Philippine Daily Inquirer here and here.
Most Filipinos aren’t aware of their ancestors having a rich knowledge of the heavens. Believe it or not, the early Filipinos not only used the night sky for knowing the seasons, but they have also assigned names to certain groups of stars that reflect their own culture (yes, just like what the Greeks, Romans, Arabians, and Chinese did!). For instance, the Tagalog named the Orion’s belt as Tatlong Maria while the tribes of Bagobo, Bilaan, at Manobo called the Orion as Balatik, a trapping device used for hunting.
Amazingly, Filipinos have their own version of the skies. (We should be proud!)
This lecture will surely give you a glimpse of the past and discover in wonder how Filipino ancestors interweave their beliefs and culture with the skies above.