Self bumped into Charles Tan at the Manila International Book Festival today. Also, Ambeth Ocampo, very busily engaged in signing copies of his books while being deluged by worshipful citizens. Also saw: Nadine Sarreal, Gwen Galvez, and Karina Bolasco. These women give credence to one of Dearest Mum’s sayings: “In the Philippines, women don’t grow old. Only the karabaw do.”
If self really cared about her appearance, she would move to the Philippines (which is terribly impractical; if not impossible)
In the meantime, self is engaged in reading a book called: Horacio de la Costa, S. J.: Selected Essays on the Filipino and His Problems Today , edited by Roberto M. Paterno and published in 2002. Fr. de la Costa, who taught at the Ateneo, was a great Filipino historian and writer. In one of the essays, called “The Role of Religious Women in Asia Today,” self gleans this fascinating nugget of information:
“When the Spaniards first came to Maynila, they found the women worshipping a wooden image in a pandan grove in what is now the district of Ermita. It was the image of a woman, and the Spaniards very naturally presumed that it was an image of the Virgin Mary, brought by some wandering Franciscan missionary around the time of Marco Polo. They dressed it up in velvet and cloth of gold and put a crown on its head and called it Nuestro Señora de Guia. But some time ago an architect got permission to cut a small piece from the base of the image and test it; and he found that it was molave, which suggests that it was carved in the Philippines and was not brought here from Europe.”
Fascinating, isn’t it, dear blog readers?