ORIGINS AND THE EVOLUTION OF THE UNIVERSE IN CULTURE AND SCIENCE
The section discusses the different perspectives of the origins of the Universe in both contexts of astronomical sciences and cosmological beliefs of different Philippine ethnic groups. Specifically, this aimsto present that while modern science has been reckoning the origins of the Universe and how it works through systematic analysis of matter from space, among others, Philippine ancestral communities have worked out their own perception and understanding of how the world works.
This section tackles the different ways time is reckoned by different groups of people in the country, based on available ethnohistoric and ethnographic documentation. Today’s standard means of determining time (i.e., seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, etc.) will also be discussed as a point of reference in someinstances. This section primarily aims to apprise the viewers that time is mostly a cultural product.
PHILIPPINE NIGHT SKY
This section will detail how the Philippine skies, particularly the celestial objects and phenomena, have been incorporated into the cultural context and worldview of the pre-colonial Filipinos.
In cultural astronomy, societies incorporate their practices and everyday objects they use with astronomical events and heavenly bodies. An example of this is the hunting trap known as the Balatik. Different ethnic groups in the Philippines utilizes some kind of Balatik in their hunting of wild boars. The star formation Balatik is known in the western culture as the constellation of Orion the Hunter.
An example of this is the Ayta of San Marcelino. They used the lunar cycle as their agricultural calendar. A new moon to them signifies the start of a single month, so 12 new moons is 12 months to the Ayta. They associated the months with the events happening in their environment, like the flowering of trees, wet season, dry season, and appearance of certain stars tells them the right time to cultivate their fields.
THE SEA NAVIGATION SECTION
When in sea, our ancestors have also used different celestial bodies in the sky to orient themselves. This section highlights fishing, trade, boat building and warfare as they relate to the celestial realm. Filipinos’ are very much a maritime people. Ethnic groups have relied on certain astronomical phenomena when braving the seas. The Sama of Tawi-Tawi uses the Mamahi Utara or known in the western culture as Polaris the north star as a reference point because it remains fixed in the night sky.