Jose Rizal's Padre Damaso: To Whom In Real Life He Got the "Bad" Image From

Why in heavens and earths, Jose Rizal choose his villain the "oh-so-great" Padre Damaso as a Franciscan friar?  Did in any point in his lifetime he met a Franciscan friar whom he had bitter memories at all?In Tomas Gomez' III article "The mystery of ‘Padre Damaso:’ An infinitesimal footnote to Philippine cultural trivia"  by Tomas Gomez III" shares about his family background how he can in a way put some light about a Franciscan friar and the Franciscan order.

The Franciscan order is in fact  "renowned for alms-giving, love and care of the poor, and for having established the first hospitals in the Philippines." he added.


Meeting the real Damaso

Tracing back the history, Rizal in 1873 visited Polo, Bulacan and he was 12 years old at that time to see the parish priest of the town whom he described as a “soothsayer,” being consulted on robberies and thefts. All information points to a certain Padre José Huerce, OFM. He was only 26 years old fresh from the seminary in Spain. Calbayog oral history  tells about an amazon-like Waray-Waray fought alongside Padre Huerce against  Moro raiders and she e was Isabel Berdejo. The author continues "She gifted Padre Huerce the honor of fatherhood with three mestizo boys—Antonio, Simon and Juan." Whew! What?

The author is actually the friar's a great-grandson. To read the whole story you may click here

Photo credit from Xtian Devinart

1 comment

  1. I've started to read some of your post and I find this interesting. Friars having children for some reason was quite common back in the days (two of our past presidents are rumored to be bastard sons of Friars). The historian Ocampo jokingly suggested that we should look at our closets, maybe we can find a Friar ancestor there somewhere. Even Rizal had an immediate relative who had a relationship with the cura paroco. Same guy that baptized him. To claim that him meeting the Franciscan in Polo gave him the idea is an allegorical interpretation of historical facts. The reason why Rizal picked the Franciscan was because of its contradiction and active opposition against the Masons. Rizal being one opted to besmirched their missions. The traditional Third Order of St. Francis had been promoted by Pope Leo XIII to oppose, in religious terms, the spread of Masonic beliefs.

    ReplyDelete