LOOK: UP Cebu Student’s Tarot Deck and Divination Kit Highlights Pre-Colonial Bisaya Imagery and Traditions!

Want to know what the future holds? With so many pressing issues happening in society right now, it can be a little fun to take a peek at what might happen years from now. Will you be marrying the love of your life? Will you be able to achieve all your dreams? Will fate change the course of your well-planned life? Will you be lucky enough to win the lottery?

Well, if you’re as eager to know, one of the creative students at the University of the Philippines-Cebu came up with this cool tarot deck and divination kit that features precolonial Cebuano-Visayan imagery and traditions!

For years, tarot card reading has been associated with so many stereotypes. As no one is believed to totally figure out what will happen in the future, tarot cards have received major clap back from those who think that this is just a fad – a hoax baiting people’s money, time, and energy.

But the digital era thinks otherwise. Beyond preconceived notions, pop culture has embraced tarot reading as a means of making sense of what might happen in the future and not solely relying on predictions. Integrating his fascination with witchcraft, neopaganism, and occult along with his growing knowledge upon tracing the local history of the province, UP Cebu Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate, Vince Anthony Aberion, produced a one-of-a-kind thesis: an educational tarot card and divination kit.

Tarot Cards and Divination Kit Made by UP Cebu Graduate, Vince Anthony Aberion

With his background in product design, Vince Anthony Aberion came up with a kit that employs Cebu’s precolonial history and culture — as embedded in patterns, scenes, tools, and illustrations based on historical records (e.g., Boxer Codex, Historia de las Islas e Indios de Bisayas, Relazione del Primo Viaggio Intorno al Mondo, and the like). For beginners, the kit comes not only with a guidebook for instructions but also with the historical context of the illustrations and imagery found in the divination kit. Cool, right?

While globalization and communications without boundaries have made everyone across the world more connected than ever, Vince realized that this also impacts how the youth have somehow forgotten their own identity as Filipinos, as Bisaya. To combat this colonial mentality and a lack of local esoteric materials to entice the young ones to learn more about the country’s culture, Vince came up with these tarot cards and a divination kit. By doing so, he’s able to contribute to the decolonization movement and help imbibe the true Filipino identity.

Vince’s work takes credit from the local business owners, craftspeople, weavers, revivalists, tarot creators, and esoteric practitioners who have aided him in the completion of his divination kit. In fact, the drawstring pouches housing the kit are woven by Cebu’s natives in Argao. Yes, Hinablon sa Cebu!

One of the most striking scenes depicted in Vince’s tarot cards is the ancient Visayan’s love for gold, the precolonial’s mastery of crafting weapons and the skills of wielding them, and the art and music that have already been long-established even before the Western colonization, the traditions associated with coconuts, the marriage rituals like tying the bride and groom’s hair together, and, of course, how could we all miss the amusing manner in which Bisaya women fight when at the peak of their anger.

Truly, this tarot deck and divination kit made by Vince Antony, who recently graduated last July 29, 2022, as Magna Cum Laude, is one of a kind. This does not only help manifest what is yet to come, but also gives a picture of what happened in the past that has honed what we are today. As the adage goes: the past is in your head, the future is in your hands.