We are now 25,000 strong!

“Prize the past | the counterclockwise ticks”
Federico Espino

Good news to all members of the Facebook history group PHILIPPINE HISTORY 101 : Nostalgia: We now have 25,000 members! What a way to end 2019!

On behalf of the group’s founder, Ms. Carmen Floirendo, I would like to thank all members in making this group a huge success! The group also boasts of distinguished names in Filipino History and Culture such as Ambeth Ocampo, Guillermo Gómez Rivera, Gemma Cruz Araneta, Jim Richardson, and Xiao Chua among many others. Even Jaime Fábregas is there! This makes the group very unique and special compared to other FB groups about Filipino History.

Click here to join!

We now look forward to an exciting new decade! 🥳

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Image: Diamond Fist.

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Rizal’s retraction (full original text)

No hay ninguna descripción de la foto disponible.

Me declaro católico y en esta Religión en que nací y me eduqué quiero vivir y morir.

Me retracto de todo corazón de cuanto en mis palabras, escritos, impresos y conducta ha habido contrario a mi cualidad de hijo de la Iglesia Católica. Creo y profeso cuanto ella enseña y me someto a cuanto ella manda. Abomino de la Masonería, como enemiga que es de la Iglesia, y como Sociedad prohibida por la Iglesia. Puede el Prelado Diocesano, como Autoridad Superior Eclesiástica hacer pública esta manifastación espontánea mía para reparar el escándalo que mis actos hayan podido causar y para que Dios y los hombers me perdonen.

Manila 29 de diciembre de 1896.

José Rizal

Translation:

I declare myself a catholic and in this Religion in which I was born and educated I wish to live and die.

I retract with all my heart whatever in my words, writings, publications and conduct has been contrary to my character as son of the Catholic Church. I believe and I confess whatever she teaches and I submit to whatever she demands. I abominate Masonry, as the enemy which is of the Church, and as a Society prohibited by the Church. The Diocesan Prelate may, as the Superior Ecclesiastical Authority, make public this spontaneous manifestation of mine in order to repair the scandal which my acts may have caused and so that God and people may pardon me.

Manila 29 of December of 1896

–José Rizal–

Rizal’s retraction was signed shortly before his execution. Many years later, his handwriting and signature on it were examined and confirmed to be legitimate by handwriting experts at the National Bureau of Investigation. End of debate.

* E * L * F * I * L * I * P * I * N * I * S * M * O *

Estoy seguro de que ya estás perdonado, tocayo. No es fácil mostrar la humildad de uno. Pues, tu humildad profunda en reconocer tus errores ya es suficiente para que celebremos tu gloria imperecedera. Descansa en paz eterna.

–José Alas–

The Magallanes-Vizcaya connection

One hundred eighty-one years ago today (29 December 1838), Luis Lardizábal y Montoya, a native of Vizcaya, España, was appointed Governor-General of the Capitanía General de Filipinas, the forerunner of today’s Filipinas or Republic of the Philippines. He immediately set to work.

Immediately the following year, Lardizábal sought to strengthen the military. He ordered the increase of a section of grenadiers (soldiers specialized for the throwing of grenades and sometimes assault operations) in addition to two existing ones. He gave some provisions on the residency registration and contributions (taxes, probably) of the Chinese. And realizing the excellent quality of Filipino tobaccos and at the same time their defective manufacturing, measures were taken to prevent counterfeit products as well as its accreditation. It was also during his term when a weekly newspaper titled “Precios Corrientes de Manila” (Manila Current Prices) was published.

Among history conscious Novo Vizcaínos of the Cagayán Valley (Region II), Lardizábal is remembered as the one who established their province of Nueva Vizcaya. In English, the province’s name simply means New Vizcaya. For sure, Lardizábal had wanted to honor his home province in faraway Spain. But it is not generally known that it was also he who requested from the supreme Spanish government in Madrid to have a monument erected at Opón Island (now known as Mactán) to commemorate the discovery of our archipelago by Fernando de Magallanes, an event leading to the establishment of the “Estado Filipino” of the Filipino State many years later, on 24 June 1571.

When Lardizábal made the request, I wonder if he by then already knew that the carrack Victoria, the first ship to successfully circumnavigate the world (and the lone survivor of the five-ship Magallanes expedition), was built in his home province. According to historian Danilo Gerona, Victoria, originally named Santa María, was built in a shipyard in Ondarroa, Vizcaya.

But with the prevailing Hispanophobia in this country, I also wonder: does the National Quincentennial Committee even know about this? Or do they even care? 🤔

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A 1915 photograph of the Magallanes monument which I found at eBay. It’s currently priced at $29.99 or more than ₱1,500.

Navidad 2019

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Adorazione dei pastori” (óleo sobre madera) por Bronzino.

EVANGELIO DE LA MISA
(Lectura del santo Evangelio según San Juan 1:1-18)

En el principio ya existía la Palabra, y la Palabra estaba junto a Dios, y la Palabra era Dios. La Palabra en el principio estaba junto a Dios. Por medio de la Palabra se hizo todo, y sin ella no se hizo nada de lo que se ha hecho. En la Palabra había vida, y la vida era la luz de los hombres. La luz brilla en la tiniebla, y la tiniebla no la recibió. Surgió un hombre enviado por Dios, que se llamaba Juan: éste venía como testigo, para dar testimonio de la luz, para que por él todos vinieran a la fe. No era él la luz, sino testigo de la luz. La Palabra era la luz verdadera, que alumbra a todo hombre. Al mundo vino, y en el mundo estaba; el mundo se hizo por medio de ella, y el mundo no la conoció. Vino a su casa, y los suyos no la recibieron. Pero a cuantos la recibieron, les da poder para ser hijos de Dios, si creen en su nombre. Éstos no han nacido de sangre, ni de amor carnal, ni de amor humano, sino de Dios. Y la Palabra se hizo carne y acampó entre nosotros, y hemos contemplado su gloria: gloria propia del Hijo único del Padre, lleno de gracia y de verdad. Juan da testimonio de él y grita diciendo: «Éste es de quien dije: “El que viene detrás de mí pasa delante de mí, porque existía antes que yo.”» Pues de su plenitud todos hemos recibido, gracia tras gracia. Porque la ley se dio por medio de Moisés, la gracia y la verdad vinieron por medio de Jesucristo. A Dios nadie lo ha visto jamás: Dios Hijo único, que está en el seno del Padre, es quien lo ha dado a conocer.

¡Feliz Navidad a todos! ¡Merry Christmas to all! ¡Maligayang Pascó sa inyóng lahát!

♪ Children’s carols in the air ♫

I’d rather go for Christian Christmas songs rather than secular ones. Secular Christmas songs will only teach you that it is OK to be adulterous (♪ I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus ♫), will teach your children to be rebellious (♫ Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell ROCK! ♪), will teach you to have fun in a dangerous manner (♪ Oh! what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh, HEY! ♫), and eventually will lead you to your demise through frostbite (♪ Walking in a winter wonderland ♫). Ho ho ho! 😆😂🎄

Remember, boys and girls. There is only one reason why there is Christmas. And that is why Silent Night wins (flawless victory)! 😉

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“The Nativity” by Dona Gelsinger.

Cuarto domingo de Adviento 2019

EVANGELIO DE LA MISA
(Lectura del santo Evangelio según San Mateo 1, 18-24)

La generación de Jesucristo fue de esta manera: Su madre, María, estaba desposada con José y, antes de empezar a estar juntos ellos, se encontró encinta por obra del Espíritu Santo. Su marido José, como era justo y no quería ponerla en evidencia, resolvió repudiarla en secreto. Así lo tenía planeado, cuando el Ángel del Señor se le apareció en sueños y le dijo: «José, hijo de David, no temas tomar contigo a María tu mujer porque lo engendrado en ella es del Espíritu Santo. Dará a luz un hijo, y tú le pondrás por nombre Jesús, porque él salvará a su pueblo de sus pecados». Todo esto sucedió para que se cumpliese el oráculo del Señor por medio del profeta: Ved que la virgen concebirá y dará a luz un hijo, y le pondrán por nombre Emmanuel, que traducido significa: «Dios con nosotros». Despertado José del sueño, hizo como el Ángel del Señor le había mandado, y tomó consigo a su mujer.

PHILIPPINE HISTORY 101 : Nostalgia

I am so elated! I have just been appointed as moderator of the Facebook group PHILIPPINE HISTORY 101 : Nostalgia. It is one of the largest and fastest growing FB groups today in terms of membership and engagement. I just finished an introductory message on the group, and I thought of sharing it here on my blog.

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Good evening everyone!

I am happy to announce that I have just been appointed by Ms. Carmen Floirendo as moderator of PHILIPPINE HISTORY 101 : Nostalgia, one of the largest and fastest Facebook groups today in terms of membership (and engagement) that deals with our country’s HISTORY.

I emphasized the word HISTORY here so that all members will realize the theme of this group: our country’s history, of course. While there is still no description nor set of rules yet for this group (and that is what I plan to work on in the coming weeks with Ms. Floirendo), it doesn’t take rocket science to realize that the name PHILIPPINE HISTORY 101 : Nostalgia should only tackle posts related to our country’s history, particularly those that invoke nostalgia. But general Filipino History topics are welcome.

Having said that, I would like to reiterate to all members to comply with this group’s theme as implied by the name. So please Please PLEASE stop publishing non-history related posts. We will not give warnings anymore, especially since there are thousands of you here. If we see a violator, he/she will be kicked out from the group immediately. With just Ms. Floirendo and myself, it is virtually impossible for the two of us to monitor all of your activities. That is why we need your compliance and cooperation. We are all adults here. You already know what is right or wrong.

Please do not consider this message as some sort of “dictatorship”. All we want is strict compliance to protect the integrity of this group. If you feel that Ms. Floirendo or myself are abusing our powers, feel free to criticize us in a respectful manner. And having mentioned that, may we all respect each and everyone here.

Remember: we are all here to promote our country’s beautiful past. Let us all learn from each other.

Lastly, I would like to thank the mother of PHILIPPINE HISTORY 101 : Nostalgia, Ms. Carmen Floirendo, for giving me this rare opportunity to moderate it with her. It is truly an honor!

Best regards,

José Mario “Pepe” Alas

Join the group now by clicking here!