Thursday, August 26, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Tamana Tepui is where the first Human Beings appeared after the sky god unleashed devastating torrents upon the Earth, destroying all living things and starting anew.
If this story intrigues you, you'll be blown away by the others.
Never has a mountain so fascinated me in my many years of traversing the innermost heart of the Forest. Many tales of spirits both divine and devilish revolve around this repose of life.
The Cave system at the foot of the hill is home to some 3 million bats of all varieties. They are known as the Guardians of the mountain. The mighty Silk Cottons which once adorned the summit were host to the Mawari Spirits. (photo 1)
You've been to this mountain before. You visited the caves and watched the bats fly out. And then, you return. Yeah, it's fun. And then?
There's much more.
There are stories to be told and you won't hear them, you will not feel the sense of wonder unless you're there.
I know I was seized with astonishment to hear of a place like that here, in Trinidad. Wouldn't you be?
Tamana - The Origin of Life
Monday, July 19, 2010
Never, never would this accursed Dam see the light of Day!
On that rain drenched morning a Priest looked on in horror as his soul was wrenched from him. He collapsed to the ground and so did the hopes of an entire community that their Church would be saved. The last stand took place between the Oracle and the agents of a new age.
With the destruction of the Sacred home of Santa Veronica, there was no joy, no hope.
The powers ushered an age of prosperity, an age that never came.
Families were torn from their ancestral lands and relocated to La Pastora, Morne La Croix, Acono and more significantly, to La Reconnaissance, now known as Lopinot.
They started a new life in a strange place. Some, whose spirits were broken, never stopped dreaming about the place where they were built and where their souls were taught to sing.
Others toiled and forged a new identity and future sundered from that hove where their stories would have been passed from mother to son.
Every year, the people of Lopinot make their pilgrimage to that hallowed earth where they once fought the powers and won.
The Dam was never built!
They kept their identity, traditions and culture.
They continue to love. We continue to love...
Now the invitation goes out to our kin in La Pastora, Acono and Morne la Croix. We gather again this year for a journey to the past. We intend to take home a memory and a celebration of triumph.
Join us. and so we meet our long lost brethren..
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
A brother has fallen. Angel (without shirt) has taken us to many a haunt in the heart of the Northern Range.
Angel Falls, which many of us enjoy today, was named after him.As a matter of fact, quite a number of the outdoor adventures we all enjoy today bear his indelible stamp.
Lord, Save us while we are awake,
Protect us while we sleep,
And Christ with whom we keep our watch,
Will Guard our souls in peace.
At Last all powerful Master,
You may let your servant go as You promised.
For mine eyes have seen the Salvation ,
Which you have promised to the Nations.
A light to enlighten the gentiles,
To the Glory of Israel your people.
May our Lord Bless you and keep you my brother
and when his countenance shines upon you,
May it bring you peace!
Friday, July 2, 2010
Watch this intriguing video of three incredible waterfalls - all accessible, all fun filled, all in Trinidad.
Why go to one of these?
I don't really know. I, like anybody else, might not articulate it very well. We just go to these places to escape. Reality maybe. The noise, the noisome people even.
No sirens, no loud annoying music from the car next to you nor the neighbours with no consideration for that matter.
Just you and the water.
And a little perspiration to get there.
Funny thing though. You don't miss the conveniences. Just for one little half day outside in the forest you can hear yourself think. Perhaps there is such a place after all.
And you are there. What an astounding discovery. What a place!
The water and you. The sound of purity and finally the return to your primitive soul.
Yup, I come here because I must. It is appointed to each one of us to go to a waterfall at least once in a life. That way we can bring back life to the spirit that was once sleeping...
Monday, May 24, 2010
The Lopinot Tourism Action Committee
The Festivity “Velorio de la Cruz de Mayo” (May Cross Festivity) will be celebrated on Monday 31st May, 2008 from 3:30 p.m. at the Lopinot Historical Complex in Lopinot. This is a joint celebration hosted by the LTAC, the IVCC of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and YTEPP’s Tour Guide Classes of Arima and Belmont.
The celebration of the May Cross Festivity is symbolic of life and devotion as its rites aim to enrich the harvest and bring rain, and each region of Venezuela and Trinidad expresses its particular way of celebrating it. The crosses shown during the festivity are adorned with flowers and colourful papers, sometimes small fruits like grapes! Fruits and crops are also placed at the base of the altar. People invoke the cross followed by sung rosaries and verses announcing the chants. It’s an incredible story of the transformation of a culture emanating from Spain and undergoing profound change as it comes into contact with indigenous rites.
There will be GALERON performances by the Institute and Parang performances by local Parang legends such as Los Alumnos de San Juan and San Jose Serenaders.
Parang music in the middle of the year! That’s something to look forward to.
The general public and the various Latin American and Hispanic communities are cordially invited to the “ May Cross Festivity “
Admission is free. We also have Craft and Hispanic and indigenous cuisine on sale.
See you there.
Lopinot Events 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
It occurred to me that even after the explication of the May Cross in detail I still didn't tell you why you should come to the celebration.
I think I figured out the best answer today.
You see, a film crew came today to do some footage of Lopinot and a few interviews. That didn't really capture my attention. I took my two year old son behind the Historical Complex down to the river. As any child would , he insisted on going in. By the time I was soaking wet, I got a message that someone from the crew wanted to speak with me.
She was fascinated by the fact that Parang music was emanating from a building on the site of the Complex just like that! In the Middle of May. ( incidentally, it's the Jailhouse ) What really made the cut for her was that the performers were not really Parranderos at all. They were just members of an ordinary family paying a visit to the site. The museum's long standing curator inveigled them into joining him in a Parang and that was it. It took off quite naturally.
And then there it was! I figured it out.
The Parang took off quite naturally. This IS the reason YOU should come. The music belongs here. It is at home in Lopinot. Even someone with next to no musical talent falls in NATURALLY. That's the astonishimg thing that exists nowhere else but here.
I often wondered why so many Parranderos pay homage to the area in the first place. It is because Lopinot IS Parang.
There is no other explanation. YOU can come here and sing to your heart's delight and no matter what, it just feels right! That's extraordinary.
Los Alumnos de San Juan- 8 times National Parang Champs, The legendary San Jose Serenaders, Maracas Serenaders, La Bendicion and many more bands will be there. Not for the money, not for the fame, but simply because it's Lopinot.
Any place that can have that kind of drawing power is simply magical. I know, I was drawn there today.
You can find out too. Come to May Cross on the 31st May.
You will never forget Lopinot after that.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Don't let the complex name daunt you. This is the name of a festival that forms part of three in Trinidad, two of which are known to you already. Spend two minutes reading below. YOU WILL BE INTRIGUED.
May Cross or La Cruz de Mayo is a celebration of creation and the beauty that surrounds us. At this festivity exponents also pray for rain and a bounteous crop. This is done in various forms of Parang Music.
After the " Veille Croix " (Cross Wake in Patois) there is the " Corpus Christi " where we commemorate and consecrate the body of Christ. But there's something else that goes on here. Once the body of The Creator is consecrated by the faithful, they proceed to plant on that day.
Indigenous culture has crept in somewhere and what better time to plant in the " Body of God " than on such a day?
Did you get it?
That's right. The Earth is still in some instances considered the body of God. The giver of ALL life is the earth. So plant on that day when it's at the height of its power and you guarantee an incredible crop.
That's part two of our story.
The third is even easier for you: The Harvest and its marine equivalent, the Feast of St. Peter or Fisherman's Festival.
This is clear enough isn't it?
The First part is the Cruz de Mayo or in Trinidad, the Veille Croix.
The second is the Corpus Christi
and the third is the Harvest.
These three celebrations are inextricably bound.
So why have we not heard of the first until perhaps now?
Easy, Patois and Spanish were discouraged as languages in Trinidad at the turn of the 20th century and their accompanying cultures would have suffered the same fate had it not been for the valiant efforts of those that kept them alive.
The descendants and inheritors of this magnificent tradition have prepared a Festivity of the May Cross to delight you with many Parang performances and various other almost unknown but vibrant genres that belong to our Hispanic musical landscape.
We invite you to be part of this astoundingly beautiful festival of colour, music, cuisine and pure joy.
It's all happening on the 31st May at the Lopinot Historical Complex starting at 3pm.
ONE WEEK AFTER THE ELECTIONS.
What do you do?
You can join the procession. That's right. You can also sing the procession song along with the many students of the IVCC, local schools and the many Parranderos who will show you what true hospitality is like.
or if that's too much for you, just relax and enjoy.
Nada, nothing...But We have craft and cuisine available so walk with yuh $$$.
SEE YOU THERE!