Tuesday, November 13, 2018

*440. Race The Wind: JAMIE C. PAMINTUAN, Top Woman Motocross Rider

HER MOTO IN LIFE. Jamie C. Pamintuan, one of the world's top women motocross riders in the 90s decade. Her father, Remy Pamintuan of Angeles City was also an ace motocross biker in his time. Photos courtesy of Terri Cui Pamintuan.
Before Hidilyn Diaz and Margielyn Didal made waves in Weightlifting and Skateboarding respectively—sports that were generally considered  as  men’s domains, there was an audacious, daredevil Kapampangan sportswoman who conquered the sports of motocross racing—rising to the ranks of  the world’s best female riders in the 90s decade.

Jamie Cui Pamintuan, born on 3 January 1979,  has the adventurous streak in her genes, Her father, Remigio “Remy” Pamintuan of Angeles City, was a former ace motocross rider himself, winning the Philippine National Motocross championships from 1969-1976. He was a contemporary of the motorsports legends Butch Chase (Russian-American born in the Philippines) and Ken Falco, who went on to head the National Motorcycle Sports and Safety Association. Her mother, Theresa “Terri” Cui was a USAF daughter who grew up in Clark.

At age 2, Jamie, along with her family migrated to the U.S. Growing up she was involved in various activities, (dancing, martial arts, skating, etc.). She even played softball in high school (Polytechnic Senior High School) on the Jr. Varsity Team. But none of those pursuits really held her interest for very long—except riding her BMX bike. Her father sought out a bike for her, but was appalled at the prices.

”Mas mura pa and motor kaysa sa bisikleta”, he would say.  So he went out and bought a used RMZ 80cc.   Jamie taught herself how to ride and shift gears—right in their own backyard, as there was no proper venue to practice in the city where they lived. Her father kept watch as her skills improved, so, he too, got a bike so he could guide her in riding,

Jamie was inspired even more  when she went to watch races at De Anza MX track in Moreno Valley, California,  There, she saw Mercedes Gonzalez, a pioneering female biker and Jamie's idol--race against men. With confidence high, she tried to register to race in the 80cc class, only to be told that she was too young for that class.

Undeterred, she practiced even more, riding at different tracks and clubs: Perris Raceway, Glen Helen, Barona Oaks, CRC-Palmdale. Jamie would ride against the boys and at times would beat them. It was in these practice rides that she caught the attention of Tami Rice, promoter and president of the Women’s MX Team, and who would become Jamie’s mentor.

With her parent’s permission, Rice signed her up with the Women’s Class, at the age of 11, but she was tall for her age. Once she moved up from riding  80 cc. to 125 cc. bikes at age 12,  Jamie quickly rose through the ranks, often competing against young men.

1992 was a turning point in her budding career. Just 13, she was asked by the Women’s Team head to fill in a slot for an international competition in Italy. But she had just suffered an injury 2 weeks before ( she broke her clavicle), and was still recovering. It was an opportunity of a lifetime not to be missed, and so with her parents’ blessing, Jamie went to race and place 12th overall, an incredible finish for the youngest racer of the competition.

The following years, women races were still few and far between, so Jamie would race against men in local races to push herself, and continued to race nationally with women at various AMA Outdoor Nationals. She started building her winning credentials starting in 1994, with a 1st place finish at the Adelanto Grand Prix  (Women’s Open Class) and 7th place overall at the Ladies’ Invitational World Cup in Oklahoma.

Other local series races where she triumphed in 1995 include: Anaheim Supercross (Women’s Stadium cross- main event, 3rd place); San Diego Supercross (Women’s Stadium Cross main event,  4th place); GNC @ Lake Whitney Texas (Women’s Pro Class, 3rd Place); Women’s West Coast National (1st ); Mammoth Mountain Motocross Women Pro ( 3rd) and Barona Oaks Ladies World Cup (7th in Pro 125cc , 3rd in 250cc ). In 1996, Jamie qualified for the highly competitive Loretta Lynns Motocross in Tennessee, one of the most sought after for amateur races where all factory scouting occurs. Unfortunately, her old shoulder injury prevented her from finishing her race.

That summer while recuperating from her injury, the Philippine Shell Yamaha invited Jamie to come out to the Philippines and ride with the team. She came out and rode as a guest rider in Tacloban, Leyte. She was also invited to come to Batangas where she captivated the crowd in a sponsored exhibition race. Pitted against  ace pro-riders  Glen Aguilar and Jing Leongson, she matched the men’s double and triple jumps on board a Suzuki RMC 250 motorcycle. The adoring fans could hardly believe that the helmet-wearing person in front of them was a woman.

Jamie took time-off from racing in 1997 to have surgeries on her problem shoulder. But while convalescing, she was approached by a stunt rider to perform a daring stunt for the Guinness World Record: a building-to-building jump, 14 stories high. She successfully performed the heart-stopping jump stunt in downtown L.A.

Due to her injury, Jamie also tried “dragonfire racing” on street bikes, where jumps  were not required. She continued to race until 2004/2005 when a crash in motocross left her temporarily paralyzed for 2 months. She recovered from that serious accident, but her doctors advised her against racing again.

To this day though she still misses the adrenaline rush that racing brings. She would come out and ride when there are reunions or anniversary events for Women’s Motocross. The last race was in 2014 for the 40th year celebration of Women’s Motocross at Glen Helen, California. Whenever the history of women’s motorsports is recalled, the name Jamie C. Pamintuan is always mentioned with awe and respect, for helping blaze the trail for women to in a male-dominated sport, giving them another platform to excel, break barriers and stereotypes. It comes as no surprise that this Kapampangan trailblazer  is regarded today as one of the most influential Women of Motocross.

MR.S TERRI CUI PAMINTUAN, Jamie’s mother, for co-writing this article.
MIKE PAMINTUAN, for leading me to Jamie Pamintuan and her amazing motocross achievements.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

*439. MISAGH M. BAHADORAN: This Azkal from Mabalacat is Mr. Football 2017

MR. FOOTBALL 2017,AZKAL MISAGH BAHADORAN has the distinction of scoring the first international goal for the Philippines during the 2018 World Cup qualifying rounds against Bahrain in 2015. He spent his early education in Mabalacat. Pitcure source: heartthrobcandy.blogspot.

One of the brightest names in Philippine sports is the footballer Misagh Medina Bahadoran, member of the national football team, popularly known by their monicker, the Philippine Azkals. Misagh was born on 10 January 1987 in Mabalacat, Pampanga, the third of seven children of Mostafa Bahadoran of Iran,  and Mary Anne Medina of Poblacion, Mabalacat.

He spent his early years in his father’s country, and at 7, he began playing football and dreamt of becoming a professional footballer. Moving to the Philippines, Bahadoran studied at Our Lady of Fatima School in Mabalacat and finished his elementary and high school education there in 2004.

In college, he pursued the sports with passion, playing as a Winger and Forward. He became so good at it that he was named to the Futsal National Team in 2007,where he would be a member for 5 years. That same year, Bahadoran was invited to try-out for the national football team, only to be advised by his father to finish his studies first. At that time, he was still enrolled as a student of Dentistry at the Centro Escolar University in Manila.

Meanwhile, Bahadoran continud to honed his football skills by playing with many international football clubs. In 2009,  he participated at the United Football League as a player for Pasargad. He later moved to Kaya in 2010. He was soon attracting the attention of other clubs; in December of 2011, he was asked to try out for the Tokyo Verdy.

Upon graduation in 2011, his father gave him his blessings to pursue his  football passion full-time.  He finally became a certified “AZKAL” when he made it to the Philippine National Football Team, in the august company of Neil Etheridge, Stephen Schrock, Chieffy Caligdong, Phil and James Younghusband.

Bahadoran was named in the final squad for the first round 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification  against Sri Lanka, but was unable to play.  When the team made it to the second round, he substituted for teammate Angel Guirado in the match against Kuwait,  thus finally making his playing debut, a game which the Azkals lost.

Not to be fazed, the team bounced back in the second qualifying round against Bahrain in 2015. Bahadoran proved his worth when he scored his first international goal—a historic feat for the Philippines—which enabled the Azkals to prevail, with a score of 2-1.

The news of that victory reverberated back home. But there was more to come from the exceptional Kapampangan.  In the next match against Yemen held 5 days later, Bahadoran scored the epic first goal for the Philippines, and the team never looked back, with a convincing 2-0 victory.

The celebrated achievements of Bahadoran in the qualifying games leading to the 2018 FIFA World Cup were rewarded with the ultimate recognition from the sport. In 2017, he was named “Mr. Football” by the Philippine Sportstwriters' Association, a prized title bestowed on him in February.

It is rather ironic that Bahadoran, who has won national acclaim for his football playing as a striker, has yet to receive the recognition that he so rightfully deserves as a true son of the Pampanga, saved for an exemplary alumni award from his alma materHis nomination for the the Outstanding Kapampangan Awards was surprisingly bypassed in 2017, the year that Bahadoran earned Philippine football’s top award.

On the bright side, the 31 year-old continues to be active in promoting and playing the sports that he has come to love. In 2016, he made a crucial decision to defer his dental practice in Makati so he could spend a few more years in football with Global FC/Cebu. Bahadoran was squired by clubs within the region, eventually signing with the Malaysia Super League club Perak TBG in January 2018, a stint that ended in October.

He has never lost touch with his Kapampangan roots; every now and then, he goes home to Mabalacat for quick family get-togethers and reunions. The football star with matinee idol looks  had a 3 year relationship with actress-model Sam Pinto, but have recently split.

As for football, never has the sport elicited this much tremendous amount of attention among young Pinoy fans and players, than now—thanks to the Philippine AZKALS, and to one world-class Kapampangan footballer, Misagh Bahadoran.


Saturday, November 3, 2018

*438. STAN C. CARBUNGCO: The “Rock from Porac” Who Muscled His Way to Mr. Universe

First Filipino and first Asian bodybuilder to place in Mr. Universe.

The icon of Philippine bodybuilding, Estanislao “Stan” Carbungco was born on 13 Nov. 1931, the youngest of 7 children to Don Ambrosio Ocampo Carbungco with roots in Porac, and Doña Angelina Cuenco. His father, a former chef of Casino Español for 8 years, was a successful restaurateur, founder of the popular Carbungco Restaurant, a renown catering and dining place in pre-war Manila, with a branch in Antipolo.

Though the young Stan was raised in a comfortable household, he learned from his father the value of hard work, who had no qualms washing dishes and doing menial jobs in his own restaurant.

He spent his school years at the Far Eastern University, where he finished high school. He would later finish his Commerce degree at the same university.

Sickly growing up, Stan began doing weight training in a gym. He became so good at it that he was soon immersing himself deeply in physical culture. His parents did not exactly approve of his interest in bodybuilding, which was not a common sport at that time.

There were only a few visible musclemen in the 50s , and one of them was Jesus Ramos, Mr. Philippines of 1951, who became a certified star after appearing in a series of jungle movies, and dubbed as the Philippine Tarzan. Then there was Olympian Rodrigo del Rosario, who, en route to  placing fourth in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics,  set a world and Olympic record in the military press portion of his event.

Hoping to join competitions, Carbungco continued to train in secret. In 1954, he qualified for the Mr. Philippines bodybuilding contest, and to his surprise, won the his first of two national titles. He would duplicate that achievement by winning the Mr. Philippines title yet again in 1959, which would proved to be his most successful year.

It was an exciting time for a 28 year old to fly to Montreal, Canada as the first ever country representative to the 1959 Mr. Universe bodybuilding contest. an event organized by the International Federation of Body Building and Fitness. He traveled alone, without a retinue to assist him, but that did not seem to faze him. He not only made bodybuilding friends from around the world—but also history for Asian sports.

Carbungco placed 1st as the Most Muscular in the Medium class division, and earned runner-up honors to Mr. Universe Medium class. In the overall class, the unheralded athlete was named second Most Muscular after Eddie Silvestre of the U.S., who went on to become Mr. Universe. To him goes the distinction of being the first Filipino and only Asian to break into the winning circle, a feat unprecedented at that time.

Upon his return, Carbungco made a major shift by concentrating on weightlifting rather than bodybuilding. It was an opportune time as the 1960 Rome Olympics were coming up, and he was hoping to follow the footsteps of the prodigious Rodrigo del Rosario who, 8 years before, had pressed 231 ¼ lbs. , a new Olympic Mark in his featherweight division. He began powerlifting, and at one point, he was lifting weights that would have been good for Olympic bronze or silver.

Indeed, Carbungco was being touted as a sure Olympic bet and medalist in weightlifting, but his Olympic dreams were dashed when, after appearing in a print ad for boat motors, lost his amateur status for being paid as an endorser.

Carbungco was sadly frustrated over this disqualification, but he never looked back. Instead, he stepped up his efforts to promote the sports of bodybuilding like never before.  After his competitive days were over,  he put up a weight and fitness center, ‘Stan Carbungco’s  Gym”, in Quezon City where he personally trained and mentored many young physical culturists.  To meet the growing needs for gym equipment, Carbungco pioneered the local manufacture of weight-training equipment and gear in the Philippines.  The well-patronized gym had a loyal following, and the hallowed institution for bodybuilding has been in operation for over 50 years now.

All his life, Carbungco devoted his time and energy to the fitness sport he loved. For many years he headed the Philippine Federation of Body Builders, an official affiliate of IFBB which fields Filipino bodybuilders to various competitions abroad. He also co-founded the Powerlifting Association of the Philippines (PAP) in 1982.

The legendary bodybuilder, "Mang Stan", as he was called in his later years,  passed away at age 81 on 10 March 2012. He left behind his wife, Edna Oquendo-Carbungco and their children, and a legacy of health and fitness advocacies that he passionately pursued, and which continues to inspire Philippine sports to this day.

Sibug, Edgardo. “PORAC: A Rancheria at Batiauwan 1594-2004”, © 2003. p. 280
FB Interview with Mr. Tiny Carbungco, son of Stan Carbungco
Tiny Carbungco FB Page
Jeffrey dePadua Panela
Lolo Stan Carbungco Tribute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ef9a9q9g3f4
Uploaded by Grace Carbungco, published April 3, 2012.
Uploaded by Beng Gonzales, published 22 March 20102, accessed 2 Nov, 2018.
Special thanks to Mr. Ed Escolito Escobar

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

*437. PAULINE C. LIEB: Wartime Philippines’ “Joan of Arc”

LIEB AND LET DIE. Filipino-American freedom fighter, she joined the resistance movement and fought side-by-side with male soldiers. She was captured in the foothills of Montalban in 1944. 

In 1960, a Filipino-American couple moved into a quiet Angeles neighborhood, then still a town. They were seemingly an ordinary couple—Mr. Eugene Lieb, an engineer, had just accepted a job at Clark Air Base while his wife, a Manileña, appeared to be a typical mother hen to their two daughters. 

But little did their neighbors know, that the life of Pauline C. Lieb was anything but typical. For in their midst was a war heroine, whose largely forgotten role as an underground guerrilla fighter need to be retold, for hers is a story of love, struggle and survival.

Pauline was the daughter of Paz Canovas, of Spanish-Filipino descent, and Edward Costigan, an American. Costigan had arrived in the Philippines in 1898 where he quickly found work as a manager of a cold storage facility in Manila.

Pauline was born on 6 June 1917, and grew up speaking Spanish and English in a multi-cultural household. As a young girl growing up in Manila, the pretty Pauline was squired by handsome swains, that counted the tall and handsome Lubeño, Regidor dela Rosa—who would go on to become the matinee idol, Rogelio dela Rosa. Another admirer was said to be the scion of the La Tondeña Distillery.

The onset of World War II would put on hold the lives of millions of Filipinos—and that of the Costigans would be affected most profoundly. At the height of the war years, Pauline did what she thought was right for her country and joined the underground resistance movement, prodded by Tom Myers, an American shipping magnate who organized the guerrilla group.  She took up a gun, and under  Capt. Myers,  became part of the combat forces which attacked and ambushed Japanese enemy soldiers.

The Japanese military began putting the heat on the American and Filipino guerrilla fighters (Huks)  and waged campaigns to purge them out from the mountains. It was in this way that Pauline and Capt. Myers were captured in the hills of Montalban, Rizal sometime in 1944. The American was beheaded, while Pauline was whisked off and imprisoned at the Bilibid Prison in Manila. A fellow prisoner was Claire Phillips, aka Clara Fuentes, a Filipino-American spy who would write about her war experience in the book, “Manila Espionage”.  ( Her life story later was turned into a Hollywood movie entitled, “I Was an American Spy” in 1951.)

Fortunately, Pauline escaped imminent doom and was freed from incarceration with the bloody liberation of the Philippines. She was sent to the United States to recuperate, and after the dust settled and the rebuilding of the nation went underway, the Costigans started life anew. Eventually,  Pauline found employment as a cashier at the reconstructed Manila Hotel, the country’s premiere hotel. It was here that she would meet a dashing American military personnel from Ohio, Eugene L. Lieb, who was first assigned to the Port of Manila after the war. 

After a short courtship, they got married in Catholic ceremonies in Malate and settled in the new suburb of Makati. Mr. Lieb, a civil engineer, was later tapped to head the Roads and Grounds services division at Clark Air Base in Angeles, Pampanga. This necessitated the Liebs’ move to Angeles in 1960.

Here, in a Balibago neighborhood, the Liebs would raise their two daughters: Pacita (now Vizcarra) and Mary Ann (now del Rosario), now based in the U.S.  Pauline would live a long life, passing away on 24 February 2009, at age 91 in her adopted city of Angeles. A U.S. newspaper got wind of Pauline’s wartime exploits after her death and an account of her life and times saw print on an Los Angeles daily which dubbed her as “Joan of Arc” of World War II, a fitting appellation for a freedom fighter who heeded to the calling of her inner voice-- to  put country first, before herself.

CREDITS: Photo and information provided by Mr. Benjamin Canovas, a relative of Pauline Canovas Costigan Lieb

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

*436. COL. MIGUEL T. NICDAO: The Forgotten Story of a Kapampangan Scholar-Soldier

FROM MENTOR TO A MILITARY MAN. Guagua-born Col.Miguel Nicdao, whose family settled in San Fernando, belonged to the first wav of government scholars known as "pensionados". He made a career shift, never looked back, and became a bemedalled officer during the Commonwealth period. Source: Mr. Arnold Nicdao.

Once in a long while, we uncover stories of extraordinary Kapampangans,  who, despite their remarkable lives and achievements, remain unremembered, their memories known only to their family circles. Such is the case of Guagua-born Col. Miguel Nicdao (b. 8 May 1888/d. 1938), whose story came to light courtesy of his grandchildren, who, through their tireless research efforts, managed to piece together the life of Col. Nicdao, their lolo whom they have never seen nor met.

Miguel Nicdao’s father, Jose Bonifacio Nicdao, was originally from Cavite; his mother, Bonifacia Jose Tablante, was a homemaker who tended a sari-sari store on the side. The young Nicdao was home-schooled, but with the coming of the Americans and their introduction of the public school system, education in the country took a turn for the better. This led the Nicdaos, who have resettled in Bacolor, to move again to San Fernando, where the “Thomasites” set up new schools with exacting standards.  

In 1903, the Pensionado Act was passed,  which gave opportunities to Filipino students to study and earn college degrees in America. 15-year old Nicdao took the competitive exams and topped the field with an average of 94.8; kabalen Jose Abad Santos placed third. The teen suddenly found himself  sailing to America on Oct. 9,1903, aboard the Japanese ship Rohilla Maru, as a member of pioneering group of 103 pensionados.

Arriving in November, the pensionados were distributed to different high schools in Southern California to brush up on U.S. history, math and English. A year after, they hied off to their respective colleges. Six Filipinos, Nicdao among them, began their studies at Illinois State Normal University (now Illinois State University).

The young Filipinos quickly made their presence felt in the school, as all six were featured in the school’s weekly paper, “The Vidette,”  in 1904. Nicdao, however, made noise when his article “Religions of the Philippines” saw print in the school organ. Nicdao, a Methodist, assailed the Catholic friars’ intolerance of other religions, warranting a reprimand from the U.S. War Department, after an Illinois priest demanded that the article be censored.

But it was in the classroom that the young Kapampangan showed his brilliance, specifically in the field of Oratory and Debate. His public speaking skills earned him membership with the Wrightonian Society, Oratorical Association, Cicero and the YMCA. He put his voice to a test, when, on Feb. 23, 1907, at the Edwards Oratorical and Declamatory Contest, he won the Gold Medal with his piece “The First Need of the Filipinos”.  In March, he unanimously won the Inter-Normal Contest, with the same piece, trumping Arthur Thompson of Macomb.

His Edwards gold medal earned him the right to represent ISNU at the Inter-State Contest held on May 3, 1907 in Emporia,  Kansas. Those who witnessed the excited 5-school match were effusive with praise for Nicdao’s performance: “His gracefulness, directness and earnestness were pleasing and convincing. There was, of course some peculiarity in his speech but his long, patient labor accomplished remarkable results. Many said they missed no words at all”.  In the end, he placed third, behind the Missouri and Kansas bets, despite having “a concrete and definite subject”. A school observer could only surmise that his “ridiculous ranking” was due to his Philippine-accented English.

By 1907, Nicdao was ready to return to the Philippines after graduating with an Education degree from ISNU—the youngest of the batch at 1907. Once home, he quickly rolled up his sleeves  to start work as Principal of the San Luis Intermediate School in San Luis, Pampanga (Oct. 1,1907-March 31, 1908). He was promoted as Superintendent/ Teacher, and was assigned briefly to Mabalacat Intermediate School from June-Jul. 1908, and then to Apalit Intermediate School from Aug.-Sep. 1908. He stayed for 3 years in his next post, Pampanga High School (Aug. 1908-Aug.1911) in his adapted hometown, San Fernando.

Much as he loved teaching, the young teacher found it frustrating to advance in his career what with Americans well-placed in the educational system.  In 1911, the civil government opened the Camp Henry T. Allen Constabulary School in Baguio (now Philippine Military Academy), envisioned to be a training ground for an all-Filipino constabulary force. Jumping at this chance, Nicdao joined and underwent an intensive 3-month boot camp training.  After completing the program and graduating as 3rd Lieutenant,  the 23 year-old embarked on a new military career.

In the succeeding years, Lt. Nicdao undertook assignments in different parts of the country, and got involved in campaigns in Lanao and Cotabato, during the Moro War years (1909-1923).  He learned Arabic, which enabled him to deal more effectively with the Muslim leaders of Mindano, where he would eventually become its District Commander.

By 1917, he had attained the rank of a First Lieutenant of the PC, with missions in Cagayan and Misamis. He was kept busy as ever through the 1930s, leading campaigns against lawless elements, including fighting off the Sakdalistas in Cabuyao, Laguna in May 1935, where 300 rebels took over a church. Under his helm, the revolt was crushed. For his meritorious military accomplishments, Nicdao, now a Colonel, was awarded three medals by Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon.

In between his military exploits, the colonel found time to marry Natividad Neri Rivera, whom he met down South, during his Mindanao stint. She had descended from Muslim royalty; her forebear Rajah sa Lansang, was a Christian convert and who assumed the name “Neri”. The two were married on May 22, 1914, and together, they had 7 children: Charito, Napoleon, Abelardo, Antonia, Cleopas, Hortencia, and Benjamin.

In 1938, during a military training exercise in Leyte, Col. Nicdao came down with peritonitis. Unfortunately, no medical supplies were available; they could not even be flown in from Manila due to a typhoon in the island. He passed away at age 50, and was given full military honors during his burial.

For those who say that Pampanga seems to be short of idols and icons, one need only to look at the life and legacy of Col. Nicdao, both a scholar in the classroom and a soldier in the battlefield. He proved that as long as you have the heart to serve and the will to succeed—you could be a jack of several trades, and be a master of all. For that alone, he should never be forgotten.

All photos and information, courtesy of Mr. Arnold Nicdao, grandson of Col., Miguel Nicdao.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

*435. Maestro IRINEO L. MIRANDA, Dean of Philippine Cartoonists

DRAWING FROM EXPERIENCE. Acclaimed artist, painter, water colorist, caricaturist, art director and illustrator, Maestro Irineo Lintag Miranda of San Fernando.

The most accomplished artist who made a lasting mark in the field of cartooning and illustration was born in San Fernando to couple Catalino Miranda and Eustaquia Lintag on 15 Dec. 1896.  Irineo L. Miranda was so talented in drawing that at age 19--while still a student at the U.P. School of Fine Arts-- he was hired as an assistant illustrator with the Bureau of Printing.

A year after graduation, Miranda started worked at the Pacific Commercial Company where he designed product labels and created illustrations for advertisements—thus becoming one of country’s first agency art directors. His involvement in mass media art was looked at as just an extension of an artist’s activity, thus, outputs such as cartoon art were not regarded in the same breadth as painting. Even so, his alma mater believed in his talents; in 1918, Miranda was appointed to the Fine Arts faculty of the state university. The newly named professor taught decorative painting, cartooning and commercial design, an academic career that would last until 1961.

He flourished at the U.P., surrounded by his young, creative students whom he would address as “Ineng” and “Itoy”, as they presented their works for evaluation. He would critique each piece in English, delivered with humor and with a marked Pampango accent. He would count, among his students, future National Artists Carlos “Botong” Francisco, Cesar Legaspi and his favorite student who helped out in his illustrations, Carlos Valino Jr.

Meanwhile, he would move to Brown and Roosedel Advertising Co. in 1920, and chartered a different course from his peers like Dominador Castañeda and Fernando Amorsolo by illustrating the covers for Graphic, El Debate and Liwayway Magazines, dabbling in caricatures and working with watercolors. He was known for his theatrical style in painting, emphasizing lighting effects for example, and characterization of faces. His clients in the 1920s-30s included the Pampanga governor, Sotero Baluyot, Jorge Vargas Sr., Alfonso Ongpin and Lope K. Santos.

During the war years, the artist continued mentoring students, but resumed illustrating and painting with renewed vigor after the turbulent 40s. A 1953 jeep accident unfortunately sidelined him from painting for years—he fractured his armbone that led to a series of operations, incapacitating him temporarily.

Maestro Irineo Miranda first settled his family in front of the the Bellas Artes at R.Hidalgo St. He would sometimes use his daughter, Irinea, as his model for his paintings and sketches. Other models included Nena Saguil, Abdulmari Imao and the future senator Santanina Rasul who sat for him for the 1951 painting, “Tausug Princess”, which now hangs at the National Gallery of Art. Other well-known works include “Sampaguita Vendor” (1931, U.P. Filipiniana Collection) and “Portrait of Fabian dela Rosa” (1937 watercolor).

The maestro’s wife died young and the artist would never marry again. To while away his leisure hours, he would go and watch movies, which were one of his consuming passions. But he would always be devoted to his art. The acclaimed “Dean of Philippine Cartoonists” died of a heart attack on 21 Mar. 1964.

SOURCE: IRINEO MIRANDA 1896-1964, (c) 1972 Zone-D-Art Publications

Thursday, June 22, 2017


WEDDINGS ARE MADE OF THESE. A home reception...a spread of dishes... wedding cake...and lots of gifts, complete the wedding celebration. ca. early 1950s.

The tradition of giving gifts to couples united in weddings goes back to pre-colonial times. In many ethnic groups, the practice goes even before the actual wedding rites, as in the case of Pinatubo Negritos who pay dowry to the bride’s family in the form of “bandi”—treasured property in the form of bolos, bows and arrows.

In pre-Hispanic society, after the ceremony presided by a babaylan or a tribal priest/priestess is done, a series of gift-exchanging rituals is undertaken by the man and his family to counter the possible negative responses of the bride. Such instances include her refusal to attend the wedding banquet, or even to go into her new bedroom that she would be sharing with her spouse. The bride then is plodded with gifts of gold, jewelry, rich fabrics and animals to ensure that she will fully cooperate.

Kasalans during the Spanish times were comparatively austere affairs; the giving of gifts was encouraged to help start the couple in their new journey together. The superstitious belief that sharp objects—like knives and needles—were not appropriate as wedding gifts came from the Spaniards. In the more prosperous 1920-30s, weddings became more Westernized and larger in scale. Gift-giving became even more lavish and varied, as shops and stores sprouted along Escolta and Avenida, providing more showcases of gift ideas to sponsors, relatives, and invited guests.

One of the post-wedding highlights for the newlyweds is when they open boxes and boxes of gifts to find the surprises of their lives.  For example, when Juana Arnedo,  got hitched with Felipe Buencamino around 1870, her father, Apalit gobernadorcillo Joaquin Arnedo gifted her and his new husband a grand bale a bato. The mansion was built on over a hectare of lot in Capalangan, near Sulipan, Apalit.

In 1936, after Dr. Jesus Eusebio, noted ophthalmologist  from San Fernando, married Josefina Buyson of Bacolor in fabulous rites at San Guillermo Church, Jesus’ father, Don Andres Eusebio, sent them off to honeymoon in the U.S. via luxury liner Pres. Hoover, and then to Europe, all-expenses paid.

By far, however, the wedding gifts received by Doña Consolacion Singian and Don Jose M.Torres , are incomparable in terms of variety and range, enough to furnish a house. The guest list itself consists of politicos and senators, jurists and patriots, affluent hacenderos and business mavens, and the upper tier of Kapampangan high society. After their nuptials on 28 April 1912 in San Fernando, the bride made an inventory of their gifts that she wrote in her personal journal.

From one of their godfathers, Hon. D. Florentino Torres, Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, they received a complete set of black Vienna chairs with a marble table, a sofa and four chairs. Dna. Ramona Valenzuela de Goyena contributed more pieces of furniture with her gift of  six European chairs for dining.

Japanese-made gifts seemed to be very popular in the early decades of the 20th century as at least 9 guests gave them: D. Joaquín Longos (a very fine Japanese tea service), D. Manuel Gómez (a beautiful Japanese coffee service), Da. Juana vda. de Chuidian ( a pair of elegant and beautiful Japanese earthen jars), Srta. Belen Gómez (a dozen elegant and fine Japanese cups for coffee) , D. Joaquín Zamora, (a pair of capricious lacquered Japanese paintings). D. Vicente Gana ( a complete set of very fine Japanese tea service), D. Joaquín Herrera (elegant Japanese pillows), D. Pío Trinidad ( a pair of beautiful Japanese flowerpots),  and lastly, Fiscal of Pampanga D. Oscar Soriano (very fine and complete Japanese tea service).

The couple also received an astounding six sets of flowerpots with pedestals—led by Pampanga governor, Hon. Dr. Francisco Liongson, and Pampanga judge Hon. Julio Llorente who seemed to have bought the same “pair of elegant flower pots on pedestals” from one store. Curiously, D. José Monroy, Tomas Arguelles and Melecio Aguirre all gave “apple green pedestals with flowerpots”.  Well, at least they were color-coordinated.

Valuable silver--from tableware, coffee service, butter dishes, candy and fruit trays and decanters--were also gifted to the newlyweds. The most impressive was a silver toothpick holder  given by D. Godofredo Rodriguez. Whatever became of these silver gifts that are now antiques?

The practical D. Perfecto Gabriel must be commended for his very native gift—the only one from the bewildering assortment of European, Japanese, American, Chinese thingamajigs. Aside from a pocket watch, he gifted the Torreses an Ilocos blanket.

Today, some things never change when it comes to giving wedding presents.  There are gifts that are functional and practical,  there are many more that are recycled and inutile. The ubiquitous glass punch bowls and sets of glasses are still favorite giveaways, along with rice cookers, flat irons, towels and whistling kettles. That is why couples-to-be now have the derring-do to suggest their desired gift, explicitly written on their wedding invitations: “With all that we have, we’ve been truly blessed/ Your presence and prayers are all that we request./ But if you desire to give nonetheless/Monetary gift is one we suggest.”   With the money received...you may now treat the bride!