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Nick Joaquin_Language of the Street

July 5, 2012

While burning the Alyana DVD files as part of my preparations for its showing next week in Marikina City, I got hold of Quijano de Manila’s [Nick Joaquin] Language of the Street [1980 / first edition]. At the first random flip of the page was an article he wrote about the Rizals titled “Calamba and the Rizals” written in June 1961 – the centennial birth year of Rizal. What a coincidence that during these days when my mind [and heart definitely] are still on Rizal because of A mi Patria, an article on him pops unexpectedly before my eyes!

I just felt sad when Mang Nick wrote that when Trinidad, the last of the Rizal’s died in 1951, “she was given a “semi-charity” burial — with only a handul of relatives and friends present. There were no representations from the government, from civic societies, or from educational institutions.” He also wrote that “when she was dying, Don Alfonso Ongpin went to vist her. He found the aged woman weeping “Me han saqueado!” she cried — “They have stripped me of everything!” Her house had been ransacked for historical relics; practically all the furniture had been carried off — even the dying woman’s bed. “They might have waited until I had closed my eyes!” wept N[y]ora Trining.

Nick Joaquin ended the article with this: “Destiny had needed the Mercados for a great purpose — and having used them, discarded them without remorse.”

Isn’t that quite tragic and sad?

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