Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Legend of the Republic of LasPinas
Dear Sabine, I realized I have yet to write you a letter in this blog. So this is the first of many, Anaki. Anyway, I was just browsing the websites / blogs of other parents and saw that they write beautiful poetry when inspired by their children (Case in point: CL.) I don't write poetry anymore because, well, I no longer have the blues. But I remember writing a short story about Christmas. It was written a month after you were born in 2003.
My friends in this picture are wearing RED because we wanted to be identified as a group when we celebrated Christmas 2003 at PhilHealth. It was my 1st Christmas with them and, more importantly, with you. It got me to thinking why Red is the color of Christmas. I really don't know why so I invented a reason. The result: The Legend of the LasPinas Republic.
One Christmas Eve, during the Revolution, a spanish officer was ordered to lead his squad in killing ALL Filipino patriots in Las Pinyas. But before doing so, he decided to visit his pregnant wife who was about to give birth. When he opened the door to his house, he was shocked to see KATIPUNEROS, dressed in RED, waiting inside for an ambush. Knowing that his fate was sealed, he begged for the lives of his family to be spared. Ignacio, the Supremo's cousin, spoke "They're safe. But our orders are to execute ALL Spanish soldiers in this house." Just then, a voice from the master's bedroom barked at the men to stand fast, "STOP!" It was Tandang Sora. The sagely woman patiently reasoned with them. "Within this room, this Christmas Eve, we are beyond the orders of any power who wants us to kill each other." She then went back inside to midwife the birth of a spanish child. Just a few moments later a cry was heard. Tandang Sora re-entered the room holding her enemy's child in her arms. Everyone who saw the newborn child, saw the faces of their own children in him. "I'M NOW A FATHER!" cried the Spaniard. That night there was endless merriment within the four corners of that small room in Las Pinyas. At midnight, one drunken soldier stood up and declared "Tonight, we are not pawns who blindly follow orders. Tonight, we are our own REPUBLIC. We are now citizens of the REPUBLIC OF LASPINAS." Upon hearing this speech, Filipinos and Spaniards toasted each other like old friends. They were citizens of their own republic that lasted until they parted ways at the first RED glow of Christmas dawn. Later, they did carry out their orders to KILL EACH OTHER in the battle of Bitukang Manok. But legend has it that every Christmas Eve, these men gather again; singing, dancing and drinking with the angels somewhere in the heavens where the glow is REDDEST. And they call their corner of the sky--THE REPUBLIC OF LASPINAS
When you grow up enough to read this entry, Sabine, you will realize that this legend is based on what actually transpired in the trenches of world war I. I wish you'd find both stories to be equally inspiring even though only one of them is true.