Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Manuel Luis Quezon's moustache

MLQ with a moustache in the 06 June 1908 cover of Lipang Kalabaw.
[Source: University of Michigan digital library collection: The United
States and its Territories, 1870-1925: The Age of Imperialism.]

MLQ3 (Undersecretary Manuel Luis Quezon III, we presume) wrote that "prior to 1916, Quezon wore a moustache."  He was referring to a portrait of of his grandfather Manuel Luis Quezon y Molina in his photostream, a "photograph [that] was probably taken between the time he was Majority Floor Leader in the First Philippine Assembly (1907) and his stint as Resident Commissioner of the Philippines in the United States House of Representatives (1909-1916)."

The Lipang Kalabaw cover of 06 June 1908 cover (above) pretty much resembles the said photograph.

Lipang Kalabaw was a satirical weekly magazine poking fun at socio-political-religious conditions in the country through page-size caricatures, and prose and poems in both Spanish and Tagalog.

That June issue did not have any feature story on the young representative of Tayabas province to the Philippine Assembly, and the accompanying bilingual texts to the cover photo did not have satirical bite at all. In fact, the magazine's writers, identified only by pen names but who we now know as Lope K. Santos and his friends, were in awe of MLQ and looked at Quezon's mind as similar to Alexander Hamilton's. The Tagalog text read:  "Iyan ay taong makisig / Matapang sa pagmamatwid / At umano ay kawangis / Ng kay Hamiltong pag-iisip."

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Kaplag: finding the Sto. Niño de Cebu 450 years ago

The pilgrim Sto. Niño de Cebu image.
We saw the pilgrim image of the Sto. Niño de Cebu at the Manila Cathedral on Saturday, 15 August 2015. It arrived from Cebu the day before and stayed at the San Agustin Church in Intramuros, where a mass was celebrated by Antonio Cardinal Tagle, and it was borne on a sinulog procession in the afternoon. It went to Baseco in Tondo for veneration, and from there proceeded to the metropolitan cathedral for an overnight vigil. A fluvial procession on the Pasig River from Intramuros carried the iconic image to Guadalupe Viejo. On Monday, the Sto. Niño de Cebu was welcomed by devotees in the the parish church named in its honor in Biñan City.

This Sto. Niño pilgrimage to Metro Manila and Laguna is part of the 450th Kaplag commemoration this year led by the Augustinian religious order. Kaplag is the Cebuano term for 'finding,' and in this instance, refers to the discovery of the image of the child Jesus by the soldiers of adelantado Miguel de Legazpi in 1565; thus, 450 years ago. That image was given to the wife of the Cebu chief by Ferdinand Magellan 44 years earlier when he arrived there in 1521.

Augustinian Fray Andres de Urdaneta was with the Legazpi expedition. Legazpi had a church immediately constructed to house the image, and had it named [Santissimo] Nombre de Jesus. Urdaneta served as the first priest of that parish.

Thus, the Augustinians are also celebrating their 450 years of religious service in the Philippines. That first church was elevated as a basilica minore 50 years ago; thus, this golden event is also part of the Kaplag celebration,

Let's have the chronicleers of the Magellan and Legazpi expeditions tell us the Sto. Niño story:

From Antonio Pigafetta (c1525), who survived their defeat in Mactan, we learn that after the queen of Cebu and her party of forty women were baptized, she was “shown an image of our Lady, a very beautiful wooden child Jesus, and a cross.”  The queen, named Johanna in her baptism, expressed interest to keep the child Jesus to replace her idols, and Magellan gave it to her on 14 April, 1521  (Blair & Robertson Resume of Documents, 1(2), 1906).

It is believed that this is the same image that soldier Juan Camuz found and showed to Esteban Rodriguez in one of the houses abandoned by the natives upon the arrival of Legazpi (B&R Resume) in Cebu “on the twenty-seventh day of the month of April, day of the glorious martyr St. Vidal, in the year 1565 [which] happened to be also the feast of the resurrection (Medina, 1630).”

The pilgrim Sto. Niño at the Manila Cathedral.

“Your excellency,” Legazpi (1565) wrote the king, “should should know that on the day when we entered this village one of the soldiers went into a large and well-built house of an Indian, where he found an image of the child Jesus (whose most holy name I pray may be universally worshiped). This was kept in its cradle, all gilded, just as it was brought from España; and only the little cross which is generally placed upon the globe in his hand was lacking. This image was well kept in that house, and many flowers were found before it, no one knows for what object or purpose. The soldier bowed before it with all reverence and wonder, and brought the image to the place where the other soldiers were. I pray the holy name of this image which we have found here, to help us and to grant us victory, in order that these lost people who are ignorant of the precious and rich treasure which was in their possession, may come to a knowledge of him. “

In a letter from Sevilla to Miguel Salvador of Valencia (1566), the writer spoke of the Mexican soldiers in the expedition who found  “in a poorly-built house … an image of the child Jesus, such as comes from Flanders, with his veil and the globe in his hand, and in as good condition as if just made.”

Veneration and modern visual capture.

As to the veneration of the Sto. Niño,Jesuit Fr. Pedro Chirino wrote this very early account (1604): “The Indians …held the object [carved image of the holy child Jesus] in great veneration … and had recourse to it in all their necessities—making sacrifices to it after their custom, and anointing it with their oils, as they were accustomed to anoint their idols. … Each year it is borne in solemn procession from the church of St. Augustine to the spot in which it was found, where a chapel has since been erected. The procession takes place upon the same day when the discovery was made -- namely, on the twenty-ninth of April, the feast of the glorious martyr St. Vital, who is patron of the city, and as such that day is kept as a solemn feast in his honor. One of the regidors, appointed each year for this purpose, brings out the banner of the city; he is on that day clad in livery, and invites the public to the festivals. There are bull-fights and other public festivities and rejoicings, with many novel fireworks, such as wheels and sky-rockets, which the Sangleys make the night before; on this occasion they construct things well worth seeing, and which appear well-nigh supernatural.”

The veneration of the child Jesus has metamorphosed into the Sinulog of the third Sunday of January: streetdancing with replica images of the Sto. Niño de Cebu accompanied by jubilant shouting of 'Pit Senyor!'

  1. Pigafetta, Antonio. ( c1525).  First Voyage Around the World  [I Primo viaggio intorno al mondo]. Italian text with English translation found in The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803: 1(33):159,161,163. Blair, Emma Helen & Robertson, James Alexander,  Eds. Cleveland, Ohio: The A. H. Clark Company, 1903-09.  Retrieved from 
  2. Resume of documents found in The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803; 1(2):119-121.  Blair, Emma Helen & Robertson, James Alexander,  Eds. Cleveland, Ohio: The A. H. Clark Company, 1903-09.  Retrieved from 
  3. Legazpi, Miguel Lopez de. (1565). Relation of the voyage to the Philippines [Cebu] found in The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803; 1(2):215,216. Blair, Emma Helen & Robertson, James Alexander,  Eds. Cleveland, Ohio: The A. H. Clark Company, 1903-09.  Retrieved from 
  4. Copy of a letter sent from Seuilla to Miguel Saluador of Valencia which narrates the fortunate discovery made by the Mexicans who sailed in the fleet which His Majesty ordered to be built in Mexico with other wonderful things of great advantage for all Christendom worthy of being seen and heard. Printed in Barcelona, By Pau Cortey, 1566 found in The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803; 1(2):225,227. Blair, Emma Helen & Robertson, James Alexander,  Eds. Cleveland, Ohio: The A. H. Clark Company, 1903-09.  Retrieved from 
  5. Medina, Juan de, O.S.A. (1630; Manila, 1893). History of the Augustinian order in the Filipinas Islands (to be concluded) found in The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803; 1(23):158-159,167. Blair, Emma Helen & Robertson, James Alexander,  Eds. Cleveland, Ohio: The A. H. Clark Company, 1903-09.  Retrieved from   
  6. Chirino, Pedro, S.J. (1604). Relacion de las Islas Filipinas (to be concluded) found in The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803;1(12):179-182. Blair, Emma Helen & Robertson, James Alexander,  Eds. Cleveland, Ohio: The A. H. Clark Company, 1903-09.  Retrieved from