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Green-eyed partner

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O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-ey’d monster, which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.
–Bill Shakespeare–

And this vile monster sometimes leads the characters in question to a crime of passion. I remember that this green-eyed monster led the painter Juan Luna to murder his wife in cold blood, the hapless Paz Pardo de Tavera, in 1892 inside their Paris home.

A victim of jealousy: Paz Pardo de Tavera (second from left) was said to have had an affair with a Frenchman (a certain Monsieur Dussaq). This led to her violent death in the hands of her husband-painter Juan Luna. The man beside Paz in this photo is none other than the national hero, Pepe Rizal.

As for me, I am not a good-looking man-about-town or a philanderer like Gregorio del Pilar. I am not a hunk. I do not have the countenance of a matinee idol. Nor do I have the corporal attributes worth swooning for. My fidelity may have faltered a few times in the past, thus perhaps an excuse for that green-eyed monster to seize control over mine heartmate’s feeble cerebral cortex. But my repeated apothegm for that: that was done with, a previous chapter of a past which, to my enervated mind, is not worth revisiting anymore.

But I am fed up with it. Many times she’s gone overboard with her nonsensical jealousy. Little did she know that I have no other desire but to stay put inside our humble abode, scribbling serious stuff like a crazed-old hermit, and even traversing new frontiers with her and our handsome offspring. Utopic yet humble nonetheless. And that is what my heart has been yearning for all these years.

Now because she has allowed that idiotic monster to lurk inside the crevices of her unknowing cranium, I would have to opt to shut my mouth most of the time like an anti-social which was my drab disposition during my college years. The state of affairs between us is seriously getting ill, adding up to other mental exigencies that I am invariably struggling to contain. I’m liking it less and less. So it has to be checked. Once and for all, if possible. Lest I end up like Luna’s wife in a pool of my own blood.

Lorenzo Guerrero: artist, genius, Filipino.

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Today is the birth anniversary of Lorenzo Guerrero. He’s from Ermita, Manila, belonging to the legendary ilustrado family: los Guerrero.

Guerrero was one of eminent painter Juan Luna’s teachers during the latter’s youth.

Below is a brief biographical sketch of Lorenzo Guerrero written by Héctor K. Villaroel (from the 1965 book EMINENT FILIPINOS which was published by the National Historical Commission, a precursor of today’s National Historical Institute).

LORENZO GUERRERO
(1835-1904)

A great painter and art teacher whose “primitive brush strokes found solidity and vigor in the canvases of Luna and de la Rosa,” Lorenzo Guerrero was born in Ermita, Manila, on November 4, 1835, to León Jorge Guerrero and Clara Leogardo.

He studied Latin at San José College; and painting, briefly, under different Spanish masters, like Cortina and Valdez; and, perhaps for a long period, under Agustín Sáez. At the age of 16 he started giving lessons in drawing. José Rizal described him as a “master who had virtually taught himself.”

In 1858, together with Lorenzo Rocha y Ycaza, he was appointed ayudante de naturales in the Academia de Dibujo y Pintura. Likewise, he gave drawing lessons at Santa Isabel and La Concordia colleges, and worked as a private tutor of the sons and daughters of Manila’s prominent families. Two of his students, Juan Luna and Fabián de la Rosa, won international acclaim.

As a connoisseur of music and literature, he had his house in Ermita turned to a veritable salon where Manila’s intellectuals met and exchanged views. As a gifted painter, whose delicacy of execution and handling of light and shadow was incomparable, he centered his work on two subjects — religious themes and scenes depicting native life and customs. His religious paintings that were housed and greatly treasured in the churches were “Nuestra Señora de Guía,” “Santa Filomena,” “Saint John the Baptist,” and “Santa Verónica de Julianus.” Similarly appreciated were the reproductions of local scenes, like the “Chinese Vendor of Tsin-Tsao,” “River’s Bend,” and “Scene at a Brook,” which were exhibited at the St. Louis Exposition in 1904.

Lorenzo married Clemencia Ramírez in 1868 by whom he had two children.

He died rather suddenly of acute asthma in Ermita on April 8, 1904.

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