Balic-balic and Rizal Day circa 1933
About 79 years ago, Edith Eberle (Palm Tree and Pine; Stories of the Philippine Islands) wrote that the “… great patriotic day among the Filipino people is Rizal Day,… and that “… Jose Rizal is the great patriot and hero of the Philippine Islands. Furthermore, she writes that during Rizal Day there…”are parades with decorated floats, bands and marching organizations. There are programs with eulogies and national appeals. There are balls with queens chosen in popularity contests and coronated with brilliant ceremony.”
Image: Dr. Jose Rizal on the cover of The Filipino Teacher, December 1908 Issue.
In Balic-balic, Sampaloc, Manila, a photograph of Roberta Oxida dated December 30, 1933, provides a glimpse of how this small barrio participated in the celebration of Rizal Day. Unfortunately, oral history has left no trace of memory among current Balic-balic residents on how the “Patnubay ni Gat Jose Rizal” was chosen.
Image: Miss Roberta Oxida, Patnubay ni Gat Jose Rizal (1933). Collection of the curator of the Museo de Santisima Trinidad.
July 15, 2007. While visiting the “On Sacred Ground” exhibit, Patricia Oxida told her mom about a photo with a Miss Roberta Oxida. That afternoon, the mother and her child came back with the nephew of Roberta (called Berta). According to Antonio Oxida Jr., his father told him of an aunt that won a Miss Balic-balic contest way back in the 1930’s but this is the first time he is seeing an actual photo of her aunt. Miss Roberta is the eldest of 5 children from the marriage of Marcelo Oxida and Magdalena de la Cruz. A few years after being crowned the “patnubay ni gat Jose Rizal” Roberta married Fidel Deogracias. Unfortunately, Roberta passed away in 1947.