Monday, July 26, 2010


August 4, 1999 for Post Hilarion M. Henares Jr.

I. Raul Manglapus, The quintessential Atenean

There is such thing as a Great Upian, because as a concept UP does not exist. There are only the UP fraternities, and they are eternally at war with each other. There are no Great Opus Dei, either, for they are all under the Spaniards, and they have no other purpose in life but to accumulate wealth and power, disdain the poor, and serve the foreigners.

There are no Great La Sallites because there is no such thing as a La . There are only the La Sallite Mestizos, the cono boys subsidized by the Sorianos and Zobels; The La Salle Chinese who own the Philippines; and the poor La Salle Filipinos who are left to fend for themselves; and the three are not even talking to each other. They don’t even understand each other, for one speaks Spanish, another Fokien and the other Taglish. There are two who might have ben great Filipino La Sallites, Lorenzo Tanada and Jose W. Diokno, but they have never been honored as such. The only ones so honored by the Christian Brothers are the ones who pursue wealth, like the del Rosario brothers, Concepcion twins, Danding Cojuangco and someone called Chris Concepcion before he ran off with somebody else’s money.

The greatest Ateneans are Jose Rizal and Claro M. Recto, men of genius and Renaissance spirit. But they were repudiated by their foreign Jesuit mentors because they were Filipino patriots. Other great Ateneans were Horacio de la Costa and Leon Ma. Guerero. But Horace became more of a Jesuit than a real Atenean, and Leonie became a patriot prematurely, hitting the Americans when the Filipino people were still under the spell of Americans. On the other hand, Emmanuelle Pelaez remained a pro-American even after we became independent. Only Raul Manglapus can truly be called a Great Atenean. He was pro-American when the American Jesuits still controlled Ateneo, and became a patriot when Filipino Jesuits took over. The Jesuits and the students of Ateneo never faltered in their admiration and support for raul Manglapus, for in their eyes and in the eyes of many, he was the quintessential Atenean. Every other Atenean was measured by the standards set by Raul Manglapus. His Arrneoow accent and facility with a dozen dialects and languages was legendary.

Raul Manglapus was school-boy hero. As a boy, I was there when he delivered his speech "land of Bondage, Land of the Free," lost the oratorical contest, and was publicly commended by President Quezon as the one who should have won. I was there when he delivered his famous speech "His Excellency, Labor," with which he won the First National Oratorical Contest. I was there when he composed "Blue Edge The King," to cheer our teams to victory. I was there when he graduated summa cum laude.

I bore witness to his incarceration and torture by the Japanese, his dramatic escape from Los Banos POW camp, his exploits as a guerilla, and eventually, after Liberation as the only Filipino to attend the surrender ceremony of the Japanese on the Battleship Maine in Tokyo Bay.

My wife Cecilia and I spent our first visit to Disneyland in the company of Raul and Pacing Manglapus. I followed him wherever he led us, into Magsaysay’s Rah Rah Boys, supporting him as our youngest Foreign Affairs Secretary under Magsaysay. When Magsaysay died, I joined him and Manahan in the latter’s failed bid for the presidency. I was with him in the Progressive Party, and in the Grand Alliance in his quixotic for political recognition.

II. Raul’s rivalry with Manny Pelaez

There was a time when Raul Manglapus and Emmanuelle Pelaez, both prominent Ateneans, strode into the political arena together, sometimes in partnership, sometimes in rivalry. Manny Pelaez was not a wartime hero as Raul Manglapus was, but during the Occupation, he spent hours at home singing "God Bless America." During the war, Raul Manglapus fought in Bataan, was incarcerated and tortures by the Japanese, made a dramatic escape from the Los Banos POW camp, and participated in the Liberation of Manila. After the war Manny, a bar topnotcher, became a special prosecutor in the People’s Court. He was with Magsaysay and the NP along with the Rah Rah boys of Raul Manglapus. Manglapus composed the famous campaign song Mambo Magsaysay, and tutored Magsaysay in oratory, specially the famous Moises Padilla speech that ushered Magsaysay into the Presidency. He served Magsaysay as Secretary of Foreign Affairs. After Magsaysay died, Manny and Raul ran for the senate under the Grand Aliance (PPP + disgusted LPs and NPs), and lost.

In 1961 as an LP, Manny Pelaez became Vice President under Diosdado Macapagal, in whose cabinet I served. Manglapus topped the senate race, and distinguished himself with the sponsorship of the Land Reform Act. Manny wanted to be president, but with Macapagal eyeing a second term, both he and Marcos left the LP to join the NP. Marcos won the nomination, and Pelaez drifted back to the PPP with Manglapus as presidential candidate.

"When I come back fromCairo, I’from Cairo campaign for you," Pelaez told Manglapus in 1965. Pelaez never showed up, instead he ran with the LP (and Macapagal), and on TV asked the voters not to waste their votes on Manglapus.

In 1069, Pelaez was back with the NP, campaigning for Marcos whom he once called a "most dangerous man." In 1972, martial law was declared, three senators were immediately ordered arrested – Ninoy who was imprisoned seven years, Pepe Diokno in prison for two years, and Raul Manglapus who escaped and was in exile for 13 years. Pelaez became Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and defended Marcos from the attacks of Manglapus in Hawaii as late as 1980, and stayed with Marcos till he was ambushed by persons unknown, after which he laid low, while the rest of us were fighting the February Revolution. I never saw him in a public rally.

Manglapus was to be Ambassador to the USA, but somehow Pelaez ingratiated himself with Cory and got the appointment instead. Manglapus was elected into the Senate. Eventually Cory appointed Raul Manglapus as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and as such he negotiated with asshole Americans on the US Bases, and did his best to promote, protect and defend Philippine interest in the face of his boss President Cory Aquino’s determination to accommodate the Americans. A majority of twelve Senators led by Jovito Salonga, Wigberto "Bobby" Tanada and Erap Estrada opposed and rejected the Bases Treaty.

Raul Manglapus accepted the position of Chairman of the Philippine National Oil Co., in the administration of President Fidel V. Ramos, and spent many a time playing with his Executive Band with First Lady Ming Ramos as pianist, and once with US President Bill Clinton as saxophonist when he was here on visit.

During Erap’s term, Raul Manglapus retired, contracted throat cancer, and passed away peacefully.

III. Raul Manglapus never banned fiestas!

In the last part of June 1991, Senator Heherson "Sonny" Alvarez, Chairman of the committee on natural resources and ecology, proposed that experts study the possibility of strategic bombing of selected spots around the Mt. Pinatubo to divert mudflows from populated areas.

And everyone snickered. Derision in the press consigned Alvarez’s Pinatubo bombing to such nincompoopery as Congressman Vera’s outlawing of typhoons, President Ramon Magsaysay’s abrogation of the law of supply and demand, and Raul Manglapus’ abolition of fiestas.

Hehehe Alvarez can take satisfaction from the fact that such strategic bombing was used successfully in the 1935 eruption of Mauna Loa in Hawaii, but he cannot escape the derision of the press.

Vera’s bill was a perfectly valid proposal to study the typhoon with the view of diverting it or dissipating its force. Today it is possible to seed hurricanes, even bomb the storm’s eye to divert and dissipate it. Up to now, long after he’s been dead, Vera is still known to have attempted to abolish typhoons.

Ramon Magsaysay’s remark about abrogating the law of supply and demand is a compete fabrication, a politicians’s joke to show up Monching’s lack of sophistication. But the joke acquired a life of its own and will probably last forever.

Manglapus’ proposal regarding fiestas, sought not to abolish it to utilize it for capital formation and productive endeavor, like pig raising, duck raising, credit unions, scholarship funding – instead of conspicuous consumption and give-away hospitality. A perfectly valid movement which I headed as president of Fiestas for Progress, was practically laughed out of existence.

My friend, Raul Manglapus screamed with pain every time he sees reprinted for the nth time the canard that as a senator he introduced a bill abolish fiestas. Max Soliven in 1987 wrote that Raul "proposed a law banning fiestas" and that he was "jeered and booted out of the Senate in the 1967 elections." And Teddy benigno did the same thing in his Star column dated March 21,1997, writing that Manglapus "got off a Senate bill to ban fiestas and was bopped bowlegged by a fiesta loving citizenry and Congress." Well, Max and Teddy, pardon me for living but I was there as the president of Fiestas for Progress, and I know that :

1. Raul never filed a bill banning fiestas. We proposed not to ban the fiesta but to use it for productive purposes, such as saving capital for projects like balut and salted eggs in Pateros, where our experiment became successful. No need for a law.
2. Raul did not lose an election to the senate simply because he did not run for the senate in 1967. I did, along with Ninoy Aquino, Soc Rodrigo, Camilo Osias, and Maria KK the Censor; only Ninoy won. Nobody could have jeered Manglapus then, nor booted him out in an election he did not participate in.
3. The next time Raul Manglapus did run was his third party (Progressive) bid for the presidency in 1965, and he and Macapagal lost to Ferdinand Marcos. He then ran in 1970 for the Constituional Convention.

IV. Fiestas For Progress was a worthwhile project

Raul Manglapus was my school-boy hero, the champion orator and composer of the Ateneo’s signature song, "Blue Eagle." He was at the time senator of the republic, and aspiring candidate for the presidency of our land. I was at the time the president of the Philippine Chamber of Industries, and soon to be appointed to the presidential cabinet of President Diosdado Macapagal as Chairman of the National Economic Council and Presidential Administrator of Community Development (PACD).

Senator Raul Manglapus and I organized the "Fiestas for Progress" movement, of which I was President and he was Chairman and moving spirit. Economist Augusto Cesar Espiritu, later Ambassador to West Germany, was with us as vice president. Jesus Tanchanco, soon to be the NFA Administrator, was treasurer, and Jorge Lorredo as PRO. Also Arturo "Bong" Tangco later to be Minister of Agriculture and indefatigable loverboy. Raul was chairman.

Mrs. J.B. widow of Col. Arsenio de Borja, who headed the movement in Pateros, sent me a pamphlet we issued for Fiestas for Progress, which set up pilot projects with four basic objectives:

o To cut down on excessive expenditures on food and drinks on fiesta, to minimize games of chance and contests like dancing and beauty pageants, and give more importance to contest for the best pig, chicken, cow, and the biggest vegetables grown, highest yielding land use, and other useful pursuits.
o To use fund-raising activities like lotteries and cockfights, reserving part of the winnings to accumulate capital for Credit Unions and Cooperatives.
o To minimize borrowings for the fiesta celebration. Minimize extravagant expenses like opening one’s doors indiscriminately to strangers, many of flit from one fiesta to another cadging free food and drinks. It is better to entice out-of-towners with special events like the floating flower festival, Hala Bira, and church festivities, and ask them to pay for their own food and shelter, as we ask foreigners who come to our shores.
o To prove to the nation that investments, increased incomes and economic progress are possible if there is cooperation and willingness to change.

The bottom line is that fiestas should bring more money into the town instead of out of the town; and such money should be used to create opportunities for economic advancement. Unfortunately, the word spread that we were abolishing the fiesta, and we became the subject of jokes and laughed at behind our backs.

The Pateros experiment showed that the people served less food and drinks in their homes during fiesta, holding family reunions without going into debt. Money came into Pateros as visitors patronized stores and vendors. And the people were able to set up with their savings one of the biggest credit unions in the country, through which they sent their children to school, revived their faltering industries and set up new ones, and freed themselves from the clutches of loan sharks.

V. Raul gets a US spy to eat balut

We had a lot of fun, Raul Manglapus and the rest of us, pursuing the objectives of Fiestas For Progress. We descended into town fiestas determined to do some good. We were welcome into homes, into churches, even into cockpits where we found ourselves watching this barbaric sport, and comparing it with the bullfighting of Spain. We were given permission to speak in the cockpit, they did not even bother to boo us, they just ignored our presence amidst the babble of betting. We came out with the conviction that cockfighting is ingrained in the Filipino soul, its gambling practices etched in his character, and nothing short of an atom bomb can put the asunder.

Our most amusing experience concerned John Esterline of the USIS propaganda agency, about whom so many unkind things were written and said. He wanted to maneuver the Philippine American Cultural Foundation into an outright American propaganda agency. The Americans contributed $I million, at the time worth P4 million, while asking for a Philippine contribution of P14 million in cash and land plus continuing tax exemption. At the same time the Americans made it clear that they will run the whole show. Ridiculous.

Esterline was also pilloried for perpetrating the "bomb hoax" that accused Filipino of trying to bomb an American school house full of children—an incident that triggered a series of editorials on the bomb hoax that won him the year’s prestigious Esso Award (later abolished).

After receiving the award, Adrian was promptly fired from the Evening News at the instigation of Esterline, whom they accused of being CIA agent spying on and subverting a friendly people.

If Esterline was a spy, he was not a successful one, and maybe that is why he is so likeable. The only time he was able to advance the interest of America was during the Pateros Fiesta when he tagged along Raul Manglapus and myself in one of our Fiestas for Progress sorties.

"Hey, Esterline, know what is the greatest riddle of all time? It is this: Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Well now, you see before you answer to that riddle, a balut. My friend, you eat a balut and you acquire the wisdom of the ages, for the balut is both the chicken and the egg. Care to try?"

This is the acid test Filipinos should apply to their American friends. Only one out of a thousand Americans would try. And 99 out of a hundred who try, would get laid up for a week, absolutely sick.

But our friend Esterline nonchalantly ate five baluts – soup, chicken, yolk, white hard core and all – smacked his lips and asked for more! In shocked desperation, we handed him a pack of cheap, smelly, black, bittersweet Pagkakaisa cigarillos. He did not smoke them, he ate them too!

Later Esterline turned the table on us. He picked out a US marine, trained him for the balut-eating contest in Pateros, and watched with a toothy grin, as the marine won the contest hands down, swallowing 18 baluts in 5 minutes, face smeared, mouth drooling, nose dripping with what-not—while the Filipinos in the audience turned pale-green and hectic blue absolutely sick with nausea.


The musical play Yanky Panky was written as a unique final thesis during Raul Manglapus’ fellowship in Cornell. The musical play is Raul Manglapus’ legacy to his people, a testament of his nationalism as his life’s journey finally converges with those of Rizal, Recto, and Diokno.

It is amusing, witty, delightful, lyrical, with tunes that remind us of great musicals of Rodgers & Hammerstein. But most of all, it is the history of America’s conquest of the Philippines, when American troops fresh from the Indian Wars and "55 Days in Peking" during the Boxer Rebellion, turned their fury on Filipinos, employing the zona and the water cure and perpetrating the massacre of women and children in Samar. It is the beginning of America’s imperialistic drive to "Christianize the Catholics" and have a colony of their own to exploit.

Foreign Secretary Raul S. Manglapus, war-hero, once the youngest foreign secretary, senator, freedom fighter in exile, linguist and public speaker, writer and composer, pianist and politician—wanted to make a political statement and piece of entertainment at the same time, and succeeded. He makes us laugh and sing, and see the truth about Americans… and ourselves.

All the characters in that part of our history are there, singing and dancing, and playing their roles to the hilt with wit that is incisive and delightful:

* Teddy Roosevelt who incited the Spanish American War, singing The will to set the world aright! Backstopped by the conquerors of the past, Pharaoh, Alexander the Great, Julius Ceasar, etc.
* Sen. Beveridge, the ultimate imperialist, who wanted America to supply the markets of the Orient, who said that the Anglo-American is race superior to all (that’s giving God too much credit, said Roosevelt).
* Commodore George "Knucklehead" Dewey who won the Battle of Manila Bay over the Spanish Admiral Bobo Montojo, You may fire when you are ready, Gridley!
* Spanish Governor
General Jaudenes who connived with Americans for a sham surrender to avoid being beaten by Aguinaldo. We’ll fire over the Yankee’s head…we’ll give up bowed but brave… at least our conquerors are white!
* President William McKinley, ridiculous in his night gown, kneeling and praying for heavenly guidance: I prayed for light to God Almighty! So heaven said…You must take them, to civilize, to educate and Christianized! We must Christianize the Catholics!
* William Jennings Bryan, the anti-imperialist: I will not develop markets overseas by trampling on the dignity of smaller nations. Millions for defense, and not one cent for conquest!

And interwoven in the plot were:

* American soldiers singing an authentic war song of the Philippine American War: Damn, Damn, damn, the Filipino, pock-marked khakiak ladrone (may bulutong, color tae at magnanakaw), civilize the with a Krag (rifle)!
* American carpetbagers: Our mission is to sell them commodities even if they may not need them… then draw from their soil their gold!
* The friendship between Emily the American and Carmen the Filipina. Carmen’s loving Here on my plot of earth, my own land of birth! counterpointed by Emily’s What is freedom to you? Is it not the heart unbound, the throbbing unchained, the soul that worships unrestrained?
* The love between Emily and Navy lieutenant Brumby, who decided to stay in the Philippines and teach: Is it possible after you slapped your neighbor, to offer him your hand?
* They are all there in the musical play Yanky Panky, as if it were an instant playback—the hypocrisy, the betrayal, the vicious greed, the love-

VII. Raul Manglapus played Dixieland Jazz

Centuries ago as time is counted by very young, in the year 1958, a group of business executives led by Bert del Rosario president of Treble, and Bobby manosa, one of our brightest architects, got together and formed the Executive Combo, which later became the Executive Band, led by Raul Manglapus, senator, cabinet secretary and the school boy hero of a whole generation of Ateneans, and their latest recruit, no less than the First Lady, Mrs. Ming Ramos. Iam an honorary member of the Executive Band, and my TV Producer Dr. Luis Esteban Latorre, former priest of the Opus Dei, is a bona-fide member of it, playing the trumpet.

For 35 years, they played with the legendary king of jazz Duke Ellington (piano), Lionel Hampton, with King Bhumipol of Thailand (clarinet) and his princess daughter (trumpet), Prince Norodom Shihanouk (saxophone) of Cambodia, with President Bill Clinton (tenor saxophone), with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir (voice) Ambassador Kulas Platypus (voice), of course the First Lady (piano). They serenaded the Pope John Paul II, Frank Sinatra, and other international celebrities. They have performed all over the Philippines and the world. And all for charity as ambassador of goodwill of the Filipino people. Only recently they departed for Oslo, Norway, and Rome, Italy and Madrid in Spain to serenade the Pope and the great economic heroes of the Philippines today – the OCWs, the overseas contract workers.

White Americanss to denigrate negroes, often forget that at the leading edge of American dominance of the world, is its jazz culture whose beginnings can be traced to negro spiritual music during their time of slavery.

Jazz has many forms: Dixie-land that enlivened even funerals in New Orleans. The blues with its earthy lyrics and songs of sorrow, those of Gershwin and Ella Fitzgerald. The syncopated polyphonic Ragtime of Scott Joplin whose piano music you enjoyed in the movie The Sting. Soft swing and sway, with Sammy Kaye, Artie Shaw, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. The harmonic BeBop, Boogie Woogie, Rock and Roll, Hard Metal, the Rap, and the noise you hear over NU-107 – all these are different forms of jazz.

Jazz music is mostly innovative and improvised. Its sounds composed while being played, have natural have natural flowing melodies that expresses strongly felt emotions – with such instruments as trumpet, trombone, the long-neglected saxophone, harmonica and guitars – instruments rarely used or given importance in classical music.

What started out as American negro music now belongs to the world. It belongs more to Filipino than to any other Asian country, and to such Filipino jazz greats as saxophonist Eddie Catindig, and singer Lui Reyes. The Executive Band is one of the more purist of jazz players, practically the only one in the Philippines specializing in Dixieland jazz the grandfather of all jazz forms,.

This is the band we chose to send into the world, to serenade our contract workers, and the Pope in Rome, in Oslo and in Madrid, and with whom our ex-First Lady chose to play in with in public concerts. And this is the band that played in Raul’s funeral, as per his request, "When The Saints Come Marching In."

VIII. Raul Manglapus: do not stand at my grave and weep

The Greek called it arete, the ideal which the Jesuits try to instill in their students—an all-around wholeness in one’s intellectual, physical, moral and spiritual development. In these days of specialization and unisex, the Atenean takes pride in his liberal education in humanities, and acquires the graces of a cultured life, eloquence in the forum and with the pen, appreciation for poetry, literature and the arts, courage in combat, gentle manliness and heterosexuality, and superiority in athletics. No Atenean ever prides himself to be a power-mad faggot, a coward, a traitor, and an uncultured Babbitt.

The American Jesuits who taught our present leaders, were of third generation Irish stock driven to the USA by the potato famine, and in many ways the lower class in the American society during the Depression years. These Irish American priests undertook to educate the sons of the aristocratic ruling class of Filipinos—and succeeded in giving most of them a schizophrenic split personality, combining belief in Social Justice, American acquisitiveness, Filipino patriotism, and a belief in the superiority of the White Man. Ultimately this is the tragedy of the Atenean – an aristocrat with the heart of a peasant, a patriot with a colonial mentality, a religious Dr. Jekyll and materialistic Mr. Hyde. Raul Manglapus was an exception and an exemplar.

Passionate yet never fanatic, coldly analytical while being provocative, traditional without being conservative, Raul Manglapus was imbued with a sense of dedication to a cause. He really believed what the Jesuits taught him, that Man is imperfect and must be made perfect, that the world is imperfect and must be changed for the better. And that is the reason Raul was the best revolutionary of his day, the most articulate vanguard of revolutionary reform.

We in this world are often appalled at so much injustice and evil around us. But those of us whose lives have been touched by Raul Manglapus, so beloved of God, marvel as well at the existence of so much good in this world.

With his infectious smile, his generosity and kindness, his unfailing goodness, his towering intellect, his involvement in all facets of our lives, as an orator, composer, pianist-drummer, senator, foreign secretary, above all as an idealist, Raul Manglapus has put all of us in his debt – so unrepayable that we must perforce pay it to others in need.

To us Raul Manglapus is not dead, he will always be there, wherever and whenever truth, beauty and goodness touch our hearts.

When we comfort the afflicted, the poor and the hungry among us, the friendliness, the cheated and the beaten – Raul will be there.

When we raise our voices against injustice, corruption, hatred, cruelty, bigotry and intolerance – Raul will be there.

When we take arms against the redoubts of drug-addiction, low-intensity conflict, rape, murder, treason, and so on into the long and lamentable catalog of human crimes – Raul will be there.

When we say a prayer, compose a poem, sing a song, kiss our wives without being asked; when we make love with God’s blessing, give birth to a child, and prepare him for life here and hereafter – Raul Manglapus will be there, saying:

Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am the million stars that glow. I am the thousand winds that blow.

I am the gentle drops of rain. I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft hush of restful night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry. I am no there, I did not die.


  1. As a sophomore high school student, i had the privilege of being a part of our class convocation by delivering Manglapus' "Land of Bondage, Land of the Free." I also had the privilege of meeting him in person in his office at the Manila Hotel during the 1970 Constitutional Convention. He gave me an autographed copy of a book which contained, among others, his winning oratorical piece. Lastly, I met him in 1987 in our public market during the proclamation rally of then congressional candidate Nina Saplala of Partido ng Bayan. No, he was not going to address the rally. He got lost looking for the LDP-PDP-Laban coalition . After showing him the way, I wish him good luck in his last senatorial bid. He won.

  2. As a sophomore high school student, i had the privilege of being a part of our class convocation by delivering Manglapus' "Land of Bondage, Land of the Free." I also had the privilege of meeting him in person in his office at the Manila Hotel during the 1970 Constitutional Convention. He gave me an autographed copy of a book which contained, among others, his winning oratorical piece. Lastly, I met him in 1987 in our public market during the proclamation rally of then congressional candidate Nina Saplala of Partido ng Bayan. No, he was not going to address the rally. He got lost looking for the LDP-PDP-Laban coalition . After showing him the way, I wish him good luck in his last senatorial bid. He won.