(We publish these pieces of trivia from the National Historical
Institute in celebration of History Month)
Bonifacio dressed like Rizal
According to Bonifacio’s friend and comrade
Guillermo Masangkay, as an agent of foreign companies doing business
in the Philippines, Andres Bonifacio had to dress well. He wore coat
and tie, hat, trousers and shoes, which is far from his barefooted
Katipunero image wearing shoes, an undershirt, loose pants and
brandishing a bolo. On the very day he went to Balintawak Bonifacio
was wearing his coat and tie. While presiding over a meeting with
other revolutionary leaders in the house of Juan Ramos, Bonifacio
had removed his coat. The Katipunan leaders debated whether or not
to begin the revolution against Spain. Bonifacio realized that he
was going to lose in the discussion since many of the leaders were
against starting the revolution too soon. Bonifacio then went
outside where five hundred to a thousand Katipuneros were waiting
for their decision. After telling them that all of them could be
arrested by the Spaniards, the Katipuneros then decided to revolt
then they tore their cedulas as a sign of defiance to Spain.
The Davis Cup
The famous Davis Cup was actually named after
one of the Governor-Generals of the Philippines.
The prestigious Davies Cup, which is awarded in
tennis, was named after Dwight Davis, American governor-general of
the Philippines from 1929 to 1932. Davis, an avid tennis player
played tennis with other Americans in the Philippines.
Port of Manila
The original Port of Manila was actually located
on the Pasig River.
Before the construction of the present Port of
Manila, ships including those sailing to other countries dock at the
mouth of the Pasig River at its northern bank in Binondo. Ships can
sail up to what is now Jones Bridge. The old bridge that connected
Binondo to Ermita on the south bank of the Pasig was the Puente de
España. This bridge was later demolished to be replaced by the
Jones Bridge during the American period. Other signs that the north
bank were used as a port were the names of the streets along the
north bank of the river like “Muelle del Rey,” which means
“the King’s Wharf,” and Muelle del Banco. The north side had
facilities for repairing ships including a shipyard. There was also
the customs house, or Aduana, which is found on the southern bank.
This building is now abandoned and might be demolished soon. During
the American period the port was moved to Manila Bay to serve larger
ships. The old port is still used today as a place to load or unload
Filipino conqueror of Guam
The actual conqueror and explorer of the Mariana
Islands was a Filipino.
According to Spanish records Juan de Santa Cruz,
a noble native from Indang, Cavite, was given the duty to command
soldiers in the Spanish garrison in the newly established Spanish
colony in Agaña, Guam. This made him also the first military
commander of the Marianas. De Santa Cruz made a survey of the
Mariana Islands and identified the anchorages for the Manila
Galleons. He suppressed the early rebellions by the natives until he
returned to the Philippines in 1671.
Eat a Filipino
In Spain, “Filipinos” are a delicacy.
“Filipinos” is actually a brand of cookies
covered in chocolate produced by a company called United Biscuits
Iberia, S.L. The cookies resemble the “rosquillo” biscuits
produced in Iloilo and Negros and the Spaniards added another twist
by coating it with brown or white chocolate.
Manila has contributed much to world history.
Many words in history and trade had “Manila” as prefix. Among
The Manila Galleons—Also known as the Nao de
Manila, these are name of the sailing ships which participated in
the Manila-Acapulco trade. The galleons were moored not at Manila
but at the Port of Cavite. Goods imported from Mexico and goods
transshipped from Manila had to pass through the Camino Real, which
is the road to Cavite. The galleons were not made in Manila but at
different parts of the country. Some were made at the Royal
Astillero, or Real Astillero de Bagatao, in Sorsogon. Others were
built in Cavite, Samar, Albay and other parts of the country. Some
were even made abroad in Japan and in Siam (now Thailand). The
people who sailed aboard the galleons were called “Manilamen.”
“Mantel de Manila” actually originated in
China. The textile is actually Chinese in origin and brought to the
Philippines by Chinese junks. Filipinos also add their own taste by
embroidering designs in the cloth, hence the name Mantel de Manila.
Another famous Philippine product was the
“Manila Cigar.” Though Manila had several large cigar factories,
cigars were also made in the Ilocos and Camarines provinces, Cagayan,
Isabela Albay, Zambales and Pangasinan. The generic name for
Philippine cigars is Manila cigar. The first cigar factory was the
Casa de Binondo, which took over the building of a former Dominican
convent in Manila. Other factories were La Germinal, La Insular
Tobacco and Cigarette Factory, La Victorioso España, La Felicidad,
Tabacalera and others. These were private factories allowed to
operate after the tobacco monopoly was abolished in 1882. The
cigarreras, or cigar wrappers, were women since it was believed that
women would not pilfer or steal cigars and tobacco. A large factory
like La Insular employed up to 3,000 women as cigarreras.
Another object using the “Manila” name is
the Manila Hemp, which is the commercial name for abaca. The French
discovered the salt-resisting qualities and strength of abaca fiber
but it was the Americans who embarked on the mechanized manufacture
of ropes made from abaca. English companies like Smith, Bell and Co,
Kerr and Company competed with American companies like Russell
Sturgis and Co., Peele and Hubbell and Co. and opened up plantations
in Albay, the Camarines provinces, Samar and Leyte which became main
producers of abaca.
Other things with the Manila name are Manila
envelope and Manila paper, which are the names for these brown