So many interesting reads lately so here’s an attempt to compile them. It all started with Ambeth Ocampo’s column for Valentine’s – Love that kills – where he mentioned that Juan Luna shot his wife, his mother-in-law and his brother-in-law:
Not all love stories smell of roses and taste like expensive chocolates. Sometimes love can kill. In the case of Juan Luna and his wife Paz Pardo de Tavera their love made the front-pages of Le Figaro and all the Paris newspapers on the morning of September 24, 1892. Figaro began its story thus: “The Villa Dupont was, yesterday morning, the theater of a bloody family drama.” In a fit of jealousy, anger and other emotions that mixed into a lethal cocktail called rage, Luna shot and killed his wife Paz and his mother-in-law Juliana Gorricho. He also shot his brother-in-law Dr. Felix Pardo de Tavera who tried to intervene, Felix survived with a wound on his chest. So sensational was this story that Paris feasted on it, but it is seldom mentioned in our textbooks where Juan Luna, the artist who created the moving allegory of the colonial condition “Spoliarium,” is memorialized as a patriot. We cannot have a murderer as one of our National Heroes, so the story has been retold with Luna “accidentally” shooting these women through a locked door he tried to open with a revolver rather than keys!
Today, Ocampo continues his story on Juan Luna in ‘Pinoy Scandal’ where he reported that Luna got acquitted and even managed to receive a share of the estate left behind by her mother-in-law:
When Luna shot Juliana in the head, killing her instantly, her estate automatically passed on to her three children: Trinidad H. Pardo de Tavera, Felix Pardo de Tavera and Paz Luna. When Luna shot Paz in the head, she fell on the bathroom floor and died almost two weeks later without regaining consciousness, thus her one-third share in Juliana Gorricho’s estate passed on to her son Andres who was a minor and thus his share in the estate could be controlled by his father Juan Luna.
He also mentioned controversial issues regarding Rizal’s will and what he left to Josephine Bracken – but Ocampo ended his article with an even more intriguing question: “Did Rizal really have a will? How was his estate divided? These are the practical matters that we often forget when we think of love and sex in Philippine history.”
Digging further, I managed to realize that one of my favorite columnists partly recycles his entries – which I’m not complaining about. Two entries mention Leonor Rivera’s “insignificant love letters” – one came out in February and another in December. Funny how Leonor ends her love letters with some sort of disclaimer, “Excuse the writing and all the mistakes you find in it. Command at your pleasure your true servant who kisses your hand.” – did our national hero like correcting her mistakes?