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El amor en tiempos de guerra

Love in the Time of War Ang artikulong ito ay lumabas sa Philippine Star noong July 13, 2008. Sulat
ito ni Wilson Lee Flores:
Love in the time of war: Manuel Quezons dad, Anne Curtis, Jericho Rosales & Ed Angara in Baler
History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves,
and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future. Robert Penn Warren
What is it about sun-kissed small towns wedged between mountains and the ocean that creates an aura
of timeless romance, mysteries and epic even quixotic dreams?
Despite having only 30,000 inhabitants, this third-class coastal municipality of Baler nestled between
the Philippines longest mountain range of the Sierra Madre and the Pacific Ocean is the hometown of
Commonwealth President Manuel Luis Quezon, his maternal cousin First Lady Doa Aurora Aragon
Quezon and Senator Edgardo Angara. It also became the last bastion of Spanish colonial rule in this
archipelago, due to the Siege of Baler from June 30, 1898 and ending only 11 arduous months later.
This history buff was invited by Senator Ed Angara to watch the documentary film showing of Returning
to the Siege of Baler last July 7 at Instituto Cervantes on T. M. Kalaw Avenue, Manila. It was created by
young Spanish artist Jesus Valbuena Garcia, a maternal grandson of Corporal Jesus Garcia Quijano
one of the 33 Spanish soldiers who survived inside the Catholic church of Baler, out of the original 54
The collapsing Spanish empires last soldiers in Baler most were from poor farming families unable to
bribe their way out of military service, according to the film documentary had resisted the Filipino
revolutionaries siege for 337 days, even as the US had already, in 1898, bought the Philippines from a
vanquished Spain. It was the longest military siege in world history according to the Spanish
filmmaker. It was almost surreal, like a plot straight out of a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel!
Two Angaras were among the Filipino rebels killed in the siege: Senator Angaras son, Congressman
Juan Edgardo Sonny Angara, confirmed to The Philippine STAR that both Katipuneros were their kin.
However, like his magnanimous forebears who had extended hospitality towards the 33 Spanish
soldiers after their final surrender, it was Senator Ed Angara who pushed for the annual PhilippineSpanish Friendship Day celebration starting 2003 on the June 30 date marking the start of the
Siege of Baler.
After the documentary film showing, Senator Angara announced that the state-owned casino operator
PAGCOR led by Chairman Ephraim Genuino would finance the production of a fictional/historical movie
entitled Baler from the point of view of the Filipinos. It will be a love story drama set in this historical
epoch of war.
Angara announced that Viva Entertainment boss Vic del Rosario will undertake the film project to
compete in the December 2008 Metro Manila Film Festival, with Mark Meily as director, award-winning
Roy Iglesias as scriptwriter, and starring young actress Anne Curtis and actor Jericho Rosales. Senator
Angara added that Jericho Rosales knows Baler well, because he is a frequent surfer there Baler
being one of the Philippines best surfing areas, comparable to Siargao in northern Mindanao.
Apart from Genuino, del Rosario, Iglesias and Ed Angaras two siblings, Aurora province Governor
Bellaflor Angara-Castillo and Baler Mayor Arturo Angara, guests in the film showing included Senator
Loren Legarda (who told the STAR she loves movies and strongly supports further studies of Philippine
history), Instituto Cervantes Manila director Jose Pepe Rodriguez, former Cultural Center of the
Philippines (CCP) chairman Gloria Manalang-Angara, history professors like Jaime Veneracion of UP,
construction businessman Felipe Philip Cruz, Jr., Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL)
founder and National Artist Virgilio Rio Alma Almario, as well as Philippine STAR columnists Krip
Yuson, Joanne Rae Ramirez and Rosalinda Baby Orosa.
Quezons dad was not a Spanish priest, but a casualty of Baler Siege
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Enrique Ricky Quezon Avancea, a grandson of President Quezon by his daughter Ma. Zenaida or
Nini, said: At the beginning of the siege, there were 1,900 inhabitants of Baler. The number of Filipino
casualties after the siege was 700, with the majority presumed to be injured and the rest killed.
Moreover, the town was razed to the ground This singular act (the burning of Baler) was to cause the
physical and economic dislocation of the entire town and bring about untold hardship and suffering
among the people.
A casualty just before the Siege of Baler was President Quezons younger brother Pedro Heting
Quezon and their schoolmaster father Lucio Quezon, who were killed by local Katipunero revolutionaries
because of the elder Quezons assistance to the Spanish soldiers. Ricky Avancea said of the violent
deaths: It had been a direct but unnecessary consequence of those stubborn ultimos de Filipinas (the
last Spanish soldiers unwilling to surrender the Philippines) holding siege in the church of Baler Their
remains were never given proper burial and had been left exposed to the elements.
Avancea added: What distressed (President) Quezon greatly was not only that they had abandoned
the bodies in utter disrespect. Soldiers of the Katipunan were not wont to do such things. He was
grieving the loss of his younger brother whom he felt did not deserve to die. Quezon understood, his
father Lucio was loyal to the Crown of Spain to the very end.
A few years ago, taipan John Gokongwei, Jr. told me the late President Manuel L. Quezon was a
Chinese mestizo and he read that fact in an article by former Senate President Jovito Salonga. Ricky
Quezon Avancea confirmed this data: Historians and family agree with the description Chinese
mestizo. Lucio Quezons father was of Chinese ancestry and they lived in the Parian or Chinatown
district outside Intramuros. His mother could have been of Spanish origins because Lucio spoke
Spanish and thus became maestro (teacher) in Baler after retiring as a sargento in the guardia civil.
However, he could have learned his Spanish in his stint in the Spanish military. According to historian
Augusto de Viana and as written in his timeline on the history of Baler, Lucio Quezon, the father of
President Quezon, was a Spanish-Chinese mestizo.
For generations, people have whispered about the alleged Spanish friar father of President Quezon. In
the American colonial era when Quezon once accompanied Jose P. Laurel on horseback from Manila to
Baler to campaign, at a public rally in the town, an old man of Baler stood up to ask: Totoo daw na si
Quezon ay anak ng pari? (Is it true that Quezon is the son of a priest?). Ricky Avancea recounted:
Quezon looked indignant, glared at the man directly and, without skipping a beat, answered:
Kasinungalingan! Si Quezon ay anak ng Obispo! (That is a lie! Quezon is the son of a bishop!). The
crowd roared in laughter.
Actually, the Spanish priest in President Quezons lineage was that of his maternal grandfather Father
Jose Urbina de Esparragosa who arrived in Baler in 1847 and served as the towns parish priest.
Father Urbinas half-Spanish daughter by Baler woman Brigida Molina Maria Dolores Molina was
the mother of President Quezon.
Jesus Valbuena Garcias film documentary is an eye-opener and raises questions, not only for the
Spanish people about the true circumstances here but also the social costs of their colonization
policies. When will a similar documentary be done on Americas controversial war in early 20th century
Philippines, their very first Vietnam War? The well-made documentary also raises questions on the
Filipino perspectives of colonial history and the need to further reexamine this part of our past.
The truths we learn from history unvarnished, unembellished and unemotional should help set us
free as we struggle to write a new and hopefully more just and free national destiny in the 21st century.
The young filmmaker Valbuena accurately said it best after the film showing: Baler is a lighthouse for
many of us who are lost in the ocean.
12 de octubre de 2008 -

Popularidad: 1% Visitas: 9360

12 Comentarios
12/10/2008, por Jess Valbuena
los ltimos ya tienen nuevo web y sern los primeros
13/10/2008, por Mario Lpez Feito
Me alegra tener de nuevo la pgina de "baleria" y seguir al da las noticias relacionadas con Baler.
Enhorabuena Jess por el estreno del documental; espero verlo pronto para poder opinar. Hasta
entonces un saludo y xito con l.
15/10/2008, por Miguel Rodrguez Artacho
Me uno a la enhorabuena, Jesus. Esperamos noticias sobre cundo ser posible verlo.
4/15/2013 11:57 PM

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24/10/2008, por Dindo Honrado

My name is Dindo Honrado. Im very interested in Jesus Valbuenas documentary "Returning to the
Siege of Baler." I havent seen the film yet and would like to purchase it on DVD. How can i contact
Jesus Valbuena? Do u have his email address?
13/11/2008, por Vicente
Hola, Jess, mi enhorabuena y decirte que unos amigos y yo acabamos de formar un pequeo grupo
de "rayadillos", nuestro bautismo ha sido en la Expohistrica de Castelln, hemos representado al
Regimiento Infante n 5 en el que el bisabuelo de uno de nosotros sirvi en Cuba.
Estamos a tu disposicin si te hicieramos falta para cualquier homenaje o evento relacionado con los
ultimos de Filipinas. Saludos
17/11/2008, por jesus
Qu interesante, Vicente, cuenta, cuenta. Teneis fotos vestidos? Qu fue del hroe annimo?
18/11/2008, por Vicente
Hola de nuevo, pues si, tenemos algunas fotos, no s si aqui se pueden subir, pero si me mandas una
direccin con gusto te las mando.
En este enlace de youtube de la expohistorica se nos ve un poco en el minuto 3:

En cuanto al visabuelo del compaero, pues sobrevivi a tres aos de guerra en Cuba, fu de los
ultimos repatriados, osea, que tambien luch contra los norteamericanos.
Una vez en Espaa y ya en 1931, fu elegido alcalde de su pueblo sito en Cuenca, a los pocos meses
un vecino contrario a la repblica lo asesin con una escopeta.
25/11/2008, por Rafael Galvn Daz
Enhorabuena, Jess, por partida doble, por el documental y por la web.
Espero poder disfrutar pronto del documental en televisin.
23/12/2008, por Capferran
Me he emocionado, al leeros. MI abuelo sirvien Cuba tres aos, luch contra los mambises, contra los
americanos,contra el vmito negro.Volvi a Benafer (Castelln) y falleci en 1957 en Valencia. Tengo
reconstruda toda su salida y estancia en Cuba a travs de su cartilla militar.Cuanto sufrieron Dios
26/02/2009, por Enrique
Felicidades por partida doble Jess.
24/06/2009, por Juan Negreira
Hola a todos aunque algo tarde. Soy un entusiasta del siglo XIX y un interesado en recopilar lo que
nuestros soldaditos pasaron en aquellas contiendas. Hace unos aos publiqu unos trabajos sobre los
que fueron a Cuba y otro sobre Filipinas, recogiendo lo que mis paisanos baleares hicieron en aquellas
tierras. Mallorquines hubo dos en Baler (durante el asedio definitivo) porque en el anterior hubo otros
Me interesara mucho ver el documental que comentais.
Yo acabo de recibir hoy mismo la pelcula Baler, hecha en Filipinas. Todava no la he visto, ya os
Saludos a mi amigo Lopez Feito desde Mallorca.
Un abrazo a todos
18/07/2011, por Calvin Klein Underwear
Since the material is a excellent offer more delicate than cotton.
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