Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Rafael del Casal's La Naval PAinting

Taken from Erizz Kevin Martin's FB Post, June 23, 2015.


Sining ng pinagsamang kathang-isip at totoong-buhay, ang ala-ala ng limampung taon mula noong huling prusisyon ng La Naval sa Intramuros.

Sa may gawing itaas, sa Bandang kanan, matutunghayan ang huling tagpo ng "A Potrait of an Artist as Filipino" ni Nick Joaquin. Ang mga taga-Maynila mula sa iba't ibang antas ng lipunan ay naglalakad sa lansangan sa pamumuno ni Arsobispo Dougherty. Ang marangyang karosa ng Birhen ay dalawang ulit lamang na nagamit bago ito sinira ng digmaan, kasama ng simbahan ng Sto. Domingo, noong Disyembre 27,1941. Buhat - buhat ng mga Anghel ang mga albortanteng napapalamutian ng mababangong bulaklak. Iyon namang mga kalapating naka-dapo ay may kagay na rosayong timsim. Ang siglang kalakip ng kapistahan ay di pa napapantayan kailaman sa mga sumunod na taon.




Ang larawan ay iginuhit sa watercolor ni Rafael del Casal mula sa koleksiyon ni Dr. Nicanor Tiongson.

Programa ng Kapistahan ng La Naval 1991

Monday, June 22, 2015

La Naval Back in Intramuros!

I am just filled with excitement upon seeing the stills from the upcoming Ang Larawan Movie. These stills show the re-enactment of the La Naval Fiesta in the old Intramuros before the Liberation decimated the whole place, and with it the beautiful houses, churches and religious traditions that once flourished in the Walled City. I'd like to thank the producers Girlie Rodis and Celeste Legaspi for not cutting corners in showing the La Naval Fiesta even if, I assume, this will only take about 3 to 5 minutes (or even less) in the whole film. It mean's so much to devotees like me to have a glimpse of the grandeur of past La Naval fiesta's. Viva La Virgen!

Photos taken from GR Rodis FB Page. La Naval Procession scene from Larawan the Movie
The inspiration

The Movie Version

Wow...wow...wow...that's all I can say. Looking at these photos, my imagination is just running wild. Is this how old Intramuros remembers La Naval, La Gran Senora? I keep switching back and forth between the watercolor painting and these pictures, I noticed that the shape of the carroza is different in the postcard, it looks more like a Galleon Ship than a boat similar to the carroza the image is using in Sto. Domingo...and then I realized that this is the same carroza she is using in Sto. Domingo, they just added the two standing angels in front of the Virgin and changed the angel in the front (now blowing a trumpet versus holding a rosary). I got more excited realizing that in the next La Naval fiesta this coming October, she may be riding this very same carroza, same arrangement and all...Ohhhh I can't wait. This look befits the image more!

Photos taken from GR Rodis FB Page. La Naval Procession scene from Larawan the Movie
No details spared, Viva La Virgen! Although I am wondering about the light bulbs, do they already have light bulbs during the 1940's...and portable generators to power it?

Photos taken from GR Rodis FB Page. La Naval Procession scene from Larawan the Movie
I am liking the angels here compared to the old ones, this is more Carroza Triunfal and befits the grandeur of the image of La Naval de Manila...although I am wondering is La Naval already using a carroza in the 40's or is it an Andas? I don't see the ribbons at the side of the carroza as well.

Photos taken from GR Rodis FB Page. La Naval Procession scene from Larawan the Movie
Standing Angels versus Cherubims; paper flowers and doves versus pink and fuchsia roses; white sayal vs light blue sayal...spot the difference

Photos taken from GR Rodis FB Page. La Naval Procession scene from Larawan the Movie
La Naval makes an entrance!

Photos taken from GR Rodis FB Page. La Naval Procession scene from Larawan the Movie
La Naval back in the streets of Intramuros...Action!

Photos taken from GR Rodis FB Page. La Naval Procession scene from Larawan the Movie
Viva la Virgen! Viva la Virgen!

Photos taken from GR Rodis FB Page. La Naval Procession scene from Larawan the Movie
Our Lady of La Naval, glorious as ever in the streets of Intramuros...

Regarding the image used (if it is the original image or a replica), according to GR Rodis, one of the producers, "The Sto. Domingo Church owns two Virgins - both use the authentic vestments - One is 75 yrs Old and the other over 300 I believe we used the younger one. They only have one carossa and that is the one we used enhanced by our Production design Team in consultation with Artist Rafael del Casal."

More Tidbits from Francis Jason Díaz Pérez III

* [The La Naval Procession Scene] is the highlight or the final scene of the movie "Larawan" based from A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino by National Artist Nick Joaquin


* The Vicaria was retouched by Rafael del Casal to restore her old look and make her look closer to the original Santo Rosario...

It is the Santo Rosario's present carroza triunfal done by Santiago Santos but was altered/changed for this production to approximate the look of the original silver carroza triunfal done by the Talleres de Máximo Vicente (of course it can be returned to its original look)

* The Portrait of the Artist as Filipino is set in Intramuros in 1941 or on the eve of the War... Remember that La Naval de Manila is the last feast to be celebrated by old Manila before the War...

* [The movie] is expected to be finished next year.. 2016.. and is meant for international release...

* The original Virgin, referred to as the Santo Rosario was made in 1593 and is now over 400 years old. The other image is the Vicaria or her official replica which is brought out for very important occasions in lieu of the original. A third is the Callejera which is the one ordinarily brought out for visits in other churches and institutions...

Thus the production is really blessed to have her for the film. The last time the Vicaria was in Intramuros was in 2000 for the Grand Marian Procession...

The carroza of the Santo Rosario (photo from Arnold Reyes)

About the Movie

Singer-actress Celeste Legaspi, who’s in the cast of the GMA 7 soap “Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real,” is now a film producer, with the coming movie adaptation of the musical “Larawan.” Joanna Ampil and Rachel Alejandro will play Nick Joaquin’s Marasigan sisters, with Tom Rodriguez as Tony Javier. Loy Arcenas (“Niño”) will direct, with Girlie "GR" Rodis as coproducer. Bayani San Diego Jr.

Read more: http://entertainment.inquirer.net/141638/larawan-the-musical-onscreen#ixzz3dpMJPEL3
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San Antonio Fiesta, Balara, 2015


June 13- Woke a bit late today. Supposedly I need to be back at my Lola's house in Balara around noon so I can still finish dressing up the images of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Immaculate Conception) and St. Joseph at the chapel in time for the procession. I still decided to go with the plan but since I started my day late, I roughly have an hour to finish everything (which is a bit tough for me since dressing up images is not really my forte, one hour is daunting). So I called up my Tita Gina once again since I need all the help I can get to ensure it gets done before the Fiesta Mass at 5:30 pm.

Each image in the chapel used to have a family sponsoring its carroza and its "Fiesta clothes." However Balara now is no longer the old Balara I grew up in. Most of the "original" residents have relocated, if not retired or have already passed away. Thus, for the past 3 years or so, I took up this charge of dressing up the images of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph since no one was volunteering to do it, and it's just so sad to see (at least for me) these images neglected. So what I do is I lend these images clothes of my own images that are not being used; although I have already suggested to my Mom to include these images in her budget for the next fiesta.

Thank God we finished everything on time!


The Fiesta Mass

The images are now ready for the Fiesta Procession. Critical for me this year is changing the halo or aureola of St. Joseph which for the longest time has 12 stars (reserved for the Blessed Virgin Mary). I pointed it out to the chapel caretaker as I changed it and asked them to keep the original one, since according to them it was there for as long as they can remember. But it is wrong...and now corrected! Hay I wish I have extra budget I could use to spend on these beautiful images...they badly need repairs

The Fiesta Mass surprisingly started on time. Initially the organizers where worried since they were not able to get any priest (or the scheduled priest canceled last minute) but an hour before the mass they were able to get one, thank heavens! I can't imagine a fiesta without a mass. I believe in the statement that the greatest form of devotion is the Eucharist whether it be devotion to the Blessed Virgin or to St. Anthony, eventually that devotion should bring you closer to God who is truly present in the Eucharist. The choir is another concern of the organizers, the answer, a CD. It's not ideal but times like this you just got to make do with what you have. It's sad though because San Antonio's Fiesta in Balara used to be a grand event in this small town but now, well it appears, no longer. But I admire the people who still keep it alive. Kudos to the organizers!

In the priest's homily, he pointed out that the image of St. Anthony he prefers is a St. Anthony holding a bible where the Child Jesus is seated (the chapel's image of St. Anthony is a post-war image and by this time is already considered an antique; and aside from the usual "encarna" nothing was changed. The image does not hold a bible and I can't imagine how a meter tall image can hold one. Come to think of it, I can't recall any processional image of St. Anthony holding a bible except for painted ones in old "Stampitas"). His homily is basically about St. Anthony's knowledge of the Word of God, symbolized by the Bible, which enabled him to do great things and become a well-loved saint. The greatest manifestation of course was the appearance of the Child Jesus whom he held in his arms. He also pointed out that he does not know any Franciscans "who dress like our image of St. Anthony" noting the evolution of art for images, no offense taken, since he is right Franciscans take a vow of poverty and if we are going to be strict about it, St. Anthony should be dressed as a simple man (not really bejeweled which was my motif this year...but this is not to be confused with what is realistic versus what is acceptable, there is a tradition for dressing up images that is widely accepted by Catholics and that is that, nothing more nothing less). In my mind of course it is clear, but after the mass I have some of my neighbors coming up to me telling me to ignore what the priest said during the homily, concerned probably how I may have received the comment; I wasn't expecting it but to be honest I am more uncomfortable with people telling me it is okay versus hearing what the priest just said. So, I just smiled and nodded because really, I wasn't offended by the comment he made during the homily and second, it's really not a big deal. Yes it is something to reflect on because St. Anthony is a simple man when he was alive, he was born rich but he chose to live a simple life. But religious images are religious images. Traditions are traditions. And in Balara, St. Anthony is always dressed with a new set of vestments every June 13th and as far as I can remember, it is always embellished with gold patches.

The image of St. Anthony being taken to its carroza

The Carroza of St. Anthony


Mang Mando's family, year after year, never ceases to amaze. They have to this day fulfilled their "panata" to ensure that the chapel and St. Anthony's carroza are decorated fantastically for the fiesta. This year is no exception using a bed of flowers from the fire tree lighted underneath, it was truly beautiful. Initially I thought the flowers used for the "bed" was alstroemeria but I noticed the stem is quite thin for an alstroemeria, my assumption was later corrected by relatives who confirmed that the flowers used were the blooms of the Fire Tree which is abundant in the area.

For those not familiar with this tree, the Fire tree looks like this (see below), and the flowers are usually high up so you can just imagine the effort to get it, but relatively it is more cost efficient instead of buying a lot of flowers to cover the "bed."

The Fire Tree, taken from Google

And here is how the Fire Tree blooms look life, very delicate yet the color is very striking and vivid. Notice the resemblance with alstroemeria?

The blooms of a Fire Tree, taken from Google

A closer look

Getting Ready for the Procession


About a quarter to 7 p.m., the outside of the chapel is now abuzz with activity. Firecrackers are lit up while the marching band started to pound on the huge drums they carry. The images are one by one placed atop their carroza's. Old neighbors are reunited and you can hear a lot of "kamustahan" and laughter. It's the same frenzy year after year, but I noticed that more people are joining the procession this year compared to the previous year. (I initially noticed this during communion, the priest ran out of host to distribute that's why he apologized after that he wasn't able to calculate the number of people who attended the mass correctly). More people is always good...Viva San Antonio!

The image of the Sto. Nino in his new, fully embroidered vestment.

The chapel's beloved images of Mary, left to right: The Immaculate Conception, Santa Maria della Strada and Our Lady of Grace/ or the Miraculous Medal

San Antonio at the "place of honor" being the Festejado

The Procession

I am happy to see the procession being led by the Cereales (altar servers or sacristans holding a crucifix flanked by candles on each side). It's been years since I last saw this. I was also informed that during the Pansol Fiesta last May 31st, the image of San Antonio joined the procession in honor of the patron of the Parish, Santa Maria della Strada. I concluded that the new parish priest must like religious images and catholic traditions which is something rare for parish priests in the city (although I am not sure if the parish priest is new as well...this is just my conclusion).

San Antonio atop a bed of blooms. As my Mom puts it, fiery as St. Anthony's passion to serve God

Waiting for the procession from my Lola's House

San Antonio Fiesta Preps 2015


June 12- After a sleepless night finishing the vestment of San Antonio for this year's fiesta, I immediately drove to Balara to dress the image.

Called Tita Gina to help me out. Dressing the image can be a bit tricky if you don't know how to do a running stitch.

Our beloved image of San Antonio

This year's portrait shot. So pleased, another vow fulfilled.

After dressing the image, back at my lola's house to rest a bit and eat...pizza treat for the family!

Muzon's First Marian Procession Part 3












Muzon's First Marian Procession Part 2