Jose Rizal and Gregorio Sancianco
Today is another important day in Philippine history.
As a former expat myself, I can relate somewhat to the travails of Filipinos abroad during Rizal’s days in Europe. The only difference is that Filipinos then went abroad mostly to study while Filipinos now go away to work. When I went to Saudi Arabia in 1993, the “in” thing was the pager and it was alien in the Kingdom. We communicated to our loved ones at home through snail mail. The lines at the post office went all the way outside the building.
For emergencies, we fell in line in government-operated “call cabins” and the lines also spilled out to the streets. It was just a matter of time when some enterprising Saudis cashed in on the matter and soon private call cabins sprung up like mushrooms – or McDonald’s or SM.
Funny, Ambeth quoted Rizal as mentioning Gregorio Sancianco (after whom an old high school in Malabon was named). I studied in that school and all the while his name – I mean the guy, not the school – was never mentioned (or maybe I was absent or was listening too fast.) It’s only recently that I learned he was a colleague of Rizal in the propaganda movement. What a shame.