Golden Tara: Stolen Philippine treasure?
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Golden Tara: Stolen Philippine treasure?

Surigao : Philippines | Sep 12, 2011 at 8:43 PM PDT
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golden tara

I've got the chance to watch GMA's SNBO last Sunday night and I'm surprised about Philippine's hidden and discovered treasures. I know that our native land is blessed with natural resources, different spices, beautiful sceneries and beaches but it's my first time to see those golden jewelries and pieces which symbolizes our ancestors before. But it's sad to know that there are other treasures which are not in our custody and some are being sold in the black market.

One of this is the beautiful and petite "Golden Tara (sometimes called "Agusan Golden Image)," a 4 pound gold statue stands about 7 inches tall and it was discovered after a flood in 1917 on a silty riverbank of Wawa River near Esperana, Agusan del Sur, Mindanao. The Golden Tara also represents the complete union and relation of men and women. Unfortunately, this fortune is no longer in our custody; it is now displayed in Chicago Museum in USA.

On the other hand, last June, a golden earring believed to be owned by Lapu-Lapu was found in an excavation site in Boljoon, Cebu. Anthropologists, historians and experts visited the area to verify if the piece was really owned by the famed Filipino hero and warrior.

And while some of our artifacts are kept in museums, some can be found and are being sold in the black market. One of the most after sought-after is the Maitum Jars of Sarangani, after its discovery in 1991, biddings and sale of these human-form jars reach up to hundreds of thousands.

In Monreal, Masbate, residents found two slabs of stone with unique

carvings. These etchings are known as "baybayin" or ancient form of

writings used by our ancestors. What secret messages do these stones

hold? And why do the locals refuse to surrender them to the National

Museum? Even the golden ornaments used in the epic-serye "Amaya" were based on historical pieces that can be found in the Gold of Ancestors Exhibit at Ayala Museum. For a time, the man who discovered these treasures in Surigao lived a life of luxury until his wealth ran out and he went back to farming.

I have a lot of questions running in my mind after watching this news clip. First, do our authorities know about this? Are they doing something to get rid of the black market and bring back the Golden Tara to her homeland? Second, what is the current state of our National Museum? How do they take care of our national treasures where they lack financial support? Third, do our government especially PNoy is aware that the remains of our history are at danger? This is not something that we should take for granted, this is our life, and this is our country's life. We should act now and bring back what we own. This is what our ancestors have fight for and have lived for, this is sacred and this is our legacy.


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Ang_Diosa is based in Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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