Monday, May 24, 2010

Glimpses of Old Cebu: Images of the Colonial Era


"Glimpses of Old Cebu: Images of the Colonial Era" is a 276-page coffee table book of nearly 600 of the best photographs, postcards, stereoviews and lantern glass slides of Cebu and its many towns taken between 1870-1945. More than just a mere showcasing of rare, never-before-seen images, the book also provides a treasure trove of information accompanying nearly every picture.

The author, Lucy Urgello Miller has been collecting vintage Philippine postcards and photographs for over 20 years, the thrust of her collection being Cebu. She acquired 90% of her Cebu collection in the United States where she is living with her husband Richard. Most of the collection was bought at antique postcards shows. Lucy has about 1,000 pictures and postcards on Cebu but she selected only the best and most interesting for this book.

A blue-blooded Theresian, Lucy spent her entire education from kindergarten to college at St. Theresa's College here in Cebu. She obtained her Bachelors of Arts degree with minors in English and Mathematics in 1970. During her college days, she contributed poems and articles int The STAR, the Theresian student publication.

Her great grandfather (Harriolfo Rita Osmeña Espina) and my wife's great grandfather (Asterio Rita Osmeña Espina) were siblings.

The patriarch of the Osmeñas, Don Severino, (d. ca. 1860), survived his wife , and he himself- like many of his wealthy contemporaries- took a second wife, Dona Paula Suico. His children of the second marriage were Don Lazaro Osmeña and Juana, the beloved mother of President Sergio Osmeña (1).

My wife is a direct descendant of Don Severino Osmena's first marriage with Doña Vicenta Rita.

Don Severino Osmena and Dona Vicenta Rita, who owned the largest trading company in 18th century Cebu, the Osmena-Rita Co., had four sons- Tomas, Guillermo, Victoriano and Pedro and four daughters- Eduviges, Inocenta, Basilia and Claudia (3). The eldest daughter Eduviges Osmeña married an Espina and bore three children- Nicolasa (unmarried), Asterio and Harriolfo.

Asterio Espina married a Mercado. Their only daughter Maria Mercado Espina, married Paciano Cui Bondoc (son of Miguel Bondoc and grandson of Don Lucio Bondoc of Tarlac). They had one daughter Sagrario "Gingging" Espina- Bondoc, who married Nestor Morales Morelos (nephew of Marcos Morelos- former Cebu City mayor from 1936-1937) (2). They have only one daughter, my wife, Grace Espina Bondoc Morelos. Asterio later married a second wife, Balbina Villamor. They had four children- Manuel, Mariano, Jacinta (unmarried) and Maria (unmarried).

Harriolfo Espina, the brother of Asterio Espina married Vicenta Veloso. Their marriage produced eight children- Visitation E. Urgello, Remedios E. Noel, Dr. Salud Espina (unmarried), Soledad Espina (unmarried), Dr. Luis Espina, Mercedes E. Madarang, Asuncion E. Peralta and Jose Espina.

One of Harriolfo's daughter, Visitacion Espina married former Cebu Congressman Vicente Sarmiento Urgello. They had seven children - Manuel Urgello, Nenita U. Tagorda, Lourdes U. Teves, Pilar U. Arcenas, Milagros Urgello (unmarried), Angeles U. Tongoy and Vicente Urgello Jr. One of their son, Manuel Urgello married Milagros Valenzuela, a Cebu carnival queen in 1937. They had five children and Lucy Urgello is the fourth child.

Lucy's mother passed away when she was two years old and she was adopted and raised by her fathers unmarried sister, Milagros Espina Urgello. She also grew up with her three older siblings who were raised by Vicente and Visitacion much to the disappointment of her maternal grandparents who wanted to raise their deceased daughters children. The youngest, Bob, who was a week shy of six months was raised by the two unmarried sisters of Visitacion, Dra. Salud Espina and Soledad Espina. Her father had promised a baby to them if they could make him live. they kept a 24/7 watch over him and saved him several times because of their vigilance.

Lucy was formerly married to former Senator John Henry Renner Osmena and had a son John Gregory who was a former Cebu vice-governor.

In 1974 she moved to the United states were she got her teachers credentials and became a teacher in 1984. She met her future husband, Rick, at the school were they were teaching and got married in 1983. Both retired from teaching in 2006 (4).

Above picture- the author with my wife and her mom during the book signing at SM City Cebu

(1) Life in Old Parian by Concepcion G. Briones page 21
(2) Cebu, More than an Island by Resil B. Mojares page 24
(3) Life in Old Parian by Concepcion G. Briones page 22-23
(4) Glimpses of Old Cebu: Images of the Colonial Era by Lucy Urgello Miller

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The National Anthem of the Transkei

In 1976, Transkei was proclaimed by the apartheid-era South Africa as an "independent black homeland" (in actuality, an area set up to reduce the black population of South Africa by giving them citizenship in this new area.) Not internationally recognized, Transkei was re-incorporated into South Africa when the apartheid system was abolished in 1994.

As a separate "nation", Transkei adopted the famous southern African song "Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika" as its official national anthem. In fact, the song was written and composed in what later became Transkei; as well, the writer of the song, Enoch Sontonga, was a member of the Xhosa people, which was the official language of Transkei. Interestingly, not only was "Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika" used for decades prior to the creation of Transkei as the anthem of the anti-apartheid movement, but also, this song became part of the anthem of the new South Africa after Transkei was re-integrated.

This is a very popular song with the blacks of southern Africa, as not only has it served as the anthem of other southern African states (such as Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe (from 1980-1994)) but also other black "homelands" adopted this anthem such as Ciskei (which also was awarded "independence"), KwaZulu, Lebowa, QwaQwa, Ganzankulu, KaNgwane and KwaNdebele (although these others, with the exception of Transkei (whose official language was also Xhosa), probably used translations into their own language.) There is also no standard version or translation for "Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika", it may vary from place to place and occasion to occasion, and I believe no official version was adopted in Transkei.

The National Anthem of Zambia

Upon independence in 1964, Zambia adopted the melody of "God Bless Africa" for the melody, yet different lyrics were written to specifically reflect Zambia.

"God Bless Africa" is a popular song and anthem in southern Africa, the song was also formerly used by Zimbabwe, Ciskei, and Transkei, and currently by Tanzania and as part of the South African anthem.

"Stand and Sing of Zambia, Proud and Free" or "Lumbanyeni Zambia" is the national anthem of Zambia. The tune is taken from the hymn Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika (God Bless Africa), which was composed by a South African, Enoch Sontonga, in 1897, the lyrics were composed at or near Zambian independence to specifically reflect Zambia, as opposed to Sontonga's lyrics which refer to Africa as a whole. Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika also forms the first verse of South Africa's national anthem.

The National Anthem of Tanzania

Tanzania was the first African nation to use the popular African song "Mungu ibariki Afrika" (God Bless Africa) as its anthem, in 1961 when it was Tanganyika, and was retained after union with Zanzibar in 1964. It is now also used by South Africa (as part of the current anthem) and Zambia (with different words), and formerly used by Zimbabwe, Ciskei, and Transkei. The song was written collectively and composed by Enoch Mankayi Sontonga.

Enoch Mankayi Sontonga (ca. 1873 - 18 April 1905) was the composer of Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika (God Bless Africa), which has been part of the South African national anthem since 1994. It was also the official African National Congress (ANC) anthem since 1925 and is still the national anthem of Tanzania and Zambia. It was also sung in Zimbabwe and Namibia for many years.

Sontonga, a Xhosa, was born in the city of Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape. He trained as a teacher at the Lovedale Institution and subsequently attended the Methodist Mission school in Nancefield, near Johannesburg. He was also a choirmaster and a photographer.

The first verse and chorus of Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika was composed in 1897 and first sung in public in 1899 at the ordination of Reverend Boweni, a Methodist minister. Later the Xhosa poet Samuel Mqhayi wrote a further seven verses.

The song was sung throughout South Africa by several choirs and it quickly became popular. On 8 January 1912, at the first meeting of the South African Native National Congress (the forerunner of the African National Congress), it was sung after the closing prayer. The ANC adopted it as its official closing anthem in 1925.

For many years the site of the grave of Sontonga was unknown, but it was finally located in the "Native Christian" section of the Braamfontein cemetery in the early 1990s; one of the reasons why his grave could not be found is that it was listed under "Enoch" and not "Sontonga".

On 24 September 1996, the grave of Sontonga was declared a national monument and a memorial on the site was unveiled by President Nelson Mandela. At the same ceremony the South African Order of Meritorious Service (Gold) was bestowed on Enoch Sontonga posthumously.

The National Anthem of Bonaire

The Island Territory of Bonaire is one of five island territories (Eilandgebieden) of the Netherlands Antilles, consisting of the main island of Bonaire and, nestled in its western crescent, the uninhabited islet of Klein Bonaire. Together with Aruba and Curaçao it forms a group referred to as the ABC islands of the Leeward Antilles, the southern island chain of the Lesser Antilles.

As part of the Netherlands Antilles, Bonaire is also a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The structure of the relationship between Bonaire, the Netherlands Antilles and the Kingdom is planned for change under proposed legislation. The Netherlands Antilles is scheduled to be dissolved as a unified political entity on 10 October 2010, so that the five constituent islands would attain new constitutional statuses: Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius will become special municipalities of the Netherlands, while the islands of Curaçao and Sint Maarten will become independent states within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

An island of the Netherlands Antilles, itself a colony of the Netherlands, Bonaire, like every island in the Netherlands Antilles, have its own local anthem, including Bonaire. From 1964-2000, Bonaire's anthem served as the anthem for the entire Netherlands Antilles (without the lyrics) until a new anthem was written. The composer was J. B. A. Palm and lyrics by Hubert Obdulio "Lio" Booi.

The stamp above, a set of four, features the composer of the local anthem of Bonaire, J.B. Palm issued in 1989, Famous Persons Issue.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Jose Yulo on Stamps

Jose Yulo (1894 – 1976) Jurist, statesman, lawyer, Jose Yulo was one of the distinguished and outstanding leaders of the country. He was born on September 24, 1894 in Bago Negros Occidental, the fifth child of Sofronio Yulo and Segunda Yulo. His mother died when he was six years old and his father followed when he was 12.

Yulo finished the first three years of his high school at the Rizal Institute in Bacolod but in 1910, he transferred to the Manila High School, where he obtained his high school diploma the following year. Among his contemporaries at the Manila High School were Jose P. Laurel and Elpidio Quirino.

Yulo wanted to take up engineering but since the course was not offered in the evening, he enrolled in the college of law of the University of the Philippine. He was then below 18, the prescribed age for admission to the university but was admitted, however, upon the special recommendation of the high school principal. UP Law dean, George A. Malcolm, employed Yulo in the library and later as his personal assistant.

Yulo finished law at 19, the youngest of the UP Class of 1914. Being still underage he had to secure special permission from the Supreme Court to allow him to take the bar examinations. He placed third of the 42 bar passers out of the 192 examinees. The others who passed the same exam were Claro M. Recto, Jose Avelino, Vicente Francisco, Fernando Jugo, Ricardo Lacson, Manuel Moran, and Jorge Vargas. Again, being underage, he was not allowed to take the lawyer’s oath until September 24, 1915, when he reached the majority age of 21.

A full-fledged lawyer with good academic records, finding job came easy to Yulo. The Bruce and Reed Law Office, then one of the leading law firms in Manila, hired him as assistant attorney. From 1915 to 1922, he worked in the Pacific Commercial Company. He resigned from the company in 1922 to open his own law office.

On February 2, 1922, he married Cecilia Araneta of Bago, Negros Occidental, who was an alumna of the Assumption College. Their marriage was blessed with six children: Ma. Elena, Ma. Cecilia, Jose, Ramon, Lusis and Jesus Miguel.

Late in 1923, his partnership with Paredes and Buencamino established the Paredes, Buecamino and Yulo Law Office, which became popular for its notable handling of important civil and corporate cases. He was again on his own in 1928 when his law partners joined politics. A highly respected lawyer, Yulo served various positions: Professorial chair of the UP College of Law; member of the Philippine Bar Examining Board in 1924, 1925, 1929 and 1930. In 1934, he became Secretary of Justice, a position he held until 1938. At age 39, he was drafted into his first cabinet position as Secretary of Justice. During his term from 1934 to 1938, he created the division of investigation patterned after the American Federal Bureau of Investigation; he wrote the bill creating the Securities and Exchange Commission, which boosted investments and corporate activities that accelerated the national economic growth; and created the Court of Industrial Relations, the Court of Appeals, the Juvenile Courts and the Office of Public Defenders for the Department of Labor.

Yulo was a recipient of honorary doctor of laws and doctor of humanities degrees. For his generous assistance to various Roman Catholic undertakings and movements and his sponsorship of various civic and clerical entities, he was twice knighted by the Vatican first, as
Papal Knight in the Order of St. Sylvester and second, as Papal Knight in the Order of Malta. In 1938, Yulo ran for assemblyman under the Nacionalista ticket in the third district of Negros Occidental and won. He assumed his seat in the National Assembly in January 1939 and was unanimously elected Speaker. That same year, he was sent to the United States as head supposedly of a special mission to seek President Roosevelt’s approval of the amendments to the Philippine Constitution. But it was just a cover-up for the important secret mission of getting assurances from Roosevelt and Secretary of War Henry Stimson on the defense of the
Philippines in the event of war, which eventually reached the Philippines in December 1941.

Yulo gave meaning through legislation to the Quezonian pronouncements on social justice, which set the tone for giving dignity and a hope for a better tomorrow to the “common tao”. His 1,500-hectare farm in Pabanlag, Florida Blanca, Pampanga was the first to be offered to the government in accordance with the agrarian reform program. President Quezon once said: “I can literally say that not law enacted during the time he (Yulo) was my secretary of justice received my approval without his going over it personally, nor was any question of major policy ever adopted without the views of Secretary Yulo given full consideration.”

Yulo was elected senator in 1941 but like the others, was not able to serve due to the outbreak of war. Left behind in the country when the Commonwealth Government was evacuated to the United States, the Japanese authorities made him Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

After the war, he became chairman of Philcusa (Philippine Commission for US Aid) and, for a brief term, governor of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. In 1948, he acquired the 7,350 hectare Canlubang Sugar Estate from Vicente Madrigal. Before Madrigal, the estate was owned by a group of American businessmen from California under the corporate name of Calamba Sugar Estate. He developed this vast estate into modern community and made it the base for several agricultural and industrial enterprises. He applied his social justice ideas and programs in Canlubang among the workers and residents. He was ever the wise and loving father to all the employees, always trying to uplift their spiritual and material welfare.

In 1967, Yulo retired from government service as Secretary of Justice of President Marcos. Yulo was 82 when he died in the morning of October 27, 1976. The statesman, philanthropist was survived by his six children ad his second wife, Tomasa G. Yulo. He remarried after his first wife Cecilia died in 1954 in Paris while they were on a tour with their daughter Ma. Cecilia.

Casimiro del Rosario on Stamps

Casimiro V. del Rosario (June 13, 1896-September 15, 1982) is a foremost Filipino physicist, meteorologist, and astronomer.

Dr. del Rosario is known for his researches on ultraviolet light of different wavelengths, effect of radioactive radiation on Euglena, high voltage electrical discharges in a vacuum, and many others. His works have been published in international journals such as the American Physics Review and the Journal of Franklin Institute.

He is the co-founder of the Bartol Research Foundation in Philadelphia, an institution which did pioneering researches in physics.

Dr. del Rosario was the recipient of a Presidential Award in 1965 for his contributions to physics. He was made Director of the Philippine Weather Bureau for 11 years, and the first vice-chairman of the National Science Development Board in 1958. He was conferred as a National Scientist in 1984.

Dr. Casimiro del Rosario was born on June 13, 1896 in Bantayan, Cebu to Pantaleon del Rosario, a farmer who had served once as the town’s justice of the peace and Benita Villacin. For his elementary education, he attended the Mandaue primary school and the Cebu intermediate school. Thereafter, he studied at the Cebu high school and, upon graduating, enrolled at the University of the Philippines, taking up chemical engineering. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1918, and began teaching at the university the following year. Later, he went to the United States to study physics at Yale University, where he was given a Sterling fellowship, and from which he obtained a master’s degree in physics. He also became a member of the Sigma Xi. Together with other scientists, he established the Bartol Research Foundation in Philadelphia, whose main objective was to essay serious researches on nuclear physics. He worked there for several years.

Meanwhile, he pursued postgraduates studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was granted a fellowship on cancer research. In 1932, he finally acquired his doctorate in physics. Upon his return to the Philippines, he resumed his teaching career at the University of the Philippines. Later, he headed the university’s department of physics. He was designated director of the Weather Bureau in 1946, and served in this position for about 12 years. During his term, he headed at one time the National Committee of the International Geophysical Year. Subsequently, he was named chairman of the division of physical sciences of the National Research Council of the Philippines. He also served as president of Regional Association V, encompassing the Western Pacific area, of the World Meteorological Organization.

Dr. Del Rosario traveled to the United States, at one time, to observe several atomic energy centers and absorb the latest development in the field of nuclear energy. He joined other Filipino scientists in representing the country at the world’s first conference on nuclear energy and its peaceful utilization, which was held in Geneva, Switzerland in 1955.

In 1965, he was given the presidential award for his outstanding accomplishments in physics and meteorology. He was likewise conferred the UP alumni award. When his term as director of the Weather Bureau ended, he was named the first vice-chairman of the National Science and Development Board. A member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he gained recognition, not only for himself but for his country as well, for his in-depth researches on such subjects as “ultra-violet light and its different wavelengths,” “radioactive radiation and its effects on euglena,” “high voltage electrical discharges in high vacuum,” and others. His articles were published in various local and international scientific publications.

In July 1982, during the nationwide Science and Technology Week, Del Rosario, along with Drs. Geminiano de Ocampo and Gregorio Velasquez, was invested as National Scientist by President Ferdinand Marcos. However, he did not have much time left to savor this personal great triumph. On September 15 of the same year, he passed away, and was buried in Cebu the next day. He left behind his wife, Esperanza Ouano, and family.

In April 1983, as a fitting tribute to him, the National Academy of Science and Technology, of which he had been a member since 1979, and the PAGASA, sponsored and held the Casimiro del Rosario Memorial lecture on meteorology at the UP Research Center.

Marcelo H. del Pilar on Stamps

Marcelo Hilario del Pilar y Gatmaitan (August 30, 1850 – July 4, 1896) was a Filipino writer, journalist, and revolutionary leader of the Philippine Revolution and one of the leading Ilustrado propagandist of the Philippine War of Independence.

He served as editor of the vernacular section of the Diariong Tagalog (Tagalog Newspaper), the first Philippine bilingual newspaper, in 1882. From 1890 to around 1895, he edited and published the newspaper La Solidaridad (Solidarity), mainly through his 150 essays and 66 editorials published under the nom de plume Plaridel.

Del Pilar's militant and progressive outlook was derived from the classic enlightenment tradition of the French philosophes and the scientific empiricism of the European bourgeoisie. Part of this outlook was transmitted by freemasonry, to which del Pilar subscribed.

Considered the Father of Philippine Masonry, del Pilar spearheaded the secret organization of Masonic lodges in the Philippines as a means of strengthening the Propaganda Movement. He was made a freemason in Spain in 1889, one of the first Filipinos initiated into the mysteries of freemasonry in Europe. He co-founded Lodge Revoluccion in Barcelona and revived Lodge Solidaridad 53 when it floundered into stormy seas where he became its Worshipful Master and with Rizal as the orator. He was crowned 33° by the Gran Oriente Español.

Organized in his memory, Samahang Plaridel is a fellowship of journalists and other communicators that aims to propagate Marcelo H. del Pilar’s ideals.

This fellowship fosters within its capacity, mutual help, cooperation, and assistance among its members; dedicated to the journalistic standards of accuracy and truth, and in promoting these standards in the practice of journalism. Plaridel’s ideology of truth, fairness and impartiality is anchored on democratic principles, as these are the bastions of a society acceptable to all Filipinos.

The stamp was issued on September 23, 1963.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Gregoria de Jesus on Stamps

Gregorio de Jesus was the first female member of the Katipunan. She was also the wife of Andres Bonifacio and took care of safekeeping all the necessary documents of the Katipunan and orienting new members of the movement. She also made the first Katipunan flag.

Gregoria de Jesús (15 May 1875 – 15 March 1943), also known as Aling Oriang,[1] was the founder and vice-president of the women's chapter of the Katipunan of the Philippines.[2] She was also the custodian of the documents and seal of the Katipunan. She married Andrés Bonifacio, the supremo of the Katipunan, and played a major role in the Philippine Revolution. She has one son from Andrés Bonifacio and five children from Julio Nakpil.

Gregoria de Jesús was born in the city of Caloocan, in what is now the province Rizal, to a Catholic middle-class family. Her father, Nicolás de Jesús, was a carpenter who later served as a gobernadorcillo. As a young girl, she was an exceptional student and a silver medal recipient in an examination organized by the governor general and parish priest. When she became a secondary school student, she was induced by her parents to stay home and look after her younger sister and the family's farm, since both of her older brothers moved to Manila to continue their education.

When Gregoria de Jesús was only 18 years old, Andrés Bonifacio fell in love with her and wanted to marry her. He revealed his intentions to her parents, but her father refused and was against their marriage because Andrés was a Freemason. After almost six months, she had fallen in love with him. She revealed that to her father and asked for his approval on their marriage and the father agreed.

In March 1893, she married Andrés at Binondo Church. A week later, they were married again in the presence of the Katipuneros, who did not approve of their marriage in a Catholic church. On the evening of the same day, the women’s chapter of the Katipunan was formed, and she was appointed its vice-president and the custodian of the Katipunan documents. She was designated the code name "Lakambini" (Tagalog for goddess or Muse) and swore to remain loyal to the Katipunan's holy purposes. The Spanish police usually came unannounced, and Gregoria used to gather all the documents and drive her car all night and return only when it is safe.

A year later, she returned to her family's house, because she was pregnant. She gave birth to their only son, who she christened Andrés, after her husband. Two months later, during the Holy Week of 1896, Gregoria and her husband returned to Manila to find their house destroyed by a fire. The couple were forced to live in friends' and family houses, but had to move quickly from house to house. A few months later, their child, Andrés, died of smallpox.

On 19 August 1896, the Katipunan was exposed and its secrets were revealed by Teodoro Patino, a disgruntled member. The Spanish forces reacted quickly to halt the revolution. Many Filipinos were arrested, jailed, and shot, but Andrés and Gregoria were hiding. The Spanish government was able to tighten its surveillance over the Katipunan. The remaining Katipuneros gathered and planned an attack on a Spanish gunpowder storehouse. With an army of almost 800, the Katipuneros were successful in their first attack, and were encouraged to advance to Manila, but Spanish reinforcements arrived, routing the Katipuneros. Hundreds of the Katipuneros were killed and captured. Furthermore, an inner conflict between Andrés and Emilio Aguinaldo, another leader of the Katipunan, had weakened them. On 8 May 1897, Andrés was captured by Aguinaldo's officers, and was sentenced to death.

Julio Nakpil, a commander of the Katipunan troops in northern Philippines. The two fell in love, and were married in a Catholic church on 10 December 1898 in Manila. After the end of the Philippine Revolution and after peace was restored in the Philippines, Gregoria lived with her husband and eight children in a house with a well-known Filipino philanthropist, Dr. Ariston Bautista, and his wife, Petrona Nakpil. The doctor took good care of her and her children and helped raise them and educate them.

De Jesús died in 1943 during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines.

The stamp was issued in March 28, 1978.

Mateo Capinpin on Stamps

A born soldier Gen. Mateo M. Capinpin was already a member of the Boy's Battalion organization at age ten. As a professional soldier, he belonged to the Company "I" of the 4th Infantry, the Pride of Fort Mckinley (now known as Fort Bonifacio). He commanded the 21st division of the U.S. Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) and received the general's star even before the start of World War II.

Brig. Gen. Capinpin, a war time commander of the Philippine Army's famed 21st Division, was born in Morong Rizal on April 22, 1887. He grew up and took his elementary & secondary education in Laguna High School. After graduating from High School in 1906, at the age of 19, he joined and was enlisted in the Philippine Scouts where he started as a Private and was honorably discharged as a Major. During his itinerary with the Philippine Scouts from 1906 to 1918, Capinpin was acclaimed to be the only one who knew his Company Roster by heart. Stories have it that at night, he could call from the roll even without lights. As the youngest First Sergeant, he was only 24 when he was given his strips. He was noted to be a strict disciplinarian and that he had the reputation of being the "meanest" non-commissioned officer.

From the Philippine Scouts, Capinpin joined the Philippine National Guards as First Lieutenant in 1918 with the corresponding rank of Major in the United States Army. The following year, he returned to the Philippine Scouts. Promoted in the Permanent rank of Captain in 1920, Gen. Capinpin was sent to the United States to attend the Officers Courses at Fort Benning Infantry School in Georgia. While a Captain in the 45th Infantry, PS, he commanded the same company for over 20 years. His Company "I" was famous as Exhibition and Demonstration Company for five years in carnivals and elsewhere and held championship for athletics for a longer period.

He was given command of the PA 21st Division with the rank of Colonel when the Philippines was under the Commonwealth regime in 1934. War caught up with him in Lingayen, Pangasinan.

Forced to be in Bataan when the Japanese Forces invaded the country, Capinpin earned honors for the orderly retreat he conducted during his commands trip from Pangasinan to Bataan.

He was captured by the Japanese when Bataan fell. Undaunted, Capinpin forcibly joined the Bataan "DEATH MARCH" which began at daylight of April 10, 1942. Together with the haggard and terrified troops, they herded into groups of 500 to 1,000. Thousands wept while others stood stiffly, with blank, rigid stares. About 12,000 American soldiers, 65,000 Filipino soldiers, 6,000 Filipino civilian employees, and 10,000 Filipino refugees forced to join the trek. More than 600 Americans and 8,000 Filipino soldiers died along the way. On the 65-mile trek from Marivelez, Bataan, Capinpin and others were bayoneted, beaten and hauled off to Camp O'Donnell, a concentration Camp in Capas, Tarlac where the prisoners of war were confined. Documented stories of their confinement described their ordeal as "grim" and "nightmarish." Released in the latter part of 1942, Capinpin briefly served in the puppet government upon the invitation of Jose P. Laurel, the occupation president.

During his service with the puppet government, Capinpin saw in his position a strong cover for his guerilla activities. He planned out to rejoin the underground when he and other officials were dispatched to Baguio. The end of the last war found him in Japan.

Among the commendations he received, topped by the distinguished Service Cross, were telegraphed praises from General Douglas Mac Arthur, then commander-in-chief of all U.S Armed Forces in the Far East, Colonel Clark and the late General Vicente Lim.

Brig. Gen. Capinpin was the Armed Forces of the Philippines Adjutant General when he retired from the military service on April 30, 1948. He was then the Superintendent of the Far East Military Academy in Highway 54, Quezon City. His last public appearance was on December 16, 1958 during the convocation at the FEMA. At the age of 71, on December 28, 1958, he died of heart attack while spending holidays at his residence in Binan, Laguna.

Brigadier General Capinpin was survived by his wife, Mrs. Trinidad F. Vda. de Capinpin, and three children; Emmanuel, Ernesto and Alita.

The Stamp was issued on October 15, 1987.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Emilio F. Aguinaldo on Stamps

Gen. Emilio F. Aguinaldo was the first president of the Philippine Republic. A wealthy native of Wl Viejo, Cavite, Aguinaldo later donated his mansion to the Philippine government to preserve the monument to Philippine nationalism.

Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy (March 22, 1869 – February 6, 1964) was a Filipino general, politician, and independence leader. He played an instrumental role in Philippines' struggle for independence, essentially in the Philippine Revolution against Spain, as well as in the Philippine-American War that resisted American occupation.

Aguinaldo is considered to be the country's first and the youngest Philippine President, and though the Philippine government failed to obtain any foreign recognition during that time, it is now considered Southeast Asia's first republic.

The seventh of eight children of Carlos Aguinaldo and Trinidad Famy, Emilio was born into a Chinese-mestizo family on March 22, 1869 in Cavite Viejo (now Kawit), Cavite province. Aside from his father being gobernadorcillo (municipal mayor) of the town, his family, as members of the Chinese-mestizo minority, enjoyed a rather comfortable life.

As a young boy, Miniong received basic education from his great-aunt and later attended the town's elementary school. In 1880, he took up his secondary course education at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran. Following the death of his father on his third year, Aguinaldo quit school and retured home to help his widowed mother with their farm.

At the age of 17, Emilio was elected cabeza de barangay (village headman) of Binakayan, the most progressive barrio of Cavite El Viejo. He held this position for eight years. While at that, he also engaged himself in inter-island shipping, travelling to as far south as the Sulu Archipelago. In 1893, the Maura Law was passed to reorganize town governments with the aim of making them more effective and autonomous, changing the designation of town head from gobernadorcillo to capitan municipal effective 1895. On January 1, 1895, 26-year-old Aguinaldo was elected town head, becoming the first person to hold the title of capitan municipal of Cavite Viejo.

In 1896, Aguinaldo fell in love and married Hilaria Del Rosario of Imus, Cavite. They had five children (Miguel, Carmen, Emilio Jr., Maria and Cristina). In 1930, nine years after his wife's death, Aguinaldo married his second wife Maria Agoncillo, niece of Don Felipe Agoncillo, a pioneer Filipino diplomat.

The stamp above was issued on January 3, 1969.

Gen. Mateo Capinpin on Stamps click here

Teodora M. Alonso on Stamps

Teodora M. Alonso , the mother of Dr. Jose Rizal was a highly educated woman for her time and was Rizal's first teacher. She shared her son's suffering as an enemy of Spain. She lived to see the day her son was executed by firing squad in Bagumbayan field now known as Luneta.

Teodora was the second child of Lorenzo Alonso and Brijida de Quintos. Lorenzo was a capitan-municipal of Biñan, Laguna, a representative in the Spanish Cortes, a Knight of the Order of Isabela the Catholic and a surveyor by profession. Brijida de Quintos was an educated housewife who attended to her family's needs. In accordance to the decree issued by Governor-General Narciso Claveria in 1849, their family adopted the surname "Realonda." Coming from an able family, Teodora had her formal education at the Colegio de Santa Rosa in Manila. Just like her mother, she was well-educated and highly cultured, and had knowledge in literature and mathematics.

When Teodora turned 20 years old, she married Francisco Mercado who was a native of Biñan, Laguna. The two resided in Calamba where they engaged in agriculture. They achieved prosperity because of their industry, not to mention Teodora's efficiency at managing both the farm and the family's finances. She even set up her own textile business, a sugar and flour mill, and a small store at the ground floor of their house.

Teodora and Francisco had eleven children: Saturnina, Paciano, Narcisa, Olympia, Lucia, Maria, Jose, Concepcion, Josefa, Trinidad and Soledad. It was said that she suffered the most when she gave birth to Jose. All their children were sent to respected colleges in Manila, but Jose was the only child sent to Europe. He was inspired to take up medicine - specifically ophthalmology - in order to treat Teodora's failing eyesight.

As the mother of a perceived enemy of the Spanish authorities, Teodora was often made a target. She was imprisoned for two and a half years on trumped-up charges of poisoning her brother's wife, but was finally acquitted and released after being defended by two of Manila's most famous lawyers. She was made to walk fifty kilometers to Sta. Cruz, Laguna, for failing to use her "Hispanicized" surname, Realonda de Rizal, instead of Alonzo. Her family was ejected from their lands in Calamba as a result of a land conflict between Dominicans and the Filipino tenants. The family moved to Manila, but the Spanish persecution still followed.

Teodora joined Rizal in Hong Kong in 1891 and kept a house in Dapitan where her son was in exile. She returned to Manila to visit her husband and made an appeal to the governor-general, but this was in vain.

After Rizal was declared the national hero of the Philippines, the legislature offered her a lifetime pension as a token of gratitude. She politely refused, saying, "My family has never been patriotic for the money. If the government has plenty of funds and does not know what to do with them, it's better to reduce the taxes."

She died in Manila on 16 August 1911.

The stamp above was issued on November 8, 1974.

Felipe Agoncillo on Stamps

Felipe Agoncillo was an outstanding figure in Philippine diplomacy. He served on the Consultation Board of the Spanish Governor General but was later exiled to Jolo on charges that he was a filibuster, a suspect of revolutionary activities. He escaped and returned to Manila to join the revolution. He later served in several diplomatic posts for the Philippine Commonwealth and the Republic.

Agoncillo was born on May 26, 1859 in Taal, Batangas to Ramon Agoncillo and Gregoria Encarnacion. At an early age, his parents already noticed his brilliant mind. He enrolled at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila where he was a consistent honor high school student and later transferred to the Universidad de Santo Tomás where he obtained his law degree in 1879 with an excellent grade. He was granted a Licentiate in urisprudence with the highest honors. He returned to Taal to manage his family's properties after a year studying in Manila because his parents had both died.

Agoncillo was already a judge and at the age of 30 when he was married to Marcela Mariño, a daughter of a reputed family in the same town. Six daughters were born to them: Lorenza (Enchang), Gregoria (Goring), Eugenia (Nene), Marcela (Celing)—named after her mother because they thought she will be their last child, Adela, who died at the age of three and the youngest Maria (Maring), who was their last child to survive and died on July 6, 1995.

While in Taal, Agoncillo continued his legal services and gave charity to poor and oppressed Filipinos. He was so generous that he posted an inscription outside his office: "Free legal services to the poor anytime."

Having heard by the parish priest of his activities and for preaching patriotic ideas, he was accused as anti patriotic, anti religious and was described as filibustero or subversive. He was later recommended to the governor-general for deportation.

Forewarned by the plans of the governor-general, he sailed directly to Yokohama, Japan but briefly stayed and went to Hong Kong where he joined other Filipino exiles who found asylum when the revolution broke out in 1896. They temporarily sojourned at Morrison Hill Road in Wanchai and later became a refuge for exiled Filipino patriots.

When the signing of the Pact of Biak-na-Bato concluded, Gen. Aguinaldo joined to them. They initiated meetings in the Agoncillo residence on the months of April and March 1898 and Gen. Luna was one in the attendance.

After the signing of the truce, Agoncillo spearheaded the Central Revolutionary Committee and organized the propaganda office for General Aguinaldo's revolutionary government.

The Philippine Revolutionary Government commissioned Agoncillo as Minister Plenipotentiary to negotiate treaties with foreign governments. Agoncillo and Jose "Sixto" Lopez was sent to Washington, D.C., United States to lobby foreign entities that Filipinos are well civilized people and capable of maintaining stable government and to secure recognition of Philippine independence but US President William McKinley did not receive them. To gather sympathy to the Philippine cause, they addressed the American Episcopalian bishops.

After being ignored by the US president, Agoncillo proceeded to Paris, France to present the Philippine cause at the peace conference convened between Spain and the US, where a meeting was to be held to discuss Cuba and the Philippines. Agoncillo tried to submit a memorandum but again failed. The people behind the meeting did not want to have any official dealings with him. On December 10, 1898, the treaty was successfully signed. Subsequently, Agoncillo's diplomatic activity incurred sum of money that he had used up all his savings going from one country to another presenting the case of the Philippines that he had even sacrificed his wife's jewelry.

Two days after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, Agoncillo returned to the United States and endeavored to block ratification of the treaty by the US. Although this was signed by the commissioners, it was not yet approved by the Senate of the United States. He filed a State memorandum to express that Filipinos must be recognized by the United States.

Agoncillo's conclusion about the treaty was that it was not binding on the Philippine government. In the memorandum, he clearly stated the reasons why Spain had no right to transfer the Philippines to the United States and that when the treaty was signed, Spain no longer held the Filipinos. At that time, many Americans were also against the treaty, so they established the Anti-Imperialist League which opposed making the Philippines a colony of the United States. Afterwards, on February 4, 1899, the Philippine–American War began; this turned on approval of the treaty of Paris.

On August 29, 1900, he met with Gustave Moynier, an original member of the Committee of Five and ICRC President. Agoncillo sought recognition of the Filipino Red Cross Society as well as the application of the First Geneva Convention during the Philippine–American War.

When hostilities ended between Filipinos and Americans, he returned to Hong Kong and rejoined the exiled junta. Later, on July 15, 1901, after American rule was firmly established in Manila,he went back to the Philippines as a poor man and lived in his house in Malate, Manila together with his family.

While in Manila, he resumed his law practice and other business. He took the bar exam in 1905 and passed with a perfect score of 100 percent, an achievement which has remained unmatched until today. His examination papers have been preserved in the Filipiniana section of the Philippine Library and Museum.

In 1907, he was elected as the Batangas representative and represented that town, among others, in the Philippine Assembly. He was once a defense of El Renacimiento whose editors were charged with libel by Dean C. Worcester. De Agoncillo was appointed as Secretary of Interior in 1923 during the administration of Governor General Leonard Wood and fought for the Filipinization of the government service. Agoncillo died on September 29, 1941 in Manila Doctor's Hospital, Manila.

The stamp above was issued on February 27, 1976.

Jose Abad Santos on Stamps

Jose Abad Santos is best known as a jurist. He gained national hero status during World War II. His refusal to collaborate with the Japanese with the Japanese occupational forces resulted in his incarceration, torture and death.

José Abad Santos y Basco (February 19, 1886 – May 2, 1942) was the fifth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines and served as Acting President of the Philippines during World War II. He was executed by Japanese forces during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, He is the grandfather of Senator Jamby Madrigal. Abad Santos was born in City of San Fernando, Pampanga to Vicente Abad Santos and Toribia Basco. His brother, Pedro, would eventually emerge as a leading socialist leader during the Commonwealth era. In 1904, he was sent to the United States as a government pensionado. He finished a pre-law course at the Santa Clara College in Santa Clara, California; his Bachelor of Laws at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois; and his Masters of Laws at George Washington University in 1909. Admitted to the Philippine Bar in 1911, he served as Assistant Attorney at the Bureau of Justice from 1913 to 1917 .

In 1919, Abad Santos would become instrumental in laying the legal groundwork as well as drafting the by-laws and constitution of the Philippine Women's University, the country's and Asia's first private non-sectarian institution for higher learning for women. A staunch Methodist, Abad Santos was a member of the Central United Methodist Church on Kalaw Street in Manila then known as the Central Methodist Episcopal Church.

He was later appointed the first Filipino corporate lawyer of the Philippine National Bank, Manila Railroad Company and other government corporations. He returned to the Department of Justice where he became Attorney-General, Undersecretary of Justice then Secretary of Justice from 1921 to 1923. In July 1923, he resigned as Secretary of Justice together with other department secretaries as a result of the controversy between Governor-General Leonard Wood and Filipino leaders.

Abad Santos then served as Chief Counsel of the President of the Philippine Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. In 1926 he went to the United States as head of the Philippine Educational Mission. He was again appointed Secretary of Justice in 1928 and re-appointed on July 1, 1931. In 1932, he became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. He became its Chief Justice on December 24, 1941. As part of the emergency reorganization of the Commonwealth government, Abad Santos, in his capacity as Chief Justice, was given the responsibilities previously handled by the Secretary of Justice (the position of Secretary of Justice was abolished for the duration of the war). Abad Santos accompanied the Commonwealth government to Corregidor, where on December 30, 1941, he administered the oath of office to President Quezon and Vice-President Osmeña for the second term they'd been elected to in November of that year. He also undertook, with Manuel Roxas, the supervision of the destruction of Commonwealth government currency to prevent its falling into enemy hands.

When President Manuel L. Quezon left for the United States via Australia, Chief Justice Abad Santos was given the choice to leave with him. But the latter preferred to remain in the Philippines and carry on his work and stay with his family. President Quezon appointed him Acting President with full authority to act in the name of, and on behalf, of the President of the Philippines in areas unoccupied by the Japanese. On April 11, 1942, he and his son José, Jr. were captured by the Japanese while traveling by automobile in Carcar, Cebu. He identified himself as the chief justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Abad Santos and his son were then taken to a concentration camp.

When asked to cooperate with the Japanese, he refused to do so. Although he had nothing to do with military operations, they imputed to him the destruction of the bridges and other public works in Cebu.

The Japanese High Command took him and his son to Parang, Cotabato (now in Maguindanao) in April 1942. The next day they were brought to Malabang, Lanao, and after three days confinement at the constabulary barracks, Chief Justice Abad Santos was called to Japanese headquarters. Before he was shot to death, he was able to talk to his son José, Jr. His last parting words to his son were "Do not cry, Pepito, show to these people that you are brave. It is an honor to die for one's country. Not everybody has that chance." He was executed at 2:00 p.m., on May 2, 1942. The date is often reported as May 7, but as former Supreme Court Justice Ramón C. Aquino, Abad Santos' biographer put it, "At first it was thought that Abad Santos had been killed on May 7, 1942. This was the date given by Pepito himself during his testimony at the trials of Generals Hayashi and Kawaguchi. But on the basis of Fukui's testimony supported by notations in his diary, the date of Abad Santos' execution was definitely ascertained to be at two o'clock on the afternoon of May 2, 1942."

The stamp above was issued on May 2,1960.