It started with Dr. Jose Rizal’s monument (built in 1996) in Avenida de las Islas Filipinas. Then a friend reminded me of Viva Madrid, the national hero’s favorite restaurant while he was still in university here. Finally, my search for ๐Ÿ‘จ Juan Luna’s award-winning paintings led me to Hotel Ingles where Filipino patriots met to celebrate his and Felix Resurrecion Hidalgo’s winning the gold and silver medals for their obra maestros.

 

 

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It was a good walk ๐Ÿ‘ฃ from Puerto del Sol, away from Calle Mayor and along Carrera de San Jeronimo. The Net ๐Ÿ“ฒ came in so handy with this guide on which metro line ๐Ÿš‰ to use, where to get off and ๐Ÿ‘ฃ walking instructions on how to reach Viva Madrid ๐ŸดCalle Francisco Fernandez y Gonzalez, 7. Love it! My very own GPS. ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘

 

 

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Soon, I found Viva Madrid. Right behind Teatro Espaรฑol. I checked out the menu and was secretly hoping there is a “Rizal’s Favorite” or something. A drink? Or a dessert? I found none. ๐Ÿ˜ž But I found a marker.

 

 

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Just off the corner from Viva Madrid is Los Gabrielles, a music bar then where Filipino propagandists met regularly. I think this venue, described by Rizal in a letter to one of his sisters as having beautiful murals made of ceramic tiles, now hosts flamenco dance performances. ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ‘ฏ๐Ÿ’ƒ

 

 

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A few steps more, on the same Calle Echegaray, is Hotel Ingles, ๐Ÿซ venue for the banquet tendered in honor of Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo when they won in the Madrid Exposition of Fine Arts in 1884 with their masterpieces “Spoliarium” (now at the National Art Gallery in Manila) and “Las Virgenes Cristianas Expuestas Al Populacho (Christian Virgins Exposed to the Populace, now at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila). In this banquet, our national hero — who’s said not to have eaten the whole day for lack of funds — gave more than a toast to honor Luna and Hidalgo. More like a speech. A speech so full of bravado and spunk, where Rizal frontally attacked the religious establishment. Perhaps a preview of the Padre Damasos and Padre Silvas in his Noli Me Tangere.

 

 

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This same hotel is also where our Filipino patriots met for ๐ŸŽ‡ ๐ŸŽ‰ ๐ŸŽ†New Year celebrations, or where they usually had their cenas or late dinners. For sure, they didn’t venture far. You see, Hotel Ingles and Los Gabrielles are just likely 30 steps away from each other, and Viva Madrid is just off the corner — perhaps another 30 steps. All in the same neighborhood! And all behind the lovely Teatro Espaรฑol ๐Ÿข๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ…. Errrr, another 30 steps.

 

 

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Part 2 of Rizal’s Favorite Haunts ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿšถin the making. Watch this site!