Saturday, June 11, 2011

Inspiration: Amaya -- Costumes and Weapons

Over the past few weeks, I've been trying to find a way to watch the episodes of this show, and trying to find screencaps online.

Aside from the titular Amaya, I've been able to find some pics from the launch of the show that displays the attire of the menfolk of the series.

But first, some backstory on the setup of the show that I've been able to piece together:

Amaya is a child of prophecy. A fortune-teller tells a villainous Datu that his reign will end when a special woman (who is a child right now, twin to a snake) will kill him. While this Datu applies the Herod approach to various populations, another Datu hides his daughter as a 'slave girl' adopted into his family of daughters (not too clear on how that works yet) and as she is raised she grows into the very person the villainous Datu fears.

Cool. But I'm really more into it for the visuals and the fights and the production itself. So here are some of the guys outfits.

So the guy on the right seems to show the general shape of the pre-spanish costumes. Those are tattoos on his chest -- in one episode I saw young man's shins recovering from being tattooed as he was talking to someone else -- meaning something significant that I must research further.

Weapons seem to be a long blade (a kampilan perhaps), and a short blade (probably a barong). Given the amount of jungle outdoorsy stuff that they probably have to do, regardless of station, the short blade probably gets more usage than the long blade.

The lack of armor also means that battles are about swordplay, probably shieldwork, and a lot of positioning, footwork, and the classic triad of power, speed, and accuracy.

Looks cool.


  1. Hey Armchair. :P I recently found a stream site that collects the Amaya episodes. It's not the best quality, (you really have to watch the show from GMA to get the best quality at this point) but it'll have to do for people like us who can't get to a TV set at the right time. :D If you want, I'll link it to you when I get back home later tonight.

    Personally, my view of the show so far is positive. The research that went into the whole thing is good. I'm personally really satisfied with how the kambal-ahas myth (known but rarely utilized)was handled. The details of the banwa seem to have been lifted from William Henry Scott's Barangay, which is also a positive point.

    Some telenovela tropes that I dislike show up (slow pacing of the story, evil stepmother/sister, tendency of characters to do stupid things so the main characters don't die), but it comes with the medium, I suppose. Plus, the badassery of the villain Mangubat makes up for it in my opinion. He rolled out of his mother's womb, slew a thousand timawa in his first moon, can kill with one finger, and as of last night, he's willing to stab a dying character before his dying speech becomes too long. :D

  2. Re: weapons, I noticed that the show favors the kampilan for its main characters, while the minions use spears. Historically, though, the spear is the favored weapon in the islands. Every adult male went around carrying one, and you need to strike your spear in the ground by the entrance of your lover's house to propose. :D

    The fights themselves are a bit of a disappointment for me. From the way I understand it, fights are usually boat raids (arr!) or jungle ambushes. But the show favors beachfront battles between two opposing forces. The director must have a reason for it, though - since they do call the fights raids.

    Re: Tattoos, You can only get one when you slay an enemy, usually while raiding. The fiercest warriors are ones covered with colorful tattoos all over their bodies. Getting a tattoo without killing someone first can be the cause of ridicule (or worse) if people found out. There's also some meaning to it when a tattoo doesn't cure properly when it splotches, though I can't remember what. @_@ In any case I like how the tattoos were done in the show. Making them colorful may make them look like peacocks when viewed by today's audience, and the black looks badass enough. XD

  3. Well, here's hoping there's a compilation upcoming.

    I'd probably speedview past all the domestic realism stuff, straight to the other scenes. It's disappointing to hear about the combat sequences, but maybe they'll get better.

    I do think that there's space for some shield work though -- any flying shields yet? Nah, that's all epic characters and not the historical view.

  4. I've watch Amaya from the beginning and loved the story. It brings back to me part
    of the Philippne history that I've learned in high school. It is truly great epic
    production bringing to life the history of the Philippines from the 1500s. The charater of Amaya and Bagani is sure a great performance that deserve an Academy
    award. From the very beginning, I hate the character of Lamitan, I wish you could
    publish pictures of her being punish by the people and swallowed by the Serpent
    Snake. It's very rewarding to me to see her final moment for what see did to the
    Uripons, and the others that she killed. Adam Escalona

  5. Hello!

    I'm a huge fan of Amaya and I came upon your blog some months ago. Anyway, I think you or some of your readers may be interested:

    AMAYA SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION BOXSETS (BOOK 1&2) will be available soon at your favorite video outlets nationwide.

    This facebook fan page also has some great info:



That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.