Nick Joaquin is famous for his great storytelling. His biographies are all considered classics. What I enjoy about his works are the historical tidbits he puts on it. He seamlessly incorporates Filipino historiography with his illustration of old families and towns in his books and essays.
How his “parokyanos” felt about his style?
Probably good because these commissioned works are not cheap.
I collect his authored biographies because I learn from them many Filipino stories you normally would not hear from our dry historical literature and texts.
An example of this wonderful style of writing is the inclusion of Dra. Lourdes Pascual y Sempio in Mayor Lim’s bio (May Langit Din Ang Mahirap) of the accounts that her mother told them when she was young. The good Doctora is a relative of Mayor Lim.
The lady doctor shares a story, allegedly that of the grandparents of a famous and influential Tarlaqueño family. The mother’s story confirms General Antonio Luna’s relationship with a woman who originally hails from Malolos.
“In Aguinaldo’s army was a Chinese Mestizo whom he used as carpenter. This carpenter had a son and a daughter. The daughter would later be reported as a maiden but my mother swore that the with her own eyes she saw this supposed maiden pregnant. And my mother would add that likewise with her own eyes she saw pushcart after pushcart loaded with valuables being delivered to the pregnant maiden. The carretones carried the contributions of each town to the Revolution. and the contributions consisted of money, gold and jewels. They were delivered to the pregnant maiden on orders of a high defense official who later perished”.
The descendants of this woman neither denied nor confirmed the story that has been going around for generations.
Is there truth to this claim?
The man who is said to be Antonio Luna’s great grandchild is named Antonio. Now the head of the biggest telephone company in the nation. He resembles the patriot Luna more than his Chino ancestors.
I’ve seen this guy with a band playing the guitar. He seem to have the natural ability like Antonio Luna, who became popular for his guitar playing around Manila in his younger years.
Is he the great grandson of Lvna?
We can forever speculate on this part of our history. Who knows, one day they’ll come out in the open and tell the real story.
But with that will come many more questions. Something that many feel is the reason why they keep mum on the issue.
One thing I noticed about this book that was printed in 1998 is that of all the bio’s I’ve read in my life, this is the only one that failed to mention the birth of date of the person’s life.
Only Quijano de Manila can get away with something like that.