Thursday, February 23, 2012

Petronilo Noble

To localize the rebellion, Governor Ramon Blanco declared martial law on August 30, 1896.   Katipunan General Ramon Bernardo fled with what remained of his men who were armed only with bolos and outnumbered by the Spaniards hunting them. His troops dispersed to avoid being captured.  One soldier named Florentino Policarpio who accompanied the general became sick and was entrusted to compatriots at Masambong.  Bernardo wrote an account of his experience:

“We were defeated in the heated battle at Santa Mesa.  I had a thousand troops, more or les,who were armed with either bolos or guns.  We were overwhelmed by the superior number and arms of our enemy.  Many of my men died or were wounded; most of those seriously wounded were capured by the Spaniards.”

For weeks, the general continued to wander  around Caloocan, Biak na Bato and Balara where he was able to regroup with Bonifacio.  Meanwhile, the Spanish focused on Pandacan due to its notoriety as a “cradle of agitators” and being the home of General Bernardo. 

A battery of cannons was "nakaumang sa Pandacan" when the town was put under "juez de cuchillo" law according to Ricardo Mendoza, former principal of Zamora Elementary School.   Nobody dared to go out of their homes but it was Petronilo Noble who got out of the church raising a flag of truce who negotiated with the Spanish battery to spare the residents.  

Perhaps he convinced them that the Katipuneros have all left to join the fighting at Santa Mesa.  Noble was the parish escribiente and probably a prayerful soul that seeked the intercession of the Sto NiƱo.   Jocelyn Uy writing for the Philippine Daily Inquirer says the Sto. patron saint of Pandacan "saved the town from being crushed by Spanish colonial troops in the 1890s."

How Noble convinced the Spanish commander, no one remembers.  An inconspicuous street at Beata was later named Petronilo Noble.  

PHOTO: Spanish battery of two 8-centimeter caliber guns firing at Filipinos at the Zapote River bridge, Cavite Province.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gen. Ramon Bernardo

On August 29, 1896 the Philippine Revolution was inaugurated with the ringing of the church bells.  General Ramon Bernardo of Pandacan was one of the key players.  General Santiago Alvarez, in “The katipunan and the revolution: memoirs of a general” says:
 “The troops under Gen. Ramon Bernardo were divided and organized into three contingents under the leadership of Katipuneros Celestino Manuel, Miguel Resurreccion, and Angel Bulong, respectively.  An hour after the siege at Mandaluong, they attacked the town hall of Pandacan; and they took it without resistance and easily confiscated two guns.  However, as in Mandaluyong, the parish priest eluded arrest; Father Angel of Pandacan had fled before the Katipuneros came.”
After taking Pandacan, Bernardo next turned his attention to Santa Mesa.  The column was waiting until morning for Bonifacio’s forces to join them.  Unfortunately, Bonifacio decided to go back to Balara for his men to rest.  

While Bernardo’s men were having breakfast, enemy troops fired at them.  The katipuneros fought gallantly but they suffered heavy losses.  The plan to take Manila failed.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Big Miracle

The story of  Crossbeak, Bonnet and Bone has been made into a movie with a 40 million dollar budget.  "Big Miracle" is based on the book "Freeing the Whales" by Thomas Rose and news reports about the incident at Port Barrow.  Showing in the US started on February 3 and to date has grossed 17 million dollars.  Philippine Release is on May 2012.

The names of the whales were changed to "Fred, Wilma and Bamm-Bamm" as well as a cast of fictional characters including a TV journalist (Adam Carlson}, a Greenpeace activist (Rachel Kramer)  an oil-company executive (Ted Danson), a struggling reporter (Kristen Bell); a National Guard officer (Dermot Mulroney); an Inupiat whaler (John Pingayak).

"Big Miracle" has the air of a workplace comedy played out in subzero weather.  John Krasinski plays Adam Carlson and Drew Barrymore plays Rachel Kramer.