Thursday, February 7, 2013

"SIGLO DE ORO" in Manila's Streets and Plazas




 Lope de Vega (1562-1635)


In Rizal Avenue (Avenida area in Manila)  there is a street called LOPE DE VEGA named after the famous Spanish playwright of the Baroque period, Felix Lope de Vega y Carpio (1562-1635). Because we are separated now from the Spanish language, we hardly read or even know him, instead we read Shakespeare. Some of us gets only that chance to see or hear something about Lope de Vega, say if Instituto Cervantes, Manila would feature something about him. 

Looking at the street names and plazas of Manila you will also find Zurbaran, Cervantes and Calderon de la Barca, it does not only tells of our Spanish heritage but also Spanish history itself. Those names were representative of a period when Spanish arts and literature flourished . The period known in Spanish history as "SIGLO DE ORO" or the golden age.


Francisco de Zurbarán  (1598-1664) Probable self-portrait of Francisco Zurbarán as Saint Luke. Known mainly for his works with religious themes, Zurbarán represents a high point in Spanish Baroque art. If the name Zurbarán sounds familiar to Filipinos particularly in Metro Manila, it is because a street in Santa Cruz, Manila was named after him (now changed to Valeriano Fugoso Street), that's also the place many of us knows as Zurbaran, where a central market is located. Why do we change the names of our old streets?



"Agnus Dei" by celebrated Spanish painter Francisco de Zurbarán 



Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600-1681)  Spanish playwright , another leading figure of the "Siglo de Oro" in Spanish literature. If Lope De Vega defined Spanish Baroque theater that time, De la Barca developed it. A plaza in Binondo used to be called "Plaza Calderon de la Barca", but now it carries the name  San Lorenzo Ruiz.





Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616). The greatest Spanish playwright. His opus "Don  Quixote" is  a classic in world literature. He was a soldier in the "Battle of Lepanto", where he was wounded and lost the use of his left arm. Thus he was also knowns as "el manco de Lepanto". A  plaza also in Binondo, Manila  is named after him.










Saturday, February 2, 2013

Ang Plano Ni Quezon Na Isama Ang Pilipinas Sa British Commonwealth 1937

Larawan ni Manuel L Quezon at Anthony Eden


ISANG NAKA PLANONG MEETING NOONG PEBRERO 19. 1937 SA LONDON. Sa pagitan ng Presidente ng Philippine Commonwealth Manuel L. Quezon at British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden. Ang tatalakayin ay ang posibilidad na pagsama ng Pilipinas sa British Commonwealth. Napaka radical ng plano ni Quezon na umalis sa poder ng Amerikano at lumapit sa pangangalaga ng mga British. Ang dahilan ay nakikita nyang kakulangan ng Amerika sa paghahanda at pag aarmas laban sa lumalakas na banta ng bansang Hapon noong panahon na iyon. Sa totoo nito bagamat kolonya nga ng Amerika ang Pilipinas, wala naman ito sa prioridad ng Amerika upang ipagtangol ito ng lubusan. Sa katunayan ilan beses din kinausap ni Quezon si Dwight Eisenhower (ang dati noong naninilbihan sa ilalim ni Mc Arthur) tungkol sa kahandaan ng Pilipinas. At ang sagot na nakukuha nito kay Eisenhower ay nakabahala: Hindi handa ang Pilipinas!

Ng malaman ng Washington ang napipintong meeting nila Quezon at Eden, agad nilang na "censure" si Quezon. Hanggang sa nawala na ang balak at ang usapan sa takbo ng pangyayari. Ang Kasaysayan ang naghusga kung tama ang balak ni Quezon. Makalipas ang ilang taon, sumiklab ang digmaan sa Asia. Nakita nga ang kakulangan ng Amerika. Subalit hindi lamang Amerika, pati rin pala ang mga British at mga Holandes (Dutch) ay hindi handa. Noong 1942, ang Singapore, na kinikilalang "mighty fortress"ng British Empire sa Asia ang isa sa unang ciudad na bumagsak sa kamay ng mga Hapon.

Subalit hindi pa rin matutumbasan ang tunay na pagmamalasakit ni Quezon sa Pilipinas. Naka handang layasan ang poder ng Amerika masiguro lamang ang kaligtasan ng milyun milyun nyang kababayan.