Fish Head Mermaid Fantasy Postcard

Postcard collecting is fascinating hobby, Postcard companies have printed some fantasy issues which caught the fancy among collectors worldwide.

Most are printed in Europe, United States, Latin America and Asia. There are different kinds of folklores from all over the world about mermaid.

While arranging some old postcards during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). The postcard was bought in 1973 and collected by my mom at a photo studio in Manila’s Chinatown which  sold photo postcards as souvenir for tourists, curiosity item and for local deltiologist.

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Fish head with human legs featured in postcard

Real Photo Postcard (RPPC types)

This type of postcard is called Real Photo Postcard (RPPC) types employed in the manufacture of most postcard images. It is a collective  term recognizes a distinction between the real photo process. It was quite popular in late 19th century in United Kingdom, Germany, Europe,United States eventually spreading in many parts of the globe by early part of the 20th century as photography get more accessible. The dimension is usually (3-1/2″ x 5-1/2″) as standard vintage postcards.

Among the first to use this type of medium were the rich aristocrats, royalties, those who wanted to remember their dead relatives or newly born child. It is sometimes called ” Recuerdo de Patay” memories of the dead. They are normally kept as mementos, keep sake or souvenir. Some local collectors would also collect the photos of prominent personalities like Dr. Jose P. Rizal.

Entrepreneurs hired them to record area events and the homes of prominent citizens, civic parade, birthdays, historical buildings, calamities among others.

This eventually became more popular as schools and personal family photos were printed with hundreds of copies sold either as souvenir class photo or for giveaway. Having one such opportunity would give glimpse of a rare opportunity for family members to keep their photos for remembrance. Since getting a photo is considered as luxury in the late 19th century to early 1900’s.

One can affix stamps at the back portion with simple message. This fish head with human torso is different from the usual mermaid postcard in the market. During those time there were already skeptic people which do not believe in these photos.

But it adds on the the overall appeal for the postcard collecting community. Glad to share this rare find.

Note: RPPC or RPP mermaid head is from the collection of the author

Sources and Bibliographies:

Personal communication with local postcard collectors

Bernhard, Willi: Bernhard Picture Postcard Catalogue: Germany 1870-1945, 1982

Sante, Luc: Folk Photography: The American Real-Photo Postcard 1905-1930, YETI Books, 2009

Smith, Jack H.: Postcard Companion: The Collector’s Reference, Wallace-Homestead, Radnor, PA, (1989)

Recuerdos de Patay: Memories of Dead Captured on Photos ( Part 2)

Recuerdo de Patay or Memories of Dead people captured on photos were the practice of many families to commemorate their love ones long after death.

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family members pose together with their dead relative ( photo courtesy of Mr. Edgardo Gamo Jr.)

This photo is undated, base on the dress and style of the coffin is between 1900 to 1920. All Soul’s Day is a time to celebrate the life and death of someone who we love and cherish.

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parents together with their infant child

A previous article on Recuerdo de Patay in 2015 and some of the practices long gone.

Recuerdo de Patay

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Doña Teodora Alonzo y Realonda posing together with the bones of Dr. Jose Rizal

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burial urn of Dr. Jose Rizal bones were kept

Some family members would pose together with their dead relatives or love ones for posterity or try to prop them up. Some would even commission painters to paint their dead relatives.

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Dr. Jose Rizal grave site in Paco Park

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Trinkets of memento mori – literally meaning “remember you must die” – took several forms which is widely practiced and existed long before Spanish colonial era.

There included personal belongings from locks of hairs, finger nails were arranged and worn in locks, rings or even kept at home. While taking photograph seem the norm from late 19th century up to the early part of the 20th century.

Although it seems to be a taboo to take photos of dead people ( except relatives). This is out of respect and courtesy at the present time. It seems to be the norm several decades or centuries ago.

Note: Special “Thanks” to Mr. Edgardo Gamo Jr. and NHCP / Fort Santiago for the photos

  • Best , Jonathan – A Philippine Album: American Era Photographs 1900 -1930,  Bookmark , Inc. copyright 1998 page 117
  • Hau , Caroline S. (2015)  Recuerdos de Patay and Other Stories : UP Press

A Visit to San Juan de Dios Church and Parochial Museum

San Juan de Dios Church and Parochial Museum, Barangay Poblacion ,  San Rafael – Bulacan province

San Rafael Poblacion Church is also known as San Juan De Dios Parish

The town of San Rafael had its humble beginning as part of the Hacienda de Buenavista ( now part of San Ildefonso )  under the San Juan de Dios brothers. Though belonging to that religious group, the place was however administered by the Augustinian friars who established the mission in 1750.

curve facade

The church architecture is a classic example of Partido Baroque architecture in the Philippines. The style, popular from the early to mid-19th century, boasts of a curved facade as opposed to the flat ones typically found in other Baroque churches in the country.

historical marker

interior of the church

church altar

The church facade and interiors were painted in pastel colors,  looks bright and pleasing to the eyes, but it had a grim and sad story to tell behind those pastel colored walls and facade . The church and the nearby parochial college tells a different story .

Colegio de San Juan de Dios with century- old acacia trees

We also took some photos of Colegio de San Juan de Dios ( the college used to be known as Saint Paul’s School) .The school premises had several large acacia trees with dischidias or manaog ka irog which cling to their massive trunks.   When some of us took the first glanced at the structure, we felt some eerie  feelings and felt that someone is looking at us . According to one of the locals , parts of the present school used to be part of the public cemetery .

 artist depiction  of battle of San Rafael inside the church 

Local historian and town folks  said that bodies of those people which numbered from 800 to more than 1,000 people were killed on November 30, 1896 . There was a town fiesta and people were at the church premises when the massacre took place, they are mostly innocent civilians , children and people who came for the fiesta .

church bell cast from Hilario Sunico foundry in Binondo

San Juan de Dios Parish Museum / San Rafael Parochial Museum or Museo San Rafael

The Museo San Rafael was officially opened on September 29, 2006 during the feast of San Rafael, coinciding with the 256th founding anniversary of the town. Besides the main hall of the convent, three rooms now house different exhibits.

 saint images and ecclesiastical items used by the church 

We took some time exploring the church and also the parish museum.  Mr. Chael Santos had negotiated prior hand  with the parish priest , Our tour group was allowed entry at the parish museum .

church vestments

There is also a place where the parish museum had an interesting display of church vestments .

period costumes on display

There were some period costumes on display reflecting a gentle era of the town

old retablo

sala set made from wood

The public can visit the parish museum during office hours but the staffs and parish priest must be inform several days prior to the visit. One must also be very careful in their steps,  since parts of the wood flooring is weak and were eaten by termites .

Our group was allowed to enter another exhibit are which they call museo ng bayan exhibit , only 3 to 4 people were allowed to enter since the floor is not that stable .

Story of Crispin , Basilio and Noli Me Tangere :

People from the town believes that Dr. Jose P. Rizal  was inspired to create the characters Sisa, Basilio and Crispin (in his novel Noli Me Tangere)  published in Berlin in 1887. Noli Me Tangere and its sequel, El Filibusterismo, exposed abuses of the Spanish friars and earned for Rizal the ire of the Spanish authorities.  The novel was said to have been adapted to the real-life story in San Rafael during the late 19th century . Recalling the story from Rizal’s novel, the two brothers were serving as bell ringers in the church to help their mother ( Sisa)  by earning money.

life-sized mannequin  of Dr. Jose P. Rizal and painting of crispin , basilio and sacristan mayor

The Rizal mannequin sits behind a desk, writing. He faces the well where Crispin’s body was supposedly dumped.

On one occasion, the sacristan mayor accused Crispin of stealing an amount of money. Crispin was punished by the sacristan mayor and was believed to have died inside the church premises. On the day the loss was discovered ( 2 gold coins ) , He was not permitted to leave the convent, while his elder brother was allowed to leave only after 10 p.m., which was past the 9 p.m. curfew.

painting showed the physical abuse of Crispin and Basilio

As proof of the local legend, locals point to a blood-stained wall off the side of the convent in a small room where supposedly the young “Crispin” was tortured to death today their soul are present in convent.

hand stained portion of the wall believed to be that of Crispin

The head sacristan dragged Crispin down the stairs from the bell tower and into the shadows. That was the last time Basilio saw his younger brother.

church belfry

Some stories would tell of the revolutionary period where hundreds and even thousand of people perished.  the hand marks used to be in darker and more reddish in color several years ago , before this portion of the church was renovated in the late 1990’s .

This is the area where locals believed that Crispin was push to his death and Basilio escaped .

well

Fray Antonio Piernavieja was the friar that Dr. Jose Rizal took his character inspiration for Padre Salvi . It was widely believed that he was the said priest in the novel. He was transferred to Cavite in the middle part of 1896 when the revolution broke out . He was taken as a prisoner and made as a bishop by the Filipino insurgents  .

group photo

Fray Antonio Piernavieja took the advantage of his new position and gave vital information and tactical plans of the insurgents to the Spanish authorities that were based in Manila. Upon the discovery of the plan , the insurgents tied the friar in an open field and left him to die from hunger and thirst.

group photo

People would also claim the cemetery mentioned in Rizal’s novel is the Pasong Instik area.

We got to have a group photo before we bid farewell to the local priest and gave our donation to the museum .  Some of us had still some questions in our mind , if the stories are true , was it based on a true story or urban legend that refuses to die .

 References and Bibliographies :

Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo books

San Rafael Website: http://www.sanrafael.gov.ph

Official Website of the Municipal Government of San Rafael. “San Rafael Festivals”. sanrafael.gov.ph. Retrieved May 24, 2014.

Official Website of the Provincial Government of Bulacan. http://bulacan.gov.ph/sanrafael/history.php

Philippine Star : http://www.philstar.com/entertainment/2014/05/15/1323160/haunting-san-rafael-church

Zamora, F. “Sisa, Crispin and Basilio lived here, say Bulacan townsfolk”. inquirer.net. Retrieved May 24, 2014.

Historical Kamuning Bakery : President Corazon Aquino among its customers

43 Judge Jimenez Street corner K-1 street, Kamuning , Quezon City -Philippines

facade of the bakery with wheat logo

We usually passed along Judge Jimenez street whenever we went to Fairview and whenever i go to Tomas Morato street in Quezon City . We used to order a couple of bread and sometimes we would also crave for their egg pies , cheese cakes, yema rolls and Pan de Rizal. The bakery had around 300 kinds of bread, cakes, pastries .

interior of the bakery

There is an air- conditioned portion where the bakery can accommodate up to 30 people at any given time. 

family photo taken during the 1950’s with a delivery trunk

History :
Kamuning Bakery was founded around November 1939 a few months after the birth of Quezon City. The community bakery had witness almost all facet of the city.
The bakery is likewise intimately connected with the founding and growth of the city named after President Manuel L. Quezon.

Pan de Rizal

One of the family old-time recipe was the Pan de Rizal a small round shaped bread which was a luxury during  the time of Rizal. According to the descendants , It was Rizal’s favorite bread, it was the one given to him by his sister when he was imprisoned in Fort Santiago. The bread was baked by their great- grandmother .  The bread is common in almost every neighborhood bakeries and was called by many names. The shelf -life is longer than the ordinary bread and can last between 5 to 7 days without any refrigeration .

Kamuning shrub with white flowers

The area used to be planted with a lot of Kamuning shrubs ( Murraya paniculata) which are commonly found in within the locality hence the name. is used both in traditional medicine as an analgesic and for wood (for tool handles).

In the West, Murraya paniculata is cultured as an ornamental tree or hedge because of its hardiness, wide range of soil tolerance.

blueberry cheesecake

We have ordered some of their home-made cakes and , this is is quite cheap at Php 65.00 per slice ! It is moist and by the time we wanted to order for take-out , it was gone !

The original owners of the bakery were Mr. Marcelo and Ms. Leticia Bonifacio, who at the time were already operating a successful bakeshop in Manila called Los Baños Bakery. The family are descendants of Lucia-Rizal-Herbosa – sister of Dr. Jose P. Rizal . 

Kamuning bakery has been pugon-baking  traditional pan de-suelo from the old family recipe of founder’s fore-bearers. Traditional old-fashioned baking with 75-year-old pugon or wood-fire brick .

  Biscocho -one of the bakery’s best sellers

This second bakery was one of the first structures in Kamuning, along with a barber shop, grocery, schools and a church. The bakery is pretty advance during their date, While most of the bakeries and business establishments only used ordinary lettering as their business logo, Kamuning Bakery used wheat as its logo to symbolized its primary ingredient in their breads.

cheesecake

Japanese Occupation

Operations were rudely interrupted during the Japanese Occupation of the 1940s. Imported flour was expensive and difficult to find. In February 1945 came the Battle of Manila, with the capital city bombed by the Americans and sacked by the Japanese. The southern districts of Intramuros, Ermita and Malate went up in flames. Tens of thousands of civilians were killed, among them Leticia’s father, Miguel Bonifacio, and her husband Marcelo Javier. Some of the ingredients were very hard find , some had to be substituted with other locally available ingredients.

pan de suelo

Pan de Suelo is comparable to French baguette with their crunchy texture on the outside and soft in the inside, It is perfect combination to any  pork and bean , sausages , ham or any leftover adobo or asado . It is also best for coffee or chocolate. The bakery plans to serve coffee which came from coffee plantations and farmers cooperative .

cookies with glazed fruits -Php 30.00 per pack

Widowed, Leticia, who was actually a lawyer, continued to run the business with her uncle Ambrosio Ison. Her bakers remained loyal to her. Helping out was Leticia’s 5-year-old son, Teddy Javier, who would sell pan de sal to customers, three pieces of which then cost five centavos.

pan de sal

It used to be a sleepy neighborhood with very few residents up until the late 1950’s when people began to settle the place. It was in the early 1980’s when two ( 2) television stations which are located near the bakery and its stars began patronizing the bakery.

egg pies

Mr. Teddy grew attached to the business, all the way to adolescence, college life, adulthood and employment as an ABS-CBN salesman. Eventually he resigned and took over management of the bakery. Business picked up when they were able to deliver bread to New Frontier, South Supermarket and Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets in Manila.

celebrities and famous personalities are hung in a portion of a wall

Celebrities and Presidents :

One of the bakery’s bestsellers is the Pan de Suelo, a favorite of President Corazon Aquino. “This kind of bread requires a special skill to bake,” . “It is cooked on the oven’s floor and the heat is circulated equally to ensure it is cooked perfectly.” Their bread is baked in a wood-fired oven, which gives the products a distinct flavor. Not all wood can be use baking breads , One of the best woods are from mangrove trees , hardwood varieties like narra, kamagong and yakal .

Mr. Wilson Lee-Flores

According to the present owner , Real estate and columnist  Mr. Wilson Lee- Flores accounts” Culinary Heritage Advocate ” Dr. Doreen Gamboa Fernandez wrote a lengthy article about the historical pastries and products that the bakeshop offers.

President Manuel L. Quezon would also visit the bakeshop when he would come to the city.
Celebrities like Ms. Coney Reyes, Mr. Richard Gomez , Mr. Rogelio dela Rosa , Mr. Aga Muhlach , Mr. Mikael Daez ,Ms. Jessica Soho , Ms. Gloria Romero, Felice Prudente Santa Maria , Mr. Butch Dalisay, Ms. Julie Yap-Daza, Don Alejandro Roces, Nick Joaquin among others……….

group photo with freelance writers and bloggers

The host is very engaging and there are plans to have a small restaurant within the premises which will serve pasta, coffee and hot chocolates.  When our group asked Mr. Wilson Lee -Flores on what type of bread can best described him, He said ” Pan de Suelo ” tough outside but soft inside ! 

Reference: Palayok : Philippine Food Through Time : On Site , In the Pot

Address: No. 43 Judge Jimenez Street corner K-1st Street, Kamuning, Quezon City.

Tels: 9292216, 7945045, 09175202756, 09985544220, 09228321888, 09178481818.

Store Hours extended to 11 pm daily & to 9 pm on Sundays.

Please join their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/kamuningbakery1939

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