Monday, October 22, 2012

Anting-anting Stories and Other Strange Tales of the Filipinos by Sargent Kayme



A collection of mystery and adventure stories, Anting-anting Stories and Other Strange Tales of the Filipinos, takes the reader into the colorful world of Filipino folk beliefs and superstitions. The word anting-anting's closest English equivalent is talisman, which is an object that gives supernatural abilities and protection to its owner. The anting-anting, however, is mainly for protection and it can be anything from a pendant to a piece of paper.

Although most of the stories are set in some regions in the Philippines, the majority are told from the perspective of non-Filipino characters. As a Filipino, it is interesting to read what other people think of some of our beliefs. The following are the stories included in this volume:

The Anting-anting of Captain Von Tollig
The Cave in the Side of Coron
The Conjure Man of Siargao
Mrs. Hannah Smith, Nurse
The Fifteenth Wife
"Our Lady of Pilar"
A Question of Time
The Spirit of Mount Apo
With What Measure Ye Mete
Told at the Club
Pearls of Sulu

I don't recommend this as an accurate account of the belief and uses of anting-anting. Although the author appeared to have been impartial in portraying the natives, the Filipino characters are mostly stereotypes. What is most interesting about these stories are the places they are set in. This book, although entertaining, should not be used as a reference for any study of Filipino folklore.

Rating: 8 out of 10