Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lolo Iloy and his Anting Anting

Petronilo Noble de Vera was  grandfather to my mother.  She refers to him as Lolo Iloy.   She says “Ang apellido ng aking Lolo Iloy ay Noble de Vera.  Noong matagal na ay inalis na nang mga kastila ang isa.  Kagaya ng Bonus, iyan ay Bonus Santos at inalis ang Santos. “  (The surname of my Grandpa Iloy is Noble de Vera.  Eventually the Spaniards removed part of the surname, such as Bonus which was Bonus Santos but the Santos was removed.)

Aside from the confrontation incident with the Spanish artillery, my mother is proud to say that the baptismal records during that period bears his grandfather’s calligraphy.  Lolo Iloy was Escribiente of the Catholic Church in Pandacan.  As a young lad, he left his hometown, Saluysoy, Meykawayan, Bulacan and tagged along with priests which brought him to several places and eventually in Pandacan, Manila where he spent the rest of his life.

My mother used tell me that Lolo Iloy had an “anting-anting”, the kind which fell from the banana tree during the full moon; at midnight, one had to wrestle with evil spirits for the first drop of dew from the banana blossom.   The victor gets to keep the amulet, a pearl like droplet which one captures in a white handkerchief and swallows making one immortal.  Lolo Iloy, at the time of his death suffered an ordeal that tormented him so much he had to vomit the amulet to expire peacefully.  She also said that Lolo Iloy also had  an “oracion” in latin which gave him powers.

But that was when I was still very young and even then, I was already skeptical.  As I grew up, she stopped the anting anting story.  I learned to dismiss that part as a tall tale meant to wow children.

But she kept mentioning that her grandfather prayed in latin, something that was not unusual during that era.  One latin prayer that she kept mentioning  was “Sanctus Deus, Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus Immortális, miserére nobis..” 

I later discovered this to be from the Angelic Trisagion, a prayer of antiquity was unfamiliar to many Catholics.   Lately, it has gained a following as the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy.

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