Pictures of me
Crazymalc Converts to the Pao Faith
Treo 3rd, 2nd Moon Ascendant (April
(Paoist may not have a beard)
Pao di na edsa <click>
Pao di sa idsa <clack>
Pao di dito ka ina <wrrr>
Pao is in me
Pao is in the earth
May Pao be with you
First things first. The above saying is
an approximation. The Pao Faith is based in oral tradition, so
things are spoken rather than written down. The Pao language
(Paoish) is unusual in that is uses many tongue-clicking noises -
hence the clicks, clacks and wrrr's. I believe
there is a language in Africa that uses the same noises.
Anyway, that's probably not what you really
The true facts:
I have converted to Paoism
Paoism is a very ancient religion in the Philippines. The
earliest human remains bear traditional Pao marks and
The basic tenant of Paoism is that Man and Mother Earth are
one. Bebo kag Bini <wrrr> Isa.
The particular facet of Paoism that I have chosen is Pao Saging, or
Pao in the Trees. There are many others, such as Pao Isda (Pao
is in the Sea), Pao Buang (Pao is in the Animals) and Pao
Gwapo (Pao is in the Air). They are all different facets
of the One Truth though, so it does not matter which you choose to
How it Happened
While I have been here in the Philippines, I have been up for
pretty much anything. I am very keen for new
experiences. A good friend of mine, Pea Pong, invited along to
one of his Pao retreats and I eagerly accepted.
Pea Pong does not want his picture shown here. He is pretty
hardcore Paoist and thinks that photos are an aberration of Pao.
While I don't agree with him, I still respect his views. He is
also very outspoken on the current administration. Rather
oddly, he once ran for the Mt. Albert electorate in New Zealand for
the Green Political Party. Strange but true.
Since Pea is also of the Pao Saging facet, we headed off to a
forest, which was about a two hour walk from where I live. Six
other people joined us, four females and two males. We
arrived at a clearing in the forest in the early evening. The
other Paoist did some spiritual cleansing of the clearing while I
watched. Lots of dancing and chanting and that sort of
thing. I didn't really follow what was happening, but Pea did
his best to explain.
The cleansing took a lot longer than I thought and finished at about
2 in the morning. We had a traditional Pao meal (nuts,
fruits and tree bark) before retiring for the evening.
I was woken at about 3:30 am (ugh) so that I could participate in
the Sun Worship Ceremony. The Sun is an important part of Pao
Saging as the Trees have a close relationship with the
Sun. The Trees bend and reach out to the Sun. Pea says
that's a good lesson for us.
This is always going to be awkward to say, so I'll just say
it. The Sun Worship Ceremony (which took most of the day) is
performed naked. You cannot be one with nature and feel the
Sun's presence if you're clothed. Now I wasn't comfortable
with this to start with. Being naked with three men and four
rather attractive ladies is not something I have had much experience
with. Before long though, it just seemed normal. It's
tough to have a problem with something when everyone around you just
takes it as being normal.
The Ceremony began with us all drinking some Inkatis
<click>. Inkatis <click> is made from tree
bark, palm leaves, peanuts and Pika's spit resin. The Pika is
a very small bird here in the Philippines. The Pika's nest is
formed by the bird "spitting" on moss to make it
malleable. The moss is then intertwined with twigs, leaves on
so on. It is very hard to get the Pika's spit resin as the
Pika nests on the side of cliffs.
The Inkatis <click> is a mild hallucinogenic.
Well, that's what the detractors of Paoism would say. I
would say that it helps you make see things more clearly. It
certainly did for me.
I won't bore you with the details of the ceremony. A lot of it
was very repetitive. But man oh man did it help me see things
more clearly! I saw with absolute clarity my place in
I saw thin blue lines that stetched out of my body and connected
with the Trees (most importantly), the birds, the ocean, my fellow
man and so on. It was a wonderful liberating
I saw resin tears falling down the faces of the trees. I felt
the pain of the trees.
I also saw red lines stretching from me to three of the females
present. More on this in a bit.
Pea says that it is unusual for one such as myself to have such a
clear vision so early on. He explained that it usually takes
many months for such a vision. Everybody was very excited for
me. Pea went onto explain that everybody's vision is different
and it often takes many months to fully understand it.
We stayed in the forest for another day. We talked, sang,
danced, laughed, and worshiped the Forest.
What Does this Mean Now?
That hard to answer. While the experience was truly wonderful,
it also raised several questions.
Why did the red lines stretch to the three of
the four females in the group? The red line usual indicates a
marriage line, but one of the females is already married. A man
may marry many women in Paoism, but a female can only be married
to one man.
The unmarried females' names are both
Ping. This may get confusing... It is not uncommon for two
people to have the same name in the Philippines. There are four
Joy Joys at my school, for example. They are referred to as Joy
Joy One, Joy Joy Two and so on. There is Amay One and Amay Two in my subdivision.
I have been spending a lot of time with Ping
One and Ping Two talking about the marriage line and what it might
mean. We are all very excited.
I've also spent a lot of time with Peana, the
married women, and her husband Po. Po is a fairly typical Paoist.
He has five wives and, at a guess, 30 children. Po has a
infectious laugh and is always kidding me.
I think the resin tears were obviously
indicative of the pain of the forest. I've never been much of an environmentalist,
but maybe this is my new calling.
Exciting Times Ahead
While this was all quite unexpected, I am looking forward to
discovering more about Paoism. Good times ahead!
I'm sure there will be many more web pages
about Paoism in the coming months
Note: This was an April Fools Joke!
I'm still getting people asking me about Ping One and Ping Two, so I
figured it's time to put a disclaimer on it.
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2005 and 2006 Malcolm Trevena.
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