Tin Man – Filipinos’ Best Friend
Toto is the most widely spoken language in the Philippines and is considered by many to be the most beautiful dialect in the world. The dialect itself is probably not unique to the Philippines but has its roots in Chinese. Like other dialects, it too has undergone significant changes over the years, having come into contact with French, English, German, Filipino and other tongues.
Tin Man is a common name for a toto in the Philippines. In toto, tin man means “dwarf,” which according to some sources is a variation of the Chinese word for “dwarf” (tung) which is also a variation of the Chinese word for “man.” Another source says that tin man means man in Filipino. Both these words mean “dwarf”. A real-life person with this name is Oscar Razon.
One of the most famous fictional characters in Hollywood Forever is Toto. The original character was a young Filipino who became the companion of the white man in a magical quest in search of gold. The similarity between the character and the American Toto was that both are small. The Tin Man in the Philippine version is played by Al Pacarra. In the novel and later movie, Toto is depicted as a very tall and slim man.
According to some sources, the origin of the name toto appears to be American Indian sign language. The word toto can mean “dagger” and “pike” in Filipino. More significantly though, it can also mean “potato,” or possibly “stick” depending on the context in which it is used. The term toto is sometimes alternatively used to refer to the American Indian totopaga. Both terms have the similar meaning of “a small fat man.”
A more recent manifestation of the toto symbol is found in the Filipino film revival TV series titled revival. The series takes place in Manila in the late twentieth century and early twenty-first century. The first revival series was entitled the Crocodile Lake. The lead character in the series is Henry Baca, who is an aging alcoholic who is played by Edwin Roxas.
There are various theories regarding the origins of the toto symbol. One story says it came from a pot of gold that the Spanish trader Baboy Aquino found in Manila after he went there to help a Spanish shipment. Another story relates the toto to the legend of Pinay. It is said that the Spaniards placed a golden egg in a clay pot and the clay cracked to produce the image of the Tochar (Tin Man). Some others say that the toto was borrowed from a Chinese painting.