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

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