More on Ricarte

I previously wrote a blog about Ricarte a week ago after reading a 1920’s article by Kalaw. I have to add something to that after I stumbled upon some interesting pictures of him.

Below are three telling pictures of El Vibora. The first one is the Japanese memorial dedicated in his honor – this was obviously made for their countrymen alone (it has no English nor Spanish sublines).

The second one, a smug shot taken while he was a prisoner in Bilibid Viejo in Manila. The American’s had just taken over and found resistance from men who originally took part in the Filipino Spanish war. The defiant picture of the young Ricarte speaks about the struggle the Filipinos like him had to endure under the Americans. Men like Ricarte, suffering the pain of how they were robbed of freedom and glory continued the fight against the new invaders.

I found out that some of Ricarte’s descendants lives near where my relatives in Gen. Trias resides. I was told that there are numerous Ricartes now living in the US.  Times has changed, I wonder what the recalcitrant Ricarte would think of his descendants. If I have time I’ll try to look for these people. I want to hear their stories.

Memorial in Japan

Young Prisoner Ricarte.

Ricarte's "Karihan Luvimin"

Ricarte was living quite a comfortable life in Japan when he was given an opportunity to go back to his land to “help” and “pacify” his kababayan, under uncertain conditions he did. Aside from teaching Spanish at a University he also had this food shop called Karihan there. Curry is a south east Asian flavor and it seem that the enterprising husband and wife was cashing in on a Japanese fascination. The shops name suggest the man’s undying love for his country. I wonder what would have happened to him if he resisted the temptation of again joining the war against the Americans, this time as an ally of the Japanese.

We have to try to understand more the lives of our heroes, so we can, individually and collectively, as a nation, relive their heroism.

A story is told about how Ricarte while in Japan, wept uncontrollably seeing Atang de la Rama perform kundiman. When I hear the patriotic song’s lyric, “Aling pag-ibig pa ang hihigit kaya. Sa pagkadalisay at pagkadakila. Gaya ng pag-ibig sa tinubuang lupa”, I don’t know why but Ricarte comes to mind – Perhaps, because I believe he’s got that kind of love for his country.


6 responses to “More on Ricarte

  • Mary

    Hello, I just went back to the Philippines for a short vacation. Whenever we go back it includes visits to my Lola who lives in sta. Rosa, laguna named, Clarina Abin Ricarte. She is turning 90 this coming October 25th. My Lola told us stories of her grandparents and parents and her life back then. She mentioned that her grandfather is Artemio Ricarte. Would it be General Artemio Ricarte? My grandmother’s parents’ names are Rafael Ricarte and Christina Ricarte. Will you be able to find out if she really is the granddaughter of the late hero? If so, she probably is the oldest Ricarte who is still living today.

  • Bogs

    Maybe Ricarte suffered from wrong timing in returning to the Philippines with the Japanese.But I think Artemio Ricarte belongs to a higher pantheon of Filipino heroes. Along with Bonifacio, Mabini and Rizal. He was unwavering and defiant. Compared to other heroes sometimes imposed on us, and other so called heroes through family connections and PR, El Vibora is a true Filipinio hero. Thanks for sharing this De Anda.

    • De AnDA

      Hi Bogs. He was a man obsessed to see American rule no matter what. A movie should be made about him. It is believed that he influenced Mabini (whom he was with in Guam as exile) to become fiercely critical of his former boss, Aguinaldo.

  • Elizabeth Medina

    Amazing, amazing, amazing.

    Deeply moving photograph.

    Muchas gracias hermano.

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