Past Squares 13: Philippine History

Self is a first-generation immigrant from the Philippines. Her Dear Departed Dad’s province was an island in the central Philippines called Negros (yes, really, the Spanish named the island after its inhabitants, who were dark-skinned)

For today’s Past Squares post (many, many thanks to Becky at Life of B for hosting the Squares Challenge), here are two books on Philippine History that she’s found invaluable while doing research for her current project, a novel about a 16th century Spanish priest who is sent to the Philippines to fight demons:

The History of the Royal Gardens

Self is reading about all the wonderful improvements made to London’s public parks by Charles II, James II and William and Mary.

  • “Each royal generation tried to outdo the one before.” — England’s Magnificent Gardens, p. 26

Reading that sentence, self can’t help being reminded of the “improvements” inflicted by Melania on Jackie Kennedy’s beloved Rose Garden. It would seem she was driven, not by a wish to outdo her predecessors, but by a wish for VENDETTA!

Back to England’s Magnificent Gardens: The improvements made by the various monarchs did not come from “their own money. That came from the government of the day and, ultimately, from all the nation’s taxpayers.”

Darn it! WE the people probably supplied the funds for Melania’s hack job — with our tax dollars!? Didn’t Omarosa say in her book that Melania was not a victim, she was always in control? She knew how to get her point across. In fact, this Master of the Passive Aggressive didn’t just use gardens to make a statement, she also used fashion! Who can forget the green military style jacket (vaguely reminiscent of Fidel Castro’s garb) she wore to almost everything during The Former Guy’s last year in office? Or what about the blood-red Christmas trees that looked more like they belonged in Handmaid’s Tale or Halloween Kills?

Stephanie Grisham in her book corroborates Omarosa: yes, Stephanie says, the First Lady was very very passive aggressive. And SHE TOOK IT OUT ON CHRISTMAS. (Melania was probably thinking, I’m miserable as First Lady. I’m going to do the White House Christmas decorations in RED, like the inside of a bordello! Because I don’t like Christmas! Christmas is off the table! Christmas is nuts! I’m going to destroy Christmas!)

Self wonders where Melania learned how to be the Queen of Passive Aggressive. Was it something she picked up in Slovakia? Or later, when she was accompanying the Donald on his private jets? Or was it something she was born with?

When TFG had to entertain, she left him very much to his own devices, which is why he had to improvise with take-out from McDonald’s. Maybe they fought earlier, and this was her revenge.

Melania for the win!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: England’s Magnificent Gardens

“The new king had plenty to do. He had to reestablish the monarchy, appoint his ministers and courtiers, call a new parliament, and cement relationships with the Anglican Church, which was still suspicious of his Catholic mother; not least, he had to pursue and put to death the men who had killed his father.”

England’s Magnificent Gardens, p. 23

Yet, despite all that, Charles II still found time to work on the Royal Gardens! “In St. James Park in central London, only a few hundred yards from Whitehall, he made use of unemployed soldiers to dig a huge rectangular lake, 850 yards long by 43 yards wide. He was soon “able to enjoy himself feeding the ducks on the new lake.”

He’d been king for less than a year.

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