"Civil Guard (Philippines), a local gendarmerie organized under the auspices of the Spanish colonial authorities with a contingent of local soldiers that died off with the Spanish-American war in 1898, now being reestablished in the city of Ozamiz . In the Intramuros district of Manila, security forces are dressed in guardia civil uniforms ."
1. There's no actual article about the Guardia Civil in the Philippines. It might be nice if there was one, and references could be made to their role in the Rizal novels, etc.
2. Why oh why do they keep saying that the security guys in Intramuros are dressed as Guardia Civil??
"For added security, security guards dressed as a guardia civil had been scattered around the area."
Uh, I don't think so. Unless they changed the rayadillo into dark blue with red facings and gave them all pith helmets since I was last there. I think it's better that they state that the guys are dressed in Filipino revolutionary army uniforms because it really shows that contrary to what was done to us in 1898 by our erstwhile allies, we are in charge of the place now (for better or for worse).
It's really embarrassing when a tourism travel guide gets things wrong.
Okay, nerd rant number 2 over.
Last Edit: Feb 6, 2011 19:39:16 GMT -5 by 79thfoot
Tom, just early last month me and Philip had a talk with a longtime Manila expat (typical white gentleman in his late 60s or early 70s with curiously "swiss" accent...an ex-SS sturmfuhrer perhaps? he, he). Anyway he happens to be an owner and proprietor of one of the major "Filipiniana" establishments surrounding San Agustin church in intramuros, very affable fellow. He and many others agree the current uniform is stupid.
According to him, the "city government mandated" intramuros authority specifically stated in their regulations book that the intramuros security guards must wear circa 1880s Guardia Civil service uniforms...THAT IS WHAT'S IN THEIR OWN RULE BOOK!
The crazy thing is, it seems some of these "authorities" were afraid that there would be people who might take offense and object to seeing security personnel dressed in typical uniforms worn by the "killers" of andres bonifacio, which they often see in the movies.
So i guess the typical and CORRECT GC blue with red facings, white cord epaulettes and aguilettes, plus white sunhelmets are off the table. Even when it looks the most typical of an 1880s Manila street cop on the beat.
Nevertheless, they don't seem to object to what they basically wear now which is a rayadillo uniform in weird (and extremely silly) combination with American era sambrowne belts and straw hats stiffened with brown to black paint, with the front brims turned up (ala "katipunero).
Suggestions if and when you have the opportunity to talk to these intramuros "authorities".....
1) Yes as you said, the best solution is they at least adopt white sunhelmets (they can be cheaply aquired from Vietnam), no problems at all if only they try.
2) tell them the sunhelmets are cheaper in the long run vs the current hats they wear, sunhelemts are "one size fits all", they are more durable, AND THEY LOOK INFINITELY NICER.
3) Plus the Rayadillo combo with sunhelmet will not look too reminiscent of the "evil and barbarous katipunero-murdering" GCs under the pay of Spanish friars.
4) Well if they still don't like sunhelmets because it might look too "colonial" in their minds, they might as well adopt the peninsular GC "tricorno".
It seems plastic versions are now easily available from China where it is currently a fad.
ROFL! The Pope in Tricorno!!! That made my day hahaha!
I think that, speaking of 'playing the bad guy' the Guardia does get a horrifically bad rap and a lot of it is justifiably so (though I wouldn't equate them with the SS or Gestapo - they were, IMHO, just one of the many examples of some Filipinos who get employed by foreigners and then become even more arrogant, brutal, racist and "feeling puti" than the foreigners themselves. For the longest time, the pinoy guards at the embassy were cut of a similar cloth, as well as employees, particularly security employees for various embassies and foreign firms). In any case, I do see where that could be trouble for the poor Pinoy policeman if he's suddenly seen in Guardia uniform - then again... I'VE dressed up in my own repro Guardia Civil uniform on several occasions in Manila. If anything, the people were quite amused by it - and it was nice to hear them guess what I was wearing and be correct for a change (I get called "Guardia Civil" when I'm wearing my 24th Foot Zulu War outfit just because of the pith helmet - so I think that if they did wear Guardia Civil uniform and the white pith helmet, they'd still get recognized as GC's).
It actually is rather an amusing thing to walk into Toy Con dressed up in Guardia Civil uniform hehehe... (This is Manilaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!)
I honestly don't think the tricorno would be historically accurate for the Philippines. I've at least never seen it worn in pictures of the GC's I've come across. The headgear should be either a pillbox cap (like the Gurkhas of the period), a teresiana kepi (such as those worn by the GC's who arrested and detained the captured patriots after the abortive attack on San Juan del Monte, including Sancho Valenzuela), a pith helmet (with optional havelock) or your basic straw hat. I'm not sure about the Pickelhaube though... I know a lot of comic books at National Bookstore and other probably not too accurate references have the GC in Pickelhaube style helmets but I don't think I've ever seen a photograph or reference to them wearing a Pickelhaube - yet. Honestly, I think that the guardia uniform of the 1880's - 1890's would be just fine - it's very similar to the blue security guards uniform with the addition of red facings! It looks more 'police', has that smart white aiguilette and if topped off with a pith helmet it should make a very nice getup ;-)
As for what they're currently wearing, I really have no problem with it - except that they shouldn't call them Guardia Civil uniforms! Change the regulations if need be and say that they're dressed up as 1898 Revolutionary Army soldiers - I think that would be just fine! I think that some genius copied the look of the Philippine Revolutionary Army soldier in 1898 from Filipino Heritage 8's section on Revolutionary Army uniforms.
Sigh... I don't know when I'll see old Manila again... might be for years, might be forever (as the old Civil War song goes). Still I wish they'd fix that. It irks me whenever I see a Pinoy 1898 soldier described as a 'Guardia Civil'.
Oh here's an idea - dress one group of cops as Pinoy soldiers, another group as Guardia Civil and have them reenact battles outside Intramuros!
I honestly think that the police won't be harrassed if they wore accurate Guardia Civil Uniforms any more than security guards are harrassed in stores. They're already dressing up in a sort of representative historical costume anyway, might as well make it what they say it is instead of having them look stupid everytime they describe their faux Rayadillos as "Guardia Civil Uniform".
Lolz... one extreme way of Filipinizing it I think would be to make the soldados go barefoot - or just in native slippers. From the photos I've seen most of the guys actually did go around that way. Though... I wonder if the public will then think, "Ang TSIP naman ng gobyerno, hindi man lang bumili ng sapatos para sa mga 'to!"
What if they wore the Igorot sash around the waist underneath the belt and equipment, like in the French Foreign Legion? That would be a rather classy way to Filipinize the uniform and still keep the correct look.
Post by insurrectomad on Mar 24, 2011 21:46:50 GMT -5
The suggestion of having 2 units of one in the current Rayadillo and the other in the Guardia blue and then have some reenactments is a great suggestion! Has it been sent to the Phil. authorities? I have long thought it time for the Salakot to be worn again; perhaps by tourist guides and town mayors for example. I wear an Igorot sash at the waist when reenacting the character Capt. Arthur Howard ( English/Spanish volunteer served under Gen Geronimo at Battle of San Mateo). By the way does anyone know how i could obtain a Spanish brass plate to fit on the front of my pith helmet? Cheers David
Hi David... if one can find a good artist I'm sure it can be done (most anything can be done for an adequate price in the Philippines - I am REALLY missing the welders at the auto shop at Cubao 20th Avenue who'd fix up any metal thing - sword hilts, even welding 2 sword blades together to get a much longer one). What I tend to do since I dont have that is to fashion the brass out of what's essentially papier mache and resin, paint it and then use it.
Before I left, I was really thinking of doing that - I just didn't know how to go about it and who to talk to. I think it would be excellent to have two guard uniforms - one in Philippine Revolutionary rayadillo and the other in Spanish Guardia Civil blue. Kinda like the Lifeguards and Blues & Royals within the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment have two sub-regimental incarnations and uniforms. This would represent the history of the city quite well as it would cover the Spanish era and for our purposes, the Filipino Revolutionary era. Then on Heroes Day they could have small reenactment battles in front of the walls.
I remember on Philippine Maritime Week back in 08 (I think) my Pirates of the Caribbean fan group (Black Pearl Philippines) was entertaining the folks at the maritime office in Manila and it occurred to me that the uniform I was wearing (based heavily upon the undress coat of a British Admiral circa 1756) hadn't been worn in that particular part of town since 1762 by Rear Admiral Samuel Cornish during the British invasion. Following that I thought it would be awesome if on the anniversary of the British siege there could be a small reenactment battle with British sepoys and regulars fighting it out with Spanish and native troops. Since then, I'd been wondering how to incorporate reenacting into Filipino culture and I was thinking, aside from the option to serve as a community aide or junior police, the ROTC and CAT units could adopt a historical unit, learn the drill and weaponry and then on particular dates important to that unit (and its enemy units) could face off in reenactment battles open to the general public. Anything goes from Soliman's warriors fighting Spanish conquistadors, British led Sepoys (I guess the lighter skinned cadet officers could play the Brits and the darker skinned ones would play Indian officers and non-coms) vs Spanish troops of the era as well as Diego and Gabriela Silang's forces, all the way up to maybe the Korean War - the various BCT's vs Nokor and Chinese troops. I mean heck, if the kiddies can enjoy Counterstrike, paintball and airsoft, why not learn some history along the way and learn some pride in being Filipino?