Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Personal Belongings of Apolinario Mabini

* this handkerchief was Mabini’s present to a friend named Florentina Cesario of Tanauan; she was at that time a teacher in Lipa; this handkerchief was eventually donated by Florentina’s daughter; isn’t it good to note that they have probably kept this one because Mabini was already an important figure in the cause of freedom during the Philippine Revolution?

* a glass of Mabini, together with some buttons

* a trunk of Mabini

* the usual banga or jar; probably used for keeping water

* a mirror (the side frames are reconstructions already) and a cabinet

* marvel at Mabini’s handwriting!

Let me share with you some of the belongings of Apolinario Mabini displayed at the Mabini Shrine. They are varied. Most were obtained from his home in Nagtahan. The transfer was done during the administration of President Macapagal, if I am not mistaken. One was a donation from a friend (or was it a loved-one?).

The existence of these things was the reason of my remark that Mabini is one of the more ‘human’ heroes we have. One can imagine him sitting in that big chair, contemplating the Philippine Revolution and the entry of the Americans to the Philippines. One can imagine him looking up that elegant clock, realizing the lateness of the day after hours of writing.

* a book owned by Mabini

* a Walker’s Dictionary

* El Sol – The Sun; his clock

* mga muebles

* the Sublime Paralytic’s chair; sorry,
but this is not the
one seen in one of his most prominent photos

* finally, his coffin; during my first visit, it was not still covered in glass, and so the cloth covering it was…well...a good souvenir it seemed to me…so…
(no one should do that again, tsk)

Visiting shrines like this is one step forward in knowing our heroes. This one needs no reiteration anymore, but our heroes are not just names on books and magazines. They are humans and they lived particularly during those important periods in our history. If you think that studying and knowing heroes is baduy or corny, then I don’t think you should wear stuffs with Philippine flags or with lines “I am Filipino.” Kailangang pangatawanan natin ang pagiging Pilipino. And one way to assert this is to at least familiarize ourselves to those historical figures (I am beginning to believe that the term ‘hero’ is quite limiting) who contributed in molding our nationalistic consciousness.

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