Readings for the Day: Monday, 17th of August 2009

On one of Dearest Mum’s visits, she brought along a book written by one of self’s uncles. It was a beautiful book, a story of Dearest Mum’s side of the family. No expense was spared in the binding, or in the paper. Years later, in fact this very morning, self decided to begin reading it. And here are a few things she discovered about her mother’s side of the family:

  • Great-great-great-great-great grandfather Zoilo del Rosario was a platero (silversmith) in Santa Cruz, Laguna. He “crafted the brass and silver ornaments that adorned religious statues and church altars.”
  • The strands of intermarriage with the Chinese community were many and various.  One of self’s ancestors married Benita Quiogue of Pateros, Rizal (the Quiogues would go on to found “the first modern funeral parlors in the Philippines.” Can anyone say “Six Feet Under”? Hello, perhaps this is the reason for self’s ever-present gravitation towards the morbid, in her reading as well as in her writing!)  Zoilo the silversmith was married to a Martina Potenciana on May 18, 1819. The wedding records include a notation on the bride’s race: “Chinese mestiza.”

    Self is also continuing to read Modesto P. Sa-Onoy’s History of Negros Occidental. Here’s what she reads on p. 19:

    The early Negrosanon were fond of waiting for the last minute to perform their work. Fr. Ignacio Alzina, another Jesuit missionary who spent forty-five years in the Visayas, wrote about this mañana habit of the people, saying that “out of one hundred Indians (Filipinos were then called Indians by the Spaniards), ten will not be found, not even five, that will anticipate their tribute beforehand but they will let it go to the last moment. When they find themselves pressed and they are about to be arrested for lack of it, the men usually go off to the forest to look for the beeswax” which they used to pay for their tribute.

    It must have been like doing homework, or writing a paper, dear blog readers. At least, that’s what the above passage sounds like, to self. Stay tuned.

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