Cayan, My Memories

•July 19, 2016 • Leave a Comment
Cayan My Memories
Maria Lourdes F. Godinez emailed me to share the good news about the July 2016 publication of the English translation of Cayan, mis Memories (2015). José Miguel C Fernández was born in 1884 when the Philippines was a Spanish colony. He wrote his extensive memoirs in Spanish giving account of life in the remote District of Lepanto-Bontoc in the Mountain Province; the Igorots, Candón society and the start of the century under the Americans. This book provides his witness to historical events and the changes that occurred to Philippine society caused by the Philippine Revolution, the Uprising in Candón, and the Philippine-American War.  José’s father was a Spaniard from La Mata de Monteagudo, León. This book is a testament to the loving devotion he had for his father, Francisco Fernández Tejerina (from website)
Ms. Godinez gave me a brief introduction and listed some of the names found in the book.
Francisco Fernandez owned an enormous coffee plantation in Cayan, Lepanto and Jose (his son) wrote about that coffee plantation and his life growing up in those environs.  The memoirs include details about the Igorots of Lepanto and Bontoc, describes the efforts to harvest coffee during those times and how the Igorots were good workers who felt integrated in the plantation. the book also covers their move to Candon, what they witnessed during the uprising of Candon, the revolution, and the arrival of the Americans to the Ilocos region.
Francisco Fernandez instilled in his son a respect for the Igorots and this is shown in the book in many ways.
It was originally written in Spanish and has an English translation available.
The memoirs make mention of many persons:
  • Maldonado – who was a friend and partner in business
  • Felipe and Raymunda Carino – of Candon
  • Florentino and Mary  Lumba – of Cayan
  • Pedro Gadiano – of Cayan
  • Sabas Gaerlan the teacher in Cayan
  • Jose and Martin Mills from Mancayan
  • Jose Moldero from Sabangan
  • Masferre,  from Sagada
  • Igorots from Cayan called Anapen, Ducapit, Kilip and Lakay Inong
Persons from Candon:
  • Antonio Bona
  • Lino Abaya
  • Narciso Liquete
  • Neighbours: Silvestra Abaya, Gregorio Mati, Dorotea Resureccion, Severa Paredes (school teacher for girls)
  • Nicasio de Guia y Carino (Uncle Asiong)
  • Benito Gaerlan – married a cousin of my greatgrandmother (Rosa Foronda y Carino) and tried to cure Mercedes Fernandez (who unfortunately died)
  • Father Gaspar Cano
  • Maestro Samonte
  • Victorino Balbin – who was saved from execution by Jose Fernandez and the family probably don’t know about it
  • Sebastian Abaya
  • Clemente Abaya
  • Isabello Abaya
  • Senor Bustos
  • Modesto Dario
  • Domingo de Guia
  • General Aguinaldo
  • Father Jose Torres
  • General Gregorio del Pilar
Spanish soldiers:
  • Jose Herrero – Major of 6th Hunters Battalion
  • Deogracias Gonzales – sargeant
  • Captain Cantero
  • Manuel Marquetta Mallen
  • General Young
  • Juan de Dios
  • Jose Castillo
  • Lowie Harvey – corporal
  • Samuel Kane
  • the 33rd infantry and the regular infantry
  • Mister Greg – the first american school teacher for boys in Candon
Persons from Cervantes
  • Father Angel Perez
  • Doctor Arce and an assistant called Basilio
  • A chinese trader called Aguirre
Persons in Vigan:
  • Jose Mevia Campomanes Bishop
  • Father Fidel Prada
  • Felipe Buencamino – judge
  • Father Roman Ver
  • Senor Dominguez – who had a patisserie in Vigan
  • Senor Zaragoza – a pharmacist who also had an inn in Vigan
  • Salvador Rivero
  • Father Antonio Blanco – teacher
  • Father Olivares – teacher
  • Father Quirino Evangelista – teacher
  • classmates: Juan de Anta, Agustin Llanoza, Potenciano Abaya, Quintin Paredes, Jose Guiron, Teodoro Cadena, Sabas Pacason,Ignacio Villamor, Agripino Villaflor Faustino Bentano, some boys from the Querol, Santiago, and Zambrano families, Amencio Salvador, etc

Title: Cayan, My Memories, Authored by Mr Jose Miguel C Fernandez
Translated by Ms Maria Lourdes F Godinez (July 2016). Cost = US$15.00 (excluding shipping)

Copies may be ordered from Amazon Creatspace EStore


Invitation: Manila Studies Association 2016 Conference

•June 27, 2016 • Leave a Comment


A Firing Squad’sWork – 1898

•May 29, 2016 • Leave a Comment

A Spanish firing squad officer stands behind six Filipinos dead bodies neatly lined with their bodies almost showing the same posture – all falling to left side. Note the three priests at the left end of the line. The location of the execution is unknown but the structure behind the Spanish officer seem to indicate a cemetery. Image Source: Biblioteca Ministerio de Defensa, Espana.


Feeding Manila

•May 8, 2016 • Leave a Comment


“After forty years’ research in the streets of Manila and archives on three continents, Doeppers has produced a landmark study in the fields of urban history and human geography. Empirically, this book is the first to chart Manila’s rise from a small port to a nascent metropolis, spinning a narrative that ends tragically amid the mass starvation and fiery destruction of World War II. Theoretically, Feeding Manila offers a pathbreaking analysis of the urban-rural linkages that sustained this rapid urbanization over the span of a century, illuminating a problem increasingly critical in a world of hungry megacities. Methodologically, Doeppers deftly merges a mass of historical documentation into a taut analytical narrative. In sum, a stunning scholarly achievement.” Alfred W. McCoy, author of Policing America’s Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State (Source:


Back to the Holy Trinity Altar circa 1937

•March 24, 2016 • 1 Comment

Last June 3, 2012, during the Misa ng Bayan in celebration of the Patronal Feastday of the Most Holy Trinity (MHTP) Parish of Balic-Balic, Sampaloc, Manila,  Fr. Enrico Adoviso, parish priest, announced the proposed enhancement of the main altar of the parish church. This 2016, the renovation work finally started but a question still remains as to where the patronal image of the Holy Trinity will be placed. As early as June 4, 2012, I already questioned Dominic Galicia’s architectural  plan where he placed the Holy Trinity patronal image at the left most side of the former left altar (Santatlo sa Santabi, is how I would describe the plan, click to read the June 4, 2012  Open Letter). 

As of Holy Thursday, March 24, 2016, the progress of actual construction seem to show a change of plan in terms of the placement of the tabernacle (from the left side altar to the center altar, below the planned new crucifix). If today’s plan is to place the tabernacle in the center, then the architect, maybe unintentionally, is returning to the original character of the Most Holy Trinity Church when the tabernable was placed at the center of the altar.

Altar Renovation March 24 2016

In the 1937 wedding photograph of my parent-in-laws, Gregorio L. Reyes and Lucina E. Ramos, we can see the tabernacle located at the middle of the altar. More importantly, above the tabernable, we can see the patronal image of the Holy Trinity.

Most Holy Trinity Altar 1937

Gregorio L. Reyes & Lucina E. Ramos Wedding, July 21, 1937, Most Holy Trinity Church, Balic-balic, Sampaloc, Manila. Fr. Jose Marquez, officiating priest (Source: Reyes-Ramos Family Collection).

Where will the patronal image of the Holy Trinity be located in Dominic Galicia’s altar renovation plan? The Holy Trinity’s place is not at the distant left side of the altar (Galicia’s original placement) – the Holy Trinity needs to be returned to the center of the lives of the community of Balic-Balic.


I pray that it is not to late for the architect to return the patronal image to the original location as shown in the 1937 photograph – just above the tabernacle, at the center of the altar. Dominic Galicia’s modernistic architectural aesthetic need to address the theological reality that the patron of his client, is no ordinary saint, but that of the Holy Trinity. Even if we place a new sculpture of the crucified Christ as part of this 2016 renovation, we need to affirm that Christianity is not just about the crucified Christ alone, Christianity is about the fullness of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Yes, I am proud to be a parishioner of the first church (and parish) in the whole Archdiocese of Manila named after the Holy Trinity. However, let us manifest our Trinitarian faith by returning the patronal image of the Holy Trinity to the altar’s center. We will soon gaze at the new sculpture of the crucified Christ placed at the center altar- as all Christians should – we will gaze at the old sculpture of the Holy Trinity placed at the altar center – as all parishioners should who call the Trinitarian God as their sacred patron.

Is there still time to reclaim the Holy Trinity’s rightful place?