by Kiko Matsing
Stumbled upon the website of Bahay Nakpil-Bautista: Philippine Architecture in Quiapo Manila.
There are intimate recollections of Gregoria de Jesus, wife of Andres Bonifacio and Julio Nakpil.
I remember those unforgettable hours that we always relished when we had to sit with her as she read us stories from ’Liwayway’ magazine’s The Lola Basyang world of fantasy sequels. Many times she would recall to us her life during the revolutionary wars and how, once, she escaped the Guardia Civil, fleeing by banca along a river, putting her shawl and pretending she was fishing.
She said that if we were to dig under the garden of their house in Caloocan we would find many Remington and Mauser rifles. Once she tried to fire a Remington and almost dislocated her shoulder.
Aling Goria or Oriang as she is known by her close friends and relatives, is a very normal person with no pretensions. After reading her own Tagalog poetry about her lonely search for lost husband Andres Bonifacio, one can conclude that she is a very tender woman, who must have received the same tenderness from him. That tenderness was carried all the way through her life with her second husband Julio Nakpil, without losing a strong character which she greatly possess. She always showed strength when serious problems must be faced with valor, such as sickness, disappointments, even death itself. Her heroic phrase which she taught us is “BUONG LOOB”, which has been imbued in us her children.