Thursday, April 13, 2017

Santo Entierro (Holy Burial)

Santo Entierro is also taken to mean the Dead Christ. In our town, we do not use the Spanish term, We refer to the image of the Dead Christ as "Apo Natay," which can be translated as "Dead Lord."

We were in San Agustin Church this Holy Wednesday afternoon, There were two Santo Entierros that were drawing the fervent attention of people doing their visita iglesia: a reposeful image whose body is covered by a gold-embroidered white shroud, and the other, a dark antique image covered with an ornate red shroud.

Reposeful Santo Entierro at the San Agustin Church
Dark antique Santo Entierro originally from Lemery, Batangas.

According to the explanatory caption, the antique image was the 'crucified Christ' acquired by the Medina-Morales family in the 18th century. Before World War II, it was used in Lemery, Batangas during the re-enactment on Good Friday of the crucifixion and burial of Christ..

The wooden image is described as having moveable hands. This reminds us of the "Senyor Sepulcro" of Paete, Laguna whose hands and feet can be bent at the joints. Six years ago, we witnessed how the image was made to sit under a tent of linen and smoked, which was very similar to the ritual of the dead practiced by the Cordillera people until recent times.

Paete's Senyor after the ritual of the dead.
The "Senyor Sepulcro" was dressed in white and covered with an ornate red shroud for the burial: the men carry the senyor in his glass coffin to the church in choreographed rhythmic steps.

In Lucban, Quezon, the men also carry the Santo Entierro but the journey through the procession route takes hours: the ritual is almost similar to that of the Nazareno of Quiapo with the barefoot male devotees struggling with the ropes and clambering to touch the glass-covered sepulcher, The Senyor here is richly garbed with jewels and a golden shroud.

Lucban's "Santo Senyor Sepulcro"

I remember that at ten o'clock in the evening of Good Friday, a good two or three hours after the customary procession, my mother would tell us that she and her friends in the neighborhood were going to the "funeral" of "Apo Natay." It would be much later when we learned that they were actually accompanying the "Apo" from the church to the "burial ground," meaning the house of the caretaker of the image until the next Holy Week.

That is no longer practiced. What is significant in my hometown is that the "Apo Natay" of the Aglipayan church is the unifying icon of the descendants of Don Timoteo Fernandez and Dna Isabel Ramos, their rallying symbol for gathering all of them in a grand reunion. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Skimboarding in my neighborhood by the beach in Zambales

Lyric Farala, 10, is top of the grom class in barangay La Paz, San Narciso, Zambales.

Almost everyday since November, I have been watching skimboarders riding the waves close to the shore near my bamboo house by the West Philippine Sea in barangay La Paz, San Narciso, Zambales. They can be as young as five years old or in the early '30s.

Skimboarding is the water sport of choice of the young men in the southern part of the coastal barrio. In the northern part, it is surfing: the local boys teach the neophyte surfers from Metro Manila and other parts of the country the rudiments of this sport at the Crystal Beach Resort.

The skimboarders have shorter boards than the surfers, and they ride the waves or swells nearer the shore, Skimboarding is a fast game on shallow waters. The surfers do the waves farther out, and bigger and finned boards allow them longer and more stable rides on the waves surging to break on the shore..

Both are imported sports: surfing from Hawaii and skimboarding from California.

But both have become native to our provincial haven; hence, we're claiming that San Narciso is the 'surfing and skimboarding capital of Zambales.'

These three A players, Angelo Ceneta, Peter Pagar and Jay Agagas competed in Tiwi, Albay last December.

In a local skimboarding competition event this month, there were competing groups: groms, Class B and Class A.

A grom (derived from grommet) is a skimboarder 14 years old or younger. Their seniors are either B or A, the A being the top players.  Veteran A players did not compete in the recent event, they instead judged in the three categories.

Champion in the groms category was Lyric Farala, a 10-yeat old pupil of the barangay elementary school. His father, uncles and cousins are skimboarders too. One of them teaches surfing at Crystal Beach.

Among those who judged in that January event were the three Class A players who represented the town in the skimboarding competition in Tiwi, Albay last December (2016): Angelo Ceneta, Peter Pagar and Jay Agagas.  Pagar won the top price in the individual category. The two others went into the qualifying rounds but did not make it to the cut for the final rounds.

Pagar has joined the labor force in Manila, and he skimboards when he comes home to take a breath. Ceneta may also give up his boards as soon as he is done with his marine transport education. Agagas does construction jobs to earn his keep, but he's still very much around the beach front with other skimboarders.

Typical skimboarding sights.

All these young sportsmen belong to the San Narciso Shorebreakers Skimboarding Group managed by Mia Casal, who takes time out from her potter's wheel and clay to watch their routines on the surging and swelling waves of the nearby sea.

Monday, January 23, 2017

The first droga war killed a government revenue source

The first droga war in the Philippines took place more than a century ago. It happened soon after the American conquest of our country: their war against opium, an addictive drug .

It was part of the American military government's efforts “to reform the public morals of Manila’s inhabitants” although it was primarily intended to protect the American soldiers. They regulated prostitution and alcoholic beverages; they banned cockfighting; they closed lotteries and gambling houses; and contracts for the sale of opium to the Chinese were discontinued.  One American writer considered these as attempts to remake the Filipino in their own (American) image.

Those reform measures were 'costly'. They killed the sources of revenue during the Spanish colonial period.

“The exclusive right to sell opium, which was farmed out in 1849, yielded five hundred thousand pesos per annum,” Charles Elliot (c1916) wrote. “Cockpits were also sources of government revenue. A royal order of March 21, 1861, provided for the regulation of this popular amusement. The privilege to operate cockpits was sold to the highest bidder and yielded the government from one hundred thousand pesos to two hundred thousand pesos per year. In 1891 this source of revenue was relinquished to the local governments. Lotteries were encouraged and from 1850 to the American occupation they brought in about eight hundred thousand pesos per year. Three-fourths of the receipts were distributed in prizes, and all unsold tickets were "played" by the treasury.  …. The trade in quicksilver, salt, playing cards and, in later times, spirituous liquors, explosives, opium and tobacco, was reserved to the government and the profits were large.” 

The Spanish colonial laws forbade Filipinos to use the drug, but they allowed the Chinese do it in duly licensed smoking establishments. The contracts for the sale of opium were revenue sources of the Spanish government.

In the Noli me Tangere of Jose Rizal, Capitan Tiago, surrogate father of Maria Clara, and a Chinese exploited the opium contract for rich profits.

In 1903, the Americans found that the opium habit was spreading across the country even up to the Muslim south. Initially, they wanted to enforce regulations patterned after the Spanish laws but this was opposed especially by what was called the “Evangelical Union” of non-Roman Catholic clergy. The Philippine Commission decided to investigate first and sent a committee to visit neighboring countries and study their opium laws. When they returned, they recommended a measure to completely suppress this vice, modelled after the Japanese law in effect in Formosa.

The Commission enacted the Opium Law (Act No. 1761) in October 1907 with the view of finally suppressing the opium traffic. It came into effect on 01 March 1908: opium importation was prohibited except by the government and for medicinal purposes.

In its report in 1909, the Bureau of Customs said,“The importation of opium for any except medicinal purposes having been prohibited March 1, 1908, by Act No. 1761, the legitimate entry of this drug during the past year amounted to but a little over 52 kilos. upon which only $215 in duty was collected. The effect of this legislation upon the treasury has been the elimination of a source of revenue averaging some $300,000, gold, per year. The restriction also resulted in an enormous increase in the local value of the drug, and the high premium on any that could be smuggled in has proved an incentive to many [people] to engage in the illicit traffic. ... Some idea may be gained of the extent of this traffic from the fact that nearly one and one-half metric tons were seized during the year in attempts at illegal importation, mostly by Chinese. ..."

To replace opium, and to thwart that law, there were attempts to smuggle a replacement: cocaine. 

Thus, through the years, drug laws evolved to regulate/prohibit addictive substances that appear in the market. 

Heroin was the menace of the 1960s. It was either smoked or injected. The noted journalist Rodolfo Reyes of the Manila Times penetrated a 'dope den' in Malabon and exposed a drug syndicate. His story earned him awards including the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM).

The current menace - shabu - has created an underground world of its own: users, pushers, dealers and drug lords, and, protectors. The audible/visible scenarios are gleaned from House and Senate hearings, reportage in the print and social media, on the purported "who's who" in that underworld and the money that's involved. There's no money that goes to the coffers of government, but there's money that allegedly pays for the protective cloak over the underground.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

The coming of Jesus and his genealogy in sculptures at Trinity Church, New York City

Today, Christmas Day, we remember the times we dropped by the neo-Gothic Trinity Church of the Episcopalian diocese in New York City on our sundry walks around lower Manhattan.

The construction of Trinity was completed in 1846 and has received endowments from the rich and the famous like the Astors, and the powerful, the British royalty, through the years. 

There are three things that keep us tarry at Trinity: the bronze doors, the magnificent interior with its altar reredos and stained glass chancel window, and the burial ground at the churchyard.

The doors date back to 1893 and were gifts of William Waldorf Astor (now we know from where Waldorf Astoria was derived). They comprise panels that depict scenes from the Bible, history of the church, and of New York City.

While there is no sculpted nativity scene on any of the two leaves of the door at the main portal, the beginning and the end of the life of Jesus are presented. They come as a pair of panels in the middle of the left and right leaves. 

The Annunciation, a panel in the left leaf of the bronze main portal door.

On the left leaf is the Annunciation - angel Gabriel announcing to Mary that she would conceive and be the mother of Jesus, and its counterpoint in the right leaf is an empty tomb - the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

The lowest pair depicts scenes from the Old Testament: expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise, and the dream of Jacob, while the topmost pairs are interpretations of two visions from the Apocalypse.

The churchyard is an old burial ground. The tomb of Alexander Hamilton is in the southern yard.

What is striking in the northern yard is the Astor Cross, erected in 1914 in memory of Caroline Webster Schermerhorn Astor, wife of William Astor. 

The Astor Cross at the northern churchyard.

The Cross carries sculpted figures to illustrate the genealogy of Jesus Christ according to St. Luke.

Around the four-sided obelisk are the following familiar characters: on the front side, going upwards - Adam and Eve, Shem and Judah; and on the other three sides, (a) Noah, Jacob and David; (b) Enoch, Isaac and Jesse; and (c) Seth, Abraham and Ruth, in the other sides,  And at the top of the structure is the Crucifix.

Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, at the doors and the churchyard cross at Trinity Church.

Adam and Eve.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

A belen remembrance, thanks to Belenismo of Tarlac

Belen 2016 near Camp Sevillano Aquino, San Miguel, Tarlac.

For the past couple of years, we've been wanting to make a trip to (a) San Fernando, Pampanga for a look at their renowned giant lanterns from the different barangays during their 'ligligan ng mga parol' competition, and (b) Tarlac province to check what's this belenismo event all about: an annual inter-town competition as to who makes the best nativity scene.

On 21 December, we left traffic-bedraggled Metro Manila in mid-afternoon hoping to get to Tarlac just as soon as the belens get lit up. We thought we'd be able to finish San Miguel, Tarlac and Tarlac City early enough to get to watch the giant parols at the back of Robinson's in San Fernando, Pampanga.

We were late for the giant lantern show, and there's not much chance we'd be able to see the 'ligligan this year'.

After the ride through NLEX-SCTEX and the dark stretch of McArthur Highway through the Luisita estate, we got rewarded with an awesome sight: a giant peacock made out of colorful fans and winnowing baskets and 'feathers' of bamboo strips with the bird's bosom cradling the manger scene, and the star fixed on its head.

The nativity scene with the Magi. There were sheep but no shepherds.

This peacock belen won the top prize in this year's Belenismo of Tarlac, a competition among the towns as to who would create the best nativity scene.  We read in the papers that President Digong DU30 himself was the guest during the awarding ceremony. The poster announcing the event said it's 'free admission.'

The bird's head served as the star.

We saw two other belens in Tarlac City that used indigenous materials.

That of SM Tarlac City used dangling bamboo poles all around the traditional images of the nativity; the heads of Mary and Joseph though were moving.

Belen of SM Tarlac City.

The non-traditional belen across the street fronting the Cathedral made use of bamboo mats in configuring the images of Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and the Three Kings.

Belen in the plaza across the cathedral, Tarlac City

All these reminded us that once when we were a math teacher in a Catholic high school in the old hometown, we were tasked to construct the belen in the church.

Together with one of my students who would become an architect, we made use of all the cut branches of the mango tree that got torn up during the storm some months before. We assembled them to make the platform for the nativity scene complete with kings and shepherds around the holy family, and hooked the angel above them with a long wire to the ceiling.

Our American Columban parish priest did not object when we constructed the belen a few meters from the entrance, and it was the first and last (we think) that the church belen was not located at its customary place at the right or left side of the altar. The traditionalists did not directly chide us, but we got plenty of 'why there?' inquiries. Our safe retort was, 'so that you'd see it in full right away, and not hidden by heads in front of you during the mass.'

The footnote to the "belen" story in the letter of Fr. Pedro Rosell on 17 April 1885, found in Blair and Robertson (vol, 43),  indicates that the word is derived from "beleno", which means "birth, in the sense of representing that of our Lord Jesus Christ (Echegaray's Diccionario etimologico), Hence, it was the representation of a manger."

Fr, Rosell wrote about a simple belen made inside the church. Then as now, there was not much religious ceremony that attended it: it merely illustrated the Christmas story.

His letter reflects how the people of that time celebrated Christmas and the joy expressed through the pealing of the bells and the singing of Christmas carols. Today, one can hardly hear church bells, and yes, carols (and their derivatives) are still sung, but not so many people practice the adoration of the Holy Child.

Here's Fr. Rosell telling about one Christmas day in his parish to his Father Superior:

"And now you shall see, Father Superior, the religious ceremonies with which we managed to honor the birth of our Blessing, Jesus. As a preparation for the feast [of Christmas] the [feast of the] expectation of the delivery of our Lady was celebrated one week beforehand, and a daily mass of the Queen [i.e., of the Virgin] which a moderate number of persons attended. On the last day or the vigil of the feast, a pleasing, although simple Belen was made at one side of the presbytery in which were placed the images of the Child, Mary, and Joseph. Christmas eve came, and at eleven o'clock the bells were rung loudly, and from half past eleven until twelve, a continual ringing of bells two at a time announced to the people that the mass called Gallo was to be celebrated in memory of that holy hour in which the eternal Son of God the Father, made man in the most pure entrails of the Virgin Mary willed to be born on that poor and abandoned manger threshold [portal de Belen]. Hence when twelve o'clock had struck, the missa-cantata was said, which was followed by the adoration of the holy Child. That was made enjoyable by the singing of some fine Christmas carols. The twenty-fifth dawned bright and joyful. At eight o'clock in the morning solemn mass was celebrated, which was chanted according to custom by the choir of singers of the church, with the accompaniment of two flutes and a tambourine. About one hundred persons took communion at it. There was a sermon, and at the end of the mass, there was another adoration of the Child Jesus. At the end of the function, the authorities and chiefs of the village came to visit us as they are wont to do during all the great feasts of the year. After that the musicians and singers congratulated us for the good Christmas from the hall of the convent, with toccatas according to the custom of this country, and Christmas carols. After them followed a crowd of people of all classes. What arrested my attention most was the liberty with which they went up and down stairs, hither and thither, and addressed the fathers and begged for what they needed. I will say it: the convent appeared nothing more nor less than a Casa-Pairal.  Since the ceremonies of the morning were so long, nothing was done in the afternoon except to have the adoration of the holy Child, a thing which those excellent and simple people enjoy greatly and never tire of doing. With that the feast of the nativity of our Lord ended." 

Reference: Blair, E.H. and Robertson, J.A. (1903-09).  Letter from Father Pedro Rosell. Caraga, April 17, 1885. [From ut supra.] The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803. 1:43(225-228). Cleveland, Ohio: The A. H.Clark Company.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Traditional All Saints Day 'tumba' revived this year in boyhood town

This year's undas, Filipino term for All Saints Day, saw the revival of the traditional tumba in San Narciso, Zambales. On Halloween and All Saints nights, there were four of us who roamed around the old hometown to view and judge thirty tumbas competing in either the floral or horror categories.

There were eight floral entries done in the traditional manner. During our boyhood, there were no plastic flowers yet, and floral wreaths brought to the graveyard of the departed were made from crepe paper of various colors. When dusk fell on All Saints, these were brought home to decorate the neighborhood tumba. If left behind, one could bet that somebody else would take them to lend color to their own tumba.

A traditional tumba, c1955. Photo from the Dr Fely Floresca collection.

Our late uncle Maximo Ramos, who wrote about Philippine myths, legends, folktales and mythological creatures, described customs and practices during undas in our town of his youth in his essay "Holiday in Black."  Here's his recollection of the tumbas, which he called shrines:

"Frail, candle-lit shrines of bamboo and coconut fronds have been erected at a number of street crossings. .. Each shrine is an elaborate affair occupying almost the whole of a street crossing, leaving but a narrow pass or the carabao carts. The facade is an arch of woven bamboo strips and is bright with candles. Behind the arch and underneath a ceiling of black cloth stands a pyramid of three large boxes in different sizes piled on a table. The pyramid is covered with black cloth, and upon the cloth paper cuttings of skulls and crossbones have been pasted. The cuttings resemble the figures that grin out of the labels of bottles containing deadly concoctions. Paper flowers of all but the gayer colors stand on bamboo stalks in green bottles arranged on the steps of the pyramid.

"A small paper coffin rests on top of it all, and over the coffine hovers a paper lantern in the shape of an angel with hands clasped in prayer. Ornamental plants in rusty tin cans crowd about the bamboo poles supporting the ceiling. Benches brought down from the homes nearby are lined with old folks who talk in low tones, over basi and betel nut, of the good deeds of those who have gone on before."

Electricity has yet to come in San Narciso in his boyhood years, and they rode on carabao carts to visit tumbas around the town.

In our time, electric power was turned on at six, and tumbas were no longer candle-lit. There was still the basic bamboo structure, roofed with coconut fronds, but there could just be one box on the table on which was mounted a religious image.

We still rode on carts, but there were also the horse-drawn caretelas and a few jeepneys for the tour of tumbas. What children (even adults) found amusing were the kuyang-kuyang, skeletons made of white-painted cardboard with moveable hands and feet pulled with strings.

This tumba tradition is a cultural heritage handed down from our ancestors who settled in San Narciso in 1837: the Ilocanos who were predominantly from Paoay, Ilocos Norte.

Paoay holds a Tumba Festival every year to keep alive their cultural tradition of honoring the spirits of the dead. The people there place offerings in their tumbas: cigars, betel nut, basi and native delicacies for those who come to join them recite prayers,  In the center is also a platform with a religious image such as a patron saint or the Crucifix surrounded with flowers and candles.

This year's winners in the revival of traditional (floral) tumbas in our town were:

The top prize winner used paper flowers with the barangay patron saint in the center, The creativity showed in the arrangement of various decorative props all around the structure. It featured a kuyang-kuyang.  

The second placer had Our Lady of Fatima surrounded with floral decorations fashioned from recyclable green plastic bottles. It also had a kuyang-kuyang.

The third-placer had a paper boat carrying a cut-out image of a man and woman, which suggested the vice-mayor and woman mayor steering the local government. Was this tumba  an expression of thanks (salamat) for the new leadership of the town?

The horror movies from Hollywood, Japan and Korea have entered into the cultural consciousness of the young of today. They were the ones who built the twenty two horror tumbas, which they populated with zombies whatever the story line they dramatized in three minutes. In our tour, we were telling the production people that next time, they should spook their tumbas with indigenous mythological creatures like the aswang, kapre, tikbalang, etc.  

There were about five of the twenty two horror shacks that stood out in concept and execution. From this short list, we picked these three winners: 

The top prize went to a tableaux of victims of a disaster. The characters (shown here) and one 'hanging' from a tree (above the roof) froze to depict the victims of a disaster.

This winner showed the results of a failed experiment in a modern laboratory, obviously a take-off from the Frankenstein story,

This one had actors dramatizing a nightmare (bangungot) that can cause the death of someone sleeping.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Juan Luna, cover boy of Ilustracion Artistica

Three days before his 27th birthday, Juan Luna was cover boy of the 20 October 1884 issue of La Ilustracion Artistica, a weekly newspaper on literature, arts and science published in Barcelona, The cover story gave a brief biography of the artist and dwelt lenghtily on the Spoliarium, his large painting that won the 'primer premio' (gold medal) in the Exposición de Bellas Artes (Exhibition of Fine Arts) in Madrid.

The story described Luna as a 17-year old boy who received the title of Piloto de Altos Mares (Pilot of the High Seas) from the Escuela de Nautica de Manila in 1874. He boarded a ship shortly after graduation, starting his career as a beardless boy, according to the story, and sailed for thirty months. His shipmates called him el marino atrevido, the daring sailor.

During those thirty months, he had as much time to study the sky, according to the story, and probably to think about new ideas of securing a bright future. Here's how Ilustracion depicted Luna's predicament out there at sea  --

"Who knows ... Maybe in the imposing solitude of the sea, in one of those times when there is no way to avoid nostalgia, in which one yearns for something unknown and the heart struggles to get out of the chest as the prisoner struggles to leave the prison, as the bird struggles to get out of the cage, our young man was fixed on a star; and the wind that rippled the surface of the waters whispered in his ear unexpected revelations, mysterious words that no one pronounces and yet distinctly resonate in the soul of the preordained. Those words are also like those heard by Saul on the road to Damascus and Augustine on African soil; inspiration from on high that puts the powerful genius to go in reverse what he begun on the journey of life."

All it wanted to say was that Luna changed his mind about his career. For as soon as he had landed, and he was turning twenty years old, he entered the Academia de Bellas Artes in Manila 'with the intent of studying drawing.'  He was, according to the story, tested soon. He got affected by the dismissal of one of the directors, who was deemed inept or not fully qualified by the rest of the school directors.

Luna transferred to another school, and as Ilustracion said:

"Who was daring at sea should not, on the ground, easily give up a pawn: D. Lorenzo Guerrero, a professor as modest and as intelligent, admitted Luna to his Academia India, and discovering in this already big student truly exceptional qualities, he advised his parents to send him to Madrid, where he met the renowned painter D. Alejo Vera, a skilled teacher and a friend, more than a friend, almost a father. It is not therefore surprising that when Vera transferred to Rome, he took with him his fond disciple. This was in 1878; a year before he begun in the first rudiments of drawing; three years later. he won the second medal in the Madrid Exposition of 1881, with the painting "Muerte de Cleopatra." The new artist started his career rather late, but as if to make up for the lost time, he had to catch up. In three years, he had leveled with good painters; in another three (1884), he has taken place among the great masters.".

The Spoliarium was a supplement, a two-page spread, in the La Ilustracion Artistica
That same issue had for its supplement a two-page spread of the painting of fallen gladiators being hauled away after the bloody sports competition in the Roman arena.

Five months earlier, the cover of  the 30 May 1884 issue of La Ilustracion Espanola y Americana, a weekly newspaper published in Madrid, also showed the Spoliarium: how it was displayed at a Exposicion gallery with a small crowd of viewers, who could have been discussing about its merits and rating it among the other competing entries.

Spoliarium at the Exposition

Luna's works actually started getting the attention of these two weekly newspapers as early as 1881. La Ilustracion Espanola y Americana featured a one-page spread of his Muerte de Cleopatra, which he entered in the Exposicion de Bellas Artes in Madrid in 1881. The reporter on the exhibits noted that with better composition and careful drawing, Luna, without doubt, would shine in Spanish contemporary art.

In our latest survey, the last appearance of a Luna painting was in the 27 January 1896 issue of La Ilustracion Artistica: the painting titled El Trapero [The Ragman or Ragpicker].  The write-up said that "this simple composition has enough elements to show the characteristic qualities of  the painter's works, among which undoubtedly stands out the vigor of his drawing and brushwork, revealing a fiery temperament and a lively imagination." 

El Trapero.

In that span of fifteen years, several of Luna's work were played up in both Ilustracion newspapers. Except that of the masterpiece Spoliarium, a short write-up accompanied each featured painting.

Pictures of the following Luna paintings appeared in La Illustracion Artistica of Barcelona:

1.  Mujeres Romanas was the supplement (two-page spread) in the 25 February1884 issue; 

2. La Belleza Feliz y La Esclava Ciega occupied one whole page in the 14 March 1887 issue; 

3. El Babieca was on the cover of the 02 April1888 issue; 

El Babieca.

4.  La Mestiza, which won a diploma of honor in the 1887 Exposition in Madrid, was in the 28 May 1888 issue; 

5. Ensuenos de Amor, his entry to the Universal Exposition of 1888 in Paris, appeared in the 25 June 1888 issue; and  

Pueblos y Reyes

6.  Pueblos y Reyes was fearured in the 21 May 1894 issue.  The accompanying short article said that this was a controversial piece in the 1892 Exposicion Nacional but it deserved the applause accorded to it and the painter. It was described as a "large canvas [that] can be appreciated as a great sketch pictorially; but the conception, movement and action of the figures, the whole ensemble energetically portrays a moment, a violent and brutal deed, the orgy of a popular uprising." 

The popular painting España Guiando a Las Islas Filipinas por el Camino del Progreso was featured in the 08 January 1889 issue of  La Ilustracion Española y Americana of Madrid.  A version of this can be viewed at the Lopez Museum and Library.

Spain guiding the Philippines

Luna killed his wife and mother-in-law in September 1892. We have yet to see if a French newspaper had a story about this incident and his acquittal later. It appears that this did not affect the appreciation of the culturati of Spain of Juan Luna's masterful paintings. His works still got publicity after 1892.



All images in this blog are from the digital collection of the Biblioteca Nacional de Espana. The Ilustacion newspapers can be accessed from the Search box of the Biblioteca webpage: