By Roy Mabasa
In order for the new generation of Filipino children in Spain to understand their roots and the sacrifices of their ancestors, the Philippine Embassy has launched a biography of Gregoria de Jesus, one of the heroes of the revolution and founder of the women’s chapter of the Katipunan, specifically written for eight to twelve years old readers.
Entitled Bayani Biographies: Gregoria de Jesus, the book was launched last month at the Tahanan – Parroquia Nuestra Señora del Espino in Madrid with no less than the author Natasha Kintanar as the guest of honor. Around twenty children of Filipino expatriates joined the launch and book signing.
Also known as ‘Aling Oriang’, Gregoria de Jesus married Andres Bonifacio at the age of 18 and later became the custodian of the documents and seal of the Katipunan. After the death of Bonifacio, she married Julio Nakpil, one of the generals of the Philippine Revolution.
“She was a warrior of the revolution, but also a warrior of love,” Kintanar said during the book launching.
The author explained that it was crucial for children of the diaspora to understand their roots, the strength of their ancestors and the sacrifices they went through in order for the Philippines to become an independent country equal to Spain.
According to Kintanar, this period in Gregoria de Jesus’ life highlights the distinctive aspects of her character.
Philippine Embassy Third Secretary Raisa Mabayo read a chapter of the book that tackles on the development of Gregoria de Jesus’ relationship with Andres Bonifacio, leader of the revolution and a man more than 10 years her senior.
Kintanar also quoted Gregoria de Jesus’ favorite adage, “Palaging buo ang loob (fearless),” which she said, “reflects the importance of giving one’s best in all endeavors, as a helpful lesson and guide for both children and their parents.”
Kintanar obtained her Bachelor of Arts in History and Master of Arts in Archeology degrees from the University of the Philippines in Diliman.