Sunday, October 05, 2008


This painting, Assassination of Governor Bustamante by
Felix R. Hidalgo, is currently undergoing restoration at the National Art Gallery. It was the main focus of Ambeth Ocampo's lecture -- Hidalgo, Bustamante and the Big Black Wolf -- held yesterday at the museum's Ablaza Hall.

It was a riveting two-hour lecture in which from the painting, Ocampo traced the history of the story of Governor Bustamante who was assassinated by the friars during the 18th century and how it spawned the novel La Loba Negra (The Black Wolf) previously believed to have been written by Fr. Jose Burgos, but now proven to be a forgery.

This was the first time I had attended a lecture conducted by Ambeth Ocampo, and I must admit I was spellbound, and now eagerly await the next, which I hope should be in the very near future. I have read many of his books -- sources of numerous blog articles -- and although I am one of those who never asked for autographs (from any of the many film and music artists I had met or run into in my life), yesterday I deemed an exception -- an altogether different situation. Compared to other artists, I think authors loved it most when knowing about or meeting those who actually appreciate their writings.

Hence, there wasn't any trace of trepidation on my part yesterday when I approached Ambeth Ocampo prior to the start of his lecture -- to introduce myself as a big fan while deftly whipping out two books from my bag for him to sign. He was indeed delighted to oblige.

* * *

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I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!


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posted by Señor Enrique at 7:00 AM


OpenID juleste said...

"Compared to other artists, I think authors loved it most when knowing or meeting those who have actually read their writings."

Korek ka jan, Senor! I have a book authographed by one local writer and I consider it a treasure. But when someone borrowed the book, it never found its way back to me. Sayang... Kaya dapat pag natiyempohan ko uli yung writer na 'yon dapat I have one of her books para ready for authograph.

Thanks for sharing this story. We have at home an old copy of AC's Rizal Without Overcoat, and I still enjoy reading the book.

October 05, 2008 2:49 PM  

Blogger ka tony said...

HI Eric,

The restoration of "Assassination of Governor Bustamante" by Felix R. Hidalgo is long time coming! Should have done it long time ago as Luna's "Spolarium." I remember during the restoration of Michelangelo's mural at Sistine Chapel, they found "erased" figures & "personal retaliations" against some members of the clergy & government officials by the great artist! Like some priest naked in hell boiled in oil, a boa biting a priest's "cojones," a dog with a face of a well known civil official, peeing blood & many more humorous recognizable personality during Michelangelo's time!

I once tried painting using the medium fresco... whoa! boy, so hard. One have to be fast applying the paint while the plaster is still wet. The Plaster or the mortal absorbs the color, the reason why painting with this medium becomes permanent. For this reason if one try to paint over a fresco mural, the one painted over can be erased & the original figure will come out!

Hidalgo, being born & bred in Binondo (latter move to Quiapo), was exposed to the greed, corruption, injustices & cruelty of the Dominican friars in Binondo church during his time. Who knows, with this restoration going on, though the "Assassination of Governor Bustamante" was done in oil, still we might find something interesting! he, he, he

The assassination of Governor Marshal Fernando Manuel de Bustamante y Bustillo was the first recorded "people power" also led by the Catholic Church, though not authored by the CIA, in the Philippines! Before going & be the Governor General of the Philippines, he was the Mayor of Tlaxacala, Mexico. Upon arrival in Manila, Bustamante discovered that the treasury contained a mere pittance of gold & silver, but thousands of promissory notes & receipts of sums due to
Spain (parang ngayon din, 'di ba?).

Bustamante embargo galleon ships like Santo Cristo de Burgos, who avoided payment, seized goods & properties of rich merchants who owed the Public Treasury money. He pursue investigation of activities of the persons who held royal offices in trust before arrival. As a result, Auditor General Antonio Torralba & many royal officials were found guilty in book-keeping, allowing funds to disappear without

Upon Bustamante's investigation (ala Mayor Arsenio Lacson), he learned there were corruption involved on the part of the government, rich Spanish & Sangley merchants & the clergy! Many arrested, imprisoned, seizure of their properties. Spanish population into a tumult! Guilty party
who have not been investigated or arrested sought help from heads of religious orders. Bustamante learning the conspiracy & plot against him, decided to call on imprisoned Antonio Torralba who, sensing a chance at freedom agreed to cooperate.

Bustamante, appointed a new Audencia, which then arrested more guilty Spanish, Sangley & members of different religious order. Later Don Antonio de Osejo a notary public took sanctuary in the church like the
others & took with him records of his office. The Audencia then issued a decree requiring Archbishop Francisco de la Cuesta to return the records, which the Archbishop refused!

The Governor issued a call to arms & jailed de la Cuesta & other powerful religious personages. October, 1719 intense situation & the streets of Manila was deserted. The night came, convent of St. Augustine opened & out came a procession of friars & "the religious" chanting "Long live the faith. Long live the church."

Next morning, bells ringing, mob in the street towards the Governor's palace chanting once again "Long live the faith... " Palace guards retreated, some fired shots. Hall was broken into & the mob met Governor Bustamante, they broke his right arm with a machete & gashed his head with a saber! Bustamante's son rush to his help him, but the mob turned on him. The body of the Governor was roped & dragged down from the palace, finally left on a couch in the royal prison together with his son's dead body.

Prisoners were freed & Archbishop Francisco de la Cuesta took over the functions of the Governor General. Investigations indicted no one & since the Philippines was so far from mother Spain, the murder of Governor Marshal Fernando Manuel de Bustamante y Bustillo was forgotten.

People Power, involvement of clergy, assassination, unsolved murder, kulang na lang "yellow ribbon" at parang sirang plaka na paulit-ulit ang kasaysayan ng nakakapandiring pulitikang Pilipino!

"Compared to other artists, I think authors loved it most when knowing or meeting those who have actually read their writings."

Very true Eric, but I think visual artist love it more when knowing or meeting those who actually understand their work of art. Visual art is vast & can be interpreted not as the artist want it to be deciphered.

I commercialized my art doing advertising for our client's marketing needs & advertising solutions, but I don't commercialize my art when it comes to paintings. During my recent one man show, a guest of the gallery wanted to purchase one of my paintings. I usually talked & know who this "client" is, whose buying an important "part of me." To cut it short, I asked him why he was interested in my painting & what message did he get from it. His responses was he didn't get any message & just liked the colors & figures on my paintings. Hearing these... "Sorry it's not for sale, its for personal collection"

Here's another one on my website...

Thanks Eric the for updates, great pictures & featuring Hidalgo,
ka tony

October 05, 2008 4:03 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

That is worth reading a second time, Ka Tony! I was once with the Metropolitan Museum of Manila and had the unforgettable experience to be part of the Luna/Hidalgo Retropective. I actually held the the paintings of both artists in my own hands along with the many sacrificing museum crew setting up the masterpieces...and this was pre-computer days where bromide papers had to be set out as captions! We had a lot of break-downs and amy be it was due to Luna's spirit hovering about.

I was particularly awed by the beauty and magnificence of Hidalgo's works. I think the "Assassination of Bustamante" was also there. My, it was so long that all I can recall was the "La barca" and something about the "Deluge."

Of course, Ambeth Ocampo wa one of the honored lecturers during that Centennial Show. I once peeked in and made awol just to listen to his lecture. While he was lecturing, someone from behind the auditorium began to snore real loud! It seemed to be a driver to took refuge of the aircon auditorium and decided to be a culture vulture for once but the sandman took over quickly. Ambeth Ocampo smiled sheepishly...we all did and looked at the snoring man. No one seemed to know him so we all were in a quandary to wake him up. Mr. ocampo lectured for several minutes amidst the snoring sound until our very own museum president got up from her seat and woke the siesta guy up. That was all I recall of that lecture.

October 05, 2008 6:09 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

There was this young gal, Juleste, who had about six book signed by Ambeth, while I only brought along two -- "Rizal Without The Overcoat" and "Luna's Moustache." Next time, I'll bring the rest ... hehehe.

Ambeth's fondness for interjecting a tad of "tsismis" in his historical narratives is indeed highly amusing :)

October 06, 2008 8:02 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Once again, muchas gracias, Ka Tony!

This information contained in what you've shared with us on Bustamante exactly mirrors what Ambeth spoke about this poor Governor General. Isn't it a shame that the Spanish friars might have introduced graft and corruption into the archipelago.

Incidentally, Ambeth mentioned that as a student, Hidalgo participated in student some demonstration, repercussions of which led to the arrest and execution of GOMBURZA. And this may be the reason that Hidalgo opted to go and stay in Europe.

The final part of his talk mentioned the Code of the Kalantiaw, which is supposedly a fake. One of his Chinoy students at The Ateneo had told him that in Chinese, "ka" means eat or bite, while 'lantiaw" is testicles ... hehehe.

But what was rather poignant is the fact that Ambeth pointed out: Hidalgo seems to be overshadowed by Luna. Personally, I think Hidalgo's works are just as equally magnificent.

Yes, even in New York, many folks buy art works as pieces of decorations :(

Thank you again, Ka Tony!

October 06, 2008 8:14 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's funny, Bernadette! Manila's elite was prominently represented at the talk last Saturday; hence, many drivers were there as well, but no one dared nap Thank God! :)

I truly enjoyed the lecture and intend to attend more in the future if once again invited/allowed.

Wow! Those were certainly fun times for you. I once applied for a summer job at the Met in NY when the Egyption exhibition came to town, but since I lacked credits in art history, I was summarily rejected ... hehehe. I would've loved the experience, though.

There should be an awareness movement to promote Hidalgo as a master artist, don't you think?

October 06, 2008 8:23 AM  

Blogger Amadeo said...


You clearly are a 100% percent at home and adapted to the locale and its unique ambiance. That I doubt that you are entertaining any thoughts of relocating away from the old homeland. And this after a long absence.

More power!

October 06, 2008 8:24 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thank you, Amadeo!

Actually, I've thought of you and Dave prior to the start of the talk because many students from The Ateneo attended; apparently students of Ambeth Ocampo.

I would've been attending many more similar events, but unfortunately, they're often held in the evenings. And since I don't fancy going out at nights anymore as I did when much younger, I mainly go to daytime events only.

October 06, 2008 8:39 AM  

Blogger ka tony said...

Hi Eric,

We Pinoys learned from the best, corrupt Spanioles y Sangleys!!! I wrote a long comment on your blog "MARITIME PIRACY AND ECONOMIC CHAOS IN OLD MANILA" unfortunately when I clicked on your "publish your comment" it got lost. It was too long & lost interest for me to write again. In that comment I mentioned the international effect of the Manila/Acapulco Galleon Trade to the Caribbean pirates, the infamous pirate of them all who at the end knighted, Sir Francis Drake. Drake started the slave trade, called "Golden Triangle;" Cuba, Europe & Africa (Asian goods+sugar=rum, Asian goods+rum=money, money+rum=slaves). Finally the start of the Santeria religion from its the original African, Yoruba religion.
...yeah Eric, sayang!!!

Anyway, Ventura de los Reyes, was the Pilipino representative to the Spanish Cortes - 1810-1813. He wanted the abolition of the galleon trade, he gave the reason to the Spanish court that it brought vast wealth to only a few while the masses of Manila & Acapulco suffered. It's also the main cause of graft & corruption between the colonial government, rich merchants & the church, the main reason for the assassination of the honest Governor General Bustamante.

There were two controversial Pilipino prehispanic codes of law. One is called "MARAGTAS CODE" & the other, "CODE of KALANTIAW" (not "lanchaw," which is "bayag"in Chinese). The Kalantiaw allegedly dated 1433, but no copy on either of the two earlier than the 20th century, though Pinoys already have the "Alibata" alphabet before the Spanish time.

Hidalgo was 7 seven years old during the execution of GOMBURZA. Father Gomes was 73, Father Zamora was 37 & Father Burgos was 35 yaers old, in the year 1872 when they died by garrote. HIdalgo's early schooling was in Ateneo & moved to UST, studied law but didn't graduate for lack of interest. He enrolled at "Escuela de Dibujo y Pintura" & start an exhibit at "Treatro-Arco de Bilibid."

After passing a competition given by the Philippine government, Hidalgo was sent to Spain in 1879, as a pensionado for advanced studies at "Academia de San Fernando in Madrid. He came back to the Philippines in 1912 to visit his ailing mother. After six months of stay, he left for Europe by way of Japan, took the trans-Siberian railway. In Russia he contracted an illness & as he reached Paris his illness became worst. Went to Barcelona & died there on March 13, 1913.

His remains was later brought to the Philippines by Maria Yrritia, a friend & modeled for Hidalgo for 40 years! Mayhinala ako na si Felix ay isang "Gay"

Muchisimas gracias a usted Senor Eric,
ka tony

October 06, 2008 11:17 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Ka Tony!

- I wrote a long comment on your blog "MARITIME PIRACY AND ECONOMIC CHAOS IN OLD MANILA" unfortunately when I clicked on your "publish your comment" it got lost.

Ay, sayang! That happens to me sometimes whenever I'm posting comments/responses. So what I do prior to hitting the publish button is 'copy' it first.

There are some members of the Hispanic community in NY that practice Santeria.

- The Kalantiaw allegedly dated 1433, but no copy on either of the two earlier than the 20th century, though Pinoys already have the "Alibata" alphabet before the Spanish time.

Ambeth Ocampo surmised that the great need to show evidence of some sort of civilized existence practiced by the natives in those ancient times promulgated the belief that the Code of the Kalantiaw was authentic.

- Hidalgo was 7 seven years old during the execution of GOMBURZA.

My mistake then. But Hidalgo supposedly joined some student demonstration during his college years.

- His remains was later brought to the Philippines by Maria Yrritia, a friend & modeled for Hidalgo for 40 years! Mayhinala ako na si Felix ay isang "Gay"

Ambeth showed a photograph of Hidalgo's class in Europe in which his arm was on a Spaniard's shoulder ... hehehe.

- After six months of stay, he left for Europe by way of Japan, took the trans-Siberian railway. In Russia he contracted an illness & as he reached Paris his illness became worst. Went to Barcelona & died there on March 13, 1913.

Another supposition was that if his mother didn't object Maria Yrritia, they would have gotten married.

Ambeth did lament though about the personal crates that were shipwrecked with her on her trip back to the Philippines to live the rest of her life at the Hidalgo household. The mother apparently had a change of heart after his death. Those crates, Ocampo suspected, contained more of Hidalgo's works.

There ought to be more books on Hidalgo. Don't you think?

October 06, 2008 11:46 AM  

Blogger ka tony said...

Right Eric,

There should be more books, not only about Hidalgo, but about our country! My wife, came back from the Philippines & I told her to get me Sonia Zaide's "Philippines a Unique Nation," were you research the "Tondo Conspiracy." Gee! Eric not only books are expensive there, but they look cheap & are printed on newsprint!!!

"- Hidalgo was 7 seven years old during the execution of GOMBURZA."

"My mistake then. But Hidalgo supposedly joined some student demonstration during his college years."

No Eric, it was not your mistake... it was Ocampo, with his Chismis style of writing history!

I know in NYC, there's a lot of Islanders who are into Santeria. I have lots of friends in the Bay Area who are into it as well. I must say its very interesting & I attended many of their "Bembe." Also true while I was in Cuba, which is the "Vatican" of the Santeria. By the way if you remember the movie "Buena Vista Social Club" all these "son" singers & musicians are Santeros!

Viva Elegua! Thanks Eric,
ka tony

October 06, 2008 2:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi Señor.

It is actually "National Art Gallery".

andre c

October 06, 2008 4:06 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Many thanks, Andre! I had just corrected it :)

October 06, 2008 4:22 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, Ka Tony. Many of our books, especially those on the required college reading list are printed on cheap paper. I was told that many people aren't too keen on Sonia Zaide's history writings due to inaccuracies.

Yes, I agree: there ought to be more Filipiniana books!

October 06, 2008 4:28 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

Thanks again all for adding some light on Hidalgo's life as well as Bustamante's. It would have been interesting to read more of those pirate stories from Ka Tony! My father bought us a set of Grolier's encyclopedia when we were children---quite a daring act of his knowing that we were living on a lieutenant officer's pay. Anyway, with them was a set of classics like Robinson Crusoe, Arabian Nights, etc. About 10 books...and one of course was Treasure island. My mom would sometimes read to us before going to bed. The illustrations were brilliant and I would only find out that they were done by Pyle and Wyeth---America's greatest illustrators.
Yep, stories of yore are always interesting just because of the romance they conjure. But I wouldn't want to have lived during those times!

I really haven't been going to Manila or even basking in the possibility of buying those expensive coffeetable books---iba na ang priorities. But then I was still fortunate to have been part of the Renaissance (I think) of Filipiniana books. Back when Lorie Tan was general manager of Bookmark. He had a vision about putting up Filipino books that would be at par with the Western books. He gambled hard and produced a lot of beautiful and meaningful books on Philippine culture and arts. Whatever they say that he was not astute enough to keep Bookmark thriving even after his leaving, I think that he set a standard concerning Filipiniana books eversince.

I was once briefly seated with the brother of Lucio Tan during a merienda and when I was introduced as a former children's book illustrator, the Chinese businessman immediately said there is no money in publishing Filipino books. That was it. The end of the usapan.

October 06, 2008 6:12 PM  

Blogger ysrael said...

Wow, ang ganda ng blog site na ito , Senor, no wonder na winner ka nga talaga. Ambeth Ocampo is also my idol, sa kanya ko lang nalaman na marami palang distorted facts sa history natin.

October 07, 2008 5:12 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Maraming salamat, Ysrael!

Tama ka. Mahirap ngang suriin minsan kung ano ang tama o mali tungkol sa history natin. But hopefully, that doesn't deter us from pursuing our inherent desire to learn more about our past.

October 07, 2008 6:09 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

"I was once briefly seated with the brother of Lucio Tan during a merienda and when I was introduced as a former children's book illustrator, the Chinese businessman immediately said there is no money in publishing Filipino books."

Sad fact about most of our highly successful businessmen, Bernadette. And this should explain why there isn't a single art gallery or bookstore in Binondo despite the wealth of culture and contributions of the Chinese community in our society and history. Seems like the pursuit and infinite accumulation of money is deemed the prime purpose of existence.

Your parents were fortunate to have inquisitive children who made good use of the encyclopedia they've purchased. Most families I know of who invested in such collection ended up having those books as mere decorative objects.

Bookmark, if I remember correctly, is the publisher unable to reprint "Manila, My Manila" by Nick Joaquin because of its inability to connect with living relatives of the author to sign the appropriate permission to reprint Joaquin's books.

Once I win the lotto, I'd collect every Filipiniana history and coffee table book ever printed, and later on donate them to a deserving library for the public's perusal.

October 07, 2008 6:25 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

hey, Eric!! that's my dream too here where i live! The library however, would be in my estate ;-)...and open to the public with constant activities like inviting authors, poets, musicians, artists, etc. in which even the so-called poorest of the poor can hobnob with the richest of the rich! Or vice-versa...and it would really be so equalizing! And a animal sanctuary nearby to boot!

October 07, 2008 8:33 AM  

Anonymous rhodora said...

There are many distorted facts in our history because history books are, more often than not, written from the author's personal perspective. In college, our professor nixed Gregorio Zaide's Philippine History textbook for it's being pro-colonialism. We used Teodoro Agoncillo's which apparently has a more nationalistic tone.

This kinda poses a problem to those who want to delve deeper in our history. They can't base their study on just a couple of books as they still need to research to verify the facts; that is, if they really want to be unbiased. But as it seems, I think bias can't be avoided.

October 07, 2008 10:29 AM  

Blogger Daisy said...

Nice Eric!

I am a fan of Ambeth Ocampo as well. I actaully discovered him reading thte Inquirer.

I love the way he tells us about the trivia in history. Esp the one when he wrote it ala CSI ahhahaha about the death of Luna.

haven't read the comment thread but hope to find time soon.

October 07, 2008 10:53 AM  

Blogger ka tony said...

Hi Eric & Bernadette,

When I was with the National Heroes Commission which Anding Roces (was then the Secretary of Education) & Carlos Quirino started, we researchers & translators of Filipiniana had things done. Researched & translated from Antonio Morga, Spanish books about their colonies, manuscripts, documents, diaries from Rizal to Ricarte, in which some were made in to books and I should say 85% still in the "small air condition room" at the National Library!!!

I have no idea if our government does not have funds, which is a shame, 'cuz we can not hide the truth about our history to the Pilipino people, while our kababayan are getting their reference from Gringo historians & local authors like Gregorio Zaide who wrote history textbooks for schools under US government payroll. One of the many reasons not to expose these books, our government are protecting past & present politicians, rich businessmen & well known families, about their ugly past!!!

Marami... saan nang galing ang kanilang yaman? Naging collaborator ba sila? Naiwan ba sa kanila ang dala-dalang kayamanan ng napatay na bayani? Nangaling ba sa "graft & corruption" ang yaman ng sikat at mayaman na apelyidong tinataglay? A good example was ...ang masiba at magnanakaw na marcos!!! If his government corruption was not exposed & with the money they have that they took for us, mabubura nila ang kanilang kasalanan. Well, Pinoys are the only people in the world who deposed a dictator, welcomed back its dead body & his family, voted & placed the dictator's family in office, then gave them back the properties which the dictator & his family snatched from us!!!!!!!!!! Talagang iba tayong Pinoy!

A lot of these so called new breed of Philippine Historians, know how to use "connections" & use the "small air conditioned room" in the Philippine National Library to get Filipiniana materials. Why, does the library unearth these "secret materials" to selected people? Tuloy maraming "chismis" about our history, which is an advantage to some writers, you know for fame, glory & money! I know how rich in information on Filipiniana at the Philippine National Library & how much it'll change our history for the Pilipinos, specially the youth to find our lost identity.

Eric & Bernadette, I'm in marketing & advertising, and if advertisers are looking for a new medium, to launch their product, media placement, advertise, sponsor, place their tax deductible money in to good use, show their goodwill towards their country & consumers...PLUS their sponsorship will be seen for as long as the consumer is using what their company sponsored & a Goodwill to the Pilipino pleople, it will be sponsoring the production cost of BOOKS! Can you imagine the exposure & the media time involve for their product, plus the great community service their company is doing, in the eyes of the market?

Salamat Eric & Bernadette,
ka tony

October 07, 2008 1:16 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

Again, I say wow! Ka Tony! I feel honored you addressed me with Eric on this topic! My father had bought the set of Morga's books years ago...I hope the anays didn't get at it (they just had an anay infestation in their library and got at another set of invaluable set of books). Or the anays are quite well-versed in Spanish by now (heehee).
Yep, I had a favorite history professor in college who goes by the adage to burn Zaide's history books and other ones he had identified for being propaganda materials and not accurate ones.

I have also been waiting for a more cheaper way to produce books like it would be a cottage industry like how they make gin here. The men can buy it cheaper than Ginebra or Tanduay...and the producers go around with a timba like it was that soy drink (gosh I forget!) But...sorry for the digression. I really wih we can reprint a lot of good books (and just pay for local copyright fees if any) even in our garahes and come out with a sari-sari library too!

Thanks so much!

October 08, 2008 8:32 AM  

Blogger the donG said...

dami talagang matututunan dito sa blog mo. kaya lang bilib na bilib ako sa oras mo para dito.

lupit mo talaga. kaya talagang dami mong awards sa PBA.

October 08, 2008 10:32 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

And many more Filipinos ought to write more about history, Rhoda, and in so doing, help promote other history books out there that folks like us can read and refer to. In the end, I'm sure we'd all be able to weed through all these and realize those that are authentic resources.

October 08, 2008 3:11 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Daisy!

Ambeth Ocampo surely has his detractors who frown upon his manner of presentation; calling it historical narratives. Nonetheless, we ought to appreciate Ocampo's unique style, for history can be darn boring for the most part but Ocampo's style is effective in attracting and engaging those who have an inkling to our local history; I among them :)

October 08, 2008 3:18 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

". . . it will be sponsoring the production cost of BOOKS! Can you imagine the exposure & the media time involve for their product, plus the great community service their company is doing, in the eyes of the market?"

This is a swell idea, Ka Tony! Corporate sponsorship with a much longer shelf life :)

I once visited the National Library and was dismayed to discover their database systems so out of date and incredibly difficult to navigate. They should upgrade its systems.

Perhaps, as many more people are made aware of the existence of these "secret Materials" there'll be a subsequent great interest in them; hence, pressuring the government to make them available for all!

October 08, 2008 3:29 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

" I really wih we can reprint a lot of good books (and just pay for local copyright fees if any) even in our garahes and come out with a sari-sari library too!"

This, too, is a great idea, Bernadette. I'm all for it. But isn't it ironic that our national hero was a novelist yet not too many Filipinos are into reading books? Check out Andres Bonifacio, despite his shortcomings, he delve into books which rewarded him with enormous wealth of knowledge despite his not attending the fine universities as those of the ilustrados of his time.

October 08, 2008 3:33 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Many thanks, donG! But I am compelled to give credit and praise the fruits of your travels though your photography. We are all much richer by appreciating those images that you generously share with us :)

It's the passion, donG ... same as what you have in you!

October 08, 2008 3:36 PM  

Blogger ka tony said...

"And many more Filipinos ought to write more about history, Rhoda, and in so doing, help promote other history books out there that folks like us can read and refer to. In the end, I'm sure we'd all be able to weed through all these and realize those that are authentic resources."

...tama ka 'dyan Eric,

In fact when doing research, one should consider all sources in order to come up with the TRUTH! I'm glad that in school the history books we used was by Gregorio Zaide, and due to his & its inconsistency, made me hungry for the truth! came across Antonio Morga, then Teodoro Agoncillo, Renato Constantino, Rafael Palma, Antonio Abad, Nick Joaquin, Jose Buhain, Armando Malay, F. Sionil Jose, William Pomeroy, Jose Ma Sison.

...but as a true researcher, one should also read books written by the "colonialist" know their side, what were they considering, motive, interest, etc... Books like "Our New Possessions" vols I to IV, "The Story of the Philippines & Our New Possessions," Expansionists of 1898, Treaty of Paris (accompanied by protocols), Little Brown Brother, The American Half Century, Report of the Philippine Commission (Department of War) vols I to X, these are old books written by Americans in the Philippines as reports about the war in the Philippines.

Recent unbias books written by American authors like; Filipino Martyrs, Conspiracy For Empire, Benevolent Assimilation, In Our Image, Sitting in Darkness, etc...

Researchers work is never done, 'cuz you always encounter materials that will sometimes contradict the work you thought was done. Research should be unbias or concluded or opinionated! Research work is looking for the truth! ...and the truth is what our country needs. Without the truth, we question our past. If we question our past, we can not proceed for our future!

Researching history is the same as market research. Know the product & the "target" consumer - the buyer & end user. Target market's demographic, psychographic, financial status & educational attainment. Should know why target consumer buy the product & how they use the product. Find out which product is the current # 1 in the market, whose # 2, # 3, etc... Who are your competitors & what are they doing, their communication, which media they're in, budget, etc... gosh, sorry Eric got carried away!

The problem today is that everyone is so busy with their job, family, solving problems, people don't have time to read specially books. People read books in the past, because they have the time, less stressing job, there's no other medium (radio, TV & web). Now there are even "audio books". Newspapers' circulation is down because of poor readership. Poor readership = poor circulation = no advertisers! Newspapers & magazines production cost can't get their profit from circulation nor even break even, without advertisers, print media will closed.

Newspapers, magazine, books, & other mediums are closing 'cuz everyone can get their news, music, info on the WEB, so where do you find advertisers? right!!! on the websites! We can not change the trend & as marketing strategist we have to go where everyone is going & communicate The Truth in Our History. It's not the medium, it's the message!

The Philippines & the world, today with declining readership & declining leadership, what will become of our youth. Sabi nga ni Rizal, "Ang kabataan ang pagasa ng bayan!" Without knowledge & proper guidance from leaders, hindi lang ang bayan ang walang pagasa, pati na ang kabataan!

Saan ba napunta ang ating leader? Well pinatay ni marcos noong Martial Law. Intellectuals who were against him have several options; die, camp crame, get out of the country (if you can), join the NPA or MNLF or join marcos! Ang diprensya ang matatalino were the ones who can see the truth!!! So maraming pinatay, maraming umalis ng Pilipinas, napahirapan sa Camp Crame, namundok at ang sumali kay marcos, karamihan ay "bopol" Sabi nga "kung walang tinanim, walang aanihin!" Now..."Where have all the leaders gone?" It'll be a long time passing!!!

Maraming salamat sa inyo, specially to you Eric & Bernadette,
ka tony

October 09, 2008 9:07 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Ka Tony!

What a list of Filipino authors. I'll definitely check them out. BTW< in Solidaridad, saw a few titles by J. Maria Sison.

Last December, I had the pleasure of having coffee with Arnold Azurin, a notable researcher like yourself, author and UP professor. I had already bought and read several chapters from his "Reinventing the Filipino." I have got to admit that I was humbled by the scope and depth of his knowledge in the study of ethno-anthropology. Way above my head, actually.

Anyway, during our conversation, I had brought up and lamented about how Manila was completely wiped out by both the American and Japanese forces during the end of the war, to which he replied that I should get a copy of "Between Two Empires" by Theodore Friendly.

I had my nephew in NY searched for it in vain; claiming it may now be out of print. Perhaps, you might find a copy out there in California?

Thank you for sharing with us your insight on the art of researching. Whoa! It makes me wonder if I had the discipline to be one (when much younger). Nonetheless, it has got to be a worthwhile endeavor especially when unearthing some awesome revelations.

You have a valid point about the unfortunate fates suffered by our "torch bearers" during the Martial Law period. However, Ka Tony, perhaps, with the millions of our expats and OFWs out there, hopefully, they will someday come home and share with us locals what they had learned from the years of living abroad; thereby prompting an awe-inspiring 'age of enlightement."

Do you think it's possible or am I merely dreaming?

October 09, 2008 5:26 PM  

Blogger ka tony said...

Hi Eric,

I walked around SF during my lunch break went to Borders & look for your book "Between Two Empires" by Theodore Friendly, "nada" Eric. I even asked an associate to check their stock & other branch & still nothing.

I tried, it came up but the author was Eiichiro Azuma. Now I'm confused. Anyway I'll try some more.

No Eric, you are not dreaming! In fact a lot of Pinoys wanted to go home with this "great depression" going on in the US. Another, thing that will make Pinoys abroad to go home, is a change in our government & economy. Remember Eric, 90% of Pinoys living & working abroad are petite bourgeoisie who hates poverty. Petite bourgeoisie are the most dangerous social class in one country's government, this social class are thinking class, easy to be frustrated with the system & with everything & they want to rule!!! We used to call them "Ilustrados" (the enlightened ones).

thenks Eric,
ka tony

October 10, 2008 10:05 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

My nephew had gone through a few online book stores which yielded no auspicious results, Ka Tony. It was the one written by Theodore Friendly.

'Petite bourgeoise' perhaps, but being in America, everyone is of the working class however way one looks at it. You've got to work in order to eat ... hehehe.

And maybe, just maybe, as enlightened spirits they would help our less fortunate brothers and sisters by sharing their insight -- not handouts -- in terms of overcoming poverty, as well as guiding them to empower themselves by using their voting rights for the highest good of the country.

People naturally love and enjoy teaching/sharing their knowledge; hence, I'm hoping these expats will do so with great compassion and heart.

It's really uplifting to delve into creative and positive way of thinking.

Thanks, Ka Tony!

October 10, 2008 8:34 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

Hey, Eric! I know that book "between two Empires" by Theodore friendly! My father has it! He has many of the books you had just mentioned like "Little Brown brother". I had read that during my college years and my heart really bled on the exploitation of our ninunos by the Americans!

I really do not know if it is still in the library of my father though kasi nga maraming tinapon dahil sa anay-infestation.

October 11, 2008 7:46 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...


Google gives several sites that will accept orders for this publication, but the author is listed as Theodore Friend. And La Solidaridad Publishing is credited as its publisher.

Re the FilAms here during this great economic crisis, guess what, if you ask the typical FilAm where home is. What would be the answer? The old homeland. Most still consider their residency here as a sojourn.

Are they opportunists then? Many probably are. But who isn't? We always seek the path of least resistance.

That is one of our distinct advantages as an immigrant community here. Unlike most, we have the option to choose.

October 12, 2008 1:07 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Your dad has a copy, Bernadette??? Would it be too tacky if I borrowed it? Hehehe.

I know. There must've been enough cases of exploitation on the part of the Americans. After all, emperialism has its dark side.

October 12, 2008 6:28 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You are right, Amadeo, and many thanks for setting us back on the right track. It is Theodore Friend. I had asked the clerk at Solidaridad about this book, and she immediately responded a 'no.' :( Will check one again.

And yes, I can imagine the great number of our expats still have the old country in his/her heart regardless. And there is nothing wrong in being opportunists and creating a life of prosperity and abundance. I am one of those who believe that the truly successful people turn out to be generous, especially with their know-how! And I believe, too, that many of our expats can help tilt our local mindset towards a more 'enlightened' perspective.

Having a choice is one of life's greatest blessings :)

October 12, 2008 6:38 AM  

Anonymous Cheena Abellon said...

Señor Enrique,
I would like to contact you for an important concern. I do want to reach you and say it to you personally or even just over the phone.
Here is my e-mail address:
Thank you. And am looking forward to hear from you po.
Very truly yours,
Cheena Abellon

October 17, 2008 5:06 PM  

Blogger Tony Destroni said...

I hope that everyone who will read your entry will pursue their work also. Likewise to the Latino Business they have to be included on the ranking of paginas amarillas so that their business will be successful and more services they need to provide.

November 22, 2010 2:40 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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