Anting-Anting: The Secret Soul of the Filipino

by Floy Quintos


March 2019 – May 2019

Anting-Anting are talismans: medallions in brass, copper, wood or bone, they are natural objects worn close to the body, providing protection for the wearer, making them invincible – particularly to bullet wounds –, and conferring wealth, love, and romance along with mystical power.

These objects are the product of a syncretic mix of animist, pre-colonial beliefs, popular Catholicism and cabbalistic and masonic traditions. As sources of strength and power, they were a prominent feature during the Philippine Revolution of 1898, as well as during millenarian and peasant revolts. They are still worn today by police officers, soldiers and members of secret cults as a means of protection.

Anting-Anting, as both physical objects and embodying a collective memory, reflect the history and influences that have shaped the Philippines and the Filipino people.

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