Adios Sr. Alejandro Roces…

The wonderful author of the “Fiesta” and so many other books about Filipino culture and history, Anding Roces died yesterday. He was 86.

Alejandro “Anding” Roces y Reyes was also a leader in the guerilla movement during the Japanese occupation. A brother of his, Liling, a writer for the Manila Times was killed by the Japanese. Liling’s column was called “Roses and Thorns”. Anding inspired by his brother called his “Thorns and Roses” (for several papers until finally with PhilStar). He would continue writing under it until his last years with us. I enjoy reading his write ups. I’m sure going to miss it.

Perhaps his greatest contribution, at least for me, is recovering the three stolen Rizal manuscripts. I don’t know the full story but a man from Cavite thought it was a good idea to steal the original Rizal manuscript during the Rizal Centennial celebrations. The man to bring it back is this man, Anding Roces.

He was awarded the National Artist title only in 2003. A well deserved honor for a man who dedicated his life in helping Filipinos better understand their history and traditions.

I like what he said about “Fiesta”. He mentioned that there were a lot of people that were against it. To these people these celebrations, the Filipino Fiesta, was nothing more than digressive colonial celebrations but for him it is the Fililpinos “highest community expression” – hence, he desired so much to preserve it.

Thank you Sir.

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4 responses to “Adios Sr. Alejandro Roces…

  • Traveler on Foot

    Not all our national artist is close to the heart of the common Filipino. Dr. Alejendro Roces is one of the most accessible National Artists.

    I hope that the selection for our nation’s artists will consider that as a MAJOR criteria and not just because of presidential prerogative or oligarchs’ choice.

    • De AnDA

      @TOF – True. This national artist awards has been heavily politicized by our government and the elites. A new process should be created were voting would represent the broader public.

  • De AnDA

    Hi Tita,

    I met him once, when I was still in college and the only exchange we ever had was me saying, “hello Senor?” and him responding, “hi there”. That was it. So from “hello Senor” to “Adios Senor”.I was in college then and was extremely shy. Looking back, I wished I’ve spoken to him longer.

    If I’ve known what you just said before I would’ve used Don instead of Sr. Like what people call his brother, Don Chino Roces. It sounds much better! Thanks for this beautiful insight.

    A

  • Elizabeth Medina

    Querido Arnaldo,

    Un detalle: You might change your title to Adios don Alejandro.

    When you say “Sr. Alejandro Roces” it means:

    (a) it’s a very formal register, as if don Alejandro were a stranger and there’s a lot of distance between you and him; and

    (b) you are in a position of social inferiority in relation to him. To use “don” is warmer, and more appropriate in this context. He is someone known to you for many years, and you are not his social inferior.

    So call him Don Alejandro.

    I know, in our mistaken Hispano Filipino culture, “don” is some kind of acknowledgement that the person is our superior, but the reality is, it’s exactly the opposite.

    Un abrazo,
    Liz

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