Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Burgos Enigma

Fr. Jose Burgos (1837-1872)

Perhaps, if I may say,  it was his "kastila" features, his creole background and not counting even his intellectual gifts, that led to his undoing. Spain of 19th Century mistrusted so much her sons born in the colonies. The experience Spain had in the Americas, with this great wave of new thinking brought by the Enlightenment which resulted to revolutions and subsequent independence of many of her colonies, had made her weary if not too cautious of this criollos and mestizos, that sector she at first relied so much in spreading "Pax Hispanica". 

With Burgos, Spain saw the events in Mexico reverberating. Burgos was another potential Padre Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, the Mexican clergy who led the "Grito de Dolores' -the Mexican Cry of Independence and like Fr. Hidalgo, Burgos championed the cause of the native clergy. The pamphlets and writings Burgos spread were like papers for bonfires that potentially could burn the colonial authorities. (But I want to say, that I found him and his works with real subversive tendencies) They even wanted to put a "Carlist" label on him just to indicate that he is afterall,  still a "kastila". But it was too late the creole Burgos actually was redefining the issues of what it would take to be called a true son of the motherland- Filipinas.

 Later on, It would take another Jose to put another definition to the label "Filipino".

Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (1753-1811)
Padre Hidalgo uttered the famous "El Grito de Dolores", a "pronunciamiento", a call to battle for Mexican Independence, the grito or the cry happened in the small town of Dolores (Hidalgo) in Guanajuato, Mexico. Miguel Hidalgo was a criollo- one similarity Burgos shared with him, besides both being a curate.

     "El Grito de Dolores"(detail) by Mexican muralist Juan O'Gorman       

The Gomburza Monument by Solomon Saprid


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