Wednesday, December 5, 2007

First, First and First (basta damo Firsts ah!)

these past few days were a bit of an adventure for me. things will begin to become more hectic now that the deadline for our research proposal is approaching (next week na...hala...) and my search for primary sources continues -- which leads me to today's blog post...

FIRST FIRST....Sonofaditch and the Search for Batasan
(hehehe daw epic trilogy ang gwa sang title bah...)

yesterday I braved the vastness of Quezon city and ventured alone and unaided to look for the Batasan Complex (the building that houses our BELOVED Congress) since my research requires some archival materials from their library. So of i went to philcoa to scout for jeepneys to take me there...

siyempre dapat gamitin natin yung powers of interrogation and observation natin (PT&T: Patanong-tanong) So i was asking around which jeepney would take me to batasan and one manong told me to ride a Fairview jeep for it would surely pass by Batasan. (turned out to be half-true)

I was amazed at the sheer size of Quezon city. Indeed, on the map its huge but I didn't really get its vastness until I was sitting for about 20 mins in the jeepney thinking to myself (kung ara lang ko sa negros, lab-ot na ko ni San Enrique...)looking around for any familiar landmark (PT&T: Patingin-tingin) and marking it down on my "mental map."

The Fairview Jeep only passes by the entrance to Brgy Batasan Hills (not the actual Batasan) and manong driver forgot to drop me off, thus I missed my stop by about half a kilometer. Therefore I had to climb up an overpass that seemed to have been erected during the time of Marcos to get to the other side, ride another jeepney so that I could get off near Batasan Hills, climb another looooong overpass and then I walked about a kilometer before I got to Congress. Why I didn't bother to ride a tricycle I don't know...wala lang...

When I got to the entrance of Batasan it was already 4:30 in the afternoon, there was a slight drizzle and dark clouds were looming overhead, I left my umbrella (ella-ella, eh,eh,eh) at the main lib (another loooooong story, which I will not tell here), and there was a loooooooooooooooong line of people at the entrance gate being frisked. My chance of making it into the Congress library and archives (of whose location inside Batasan I had no idea) on time was dismal.


P-T---- ---! T------ na Congress na 'to!

So with a sigh, I decided to try my luck on Thursday, vowing to arrive after lunch so that I would have the time to make PT&T and locate my source materials this time.

SECOND FIRST Sonofaditch and the Twin Towers
(buildings gle ah)

If yesterday's trip was long, this morning's jeepney ride was LONGER! For this morning's trip from Quezon to Manila Ate Angie (fellow MA student and classmate in 199.2) and I got on a Kalaw jeep at Philcoa at around 7:30 AM. our destination so early in the morning was the National Library and the National Archives in Manila. After what seemed like an eternity of traffic, dust, non-top Pinoy Rap on the jeepney stereo and the early morning pollution we finally reached our destination -- at around 8:40 AM!

But the experience inside the National Library and the Archives was worth the torture of public transportation. I even bumped into a former student, Lelis Palmares at the National Library. At the National Archives we were treated to a showcase of primary documents and manuscripts dating all the way back to the Spanish Period. History was literally everywhere -- we can even smell it in the air. (it's mostly the smell of mold, dust and centuries old parchment -- not good for the lungs, we were told) The most exciting part was when we watched the restoration of old documents by the staff. To restore a document which was literally falling apart into itsy-bitsy pieces is indeed a difficult endeavor...kag saludo ako sa mga restorers who, even with only the most basic training in the process of restoration, still manage to salvage scraps of our history from the ravages of time. they are indeed the unsung, and hidden, heroes of philippine history.

Touring the facilities of the National Library and National Archives also made me realize how woefully inadequate our library and archival facilities are. A number of restoration and archiving projects in the National Archives are funded by the Spanish Government. (how ironic that the nation that nearly succeeded in wiping out our precolonial history is now helping us preserve our historical heritage) But it seems that funds from our own government could only cover the basic upkeep of the buildings and not subsidize additional improvements in facilities and equipment. But despite these depressing thoughts, I was glad that we were given a chance to explore additional venues that would help us in our research.

Plus...we got our hands on a copy of the Catalogo de Apellidos...I searched for my family name but no "ditchella" was on the list, only "ditching"...WTF?!!! hehehe

THIRD FIRST...Libre!!!!!!!
(Yehey! Ginlibre kami ni Ma'am Diokno panyaga! hahahaha)

A number of us went with Ma'am to eat lunch in this chinese restaurant near the National Library. The food's a bit expensive but it tastes quite good. And we were surprised when Ma'am offered to pay the bill for all our meals.

Ma'am said we now owe her...had we known she would treat us, we would've ordered more...sarap pa naman ng sotanghon guisado at siopao sa peter lee's restaurant. Pero libre yung buchi courtesy of ma'am. hehe Thanks Ma'am!


without any further ado...

amo ni ang epekto sang two days of "adventure" (plus several months of boycotting the barbershop hahahaha)

Stand Alone 1.28

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