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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A FAMILY MYSTERY

When I was 17, mother, my brother and I was still living in Madrid. This was the time I wanted to go on a trip on my own to Southeast Asia and find myself.

One morning, mother woke us up, told us to dress properly, bring candles and incense and we are going out --This is something odd because we only light candles and incense inside the house *this is Madrid, hello!* -- it was autumn and it’s cold outside.

I thought we are going to visit a Thai family somewhere in the city maybe something bad happened and we needed to pray and make merits. We took a cab, got off Calle Santander and mother bought flowers from a shop across the street…

She led us into a small park, approached an unfamiliar monument, lighted the candles and incense – and kneeled before it. This is a Thai way of venerating the Buddha or Lord Ganesha AND also to pay respect to an ancestor and make merits for them.

I remember how confused I was when upon reading the stone tablet… it read: Dr. Jose Rizal – Heroe National de Filipinas.” (National hero of the Philippines)

I never asked mother what was it all about or why did we just paid respect to the image of a man that is obviously not Thai…


***Mother, since you're reading my blog...would you mind enlighterning me on this? :-)

29 Comments:

aries said...

yes, jose "pepe" rizal is our national hero. but i cant figure out why u were lighting up candles in autumn though hes born on June 19, 1861 and was executed on December 30, 1896

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

Yeah, I did made a research of him long ago -- which added more mystery.

I think that time, that monument was just newly built (1996) in Madrid.

The riddle at hand actually is -- is he one of my ancestors? Mother never told me because I never asked her.

markymd said...

From Philippine history books -

Rizal has chinese ancestry.
NO mention that he went to Thailand.
NO mention whether he had a Thai girlfriend as well.
We dont know if he likes Thai food.
Probably your Mom just wants to honor a fellow ASEAN! wohooo!
Yup, Rizal has a monument in Madrid... along a street named Filipinas

Jose Rizal's full name by the way is Jose Protacio Rizal Alonzo Mercado Y Realonda

Sofia for BISEAN said...

Maybe this would explain why 2 of your 3 ex-wives are of Filipino descent and why you keep playing your stupid guitar even though you don't know one single chord! Yeah, it's prety much it baby.

Where's Morgan?

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

SOFIA! AHA! Hitting on me again heh? Guys...Sofia got hairy armpits. She NEVER SHAVE! There. Take that! Ha!

@ Marky, thanks for the input. I kinda know all about him because this riddle has been hanging over for over 10 years.

Maybe Rizal went to Ayutthaya? -- The old glorious super-rich capital of Thailand in 1700s. But when he was still living, Thailand's capital is already Thonburi (now part of Bangkok). Just a thought.

I'll dwell into that Chinese lineage of him. Ancient Thais actually came from Southern China.

Wooohooo! New research!

MISTERHUBS said...

There's a cult in the Philippines (called the Rizalistas, I think) which worships Jose Rizal. I don't know if that has anything to do with your mystery but it's an interesting fact.

I love your new header.

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

Oh my god MISTERHUBS! I thought you're on a sabbatical/hiatus!? What a nice surprise! Thanks, thanks! I told you... my blog is addictive. LOL (kidding)

Are you saying that mom could be a Rizalista? She never been to the Philippines (I think). I'm still waiting for her reply. She's bad with SMS.

scarface said...

it seems to me that your mom is a supporter of the liberal movement. something to do with student activism. Sometime ago thailand went through liberal reform movements and Rizal's ideologies where widely used in most post war ASEAn reforms.

Just a thought.. but it would have been cool if he is indeed your ancestor.. how tall are you again? RIzal is only 5'4 ( or shorter) so nahhhh .. your not related. lols

Q The Conqueror said...

*blink* Rizal was known for his being a playboy. He courted, among others, his own cousin, dozens of Filipinas, a German, an Englishwoman, I'm not sure if there's a frenchwoman, a Japanese, before finally settling down with an Irishwoman. Oh yeah... There were rumors about his correspondence with an Austrian prof called Blumentritt. Hehe.

Oh yeah, among other things, there's a rumor still going around that he's Hitler's real dad, and that he's Jack the Ripper. Cool no? :))

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

@ Scarface...I don't know about that. But yeah, liberal ideologies circulated Thailand in the 70s. But mom didn't study in Thailand.

If Rizal lived in Belgium or the Flanders, there is a possibility that he met one of my ancestors (father's side). Oh god! Mother won't reply! Ugh!


@ Q...yeah, I heard about that Hitler issue. Don't you know that we Eurasians are Hitler's nightmare? We are the un-pure blood he wanted to erradicate but the Jews kept him busy.

Baklang AJ said...

Hmmm. It does sound very odd that you and your mom knelt in front of someone who's not Thai or Buddhist. Any word from your mom yet?

Morgan Heritier said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
laine said...

oh...im also wondering why ur mom do that?! for whatever reason, for sure it is very important...and dont forget to share it with us hehehe

Dan Gabriel said...

A thought came to mind. Did she ever take you there before that time? If it was the first time she took you there, there must have been something significant about the timing? Do you remember anything that happened to your mother or to your family say a month or a week before that? I mean why would she choose that time for you to go there? Maybe because the monument was new? Did this happen a few days after the monument was built?

Xanderj said...

to Pisuna and company, ur blog is cool, quite addictive actually, keep up the good work!!

hhmmmm...maybe ur dad's ancestor was Rizal's ex flame, hehe ;)


@Q... the rumor about Hitler and Jack the reaper are not true, they are part of the many Rizal myths that has been circulating since the Spanish era, i've learned from my PI 100 class that although Rizal was a playboy, he did not have any intimate relationship with these women, he does not go beyond flirting, Rizal was also prophetic (sort of), he knew he was going to die at the age of 30+, and Josephine Bracken (the Irish+Chinese/Malay woman)was a spy sent by the Spanish friars... more Rizal stories that are not mentioned in other literature can be read in Ambeth Ocampo's book entitled Rizal Without The Overcoat...

aries said...

hi morgan, rizal is not a royalty. thought their family was doing well in his time.

ei, pisanu. it was 1996 right? rizal's execution was on 1896 so 1996 would make it his execution's centinnial and ur mom was probably honoring an asian hero who happens to have a monument in europe.

...makes sense?

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

OMG! I just found my lady name...PISUNA! Thanks Xanderj! LOL Just kidding.

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

@ Morgan...hey dude! I don't have "NA" on my family name. Mom does. Not me.

@ Laine...hello little sister! I'll let you know about it when mother respond.

@ Dn Gabriel...nope, nothing significant happened prior to that. I think the monument was new that time because...well, it wasn't there the previous months.

@ Aries...100th year anniversary of his death still wouldn't mean anything unless he is related to us, right? He MIGHT have something to do with my ancestors on my father side. I don't know.

scarface said...

this entry caught the attention of many.. here is a rizal travelogue site.Maybe you will find clues here
http://www.jose-rizal.eu/reisenbelgiene.html

Q The Conqueror said...

@xanderxj - of course I know it isnt true (DUH). Ambeth Ocampo IS my teacher so I hear most of his Rizal stories first hand.

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

GUYS! Mother called and she said I s hould speak to my dad. He got the answer -- apparently, he IS an ancestor! (which, by the way, just added more mystery). *sigh*

Xanderj said...

@pisanu... my bad, sorry for renaming u, my typing skills are bad, ;)

@q... oohh, good for u!! i forgot your from Ateneo & he is your teacher, i also read ur blog, and it's also interesting!! buti ka pa, under nya, ako hanggang Inquirer lang...hehe

laine said...

waah thanks...so does it mean that ur somehow part filipino???

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

Father said he's not aware of it! Arggghhh! One of them is lying to me! Grrrrr.......!

Jules said...

interesting note, the indonesian author, Pramoedya Toer was a Rizal devotee. His masterpiece, the Buru Quartet, is full of praise for Rizal's ideas...

point is, it's not only Filipinos who look up to Rizal, but also SEAsians and even white foreigners...

Dan Gabriel said...

hmm... if your dad were a descendant of rizal, it wouldn't have been direct. from what i remember, Rizal never had a son or daughter, or at least none that were documented. maybe you were descended from one of Rizal's ancestors.

dhawell said...

pisanu, have u found the answer to this mystery? any scoop on this? hehehe.

Lawrence said...

@ Pisanu..

yeah, maybe your ancestors had contact with Rizal. because he lived in Belgium for a certain period. Actually, he traveled in much of Europe in those days.

the dreamer said...

@Pisanu:

Do you have any updates on this? I was really intrigued when I read this post...

Please give us an update soon...


peace y'all! *wink

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