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Sunday, March 17, 2013

This Week in Philippine History and Culture (March 17 to 23)

Mar. 17, 1953: Revolutionary socialist and labor leader Filemon "Ka Popoy" Lagman (d. February 6, 2001) is born. Lagman was known for establishing the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) and the multi-sectoral group Sanlakas after splitting with the Communist Party of the Philippines. 

Mar. 17, 1957: Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay (b. August 31, 1907), along with 24 others, dies in a plane crash in Mt. Manunggal in Cebu. Magsaysay was on the way to Manila early that morning after having speaking engagements in Cebu City on March 16. He boarded the presidential plane Mt. Pinatubo, which was named after a then-dormant volcano in his home province of Zambales.

Mar. 17, 1973: Rico Blanco, former lead vocalist of rock band Rivermaya is born. Blanco was one of the founding members of the band, in which he also assumed the roles of keyboardist, guitarist and songwriter from 1993 to 2007. Aside from being part of the ongoing ABS-CBN drama series May Isang Pangarap, Blanco is also host-judge in TV5's Kanta Pilipinas.

Mar. 18, 1928: Fidel V. Ramos, the 12th President of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998, is born in Lingayen, Pangasinan. Prior to being elected President, Ramos served for the military in various capacities for more than three decades. Ramos is also the first Protestant President to lead a predominantly Catholic Philippines. 

Mar. 18, 1994: World-renowned Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti performs at the Philippine International Convention Center. 

Mar. 18, 1996: A fire in the Ozone Disco nightclub in Quezon City kills 162 people, many of whom are young people celebrating their school graduation. The incident later became known in media circles as the Ozone Disco Tragedy.

Mar. 19, 1995: Television and film actress Mara Hautea Schnittka , better known by her stage name Julia Montes, is born in Quezon City, Philippines). She was part of the children's gag show Goin' Bulilit before portraying the role of Clara in the remake of Mara Clara (opposite Kathryn Bernardo). Montes was Coco Martin's leading lady in the recently concluded series, Walang Hanggan.

Mar. 20, 1942: General Douglas MacArthur, Commander of the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East, makes a speech in Terowie, South Australia where he says, "I came out of Bataan and I shall return." At that time, the Philippine Commonwealth was in exile in Australia following the invasion of the Philippines by the Japanese Imperial Army. His return happened two years later, on October 20, 1944, in the shores of Palo, Leyte. The event is depicted in the obverse side of the 50-peso bill.

Mar. 21, 1978: Film and television actress Joyce Jimenez is born in Los Angeles, California. Jimenez's career in Philippine show business spanned more than a decade since the mid-1990s. She is known for playing the lead roles in many sex-oriented films such as Scorpio Nights 2 (1999), Warat (1999), and Biyaheng Langit (2000).

Mar. 22, 1869: Emilio Aguinaldo, the first President of the Philippines, is born in the town of Cavite El Viejo (now Kawit) in Cavite province. Aguinaldo declared the independence of the Philippines in 1898. He later led the First Philippine Republic's military resistance to the Americans.

Mar. 23, 1901: Emilio Aguinaldo, President of the First Philippine Republic and leader of the resistance to the Americans, was captured in Palanan, Isabela by forces of General Frederick Funston. Aguinaldo later took an oath of allegiance to the United States on April 19, 1901, effectively dissolving the First Philippine Republic and recognizing the sovereignty of the United States over the Philippines.

Mar. 23,1935: The Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippines is signed. It provided for a unicameral National Assembly and the President was elected to a six-year term without re-election. It was amended in 1940 to have a bicameral Congress composed of a Senate and House of Representatives, as well the creation of an independent electoral commission (now known as the COMELEC).

The amendment granted the President a four-year term with a maximum of two consecutive terms in office. The 1935 Constitution was also adopted by the Third Philippine Republic from 1946 to 1972, the year when it was suspended through President Ferdinand Marcos' declaration of martial law.


  1. Hi! Salamat sa writings mo. I'm teaching Philippine Pop Culture among the 8th grades in my class... Your blog is one of the few that covers this very, very interesting aspect of Language (and Culture)learning.

    The Brown Man

    1. You're welcome. I would also like to thank you for visiting this blog.