Marcelo H. del Pilar, a broken dad till the end…

Today is the birth anniversary of Marcelo H. del Pilar, one of the leaders of the Propaganda Movement.

Below is a brief biographical sketch of the bulaqueño native written by Carmencita H. Acosta from the 1965 book Eminent Filipinos which was published by the National Historical Commission, a precursor of today’s National Historical Commission of the Philippines (recently known as the National Historical Institute).

40423_1534497038845_6454109_n

My wife Yeyette in front of Marcelo H. del Pilar’s monument in Plaza Plaridel (Remedios Circle), Malate, Manila. This monument used to be in front of nearby Manila Zoo. Fellow Círculo Hispano-Filipino member and my comadre, Gemma Cruz Araneta (a descendant of José Rizal’s sister María) suggested the transfer of this monument to this site while she was the president of the Heritage Conservation Society.  The transfer was done last 2009 under the guidance of former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim (this photo was taken on 24 August 2010).

MARCELO H. DEL PILAR
(1850-1896)

“The most intelligent leader, the real soul of the separatists…” — these were the words used by Governor General Ramón Blanco, chief executive of the Philippine colony, in describing Marcelo H. del Pilar. A master polemist in both the Tagalog and Spanish languages, del Pilar was the most feared by the Spanish colonial authorities.

Del Pilar was born in Bulacán, Bulacán on August 30, 1850, the youngest of ten children of Julián H. del Pilar and Blasa Gatmaitán. His father had held thrice the post of gobernadorcillo in their home town. Del Pilar studied at the Colegio de San José in Manila and at the University of Santo Tomás; at the age of thirty he finished the course in law. He devoted more time to writing than in the practice of his profession because in the former he saw a better opportunity to be of service to his oppressed country. His oldest brother, Father Toribio H. del Pilar, a Catholic priest, had been deported along with other Filipino patriots to Guam in 1872 following the Cavite Mutiny.

He founded the Diariong Tagalog in 1882, the first daily published in the Tagalog text, where he publicly denounced Spanish maladministration of the Philippines. His attacks were mostly directed against the friars whom he considered to be mainly responsible for the oppression of the Filipinos.

In 1885, he urged the cabezas de barangay of Malolos to resist the government order giving the friars blanket authority to revise the tax lists. He instigated the gobernadorcillo of Malolos, Manuel Crisóstomo, to denounce in 1887 the town curate who violated government prohibition against the exposure of corpses in the churches. In the same year, he denounced the curate of Binondo for consigning Filipinos to poor seats in the church while assigning the good ones to Spanish half-castes.

On March 1, 1888, the populace of Manila staged a public demonstration against the friars. Led by the lawyer Doroteo Cortés, the demonstrators presented to the civil governor of Manila a manifesto entitled “¡Viva España! ¡Viva la Reina! ¡Viva el Ejército! ¡Fuera los Frailes!“. This document, which had been signed by eight hundred persons, was written by Marcelo H. del Pilar. It enumerated the abuses of the friars, petitioned for the deportation of the archbishop of Manila, the Dominican Pedro Payo, and urged the expulsion of the friars.

It was because of his having written this anti-friar document that del Pilar was forced to exile himself from the Philippines in order to escape arrest and possible execution by the colonial authorities.

“I have come here not to fight the strong but to solicit reforms for my country,” del Pilar declared upon arrival in Barcelona, Spain. La Soberanía Monacal en Filipinas(Friar Supremacy in the Philippines) was among the first pamphlets he wrote in Spain. The others included Sagót ng España sa Hibíc ng Filipinas (Spain’s Answer to the Pleas of the Philippines), Caiigat Cayó (Be Like the Eel) — del Pilar’s defense of Rizal against a friar pamphlet entitled Caiiñgat Cayó denouncing the Noli Me Tangere.

Del Pilar headed the political section of the Asociación Hispano-Filipina founded in Madrid by Filipinos and Spanish sympathizers, the purpose of which was to agitate for reforms from Spain.

In Madrid, del Pilar edited for five years La Solidaridad, the newspaper founded by Graciano López Jaena in 1889 which championed the cause for greater Philippine autonomy. His fiery and convincing editorials earned from him the respect and admiration of his own Spanish enemies. “Plaridel” became well-known as his nom de plume.

In November, 1895, La Solidaridad was forced to close its offices for lack of funds. Del Pilar himself was by then a much emaciated man, suffering from malnutrition and overwork. He was finally convinced that Spain would never grant concessions to the Philippines and that the well-being of his beloved country could be achieved only by means of bloodshed — revolution.

Weakened by tuberculosis and feeling that his days were numbered, he decided to return to the Philippines to rally his countrymen for the libertarian struggle.

But as he was about to leave Barcelona, death overtook him on July 4, 1896.

His passing was deeply mourned by the Filipinos for in him they had their staunchest champion and most fearless defender. His death marked the passing of an era –the era of the Reform Movement– because scarcely two months after his death, the Philippine Revolution was launched.

I am not really a big fan of Marcelo H. del Pilar, especially when I learned that he was a high-ranking Mason. Besides, I believe that what he fought for would not equate to heroism. He was, to put it more bluntly, another American-invented hero. The American government, during their colonization of Filipinas, virtually influenced the Filipino puppet government to recognize “heroes” who fought against Spain.

Pilar, Marcelo H. del.jpg

But a closer observation on Marcelo’s life will reveal that, like Rizal and other Filipino “heroes” of his generation, he never fought against Spain. They fought against the Church, the sworn enemy of their fraternity (Freemasonry).

What really captivated me about Marcelo is his heartbreaking fatherhood. Since I am a father of five, I can empathize with his sorrowful plight.

A few years ago, when Yeyette and I had only one child (Krystal), and we were still living in a decrepit bodega somewhere in Las Piñas, I happened to stumble upon Fr. Fidel Villaroel’s (eminent historian and former archivist of the University of Santo Tomás) monograph on del Pilar — Marcelo H. del Pilar: His Religious Conversions. It was so timely because during that time, I had just gone through my own religious conversion, having returned to the Catholic fold after a few years of being an atheist and agnostic.

In the said treatise by Fr. Villaroel, I learned of del Pilar’s anguish over being separated from his two daughters, Sofía and Anita. Due to his radical activities as an anti-friar, as can be gleaned in Acosta’s biographical sketch above, del Pilar escaped deportation. He left the country on 28 October 1888, escaping to Hong Kong before moving to Spain. He never saw his little kids and his wife ever again.

Sofía was just nine years old at the time of his escape; Anita, one year and four months. Father Villaroel couldn’t have written this painful separation better:

Month after month, day after day, for eight endless years, the thought of returning to his dear ones was del Pilar’s permanent obsession, dream, hope, and pain. Of all the sufferings he had to go through, this was the only one that made the “warrior” shed tears like a boy, and put his soul in a trance of madness and insanity. His 104 surviving letters to the family attest to this painful situation…

…He felt and expressed nostalgia for home as soon as he arrived in Barcelona in May 1889, when he wrote to his wife: “It will not be long before we see each other again.” “My return” is the topic of every letter. Why then did he not return? Two things stood in the way: money for the fare, and the hope of seeing a bill passed in the Spanish Cortes suppressing summary deportations like the one hanging on del Pilar’s head. “We are now working on that bill.” “Wait for me, I am going, soon I will embrace my little daughters, I dream with the return.” How sweet, how repetitious and monotonous, how long the delay, but how difficult, almost impossible!

Here are some of those heartbreaking letters, translated by Fr. Villaroel into English from the Spanish and Tagálog originals, of Marcelo to his wife (and second cousin) Marciana “Chanay” del Pilar and Sofía:

In 1890: I want to return this year in November (letter of February 4); Day and night I dream about Sofía (February 18), I will return next February or March (December 10).

In 1891: It will not be long before I carry Anita on my shoulders (January 22); Sofía, you will always pray that we will see each other soon (August 31).

In 1892: If it were not for lack of the money I need for the voyage, I would be there already (February 3); I am already too restless (March 2); I feel already too impatient because I am not able to return (April 14); This year will not pass before we see each other (May 11); Be good, Sofía, every night you will pray one Our Father, asking for our early reunion (September 14; it is interesting to note that del Pilar advised her daughter to pray the Our Father despite his being a high-ranking Mason –Pepe–); Don’t worry if, when I return, I will be exiled to another part of the Archipelago (November 9).

In 1893: Who knows if I will close my eyes without seeing Anita (January 18)!; My heart is shattered every time I have news that my wife and daughters are suffering; hence, my anxiety to return and fulfill my duty to care for those bits of my life (May 24); I always dream that I have Anita on my lap and Sofía by her side; that I kiss them by turns and that both tell me: ‘Remain with us, papá, and don’t return to Madrid’. I awake soaked in tears, and at this very moment that I write this, I cannot contain the tears that drop from my eyes (August 3); It is already five years that we don’t see each other (December 21).

In 1894: Tell them (Sofía and Anita) to implore the grace of Our Lord so that their parents may guide them along the right path (February 15); Every day I prepare myself to return there. Thanks that the children are well. Tears begin to fall from my eyes every time I think of their orfandad (bereavement). But I just try to cure my sadness by invoking God, while I pray: ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ I am the most unfortunate father because my daughters are the most unfortunate among all daughters… I cannot write more, because tears are flowing from my eyes aplenty (July 18); We shall meet soon (December 5)

I have to admit, reading these letters never fail to move me to tears because I, too, have experienced the same orfandad and the longingness for a father. It is because I have never lived with my dad for a long time since he was always overseas. When we were young, he only stayed with us for a couple of weeks or a few months. And my dad was a very silent man.

His work overseas, of course, was for our own benefit. But the price was depressing: we’ve been detached from each other forever. Whenever he comes home to us, my dad was like a total stranger to me. Especially now that I have my own family and I rarely see him nowadays. No, we are not in bad terms (although I know that he still resents the fact that I married at a very early age). But we are simply not close to each other because of those years of separation and lack of communication. I do not know him, and he doesn’t know me. We do not know each other personally. But I know for a fact that my dad loved us dearly, and that he experienced the same anguish experienced by del Pilar. I’ve read some of dad’s letters to mom, and in those letters he expressed the same desire to come home with us and stay permanently. But nothing like that happened (and now, my parents are no longer together).

The same thing with del Pilar. After all those patriotic talk and nationalistic activities, nothing happened. His sacrifice of being separated from his family was, sadly, all for naught…

When he died a Christian death in Barcelona (yes, he also retracted from Masonry shortly before he passed away), he was buried in the Cementerio del Oeste/Cementerio Nuevo where his remains stayed for the next twenty-four years. Paradoxically, a renowned Christian member of the Filipino magistrate, Justice Daniel Romuáldez, made all the necessary procedures of exhuming the body of del Pilar, one of the highest-ranking Masons of the Propaganda Movement. His remains finally arrived on 3 December 1920. He was welcomed by members of Masonic lodges (perhaps unaware of del Pilar’s conversion, or they simply refused to believe it), government officials, and his family of course.

Sofía by then was already 41; and del Pilar’s little Anita was no longer little — she was already 33.

Anita was very much traumatized by that fateful separation. Bitter up to the end, she still could not accept the fact that her father chose the country, ang bayan, before family. An interesting (and another heartbreaking) anecdote is shared by Anita’s son, Father Vicente Marasigan, S.J., regarding her mother’s wounded emotions:

[My] first flashback recalls April 1942. Radio listeners in Manila had just been stunned by the announcement of the surrender of Corregidor. There was an emotional scene between my father, my mother, and myself. My mother was objecting to something my father wanted to do ‘para sa kabutihan ng bayan’. My mother answered, ‘Lagi na lang bang para sa kabutihan ng bayan?’ [‘Is it always for the good of the country?’] And she choked in fits of hysterical sobbing. All her childhood years have been spent in emotional starvation due to the absence of ‘Lolo’ [Grandfather] Marcelo, far away in Barcelona sacrificing his family para sa kabutihan ng bayan.

“The second flashback is rather dim in memory. I was then two years old, in December 1920. I think I was on board a ship that had just docked at the [Manila] pier, carrying the remains of Lolo Marcelo. All our relatives from Bulacán were present for the festive occasion. Some aunt or grandaunt was telling me how proud and happy I must be. I did not understand what it meant to feel proud, but I knew I was unhappy because I felt that my mother was unhappy. In the presence of that casket of bones, how could she forget the emotional wounds inflicted on her by her father ‘para sa kabutihan ng bayan’ [for the good of the country]?

History is not just about dead dates, historical markers, and bronze statues of heroes. It has its share of eventful dramas and personal heartbreaks. And this is one heartbreak that I will never allow my children to experience.

To all the fathers who read this: cherish each and every moment that you have with your children.

This blogpost was originally published in FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES exactly eight years ago today; reblogged here with minor edits. Later on, this blogpost won me the friendship of del Pilar’s descendants and found out that I’m actually related to them by affinity.
Advertisements

Confessing the Katipunan

Deponatur sacerdos qui peccata penitentis publicare præsumit.

The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, commonly known as the Sacrament of Confession, is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church and is very much a part of the Filipino Christian’s way of life. Through it, Christians are able to confess their sins to a priest in order to obtain absolution (forgiveness) for sins committed against God and fellowman. Being absolved allows the Christian to be reconciled to the greater Catholic community.

We are not about to engage on the necessity, benefits, and Biblical veracity of the Sacrament of Confession. Rather, this blogpost seeks to clarify the involvement of the alleged violation of the Seal of the Confessional to an important event in Filipino History at the turn of the 20th century: the discovery of the Katipunan.

Today, history reminds us how government authorities discovered in the afternoon of 19 August 1896 the existence of the underground rebel group Katipunan (officially known as the Kataas-taasang, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng̃ mg̃á Anak ng̃ Bayan or the “Supreme and Honorable Society of the Children of the Nation”) which was, for years, already plotting the downfall of the Spanish regime. Conventional history tells us that the existence of the Katipunan was divulged as a result of a petty quarrel between two of its members, Teodoro Patiño and Apolonio de la Cruz. It is said that the two had a misunderstanding regarding wages (both were employees of the Diario de Manila), and that de la Cruz also blamed Patiño for the loss of some printing supplies. As an act of vengeance, Patiño angrily revealed the secrets of the Katipunan to his sister Honoria who was a nun at an orphanage in Mandaluyong (it was not explained to us the rationale of how Patiño’s quarrel with de la Cruz prompted him to reveal the existence of the Katipunan to his sister).

Honoria, being a nun, naturally grew shocked and upset upon finding out that his brother was part of a rebel group related to the Freemasons, the ancient enemy of the Catholic Church. Sor Teresa de Jesús, the mother portress of the orphanage, saw Honoria distraught, prompting the former to interrogate the latter. Honoria told everything she heard from her brother. Later in the evening, Sor Teresa called Patiño and advised him to tell everything he knew about the Katipunan to Fray Mariano Gil, the Augustinian curate of Tondo. Father Gil, in turn, alerted the authorities who then unleashed a crackdown on suspected members after incriminating evidence was found. The unexpected discovery of the Katipunan compelled its leader, Andrés Bonifacio, to publicly declare an uprising days later. The rest, as they say, is history.

Through the years, Filipino students have been taught that the Katipunan was discovered as a result of Fr. Gil’s violation of the seal of the confessional. The poor friar has been painted as a villain since. And this event in our history has become a favorite target of Filipino anti-Catholics and other Hispanophobes.

But is it true that Fr. Mariano Gil violated the seal of the confessional?

In many textbooks, it is written that the Augustinian parish priest of Tondo indeed violated the secrecy of confession. Take one instance, for example (taken from Rex Bookstore’s The Filipino Moving Onward and My Country and My People for Grade 5 students):

Upon the advice of the Mother Portress of the orphanage, Teodoro Patiño made a confession to Fr. Mariano Gil…

But if we are to consult standard history books written by big names such as Teodoro Agoncillo and Renato Constantino, we will see that they did not even mention the word “confession” nor did they allude to the sacrament. And in Gregorio Zaide’s first book, Documentary History of the Katipunan Discovery: A Critico-historical Study of the Betrayal of the K.K.K. New Revelations, the controversy regarding the alleged breaching of the seal of confession was tackled, but it seemed to center more on breaking the then prevailing myth that a woman confessed the existence of the Katipunan to Fr. Gil (the “traitor” was then believed to be either Juana de Guzmán [Patiño’s wife] or Honoria).

It is not known to many, however, that this controversy was already put to rest many years ago, at least by Concepción Escalada, Honoria’s daughter. According to Zaide, Concepción revealed that she heard her mother deny that Teodoro gave the information inside the confessional. Her uncle Teodoro simply told the Katipunan plot to her mother Honoria in the presence of Sor Teresa.

Image result for fr. mariano gil horas mo na

Fr. Mariano Gil had been receiving death threats from the dreaded Katipunan.

Nevertheless, Zaide’s account of Honoria’s revelation was doubted by Agoncillo. Even to this day, many historians are divided on the issue. So for the sake of argument… what if Patiño really did confess, and Fr. Gil did divulge the details of his confession to the authorities?

In order to resolve this once and for all, try putting yourselves in Fr. Mariano Gil’s shoes: pretend that you are a priest. Then one day, a tearful penitent visits you for a confession. You are surprised because you know her as a prominent public servant. She is a Catholic, but a Bangsamoro sympathizer and collaborator. During the confession, she also gives you details of an impending attack by her Bangsamoro separatist friends on the capital city. As a priest, you are not allowed to divulge her other sins of having knowledge about bombs being detonated in major cities all over the archipelago through the years. You can only advice her to do the right thing: that is, to surrender to the authorities for having been an accomplice. But regarding her other confession, that of a major attack on the capital city in which many innocent lives are certainly at stake… as a citizen, what are you going to do about it?

Estreno del documental “El Idioma Español en Filipinas” en la Casa Azul

Mañana (4 de agosto), a las 15:00, en la Casa Azul, nueva sede del Instituto Cervantes de Manila (a lo largo de la Calle Real, cerca de la Iglesia de San Agustín) en Intramuros, Manila, se proyectará el documental “El Idioma Español en Filipinas” del Señor Javier Ruescas de la Asociación Cultural Galeón de Manila. El documental presenta a Georgina Padilla y Zóbel de Mac-Crohon, Gemma Cruz Araneta, Manuel “Manoling” Morató, Guillermo Gómez Rivera, Maggie de la Riva, un servidor, y otros prominentes hispanohablantes de Filipinas. El documental está en español pero tiene subtítulos en inglés.

La imagen puede contener: cielo, árbol, casa, planta y exterior

La entrada es gratuita, pero se asignará por orden de llegada debido a los asientos limitados.

No hay texto alternativo automático disponible.

 

Serendipity in history

I’m always obsessed in trying to link present dates (or celebrations to be more precise) or even persons to historical events. I’m not sure if all historians practice the same, but for me, I find it fun and highly riveting as it somehow reveals a new perspective to a modern event or person.

For example, when I was researching about the life of Captain Abelardo Remoquillo of San Pedro Tunasán, La Laguna, I discovered that he shared the same birthdate as the Japanese aircraft carrier Hōshō which had a minor participation in the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. It should be remembered that the attack on Pearl Harbor was the catalyst of the Pacific War, a theater of World War II, and that Captain Remo, as he was nicknamed, was a hero of that war.

Today, July 18, I turn 39. When I made a similar research that I did on Captain Remo for my special day, I found out that a least-known historical event —but something terrifying— happened on my birthdate.

138 years ago today, an earthquake rocked Manila and the provinces of Cavite, Bulacán, La Laguna, Pampanga, and Nueva Écija. Many structures such as churches were destroyed, especially those in Manila and La Laguna.

One of these churches was the one in San Pedro Tunasán (now the City of San Pedro).

La imagen puede contener: cielo, árbol, nube, noche y exterior

Iglesia de San Pedro Tunasán (San Pedro Apóstol Parish Church), San Pedro Tunasán, La Laguna (photo taken on 8 March 2017, courtesy of La Familia Viajera).

This church and its parish, dedicated to Saint Peter the Apostle, were established on 18 January 1725. The church houses the once miraculous Cross of Tunasán which infamously suffered a Rizalian satirical jab in the novel Noli Me Tangere.

Incidentally, we’ve been living in San Pedro Tunasán since 2004. My sons Jefe and Juanito were baptized in its church in 2010. And it was there where my wife and I had our belated traditional Catholic wedding on 13 September 2013.

Yes, exactly 99 years before I was born, the church which was to become an important part of my life was destroyed by an earthquake. There is indeed serendipity in history.

Mærsk Line took over where the galleon trade had left off

Three days ago (July 12), shipping giant Mærsk Line commemorated its 90th year in the business. On that date 90 years ago, its first vessel made a historic voyage that was to become the first of many. And our country, Filipinas, was part of its first ever route!

It all began when LEISE MÆRSK, the first diesel motor vessel to enter the Mærsk fleet, sailed from Baltimore, Maryland on 12 July 1928 and made stops for more cargo in New York, New York and Savannah, Georgia. It then passed through the Panamá Canal and made a port of call in San Pedro, Los Ángeles. LEISE MÆRSK arrived in Yokohama, Japan on 10 September and continued to Kobe and Moji before calling Manila and Iloílo in late September.

 

Image result for LEISE MÆRSK

LEISE MÆRSK was the first ship to be used on the USA-Asia route when the company started operations in 1928. It was sunk while sailing under the British flag in November 1940, at the onset of World War II.

 

PEPE ALAS.jpg

Mærsk Line’s first route: from Baltimore, Maryland, USA to Iloílo City, Iloílo Province, Filipinas.

Today, Mærsk Line has become the largest container shipping company in the world, unequaled by none, and with many shipping brands under its helm, some of which do regular business in our country (MCC, Safmarine, etc.), thus providing thousands of jobs for Filipinos and even opening up international business opportunities for both exporters and importers.

In world history, the route and extent of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade (1565—1815) was considered by historians as the first “global village” in the sense that it reduced the world market into a mere village, i.e., any product can be sold almost anywhere. Today, Mærsk Line has taken over the reins of that fabled galleon trade, connecting virtually all seven continents of the world (yes, the polar regions included) with its varied trade routes.

Happy 90th anniversary to Mærsk Line, the crown jewel of A.P. Møller–Mærsk A/S!

No hay texto alternativo automático disponible.
#MaerskLineat90 #90thAnniversary

Cine Latino en Shangri-La Plaza

No automatic alt text available.

Del 6 al 10 de este mes, diez películas latinoamericanas más seis cortometrajes mexicanos se estrenarán en Shangri-La Plaza en la Ciudad de Mandalúyong en un festival de cine apodado como Cine Latino. Debajo están los horarios.

No automatic alt text available.

ARGENTINA
1. El Hijo de la Novia (comedia)
Sinopsis — A los 42 años, Rafaél Belvedere está teniendo una crisis. Está abrumado por sus responsabilidades. Ha logrado el éxito pero continúa viviendo a la sombra de su padre. Justo cuando Rafaél se siente más solo, una serie de eventos inesperados lo llevan a reevaluar su vida. Un ataque cardíaco menor lo obliga a desacelera, y una reunión con Juan Carlos, un amigo de la infancia, ayuda a Rafael a reconstruir su pasado y mirar el presente de nuevas maneras.
2. Esperando la Carroza (comedia negra)
Sinopsis — La película cuenta la historia de Mamá Cora, una mujer de unos ochenta años. Su nuera la quiere fuera de la casa porque la está volviendo loca. Mamá Cora intenta ayudar, lamentablemente, todo lo que hace, lo hace mal. La familia pasa por muchos problemas tratando de resolver qué hacer con Mamá Cora. Mientras todo esto sucede, una confusión hace que la familia crea que muera.

BRAZIL (idioma portugués)
1. Cidade de Deus (Ciudad de Dios; drama, historia real)
2. 2 Filhos de Francisco (Dos hijos de Francisco; drama)

CHILE
Subterra (drama)
Sinopsis — Una historia de un levantamiento obrero que tuvo lugar en lo que era, en ese momento, la mina de carbón más grande del mundo. La búsqueda para mejorar las condiciones tanto espirituales como materiales comienza en el corazón de un hombre valiente. Pero mientras los patrones planifican la expansión de su vasto imperio, los trabajadores experimentan un despertar y comienzan a exigir un cambio.

COLOMBIA
Sofía y el Terco (comedia, drama)
Sinopsis — Sofía y su marido Gustavo viven en un pequeño pueblo en el campo colombiano. Su vida ha sido una larga repetición de hechos durante años. Crecieron y se casaron aquí, y conocen a todos en el pueblo. Ella tiene un viejo sueño: quiere ir al mar, mientras que ella siempre ha conocido nada más que montañas. Pero Gustavo siempre tiene buenas razones para retrasar el viaje: no puede dejar su tienda de comestibles porque su empleado no puede quedarse solo.

MÉXICO
1. El Comienzo del Tiempo (drama)
Sinopsis — Antonio y Bertha son una pareja de ancianos de 90 años que se encuentran en graves problemas cuando sus pensiones se suspenden debido a una crisis social y financiera en su país. Dado que no han visto a sus dos hijos durante muchos años, la pareja se enfrenta a la necesidad de sobrevivir por su cuenta y debe enfrentar la dura realidad de vender sus pertenencias y vender tamales en la calle o recurrir a la delincuencia. Las vidas de la pareja de ancianos cambian cuando su hijo Jonas y su nieto Paco, ausentes por más de diez años, reaparecen inesperadamente en sus vidas.
2. 6 Cortometrajes Mexicanos
Sinopsis – Porcelana (drama) es una lucha entre la fantasía infantil y la realidad. / Carreteras (drama) es un romance de dos días entre Abril y Carmela. / Mirar atrás (drama) es un enfrentamiento de un fantasma de la tía de Cecilia y los recuerdos trágicos que dieron forma a su vida. / O ser un elefante (drama) es una película de ocho minutos donde Iván se obsesiona con la personalidad de los elefantes, quienes dicen que nunca se olvidan. / Papalotes rosas (drama) es una narración de dos niñas pequeñas en un mundo rosa que ven un poco más de realidad mientras su figura paterna se desmorona. / Aún nos queda el recuerdo (drama) es un retrato hablado del mundo del cine en un Morelia del pasado.

PANAMÁ
El Chance (comedia, drama)
Sinopsis – Esta divertidísima comedia cuenta la historia de Toña y Paquita, las criadas de la aristocrática familia González-Dubois. Las dos han sido maltratados durante bastante tiempo y están cansados de su situación. Entonces, cuando la familia planea un viaje de compras a Miami, las criadas tienen un plan propio: para tomar el control de la mansión. Inesperadamente, también descubrirán un secreto familiar.

VENEZUELA
1. Hermano
Sinopsis – Daniel es un delantero excepcional y Julio es el capitán de su equipo. Ambos son hermanos de crianza y juegan fútbol en su pequeño barrio “La Ceniza”. Daniel desea con todas sus fuerzas jugar en el nivel profesional mientras mantiene a la familia en Julio con dinero sucio. La oportunidad de sus vidas llega cuando un buscatalentos les invita a una prueba en el famoso equipo de la ciudad el “Caracas FC”. Pero una tragedia tiembla y ellos deben decidir cuál es más importante: la unión de la familia, el sabor de la venganza, o el sueño de sus vidas.
2. Patas Arriba
Sinopsis – El abuelo Renato, que se está quedando sin tiempo y lo sabe, le enseña a su nieta Carlota que, tiene seis años, la importancia de las cosas simples: el valor de la amistad y el respeto hacia las opiniones de otras personas. Sus hijas decidieron enviarlo a un hospital en contra de su voluntad y su hijo menor. Pero con la ayuda de su nieta, planea escapar y navegar desde Venezuela a Salvador de Bahía en Brasil, como una vez le prometió a su difunta esposa.

La entrada es totalmente gratuita pero se atiende por orden de llegada, así que es mejor llegar temprano. Todas las películas tienen subtítulos en inglés por eso es una buena forma de practicar el español de los alumnos filipinos del dicho idioma.

Imágenes: página de Facebook del Embajada de México en Filipinas.

Reunión de los protagonistas del documental “El Idioma Español en Filipinas”

La Asociación Cultural Galeón de Manila (ACGM) es una organización sin fin de lucro dedicada al estudio, divulgación, y promoción de la cultura e historia hispano-filipina, incluida la lengua española en al archipiélago filipino. Ha organizado seminarios y conferencias sobre historia y cultura hispano-filipina así como promovido el conocimiento mutuo de España y Filipinas, entre otros proyectos. Uno de ellos es la producción del documental “El Idioma Español en Filipinas“, escrito y dirigido por Javier Ruescas Baztán, presidente y socio fundador de la ACGM. El documental trata sobre la historia, la importancia, y el estado actual del idioma español en Filipinas.

La preparación y producción del documental empezaron con una serie de entrevistas a los fines de 2011. Renombrados filipinos de habla español como Guillermo Gómez Rivera, Gemma Cruz de Araneta, Manuel “Manoling” Morató, y Maggie de la Riva fueron algunos de los entrevistados. Fui uno de los que tuvieron la suerte de haber sido incluidos. Después de un año, el documental se estrenó por primera vez en el University of Asia and the Pacific (Universidad de Asia y el Pacifíco). Asistieron algunos de los entrevistados que aparecieron en el documental, incluyéndome a mí. Durante los años siguientes, se mostró el documental en varios lugares en Manila y Madrid, incluso la Universidad de Málaga.

El mes pasado (25 de octubre), Javier organizó por primera vez una reunión sencilla para los protagonistas de “El Idioma Español en Filipinas” en Rockwell Club en la Ciudad de Macati. Aparte de mi y del Sr. Gómez (ayudamos a Javier a organizar la reunión), los que asistieron la cena fueron José María Bonifacio Escoda, Alberto GuevaraMª Rosario “Charito” Araneta, Eduardo Ziálcita, Teresita Tambunting de Liboro (acompañado por su marido Andrés), Trinidad U. Quirino, y Maggie.

Mi querida amiga y comadre Gemma no pudo asistir porque tuvo una entrevista esa noche. Tampoco a Manoling (por lo que he escuchado, se suponía que iba a llegar pero estaba atrapado en el tráfico pesado). Los otros que también estuvieron ausentes en la reunión fueron: Isabel (mujer de Alberto); Benito Legarda, Hijo; Macario Ofilada; y; Fernando Ziálcita. María Rocío “Chuchie” de Vega y Georgina Padilla de Mac-Crohon y Zóbel de Ayala están en el extranjero. Mary Anne Almonte y Trinidad Reyes ya han fallecido (qué descansen en paz eterna).

La imagen puede contener: 5 personas, personas sentadas, tabla e interior

Charito Araneta, Albertito Guevara, Señor Gómez, Maggie de la Riva, y un tal Pete Henson; sólo invitado, no es parte del documental (foto: Miguel Rodriguez Artacho).

Yo, Javier Ruescas (presidente de la AGCM), y José María Bonifacio Escoda (cámara del Sr. Escoda).

En pie (izquierda a derecha): José María Bonifacio Escoda, Alberto Guevara, Charito Araneta, Eduardo Ziálcita, Javier Ruescas, Pete Henson, y Miguel Rodríguez (miembro de la AGCM). Sentado (izquierda a derecha): Tereret Liboro y su marido Andy; Teresita Quirino; Sr. Guillermo Gómez, y Maggie de la Riva. Se tomó esta foto cuando ya dejé la cena (foto: Miguel Rodriguez Artacho).

Durante la cena, se nos mostró el trailer del documental. También fuimos presentados uno por uno por el Sr. Gómez (descrito por Javier como “el corazón y el alma” del documental) porque la mayoría de nosotros no nos conocemos. Javier también nos dio a cada uno de nosotros copias del DVD del documental.

Yo estaba sentado junto a la Srª Quirino, la fundadora del Technological Institute of the Philippines. Ella es una dama muy amable y alegre que está llena de vida a pesar de su vejez. Es triste que no pude charlar con todos porque tenía prisa. Tenía trabajo esa noche, es por eso que fui el primero en irme. Sin embargo, antes de irme recordé a todos cuán honrado que estaba de estar en la misma mesa con respetables y verdaderos filipinos, y que nuestra reunión es un testamento de que el español nunca morirá en Filipinas.