Hoy en la Historia de Filipinas: Miss España gana su primera y única corona de Miss Universo

La imagen puede contener: una persona

Margarita Morán, Miss Universo 1973, corona a Amparo Muñoz como Miss Universo 1974. Captura de pantalla tomada de 1MissUNIVERSE.

HOY EN LA HISTORIA DE FILIPINAS — 21 de julio de 1974: Amparo Muñoz Quesada, ganadora del concurso de belleza Miss España 1974, gana la primera (y hasta ahora su única) corona de Miss Universo para su país. Fue el primer concurso de belleza de Miss Universo celebrado en Filipinas, donde se inauguró formalmente una semana antes en el Folk Arts Theater (Teatro de Artes Populares) en Malate, Manila. Participaron otras 64 concursantes de todo el mundo. La saliente Miss Universo Margarita Morán de Filipinas coronó a la llorosa Muñoz al concluir una transmisión televisiva de dos horas. Entre los historiadores perspicaces, fue una reunión surrealista de dos naciones: recuerde que Filipinas estuvo bajo España desde 1565 hasta 1898, y en ese año, 1974, España regresó a su hija Filipinas sólo para ser coronada por esta última.

Bilderesultat for miss universo amparo Muñoz

Amparo Muñoz (21 de junio de 1954 – 27 de febrero de 2011). Foto cortesía por ABC.


Today in Filipino History: execution of Wenceslao Vinzons

TODAY IN FILIPINO HISTORY – 15 July 1942: Wenceslao Vinzons, Filipino politician and one of the leaders of the armed resistance against the Japanese invasion and occupation of Filipinas during World War II, was bayoneted to death by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) for refusing to cooperate with them. Executed together with him was his father Gabino, his wife Liwayway, his sister Milagros, and children Aurora and Alexander (both of which were below 10 years of age).

Wenceslao Vinzons 2010 stamp of the Philippines.jpg

Vinzons was born in the town of Indán, Camarines Norte on 28 September 1910. He took up law at the University of the Philippines College of Law and placed third in the bar examinations of 1933. While in UP, he became a member of the Upsilon Sigma Phi, the oldest Greek-letter organization and fraternity in Asia. He became president of the student council and editor-in-chief as well of the Philippine Collegian.

After graduation, Vinzons, along with Narciso J. Alegre and Arturo M. Tolentino (future senator and Vice President to strongman Ferdinand Marcos) founded the Young Philippines Party, a political party which actively campaigned for the independence of Filipinas against U.S. occupation. In 1934, after the passage of the Tydings–McDuffie Act which laid the groundwork for independence, Vinzons successfully sought election as a delegate representing his home province to the 1935 Constitutional Convention. At 24, he was the youngest delegate as well as the youngest signer of the 1935 Constitution.

In 1940, he was elected governor of his province. The following year, he successfully ran for election to the National Assembly (forerunner of today’s House of Representatives), representing the lone district of Camarines Norte. His service in the legislature, however, was short-lived due to the Japanese invasion of Filipinas in December 1941.

He founded and led the Vinzons Guerrillas, the first resistance group to fight the Japanese invaders. Their first battle with the enemy happened in Barrio Lanitón in nearby Basud, Camarines Norte. At its peak, this group’s membership ballooned to almost 3,000 which included Aetas who used poisoned arrows in their skirmishes against the IJA. This group was even able to liberate the provincial capital of Dáet from the Japanese. During the early months of the war, the Vinzons Guerrillas were able to kill around 3,000 IJA troops, prompting the enemy to make him one of their primary targets.

After the fall of Bataán and Corregidor, more IJA troops poured in into the country, compelling Vinzons to disperse his troops into smaller guerrilla units using the forest mountains of the Bícol region for their hideout. Vinzons was eventually captured by the enemy on 8 July 1942. He was brought to Daét where he was killed with family members after refusing to swear allegiance to the Japanese flag. According to reports, Major Tsuneoka Noburo stabbed Vinzon’s belly with a bayonet while Corporal Kuzumi Taiku hit him hard with a rifle butt at the back of the head. He was only 31 years of age, a very young martyr.

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Photo: Tito Encarnación.

Vinzons Hall in UP Dilimán was named after him. The name of his hometown was also changed from Indán to Vinzons (now a 3rd class municipality) to honor his memory. In 2016, on the occasion of his 106th birth anniversary, the 17th Congress of the Philippines passed a resolution to extol his heroism and virtues during World War II.

The 1972 robbery of the Santo Niño de Tondo

La imagen puede contener: una persona

When I was a boy, I’ve been hearing stories from my Tondo elders (mother side) that in the early 70s, a terrible typhoon struck Manila. Several people perished. Tondo was hit the hardest, and the catastrophe was attributed to a shocking theft: the stealing of the centuries-old image of the Santo Niño De Tondo.

Although part of my childhood, I never gave much attention to the image during the few times that we visited the church (although it’s just a few minutes away from our place in Calle Padre Rada). I wasn’t reared to become a fervent Catholic. And the image is high up in the altar, encased in glass.

Thanks to the Internet, we are now able to examine it in full detail: the image, shipped from México in the early 1570s, is carved from ivory and is adorned with diamonds on its bronze crown with a larger one attached to its forehead. The cross on top of its silver scepter is bedecked with rubies. A closer look at the image will reveal its intricate sculpture — even baby teeth on the mouth is exposed! It somehow revealed the meticulous sculptor’s intent to portray a smiling Child Jesus.

La imagen puede contener: una persona

I did some research and found out that the grand theft happened on 14 July 1972. And I was surprised to find out that there was not one but two supertyphoons at that time: Phyllis and Rita. These two typhoons wreaked havoc all over the city, putting 90% of Manila under floodwaters! Although it was already raining before the robbery, the tempest intensified on the day of the crime. Even during bad weather, investigators were in hot pursuit. They were finally able to capture the four robbers. It turned out that they dismembered the image. The main body was dumped on a roadside canal while the rest were in the possession of other members of the group. All valuable parts were recovered.

Then President Ferdinand Marcos ordered the immediate restoration of the defiled image; famous sculptor Máximo Vicente was assigned to do the difficult task. A thanksgiving Mass was held in Malacañang Palace afterwards.

When the image was returned to its home in Tondo Church, the rains miraculously dissipated.

Hindí palá si Asiong Salonga ang hari ng Tondo. 😂

La imagen puede contener: una o varias personas, cielo y exterior

Hoy en la Historia de Filipinas: el establecimiento del Katipunán


HOY EN LA HISTORIA FILIPINA – 7 de julio de 1892: El “Kataas-taasang, Kagalang-galangang Katipunán ng̃ mg̃á Anak ng̃ Bayan” (La Suprema y Venerable Asociación de los Hijos del Pueblo), la primera organización terrorista en Filipinas más popularmente conocido por sus iniciales KKK, se fundó en una casa en la calle Azcárraga (ahora Recto Avenue) cerca de la calle Elcano en San Nicolás. Manila por Deodato Arellano, Andrés Bonifacio, Teodoro Plata, Ladislao Diwa, y otros francmasones en la noche en que el Dr. José Rizal fue arrestado y deportado a Dapitan, Zamboanga Del Norte. Como muchas organizaciones terroristas, el KKK recurrió al chantaje, las amenazas, el secuestro, la tortura y los asesinatos para lograr su objetivo. Bonifacio fue su último y más famoso Supremo.

Rizal the poet

When you study Rizal as a poet, you will realize his deep love of country.
When you study Rizal as a poet, you will realize the deep impact nature had on his creativity.
When you study Rizal as a poet, you will realize his deep devotion to the Virgin Mary.
When you study Rizal as a poet, you will realize how pedagogic he was as he was romantic.
When you study Rizal as a poet, you will realize that Spain indeed had conquered Mindanáo, that it is not for the Moros.
When you study Rizal as a poet, you will realize that he was both a Nationalist Spaniard and a Patriotic Filipino.
When you study Rizal as a poet, you will realize his high hopes for the youth.
When you study Rizal as a poet, you will realize how exactly he felt whenever he was inspired or heartbroken.
When you study Rizal as a poet, you will realize that his first verse was a verse of love, and that his final one was still that of love.
Dr. José Rizal was not all about his novels. When you look at him as a poet, you will realize that he was one of the greatest WRITERS of the Spanish language, truly one of the all-time Filipino greats.
La imagen puede contener: una persona, primer plano
Stop studying him as a propagandist. It is high time that you all look at him as the poet that he really was.

Why we should not celebrate Philippine Independence Day

Every year on this day we celebrate our independence from colonialists (particularly Spain). But are we really independent from a foreign power?

The answer is in the negative. The truth is, the Philippines has never been independent. Never was, never is.

As I have contended many times, the Philippines is a Spanish creation. For good or for worse, without the Spanish conquest of this oriental archipelago which we now claim to be our own, there would have been no Philippines to talk about. Thus, the Spanish conquest should not be considered as days of colonialism (in the Spanish context, colonialism is different from its English counterpart).

What happened on that fateful day of 12 June 1898 was borne out of a Tagálog rebellion led by Andrés Bonifacio and his band of Katipuneros. Emilio Aguinaldo, after suffering defeat from the hands of both Spanish and Filipino troops a year before (which culminated in the controversial Pacto de Biac-na-Bató), sought the help and support of his brother US Masons while in Hong Kong. He was, in effect, preparing for another showdown against the Philippine government (a clear violation of the pact which he had agreed to). It is implied, therefore, that during his stay in Hong Kong Aguinaldo had learned the rudiments of democracy and republicanism (something that an unschooled person could never learn overnight), and he planned to install these Masonic ideals once Christian monarchy falls in the Philippines. Several days after the US invasion of the Philippines (commonly known as the Battle of Manila Bay), Aguinaldo returned from exile, interestingly aboard a US dispatch-boat. And then a month later, on 12 June 1898, he unabashedly proclaimed the independence of the whole country despite the fact that the Spanish authorities have never given up the seat of power. This premature independence declaration was pushed through because Aguinaldo thought that he had the powerful backing of the US. This is evident enough in the declaration of independence itself:

…los Estados Unidos de la América del Norte, como manifestación de nuestro profundo agradecimiento hacia esta Gran Nación por la desinteresada protección que nos presta…

That makes the independence declaration a hollow one. It is as if we could not become independent of our own accord if not for the assistance of another country. And to make things worse, the Aguinaldo government was never recognized by both the Spanish and US authorities nor was it recognized by the international community of nations. His presidency was not even recognized by the whole country. Filipinos outside the Tagálog regions, although they were (or could be) aware of the political turmoil that has been happening in the capital since 1896, could not have known nor heard about the independence declaration in Cauit (Kawit). And would have they supported it?

Definitely not.

This is unknown to many Filipinos today: in the siege of Aguinaldo (which culminated in the aforementioned Pact of Biac na Bató), both Spanish and Filipino troops united to defeat the Tagalog rebellion. And that defeat was celebrated in Manila afterwards.

It is more correct that what we should commemorate every 12th of June is not Independence Day per se but the declaration of our independence, an independence that never was.

To his credit, Aguinaldo tried hard to legitimize that independence declaration by sending emissaries to the Treaty of Paris. But the Philippine delegation was not accepted there. And following the events of 12 June, Aguinaldo belatedly realized the inevitable: that the US did help him, but at a cost: our nation itself was to become their first milking cow. In short, he was double-crossed by those he thought were his allies.

After a brief but bloody tumult (World War II), the US finally granted us on 4 July 1946 what we thought was our full independence. But in exchange for that independence, we had to agree to the notorious Bell Trade Act of 1946; among other unfair clauses in that act, it forever pegged the Philippine peso to the US dollar. That date (which is also the date of the US’ independence from the British colonials) had been celebrated until 1962 when then President Diosdado Macapagal put back 12 June on the calendar of Philippine holidays. According to some nationalists, Macapagal believed that the Philippines was already independent from Spain since 12 June, and that the US simply did not respect our autonomy from the Spaniards. But in doing so it only paved the way for more hispanophobia, making Filipinos of today hate our Spanish past even more.

It is becoming common knowledge —especially in recent times— that the independence granted to us by the US (the real colonials) was nothing more but a hollow declaration written on cheap paper. In a stricter sense, we are no longer a colony of the US, but we are still under their mantle — through neocolonialism, the new evil. The Philippines has never been independent. Never was, never is. But will it ever be?

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Originally posted in the now defunct FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES; later condensed and included in the textbook “Language in Literature” published by Vibal Publishing House, Inc.

Crossing out the flag

I saw this on Twitter this morning…

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Yesterday, that same Twitter account had a much dramatic message as it was more specific on the sectors it was inviting, sectors that many deem to be deeply divided: Christians and Muslims, DDS and Dilawan, etc.

Today, May 28, is National Flag Day. To be more precise, it commemorates the day when the Filipino flag was first unfurled, was actually used as a battle ensign, during the Battle of Alapán in Imus, Cavite between rebel (Katipunan) and government troops.

I may be considered a nationalist, but my love of country cannot be dictated by imperious flag laws. First and foremost, I am a Catholic. But the national flag is a Masonic emblem. So there lies the rub. Nevertheless, my love of country was forged and even strengthened by Catholicism. Thus my patriotism is above all sorts of national pride and imagery. I was made Filipino not by flag nor legalese but by Cross and Culture.

Soy católico, pero la bandera nacional es un emblema masónico. Así que en eso reside el problema. Sin embargo, mi amor por el país fue forjado e incluso fortalecido por el catolicismo. Así, mi patriotismo está por encima de todo tipo de orgullo nacional e imágenes. Fui hecho filipino no por bandera ni por jergas legales sino por Cruz y Cultura.