SA LOOB NG BAYAN
Bukang-bibig ng marami sa atin ang salitang “bayan” bilang pantukoy sa Pilipinas. Ngunit batid ba ng marami kung paanong nangyaring naging “bayan” ang Pilipinas?
Pagtatagpo ng Loob, obra ni Jairo Felerino.
Bukang-bibig ng marami sa atin ang salitang “bayan”bilang pantukoy sa Pilipinas. Nariyan ang mga lirikong “Ang bayan ko’y tangingikaw, Pilipinas kong mahal,” at “Ang bayan kong Pilipinas,lupain ng ginto’tbulaklak.” Ngunit batid ba ng marami kung paanong nangyaring naging “bayan” ang Pilipinas? Maaaring sabihin na pamana ito ng rebolusyong 1896: “Anak ng Bayan” ang tawag sa mga mandirigma ng Katipunan, at kung anak sila, Pilipinas naman ang kanilang ina, ang “Inang Bayan.”
Ano naman ang pinanggalingan ng Katipunan sa pagturing nito sa Pilipinas bilang “bayan?” Dito papasok ang impluwensiya ng isang obrang sinasabing isinulat sa loob ng piitan ng isang ordinaryong makata na ikinulong dahil umibig lamang siya sa isang dalaga.
“Sa loob at labas ng bayan kong sawi, kaliluha'y siyang nangyayaring hari, kagalinga’t bait ay nalulugami, ininis sa hukay ng dusa’t pighati.” Ganito inilarawan ng may-akda ang hinirayang (imagined) kahariang pinangalanan niyang Albania, at itinuring niya itong “bayan.” Dagdag pa niya, ang Albania’y “bayang ualang loob” mula nang masakop at dahil walang kumilos laban sa mga Turkong nanakop ay nanatili itong isang “bayang bulag” at “bayang nasindac.” Nagbago ang lahat nang niloob ni Florante na bumalik sa Albania upang mapalaya ang kanyang pamilya at ang kasintahang si Laura sa pagkakabihag ng mga Turko. Kinailangan niyang makipagdigmaan, at “niloob ng langit” ang kanyang pagwawagi. Nakita niya ang kanyang mga kababayan na sabik sa katimawaan (kalayaan), kaya’t nasabi niyang “Dito naniwala ang bata kong loob na sa mundo'y walang katuwaang lubos; sa minsang ligaya’t tali na'ng kasunod — makapitong lumbay hanggang matapos.”
Sa totoong buhay, tubo sa Bigaa (ngayo’y Balagtas), Bulacan ang may-akdang ito, at lumaki’t nagkaisip sa Maynila. Hindi man biniyayaan ng mariwasang buhay, isang mahusay na manunulat ang nabuhay sa kanya. Siya ang sumulat sa imortal na Florante at Laura, kulang-kulang dalawandaang taon na ang nakalipas; at sa akdang ito masasalamin na dinampot niya ang kalagayan ng Pilipinas sa paglalarawan sa Albania: isang bayang sawi, panlilinlang ang naghahari, walang laban ang may katwiran at may puso.
Umibig ang may-akda sa isang Celia mula sa Pandacan, Maynila, na siyang dahilan upang isulat niya ang Florante at Laura. Ipinakulong siya ng pamilya ng nakaribal niya kay Celia, palibhasa’y mga maykaya at makapangyarihan. ‘Di naglaon, nakalaya ang may-akda at nakipagsapalaran sa Orion, Bataan upang hanapin ang sarili. Naging kawani siya roon ng korte—dahil maalam siya kapwa sa wikang Tagalog at Espanyol. Doon na rin niya nakilala ang Celia ng kanyang buhay at ginigugol ang nalalabing panahon ng kanyang buhay; sumulat pa siya ng maraming akda hanggang sa siya’y pumanaw.
Tila ang mga karunungang matitisod sa Florante at Lura ay mula sa isang taong maraming pinagdaanan. Ito’y sapagkat nasa karurukan na ng gulang ang may-akda nang sulatin niya ito: edad 50. Larawan ng kanyang pinagdaanang buhay noong kabataan ang mga linyang “Pag-ibig anaki'y aking nakilala, ‘di dapat palakihin ang bata sa saya; at sa katuwaa’y kapag namihasa, kung lumaki'y walang hihinting ginhawa; sapagkat ang mundo’y bayan ng hinagpis, namamaya’y sukat tibayan ang dibdib; lumaki sa tuwa'y walang pagtitiis… anong ilalaban sa dahas ng sakit?” “Ang taong magawi sa ligaya’t aliw,” ani niya, ay “mahina ang puso’t lubhang maramdamin; inaakala pa lamang ang hilahil na daratni’y ‘di na matutuhang bathin.” Dagdag pa niya: “Ang laki sa layaw karaniwa’y hubad sa bait at muni’t sa hatol ay salat; masaklap na bunga ng maling paglingap, habag ng magulang sa irog na anak.”
Hindi na kataka-takang naging maimpluwensiya siya, sapagkat napukaw ng kanyang Florante at Laura ang kamalayan ng mga sumunod na henerasyon: dala-dala ni Jose Rizal sa Europa ang akdang ito bilang kanyang diksyonaryo at pinagkuhanan ng magagandang aral; ginamit ito ni Emilio Jacinto sa Katipunan upang bahaginan ng aral ang mga kasama; at saulado ito ni Apolinario Mabini na itinuring pa nitong pinakamahusay na akdang Pilipino sa harap ng mga Amerikano sa Guam.
Mula sa harayang (imaginary) “Albaniang kaharian,” naisilang ang konsepto ng “bayang Pilipinas” sa haraya ng mga Anak ng Bayan na nakihamok laban sa mga dayong Espanyol, mapalaya lamang ang kanilang Albania upang sila ang maghahari (“Haringbayan”). Ito ang munting pamana ng makatang mangingibig na si Francisco Balagtas Baltazar sa kanyang mga kababayan sa Albania (Pilipinas).
Una sa dalawampung serye ng Sa Loob ng Bayan, isang proyekto ng Project Saysay, TOSP Region 3 Alumni Community of Heroes, at Project Captured bilang paghahanda sa Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines Regional Week sa darating na 23-27 Abril 2015 sa Bataan.
Can a nation honor a hero without a name and with a hazy identity?
Kaloob na Laya, work by Jairo Felerino
In all probability, Spaniards intended to down play him in their records—at least five primary sources and two authoritative secondary—so that his people and their generations would no longer remember him: the “brave Moro” (“un valeroso moro”), for Islam was a budding faith in Luzon at the time, and the “bravest on the island” (“mas valiente de aquella isla”) referred to by the 17th century Spanish chronicler Fray Gaspar de San Agustin, O.S.A.
What is certain is he was a brave young leader from the ancient naval power Macabebe, now a coastal-riverine town of Pampanga. He led his people to the first recorded declaration of war by the natives against the colonizers with freedom as the cause—the Battle of Bangkusay—on 3 June 1571 at Manila Bay. Almost 2,000 Moro warriors from Macabebe and Hagonoy (now in Bulacan) had participated in the battle. It was a crucial battle that almost ruined the Spanish government in Luzon in 1571, and almost prevented the Spanish annexation of Luzon.
But what is deplorable is that the young Macabebe leader has been confused with Rajah Soliman of Manila, the latter held up as the hero and martyr of Bangkusay, with some publications claiming that Rajah Soliman and the young Macabebe martyr were one and the same. As a result of these historical problems, the young leader continues to languish in obscurity.
It all happened because on 18 May 1571, when Lakan Dula, the chief of Tondo, along with Rajah Matanda, the chief of Manila, and his nephew Rajah Soliman, his heir to throne, had officially accepted the sovereignty of Spain through Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the first Spanish governor-general of the Philippines. These rulers had “offered to bring all the surrounding country to terms of peace” with the Spaniards. Their promise, however, “did not succeed” for it turned out to “have [no] great authority or power,” “they were not sufficiently powerful,” and that “each village [had] its own chiefs.” Legazpi himself noted this absence of a single authority.
Toward the end of May 1571, a 2,000-strong Moro fleet in 40 caracoas—the ancient colossal Southeast Asian sea vessels used in long-distance trading, and in times of war, warships—from Macabebe, Hagonoy and other communities in “the most warlike nation” (“que es la nacion mas briosa y alentada”), “Capangpañgan” (now Pampanga), sailed across Manila Bay and anchored at Bangkusay, Tondo. These warriors “derided the people of Manila for having surrendered,” calling them women or even lesser than women (“diziéndoles que eran mugeres y para menos que mugeres”), i.e., “cowardly.” They were brave enough to have done this as they were on equal footing with other political and economic centers around the bay, signified by their large fleet. In the ancient Southeast Asia, caracoa symbolizes naval power and authority.
Lakan Dula, the lord of Tondo, received the brave young Macabebe leader from his house in Tondo. The “brave Moro” leader related to him “the best way to start the battle.” Lakan Dula, who had given his loyalty to Spain, assured the Macabebe leader that if they could kill at least 40 Spaniards, they would join the cause and massacre all the Spaniards in Manila and Tondo.
Legazpi soon learned the coming of the Moro warriors and was surprised by their fleet, acknowledging Macabebe as a province and the “brave Moro” leader as general. Believing Lakan Dula was mediating in behalf of Spain, Legazpi sent two emissaries and a translator right away to Tondo. The emissaries told the “brave Moro” that “they [Macabebes] must consider well what they were doing, as he (Legazpi) was not willing to command that they be killed, or to inflict any harm upon them.” The Macabebe leader was even offered presents, an asylum and right of residence. Instead of accepting the friendly offers, the “brave Moro” boisterously replied to the emissaries that “neither he or his followers wanted to see” Legazpi “nor have his friendship, nor that of the Castillans,” stressing that they “did not come to befriend the adelantado nor did he ever expect to be his friend the rest of his life, but rather to fight him.”
“May the sun strike me in twain,” the “brave Moro” uttered as he stood up and unsheathed his sword, pointing it to the emissaries, “and may I fall in disgrace before the women for them to hate me, if I ever became for a moment friend to the Castillans.” Afterwards, he jumped out the window to show his bravery and disrespect to the Spaniards and joined by 70 men, returned to his caracoa at the Bangkusay Estuary, telling the Spaniards as he left that they would wait for them at the mouth of the estuary.
Known by their orgullo (pride), the Spaniards took the challenge. Legazpi was eager to face the challenge of the “brave Moro,” but Martin de Goiti, the master of camp of the Spanish infantry, had taken the challenge instead. That day was 3 June 1571, in the Julian calendar. It was a Pentecost Sunday, and before going to the battle, they first received mass and communion. Goiti brought 80 harquebusiers with him, with 500 Pintado (tattooed Visayan warriors) allies as back up. Equipped with “thousands of lances, daggers, shields, and other pieces of armor” and swivel guns (lantakas), the Macabebes and their allies faced the guns of the Spaniards—manifesting the same spirit the Katipunan had displayed in battles against the well-equipped Spaniards three centuries later.
Upon seeing the Spaniards rallying from the mouth of the estuary, the Macabebe leader, with “so much pride,” and whose caracoa was ahead of 39 other war boats, immediately fired his lantaka and spewed torrents of arrows upon the enemy. Unfortunately, “the chief, with an extraordinary bravery, was killed in action” (“su jefe, que era de un valor estraordinario, murió en el combate”) by a harquebus shot fired by a Spaniard. The death of the “brave Moro” leader demoralized the native fleet ending the Battle of Bangkusay. Pintados, the “bitter enemies of the natives of this island of Luzón,” searched for other Macabebes and allies who had fled in different directions well into the night. This resulted in the “great slaughter” of as many as 300 Macabebes. Pintados also seized Macabebe caracoas and captured 400 to 500 Macabebes, including a son (most probably Magat Salamat) and two nephews of Lakan Dula who had joined the battle. The following day, Goiti distributed, along with the booty, the captives to work as slaves among his soldiers, setting aside a fifth of the number for the king.
With no leader to look up to after their defeat, the Macabebes “thus began respecting the Castillians tremendously.” In consequence, Macabebes and other natives of Capangpañgan were admonished to “render obedience” to King Philip II.
An anonymous Spanish account of the battle, dated 1572, narrated that “[a] few days [after] peace and rest there came certain Indians (probably nobles) who told the governor (Legazpi) that in the province of Capanpanga[n] there were many densely-populated rivers.” Legazpi instructed Goiti and Salcedo to explore Capangpañgan by way of Macabebe. They were accompanied by a hundred soldiers who were later followed by a group of newly arrived Augustinian missionaries on 17 July 1571. San Agustin related that “[t]he maestre (Goiti) had with him Rajah Soliman and Lakan Dula, with the idea of conquering the densely populated villages in the region called Capangpañgan with their help.” From Macabebe, Spaniards “quickly took over many villages,” and found these abound of provisions, thus, bringing these to Manila.
Many communities surrounding Macabebe were easily subdued owing to the natives’ astonishment and fear (“they saw that they were conquered by so few Christians”).
Legazpi prized their victory over the Macabebes and their allies in the Capangpañgan, being the first natives to declare war against the Spaniards. The battle was documented to brag in Spain that Spaniards had defeated a great number of natives and had killed the “bravest in the island.” Gov. Gen. Francisco de Sande acknowledged this victory and the subsequent triumphs as divine reprisals against the natives for “kill[ing] the Spaniards so boldly,” like “Magallanes, the discoverer of these islands, and… Villalobos and Sayavedra,” and for “those who came afterward from Nueva España” that had been maltreated.” “All those who have been killed since the coming of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi received their death through lack of arquebuses,” boasted Sande, conceding at the same time that the natives “fight very well.”
“The Macabebe leader is fully deserving of a place in Philippine history. Like Lapu-Lapu of Mactan, he had his own concept of nationalism, and an indomitable spirit of opposition to alien control. He laid down his life for a cause he believed was worth fighting for, the freedom of his people to live and enjoy their own way of life. He surely was a man of heroic mould, worthy of respect and remembrance by posterity. But in the absence of… information about [his name], there is nothing that could be done to save his memory from being consigned to obscurity and oblivion.”
These words by eminent historian Nicolas Zafra perfectly captured the historical problems shrouding the identity and the place in national history of this long forgotten leader-martyr from Macabebe at the advent of Spanish occupation of Luzon in 1571. National Artist Nick Joaquin calcified him with these words: “The Battle of Bangkusay was fought on June 3, 1571. It was a Sunday, a great Sunday, in the religion of the Kastila: the Feast of Pentecost. For Filipinos, that June 3 is a great day, too. On that day fell in battle the nameless king of Macabebe who defied the invader. Among the first of us was he to die for freedom. He should be listed among our heroes as Lakan Macabebe.”
Zafra was at the forefront of giving face to this unnamed hero from Macabebe by emphasizing that he [Macabebe leader] was not Rajah Soliman. In the monumental Filipino Heritage: The Making of a Nation, Zafra noted: “Rajah Matanda, Rajah Soliman and Rajah Lakandula remained faithful to their pledge of friendship and loyalty to Spain during the lifetime of Legazpi. Other chiefs, however, refused to follow their example. Among these was the chief of Macabebe, Pampanga.
The Battle of Bangkusay is a piece of historical heritage that belongs not only to Manilans, but to Pampangans and Bulakenyos as well. In his youthfulness, the “brave Moro” had left the Filipino nation an example on how to fight for freedom and to stand for his people.
This is second of the 20-part series of “Sa Loob ng Bayan.” Follow the stories of 20 great Filipinos from Central Luzon everyday here on psaysay.tumblr.com and www.facebook.com/TOSP.R3ACH. “Sa Loob ng Bayan” is a collaborative project of Project Saysay, The Outstanding Students of the Philippines region 3 Alumni Community of Heroes, and Project Captured in time for the 8th Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines Regional Week in Bataan (23-27 April 2015).
He is trivialized by many as the first native of the Philippines to author a book and to become a printer, but he should not be remembered as a mere printer but an enabler to his people.
“Calooban,” work by Jairo Felerino
In a situation when almost everyone has been exhausted of asserting his or her rights and freedom; whenalmost nobody has the courage to stand or speak on behalf of his people or evenjust of his or herself; when most of his or her kapwa (brethren) are contented of relenting to the reigning system;and when everybody have surrendered their fate because they could no longer afford to see anyone from them being tortured, banished, or executed; in short, in a situation when the community and its society benumbed of what’s happening. The scenario is familiar, isn’t it? Francisco Balagtas described it in his Florante at Laura as “Bayang ualang loob” (“insensitive nation”), a has-been constant struggle faced and still being faced by the generations of Filipinos.
The story of the Filipino people exonerates this kawalang loob(insensitivity), for in various episodes of our life as a former colony and eventually as a nation, there were individuals who had done their loob(will) because they sympathized with their people’s sufferings and defied the prevailing systems, directly or clandestinely. The aforementioned scenario was true in the first decade of the 17thcentury Philippines, almost a half century since the Spaniards had began toppling down resistances and crushing the loob (inner self) of the natives, making our forefathers mawalan or masiraan ng loob(dampening of spirits in Filipino sense).
There was this man named Thomas Pinpin, a Tagalog, who had authored a book, the Librong pagaaralan nang manga Tagalog nang uicang Castila (Guidebook by the Tagalogs in Spanish Language) in 1610, so that his people would be more equipped of the Spanish way of life, i.e. language, commerce, governance, Christianity. He had felt (niloob in Filipino sense) it was his obligation to save his people from ignorance and not to get lost in the system that was alien to them; although his contribution was limited only to his immediate Tagalog nación (nation, pertaining to a Philippine ethnolinguistic group at that time, i.e. nación Pampanga or the Kapampangan nation, nación Pintados/Bisaya or the Visayan nation).
Pinpin was among the few natives at the time who had mastered the Spanish language, well immersed to the Spanish cultura (culture, way of life), and had been given an opportunity to work with the Spaniards, as a printer of the Dominican fathers. Despite this, he did not forget (hindi ipinagsawalang loob in Filipino sense) his “manga capoua Tagalog” (“fellow Tagalog people,” in Pinpin’s word) whom he also acknowledged as “manga capatid co” (“my brethren,” also by Pinpin). Pinpin said “lalo ring iquinapagpilit nang loob cong tayong lahat” (“my spirit eagerly wants that all of us”) would not remain ignorant “nang uicang Castila” (“of Spanish language”), in their own native land.
The title page of Libro says “gaua ito ni Thomas Pinpin, tauo sa Bataan” (“this was authored by Thomas Pinpin, a native of Bataan”). Bataan province at that time does not yet exist, as it was still a partido(portion) of Pampanga until 1754, just like the concept of Filipino as a people or a nation. Abucay was ascribed to be his hometown because the Dominicans put up their printer, used to print the Libro, in this town.
Pinpin primarily wrote Libro to help his “capoua Tagalog” and “manga capatid” in confession. He made use of the Ten Commandments in Christian faith as framework in introducing the basics of Spanish and looping native concepts to Christian way of life. Such concepts include “pakikipagcapoua tauo” (“relationship with others”) and “caylaliman nang manga loob natin” (“profoundness of our inner selves”) enumerating further other forms of loob like “catibayan o catapangan nang loob” (courage), “calinisan nang loob” (sincerity), “cababaang loob” (humility), “pagcacasongdo nang loob” (conformity), and “palinauin ang loob” (make oneself clear), and the complete opposites like “casucalan nang loob” (morose), “cataasan nang loob” (conceit), “umilap ang loob” (displeasure), and “nauala sa loob” (overlooked something unconsciously).
Pinpin consigned a message to his people through his Libro, “ibig co monang pagmasdan ang loob ninyo con maibig caya ninyo ito” (“I wanted to observe first your loob [reception] if you liked my work”) before following a sequel because “marami pa ang manga uala dito niyong ibang maliliuag na sucat maibig din naman ninyong pagaralan” (“there are still more maliliuag [profound wisdom] that are not included here that you might interested to learn also”). Years after, Pinpin joined the Dominicans in Pila, Laguna where he served as printer. Nothing was heard about him afterwards, but he left a legacy not only to his Tagalog people but eventually to the entire Filipino nation that once upon a time there was an extraordinary native who selflessly offered himself to the enlightenment of his people. He is trivialized by many as the first native of the Philippines to author a book and to become a printer, but he should not be remembered as a mere printer but an enabler to his people.
Third of the 20-part series of “Sa Loob ng Bayan.” Follow the stories of 20 great Filipinos from Central Luzon everyday here on psaysay.tumblr.com and www.facebook.com/TOSP.R3ACH. “Sa Loob ng Bayan” is a collaborative project of Project Saysay, The Outstanding Students of the Philippines Region 3 Alumni Community of Heroes, and Project Captured in time for the 8th Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines Regional Week in Bataan (23-27 April 2015).
“I awake soaked in tears, and at this very moment that I write this, I cannot contain the tears that drop from my eyes.”
“Niloloob,” work by Jairo Felorina.
There is this young little girl named Anita who, one day, receives a letter from a “special someone” whom she misses so much. Her mother reads the letter first, relating only the gees and the regards that are for her and her elder sister, Sofia, for they’re too young to absorb everything. But when her mother tells them that that “special someone” is having difficulty coming home, as the latter is broke, Anita gets her only one-peso coin and asks her mother to send it to Barcelona, Spain, where the “special someone” resides not as a professional nor a student but a patriot who thinks he can change his inang bayan. “I can’t seem to forget the peso Anita sent me,” the “special someone” writes back the mother, and he continues “I wish you had contrived somehow not to send it so that you could have bought her a pair of shoes instead. My heart bleeds every time I think of the hard life you… lead, and so I am very eager to return home…”
That “special someone” has to leave the country as he is threatened to be arrested by the Spanish authorities reigning in his country upon the instruction of the Spanish friars (frailes) whom he questions for ill-doings. He publicly ridicules these friars for immorality, their authority over the law and the government, and their refusal to surrender the parishes to secular, native clergy. He even organizes a mass demonstration asking the Spanish monarch to expel them out of the country and start reforming the society. He has doing this anti-friar campaign since a derecho (law) student at the University of Santo Tomas, while other patriots are in Spain lobbying for the reforms. His risking of life did not end in futility as he touches the loob (inner self) of many. Shortly days before the issuance of the arrest warrant, he embarks the ship bound to Barcelona and there he joins fellow patriots. He is already in his late 30s when he leaves.
After eight years of not seeing each other, that “special someone” succumbs to tuberculosis in Barcelona, penniless, ending up consuming discarded cigarette butts found on the street just to overcome hunger. Anita is barely a year and four months since the last time she saw that “special someone;” she remembers nothing from that age except that someone. It seems that that “special someone” miscalculates the fight for inang bayan that he writes back home a few months after his arrival in Spain “[i]t will not be long before we see each other again.”
That “special someone” fails not to send letters to Anita, Sofia, and their mother, always with an introduction of may God blesses them and conclusion of high hopes of returning the soonest possible. “Every day I prepare myself to return there,” that “special someone” says in one of his last letters, “Tears begin to fall from my eyes every time I think of [them]. But I just try to cure my sadness by invoking God, while I pray: ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’… I cannot write more, because tears are flowing from my eyes aplenty.”
Yes, this is not a children’s story but a true story more than a century ago. That “special someone” was no other than but Anita’s father, Marcelo Hilario del Pilar, also known as Plaridel, an audacious petite man from Bulacan who was very eager (buo ang loob) to bring reforms to his inang bayan from Spain. He left the country in October 1888 and died without realizing his only hope of returning home in July 1896, to see his family and join the Philippine Revolution that had erupted a month later. Jose Rizal even idolized Plaridel by saying “bakit hindi tayo magkaroon ng sandaang Plaridel” (“why don’t we have a hundred Plaridels”) and furthered: “On the day when all Filipinos should think like him and like us, on that day we shall have fulfilled our arduous mission: the formation of the Filipino nation.” But for the young Anita it was harrowing that until she died she still had sama ng loob (morose) to her father and she hated hearing the phrase “para sa bayan” (for the country). Aside from being apart from her father, her family suffered harassment from the Spaniards to the extent their house was burned. “My heart is shattered every time I have news that my wife and daughters are suffering,” Plaridel wrote to a compatriot, “hence, my anxiety to return and fulfill my duty to care for those bits of my life.”
“I always dream that I have Anita on my lap and Sofia by her side; that I kiss them by turns and that both tell me: ‘Remain with us, papa, and don’t return to Madrid,’ wrote by Plaridel to her brave wife Marciana. “I awake soaked in tears, and at this very moment that I write this, I cannot contain the tears that drop from my eyes,” the national hero further said.
“Month after month, day after day, for eight endless years,” said the Dominican historian Fr. Fidel Villaroel, O.P., author of the book Marcelo H. del Pilar: His Religious Conversions, “the thought of returning to his dear ones was del Pilar’s permanent obsession, dream, hope, and pain.” He continued: “Of all the sufferings he had to go through, this was the only one that made the ‘warrior’ shed tears like a boy, and put his soul in a trance of madness and insanity. His 104 surviving letters to the family attest to this painful situation… ‘My return’ is the topic of every letter. Why then did he not return? Two things stood in the way: money for the fare, and the hope of seeing a bill passed in the Spanish Cortes suppressing summary deportations like the one hanging on del Pilar’s head. ‘We are now working on that bill.’ ‘Wait for me, I am going, soon I will embrace my little daughters, I dream with the return.’ How sweet, how repetitious and monotonous, how long the delay, but how difficult, almost impossible!”
Indeed for one who really loves his or her country has to sacrifice everything in him or her, not only his or her comforts, but to be with those who are dear to him or her. Plaridel should not only be remembered as editor of La Solidaridad but first and foremost an epitome of a Filipino father who had happened to have a big heart for the bayan.
Fourth of the 20-part series of “Sa Loob ng Bayan.” Follow the stories of 20 great Filipinos from Central Luzon everyday here on psaysay.tumblr.com and www.facebook.com/TOSP.R3ACH. “Sa Loob ng Bayan” is a collaborative project of Project Saysay, The Outstanding Students of the Philippines Region 3 Alumni Community of Heroes, and Project Captured in time for the 8th Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines Regional Week in Bataan (23-27 April 2015).
He simply empowered a group of ladies in Malolos and he changed the “Maria Clara” image of a Filipino woman.
“Ekstranghero,” work by Mcquel Jairo Felerino.
There was a great change in Roman Catholicism in the Philippines upon the end of Spanish colonization: the secularization of parishes. This simply means friars, i.e. Augustinians, Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinian Recollects among others, who were mostly Spaniards, had finally relinquished their authority over their parishes to the secular priests (those who do not belong to any order, mostly Filipino clergy). Aside from the Filipino seculars who were struggling for centuries, there were those who reacted critically in the extent of power of these Spanish friars; and there were indeed reports of immorality and abuses committed by them in the 19th century. Marcelo “Plaridel” Hilario del Pilar, the staunch anti-friar (but this should not be confused for being anti-church, which is very different) branded it as frailocracia.
Juan Alvarez Guerra, a Spaniard himself, believed that the friars were actually one of the main reasons of the outbreak of the Philippine revolution in 1896. Guerra differentiated the friars of the 19th century to those early missionaries who belonged to the same orders: The latter “were all patriots and majority of them were gentlemen, liberal and humane.” He continued: “They lived the intimate life of the indio and everybody set up a family that is more or less spiritual. The friar stayed in a town depending on their stipends he was able to acquire. If there was violent opposition upon his arrival, he fought relentlessly until it is demolished. If the earlier traditional friar had not disappeared, rebellion would have been impossible. Anyone would have tried to raise those towns wherein the indio wholly belonged to the friar and the friar wholly for the indio! Everybody constituted a family.”
In 1886, there was this extranjero (stranger) from Pandacan, Manila who arrived in Malolos, Bulacan and had established an all-boys school patterned after the Jesuit educational system (Jesuits are not friars), a system known for excellence but criticized by the friars. His name was Teodoro Sandiko, a liberal minded educator hated by the Spanish Augustinian friars in Bulacan. He was suspected for being heretic and accused for brainwashing not only young minds but the people of Malolos. Indeed, Plaridel, who was viewed as public enemy number one by the friars already in Barcelona, Spain, once again lived in Bulacan through Sandiko.
But Sandiko was not only an educator in Bulacan; he was an enabler, for he simply empowered a group of ladies in Malolos, and he changed the “Maria Clara” image of a Filipino woman.
That was 12 December 1888. Governor-General Valeriano Weyler, the soon-to-be “Butcher of Cuba,” just arrived in the Philippines and had wanted to visit the provinces to personally meet the natives. Part of his itinerary was Bulacan, so Sandiko, who secretly taught 21 young ladies in Malolos, all daughters of civic-minded gentlemen, of Spanish language, encouraged them (pinalakas ang loob) to personally submit a letter to the governor-general who was scheduled to visit Malolos. The letter contained the ladies’ strong desire to learn Spanish, for they don’t want to remain ignorant of the language, hence, petitioned the governor-general to open a language school for them. Unlike in the 17thcentury, Thomas Pinpin saw the necessity of learning the Spanish language and the Dominican friars even printed his guidebook for the Tagalogs; but the 19th century was indeed too different as the friars wanted the indios (natives) to remain ignorant of Spanish.
The ladies were headed by Alberta Uitangcoy. They simply snubbed the friars and had proudly entered Malolos Convent where Weyler was received. They were successful in presenting the letter but the governor-general had no response.
The following year, some of the ladies with their families visited Weyler in Malacañang. Pressured by the insistences, Weyler issued an order to Malolos government to finally open a language school provided the ladies should finish first their household choirs and Maestra Guadalupe Reyes would be their instructor. This fierce stride by the young women of Malolos reached the Filipino community in Europe like a shockwave. Even Plaridel was awed by the news so he requested Jose Rizal, who was then in London, to write the women. On 22 February 1889, Rizal praised the women for serving as examples to their fellow Filipinas, no longer slaved of the convents and of the friars—an image Rizal admittedly had of a Filipina at the time, as he portrayed in such Maria Clara, a character in Noli Me Tangere.
Unfortunately, in April 1889 the friars ordered the arrest and banishment of Sandiko for allegedly breaking fasting during Semana Santa (Holy Week). Sandiko escaped for Hong Kong, and this became one of the reasons why the language school of the women of Malolos had to be closed.
In Hong Kong, Sandiko sustained himself by his mini bicycle rental business and later moved to Europe to join the propagandists. He returned to Hong Kong and joined the campaign for the Philippine independence. He once again stepped in his homeland Manila after the collapse of Spanish power in 1898, and with him were thousands of riffles and hundreds of thousands of shells. Emilio Aguinaldo, president of the Philippines, had decided to continue the Filipino revolutionary government in Malolos and there Sandiko had once again returned to his adopted town as representative of Misamis in the Congreso Revolucionario. Sandiko later became the Interior Secretary of Apolinario Mabini’s cabinet in January 1899.
He also joined Mabini in resigning out of dismay of the turncoats inside the Filipino government who wanted to accept autonomy under the United States. Sandiko later joined the Filipino army against the Americans and became general. He surrendered after Aguinaldo was captured and the Americans, trusting his competency, later appointed him Governor of Bulacan.
Sandiko, the stranger, had found a new home and life in Bulacan. During his incumbency as governor the first capitol building in his adopted town of Malolos was erected. He later married one of the famed women of Malolos, Mercedes Tiongson, who donated a parcel of land to the capitol. He also initiated the establishment of an escuela industrial (arts and trade school), the Bulacan Trade School. It is now the Bulacan State University.
Sandiko maximized his strength and the opportunity to contribute something for the nation. He served as senator from 1919 to 1931. He later became one of the framers of the 1935 Philippine Constitution, his second time to be given such honor as he was among those who had written the constitution in Malolos that gave birth to the República Filipina, the first democracy Asia. Four years later, he died of heart attack.
Fifth of the 20-part series of “Sa Loob ng Bayan.” Follow the stories of 20 great Filipinos from Central Luzon everyday here on psaysay.tumblr.com andwww.facebook.com/TOSP.R3ACH. “Sa Loob ng Bayan” is a collaborative project of Project Saysay, The Outstanding Students of the Philippines Region 3 Alumni Community of Heroes, and Project Captured in time for the 8th Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines Regional Week in Bataan (23-27 April 2015).
Maganda ang pagdalumat ni Maypagasa at ng Katipunan sa kahulugan ng bayan; ang tanong, naiintidihan ba natin talaga kung ano ang bayan. Kung nasasaloob lamang natin ang diwa ng bayan, may mangangahas pa bang nakawan ang bayan, manlamang ng kapwa, at maging manhid?
“Kalooban ng Bayan,” obra ni Mcquel Jairo Felerino.
Sa mga may oras na lumingon sa pinanggalingan,habang sinasalubong ninyo ang agos ng kahapon, masdan ninyo ang masasalimuot na hibla ng bayan; isipin ninyo na ang bawat hibla ay ambag ng bawat henerasyong nagmahal sa bayan. Limiin ninyo kung ano ang mga ginawa nila para sa bayan; paano nila binigyang kahulugan ang pagmamahal sa bayan; at ano ang direktang epekto ng kanilang pagmamahal sa pagbubuo at kaunlaran ng bayan.
Habang lumalayo kayo sa panahon natin, palapit na kayo ng palapit sa dulo ng lubid ng bayan. Ang dulong iyon ay hindi kung kailan ‘di umano’y nadiskubre ang Pilipinas ng mga dayo, kundi kung kailan nabuo sa loob ng mga katutubo ng kapuluang ito ang diwa ng bayan. Ito ang panahon ng 1896, ang panahon ng Rebolusyong Pilipino.
Nakatutuwang isipin na ang nom-de-guerre ng pinuno ng Rebolusyong Pilipino ay “Maypagasa.” Siya’y si Andres Bonifacio, laking Tondo, Maynila, ang ina’y nag-ugat sa Zambales, at ang ama nama’y sa Pampanga. Inangkin ng bayan. Hindi natin siya kailangang sukbitan ng talibong at armasan ng rebolber para magmukha talaga siyang magiting; ang dapat nating gawin ay tuklasin natin ang loob niya.
Munisipalidad ang tahasang kahulugan ng bayan. Ang Florante at Laura ni Francisco Balagtas ang sinasabing nagbigay ng pinakamaagang pakahulugan sa “bayan” bilang pantawag sa Pilipinas, dahil ang harayang (imaginary) “Albaniang kaharian” na itinuring niyang “bayang sawi” at “bayang walang loob” ay sinasabing malapit sa larawan ng Pilipinas noon. Hindi pa ganap na buo ang imahe ng bayang Pilipinas nang sulatin ni Balagtas ang kanyang akda. Kinailangan pa ng ilang henerasyon mula sa kanya upang mabuo ang diwa ng bayan. Nariyan ang mga propagandista na nilayong gawing probinsya ang Pilipinas ng Espanya; ngunit may nangahas na gawin itong iisang “bayan” ng lahat ng tumubo sa kapuluang ito, mapa-Iloko man, Kapampangan, Bikolano, o Tagalog. Ito ang diwa ng Katipunan, mula sa salitang ugat na “tipon.”
Malaya ang mga katutubo ng kapuluang ito bago dumating ang mga Espanyol. Binaliwala ng mga dayo ang sagradong kasunduan ng mga ito sa mga katutubo sa pamamagitan ng sandugo. Para kay Maypagasa “Itinuturo ng katwiran na tayo’y magkaisang loob, magkaisang isip at akala, at ng tayo’y magkalakas ng loob [para] sa ating Bayan… panahon [nang] dapat nating ipakilala na tayo’y may sariling pagdaramdam, may puri, may hiya at pagdadamayan.”
“Ampunin ang Bayan kung nasa ay lunas pagka’t ginhawa niya ay sa lahat,” dulog ni Maypagasa sa mga kapwa Anak ng Bayan. Upang mas lalong mapalalim pa ang paggawa ng dapat para sa bayan, sinabi ni Maypagasa na ang unang dapat gawin ng mga Anak ng Bayan ay “sumampalataya sa Maykapal ng taimtim sa puso” at ikalawa nama’y “gunamgumamin sa sarili tuwina na ang matapat na pagsampalataya sa Kanya ay ang pag-ibig sa lupang tinubuan, sapagkat ito ang tunay na pag-ibig sa kapwa.” Para kay Maypagasa, ang sinumang sumusunod sa kalooban ng Diyos ay hindi gagawa ng anumang ikasasama ng lupang tinubuan at ng kapwa; hindi kumpleto ang “bayang tinubuan” kung wala ang Diyos at ang kapwa. Ito ang kahulugan ng bayan para kay Maypagasa.
Nagparaya si Maypagsa na ipatupad ni Emilio Jacinto ang Kartilya nito sa loob ng Katipunan, dahil nakuha nito ang nais niyang kahulugan ng bayan: “Dito’y isa sa mga kaunaunahang utos, ang tunay na pag-ibig sa bayang tinubuan at lubos na pagdadamayan ng isa’t isa.” Dagdag pa ni Jacinto, “maralita, mayaman, mangmang, marunong, lahat dito’y magkakapantay at tunay na magkakapatid,” kaya’t “maitim man at maputi ang kulay ng balat, lahat ng tao’y magkakapantay; mangyayaring ang isa’y higitan sa dunong, sa yaman, sa ganda… ngunit ‘di mahihigitan sa pagkatao.”
Pinatay man si Maypagasa at sinikap burahin ang kanyang alaala, ngunit hangga’t bukang-bibig natin ang salitang “bayan” lagi siyang buhay. Noong buhay nga raw siya lagi niyang sinasabi “katakutan ninyo ang kasaysayan sapagkat walang lihim na maitatago rito.”
Sa kasalukuyan, bukang-bibig ng marami sa atin ang bayan. Nakapasok na ito sa diwa ng lahat sa pamamagitan ng mga kantang “Bayan Ko” at “Pilipinas Kong Mahal.” Maganda ang pagdalumat ni Maypagasa at ng Katipunan sa kahulugan ng bayan; ang tanong, naiintidihan ba natin talaga kung ano ang bayan. Kung nasasaloob lamang natin ang diwa ng bayan, may mangangahas pa bang nakawan ang bayan, manlamang ng kapwa, at maging manhid?
Pang-anim sa dalawampung serye ng Sa Loob ng Bayan, isang proyekto ng Project Saysay, TOSP Region 3 Alumni Community of Heroes, at Project Captured bilang paghahanda sa Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines Regional Week sa darating na 23-27 Abril 2015 sa Bataan.