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Historical Biographical Analysis on “Another Invitation to the Pope to Visit Tondo”

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Occasional Paper #1

Historical Biographical Analysis on “Another Invitation to the Pope to Visit Tondo”

Emmanuel Torres is a poet, art critic, professor of English and Comparative Literature at the Ateneo de Manila and curator of its art museum who was born on April 29, 1932 in Manila. He was born on the Third Republic of the Philippines when the country was already considered independent. He witnessed the administration of Manuel Roxas, Elpidio Quirino, Ramon Magsaysay, Carlos P. Garcia and Diosdado Macapagal. Macapagal ran for the re-election but he was defeated by Ferdinand Marcos. How was the Philippines during the Marcos regime and early before?

Since 1940, it has been very hard for the Filipinos to accept the war after war, revolutions and occupations. The Philippines suffered great loss of life and tremendous physical destruction, especially during the Battle of Manila. An estimated 1 million Filipinos had been killed; a large portion during the final months of the war, and Manila had been extensively damaged.

Early in Marcos’ presidency, Marcos initiated ambitious public works projects, war rehabilitations and intensified tax collection which brought the country economic prosperity throughout the 1970s. His administration was very successful in waking up the Filipinos but because of the Philippine Legislature that was corrupt and impotent, there were still circumstances where Filipinos experienced troubles and sufferings.

This poem was set during 1960’s when the Pope came to the Philippines. Originally, this poem was entitled “The Poem visited Tondo” until it was revised to give emphasis to the invitation for the Pope to witness the situation of Filipinos many years back. We all know how visible poverty in the Philippines is. This is an important matter to be faced by the Pope of the world which showed mockery to the Catholic Church. It is amazing how Emmanuel Torres used sarcasm in the poem to show and narrate the...

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