During the Spanish period, the Chinese are considered as second class citizens. But a number of them rose to prominence shaping Bicol Region’s history and culture. Among those that ring a bell is Jose Ignacio Paua which we featured earlier — a leader of Andres Bonifacio’s Katipunan and later a mayor of Manito, Albay.
Another that literally and figuratively rings a bell is Simon Li Tuanqui, a pure Chinese ‘known for donating the now equally well-known pair of “Li Tuanqui Bells” to the Peñafrancia Shrine in Nueva Caceres in 1863 and 1868‘. He was one of the early Chinese migrants baptized in the Roman Catholic faith in the Bicol Region.
Aside from donating the bells, he also donated a significant amount of his wealth for the construction of the Peñafrancia Shrine and financed the building of the first pagoda for the annual procession in the Naga River.
Simon Li Tuanqui spent the rest of his life in the Bicol Region as businessman. He resided in Polangui, Albay and fathered sons and daughters who shaped local politics and the economy.
Source: The Enduring Legacy of Simon Li Tuanqui
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Marhay na aga sa saindo gabos na kasaro kan pamilyang minatubod sa paglaom na pagyamanon an satuyang kulturang Bikolnon.
Ako tabi si Pading Berto na minagikan pa sa syudad kan Naga pero nasa Daet, Camarines Norte na. Sa ngonyan, ako asin an sakuyang agom na si Fe an nagpapadagos kan simpleng pagmawot na buhayon asin maibalik an pagkamoot kan bagong henerasyon sa satuyang pinagdakulaan. An satuyang nagagadan nang Kulturang Bikolnon sa literatura asin iba pang mga Bikolnon kaiba na at mga tigsik asin rawitdawit.
Sa samuyang dikit na kwarta pero mayaman na pagtubod asin pagtubod, naitugdok mi an sarong gallery (arkilado an lugar) na parte kan samuyang inaarkilahan. Inapod mi ineung KUYAKOY ART CAFE na nasa Borabod, daet, Camarines Norte. An samuyang inisyatibo an nagpuon sa pagtatao kan pagbisto sa mga young artists kan Camarines Norte.
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In a golden era, people should be feasting on cakes and beef and not nutribuns and snail-meat. In the period of rice sufficiency, no one should be hungry with people being more at risk for diabetes rather than malnourishment. But do you know that then-President Ferdinand E. Marcos introduced programs befitting a Third World Country during the times when the Philippines is considered to be at its “golden period” and economic peak?
Nutribun distribution program during the Marcos era. (Picture credit: Proud Bisaya page)
In May 1973, Marcos introduced the Masagana ’99 which goal is to produce 99 sacks of rice per hectare. The program was, in part, instrumental to the increase in yield especially with the introduction of the “miracle rice” developed by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) which rose from zero in 1965-66 to 81% in 1981-82 with average productivity increasing to 2.3 tons per hectare in non-irrigated farms and 2.8 tons per hectare on irrigated farms at the end of 1983. This enabled the country to attain rice sufficiency and eventually export a small amount. It should be stressed, however, that IRRI is not Masagana ’99, and the research institute is not an agency of the Philippine Government.
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