Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Jose Torres Bugallon

Jose Torres Bugallon, great military strategist in the Filipino-American War, was born on August 28, 1873 in Salasa (now Bugallon), Pangasinan to Jose Asas Bugallon. His father came from Baliwag, Bulakan; his mother was of the well-known Gonzales family of Pangasinan.

After elementary schooling in Salasa, he went to San Isidro Nueva Ecija where he completed in 1882 the first and second years of the secondary course under Don Rufino Villaruz. In 1886, he enrolled at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, completed the secondary course and earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1889, with high scholastic ratings.

After his graduation he entered the Seminary of San Carlos with the intention of becoming a priest although his real love was the military. Having passed the validation examination given by the Spanish government in 1892, he went abroad as a pensionado of the government to the world-famed Military Academy at Toledo, Spain where he spent three years of concentrated study in the science of military organization and warfare.

In 1896, he graduated as 2nd Lieutenant. Upon his return to the Philippines that same year, he joined and served with the 70th Infantry Regiment of the Spanish Army. He fought several battles and after the battle of Talisay on May 30, 1897, he was promoted to Captain. He was also awarded the coveted Cross of Maria Cristina and the Red Cross for Military Honor (Cruz Roja del Merito Militar). After the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898, and the cessation of hostilities, he obtained his clearance papers.

At that time, General Antonio Luna urgently needed instructors for the training of officers in the European art of warfare at Malolos, Bulacan. Jose joined General Luna's staff as aide-de-camp and recruitment officer for Spanish war veterans. A well-trained military officer, he was very instrumental in the reorganization and discipline of the Filipino Army. This made him an invaluable officer to General Luna.

On February 5, 1899, Bugallon was in command of the heavily defended frontline at La Loma. The American troops under General Arthur MacArthur attacked this defense sector. In the thick of battle, the Filipino forces were outflanked, exposing Torres Bugallon to the superior firepower of the enemy. He was hit by a bullet in the thighs.Upon learning from Lt. Colonel Queri, that Bugallon was wounded, General Luna ordered: "Bugallon wounded. Order forward. He must be saved at all costs. Bugallon is worth 500 Filipino soldiers. He is one of my hopes for future victory."General Luna found him severely wounded and prostrate in a ditch at the side of the road. All that he could utter was "My ...don't expose yourself so much. Don't advance any farther."

For galiantry in action he was honored with the regalia befitting his heroism, promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and pinned with a medal worth his military valor. Lt. Colonel Bugallon was withdrawn from the frontlines by Commander Hernando, and General Luna himself, who took him to the Kalookan medical station where he was given first aid by Dr. Jose Luna and Santiago Barcelona. By train, he was rushed by General Luna to Malolos for hospitalization. Somewhere after Lolomboy and nearing the approach to Bocaue, Lt. Colonel Bugallon asked: "Have the reinforcement arrived?" Too weak to keep his strength any longer due to profuse bleeding, he died on the breast of General Antonio Luna, a few hours after he was withdrawn from the battlefield.

Commander Torres Bugallon's death was a great loss to General Antonio Luna who wept unashamedly before the lifeless body of his comrade-at-arms.

Arrangements were made to bury his remains in Bigaa but it was decided later to inter the corpse at the Malolos cemetery. There a tomb with a modest stone slab marked his final resting place.
Though felled in battle, Bugallon with his gallantry under the very superior enemy firepower, surpassed whatever shortcomings he had in Iris military career. He owed a great debt of gratitude to Spain for his training and education. But his decision to renounce his military allegiance and to join the Filipino Army not only for martial laurels but for the bright future of the land of his birth for which he sacrificed his life, made him a hero, a true Filipino.

To perpetuate his memory, a law sponsored in 1921 by Congressman Mauro Navarro of Pangasinan changed the name of Salasa, the hero's birthplace, to Bugallon.

His remains now lie buried in the Sampalok Church in Manila.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Victorio Edades

Made National Artist in Painting in 1976, Victorio C. Edades was the pioneer in modernism in the Philippine art scene. In fact, he is known as the Father of Modern Philippine Painting. A lot of his paintings portrayed the hardships of the working class, using dark and somber colors and bold strokes.

Edades was born on December 23, 1895 in Dagupan, Pangasinan to Hilario Edades and Cecilia Edades. He obtained his early education in barrio schools and went to a high school in Lingayen. In 1919, he left for the United States to study Architecture and Fine Arts at the University of Washington in Seattle. During the summer, he worked in the salmon canneries of Alaska. It was also during his stay in the U.S. that he married American Jean Garrott, with whom he had his only daughter, Joan.

He returned to the Philippines in 1928 and in the same year had his first one-man show at the Philippine Columbian Club. He also came up with two of his most well-known works in that year: The Sketch (also known as The Artist and His Model), and The Builders.

Edades joined the University of Santo Tomas in the 1930�s where he stayed on for three decades and became dean of its Department of Architecture. It was he who introduced the Liberal Arts program which led to a Bachelor�s Degree in Fine Arts, a first in the Philippines since art was only taught in vocational schools then. Edades later formed the Triumvirate of Modern Art with Carlos V. Francisco and Galo B. Ocampo, after they produced a mural for the lobby of the Capitol Theater on Escolta Street. This began the growth of mural painting in the Philippines.

However, it was also during this period that the infamous debate between the modernists and the conservatives, including Ariston Estrada, Ignacio Manlapaz and Fermin Sanchez, took place. This was interrupted by the second World War, but resumed in 1948, with sculptor Guillermo Tolentino and painter Fernando Amorsolo representing the conservatives.

In 1938, Edades, together with Ocampo and Diosdado Lorenzo, established the Atelier of Modern Art in Malate, Manila. This resulted in the formation of the Thirteen Moderns, considered the pioneers of modern art in the Philippines. This group was led by Edades and included Ocampo, Francisco, Lorenzo, Vicente S. Manansala, H. R. Ocampo, Demetrio Diego, Bonifacio Cristobal, Cesar F. Legaspi, Jose Pardo, Arsenio Capili, Ricarte Puruganan, and Anita Magsaysay-Ho.

Aside from this, Edades co-founded the Mindanao Ethnoculture Foundation, which focused on the indigenous culture and heritage of Mindanao. In his last fifty years, the subject of his paintings had also become indigenized.

Edades retired from the UST at the age of 70, and he was bestowed with the degree of Doctor in Fine Arts, Honoris Causa. He then settled in Davao after retirement.

On May 7, 1985, Victorio Edades passed away at the age of 89.

Edades� major works include:

1928 The Sketch, National Museum Collection
1928 The Builders, Cultural Center of the Philippines Collection
1935 Interaction, with Carlos V. Francisco and Galo B. Ocampo
1976 Demoiselles Davao
1979 Kasaysayan, a mural for a Manila bank


1961 Pro Patria Award, given during the Rizal Centennial Celebration
1964 Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan Award, from the City of Manila

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Villa Verde Trail, San Nicolas

Named after a Spanish Missionarry who used it to bring Catholicism to people in the mountains of northern Luzon. This 27 mile trail runs climbs over 5,000' from Santa Maria to Santa Fe along ridgelines large enough for foot traffic and horses. It terminates to the junction with Route 5 and the Cagayan Valley.

Battle of Villa Verde Trail

After the American landing at Lingayen Gulf on January 9, 1945, Japanese forces of the 'Shobu Group' defended this location, including 10th Recconssaiance Regimen and survivors of the 7th Tank Regiment from the battle of San Manuel. The US Army 32nd Infantry Division's 127th Infantry Regiment advanced along this trail beginning on January 30, 1945. The rough terrain made it impossible for vehicles to support the battle, Igorot laborers were employed to carry supplies and evacuate wounded.

32nd Infantry Division Villa Verde Monument
In 1987 with the help of the veterans of the 32nd and cooperation of the Santa Maria East the monument was restored from March - September 1989. The memorial's brass plaque reads: "Erected by the officers and men of the 32d Infantry Division United States Army in memory of their gallant comrades who were killed along the Villa Verde Trail Januray 30, 1945 - May 28, 1945".


Thursday, February 1, 2007

What happened to Alcala's world records?

ALCALA, Pangasinan (5 May 2006) -- All roads led to Alcala Saturday as people came to witness this town’s attempt to enter its name in the world map by putting up the world’s longest grill and the world’s longest barbecue for the Guinness Book.

Mayor Manuel Collado said after several dry runs, there is no doubt anymore that Alcala has broken the two world records of 32.84 or 107.7 feet for the longest grill and the 1007.56 or 13,305.54 feet for the world’s longest barbecue.

The longer grill record was put up by the residential home Haus Ostertal at St.Wendel Werschweiler Germany as part of its 10th anniversary on May 14, 2004.
Source: PIA

I was impressed and amazed last year by the people of Alcala for the attempt of breaking two world records of the longest grill and the longest barbecue.

I haven't heard any news if it was certified by the Guinness Book. Any news about this? Hopefully you will post some comments here.