‘Nicolasas’ of our Times: A Heroine’s Tradition-A A +A
Saturday, September 10, 2011
THERE is no denying that it is only in the City of San Fernando, led by an “honorary woman” in the person of world-class city local chief executive Oscar Rodriguez that women are revered, honored and pampered twice a year.
First is during the mandatory global Women’s Month March every year, and in this city of distinguished Fernandinas, Women’s Week on September from Monday to Saturday, the 10th of the month.
A Fernandina woman and heroine named Nicolasa Dayrit, from whom a series of activities, including a much-lauded painting exhibit of women in her name in her tribute, drew crowds as personalities like the late Carmen Lazatin and socio-civic leader Agnes Romero’s works were put on display at SM City Pampanga on weekend.
Nicolasa Dayrit, a Pampango beauty, not only spent long hours to help minister to the sick and wounded revolucionarios but she also played a major role in appeasing General Antonio Luna during his near fatal confrontation with General Tomas Mascardo.
She was the brave lady who led the women peace makers in Pampanga. Nicolasa was born to Don Florentino Dayrit, a Cabeza de Barangay, and Doña Antonina Pamintuan, herself a long stemmed Patrician looking beauty, in San Fernando, on September 10, 1874. She was one of the well-educated women of her time, having studied under Don Modesto Joaquin whose school in Bacolor was the favorite center of learning. Fluent in Spanish, she was also one of the two more accomplished pianists in the province, the other being Doña Josefa Henson.
At the end of the revolution, perhaps due to the rigors of ministering to the sick and the wounded, Nicolasa found herself often ill, unable to leave her bed. Many medicos treated her, to no avail. Someone advised her family to consult a young doctor who had just arrived from Madrid.
Perhaps, they added, he brought with him the most modern medical trends from Spanish Capital. Indeed, he succeeded in making her well, winning her heart besides.
During the Japanese occupation, Doña Nicolasa became despondent, forever wondering what had happened to her husband. She died of heart attack, partly due to her sadness.
But as the heroine is remembered with recognitions and awards to her flock and the unveiling of her new monument at Heroes Park Saturday, Senior City Tourism Officer Ching Pangilinan gives bearing to women joining the 137th commemoration of her birth anniversary, often in violet and sometimes in yellow and orange shirts and blouses: “Nicolasa Dayrit will always be a model for future Nicolasas of our times and an icon of a woman’s exemplary will, heart and determination.”
The art exhibit was a revelation in itself as women artists put on their easels’ revered works, including self portraits and expressions of “deep women’s emotions.” Works of Rem Prin, Rellie Liwag, and Angelica Mabanglo were also showcased at the exhibit.
This weekend will see the awarding of women on her tracks, a Holy Mass and tributes to her deeds that give women from all ages the wisdom, right and power to be part of society.
“Women should always feel empowered. We should not think that because most of us stay at home that we do not have much worth anymore. All women are inspiration to others,” the ladies said. Should we say more?
True enough, Nicolasa’s advocacies live on.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 11, 2011.