The Month of June
By Rudy Arizala
The month of June is generally associated with wedding bells, when most people in love get married. So we often hear people say that the dream of many unmarried women is to be a "June bride."
But from a historical point of view, June is the 6th month of the Gregorian calendar and formerly the 4th month of the Roman calendar. Some say it is named in honor of Juno, the sister and wife of the Chief God, Jupiter. June is also known for flower festivals throughout the world. The special flower of June is the sweet-smelling rose. Its birthstones are the moonstone, the pearl and the alexandrite. Others claim June came from the term for the lower Chamber of the Roman Senate "Juniones". Still others say it was name given in honor of Junius Brutus who liberated the Romans from the Etruscan invaders in 510 B.C.
Whatever is the significance or meaning of June, the fact is, during the month of June many significant events happened. On the national level, it was on 3 June 1571 when a Muslim chieftain, Rajah Soliman, led the "Battle of Bangkusay" in Tondo against the Spanish forces. On 5 June 1898, Julian Felipe composed the "Marcha Nacional Filipina" which became our national anthem and played for the first time on 12 June 1898 in Cavite Viejo (now Kawit, Cavite) when Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed our Independence.
And of course, on 19 June 1861, our national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the acknowledged prime mover of our fight for freedom, was born in Calamba, Laguna. His birth was not heralded by a star, nor was it marked by any seismic phenomenon, yet Rizal played a significant role in the emancipation of our nation. Consequently, the eminent Spanish philosopher-writer Unamuno considered Rizal "the Tagalog Christ."
Spanish biographer Dr. Jose Baron-Fernandez, wrote that if there was any supernatural happening that accompanied the birth of Rizal, "it must have been the intervention of the Virgin of Antipolo", because when Rizal´s mother Teodora Realonda was undergoing difficult labor, she promised to make a pilgrimage to Antipolo should her delivery prove successful
On the local level (Metro Infanta) there were also many significant events which happened in June. For example, on 5 June 1947, Infanta was raised to the level of a "Carmelite Residence," which in later years became the "Carmelite Prelature of Infanta." On 10 June 1947, an American young man from Philadelphia was ordained as a Carmelite priest. Subsequently, he was assigned in Infanta, Burdeos and Baler. Radio station DZJO became "Bayanihan Broadcasting Corporation on 18 June 1969. Since then, it remained up to the present as effective vehicle for mass communication and pastoral programs of the Carmelites in Northeastern Luzon.
On 21 June 1949, General Nakar, which was formerly a barrio or barangay of Infanta, Quezon, was founded as a town. Another former barrio or barangay of Infanta, called Real, became a "full-pledged" municipality on 22 June 1963, under Republic Act No. 3754.
And last but not the least, on 27 June 2002, a book about the history, tradition and cultural heritage of Infanta entitled: "Labong ng Kawayan", was launched at the Community Center, Mt. Carmel Shrine Parish, New Manila, Quezon City under the auspices of the Metro Infanta Foundation and the Socio-Pastoral Institute.
Speaking of the Metro Infanta Foundation, incidentally, last 11 May 2004, was its 8th anniversary foundation day. Unfortunately, such significant event passed away unnoticed.
This month of June, let us recall significant events which happened in our beloved country on the national as well as on the local level. Let us offer a prayer that the "Carmelian Spirit" of total dedication to the Lord, love, unity with the Holy Spirit, abiding faith, self-abnegation and service to God´s people especially the poor, exemplified by the Virgin Mother, be our guiding star. The very same Virgin Mother to whom the mother of Rizal prayed and promised to make a pilgrimage to Antipolo when she was undergoing difficult labor in connection with the birth of her son on 19 June 1861. Antipolo at that time was a small village on top of a mountain some 25 kms. east of Manila.
Apparently, the Virgin Mary heard the prayers of Rizal´s mother. For Rizal was born and grew up into manhood serving his country and people up to the last breath of his life.
Let us consider June not only the month of flower festivals; of wedding bells; when Philippine Independence was proclaimed; when our national hero Jose Rizal was born; but also when the "Carmelian Spirit" was born and continue to flourish in the Prelature of Infanta. The "Carmelian Spirit" is very much alive not only in Infanta but also abroad through the Metro Infanta Foundation and its members wherever they may be.