New book sheds light on Philippine history kept hidden from view for over a century
Updated: Apr 9
New York: The latest book in Spanish by distinguished Filipino-Hispano author Guillermo Gómez Rivera has been released in New York by Centiramo Publishing.
Guillermo Gómez-Rivera is a major figure in understanding the Filipino-Hispano universe and its most fervent defender. His latest book, La flor que del oro bárbaro deriva, is a compilation of essays that provide a comprehensive view of Philippine history that debunks many of the myths arising from leyenda negra, the black propaganda propagated by Spain's geopolitical rivals in the 19th century.
It focuses on the period since the Philippines ceased to be a Spanish overseas province until today, as well as the consequences that Spain's decline has had for the Filipinos themselves. It is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in the history of the Philippines and the Hispanic footprint in the archipelago.
Edited by Isaac Donoso, Ph.D., a respected Spanish academic, author and professor at the University of Alicante, La flor que del oro bárbaro deriva, is a follow up to the successful The Filipino State and Other Essays, the first English-language book by Mr. Gómez-Rivera published in the United States in 2018 by Centiramo Publishing.
In his introduction to the book, Professor Donoso describes Mr. Gómez Rivera as the "most powerful guarantee" that the historical and cultural Spanish legacy in the Philippines will be preserved and kept alive. He adds:
"The texts collected here, written over several decades, show the thought, criticism and reflection of one of the most authoritative voices to be able to speak, without ambiguity, of the Philippine social and cultural evolution. The exceptional uniqueness of its author has been clearly exposed by Professor Pedro Aullón de Haro in El ejemplo Gómez Rivera, Madrid, Instituto Juan Andrés de Comparatística y Globalización, 2018.
"It is, therefore, a dense, unequivocal work, where many of the facets of Gomezriveriano life are reflected: the memories of a Filipino life lived in Spanish, the twists and turns of the Filipino variant of the Spanish language, on the way to extinction, the routes visiting the material heritage, already decadent, the definition of the Philippine nation, and the denunciation of linguistic misappropriation, and Benevolent Assimilation."
In one of the most fascinating essays in the book, Mr. Gómez Rivera tackles the genesis of Rizal's trouble with the Spanish colonial authorities that eventually led to his execution for, among other criminal charges, being a Mason. Catholic Spain banned Freemasonry and considered membership in the organization a crime.
The book also devotes a section on the Philippine presidency with a brief biography of every Philippine president from Emilio Aguinaldo to Fidel Ramos and how their administrations were either destroyed or co-opted by the United States to serve the interests of the country's former colonial master instead of their own people.
The book is available from Amazon and wherever books are sold online.