Monday, July 21, 2008


Don Rafael Ibarra, the largest landowner and richest man in San Diego. And even though many people loved and respected him, there were others who seethed with envy; thus, hated him with a passion.

And so one day when he came across a vehicle tax collector who was blinded with anger -- beating and stomping a downed man who earlier made fun of him as being illiterate -- Don Rafael, indignant that no one else had the courage to intervene, came to the rescue. He grabbed the tax collector to prevent him from inflicting further harm to the man lying bloodied on the ground.

There were witnesses who claimed that Don Rafael hit the tax collector, others that he only pushed him. In any event, the Spanish ex-artilleryman who had been thrown out of the ranks for being loutish and stupid, and eventually handed a job as a vehicle tax collector -- so he wouldn’t make a living doing menial labor which would only embarrass the army -- stumbled a few steps backwards and fell, hitting his head on a rock. Blood spurted out of his mouth. He died soon afterwards.

Consequently, Don Rafael was arrested and imprisoned. Everyone deserted him, including those who once thrived in his kindness and generosity.

There was, however, one person who chose to stand by him -- a Spanish lieutenant, an old friend, who went through the appeals process on his behalf. But it was all to no avail. Languishing in jail, Don Rafael suffered much unpleasantness; the cruelty that abound undermined his iron will that he eventually fell ill with a disease. Death seemed to be the only cure.

And just when he was about to be exonerated, to be absolved of the accusation of having murdered the tax collector, he died in jail alone. His body was relegated to the Chinese Cemetery for burial only to be later exhumed and thrown into the water.

Hence, the life of Rizal’s
Noli Me Tangere character, Don Rafael Ibarra, the father of Crisostomo Ibarra.

* * * *

Need your support links:

Local Photographer Sues Manila Bulletin for Copyright Infringement

Petition To Mayor Lim - Save Quiapo

* * *

Please note:
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!



posted by Señor Enrique at 9:58 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

gosh. its been ages since i really read noli. last time it was in high school, but i feel that i have to read it again because in HS i lacked the maturity to understand the depth of the story. i got my proffy a copy in japanese as a gift last year he was so elated!

July 21, 2008 11:40 AM  

Blogger Unknown said...

it's embarassing but I don't remember much about noli when i read it in high school. after reading your post about rafael ibarra, gusto kong basahin ulit ang noli.:D thank you, eric!

i also checked out the link about the local photographer who is suing MB. i hope his case would prosper...bakit kasi di pa sila bumili na lang ng photos from local photographers? or commission photograhers e kaya naman nila? hayyyy.

July 21, 2008 2:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...


This is really a good book. I have been looking for the spanish version in Fully Booked and hopefully would be able to get it very soon.

I started to appreciate all the old literary works of Filipino writers now that I have completed 19 levels of Spanish. :)


El Cineasta

July 21, 2008 3:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ah, noli me tangere. i will one day buy that book. i have forgotten most of the story.

July 21, 2008 10:39 PM  

Blogger EM said...

You know Senior.. I would not forget Noli me Tangere. Partly because i spent more than half my life in sampaloc where most streets were named after the characters of the book. I lived in Ibarra Street and the neighboring streets would be San Diego, Ma. Clara, etc. When we were studying the book in high school, it was the first time we acknowledged the importance of the streets we were living in. Isn't it a good way to learn?

thanks for sharing!

July 21, 2008 10:41 PM  

Blogger Lola said...

Don’t remember much of the books Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo which were required reading when we were in high school. Of course, that was eons ago. I remember it to be so interesting, I just never got around to reading it again. But I do buy at least 4 or 6 Filipino books every time I go home, one of which has really made an emotional impact on me – "Six Young Filipino Martyrs". What a waste of bright and promising lives.

Noli and Fili will definitely be on my list when I go home this winter, thanks to you Eric.

July 22, 2008 5:30 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Currently, Noli is required reading for third year high school students, Caryn. And you're right, I also question the ability of these young folks to fully absorb and appreciate what Rizal had written.

A Japanese edition? Cool!

July 22, 2008 6:35 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You have complete 19 levels of Spanish, El Cineasta? Wonderful!

You are now indeed in the position to fully appreciate these books as Rizal had originally written them.

Personally, I only had a year of Spanish in high school, but able to get around in Puerto Rico and NYC's hispanic communities with Spanglish or "spang-les" as it's more commonly referred to.


July 22, 2008 6:56 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

A very interesting book, Bing. I am one of those who consider Rizal as a world class writer.

July 22, 2008 6:58 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's right, EM. Sampaloc has this enclave in which the streets were named after Rizal's novels. Dapitan is among them. It must've been fun for you guys when you realized that the names of the streets of your neighborhood came from the book you were studying :)

July 22, 2008 7:01 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

The major problem I had as a high school student reading Noli, Pat, was that it was no easy reading task. I had difficulty understanding many of the Tagalog words, plus it seemed too wordy and the style was convoluted.

It wasn't until I returned to Manila and found an English version that I began to truly appreciate it, including El Filibusterismo.

Would you believe I re-read these books now and then?

July 22, 2008 7:08 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Luna!

It's been said that Rizal did not write his novels to expose the wrongdoings of the friars alone. His other intention was supposedly to point out the foibles of the Filipino folks which hinder their emotional and intellectual development; hence, the lack of which make them inept for self governance.

As we all know, Rizal wasn't at all for a bloody uprising but for mental evolution of the Filipinos first and foremost.

And this story of Don Rafael Ibarra came to mind because of this recent copyright infringement case filed by a local photographer against a major broadsheet. The latter has recently filed a P2 million counter claim against the photographer.

And even though the common consensus was that this case affects all Filipino photographers -- be they professionals or amateurs with photoblogs -- I was simply astonished by the silence or lack of support of the leaders of the country's major photography organizations -- photo clubs, professional photo societies, photo magazines, photo online forums, and etc.

To date, FPPF (Foundation of Philippine Photography Foundation), the largest photography organization in the country, is yet to issue a statement on its position in this regard.

Ironically, with TESDA, FPPF sought to establish some sort of professional licensing program for local photographers. However, they appear mum when it comes to intellectual property rights of a photographer.

If such lack of interest to support this local photographer by the leaders of the local photography community is indeed attributed to a 'mind set aberration' that remains inherent in the Filipino race, then not much has changed since Rizal wrote Noli Me Tangere.

And why would these media companies buy or commission photographs when they can just grab them from the Internet and use the photos at will?

July 22, 2008 7:32 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

I loved reading the Noli as translated by Leon Ma. Guerrero I recall that was the author's name) but with the Fili, I guess i was still too young to appreciate dialectics on social and political issues. I read Noli a many number of times because it was in very good English. Ironically, when we were assigned in highschool to read the Tagalog version of Noli and Fili, I still opted to read the English version.

Intellectual property is really a rather exotic subject matter for us Filipinos. There really are no fast rules nor ethics observed when it comes to this. Moreso in photography! Ay naku! How can you protect your own prints? Go to the patent office :-)? My husband and I tried registering a simple but ingenious gadget for patenting but you'd have to present a lot of diagrams and whatnot notarized several times! Ambiguous ang intellectual property.

July 22, 2008 8:48 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

The first English translation I read, Bernadette, was that of Ma. Soledad Lacson vda de Locsin, published by Bookmark, Inc. I immensely enjoyed its flow and rhythm. Harold Augenbraum's version for Penguin, though exceptionally well-written, seems stilted at times, perhaps, due to a strict adherence to the original Spanish.

Technically, once your work has been published -- on regular media or online -- that in itself establishes your copyright ownership of which. Your notes, studies, sketches, or in the case of a photograph, a file of your various takes of it, including the raw file of the image should be enough to protect or defend your copyright ownership.

Thus, no media company or any other organizations -- either for profit or otherwise -- can just arbitrarily use and publish your photograph for their benefit without your full consent or permission.

As for the gadget you tried to get a patent for, usually it may entail the hiring of a patent attorney who would be savvy enough with the procedures involved. Not sure, howver, if they have the same lawyers here in the Philippines, but this is the way it's done in the States.

Incidentally, I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to work at Fish & Neave, one of America's most prestigious intellectual property law firms. Its history dates back to the heyday of Edison, a client of the firm, though I wish it were Nikola Tesla instead.

Anyway, the most notable case I was assigned to was as technical legal assistant in a patent infringement case that involved the compact disc technology -- Thompson vs. Quixote. I was very much into computer music at that time; hence, my experience with computer system technology came in handy.

I held with my own hands the prototype of the compact disc which was made of glass. It was twelve inches in diameter while its player was a hefty box made of plywood. Two of our witnesses were Nicholas Negroponte of MIT’s Media Lab and Robert Moog, the man who invented the Moog synthesizer. We won the case.

See Thompson vs. Quixote

July 22, 2008 10:29 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Señor,

Anyway, nothing much has changed since the time Rizal wrote the story if we are going to compare it to what's happening today. The "cancer" of the society is still existent unfortunately.

July 22, 2008 2:38 PM  

Blogger ka tony said...

Hello Eric & EM.

Very true, I spent my art school at "Collegio de Bellas Artes" of UST. Outside the university are streets named from Noli & Fili and some streets named simply have something to do with Rizal. I would like share this to the readers. The two streets in Sampaloc... "LAONLAAN" and "DIMASALANG" were streets named after the two secret names used by J.P.Rizal. Now they are not secret anymore!!!

Eric & EM of Toronto, Thanks & best regards,
ka tony

July 22, 2008 3:31 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

My mouth is wide open in amazement, Eric...

Such a fascinating backgrounder about you! You have been more involved in what is the phenomenon called digital technology than I thought.

Have you come across the free energy fever running around young inventors, engineers and physicists nowadays? All because of N. Tesla. My husband believes once this free energy goes mainstream it will be the unfolding of a Golden Age. Just because it will tap on the Source which no man nor elite group can claim for themselves.

July 22, 2008 6:56 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in grade two when I first read Noli and Fili in komiks version. It was so vivid to me because of the graphics.

In college, we dramatized a chapter in Noli and our group was the best presenter. Behind the scene I was part of the 'production design' but on the stage I also played a minor role and that is of a guardia civil with a matching rifle.

"This is the first work of Filipino literature to be published in Penguin Classics"

Wow... I hope Fili comes next.

July 23, 2008 3:07 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the original text of Noli Me Tángere

from Hispano-filipino website.

Aquí lo tiene, el texto original de Noli Me Tángere, si quieran verlos.

Pudieran ver en inglés o español.

July 23, 2008 4:34 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Sad but true, El Cineaste. As some say, only the faces changed but the tyrants and the slaves are very much alive in the Philippines. However, we still have the power not to succumb to this "cancer."

And this is why I celebrate our regular folks who choose to stand up for what is just and right -- as this local photographer who had opted to take Manila Bulletin to court. He refused to be victimized! And I say, more power to him and to other Filipinos like him!

July 23, 2008 7:18 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

And would you believe, Ka Tony that I pass by Laon Laan when I go home from Quiapo. Sometimes, from Reitro, I take a jeepney to Recto that passes through Dimasalang :)

I was told Laon Laan means "always ready. Dimasalang, I don't know.

Collegio de Ballas Artes of UST -- cool, Ka Tony :)

July 23, 2008 7:20 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Although I didn't do so well in math and the sciences at MIT (Mapua) as a high schooler, Bernadette (I wasn't one of those left brain-oriented students), I've always nurtured an intense fascination for music and computers. And although my major in college was in the field of socio-psychology, my great interest in computer music and my having worked at Fish & Neave opened doors for me as an IT systems analyst at a NY investment bank, and later on in the field of Internet infrastructure design in which I was part of the team that designed one of NASA's Web sites. The IT field at that time was in dire need for right brain-oriented folks and I happened to be in the right place at the right time. But of course, I had to go through the rigorous training and the intense examinations to be certified; hence, justified my existence in the field and the salary I commanded ... hehehe.

As for Tesla, I believe he had started to build this power generator somewhere in Long Island, NY (remnants of which remains standing) but was ultimately abandoned by his sponsors or financiers when they discovered that it would provide a free source of energy for the masses; thus, won't yield any profit for them.

I am not aware of any current Tesla-inspired energy fever within our scientific community. But isn't it something? Here in the Philippines we use Edison's DC, while over in the States, Tesla's AC is highly favored. They were mortal competitors, you know?

And since I named my dog, Niko, you'd probably guess which of the two men of science I admired the most.

July 23, 2008 7:44 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, Juleste, Noli is the very first novel by a Filipino writer published by Penguin Classics.

That must've been quite an experience to participate in a stage presentation of Noli. Congrats!

July 23, 2008 7:48 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hello Anonymous,

The URL does seem to work -- page does not load.

We have some readers who are fluent in Spanish who might greatly appreciate this -- EL Cineaste and Ka Tony among them.

July 23, 2008 7:52 AM  

Blogger ka tony said...

Hi Eric,

These secret names used by Rizal is still a mystery to a lot of historians, researchers & me on how he came up with these names. What I know are these facts...

DIMASALANG - was Rizal's exclusive "name" he choose when he was initiated as a Mason. Like Bonifacio's Mason's name "MAYPAGASA" (There's Hope) or Emilio Jacinto's Mason's name " PINGKIAN" (Spark). It was Rizal's uncle Jose Alberto Alonzo a Commander of the Spanish order of Isabel & Carlos III influenced Rizal's Masonry.

Here's what I think the meaning of DIMASALANG. I think it is "Hindi Masalang" The word "hindi" can be shorten, specially when it's use for titles " 'di " like... "di magiba" or 'di malanta" "Salang" in English means "to expose" or "allowed to be exposed on fire" When used in a sentence "i- 'salang' mo ang kaldero" But a word like 'salang' presided with ''di and ma" becomes an antonym. "hindi ma salang" DIMASALANG - "can not be expose" maybe Rizal was thinking that his being a Mason can not be reveal or exposed. Which to the very end his retraction is still a big mystery.

Eric, you might be right, Laon Laan means "always ready"

LAON LAAN - was Rizal's nom de plume he used for the political propaganda newspaper "La Solidaridad" where his cousin Galicano Apacible failed as its president. Later was taken over by the ' big four'...
a) M.H. del Pilar (pen name - Plaridel)
b) J.Rizal (Laon Laan)
c) Mariano Ponce (Tigbalang)
d) Antonio Luna (Taga-Ilog)

Here's my guess. Rizal's stay in France & his reference to the French Revolution, might be the source of the word "LAON". Laon in France was a 15th century episcopal see. A tough straggle of the Burghers, who later succeeded obtaining recognition against the Bishops during the middle ages. LAAN - in Pilipino means "to save" In Spanish, Japanese or even French, the important word in a caption or a sentence is being said first. "LAON LAAN" - "Save the Laon" Rizal was not in favor of the revolution, but to be "recognized" (like the "Burghers") by the "Prayles" and the Colonial Spanish Government in the Philippines. Rizal was in favor that the Philippines be a colony of Spain, but the Indios (Tagalog) will have the same rights as the Peninsulares, Insulares (Pilipinos or Creole) & the Mestizos. My question is... where does Rizal place the "Sangleys" (Chinese)? Rizal himself had Chinese blood!!!

Many thanks again Eric.

July 23, 2008 3:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al señor anónimo,

Muchas gracias por compartirnos el vínculo del círculo hispanofilipino. No sabía que ya tenemos esa versión en la red.

El Cineasta

"I will still try my best to look for the spanish version. My birthday gift in advance." :)

July 23, 2008 4:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyway, here's the link in

El Filibusterismo

July 23, 2008 4:54 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Oh, how I wish I could enjoy those books in its original Spanish version, El Cineaste. But I'm glad anyway that I know someone like you who will. Enjoy and advance Happy Birthday!

July 24, 2008 7:30 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Whoa! Thank you once again, Ka Tony. Now, I have additional trivia questions for my nephews when we drive around the areas.

And I always thought that Dimasalang might have been someone in the likes of Dasmarinas and Goiti.

And a big AHA! for Laon Laan -- indeed, another plausible interpretation and an in-depth one at that!

As for Rizal's relationship with the Sangleys, though he had Chinese blood in him, I think his relationship with them was mired with mistrust.

While in Dapitan, one of the things he made the local folks aware of was how they were being exploited by the Chinese merchants, which led to his teaching them how to establish a cooperative trading enterprise for their own benefit.

Incidentally, Rizal's El Filibusterismo character -- Chinaman Quiroga was modeled after Carlos Palanca Tan Quien-Sen who was a powerful force in the Chinese community during the late 19th century. Jose Alejandrino, a friend of Rizal, confirmed that it was indeed the case. Alejandrino further claimed that Don Carlos Palanca approached Aguinaldo — when he was forming his revolutionary government — about the possibility of creating an opium monopoly.

See my previous blog:

July 24, 2008 7:50 AM  

Blogger ka tony said...


I'm now confused and challenged to find out the truth on the Carlos Palanca story. During my advertising years in Manila I was lucky to handle the account, La Tondena Inc. This was the only account I always look forward to, meeting or ad presentation, it was always "Open Bar" I have meetings with Honey Boy Palanca (4th generation Palanca) discussing advertising/marketing while drinking cocktails!!!

I saw your source "The Chinese in Philippine Life 1850-1898, By Edgar Wickberg" my source was from Honey Boy Palanca himself.

TAN GUIN LAY was orphaned at 7 and at the age of 14 left his village of Willy, Amoy, Fukien and went to Liu-Sung (Luzon). By 1890 at 21 opened his dry good store, wanted to be baptized as a catholic. He had for "Godfather" in 1899, Don Carlos Palanca TAN CHUEY-LIONG the Chinese Governor in the Chinese Community then, from whom he got his name Carlos Palanca. TAN CHUEY-LIONG who was also converted into catholic faith, acquired his name from his "Godfather" Col. CARLOS PALANCA y GUTERREZ, a Spaniard. TAN CHUEY-LIONG was the last Chinese "Capitan" during the Spanish rule and the first Chinese consul-general of the Philippines.

In 1902, Carlos Palanca (TAN GUIN LAY) opened a small distillery in Juan Luna, Tondo, named it "LA TONDENA" (Spanish for "from Tondo"). Bought "Distillerias La Locomotea" from the Ubedas. In 1924 he bought "Distellerias Ayala" from the Ayalas who used to manufacture "Ginebra San Miguel"

Now Eric these are the confusing part...

# Honey Boy Palanca told us that it was his great grand father who commissioned the young Amorsolo to design the label of "marca demonio" But if La Tondena just acquired "Ginebra San Miguel" from the Ayalas in 1924. Amorsolo was already 42 (born 1872) years old, not a young student!

# at the La Tondena Building lobby are a wooden statue of San Miguel & the devil, circa 1700. and on its white wide wall was the original "cliche" or "letter press cut" that was used for printing the famous "marca demonio"

# and who was the Chinese "Don Carlos Palanca" who went to "El Presidente Aquinaldo" and proposed a drug deal? The Carlos Palanca "Chinese Consul General TAN CHUEY-LIONG or the Carlos Palanca "civic, cultural, educational, youth and sports developer, and founder of Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature TAN GUIN LAY ?" Siya nga kaya si "QUIROGA" sa Fili ni Rizal? Knowing El Presidente, like what happened at the Pack of Biak na Bato... "Ano opium...KUARTA NA ITO!!!"

So Eric there's a lot to research & questions to answer...talaga namang nakakahilo parang naka "toma" ka nang..."Inumin ng Tunay na Lalake!

Maraming salamat Eric!
ka tony

July 24, 2008 2:49 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Ka Tony,

Whoa! So many confusing details, indeed, but let's see ...

1) As for the Marca Demonio label:

All I know is that when Enrique Zobel de Ayala took notice of this label created by Amorsolo, he summoned the young man and funded his advanced studies in Madrid. Thus, this particular creation of his done during his day job as an illustrator, also gave him the opportunity to further develop his skills as a fine artist. Hence, I can only surmise that it was Ginebra San Miguel under the Ayalas when Amorsolo created this Marca Demonio label.

I once blogged about it:

My source was Ambeth Ocampo's "The man Who Made Marca Demonio" from his book "Aguinaldo's Breakfast and More Looking Back Essays."

2) As for the Chinese Don Carlos Palanca who went to Aguinaldo, I 'd stick to Carlos Palanca Tan Quien-Sen as claimed by Jose Alejandrino, a friend of Rizal.

I once blogged about the opium trade in Manila:

My sources were: "Noli Me Tangere" as translated in English by Maria Soledad Lacson-Locsin"; and "The American Colonial State in the Philippines - Global Perspectives" - Julianne Go and Anne L. Foster, Anvil Publishing, Inc.

3) I just want to point out that the Palancas who are behind the local prestigious literary award come not from the lineage of Carlos Palanca Tan Quien-Sen.


By the way, I just emailed Ivan Man Dy ( ) and had asked him to share his insight with us in the questions you had raised.

I also received an email once from a reader who is married to one of the Palancas. I had also asked her to share with us any information that may further enlighten us about Don Carlos Palanca.

Very interesting points you've pointed out, Ka Tony. Thank you! I hope that others will share with us their insight in this regard as well.

July 25, 2008 7:10 AM  

Blogger Senorito<- Ako said...

my heart sinks whenever I visit your blog. Let me explain... homesick na talaga ako.. I never would've thought that I'd miss Manila's upbeat pulse.

The Hildago/Bilibid viejo got to me. :)

July 25, 2008 12:16 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hello Senorito Ako!

Kamusta ka na? Hope all is fine and dandy in your part of the world :)

I can truly appreciate your sentiments about your old hometown. Since I've been getting to know Quiapo and its people, am also loving it even more.

As I've said in my previous blogs, I grew up gallivanting around downtown Santa Cruz and Binondo; rarely in Quiapo. But since I've come back home, I've been exploring more of Quiapo. It is truly an incredibly vibrant district despite the ills that some Manilenos associate with it. I am one of those who remain optimistic that some if not all historical and significant aspects of Quiapo will be conserved by our good people.

But nonetheless, I feel bad for making you feel so "homesick" hehehe. But as the adage goes, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."

God bless, my friend!

July 26, 2008 6:56 AM  

Blogger ka tony said...

Goooosshhh Eric,

You are so resourceful in getting these answers really fast! Thank you Sir, for solving the puzzle! Many thanks as well to Ms. Jane Palanca and my favorite "magkapatid na cliente" Honey Boy & Miggy Palanca's uncle Mr. Ramon Palanca.

To clarify:
# Don Carlos Palanca (TAN GUIN LAY, originally from Amoy, Fukien, philanthropist, benefactor founder of the "Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature" and owner of La Tondena Inc.), adopted his godfather's name Gobernadorcillo Carlos Palanca (TAN QUIEN-SIEN). There is blood relation between the two.

# Gobernadorcillo Carlos Palanca (the controversial TAN QUIEN-SIEN, the last "Chinese Capitan" during the Spanish period, Rizal's model character in Fili "Chinaman Quiroga", the Palanca who went to 'El Presidente' for a 'drug deal'), adopted his godfather's name Colonel Carlos Palanca y Gutierrez, a Spanish forces leader in the Franco-Spanish intervention of 1858-62 in Cohin, China. Latter assigned in the Manila.

Mr.& Mrs. Ramon Palanca are right, after Don Carlos Palanca (owner of La Tondena) bought "distelleria La Locomotera" from the Ubedas, in 1902, he introduced an industrial innovation by switching to molasses and deriving alcohol from it. Because during those days molasses was merely considered a waste by-product of sugar cane. Locally produced alcohol was from nipa sap.

In the 1920's Don Carlos Palanca was known as "Alcohol King" La Tondena won medals & recognitions in expositions locally and around the world. But the year 1950 the "Alcohol King" died at the age 81.

I agree with you, I don't think it was the "Alcohol King" who commissioned the young art student Amorsolo, from UP to design his famous "marca demonio". Like I said, La Tondena bought "Ginebra San Miguel" from the Ayalas in 1924, Amorsolo was born in 1872, so Amorsolo might have been 52, during that time and already producing "obras." You are right it was the Ayalas, who commissioned & end up sponsoring him as a "pensionado"

As for the "controversial gobernadorcillo" Carlos Palanca (TAN QUIEN-SIEN), I really wonder why "El Presidente" didn't entertain his invitation to the drug deal. Like in China, Malaya and some parts of Conchinchina, their colonial government allowed or legalized opium, so the locals wouldn't think of Independence, just like the colonial Spanish government in the Philippines allowed "apiyan" in opium dents to the Sangleys.

Thanks again Eric for the fast reply & clarification,
ka tony

July 26, 2008 9:30 AM  

Blogger EM said...

Wow! I never thought I could learn so much not only on the post itself but on the comments too! I was so impressed on the new trivias shared by Ka Tony and the various contributions of the other commentors. Next time, i will continue to visit the comments because I may naver know what else I can learn.

Good stuff guys!!! and thanks to you senior for instigating all of these!

July 27, 2008 2:18 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Ka Tony,

I was so excited to have received the email forwarded to me by Jane from her husband Ramon Palanca that I immdiately posted it on the comment box (which you may have read) but then I had a changed of mind and pulled it out -- out of courtesy, that is, to re-post when permission has been received from Mr. Palanca.

And if the sequence of our comment section is now out of whack, my fault ... hehehe.

Anyway, here is the content of his email Jane which she then forwarded to me:


Dear Mama,

Thank you for your email. The Chinese man in the picture is NOT my father or grandfather. He is the godfather of my father. As stated in the article, TAN QUIEN-SIEN adopted the name CARLOS PALANCA when he converted to Catholicism and adopted his godfather’s name, Carlos Palanca. He later became gobernadorcillo.

Later on, Carlos Palanca (Tan Quien-Sien) became the godfather of my father. My father’s name was TAN GUIEN LAY and he adopted the name of his godfather, Carlos Palanca.

We do not have any blood relations with Carlos Palanca (Tan Quien Sien) the gobernadorcillo in the picture.

While both the Filipinos and Spaniards during their time had mixed sentiments with the gobernadorcillo Carlos Palanca (Tan Quien-Sien), my father Carlos Palanca (Tan Guien Lay) was an honorable and well respected businessman during his time. He was hailed as the Alcohol King of the Philippines for his invaluable contribution in the distillery business. He discovered a way of transforming molasses ( a discarded by-product of refined sugar) into alcohol. His flagship company, La Tondena produced Ginebra San Miguel, a byword in every household of the country. He was a pillar in the development of Philippine industry, a philanthropist, and consultant of the President on economic and financial affairs of the country. He was a most sought adviser of the Pilipino-Chinese community during his time.




Incidentally, Ka Tony, Honey Boy is Ramon's nephew! Isn't that something?

And thank you, Ka Tony for adding more significant information on Mr. Ramon Palanca's father's remarkable contributions.

Know what? I should do a separate post on the La Tondena lagacy :)

And thank you so much Jane and Ramon Palanca!

Muchas Gracias!

July 27, 2008 8:20 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hello EM!

My pleasure ... and thanks much for your conitnued visits :)

Yes, much appreciate everyone's contributions for turning my simple blog posts into a wonderful learning experience, so to speak.

Special thanks to Ka Tony and Mr. & Mrs. Ramon Palanca!

July 27, 2008 8:28 AM  

Blogger ka tony said...

To Eric & to my co-commentators, I 'm sorry that I missed the word "NO" on the clarification about the blood relationship of Don Carlos Palanca (TAN GUIN LAY) and the controversial Carlos Palanca (TAN QUIEN-SIEN) Mahirap talaga ang tumatanda! should read...

"To clarify:
# Don Carlos Palanca (TAN GUIN LAY, originally from Amoy, Fukien, philanthropist, benefactor founder of the "Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature" and owner of La Tondena Inc.), adopted his godfather's name Gobernadorcillo Carlos Palanca (TAN QUIEN-SIEN). There is NO blood relation between the two."

Many thanks specially to you Eric, for solving the puzzle and to EM for the kind words!!!

maraming salamat na muli,
ka tony

July 27, 2008 8:29 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Ay, welcome to the club, Ka Tony -- my mind, too!

As an aside, being that you're in the States, Ka Tony, I wish that the MacArthur Foundation would someday soon provide you with a hefty grant so you could just devote your time on finishing your Philippine history book. We need and want it!

July 27, 2008 9:01 AM  

Blogger ka tony said...

Salamat Eric,

Sana, but in my old Pilipino way of "costumbre" "palabra de honor" and "delicadesa" if funds will come from McArthur Foundation, huwag na lang. McArthur's "liberation of the Philippines" should have been "The Philippine Invasion of the Imperialist, Part II" (huwag magalit sa akin ang makakabasa nito, I respect other's conviction, but this is me & my opinion). Even McArthur's "I Shall Return" should have been "We Shall Return"

One of my materials is about Artemio Ricarte (a school teacher before becoming a General in the revolution and during the American colonization of the Philippines he did not surrender. He went to Japan & became a teacher, then in WW II he went with the Japanese Army to the Philippines). Titled it "Vivora" his nom de guerre.

Its an epic poem with 211 stanzas. I'm thinking of having it printed as a book and producing it as a "3 act Rock Opera" 1st act during the revolution, 2nd act during the American occupation & the last act during the Japanese time! I wrote this epic while serving my "No RSVP" stay at Camp Crame, under the marcos dictatorship.

"Vivora" the Rock Opera" is one of the many reasons why I want go to Manila this coming February.

Anyway, you should be writing our history!!!

Many thanks to you & for your efforts on Senor Enrique. The Most Exciting Site on the Web!!!
ka tony

July 27, 2008 10:09 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Sorry if I had confused you, Ka Tony, but the MacArthur Foundation I was speaking of was that of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago.

It is a major private grant-making private foundation that has awarded more than US$4 billion since its inception in 1978. It is now one of the ten largest private philanthropies in the U.S. with an endowment of more than $6.4 billion. The foundation awards approximately $260 million annually in grants and low-interest loans.

However, unlike typical American foundations, the MacArthur Foundation does not accept applications or grant interviews.

It relies on anonymous nominators, who submit recommendations to a small selection committee of about a dozen people. The committee then reviews every applicant and passes along their recommendations to the President and the board of directors.

The entire process is anonymous and confidential. The first time that a new MacArthur Fellow learns that he or she was even being considered is upon receiving a phone call telling him or her the good news.

For more, click:

Now, with your "Vivore, The Rock Opera," that makes you an even ideal candidate for a grant. I really hope one of the foundation's scouts will hear of you ... and soon!

Enjoy the weekend, Ka Tony!

July 27, 2008 10:45 AM  

Blogger ka tony said...

Hi Eric,

Sorry for being a "trigger happy" lumalabas ang pagka "Mendiola boy" ko noong araw. I'm very sorry.

This really sounds great!!! and thanks for giving me the website, I'll check it out.

Take good care & you do the same have a great weekend!
ka tony

July 27, 2008 11:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey! I miss this long discussion in your blog! I've mentioned this before here, pero sige na nga I'll mention it again: free e-books (text files) for some works of Rizal can be found in the Gutenberg Project website.

Too bad I'm late in dropping a comment, but I'd like to pose this question: is Simoun a terrorist? Seems like a good question to ask for a high school essay on Fili in this post-9/11 world. Hope you could discuss this in a future entry.

July 29, 2008 4:13 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thank you for reminding us about the Gutenberg Project Web site, Dave! Rizal wrote a book on Philippine history, hopefully this site has it.

Interesting idea on the question of Simoun as terrorist. I will re-read Fili after I've done with Noli. I will then send you an email reminder once I've posted a blog entry on it. Perhaps, on 9/11?

July 30, 2008 6:23 AM  

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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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