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Juan Luna: The Painter Who Painted His Own Destiny

 
Do you know who painted the famous Spoliarium? Yes, that’s right, it’s Juan Luna, a name we often hear when we were in elementary and high school. But do you know his other accomplishments and downfalls?
Below are 10 interesting and controversial facts about our National artist, Juan Luna.

1. Juan Novicio Luna was born on October 23, 1857 in Badoc, Ilocos, Philippines. (socyberty.com)

2. He was the third among the seven children of Don Joaquin Luna de San Pedro y Posadas and Doña Laureana Novicio y Ancheta. (wikipedia.org)

Seiko Usui: Jose Rizal's Japanese Girlfriend

 
If only Jose Rizal had no patriotic mission and no political will, he would have married her and settled in Japan for good.  
 
It was during Rizal’s second trip abroad when he met Seiko Usui. From Hong Kong, he arrived in Japan in February 1888 and moved to the Spanish Legation in the Azabu district of Tokyo upon the invitation of an official in the legation.
 
One day, Rizal saw Seiko passing by the legation in one of her daily afternoon walks. Fascinated by her charm, Rizal inquired and learned from a Japanese gardener some basic information about her. The next day, Rizal and the Japanese gardener waited at the legation gate for Seiko. Acting as a go-between and interpreter, the gardener introduced the gracious Filipino doctor and the pretty Japanese woman to each other. The gardener’s role as intermediary was cut short however when Seiko spoke in English. She also knew French, and so she and Rizal began to converse in both languages.

Suzanne Jacoby: Jose Rizal's Fling

 
When Jose Rizal left her place, her dream was to follow him and to travel with the Filipino lover boy who was always in her thoughts.
 
Suzanne Jacoby was a Belgian lady whom Rizal met when he was 29. To somewhat economize in his living expenses, he left the expensive city of Paris and went to Belgium in January 1890. Along with his friend Jose Albert, Rizal arrived in Brussels on February 2 and stayed in the boarding house managed by two Jacoby sisters, Suzanne and Marie (some references say “Catherina and Suzanna”). It was said that Rizal had a transitory romance with the petite niece of his landladies, Suzanne.
 

10 Interesting Things About Jean-Paul Sartre

 
 Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the key figures in the Philosophy of existentialism, and one of the leading figures in 20th century French Philosophy and Marxism.
The following are 10 interesting things about Jean-Paul Sartre:

1. Jean-Paul Sartre was born on June 21, 1905 in Paris, France. He was a notorious chain smoker. – (Wikipedia.org)

Nellie Boustead: Jose Rizal's Almost Wife

 
Copyright 2013 by Jensen DG. Mañebog
 
Perceiving Jose Rizal’s imminent courtship to her, his compatriot Marcelo H. del Pilar teased the lover boy by suggesting that his first novel should be renamed ‘Nelly Me Tangere’.
Nellie Boustead, also called Nelly, was the younger of the two pretty daughters of the wealthy businessman Eduardo Boustead, son of a rich British trader, who went to the Orient in 1826. The Bousteads hosted Rizal’s stay in Biarritz in February 1891 at their winter residence, Villa Eliada on the superb French Riviera. Rizal had befriended the family back in 1889-90 and used to fence with the Anglo-Filipino Boustead sisters (Adelina and Nellie) at the studio of Juan Luna.
 
Having learned Leonor Rivera’s marriage to Henry Kipping, Rizal entertained the idea of having romantic relation with the highly educated, cheerful, athletic, beautiful, and morally upright Nellie. He wrote some of his friends (though remarkably except Ferdinand Blumentritt) about his affection for Nelly and his idea of proposing marriage to her.

15 Interesting Facts About Plato

 
The Athenian philosopher Plato is one of the most important figures of the ancient Greek world and the entire history of Western thought. Let’s know more about him by reading this article.
 
Here are 15 interesting things about Plato:
 

1. Plato is just a nickname and his actual name is Aristocles (ask.com)

2. The nickname Plato (which means “broad” or “wide” in Greek) was given to him in reference to his broad shoulders. (platophilosophymrj.blogspot.com)

3. Plato was born in 428 BC and he died in 347 BC (ask.com).

Josephine Bracken: Jose Rizal's Dear and Unhappy Wife

© 2013 by Jensen DG. Mañebog
 
IN JOSE RIZAL’S OWN WORDS, she was his dear wife. A few hours before his execution, they embraced for the last time and he gave her a souvenir—a religious book with his dedication, “To my dear unhappy wife, Josephine.”
 

Early life
Marie Josephine Leopoldine Bracken was born on August 9, 1876 in Victoria, Hong Kong. She was the youngest of the five children of an Irish couple who were married on May 3, 1868 in Belfast, Ireland: British army corporal James Bracken and Elizabeth Jane MacBride. A few days after giving birth to Josephine, her mother Elizabeth died. Her father decided to give her up for adoption to her childless godparents, American George Taufer, an engineer of the pumping plant of the Hong Kong Fire Department, and his Portuguese (second) wife. Josephine’s real father (James) left Hong Kong after retirement and was said to have died at the hands of robbers in Australia.

Top 10 Lesser-Known Mythical Creatures in Philippine Folklore

 
Philippine folklore refers to the traditional stories and explanations passed down the country. It includes a list of weirdmythicalcreatures that have stood the test of time. Just mention the terms kapre, aswang, engkanto, tiyanak, and tikbalang and you will get most Filipinos, especially the kids, turning into frightened brats.
The following are some unpopular mythical creatures that have made our mythology even more interesting and—of course—horrific.

1. BAL BAL is scavenger-monster with a thirsty appetite for dead human bodies. “Also known as maninilong among the natives of Catanauan, Quezon, this vampire-like creature prefers to prey on corpses. With a long, razor-sharp claws and a sense of smell that may be 10 times more sensitive than dogs’, Bal Bals easily find its next meal on cemeteries and even funerals.” (filipiknow.net)

Leonor Rivera: Jose Rizal's True Love

 © 2013 by Jensen DG. Mañebog
 
On top of being dubbed as Jose Rizal’s “childhood sweetheart,” “betrothed,” and “lover by correspondence,” she was widely considered as the hero’s “true love”.
 
Leonor Rivera (April 11, 1867 – August 28, 1893) of Camiling, Tarlac was the daughter of Antonio Rivera and Silvestra Bauzon. Leonor’s father—who was one of the few persons who conspired in Jose’s ‘secret’ departure to Spain—is a cousin of the hero’s father, Francisco Mercado.
 
Subjectively considered as a pretty lady, Leonor is commonly described as having wavy soft hair, high forehead, wistful almond eyes, small and pensive mouth, and charming dimples. She was said to be intelligent and talented, as she could play the harp and the piano—skills which matched her fascinating singing voice.

Consuelo Ortiga y Rey: The "Crush ng Bayan" in Rizal's Time

Copyright 2013 by Jensen DG. Mañebog
 
She was probably very likable because at least two Filipinos in Spain in Jose Rizal’s time had had feelings for her.
 
Consuelo Ortiga y Rey was considered the prettier of the daughters of Don Pablo Ortiga y Rey, the Spanish liberal and former mayor of Manila who became vice-president of the Council of the Philippines in the Ministry of Colonies. Very supportive to the Filipinos in Madrid, Don Pablo’s house was the common meeting place of ‘Circulo Hispano-Filipino’ members like Rizal. The Ortiga residence was thus frequented by Filipino lads especially that Don Pablo had beautiful daughters.
 
Consuelo recorded in her diary that she first met Rizal on September 16, 1882 when he went to Spain for the first time primarily to study. The diary entry indicated that they talked the whole night and that the young Filipino said many beautiful things about her. The Spanish ladyalso wrote of a day Rizal spent at their house when he entertained them with his ingenious humor, elegance, and sleight-of-hand tricks.
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