Archive for the Random Category

I’m back…again..

Posted in Random on August 28, 2013 by otakujade

I know I haven’t blogged in a very long time and I never realized that after being away for so long it would be this hard to get back on the horse, so to speak. I’ve always enjoyed blogging and reading the comments from readers and I do miss it so, but now I’m really having a hard time writing. Oh its not for the lack of subject because there are numerous subjects all around me, I guess I just couldn’t find my muse, or if she’s there she’s definitely not in the mood to help me. I am hoping that by doing this I can somehow tempt her to start working again.

I stopped blogging not because I was too busy or don’t have anything to write about, that would be crazy. But I intentionally stopped between I was going through a crappy stage in my life and I didn’t want my crap muddying up my blog, I mean you guys don’t need to share in that. No one wants to read negativity if they can.

So here’s trying to awaken my stubborn muse. That stage of my life is over, I’m a better person I think and though I went through hell to get here I learned and I am wiser. I’ve set my priorities straight and I am loving myself more, I guess that’s what I lost the most.

I hope you wouldn’t mind seeing me more active this time around.



Lesson from the Mayonnaise Jar

Posted in Introspection, Random with tags , , on August 23, 2013 by otakujade

I know that I haven’t written anything in so long, I make no excuse except that m life had taken on a terrible turn in the last few months and I really didn’t want my crap to spill over my blog; firstly, you don’t need to hear it and secondly, there’s no benefit to you or me if I broadcast it so I chose just not to write for a while. But now all that is over and I am back, hopefully on a more regular basis.

So please allow me to start with this lesson…mind you this is not mine, I simply found it on Facebook but I thought it needed sharing so here goes….

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day is not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and fills it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “YES”.

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – God, family,
children, health, friends, and favorite passions. Things, that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else — the small stuff.” he said.

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “There is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are
important to you…” he told them.

“So… pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Worship with your family. Play with your children. Take your partner out to dinner. Spend time with good friends. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap. Take care of the golf balls first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

Posted in Movies, Random with tags , , , , , on July 18, 2012 by otakujade

This film or rather films had been on our hard drive for months now. Hubby had been enticing me, or rather more akin  to  begging me to watch them for the last 3 months, however having been quite busy and knowing that I would need my full concentration  on watching this film/s; I always beg off.

Last Saturday, hubby once again suggested we watch the films…and having no excuse, not even being tired since I have been resting for the last 5 days due to an illness, I nodded and said “why not”.

As it turned out I actually loved the films.

Red Cliff, turned out to be quite an enigmatic set of films. And I am so glad that we were able to acquire the Asian release rather than the Western version of the films. In Asia this was actually released in two parts: the first part was released in July 2008 and the second part in January 2009. I wouldn’t even dream of watching these films in its shortened Western release version, it was amazingly beautiful in its full content. I honestly believe that the film would lose its essence, its poetry if it were chopped up as it was in its western release.

Red Cliff was based on the Battle of Red Hills (208-209AD), although director John Woo openly admitted that he took artistic liberty on the filming and story line of the film it was still such a wonderful epic, containing therein the drama, the romance and the beauty of Asia culture and its many undertones.  According to Director John Woo, the film is only 50% historically accurate giving more importance to how the viewers will react to the battle rather than the facts of it. I believe he made the right decision.

Aside from the plot itself (which I cannot seem to stop myself from praising) three names jumped out at me when I saw them being flashed: Tony Leung , Takeshi Kaneshiro, and of course Zhao Wei. Tony Leung I remembered from his role as Broken Sword in another period film alongside the famous Jet Li – Hero. Zhao Wei, well, how can one forget her cute and adventurous and also kick ass character, Ai Quan,  in So Close . And last and definitely not the least, Takeshi Kaneshiro…him of the House of Flying Daggers and The Warlords fame but all that to me the one achievement that immediately came to mind was the fact that he was voted one of Asia’s Sexist Men in 2008 in a survey conducted by E! Entertainment.

So enough of my ogling the stars and off to the review…



Part 1

The film was set in the summer of 208 during the reign of the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD); Chancellor Cao Cao succeeded in gaining the reluctant approval of Emperor Xian to embark on a campaign against the southern warlords presumably to stamp out the rebels.  A great battle ensues when Cao Cao’s troops started attacking civilians on an exodus led by Liu Bei, known as the Battle of Changban.  Liu Bei (Zhang Fengyi) depended the civilians assisted by his generals, sworn brothers Guan Yu and Zhang Fei. The two generals displayed excellent combat skills and were able to hold off the enemy while buying time for the civilians to retreat, and also gaining the admiration of Chancellor Cao Cao who went as far as to muse why he doesn’t have generals as good as the ones depending Liu Bei. Behind the scenes, Liu Bei has another asset, the master strategist Zhuge Liang (Takeshi Kaneshiro).

Following a lull in the battle, Zhuge went on a mission to gather support for Liu Bei and form an alliance with other southern warloads. He went to Sun Quan (Chang  Chen), in Jiangdong hoping to convince its ruler to join forces with Liu Bei in dealing with Cao Cao’s invasion. At the time, the region was turn between the decision of whether to surrender or fight but Zhuge’s clever persuasions and the incident during the tiger hunt wherein Sun Quan together with his viceroy Zhou Yu and his sister, Sun Shangxiang hardened his decision to fight.

Meanwhile, two naval commanders from Jing province had already pledged their allegiance to Cao Cao; Cai Mao and Zhang Yun, they were warmly welcomed by Cao Cao and were put in charge of his naval forces. Cao Cao being from the northern provinces has no knowledge of naval battle so the presence of the two commanders was considered a great advantage.  Now, his forces can attack from both water and land.

A meeting was hastily called on the newly formed allegiance of Liu Bei and Sun Quan to plan out how best to fight off the forces of Cao Cao which were rapidly advancing both on land and on water.  It is here where Zhuge Liang and Zhou Yu formed a very unusual and crucially important friendship; both admired the other for his military aptitude and sharp mind. Throughout the battle, Zhuge and Zhou will continually challenge each other posing nearly impossible tasks on other while continually depending the region against Cao Cao.

Unknown to the others, Zhuge secretly sent Sun Shangxiang to spy on Cao Cao’s camp and infiltrated the enemy posing as a soldier.  The two maintain contact by sending messages via a pigeon. The film ended with Zhou Yu lighting his miniaturised battleships on a map based on the battle formation.


Part 2

The second film picked up where the first film ended; having befriended a soldier from the enemy’s  camp Sun Shangxiang was able to move around the camp freely and there she noted details of the camp and the enemies and continue to send them to Zhuge via pigeon messages.

Unused to the water, many of Cao Cao’s soldiers started to get sick; living in such close quarters coupled with unsanitary practices, Cao Cao’s army was soon  plagued with typhoid fever and the armies’ morale is affected. Hoping to infect the other armies, Cao Cao ordered the corpses of his dead soldiers to be put on a raft and set afloat towards Red Cliff where Zhou Yu and Sun Quan armies were encamped. The tactic worked when some unsuspecting soldiers pulled the raft towards shore and this started the infection inside their camp.

Eventually,  disheartened with the turn of events Liu Bei leaves with his forces while Zhuge Liang stays behind to assist Sun Quan’s forces. Here again as with the first movie the audience is confronted with the reality of just how intelligent and knowledgeable Zhuge was. He stayed and came up with medicine to help the sick and was eventually successful in strengthening the immune system of the soldiers enough for them to fight off the disease.

Lacking soldiers, weapons and ammunition, Zhuge and Zhou once against came up with a brilliant plan to attack the Cao Cao’s camp. Subsequently, the two once again issued a challenge to the other; Zhuge promised that he would produce 100, 000 arrows in 3 days or Zhou can have his head. This is in payment for Liu Bei’s abandonment. Zhou on the other hand promised to eliminate Cai Mao and Zhang Yun within the same period or Zhuge can have his head if he fails to accomplish the tasked.

I will not tell you how they accomplished the tasks or if they even accomplished them at all..I will tell this though, the two brilliant strategists were both alive at the end of the film.

Sun Shangxiang soon returned to Sun Quan’s camp, with her is a detailed map of the enemies’ camp and its formations. Zhou Yu and Zhuge Liang decide to attack Cao Cao’s navy with fire anticipating that a special climatic condition will soon cause the wind to shift and that the resulting southeast wind will blow to their advantage.

It was eventually revealed in the film that Cao Cao actually started the conquest all because of his desire for one woman; the one he considers to be the most beautiful woman in the world and he wants her all to himself. Unfortunately, the said woman, Xiaoqiao, was happily married to Zhou Yu and carrying his child.

With this knowledge in mind, Xiaoqiao left her husband’s camp with his consent hoping to persuade Cao Cao to give up his ambitious plans, but fails and decides to distract him instead to buy time for her side.

The battle begins when the southeast wind starts blowing in the middle of the night and Sun Quan’s forces launch their attack on Cao Cao’s navy.  Still feeling guilty for leaving their former allies, Liu Bei’s generals begged their master to allow them to join the armies attacking Cao Cao’s camp and proceeded to launched an attack on land coming from the back and surprising Cao Cao’s forces.

What followed next was about 45 minutes of one of the fiercest battles I have ever watched on film. It was a battle of epic proportion. Cao Cao’s army was soon defeated but upon great lost on both camps. Eventually, the allies decide to spare Cao Cao’s life and tell him never to return before leaving for home. In the final scene, Zhou Yu and Zhuge Liang are seen having a conversation with Zhuge jestingly declared that he would be leading a quiet life and start farming.



I loved the movie. I started out not really thrilled to be ‘made’ to watch it but 10 minutes into the 1st film and I am completely hooked. By the time the 1st part ended and I looked at hubby to play the part 2 and he just shrugged and just looked at me…I nearly strangled him. Fortunately, he already has part 2 and was laughing all the way to the media player, full of himself for knowing in advance that I would like the movies.

It was a star studded movie but that wasn’t the reason it was good. Many Hollywood films have real big name stars in it but they’re all crappy, this movie/s was different. Yes, it has a lot of big name Asian stars in it but it also has an awesome, awesome plot and a wonderful cinematography. The movie draw you into its story and it doesn’t let go. Even when it was over, you still want to see more.

Truly a movie to recommend to anyone who wants to see a good Asian epic movie, that goes up there with the likes of Lord of the Rings and 13 Assassins.




A Lesson on Anime from a Parent who loves Anime…

Posted in Anime, Introspection, Random, Uncategorized on June 18, 2012 by otakujade

I’ve been an anime otaku (enthusiast/addict) for most of my life.  My first encounter with anime, and I was not aware it was called that back then, was when I was about 5 or 6 years old.  Voltes V, Mazinger Z and Daimos were my first animes as with most people my age. We are called the Martial Law babies because we were born during the time when Martial Law was in effect in our country…but enough about that.

Children today have no idea what anime went through in this country. Today, anime is as common to them as their computers or video games or even their cellular phones. But anime suffered a big set back in this country in the late 70s when it was banned.  Yes, banned! It started with Voltes V but the others soon followed… this was under Martial Law, and the next decade all we had were cartoons from the US.

Then in 1989 anime made a come back in our country. Slowly but surely, anime began to take hold of the young people’s attention. It wasn’t until 1998 however that anime exploded and gained incredible grounds. This was all due to one kick ass anime – Yuyu Hakusho.

Being an avid otaku, I am thrilled with the proliferation of anime in this country. I encourage it, not only on my own children (my husband is an otaku such as myself) but also on other young people who just entered into the fold. But being a parent and having slowly matured and transitioned with anime over the years I guess I became so much more aware of it and all its eccentricities.

We are often told that as parents we must monitor what our children watches or does on the computer…sadly very few people  heed that plea. But WE REALLY SHOULD. When we see our kids watching anime…remember that these are not just plain cartoons as we were used to watching way back in the 80s. Unlike most animation videos, anime has different genres that we as parents must be aware of but must also keep an open-mind.

What I found out from associating with other parents who were anime fans like we were is that we are a lot more broad-minded with what our children can watch but also a lot more careful at letting them watch certain animes.

Like movies, animes are multi-themed and are directed at certain type of audiences. However, they are more free-spirited and therefore contain certain materials that we will not see on ordinary cartoons. Yes, anime has deeper plots and has so much more value but there are also animes that in my opinion on those with matured minds should watch and I am not talking here only of hentais (x-rated animes).

At a certain point, teenagers will be curious about hentai and that is only natural especially if they’re anime fans. It’s inevitable..they will come across the genre during the course of their fascination with anime. And as parents we must learn to cope with that and deal with it, by being open to them and letting them know that we understand and explain to them the reason why we would rather not have them watching those type of animes before they are 16 or older. I do believe that if you have a good relationship with your child it’ll work to talk things out with them. It’s not gonna be easy but it’s better than flat out telling them they can’t watch it or pretending you didn’t see. Hubby and I actually went so far as to toss a coin to decide who would talk to the boys about it…incidentally, I lost.

But as I said I was not referring to hentai when I said that there are animes that are better left to mature individuals especially those who have matured into anime already. Here applies the Japanese principle of Omote (outer) and Ura (inner) thoughts. It’s the front and back; what you let people see and know and that part of you that is kept hidden…orif you want to take it one step further it can be your Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

As there are plenty of well made and extremely good anime which are children and teenager safe (hahaha!) there are also animes that are…well, Mr. Hyde. Good thing though that they are only a few of them. These animes, for which I will not give any titles, should be kept from your children because there just too much violence and sex in them. And this statement is coming from someone who you grew up and grew old with anime. My tolerance for sex and violence is I guess quite broad but even I could balked at letting my teenagers watch these anime. Maybe when they get older….hopefully, around 40 (*smiles*) they can get to watch things like these but not while they are young and impressionable.

So, my plea to parents please get to know your children and get to know what they like, what they watch on TV and what they do in the computer. It pays to be informed and it’s not invading their privacy…it’s protecting their future.

Weekend Movies…

Posted in Introspection, Movies, Random on June 11, 2012 by otakujade

Weekends are movies days in our family (well, that is when we have help around) and lately, hubby and the boys had been revisiting several classics and some movies, I really didn’t have any interest to watch…before.

So being forced to watch what the boys want, I can to realized that my own prejudices actually drove me not to watch these movies but in reality they were quite good. And these are…

Full Metal Jacket – this was an 80s movie that I didn’t have the interest to watch way back then because it was a boy-flick and back in HS I’m not really into war movies and things like those. But watching it with the boys and with hubby’s commentaries about the movie, it was actually a good movie.


Star Wars series – honestly, I loved Episodes 1-3! I think they’re awesome and the story was really, really thrilling. My father was not a big fan of foreign movies so I didn’t get to watch Episodes 4-6 when it first came out. Naturally, I grew up not having any idea what it was all about and though I know that the series created an entire new pop culture I was not a part of it. Then I met hubby, and he was just nuts about the series!  And from him the boys contracted the bug.

Last Saturday was actually the first time I will ever see Star Wars the series. And I don’t know if I was lucky to have been able to watch it from Episode 1 to 6, because having seen the first 3 installments of the series which was made just recently it was hard not to compare the effects, as well as the acting of the actors.  It was amazing to watch and compare the first 3 episodes with the last 3 episodes because you can’t help but be amazed with what they were able to accomplish in terms of effects way back in the 70s. Although, I am disappointed that Padme Amidala and Anakin Skywalker would have such a clumsy son like Luke.  It seems like Princess Leah got all the spunk of their parents. However, putting that aside I think it was really a very good series and I am now a fan.


Resident Evil – again another series of film. And yet again something that I didn’t bother to watch because well, I just got so sick of vampires, zombies and werewolves. It seemed to me that Hollywood just can’t get of them..sheesh!

But as Sunday came I was again seated with the entire family, eating crackers and watching with the movies. It is hard being the only female in the family. However, I did like playing the game on Playstation so I figured it can’t be all that back..the movie I mean. And true enough it wasn’t. I rather enjoyed it, especially on those parts when something would come up and surprise the heck out of the boys! LOL, that was fun!

So, I guess I enjoyed my weekend, it was actually a learning experience for me and I rather liked that. I wonder what hubby has planned for next weekend…..


Harry Potter: So long…but never Goodbye

Posted in Books, Introspection, Movies, Random, Uncategorized with tags , , on July 16, 2011 by otakujade

It’s 10:45 p.m. and hubby and I  just came back from watching HP 7 part 2….I am feeling sort of melancholy really….the movie wasn’t good…IT WAS GREAT! but somehow I feel like a beautiful chapter of my life had just come to a close.

For the last decade, Harry Potter had become a constant in my life. Harry Potter opened a lot of new doors for me…it is through Harry Potter than I became a part of several Yahoo groups, met a lot of wonderful people who have became an important addition to my life (friends who became so close to me they’re almost like family), and to my otaku friends Harry Potter is an added bond that we have aside from anime. My book, movie and memorabilia HP collection is something I am deeply proud of. They’re not that extensive but they were acquired with a lot of care and patience.

Watching the credits roll tonight was like parting with an old, trusted and dearest friend.  At one point I didn’t want the movie to end because then  I know there would be nothing more to look forward to from then on. This was the last installment of the series, and a part of me never wanted it to stop. The book series concluded in 2007  but somehow that didn’t feel as conclusive as this…somehow at the time I know there was still something to look forward to – several more movies in fact. This time really felt like the closing of a curtain. And still  a big part of me still cling to the magic that was Harry Potter.

Yes, MAGIC for that was really want it was all this time. JKR weaved a mesmerizing spell that bound us all these year; her character had taken on a life of its own and became part of history. I cannot think of any book or even movie that ever have this much following or loyalty.  The series is so popular that every book release or movie premier is considered an international event and hugely news worthy. Seven books, eight movies….and three endearing characters….

As people clapped at the end of the last scene, I sat there and heaved a big and heavy sigh…It is done, the Harry Potter series had ended. As all good things must come to an end, so too something even as beautiful and captivating as Harry Potter. To me this was like seeing an old friend go to some far away land, it is so long but not goodbye. For from time to time that friend will write an email or chat on line or call on the phone..still accessible but out of sight. So too will Harry Potter be…for from time to time I know I will still visit the books, relive the movies and remain friends with the people whom through Harry Potter have become an integral part of my life too…

To Bonnie, Jo, Chris, and Dawn….thank you for being a part of my life. To J.K. Rowling…thank you for the privilege of knowing Harry, Ron and Hermione. Thank you for Hogwarts, Hogmeads, for Snape, Dumbledore, Hagrid, and McGonagall – thank you for sharing this wonderful world of Harry Potter with us.

And to Harry Potter thank you for being with us…your presence will be a uniquely personal part of us your fans….and the Harry Potter world and culture will be an important and characterizing part of the generation that knew and experienced your world.

So long….till we meet again.

Remembering Rizal…

Posted in Books, People, Random with tags , , , on June 19, 2011 by otakujade

I have always been an admirer of Dr. Jose Protacio ‘Rizal’ Mercado y Realonda or simply Jose Rizal. I was 7 years old when I first heard his name…it was part of our history lesson of course to learn first and foremost the ‘nationals’ – national tree, national flower, national anthem, national fruit, national bird, national animal…and of course national hero. However, it was in my 2nd year in college when I truly began to appreciate our national hero and I have been a great admirer of him since then.

A lot of people question the choice of Jose Rizal as the Philippines’ national hero simply because he was not involved in the ‘Himagsikan’ (revolution) or that he didn’t take up arms like many of our national heroes like Andres Bonifacio. However, as my Rizal professor (sorry sir but I completely forgot your name) once said, Rizal may not have taken up arms like Bonifacio but his influence through his writings, discourses and other peaceful means, extends beyond age, borders and culture. Rizal was an intellectual. He is one of the few people in this world that can claim to be both a polymath (a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas) and a polyglot – someone with a high degree of proficiency in several languages. Although many of the scientists in the past are polymathic…few intellectuals can claim to be polyglot. Now, we call people who speak 2 languages (like most Filipinos – English & Pilipino) as bilingual; we call someone who speaks 3 languages as trilingual (some Filipino are such – English, Pilipino then  either Spanish, Japanese or Chinese); and we call people who speak more than 3 languages but not more than 6 multi-lingual. Polyglots are conversant and fluent in more than 6. Rizal, however, is conversant in 20 languages and 7 local dialects.

Aside from his many intellectual prowess (he was an inventor, an opthalmologist, a scientist, a philosopher, a writer, an ardent traveler,  a poet, and an artist), Rizal also lived a very interesting and colorful life. I have always wondered why when they make a movie out of his life they always center on his political exploits or they sought to put color into this part of his life when in fact Rizal’s life is already as adventurous and colorful as anyone could ever wish life to be.

His life is one of the most documented of the 19th century largely because vast and extensive records made by and about him. Most everything in his short life is recorded somewhere, being himself a regular diarist and prolific letter writer, much of these material having survived.

His European friends kept almost everything he gave them, including doodlings on pieces of paper. In the home of a Spanish liberal, Pedro Ortiga y Pérez, he left an impression that was to be remembered by his daughter, Consuelo. In her diary, she wrote of a day Rizal spent there and regaled them with his wit, social graces, and sleight-of-hand tricks. In London, during his research on Morga’s writings, he became a regular guest in the home of Dr. Reinhold Rost of the British Museum who referred to him as “a gem of a man.”  The family of Karl Ullmer, pastor of Wilhelmsfeld, and the Blumentritts saved even buttonholes and napkins with sketches and notes. They were ultimately bequeathed to the Rizal family to form a treasure trove of memorabilia.

However, being incurable romantics as the Filipinos are, we are greatly fascinated by his many loves.  Historians like to called them “Rizal’s dozen” when it fact there were only 9 women with home our national hero was linked to.  And in order of their connection with Rizal they were:

Segunda Katigbak
Segunda Katigbak was his puppy love; Rizal’s first love. She was from a prominent family from Lipa, Batangas and was sent at an early age to study at the best school in Manila at the time – the Colegio de la Concordia. There she became friends and classmates with Rizal’s sister Olimpia. Rizal became very infatuated with her and wrote her many romantic letters. Unfortunately, his first love was not to be because Segundwas engaged to be married to a town mate- Manuel Luz.

Rizal wrote of his first love: “Ended at an early hour, my first love!  My virgin heart will always mourn the reckless step it took on the flower-decked abyss.  My ilusions return, yes, but indifferent, uncertain, ready for the first betrayal on the path of love”.

Leonor Valenzuela                                                                                                                                                                                                                   After his admiration for a short girl in the person of Segunda, then came Leonor Valenzuela, a tall girl from Pagsanjan. Rizal send her love notes written in invisible ink (salt dissolved in water) that could only be deciphered over the warmth of the lamp or candle. He visited her on the eve of his departure to Spain and bade her a last goodbye.

Leonor Rivera
Leonor Rivera, his sweetheart for 11 years played the greatest influence in keeping him from falling in love with other women during his travel. Unfortunately, Leonor’s mother disapproved of her daughter’s relationship with Rizal, who was then a known filibustero (someone who goes against the norms, a radical, a free-thinker; during the time of the Spaniards a filibustero in the Philippines is someone who goes against the teaching of the catholic church).  She hid from Leonor all letters sent to her sweetheart. Leonor believing that Rizal had already forgotten her, sadly consented her to marry the Englishman Henry Kipping, her mother’s choice.

Consuelo Ortiga
Consuelo Ortiga y Rey, the prettier of Don Pablo Ortiga’s daughters, fell in love with him. He dedicated to her A la Senorita C.O. y R., which became one of his best poems. The Ortiga’s residence in Madrid was frequented by Rizal and his compatriots. He probably fell in love with her and Consuelo apparently asked him for romantic verses. He suddenly backed out before the relationship turned into a serious romance, because he wanted to remain loyal to Leonor Rivera and he did not want to destroy his friendship with Eduardo de Lete who was madly in love with Consuelo.

Seiko Usui (affectionately called by Rizal as Osei-san)
Osei-san, a Japanese samurai’s daughter taught Rizal the Japanese art of painting known as sumi-e. She also helped Rizal improve his knowledge of Japanese language. If Rizal was a man without a patriotic mission, he would have married this lovely and intelligent woman and lived a stable and happy life with her in Japan because the Spanish legation there offered him a lucrative job.

Gertrude Beckett
While Rizal was in London annotating the Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, he boarded in the house of the Beckett family, within walking distance of the British Museum. Gertrude, a blue-eyed and buxom girl was the oldest of the three Beckett daughters. She fell in love with Rizal. Tottie helped him in his painting and sculpture. But Rizal suddenly left London for Paris to avoid Gertrude, who was seriously in love with him. Before leaving London, he was able to finish the group carving of the Beckett sisters. He gave the group carving to Gertrude as a sign of their brief relationship.

Nellie Boustead
Rizal having lost Leonor Rivera, entertained the thought of courting other ladies. While a guest of the Boustead family at their residence in the resort city of Biarritz, he had befriended the two pretty daughters of his host, Eduardo Boustead. Rizal used to fence with the sisters at the studio of Juan Luna. Antonio Luna, Juan’s brother and also a frequent visitor of the Bousteads, courted Nellie but she was deeply infatuated with Rizal. In a party held by Filipinos in Madrid, a drunken Antonio Luna uttered unsavory remarks against Nellie Boustead. This prompted Rizal to challenge Luna into a duel. Fortunately, Luna apologized to Rizal, thus averting tragedy for the compatriots. Their love affair unfortunately did not end in marriage. It failed because Rizal refused to be converted to the Protestant faith, as Nellie demanded and Nellie’s mother did not like a physician without enough paying clientele to be a son-in-law. The lovers, however, parted as good friends when Rizal left Europe.

Suzanne Jacoby
In 1890, Rizal moved to Brussels because of the high cost of living in Paris. In Brussels, he lived in the boarding house of the two Jacoby sisters. In time, they fell deeply in love with each other. Suzanne cried when Rizal left Brussels and wrote him when he was in Madrid. – “After your departure, I did not take the chocolate. The box is still intact as on the day of your parting. Don’t delay too long writing us because I wear out the soles of my shoes for running to the mailbox to see if there is a letter from you. There will never be any home in which you are so loved as in that in Brussels, so, you little bad boy, hurry up and come back….

Josephine Bracken
In the last days of February 1895, while still in Dapitan where he was exile on his return to the Philippines, Rizal met an 18-year old petite Irish girl, with bold blue eyes, brown hair and a happy disposition. She was Josephine Bracken, the adopted daughter of George Taufer from Hong Kong, who came to Dapitan to seek Rizal for eye treatment. Rizal was physically attracted to her. His loneliness and boredom must have taken the measure of him and what could be a better diversion that to fall in love again. But the Rizal sisters suspected Josephine as an agent of the friars and they considered her as a threat to Rizal’s security.

Rizal asked Josephine to marry him, but she was not yet ready to make a decision due to her responsibility to the blind Taufer. Since Taufer’s blindness was untreatable, he left for Hon Kong on March 1895. Josephine stayed with Rizal’s family in Manila. Upon her return to Dapitan, Rizal tried to arrange with Father Antonio Obach for their marriage. However, the priest wanted a retraction as a precondition before marrying them. Rizal upon the advice of his family and friends and with Josephine’s consent took her as his wife even without the Church blessings. Josephine later gave birth prematurely to a stillborn baby, a result of some incidence, which might have shocked or frightened her. Some historian claim that it was Rizal playing a joke on his pregnant wife which her to miscarriage however this claim was very verified.  He named the baby ‘Francisco’ after his father and buried him in a lot outside their home in Dapitan. 

…..I have decided that I will stop here for now, Rizal’s life is much too complicated and comprehensive for me to be able to do justice to our national hero in just one writing so I shall stop here now….and tackle his other exploits in my next blog…