To the Hispanophobic Filipino historian

Just recently, Rappler published an opinion piece by historian Jorge Mojarro (also a Spanish language teacher at the Instituto Cervantes de Manila) regarding the Elcano And Magellan controversy. In the said article, Mojarro wrote:

Philippine schoolbooks of history seem to be written not to understand the past nor to stimulate critical thinking, but to feed the students with tones of blind patriotism. If young Filipinos were learning properly the history of their nation, they would have not gotten so angry on social media with the new Spanish cartoon entitled Elcano & Magellan: The First Voyage Around the World, especially considering that nobody has seen it yet.

He was right on target. The culprit, indeed, is the current educational system that has already been structured to destroy the image of our country’s Spanish past to young students. At an early age, Filipinos have already been taught that we were invaded by Spain, that we were enslaved, that we were forced to become Christians, that the Spanish friars maligned us, that they have kept us ignorant, etc. etc. etc.

This is a form of brainwashing. Such allegations are not even substantiated by historical documents. But who exactly is to blame?

Our second guest blogger, Fr. Michell Joe “Jojo” Zerrudo (parish priest at the Most Holy Redeemer Church in Quezon City and current Catechetical Director and Exorcist of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cubáo) points out to the culprits: the Filipino pseudo-historians behind those schoolbooks that Mojarro was referring to. The following posts were taken from Fr. Jojo’s Facebook.

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Fr. Jojo may not be a historian. But he has what many Filipino historians today do not have: a piercing I.Q.

 

Oración contra los terremotos

Los filipinos del pasado (tiempos españoles y estadounidenses) solían recitar esta corta oración española para mantenerlos a salvo de los terremotos. Teniendo en cuenta los frecuentes temblores que hemos tenido recientemente, pensé en compartir esta oración a todo el mundo.

Aplaca Señor tu ira
Tu justicia, y tu rigor
Dulce Jesús de mi vida
Misericordia, Señor…

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Fue severamente dañado el campanario de la Catedral de Manila por el terremoto de 1880 (foto: John Tewell).

Sa loób ng Maynilà (Intramuros)

“In October, a breath of the north stirs Manila, blowing summer’s dust and doves from the tile roofs, freshening the moss of old walls, as the city festoons itself with arches and paper lanterns for its great votive feast to the Virgin. Women hurrying into their finery upstairs, bewhiskered men tapping impatient canes downstairs, children teeming in the doorways, coachmen holding eager ponies in the gay streets, glance up anxiously, fearing the wind’s chill: would it rain this year? (But the eyes that, long ago, had gazed up anxiously, invoking the Virgin, had feared a grimmer rain—of fire and metal; for pirate craft crowded the horizon.) The bells begin to peal again and sound like silver coins showering in the fine air; at the rumor of drums and trumpets as bands march smartly down the cobblestones, a pang of childhood happiness smites every heart. October in Manila! But the emotion, so special to one’s childhood, seems no longer purely one’s own; seems to have traveled ahead, deep into time, since one first felt its pang; growing ever more poignant, more complex—a child’s rhyme swelling epical; a clan treasure one bequeaths at the very moment of inheritance, having added one’s gem to it. And time creates unexpected destinations, history raises figs from thistles: yesterday’s pirates become today’s roast pork and paper lanterns, a tapping of impatient canes, a clamor of trumpets…”

–NICK JOAQUÍN, (Guardia de Honor)–

¡Manila de mis amores!

Exactly 10 years ago today, my wife and I did an unconventional visita iglesia within the historic walls of Intramuros, “the original Manila”. Unconventional because more than half of those churches are gone, and the visita iglesia was done in October. Seven were the original churches of the Walled City. But only two are left; one just got reconstructed but will serve only as an ecclesiastical museum.

I revisited those churches again last October 20, a Sunday. Of course I’m a frequent visitor to Intramuros but during those ten years that my wife and I did that rather odd visita iglesia, I didn’t have time to revisit the old sites of those long-gone churches. There were several changes already: new street signs with information cards, cleaners streets, more tourists, etc. Unlike a decade before, the weather that Sunday was hot, as if it was summer (climate change?). I brought along with me again my copy of the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s highly informative Intramuros (published in 1988), edited by the late great National Artist for Literature, Nick Joaquín.

Nick was a true-blooded Manileño born and bred. He had witnessed so much about the final living years of Spanish Intramuros. In fact, it was part of his childhood and growing up years. Most of Nick’s works are a fine testament of how the Filipinos, particularly the Manileños within and without the Walled City, lived and breathed their every day Intramuros lives. And if I only had my way, I will revive everything that used to be in the original capital city. Because that’s simply the way it should be. Period. No amount of restoration will bring back Intramuros’ old glory as long as squatters are allowed to live within the Walled City, as long as Dick Gordon’s shameful and hispanophobic Light and Sound Museum continues to exist, and as long as the four of the original seven churches aren’t brought back by the Intramuros Administration, the local Catholic Church, and the national government in general. In the words of Nick, “Intramuros was a collective high altar formed by its churches.”

“And from childhood no amount of familiarity could dull for me the mysterious wondrousness of Intramuros as the very vitals, the hid heart, the secret soul of my city. Every going into it was a penetration — and in there, for a Manileño, it was always like coming home. He was back to his original, essential, eternal island. He was back to roots. Sa loob ng Maynila.”

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Entering the original Manila through Puerta Victoria.

Seven were the churches of Intramuros. Let’s re-enact the itinerary. Entering through Victoria Gate and going up Solana, you reached San Francisco, which was a double church, for beside the main one (its creamy pillared façade rose five stories high) was the V.O.T., the chapel of the Franciscan third order, where was venerated a crowned St. Louis robed in ermine.

1. THE SAN FRANCISCO CHURCH AND CONVENT & CHAPEL OF THE FRANCISCAN VENERABLE THIRD ORDER

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Iglesia de San Francisco de Asís y Capilla de la Venerable Orden Tercera (source: The Urban Roamer).

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St. Rita’s Chapel inside the Mapúa University now stands on the very site where the Chapel of the Franciscan Venerable Third Order used to be.

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Mapúa University (formerly known as Mapúa Institute of Technology) now occupies the site of the Chapel of the Franciscan Venerable Third Order and the San Francisco Church and Convent.

At the end of Solana was Santo Domingo, magnificently gothic and rose-colored, with a side portal opening out to the Plaza de Santo Tomás.

2. SANTO DOMINGO CHURCH AND CONVENT

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Iglesia de Santo Domingo de Guzmán (source: Nostalgia Filipinas).

 

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The Bank of the Philippine Islands now occupies the former site of Santo Domingo Church. The new church is now in Quezon City.

Crossing this plaza and passing the university, you came upon the Cathedral, which had wide porches instead of a patio, iron-grille balustrades and, just inside the entrance, a small bronze statue of a seated St. Peter whose toes had been worn smooth by the kisses of the faithful.

3. MINOR BASILICA OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION (THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL OF MANILA)

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Basílica Menor y Catedral Metropolitana de la Inmaculada Concepción (source: Salvador Pérez).

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The Manila Cathedral is actually a Roman Catholic Minor Basilica, the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Manila. As such, it is the mother of all Filipino churches. The throne of the Archbishop of Manila is inside this centuries-old holy edifice.

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The cathedral’s tympanum has a Latin inscription dedicated to the Virgin Mary: “Tibi cordi tuo immaculato concredimus nos ac consecramus“. It means “We consecrate to your immaculate heart and entrust to you for safekeeping”.

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Past the Cathedral, a left turn at Calle Arzobispo brought you to San Ignacio, wedged between the Ateneo and the episcopal palace; very high iron grilling enclosing the narrow court that formed a portico to this red-brick church, also known as Jesuitas.

4. SAN IGNACIO CHURCH

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Iglesia de San Ignacio de Loyola (source: Blessed Justo Takayama Ukon).

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The recently reconstructed Church of San Ignacio de Loyola is now an ecclesiastical museum known as Museo de Intramuros. The last time I was here (2013, with my family), this church was still in ruins, but preparations for the construction were already taking place.

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The reconstructed church / museum now houses ecclesiastical masterpieces such as paintings and images as well as other church antiquaries from across the archipelago.

At the end of Arzobispo was San Agustín, with its double convent: the main monastery beside the church and the separate business quarters (or procuration) adjoining the Ateneo.

5. SAN AGUSTÍN CHURCH AND CONVENT

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Iglesia de San Agustín de Hipona (source: John Tewell).

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San Agustín Church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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This church is a very popular wedding venue.

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San Agustín de Hipona.

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Majestic!

Going down Calle General Luna and turning left at Calle Escuela, you found yourself at the Recollects’ Iglesia de San Nicolás, least visible of the Intramuros shrines, and with a cobbled patio in front and along one side.

6. SAN NICOLÁS DE TOLENTINO CHURCH AND CONVENT

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Iglesia de San Nicolás de Tolentino (source: Nostalgia Filipinas).

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Manila Bulletin now stands on the ground where the San Nicolás de Tolentino Church and Convent once reigned supreme.

Turning right on Recoletos and doubling back on General Luna, you reached Lourdes Church, or Capuchinos, youngest of the Walled City’s temples. with a painting of the Virgin on its façade.

7. LOURDES CHURCH AND CONVENT

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Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Lourdes (source: Apostles Filipino Catholic Community).

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Silahis Arts and Crafts and the Ilustrado Restaurant, both located in Amanecer Compoun, now occupy the former site of the Lourdes Church and Convent. The new church is now in Quezon City.

“What alone survives of the old churches, San Agustín, looks extremely lonely without the busy company it had enjoyed for ages sa loob ng Maynila. And San Agustín has practically given up the public celebration of its old fiestas. St. Rita is no longer borne in procession on a float of Maytime roses; and the Virgin of Consolation no longer rides her silver carroza through the streets of Intramuros on the second Sunday of September — a cult commemorated in Fernando Zóbel’s Carroza. To repeat, Intramuros was the conjunto, of all its traditional temples; without its other colleagues, even the Cathedral and San Agustín are merely crown jewels without a crown. “Maybe a revival of piety (using the term in its Latin sense) will in the future inspire the return to Intramuros of all its former churches, chapels, convents and beaterios. Only then will Intramuros be really “restored” — when again it has a San Francisco with its Tuesdays of St. Anthony; a Santa Clara with its unseen choir of vestals; a Lourdes with its Saturday girl crowds; a Santa Isabel with its shrine of the Santo Cristo; a Recoletos with its Friday pilgrims and December feria de Santa Lucía; a San Ignacio with its fashionable confessionals; an Ateneo and a Santo Tomás back on original ground; a Santa Catalina and Beaterio and Santa Rosa come home again; a San Agustín resuming its public ceremonials; a Cathedral restoring the votive function of St. Andrew the Apostle as patron of the Noble and Ever Loyal; and a Santo Domingo again celebrating La Naval de Manila in old Manila. “Only then will Manileños again have a high altar round which they can gather as a coherent community — sa loob ng Maynila.”
–NICK JOAQUÍN–

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United Nations Avenue

United Nations Avenue, also known as U.N Avenue, is a major thoroughfare in Ermita, Manila. It is quite well known not only in Manila but throughout the country. It has that recall among people not just because of its catchy, famous name but because it lies right smack in the country’s busy capital. This 1.9-km avenue is a landmark even to non-Manileños due to the fact that major establishments are found here such as the National Bureau of Investigation, Manila Doctors Hospital, the 780-seat Philam Life Auditorium (an international style structure designed by famous architect Carlos Argüelles), and of course LRT’s student-filled United Nations Avenue station.

Not many people know, however, that U.N. Avenue was not always known by that name. It was first called Calle Isaac Peral. Who could this person be? Isaac Peral y Caballero (1851–1895) was actually a Spanish engineer (and also an officer of the Spanish Navy) who built the Submarino Peral or the Peral Submarine in 1888. It was the first electric battery-powered submarine in the world.

In 1962, during the 17th anniversary of the United Nations, Calle Isaac Peral was renamed United Nations Avenue to honor the mentioned intergovernmental organization tasked to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and become a center for harmonizing the actions of nations.

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United? These two street signs couldn’t even agree with each other 😂 (photo: Wikimedia Commons).

Today, as the world yet again celebrates United Nations Day, it is important to note how hollow and hypocritical this event has been through the years considering that among its major founding members —the United States of Uncle Sam— is an industrious instigator of war and warmongering. But let’s not even look far outside ourselves. Here we are, annually celebrating United Nations Day yet we continue hating a glorious past of which both Señor Peral’s country and the city of Manila used to be a part of. It is no wonder why we couldn’t tread on the correct avenue towards progress: we both refuse to move on and assess our past.

Un poco sobre mí

Una confesión: estoy ruidoso en los medios sociales. Me encanta discutir en línea, sacar ventaja sobre mis enemigos. En diversas ocasiones incluso podría convertirme en un troll (provocador), jaja. 😂

Pero de carne y hueso, no soy un buen conversador. Soy el tipo que prefiere escuchar que hablar. Así que, cuando nos vemos, no te sorprendas ni te decepciones si me encuentras en silencio, simplemente mirando a ti. Simplemente significa que estoy esperando para que hables porque me encanta escuchar historias y recibir información.

Sin embargo, Cerveza Negra existe. Y cuando lo zampo… ¡las cosas se ponen divertidas!

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¡Feliz fin de semana!

Gira de las Iglesias de Manila

GIRA DE LAS IGLESIAS DE MANILA
Jemuel Pilápil

Mientras todo el mundo hispano está celebrando el 12 de octubre como el Día de la Hispanidad, Día de las Razas, Día de la Diversidad de la Cultura Americana, Día de las culturas, Día del Pilar, Día de Cristobal Colón, etc., aquí en Filipinas casi no hay nada —aparte de la Fiesta de la Virgen del Pilar de Zamboanga o Zamboanga Hermosa, Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario— como La Naval de Manila, y Nuestra Señora del Pilar en Mindoro.

Pues, vamos a reunirnos para celebrar algo en conexión con nuestro alma como filipinos, que es el cristianismo. Conoceremos su rol como parte de nuestra cultura. Sin embargo, apreciaremos la grandeza de las iglesias más destacadas de la ciudad de Manila, parte del patrimonio hispano tangible en Manila.

El 13 de octubre organizaremos el lanzamiento de la “Gira de Las Iglesias de Manila”. Promovido por el grupo de la Sociedad Hispano-Filipina. Esta gira será dirigida totalmente en el idioma español por Jayzl Villafania Nebrê.

Fecha de la gira: 13 de octubre (domingo) de 2019.
Horario: 09:30.
Punto de encuentro: Basílica Menor de San Sebastián, Quiapò, Manila.

Hagan clic aquí para conseguir más información.

Película 2019 — 18th Spanish Film Festival

Instituto Cervantes de Manila, in cooperation with the Embajada de España en FilipinasTurespaña, and other related cultural organizations brings us once again one of the most anticipated annual film festivals in the country: Película. Now on its 17th edition, Película features a selection of quality films of various genres (comedy, drama, suspense, animation, documentary, and short film) from the Spanish-speaking world. It is a perfect opportunity for Filipino students of the Spanish language to hone their listening skills as well as to get acquainted with contemporary Hispanic culture. Below are the schedules as well as the press release (both in English and Spanish) from Instituto Cervantes de Manila…

PELÍCULA is a Spanish Film Festival organized every October by the Instituto Cervantes (Manila), in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain to the Philippines. Created in 2002, this event shows award-winning Spanish and Latin American films. The Film Festival has grown through the years to become the most important exhibition of Spanish Cinema in the Southeast Asian region. PELÍCULA 2019 will treat you to a collection of good quality movies, many of which have been awarded in prestigious festivals. Comedy, drama, thriller, animation, documentary, short film are some of the many element inside the festival’s program. Enjoy PELÍCULA!

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Creado en 2002 por el Instituto Cervantes de Manila, PELÍCULA se celebra cada octubre en colaboración con la Embajada de España en Filipinas. El Festival ha crecido a lo largo de los años hasta erigirse en el más importante escaparate de cine español en el Sudeste Asiático. En esta XVIII edición te invitamos a disfrutar de una selección de obras de calidad, muchas de ellas premiadas en festivales de prestigio internacional. No se trata únicamente de una cita con el cine español, pues el Festival también propone una mirada al cine latinoamericano y a las voces surgidas de un continente que se expresa mayoritariamente en español. Comedia, drama, suspense, animación, documental y cortometraje, son algunos de los géneros que encontrarás en la programación de PELÍCULA 2019. ¡No te lo pierdas!

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Película will run for 10 days, from October 3 to 13 at Greenbelt 3. Click here for more information. ¡Nos vemos allí!