Back at the National Museum to attend the Museum Foundation’s Lecture Series on Batanes. No less than Architect Toti Villalon gave the lecture with a few prominent residents of Batanes in the audience. But we were more than an hour early for the lecture. So we found ourselves meandering from hall to hall, trying to avoid the student crowds who filled the Hall of the Masters.




The National Art Gallery/ National Museum with the Clock Tower of the Manila City Hall in the background.



We were drawn to the Amorsolo portraits — thinking how lucky those high society people were to pose for this National Artist. But one particular portrait got our full attention. Having just visited the newly-restored Old Senate Hall within the National Art Gallery (the same building used to house the Legislature), we were pleasantly surprised to find a hunk of a statesman in the twice-elected Speaker of the House.




Guess who? No less than the Speaker of the House (twice elected) Jose B. Laurel Jr.



With those looks, it’s tempting to think the Legislature consisted mainly of women. But this Presidential son (he is the eldest of 9 children of ex-President Jose P. Laurel) and Vice-Presidential brother (Doy Laurel, the man who withdrew his presidential ambitions in favor of Cory Aquino to run and win as Vice President) earned every laurel (pun intended) on his head. He made a bid for the Vice Presidency himself, but lost to Diosdado Macapagal, who went on to become President and whose daughter likewise became President. These days, they call it political dynasty. But the Laurels have all proven their worth, and for a “political clan”, remains low-profile and unassuming. Surely, their patriarch, President Jose P. Laurel, knew how to raise a BIG family.




Died not too long ago. Lived a quiet life though his family remained in the political limelight.