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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 05/11/11

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

GIFT IDEAS FOR THE ZOMBIE SURVIVALIST!!




   It can be hard, shopping for the zombie survivalist: by definition, they're prepared to just about anything, and they're used to training themselves to put.
   That said, there are still some great Christmas gifts you can get for your favorite zombie survivalist- and when zombies attack, they could even help save your life!







Firearms Training

   A well-placed bullet is the surest defense against zombies, but learning how to shoot and how to do it well takes time and money. For this Christmas, give the gift of a firearms safety and training course to the zombie survivalist in your life: you'll help them improve their shooting skills and they'll learn valuable skills regarding safety and firearms. The NRA offers training courses around the country from certified firearms safety instructors, and many local shooting ranges and hunting clubs offer training as well.






Martial Arts Training
   The problem with firearms is that they need reloading. As an alternative, consider giving the gift of a month or two of martial arts training. It's fantastic exercise and a lot of fun, too. Try to pick a discipline that offers a fair amount of training with weaponry, such as kendo or eskrima.





















The Max Brooks Trifecta
   Any good zombie survivalist should have read Max Brook's The Zombie Survival Guide, but less well known are his two other works, World War Z and the just-released The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks. The first book is a comprehensive zombie survival handbook, chock full of tips and tricks to help stay alive during the zombie apocalypse. The second book is a collection of anecdotes from survivors of a theoretical zombie apocalypse, valuable for its discussions of the mental, emotional, and physical rigors of life among the walking dead. The third book is a discussion of several historical zombie outbreaks. A gift of any or all of these books is sure to be welcomed by your zombie survival buff.







The Zen of Zombies
   It may seem like fraternizing with the enemy, but there's a lot we can learn from zombies. Scott Kenemore's The Zen of Zombies is a philosophical look at the walking dead and how we still among the living can benefit from acting more like them.  Let's not forget that one of the best ways to fight one's enemies is to understand them; the Zen of Zombies is sure to help the zombie survivalist in your life do just that. The book retails for about $12 and can be found at most major bookstores.







Magnesium Fire Starter
   A good tool for any survivalist, zombies or no, a magnesium fire starter is a wonderful little tool that allows for the building of a fire even in damp, difficult conditions - a must if you have to get the hell out of dodge quickly. With a spark upwards of 3000 degrees, there are few things that won't burn when you put magnesium to use, and a single fire starter is enough for building hundreds of fires. Even better, they're fairly cheap; Amazon sells one for around $10.








Other Zombie Survival Gear
   Anything with a survivalist slant will make a great gift for the zombie survival enthusiast. Consider items like a solar-powered GPS receiver, hand-crank flashlights, military surplus MREs, or even a good pair of sturdy hiking boots.

ARAQUIO FESTIVAL FROM THE PHILIPPINES!!

some of the moors costumes

   Araquio festival is a celebration traditionally held every May in Nueva Ecija. The festival dates back to the Spanish colonial period and is celebrated with a theatrical/religious presentation similar to Spanish zarzuelas, dramatizing the spread of Christianity in the country and the war between Christians and Muslims.



Some of the Costumes

 

History and Customs

   The name Araquio is said to have come from "Heraclio", the name of a bishop during the time of Constantine the Great. The first Araquio presentation took place in the town of PeƱaranda, Nueva Ecija over 120 years ago. Before modern musical instruments were available, the bands used instruments made from indigenous materials like bamboo. According to Francisco Vergara Padilla, director of the Araquio group in the barangay of St. Tomas in PeƱaranda, during his grandfather's time they used basins and utensils as substitutes.






   Araquio is usually presented in May, during the feast of the Cross. The date of the feast varies from one town to another. This festival starts with a mass and ends with the elaborate Flores de Mayo celebration. Each performing group is given a day or two to perform in the town plaza, making it a weeklong presentation. Local wealthy families usually make it their spiritual duty to sponsor the festival, sometimes giving no less than fifty thousand pesos.

Performances

   Festival performers sing, act and dance while a brass band plays. The choice of songs and choreography varies, but the script has remained the same since the tradition started. It tells of the feud between Muslims and Christians that started over territory. In the play, Christians use the power of the cross, symbolizing their faith, to defeat the Muslims, who later retaliate by stealing the cross. After many battles, the cross is recovered, and the Muslims are Christened.






   Normally, there are 16 performers in each Araquio group. Nine of these play Christians led by Reyna (Queen) Elena and Haring (King) Constantine. The Reyna Elena has two servants, Laida and Blanca. The rest are soldiers named Alberto, Arsenio, Rosauro, Fernando and Leonato. The Muslim group, on the other hand, is composed of seven people, led by Ordalisa or Erlisa and the Emperor. Their soldiers are Emir, Dublar, Marmolin, Engras and Sagmar. The male Muslims wear red costumes with feathered headdresses, while the male Christians wear either blue pants and white top or black pants and blue top. The female costumes are similar for both Muslims and Christians, except that the Christian women wear a sash or "banda" while the Muslim women wear feathered headdresses similar to their male counterparts.
   The players stand on an elevated stage, either wood or concrete, during their performance. The presentation also allows for crowd participation. The band plays on and the performers continue their choreography but pause their dialogue to give way to the dancing audience.