Quezon’s Game: not a review

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I have a few complaints on Quezon’s Game after having seen it last night with my wife (to celebrate her 43rd natal day):

1) Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar was a bit off to be the setting for Manila. It was too wide open to the elements, too much sky to be seen, with even a mountain for a backdrop. Vigan, Ilocos Sur or Intramuros would have been more believable.
2) There was too much English dialogue between Manuel Quezon and Sergio Osmeña, and between Quezon and his wife Aurora. They spoke more in Spanish, of course.
3) Emilio Aguinaldo never conversed in English with fellow Filipinos. In fact, he had a disdain for it.
4) The rather contemptuous observation of a Jewish-run Hollywood is a recent one.
5) I heard Quezon utter “puñeta” only once.

While it has no overall significance to our country’s general history, Quezon’s Game was still a good period film that offered viewers a glimpse on the behind-the-scenes political maneuverings of a US-sponsored Commonwealth of the Philippines, not to mention another least-known human side to Quezon. Raymond Bagatsing showed us another convincing performance, Audie Gemora was a spitting image of Osmeña, and the white actors playing their white historical counterparts were all laudable in their thespian duties.

Also, Quezon’s Game was the second consecutive movie “game” that made my tears roll: the first was Avengers: Endgame😂

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A year after

Exactly a year ago, I was hospitalized due to tuberculosis (TB). It was the third time I suffered from the disease: the first was as a toddler (for kids, they call it primary complex); the second was a few weeks before college graduation. I wasn’t admitted for the first two. Medications did them in. But the third was the most frightening: I was coughing up too much blood I thought I was the victim in some slasher film.

A few days prior to that, we really thought that I was going to die because no hospital would admit us: no pulmonologist was available because of Christmas break. The medications prescribed by a clinic didn’t suffice as they didn’t deter the bleeding (I started coughing up blood before Christmas Eve). I was weakening up so fast, and the burning night fevers were numbing.

Finally, I was admitted in a hospital in Alabang. I thought that I only had TB. But when the doctor read out to me the findings, I was shocked when I was told that I also had pneumonia. Two killers were murdering my already weakened lungs. And there was already a hole in my right lung. But there was no pain, only severe weakness and high fever. I just wanted to drift off, do nothing, and watch the ceiling from my sick bed. What really frightened me were the surgical needles. I contracted trypanophobia ever since my bout against dengue when I was in Grade II. It was embarrassing each time I had to face nurses who were out to get my blood sample, or who regularly had to apply intravenous medication. There was one time when my visitors had to restrain me while a nurse was getting my blood sample. Arnaldo witnessed it and was having a good laugh at the way I squirmed and shook and cried like a sicko strapped a straitjacket. 😝

ASIAN HOSPITAL

A view of my room. The only view that I had of the outside world for two lonely weeks.

I thought my hospitalization would last for only a few days, and that I’d get to celebrate New Year’s Eve with my family. I was mistaken. I celebrated New Year’s Eve alone. My wife had wanted to accompany me, but I said she had to be with our children. Nothing should spoil the little ones’ Christmas feasts.

Even after the Christmas revelry I was not given an exact date on when my release would be because they were still monitoring the severity of my TB, i.e., if the bacteria were resistant against the medications given to me. I prayed and prayed for my immediate release. Finally, I was given a clean bill of health on January 9, or thirteen days later, on the Feast of the Black Nazarene of which I am a devotee. Me and my wife attended afterwards to give thanks, even when still weakened. I had not missed a single traslación ever since becoming a devotee in 2011.

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The closest I could get to the Black Nazarene of Quiapò. And the first time I didn’t get to touch the ropes pulling its carriage due to weakness from two weeks of hospitalization. I almost fainted here because of the crowd. This was also my wife’s first time to join the procession.

How does one contract TB? From what I have gathered, almost everyone has TB bacteria. Healthy people are unaffected. But once the immune system has weakened, that’s how TB bacteria start to affect the lungs. My immune system weakened due to lack of sleep and missed meals. That is why after my third bout with TB, I took it easy. I haven’t been reading and writing that much since. I stopped blogging for several months (resuming only in June). It’s difficult continuing to do so anyway, considering the sad fact that I’m a nocturnal corporate slave commuting several kilometers nightly on polluted highways.

TB may no longer be as deadly as it was nowadays compared to a few decades before (some of its most famous Filipino victims were Graciano López Jaena, Marcelo del Pilar, José María Pañganiban, and Manuel L. Quezon; Rizal almost had it, but survived). But it is deadlier the third time around, especially when it has an accomplice (pneumonia) to assist it in its hushed killing spree.

And it’s a real pain in the pockets because of the six-month medication. The following people, however, made it easy for us to survive the ensuing months: thank you so much to Gemma Cruz Araneta, former Mayor Calixto Catáquiz, Mama Beth Córsega and her daughter Jonafel, Señor Guillermo GómezNonia Tiongco, my mother-in-law, and my dad. Special thanks to Ate Christina Capacete and Riah Ramírez (Chief Nurse, City of San Pedro) for assisting my wife on the treatment side of things.

Now, because I live in a place where the air is polluted, I could no longer afford to go out of our apartment without wearing a face mask. And I usually experience shortness of breath whenever I do strenuous physical activities. I long for the day when I get to live in a place surrounded by nature, where it’s safe for my lungs.

Thank you to all those who prayed and showed concern for me during my fight against tuberculosis and pneumonia. May God bless you all!

 

Hoy en la Historia de Filipinas: la inauguración de la Segunda República de Filipinas

Inauguración de José P. Laurel como presidente en el Legislative Building (Edificio Legislativo). Hoy en día el edificio alberga el Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (foto: Michael Vincent).

Hoy es el aniversario de la Segunda República de Filipinas, conocida oficialmente como la República de Filipinas (o la República de Filipinas patrocinada por los japoneses), fue un estado títere establecido el 14 de octubre de 1943 durante la ocupación japonesa que fue parte del teatro de operaciones de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. El batangueño José Paciano Laurel y García fue su presidente.

En efecto, esta república fue la primera vez que se concedió la independencia a Filipinas en lugar de ganarla mediante la lucha armada. Sin embargo, como se ha mencionado más arriba, fue considerado sólo como un estado títere.

Trasfondo

El presidente Manuel L. Quezon declaró a Manila (la capital nacional) como una “ciudad abierta” y la dejó bajo el gobierno de Jorge B. Vargas como alcalde. Los japoneses entraron en la ciudad el 2 de enero de 1942 y la establecieron como la capital. Japón capturó Filipinas totalmente el 6 de mayo de 1942 después de la sangrienta Batalla de Corregidor.

El Teniente General Masaharu Homma decretó la disolución de la Mancomunidad Filipina y estableció la Comisión Ejecutiva de Filipinas, un gobierno interino, con Vargas como su primer presidente en enero de 1942. El KALIBAPI (“Kapisanan sa Paglilingkod sa Bagong Pilipinas o la Sociedad para el Servicio en Nueva Filipinas) fue formada por la Proclamación Nº 109 de la Comisión Ejecutiva de Filipinas, una ley aprobada el 8 de diciembre de 1942, que prohíbe todos los partidos políticos existentes y crea la nueva alianza de gobierno. En síntesis, el KALIBAPI fue el único partido político permitido por los japoneses. Por eso, el pro japonés “Partido Ganap” (ganáp es una palabra tagala que significa completo) de Benigno Ramos, que vio a los japoneses como los salvadores del archipiélago contra la ocupación estadounidense, fue absorbido por el KALIBAPI.

El primer director general del KALIBAPI fue Benigno Aquino, Padre (abuelo del ex Presidente Benigno Aquino III). El 20 de septiembre de 1943, los grupos representativos de KALIBAPI en las provincias y ciudades del país eligieron entre ellos a cincuenta y cuatro miembros de la Asamblea Nacional de Filipinas, la legislatura del país, con cincuenta y cuatro gobernadores y alcaldes de ciudades como miembros ex officio. Tres días después, la sesión inaugural de la Asamblea Nacional se celebró en el Edificio Legislativo. Eligió por mayoría a Aquino como su primer presidente y Laurel como presidente de la nueva República de Filipinas que fue inaugurada el 14 de octubre de 1943. Durante la inauguración, el ex Presidente Emilio Aguinaldo y el General Artemio Ricarte, veteranos de la rebelión tagala contra España y la guerra filipino-estadounidense, alzaron la bandera filipina; fue la misma que se usó durante la guerra filipino-estadounidense.

Aquí son los oficiales filipinos más altos de la Segunda República de Filipinas:

Presidente José P. Laurel 1943–1945
Presidente de la Cámara Benigno S. Aquino 1943–1945
Primer Ministro Jorge B. Vargas 1943-1945
Miembros del Gabinete
Ministro de Agricultura y Comercio Rafael Alunan 1943–1945
Ministro de Salud, Labor, e Instrucciones Públicas Emiliano Tría Tirona 1943–1945
Ministro de Finanzas Antonio de las Alas 1943–1945
Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores Claro M. Recto 1943–1945
Ministro de Justicia Teófilo Sison 1943–1945
Ministro de Educación Camilo Osías 1943–1945
Ministro de Obras Públicas y Comunicación Quintín Paredes 1943–1945

Conclusión y consecuencia

El 21 de septiembre de 1944, Laurel puso a la República bajo la Ley Marcial. Dos días después, la República declaró oficialmente la guerra contra los Estados Unidos de América (EE. UU.) y el Reino Unido. Tras el regreso de las fuerzas aliadas lideradas por los EE. UU., el gobierno de la Segunda República evacuó Manila a Baguio. La república fue disuelta formalmente por Laurel en Tokio el 17 de agosto de 1945, hacia el final de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Filipinas fue ocupada nuevamente por los EE. UU., y muchos de los funcionarios de la Segunda República de Filipinas como Laurel, Aquino, y Recto fueron encarcelados y calificados como traidores.