Project TILT: Love Story in Philippine History

Taking a break from studying for my Finance Exams tomorrow, I grabbed Ambeth Ocampo's Death by Garrote, Looking Back 3 and started reading some articles. What struck me most is the love story between one of our national heroes, Andres Bonifacio, and his wife Gregoria de Jesus.

In 1983, Andres (almost 30 years old at that time), was already a widower. His first wife, Monica, was a leper. He started courting Gregoria who was just 18 years old at that time. Within six months, Andres was able to swept Gregoria off her feet and they planned to get married. Gregoria's parents, however, did not agree to their wedding plans and they locked up Gregoria in a safehouse in Binondo. Gregoria even wrote to the Gobernadorcillo asking for help. Her letter reads:

"I am Gregoria de Jesus from Caloocan, a dalagang Tagalog, minor. I wish to contract marriage with my fiance Andres Bonifacio of 11-E Sagunto Street, Tondo. When my parents found out of our good intentions, I was brought here, to Binondo, and placed in 28-D Madrid Street. I am truly a prisoner here. I have no liberty at all. I appeal to your power to mediate and give me justice. Take me from here, summon my fiance, fulfill the necessary government requirements so that we can get married. I ask justice from you and hope that you listen because this appeal is addressed to anyone with a kind heart."

Of course, the letter is already translated from the original Tagalog. Andres and Gregoria became married eventually although the exact details on how (if her parents consented) this happened are not clear. Also, there were some confusion arising from Gregoria's autobiography where she mentioned that she married Andres in March 1883. However, in January 1884, Gregoria wrote another letter to the Gobernadorcillo again asking to be summoned so she could marry Andres.

I think that simple trivia and information like this should be included in teaching History inside the classroom to "humanize" our heroes and make learning about them more interesting.
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