Friday, September 23, 2011

Batangas Knife: A Slice of Filipino Artistry


Some time in the mid 1990's there was a craze about Batangas--not the place, I'm talking about the bronze knife named after the place that is famous for crafting it.

At the height of the hype, "cool" is all about who can flick the Batangas open and close in all speed and twirling possible. It was the counterpart for young males at that time, as the wand was to a marjorette.

A Batangas is solid, relatively heavy, and perfect for slicing and stabbing. It is the offspring of the marriage of a Western dagger and a Filipino icepick. It is more of a hunting weapon than an outdoor equipment.

I recently met a guy who owns one and I took the opportunity (Please don't call the police after reading this post). The blade is sharp enough to cut your skin if you run it over.

Its compact and solid molding can resist bending, even if you try stabbing a wall (which is pointless). If you are a hoodlum in love, it is perfect for carving hearts onto a mango tree.

By reading Wikipedia, I came up with a few interesting things. I know getting info from Wiki is like playing mine sweeper--you click and click and rely on luck that you are getting facts. But let's do this anyway.

The Batangas knife is also called balisong, which may have been derived from the blending of bali (break) and sungay (horn). The etymology implies that it was originally made from carabao horn.

The best Batangas knives were made from the province of, guess where... Batangas. The Luzon province was so famous for it that their basketball team that played in the now-defunct MBA was called Batangas Blades. (not the degree, but Metropolitan Basketball Association)

This item I am showing you now is called "golden dragon," a name which evokes the spirit of Bruce Lee. I call it a knife.

I don't think I'm ever carrying this one. Looks like a jail sentence to me. Besides, human existence should be mature enough to not resort to violence. We are so in this age where should be able to settle disputes instead of just stabbing the life out of each other.

Peace and love,
The Outdoor Guy

Butterfly knifeIt's as harmless as a computer mouse as long as you don't open it.

Butterfly knife bladeThe razor of resting on its latch. It is so sharp you can not only slash your wrist with it, but cut the whole thing all the way. Don't try this at home unless you're an emo.

Batangas knivesCraftsmanship is one reason why this knife has jugs on the top and holes in the razor. From a practical viewpoint, the holes prevents the knife from getting stuck when cutting through soft materials, such as cheese. Or your wrist.

Batangas knife can openerEven if you are such a knife expert, you are not cool unless you can chug down more beer than anyone. This crown opener lets you have beer on the go.

Batangas blade latchFilipino craftsmen are in love with details. There is something Islamic about this design.

Marlin knifeIf the Batangas Blades and Socsargen Marlins merged, the logo would have been something like this.

17 comments:

Xan said...

I see dead people.

hashtag.
hashtag.

Bal Marsius said...

#istillhaveyour #tent

Bal Marsius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chyrel Gomez said...

save the dolphins.

Bal Marsius said...

dolphins purr...meoww...

coolwaterworks said...

It's ironic that you describe the knife as something very sharp, pero imong pic kay gitay-an na na ang balisong (the proper name for this knife)... hehehe... Murag dili naman makahiwa maski cheese... hehehehe....

Funny and irreverent as always... I'll promote your blog...

Bal Marsius said...

it is sharp. tried and tested on my wrist. thanks Mark for the support. it may take a while for me to blog because i lost my cam at yesterday's golden twilight run at srp T.T

Will said...

What a way to compare baton twirling to Batangas knife twirling. First time to read you blog, hope you'll have a GFC somewhere. :)

Bal Marsius said...

Thanks for the visit Will. I'm not so good with abbreviations so I don't know what GFC means. But maybe I'll have it someday ;)

coolwaterworks said...

Yay, malipay ang nakakita ato... Dili man kaha to DSLR? Hehehe...

Sige lang, time to save for another one... Or time to bloghop while saving for it... :)

Bal Marsius said...

Sayang lagi, it has a photo of my girl friend crossing the finish line.

MagDSLR ko when it's my time to go to Hongkong :P

Will said...

I'm sure you know what it means. Just that I'm too lazy to bookmark sites so I rely on GFC when it comes to being updated with Blogspot. :)

Bal Marsius said...

I'm still stuck in the '90s but if that's gonna draw the girls to this site then I will

Will said...

Oh yes it will.

coolwaterworks said...

Bal, GFC = Google Friends Connect... Maski ako naglisud kung unsa ni, ako pang gibroadcast ang pangutana sa fesbuk... hehehe...

meds09 said...

Balisong is actually the name of the Barangay/Village in Taal town, Batangas where the knife originated from.
Pity that it can no longer be carried around, prohibited in malls, buses, public places - too many people used it to hurt others.
Thanks for the post
Batangas Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.

Bal Marsius said...

Thank you for the insight, Ma'am. I think the balisong is such a fine knife. The one featured here is at least 12 years old.

Bal Marsius