Saturday, June 30, 2018

Dirge For The Lost One

THE SIEGE OF BALER and Phil-Spanish Friendship Day. The beginning of American colonization, the slaughter of the infant First Philippine Republic and the advent of fifty years in Hollywood. World traveler Pico Iyer's observation about current Philippine popular culture puts us to shame: "The most conspicuous institutions that America had bequeathed to the Philippines seemed to be the disco, the variety show and the beauty pageant. In the Philippines, I found no sign of Lincoln or Thoreau or Sojourner Truth; just Dick Clark, Ronald McDonald and Madonna.” What can I say? I'm a filispanophile, if there is such a word. I lament the near obliteration of the filispanic legacy, despite all the trauma--the pure love for country, the language, the art, the medieval city of Intramuros, the (unknown) Filipino soul before it was bastardized by Yankees. Where would we be if the First Philippine Republic triumphed and flourished? That can only be left to the imagination. (Panamanian) Carlos Almaran's familiar composition haunts on this sad day (at least for me), and so does Jose Honorato Lozano's early painting (párvulo was misspelled). Notice how the Pinoy attire of the revolutionaries hasn't changed much after more than half a century, albeit with different materiel. Last is the Spanish version of a story about another lost infant. ¡Viva la república filipina!

La tropa del lugarteniente Simón Tecsón en Baler, Mayo 1899, La Ilustración Artística, M. Arias y Rodríguez
por José Honorato Lozano, ca. 1840, Biblioteca Nacional de España, Madrid

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Done With Sophomore Year

STRUGGLED WITH Algebra Honors, but still ended up in the '90s and won a gold in the NY Math Fair. Great job in Composition and European Lit. Here's to Junior Year in September!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Monkey See, Monkey Do?

QUIZ FOR THE DAY. What does (sic) "Mangyan artist" Mat Relox's painting and Jacob Maentz's photograph have in common?  It is quite obvious. Although he made blunders in some details that make him unrated, in addition to a lack of an original "voice", Relox still seems to have a lot of potential.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

A Manila Magazine

"THE FOUNDLING" in the Father's Day issue of The Sunday Times Magazine, with edits by its literary editor (including wrong punctuation) that I protest against. Read the original version here.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Flotsam And Jetsam

NOT QUITE THERE YET, but I think I'm off to a start with this galleon story, wobbly though it may be. Putting a historical perspective to a piece of fiction is a challenge, and there are other sources to read, about how the early Mangyans of Mindoro and those who fled to Romblon were forced to conversion by the Jesuits through reducciones, the reasons for the mutiny on the Concepción, and the deceitful business of galleon trading during the 17th century. Posting this fragment to keep myself going.

The island of Maestro de Campo (Sibale to locals) is closer to Mindoro than to the rest of the province of Romblon that administers it, and its present residents have been clamoring for annexation to the province of Oriental Mindoro where they buy their basic goods and necessities (particularly in Pinamalayan, which is two hours by boat from Concepcion), go for education and hospitalization, and take the faster and more frequent and reliable transportation to Manila, but their petition remains stalled in the Congress.

Detail of the Baldwin map from the June 1763 issue of The London Magazine, showing the horseshoe-shaped Maestro de Campo east of Mindoro along the galleon track from Manila to the Embocadero in San Bernardino

An early photograph of Mangyans taken by Dean Worcester in 1891