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.