Some of the book collections to be featured in the House of the Philippines in San Diego California. Photo by Carmela Reyes-Estrope

CITY OF MALOLOS–Filipinos and Bulacan’s heroes, rich history, culture, heritage and tradition will shine before the world this October as books, paintings and artifacts about them are slated to reach the United States.

Gov. Daniel Fernando, City of Malolos Mayor Christian Natividad, Bulakan Mayor Vergel Meneses, historian-author Isagani Giron and Maestro Jose Jaime Benigno Corpuz Salvador of Bahay Makabayan in Marilao town are sending books about Marcelo H. del Pilar, Gen. Gregorio del Pilar, paintings and researches of Bulakenyo youth on the preservation of the remnants and relics of the province glorious past to House of the Philippines in Balboa Park in San Diego California in time for the October Filipino American History Month which kicks off on Sunday (American time).

Myra Villafana, Second Vice President of HOP asked the help of the Central Luzon Media Association (CLMA) to facilitate donation of Bulacan’s books and artifacts about its well admired rich history, culture and heritage which were again remembered and celebrated in the recently concluded Sining Kalinangan ng Bulacan (Singkaban) last month as new addition to their collection and one of the major highlights of the said momentous and prestigious event.

Villafana, a native of Pampanga who was a tourism graduate of Centro Escolar University (CEU) in Malolos in 1990 said promoting Filipinos’ particularly Bulacan’s history and culture in this year’s celebration is also a way of paying a tribute to her alma mater and to its host province.

She told NEWS CORE that the HOP is part of the International Cottages of 34 house organizations (countries and territories) around the world known as House of Pacific Relations that was established in May 1935. For decades now, the 34 cottages has been the center of multi-racial world heritage and culture center in the US.

The HOP used to share with the House of France since 1961 until it had its own in April of this year.

According to her, the HOP is the only one of its kind in the whole of the US. 

“Our mission is to promote understanding of Filipino history and culture, and we actively practice peaceful and harmonious relations with other cultures. Another important part of what we do is extol the beauty of the Philippines and its people to our audience, pique their interest about our country in hopes that it will encourage them to visit the Philippines,” her letter addressed to the Bulacan officials said.

“The House of the Philippines is thankful for your gift of books pertaining to the Province of Bulacan. These books are wonderful additions to our library. We will be greatly appreciative of any historical artifacts that you may gift to us in addition to the book,” HOP First Vice President Rommel Alberto said. 

Fernando through the provincial government is donating “Dungan ng Kasaysayan,” book about Marcelo H. Del Pilar which is written by contemporary researcher and historian King Cortez and “Marcelo H. Del Pilar” Buhay, Diwa at Panulat Antonio Valeriano. 

The Bulacan provincial government is also donating “Sineliksik” Books 1, 2 and 3, a compilation of the documentaries of the heritage and culture of Bulakenyos produced by the youth, Heneral Isidro Torres, The Women of Malolos, Sapang Palay: Hacienda, Urban Resettlement and a Core of the City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Remembering Simon Ocampo Tecson: Leader in the Siege of Baler, Plaridel: Dungan ng Katipunan, Tanghal Bayani, Isang Kasaysayan ng San Jose Del Monte, Mga Katutubong Awit sa Lalawigan ng Bulacan, Bigkis: Sangang Daan sa Iisang Daan and Mohon: Mga Bulakenyong Biyaya ng Kasaysayan.

Provincial Tourism officer Dr. Eliseo Dela Cruz said these books are among the most read Bulacan history, culture and heritage books in the Bulacan provincial library which recently bagged an award as among the best libraries in the country. 

Bulacan Salinlahi Inc. president and author, historian Isagani Giron will send a copy of his written book, “Gen. Goyo,” about the life of Gen. Gregorio Del Pilar. 

Mayor Christian Natividad of Malolos is donating books about Malolos being the capital of the province and the First Philippine Republic and other books about the Women of Malolos. It was in Sept. 15, 1898 in the Barasoain Church in Malolos where the Malolos Congress was held which led to the passage of the First Philippine Constitution which ratification on Jan. 23, 1899 gave birth to the First Philippine Republic also known as the First Republic in Asia.

Mayor Vergel Meneses of Bulakan town will send portraits and paintings of Marcelo del Pilar and Gregorio del Pilar, being the greatest sons of the town and also the old capital of the province.

Maestro Jaime Corpuz of Bahay Makabayan Museum in Marilao town is also sharing his own written books “Mojon,” including artifacts.

Fernando said the books and artifacts will serve as continued reminder to our kababayans in the US, the Bulakeños in particular about the greatness of our nation and our heroes and their contributions to the freedom, rich history, culture and heritage we now share and enjoy. 

Vice President Sara Duterte who graced the 124th Anniversary of the Malolos Congress on Sept. 15 at the historic Barasoain Church that the courage and patriotism of the Filipino people particularly the drafters of the Malolos Constitution gave us the freedom and democracy we enjoy today. 

She calls on all the Filipino people to continue to love the country and be proud of our nation which has withered the past and the recent challenges brought by the pandemic. 

“Pagtibayin natin ang halaga ng demokrasya na tinatamasa natin. Tibayan natin ang ating loob na malampasan ang mga pagsubok at hamon sa atin panahon ngayon. We can do this if we love our country and through our unity. Patuloy tayong maging bahagi sa pagkilos para sa pagbabago. Mahalin natin ang Pilipinas,” she said. 

The Malolos Congress anniversary culminated the annual Sept. 8-15 Singkaban Festival. 

Malolos Congress held on Sept. 15,1898 gathered Filipino leaders led by Pedro Paterno who drafted the Malolos Constitution which served as the first laws of the land and the back bone of the June 12, 1898 declaration of the Philippine Independence. 

The ratification of the Malolos Constitution on January 23, 1899 gave birth to the First Philippine Republic, known as the First Republic in Asia. 

Natividad said the Malolos Constitution was the first written document of our ancestors made and completed to support and strengthen the June 12, 1898 declaration of independence. 

Natividad also boasts about the Women of Malolos who wrote Dr. Jose Rizal of their ardent desire for education to help free the nation from oppression under Spanish rule.

Fernando urged every Bulakeño to always live in the principles, beliefs and courage of the great heroes and other greatest sons and daughters of the province who have excelled and contributed a big role in the rich history, culture and heritage of the country.