Balatik: Etnoastronomiya - Kalangitan sa Kabihasnang Pilipino
Author: Dante L. Ambrosio
In his book, “Balatik,” Ambrosio demonstrated the richness, breadth and depth of this traditional wisdom. He showed that not only the Tagalogs, Bisayans and Ilocanos contemplated about the sky and its meanings, but so did the Blaans, Maguindanaons, Ifugaos, Tedurays, Jama Mapuns, Kankanaeys, Bukidnons, Kalingas, Tagbanwas, Bontoc Igorots and other marginalized groups. <p>Balatik (and its variants Baatik, Bayatik, Belatik, Blatik) is the indigenous term for the constellation Orion. It is the most prominent asterism or star group in the Philippines. While western tradition sees an agent (a hunter with a belt and a sword), our ancestors imagine a spear trap for catching wild pigs. <p>According to Ambrosio, Balatik and other projections played a very important role in traditional agriculture. Their appearance and location in the sky at various times of the year signaled when clearing, plowing, planting and other agricultural activities should be done.