SIGLA

School in the Garden of
the Living Archetypes

MCHREDO's Garden to SIGLA

I gained a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Jungian concept of archetypes after my stage acting experience as The Navigator in HHT1. Reading the script several times for every rehearsal I got to know the 9 gifts of the Filipino psyche—the 9 archetypes.

 Rose Yenko said, “The archetypes, which spring forth from the collective unconscious are the patterns of instinct and dynamics that are templates for our worldviews and behavior. The cultural unconscious in our psyche is an area of historical memory, a realm between the personal and collective unconscious. The nine gifts in the Filipino psyche are the cultural archetypes that are observed.” 

 Drawing from these concepts the Halo Halo Tayo play presents the living spirit of our cultural archetypes: The Child of Eden, the Navigator-Wanderer, the Warrior, the Reveler, the Islander, the Mystic, the Artist, the Healer and the Tribal Leader.

 A brief description of each archetype by Rose Yenko will help you appreciate the reality of these in our Filipino soul including yours:

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The Filipino is a Child of Eden. 
A forest dweller. Lawrence Heaney, Field Museum of Chicago director and a forest explorer of the Philippines has written about the Philippines being 97% covered with tropical rain forest before the Spanish came. Think about it. That was Eden. That was Paradise. The ancient memory of being in such a state remains in our psyche. Joyful, naturally happy, child-like, spontaneous, and a kinship with nature—as one imagines life to be in Paradise. Is this why we top the happy survey of the world? Madaling tumawa. Maganda ang ngiti. Masayahin ang Filipino.”

The Filipino is a Navigator, a Wanderer. 
“He is not a swimmer, but a man of the sea. Our ancient ways of traveling by balanghays or big boats is known. We navigated with a sensitivity and an attunement to the forces of nature, to the movement of the wind and the sea, and the knowledge of stars. …one did not rely on mechanical instruments, but the honing of oneself as the instrument. With this gift, we have the capability to chart our way through turbulence and chaos, through uncharted territory, as well as have the patience when things remain still and unmoving.”

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The Filipino is a Warrior-Protector.  
He is not a warrior-conqueror. The bayani of ancient past as Marian Pastor-Roces (cultural writer and lecturer) notes led rather than ruled. Their authority was earned rather than inherited, and discussion rather than authoritarian dictum was the norm. The most revered bayani was poetic and could go into beautiful epic singing. Could this be the template in our psyche for the kind of leaders desired? In the ordinary Filipino, this gift manifests itself in the defense and protection of the family, his tribe. Ipaglalaban at ipagtatanggol niya ang kanyang mga minamahal.”

The Filipino is a Reveler. 
Horacio de la Costa, S,J, and historian has written about pre-Hispanic Filipinos, and how they knew how to party. They danced, they sang, they made merry and wore colorful clothes. The Filipino knows how to party; knows how to give a party; knows how to make people happy and knows how to have fun. The event organizing and party giving are possibly old and ancient skills. Mahilig makipagsosyalan, magaling maghanda, masarap magluto (at marami pa), at masaya ang Filipino.”

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The Filipino is an Islander. 
“Absorbed by what is happening in his/her own island world, deeply engaged in the life of his community, there is focus, there is depth, and there are shared stories. Babad na babad. Mahilig mag-usyoso, alam kung ano ang nangyayari. Makuwento.”

The Filipino is a Mystic, an Intuitive. 
“While closely aligned with his healing and navigational (and even artistic) abilities, stories abound experiences and abilities of people who are in touch with a realm outside the ordinary—who can see beyond what normal people can see, who have connection with living beings and forces (seen or unseen), and who thereby experience a sacred force beyond oneself. Magaling ang kutob. Magaling umamoy ng sitwasyon. Magaling magbasa ng tao. Malalim ang paniniwala sa Diyos. Bukas sa karanasan ng misteryo.”

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The Filipino is an artist. 
“The Filipino is a dancer and singer par excellence. In various workshops I have handled, it is easy to let participants prepare a short skit, play, musical and dance number. There is a rhythm running through our bodies. In other artistic endeavors, we have beautiful designs in fashion, jewelry, fine furniture, animation, architecture, and in the visual arts. Such a gift underlies careers in entertainment, in jewelry, and in other design careers. Magaling kumanta, magaling sumayaw, magaling magdisenyo at makulay ang mundo ng Filipino. At madrama pa.”

The Filipino is a Healer.   
“Of ancient past, there are accounts of the babaylan, who was a healer, a doctor and a weaver. She played a significant and respected role in the life of the tribe. Knowledge about plants and the forest enabled the babaylan to concoct healing potions and medicines. In present day times, there are many accounts of men and women with extraordinary powers of healing. Such a gift is a foundation of careers that take care of the sick, the terminally ill, the elderly, and the very young. Magaan ang kamay, malambing at masarap mag-alaga ang Filipino.”

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The Filipino is a Tribal person. 
“Our ancestors are tribes. The present day Filipino needs to have a tribe—whether such a tribe is a tribe of school friends, one’s family, clan, one’s regional mates, one’s work buddies, one’s professional colleagues, one’s neighborhood associations, etc. So his boundaries encompass whoever is his tribe. The tribe has a language of its own. A thought. Can team building be called “tribe building?” Maalalahanin, maasikaso, mapagmalasakit, mapagmahal—sa kanyang ka “tribo”. 


Ruby Paurom, playwright and Reveler expressed her challenge in presenting the dynamics of energies of these 9 archetypes in a 90 minute play as follows;

 “What proved challenging were ramping up the stories of at least nine characters with well-defined traits, how to mess and enmesh them up in conflicts that denoted psychological woundings which prevented the energies from coming out in full splendor, and finally how to relieve these with prospects of resolution, all within a playtime of about 90 minutes. Were the answers also in the wind?”

 Ruby hurdled this challenge with exceptional creativity that in 90 minutes, the audience went through the life journey of the nine archetypes in three phases. Phase 1 shows the unique traits/characteristics of 3 archetypes (Child of Eden, Navigator and Warrior)—raw, naïve and still developing. Phase 2 is quite difficult to watch because it portrays the painful wounding of each archetype changing its spirit. The original nature is no longer lived out. The wounded archetypes have become less of themselves—growth to authenticity is stunted. The Islander archetype—wise man of the community in which he is deeply engaged points the wounded archetypes to the archetypal forces of the Mystic, the Artist and the Healer. The process of healing begins when the combined forces of these 3 archetypes bring forth the integration of the first 3 archetypes original nature with their woundedness resulting into their soulful transformation.

 The play ends with a joyful celebration animated by the Reveler and the Tribal archetypes of the Filipino nation confidently claiming their gifts to the world, “Yan ang Pilipino, mapalad ang lahing ito likas ang talino….

 Deeply reflecting on the message of the HHT play, I am so amazed and grateful that I am a Filipino. Our creator blessed our Filipino nation with a garden archipelago nestled in the gentle blue waters of the sea. Indeed the lines of the song “Bayan Ko” are a fitting tribute to its beauty, “Ang bayan kong Pilipinas, lupain ng ginto’t bulaklak. Pagibig ang sa kanyang palad. Nagalay ng ganda’t dilag…..”

 Thus the playground of our Filipino psyche/soul is a beautiful garden archipelago where the 9 archetypes can grow and fully blossom into what they can be.

 So my compelling question now is “How can I co-create with other gardeners a garden of growth and transformation for the 9 archetypes of the Filipino soul/psyche?"
 And SIGLA was born in my heart and in my mind.

SIGLA AND RESILIENCE BUILDING

Let me reconnect the philosophy, mission and vision of SIGLA with resilience building. SIGLA is a creative “playground” for the continuing evolution of the “living archetypes” so they can manifest their traits, face their wounding, and integrate their woundedness with their original nature leading to the soulful transformation of the Filipino psyche. This current crisis assaults the Filipino soul—major wounding at all levels—individual, family, organization, community and the whole nation. We will never be the same again after this.

 In this light, SIGLA’s mission can help the Filipino nation cross the threshold from the old way of life to a new way of living. SIGLA’s mission is to co-create “gardens of living archetypes” throughout the Philippines as a garden archipelago so the nine archetypes or gifts of the Filipino soul can evolve to their fullest being thereby co-creating a new story of the Filipino nation’s wholeness with each Filipino claiming the GOLD in oneself.

 The fruit of this mission is SIGLA’s vision: “The Philippine garden archipelago green and vibrant with life, cultivated by a constantly renewing and soul evolving Filipino nation gleaming like GOLD under the tropical sun, illuminating its ASEAN neighbors towards authentic collaboration to become a powerful voice in Asia and the world.

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