Saturday, March 08, 2008


Kabaritan was once a barrio of Puncan then later of Lupao until it was established as a separate and independent town in 1894 and renamed San Jose in honor of its patron saint. The Augustinians first evangelized in the area then the Franciscans and much later the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.
San Jose, Nueva Ecija is the hometown of Catalino “Lino” Brocka, one of the Philippines’ best film director ever. Lino’s father Regino met and fell in love with Lino’s mother, Pilar Ortiz, in San Jose. He brought her home with him to Sorsogon where in 1939 Lino was born. Regino actually left his first family for Pilar for which he was jailed for 2 years at the National Penitentiary on charges of bigamy. Regino was murdered when Lino was 6. Things turned to worse since then for Lino, his brother and his mother. Pilar decided to go back home to San Jose after 15 years but life there was not good either. Lino and his brother have to live with relatives. He was already in high school when their family finances began improving.
Lino attended the University of the Philippines, joined the Dramatic Club, and failed miserably as an actor. He became a Mormon missionary in Hawaii, attended the Mormon Church College in another unsuccessful attempt to get a college degree, and became an OFW in San Francisco. He came back to the Philippines and joined the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) who will later give him his big break as a film director. But before that era of greatness, he went home to San Jose to take care of their family’s small poultry business.

One of Lino’s critically acclaimed films, “Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang”, was based on his observations on the social and political life of a small town called San Jose where the film was also shot on location. Many years later, another talented artist from San Jose whose ancestors were some of the characters portrayed in the film would produce a one-day-only rerun before the tragic closure of San Jose’s once booming sinehan industry. His name is Wilfredo Pascual, Jr.
Lino’s other acclaimed films are "Maynila: Sa Kuko ng Liwanag" which is said to be the best Filipino film ever made, "Insiang" which is said to be his best, the Palm d’Or nominated "Janguar" and "Bayan Ko: Kapit sa Patalim", "Macho Dancer", "Orapronobis", and "Gumapang Ka sa Lusak".
Lino co-founded CINEMANILA who produced his epic “Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang”, was a Ramon Magsaysay Awardee, organized the Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP), and was posthumously declared as a National Artist for Film after his fatal car accident in 1991.
Profile: The Church of Victoria, Tarlac
Victoria’s first church was built in 1872 and totally destroyed in 1898. Fr. Pedro Gallende (OSA) in his “Angels in Stone” stated that the fa├žade walls are still standing but there is no sign of it in the present church.
PHOTOS (top to bottom): (1) Lino Brocka as a young film director, (2) the newly built San Jose cathedral, and (3) saints gallery at the Victoria church.


Anonymous said...

Just passed by San Jose Nueva Ecija on my way to Bayombong. Interesting place, wouldn't mind going back and stopping for a few sites. I saw some old houses too (bahay na bato) in the area. You really know that this was once a very rich area.

Nice church sa Victoria. I enjoy the stories you share behind the churches.

jun of zerogravity said...

oy ano plano sa holy week? sa Palm Sunday tatambay ako sa San Jose Cathedral, bongga ang mga palaspas dito. kung gusto mo kausapin mo yung mga pari dun nang makaakyat tayo sa gawing kampana, ng full view tayo. Hindi rin kami tuloy ng Bicol kaya makakapunta ako ng Biernes santo sa Puncan para sa palaspas. baka sa bundok uli gawin ang pagbubuhat ng krus.