Manansala Sketches

National Artist Vicente Manansala, native of Macabebe left behind a treasure trove of paintings (oil, enamel, ink, charcoal, watercolor) and sculpture, many of which are in private collections. A few years ago, the Center exhibited several from the private collection of his late widow, Herminigilda Diaz Manansala (native of Saguin, City of San Fernando), which are now in the custody of the artist’s only son, Emmanuel Manansala. The Center acquired eight original Manansala nudes (done in charcoal and pencil in the 1950s) which will be on permanent exhibit when its gallery opens in the near future. Mr. Manansala has also loaned for safekeeping his father’s unpublished studies (mostly in pencil).

Registros Parroquiales

The Center acquired microfilm copies of over 300 reels of registros parroquiales (parish records) of every town in Pampanga, some dating back to 1621. The acquisition was made from the Genealogical Society of Utah in Salt Lake City through the endorsement of the Archdiocese of San Fernando. The records contain baptism, wedding and death certificates of Kapampangan parishioners in every town from the early Spanish colonial period to the 20th century, which the Mormons filmed in various parishes in the 1980s before they were transferred to the Archdiocesan Archives of San Fernando. The Center has made these microfilms available to the Archdiocese (for Catholics needing certificates so that the original documents in the Archives will remain untouched) as well as to researchers of family histories and local histories. These records are:

Angeles 1814-1948
Apalit 1881-1937
Arayat 1758-1948
Bacolor 1680-1952
Betis 1905-1937
Candaba 1672-1965
Floridablanca 1823-1937
Guagua 1823-1935
Lubao 1621-1930
Mabalacat 1872-1950
Macabebe 1899-1950
Magalang 1913-1993
Masantol 1894-1937
Mexico 1621-1930
Minalin 1774-1953
Porac 1897-1921
San Fernando 1883-1947
San Luis 1770-1951
San Simon 1772-1936
Sasmuan 1669-1962
Sta. Ana 1777-1956
Sta. Rita 1671-1944
Sto. Tomas 1952-1993

Old Newspapers

Friends of the Center have donated or loaned old and rare newspapers for restoration, safekeeping and/or exhibition. Lilian Borromeo, Lord Francis Musni, and the family of the poet Jose F. Sanchez have loaned copies of Kapampangan newspapers Ing E Mangabiran/El Imparcial (1905, 1910, 1915), Ing Cabbling (1933), Ing Katiwala (1938), Pamitic (1938-1941), and Ing Calasag (1948). But the jewel in the crown is The London General Evening Post dated April 23, 1763, donated by art critic Caesar ‌Cid” Reyes. The newspaper headlined the British invasion of Manila on September 23, 1762. The news article featured excerpts from the journal of Gen. William Draper, the commanding officer of the invading British naval fleet, which described Kapampangans as ‌a fierce and barbarous people” who helped the Spaniards defend the colony. The British Occupation led to the transfer of the capital from manila to Bacolor, Pampanga.

Jose Gallardo Manuscripts

Jose Manapul Gallardo (1918-1986) of Candaba was the most prolific and influential Kapampangan writer of his generation. He wrote over 200 poems, 26 plays and zarzuelas, six novels and dozens of short stories, but his best known work is Crucifijong Pilak, which was staged more than 100 times between 1956 and 1972 (all productions were directed by him). He was declared Ari ning Parnaso, successor to Amado Yuzon, in 1979—the highest literary honor that can be achieved by a Kapampangan poet. He invented the malikwatas (short for malikmatang kawatasan) or magic poems, in which a single poem can be rearranged to become several new poems. Most living Kapampangan poets today have been influenced by his style of writing and delivery. In 2003, the Center honored him with a tribute in which his son, Homer Gallardo, recited a poem of his father’s as a gesture of his coming to terms with his father’s art which he had blamed earlier for many of their family’s hardships. The family has donated to the Center the bulk of Gallardo’s manuscripts, which have since been catalogued and published.

Faith Healer’s Costume

Mysticism and superstition surrounded the life and times of Pedro Danganan, a.k.a. Apu Iru, the country’s most celebrated faith healer before World War II. Born in Sapangbato, Angeles, Danganan realized his gifts after he cured his paralytic mother, Eusebia Samonte of Guagua during a pilgrimage to the Virgin’s shrine in Antipolo. His fame quickly spread; national newspapers featured him as the ‌manggagamot ng Pampanga” and estampitas bearing his image were sold outside churches. His healing powers were so strong that when he took a bath in the batalan, devotees reportedly waited below to catch the water. After he grew up and got married, his fame waned and he retired to his mother’s hometown, where he eventually died. The Center acquired from the faith healer’s family his only extant costume as well as details of his last days.