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Showing posts from October, 2021

Batac is burning

By Noralyn Onto Dudt If my grandfather were still alive today, he would be 121 years old. He was born in the poblacion of Batac   in 1900 just as the Americans were setting fire on the town and burning   it to the ground. His parents, my great-grandparents, named him   Anselmo. It's not really an Ilocano name so I looked up its origins. The English and German "Anselm" means "God- protected", while the Spanish origin "Anselmo" means "God-helmet."   However, as his daughter (my mother) told me many times, the "selmo" in his name sounded like "silmut" which is the Ilocano word for "ignite." The town was being ignited, a historical fact   that never   made it into the mainstream history textbooks. It's a story that had to be told by the elders, by word of mouth and by a few history preservationists. I wonder if my great-parents recognized early on what this "burning" was all about. Surely their newbor