Friday, April 03, 2015

Info on Orascions from Amante Marinas' and Mark Wiley's books

Last year on Good Friday, I posted:

Well it's Good Friday today. I felt it appropriate to delve into Orascion more. You may recall that an orascion is like a prayer that provided the possessor/reciter special powers. I transcribed some info from 2 books by Amante P. Marinas, Sr. and Mark Wiley below for your edification.


Another librito had orasyones that provided protection before a fight, during a fight, after a fight and during flight. Fourteen of these are presented so that we may gain insight into the mental state of the possessor as he recites the orasyones. These are:

  1. Sa paghasa ng patalim:  For sharpening a weapon
  2. Sa paglakad sa daan:  While walking on the road
  3. Upang hindi mabigla ng kaaway: Against ambush or surprise
  4. Sa paglapit ng kaaway:  At the enemy's approach
  5. Laban sa nagpapagalit:  Against one who incites to anger
  6. Laban sa  naghahamon:  Against the challenge to a fight
  7. Upang hindi matakot:  For courage, to conquer fear
  8. Pagsira ng loob ng kaaway:  To weaken the enemy's will
  9. Laban sa doce pares:  Against the doce pares (twelve attacks)
  10. Pagbali sa armas de mano: To break the enemy's weapon
  11. Pagagaw sa armas:  To disarm the enemy
  12. Laban sa sugat: Against wounds
  13. Upang hindi abutan:  Against pursuit
  14. Upang hindi makita ng kaaway:  For invisibility

Panananadata Knife Fighting
by Amante Marinas, Sr.
Pages 99-100
Copyright 1986
Paladin Press

The Filipino warrior places a great deal of faith in the power of orasyon to provide his ability to control the spirits for his benefit. He is practically close to them prior to engaging in mortal combat. Orasyones are words, phrases or sentences considered to possess mystical powers when recited mentally or verbally. Considered divine acts of protection and power manifestation, their possession is not limited to practitioners of martial arts. These prayers also serve to bestow good luck on newlyweds for a happy marriage or to farmers for a bountiful harvest. These general orasyones can be found in little books known simply as libritos. These booklets contain many prayers devoted to the martial arts on various levels, such as to obtain skills in sharpening a sword, for protection against an ambush, to maintain a clear and focused mind in combat, for the ability to disarm an opponent, to break his weapon, or cloud his mind when engaging in duel.

The following is a list of seven of the more common or "generic" orasyones (relevant to the Filipino warrior) and their intended meanings:

  • Licum salicum solorum - A prayer for disarming an opponent 
  • Oracion de S. Pablo contra armas de foigo ip. Ntro. y Aw. - A prayer against firearms and other projectile weapons 
  • Sa paghasa ng patalim - A prayer for skill in sharpening a weapon 
  • Upang hindi mabigla ng kaaway - A prayer against being ambushed 
  • Upang hindi matakot - A prayer for courage or for conquering fear 
  • Pagsira ng loob ng kaaway - A prayer to weaken the enemy's will 
  • Jesucristo maria bedreno et curo tenaman - A prayer to weaken the enemy

It must be noted that for these prayers to be effective they must be inherited like the ancient martial arts of silat or kali, the Filipino warrior's orasyones, too, are considered to be mana (an inheritance or family heirloom to be handed down from parent to child, or from master to disciple). When a possessor is on his deathbed he assigns an heir to take over the practice of the guham (power or force) and kalaki (manly prowess or virility). If no inheritor is appointed or available, the possessor must then tear the orasyon into small pieces and devour it in a serving of samporado, a rice porridge mixed with chocolate milk and sugar. It was only then that the anito or engkanto would be set free.

Orasyones have been preserved by tattooing them on the possessor's body or weapon in ancient Filipino Baybayin script, Latin, Sanskrit, Jawi, or any combination thereof. Cato notes: "The Moros did, at times, add talismanic symbols and phrases from the Qur'an, written in Jawi script, to the surfaces of their krises. To confuse their meaning if the wrong person attempted to translate these prayers (and hence use them for his own gains) abbreviations were often used for many of the words. While this method of preservation prevented the wrong person form using one's orasyon, it was not uncommon for the rightful heir to not understand the various dialects in which the prayer was encoded, thus being unable to interpret its meaning and invoke its power.

According to folk beliefs the mandirigma also engaging in specific acts in an effort to counteract orasyones his enemy might possess. For example, prior to facing an opponent who is believed to possess an orasyon that makes him impervious to being cut, the warrior would rub his sword with boiled rice to render his opponent's orasyon useless.


Filipino Martial Culture
Mark V. Wiley
Pages 74-75
Copyright 1996
Tuttle Publishing

NOTE:  I apologize in advance for any transcription errors.



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