Did You Know?
*A Halo-halo of topics and sequence
Neither rhythms nor reasons prevail
That the Philippine Republic’s
Motto is: Maka-Diyos, Makatao, Makalikasan at Makabansa or For God,
People, Nature and Country. That the Philippine National Anthem Lupang
Hinirang means Chosen land. And that the country's name originated with Ruy Lopez
de Villalobos naming the islands of Samar and Leyte, Las Islas Filipinas
after King Philip II of Spain
during his failed expedition in 1543. The archipelago was known under various
names such as Spanish East Indies, New Castille (Nueva Castilla) and the
St. Lazarus Islands (Islas de San Lázaro). Ultimately, the name Filipinas
came to refer to the entire archipelago. That the largest city in population is Quezon City and in area is Davao City
That a total of 110 Manila Galleons
set sail in the 250 years of the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade (1565 to
1815). The galleon was the main link between the Philippines and the viceregal capital at
and thence to itself. Many of the
Spaniards in the Philippines were actually of Mexican descent. In fact the Hispanic culture of the Philippines
is closer to Mexican culture than any other.
- That Sangley as in Sangley Point in Cavite City, which is a peninsula 8 miles South-West of Manila was named after the chinese merchants or xiang-li’s who were not allowed by the Spaniards to enter Manila. The term Sangley was used to describe a Filipino of mixed Chinese and Filipino ancestry.
- That José Rizal was born into a prosperous middle class Filipino and Chinese-meztizo or a Sangley family. His parents were Francisco Mercado and Teodora Alonzo. Upon enrolling at the Ateneo, Rizal changed his surname to "Rizal" to escape the opprobrium of the name "Mercado"--his brother, Paciano, had been linked to the Filipino priests Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora who had been declared subversives, suffering horrible death by "garrote". Rizal was descended from Domingo Lam-co, a Chinese immigrant who sailed to the Philippines from Amoy (Xiamen), China in the mid 17th century.Lam-co married Inez de la Rosa, a Sangley native of Luzon. To free his descendants from the anti-Chinese animosity of the Spanish authorities, Lam-co changed the family surname to the Spanish surname "Mercado" (market) to indicate their Chinese merchant roots, although their original application was for the name Ricial, apropos to their main occupation of farming, which was arbitrarily denied. The name Rizal, originally Ricial, or the green of young growth, was adopted as an alias with Paciano to enable Jose to travel freely, as the Mercados had gained notoriety by their son's intellectual prominence.
- That on December 10, 1898, the Representatives of Spain and U.S. signed the Treaty of Paris. Spain renounced all rights to Cuba and allowed an independent Cuba, ceded Puerto Rico and the Island of Guam to the U. S., gave up its possession in the West Indies and sold the Philippine Island receiving in exchange of $200 M.
- That the Philippine flag colors of blue, red and white, commemorates the flag of the U. S. as a manifestation of the Filipinos profound gratitude towards the U.S.A.
- That the Philippines, along with the nation of Malta, is one of two nations in the world where all civil marriages are for life, because civil divorce is banned.
- That Malta, or Republic of Malta is currently the smallest of European Union country (25) in both population and area. Malta is also the only nation in the world whose flags bear a decoration awarded by a foreign country, the British George Cross.
- That the Hukbalahap was the militant arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines (PKP), formed in 1942 to fight the Japanese occupation in the Philippines during World War II. The term is a contraction of the Filipino term "Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa mga Hapon" which means "People's Army Against the Japanese". The group is more commonly known as Huks.
The Hukbalahap started off as several groups of resistance against the Japanese Imperial Army that occupied the Philippines after the defeat of the American-Filipino military in the early days of World War II.
Its strength came from the mostly agrarian peasants of Central Luzon. The group's leaders, among them figure-head Luis Taruc, aimed at leading the Philippines toward Marxist ideals. The Hukbalahap Insurrection (1946-1954) is often inaccurately portrayed as an attempt by the group to take over the Philippine government. In actuality, their goals were far more understandable - recognition as WWII Freedom fighters and a share of war reparations.
The group grew quickly and by late summer of 1943 claimed to have 20,000 active military fighters and 50,000 more in reserve, stealing most of their weaponry from battlefields and downed planes left behind by the Japanese and Americans. They fought both Japanese and American troops to rid the country of its imperialist occupation, but they also worked to subvert the Japanese tax-collection service, intercept food and supplies to the Japanese troops, and created a training school where they taught political theory and military tactics based on Marxist ideas.
In areas that the group controlled they set up small governments and instituted land reforms, dividing up the largest estates equally between the peasants and often killing the landlords. After the war the Hukbalahaps remained active (although to a lesser extent and greatly subverted by the American guerilla troops), eventually renaming themselves in 1950 into the People's Liberation Army.
- That the "Huk" resistance to the new Philippine government formed in 1946 was defeated in 1954. The threat was eventually broken when Huk supremo (leader) Luis Taruc surrendered to the young reporter Benigno Aquino Jr (later elected as Senator), and Secretary of Defense Ramon Magsaysay, who later became a popular and effective President, but was tragically killed in an airplane crash on March 16, 1957 during his term.
- That Ramon Magsaysay was the Zambales
Manager of TRY- Transportation Company at the outbreak of the Pacific War. The
Commander of the 31st Division of the USAFFE, Brig Gen. C. Blummel took over all Try-Tran
buses to move his troops to the Western and Northern Luzon fronts anticipating the Japanese
troops invasion of the Philippines. Magsaysay volunteered his services as a mechanic in the U. S.
Army. He eventually became the Commandant of the Zambales Military District and Military Governor and
rose to the rank of Captain. After the war, he was promoted to the rank of Major. By the way, his code
name during the war was “Captain Chow”. Come to think of it, the “President of the Common People” was rather
on the heavy side.
As a side note: I remembered riding the orange colored bus in Zambales as the Try-V-Tran in the late fifties. This is just my hunch, but the “V” might have stood for Victory and that the Try-V-Tran was the step-father of the now popular and successful Victory Liner.
Halo-halo* a cornucopia, amalgam or array of several bits and pieces; a calorie-
rich Filipino smoothie-like summer desert made by combining sweet
mung beans, coconut or macapuno, jackfruit or nangka and other native
Filipino preserved fruits we can find in our pantry, spoonfuls of sweet taro
root or ube when available, sweetened to taste and topped with shaved or
crushed ice and several ounces of evaporated milk.
Tampo, Botolan, Zambales
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Doon po sa Amin