Travels that promote wellness, holistic healing, plant-based diet,eco-friendly products and zero-waste management. Let’s go!

Showing posts with label Ambeth Ocampo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ambeth Ocampo. Show all posts

Fernando Amorsolo: Portrait of the Artist as Historian

Fernando Amorsolo is the most prolific Filipino artist of his time known for painting the Philippines’ rural life during 19th century.” says Ambeth Ocampo giving his second talk of the two-part series “History Comes Alive” at Ayala Museum. “And history is not always written by historians. It can be done by musicians or painters like him.” He added. One example is the painting of the Battle of Mactan he showed us in his projector. “The beginning of the Philippine history is in 1521.” He said. “So how about the events happened in the Philippines before 1521, isn’t it a part of history?” He replied. “Lapu-lapu and his men defeated Magellan in 1521. This marked the Filipino’s resistance against colonialism. This was properly documented.” If you will talk about what happened before 1521 which is mostly undocumented in words or images, that might not be history at all. You may call it as the study of anthropology, geology or even archaeology instead!”

Japan in Philippine History

Japayuki and comfort women… these are the usual words associated when we talk about any connections we have with Japan in Philippine history. Ambeth Ocampo, a public historian and currently a visiting professor in Sophia University, Tokyo says that history is all about connections. In his talk Before the Japayuki: Japan in Philippine History, it is in every little bits of information that Japan and the Philippines in common we connect each other’s history.

is a term referred to Filipina women in 80’s and 90’s who went to Japan as cultural entertainers however later on it had a negative connotation that when one is referred as this it meant a prostitute. Comfort women, are those who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II and the majority are from the Philippines and a few Asian countries.

Ambeth also says that to find connections it requires appreciation of useless information. We call a bottled cap of any kind “tansan” in Tagalog. In Japan, there is a brand called “Tansan” which is a bottle of carborated water. The mosquito killer emitting a pungent smoke we call it “katol”. Japan call it katori-senkou. We believe we are the ones who invented the halo-halo but as early as 16th century they already have this kakegori – shaved ice topped with sweet kinds of syrup. The scissors and paper game, we have a local version of it we call “Jack en Poy “. Japan call their version “Janken Pon”.

Many local historians and history lovers reacted when our current P1,000 bill’s back part showed the map of the Philippines not including the Spratly’s islands and Sabah, Borneo which we have dispute territory claim against China and Malaysia. Indonesia however in one of their money bills they show their map with some islands which other countries own but they say “traditionally this land is ours”. So how can we teach the young ones of today to fight for what is ours historically when we are too polite and playing safe for things we need to stand for no matter what? Why is it that the story of comfort women are not found in textbooks and not even mentioned in Wikipedia when they are also part of Japan in Philippine history?

Jose Rizal and Switzerland

    • “Nothing more than a free spot for making out”, this is what Historian Ambeth Ocampo joking as he describes Luneta Park today. This place used to be valued for its historical significance but people seemed to have lost appreciation for “useless” things like this. In Jose Rizal and Switzerland talk, Ambeth shared though Rizal stayed for 3 weeks, nothing much has been written about it in his diaries. However, one link that Switzerland has to the Philippines is that the Rizal Monument was made by Richard Kipling a Swiss who won the second prize for the design competition of this monument.

      Manila was very boring in the 18th century that after the early morning mass every Sunday, going to Luneta Park and watching a human execution is considered an amusement! Rizal was not the only hero executed in Luneta Park. The three priest martyrs Gomburza whom Rizal said “if not because of what happened to them I would have been a Jesuit” was also executed there through a garrote in 1972. That time Rizal was 11, Bonifacio 9, Mabini 8, Luna 6 and Aguinaldo was 3 years old. Jacinto and Del Pilar were not even born!

      One would notice that at the very back end of Luneta Park is the Lapu-Lapu Monument that is even taller and bigger than Rizal Monument! What is the point of calling it as Rizal Park or when it is shared by other personality? Ambeth said he has nothing against with this brave warrior from Cebu but it is just geographically right to relocate this anywhere not just here in Luneta Park.

      Gomburza and Rizal not only shared same place where they were executed but also the place where they were buried in Paco. Rizal is said to have prepared his death very much that he even told the soldiers to hit him with the riffle bullets in the backbone so he can be quickly killed that shortening the agony of being killed! He instructed to be buried in the ground, place a stone and cross in his tomb, fences ok with him and NO anniversaries please. All of these are were followed except the last one that even the country’s presidents do it.

      As Ambeth ends his talk, he said “Rizal was only 26 when he wrote his novel El Filibusterismo. He wrote 26 volumes of books to sadly… a nation that does not read those.”

"Jose Rizal and Switzerland" at Yuchengco Museum

RIZALizing the Future Culminating Event
Jose Rizal and Switzerland
Saturday, 29 October 2011

3:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Guest speakers: Ambeth Ocampo, Ambassador Maria Theresa Lazaro, and My Rizal 150
Presented in partnership with the Swiss Embassy

Symbolically linking Switzerland and the Philippines are the emblematic figures of two national heroes, Wilhelm Tell and Jose Rizal. Rizal translated into Tagalog Friedrich Schiller’s drama Wilhelm Tell, who embodied the values and ideals for which Rizal gave his life. In his lecture on “Jose Rizal and Switzerland,” Ambeth Ocampo will talk about Rizal’s links to Switzerland. Relations between the Philippines and Switzerland can be traced back to the early 19th century, when Swiss traders, missionaries, and travelers ventured into Southeast Asia. Since the establishment of a Swiss consulate in Manila—the first official representation of Switzerland in Asia—in 1862, exchange between the two countries has flourished. In her lecture on “Switzerland and the Philippines,” Ambassador Maria Theresa Lazaro will discuss the 150 years of diplomatic and trade relations, development cooperation, and cultural exchange between the two countries.

To Read My Review of this Talk "Jose Rizal and Switzerland" Please Click Here

Open to public and with admission (P100 for adults, P50 for students, P25 for children and senior citizens). Ambeth Ocampo's books on Jose Rizal will be available for sale, and a small reception to meet the speakers follows the program.For details, call Yuchengco Museum at 889-1234 or email