Where there is more heaven than elsewhere (paying respect to Gagalangin)

gagalangin

Gagalangin is in Tondo — as in Gagalangin, Tondo, Manila. But its residents behave as though it is not. It is thinly separated by the unimposing Pritil bridge from the more trouble-prone Tondo of Bangkusay, Vitas, and Moriones, but the residents pretend it is a world away.

Ask a Gagalangin lass where she lives, and she is unlikely to mention Tondo, lest it scare away prospective suitors less fearless and fist-happy than Fernando Poe, Jr.

Kaming mga taga Gagalangin, the old guards say proudly, are respectful and respected.

Taga-rito si Dolphy, King of Comedy, they would tell the uninformed, and proceed to point to where his old house once stood in Sunog Apog. If you had more time to listen, they would probably whisper that Dolphy wanted sorely to marry the mother of his first batch of children, except the family of the woman thought he’d be good for nothing. “Big mistake, huge,” they’d probably interject, with a “tsk, tsk.”

Ganun din si Tirso Cruz, great band leader, and his famous offsprings. Same with Perla Bautista, Tony Santos, Ricky Belmonte, Gina Pareno. Award-winning movie stars.

Pitoy and Virgie Moreno. Renato Constantino. Atang de la Rama and Amado Hernandez. Armando Malay. Rolando Tinio. Teodoro Agoncillo. Francisco Buencamino, Jr. Vicente del Fierro. Icons of letters and the arts.

They all grew up there, these gentle and genteel people.

It was where I was born and grew up, too. I’d call it the “Gagalangin of my affections,” except it is already taken.

Continue reading “Where there is more heaven than elsewhere (paying respect to Gagalangin)”

Advertisements

Magat Salamat, chief of Tondo

magat-salamat

We are reprinting this article as part of our series on Tondo, which aims to show the district’s rich history. Source is the Kahimyang Project, an interesting site that publishes articles on Philippine history.

***

Magat Salamat, Chief of Tondo, A Forgotten Hero of the First Katipunan over 300 years ago

One of the earliest heroes of the Philippines, in the words of Don Isabelo de los Reyes and Professor Austin Craig, was Magat Salamat, one of the chiefs of Tondo. Through the centuries his name has come to us in colors blurred and indistinct. Many are the legends and myths which were woven and rewoven around this hero of the sixteenth century, but most of them are nothing more than the fantasies of some hero-worshipper, which have proved brittle to the touch of reality. They make, therefore, no direct appeal to skeptical scholars, though they may fascinate fictionists and romancers.

Continue reading “Magat Salamat, chief of Tondo”

Growing up in Tondo

Tutuban Train Station

This post is Chapter 1 of the biography of Dr. Fernando G. Bautista, a full-blooded Tondo boy who would later become the founder of the University of Baguio. He was born and raised in Palumpong (now Dagupan) and was a student at the Rizal Elementary School and Manila North (now Arellano High School).

We are reprinting this as part of our series on Tondo. This is also our first article for 2012, so we’d like to greet everyone belated Happy New Year.

Continue reading “Growing up in Tondo”

Kantahan sa kanto

Ito ang eksenang tiyak na pamilyar sa ating lahat. Isang barkadang nagkakantahan sa kanto, sa harap ng isang tindahan, habang may umiikot na basong pantagay. Ginagawa ng marami sa atin dati, at maganda sigurong gawin uli. Pero sa halip na videoke ay muli nating ilalabas ang gitara para awitin ang mga paborito nating kanta noon. Iba pa rin talaga ang dating ng gitara, ‘no?

Balintataw ang tawag ng barkadahang ito sa kanilang grupo at ang pamagat ng awitin ay “Hahanapin kita”, na ayon sa kanila’y orihinal nilang komposisyon. Nice, mga tsong!

New year’s party

Every year residents of Raxabago, Tondo, are holding a traditional all-male new year’s party, where participants get to cross dress or don colorful costumes. It’s no different this year, and at this very moment another party is going on as a way of welcoming 2010. We are sharing some pics especially for those who used to reside in the area and miss this kind of revelry.

Continue reading “New year’s party”

Sulat mula sa Pritil

Pritil_market

Sa pag-unawa sa nakaraan, hindi lang mga librong pangkasaysayan ang ating  sinasangguni. Kadalasan ay binabasa rin natin ang mga kathang panitikan na nagbibigay-tulong sa atin na mas “maramdaman” ang ating nakalipas. Katulad na lang ng kwentong “Sulat mula sa Pritil” ni Norma O. Miraflor na amin munang “hihiramin” at ilalathala rito.

Sinulat noong 1970, ang “Sulat mula sa Pritil” ay kwento ni Isagani, estudyante ng Torres High School at editor ng The Torch, ang opisyal na pahayagang pang-mag-aaral ng Torres, na, katulad natin at ni Miraflor mismo, ay lumaki at bumaybay sa kaibuturan ng Tundo. Bagamat kathang piksyonal, isinasabuhay ng kwento hindi lamang ang buhay-Tundo (o buhay-Pritil) kundi pati na rin ang maligalig na sitwasyon ng dekada.

Kamakailan ay inilathala rin namin ang “Sandosenang sapatos“, at ang “Sulat Mula sa Pritil” ay bahagi ng pagsisikap naming magbahagi ng mga kwentong sumasalamin sa kontekstong kinalakihan nating lahat. Abangan ang susunod pang mga kwento.

*****

Continue reading “Sulat mula sa Pritil”