Filipinos nowadays have developed the extreme love and proud-ness towards the Philippines. It is so extreme, some would already categorize it as being conceited. Some of the Filipinos are even fed up and would even go nuts when they would see “Proud To Be Pinoy” comments in a social media post that depicts success and triumph of a “kababayan” (fellow Filipino citizen)
But have you ever wondered how does the man whom the Philippines was named after looked like? We proud Pinoys, I guess, never had the interest and curiosity on how King Philip II of Spain looked like.
In the whole duration of my student life – that honed my nationalistic stance – never was there a chance that a teacher, an instructor or a professor showed me the photo of the man whom my country was named after. Considering that the academic world would be the most likely place where to see the image of this man, this regrettably never happened. I never saw a single photo of the guy whom I consider to be the first king of my country.
And while I am on my post-student life, I actually am not familiar about the life of this king and much less I actually have zero idea on how King Phillip II looked like. If he looked like a weakling chap, a skinny dude, a hunky fellow or a lumbersexual guy? I have no idea at all.
That is why when I saw the bust sculpture of a man at the Patio from the Castle of Velez Blanco inside the Metropolitan Museum in New York City I did not right away recognize it. When I read the label, indicating that it is the bust sculpture of King Philip II of Spain that was the only time I thought that this could be the same man whom my country was named after.
My inquisitiveness led me to right away google the words “Spain, King Phillip II, and Philippines” from my mobile phone. The image I saw in my mobile was the very same image that was in front of me. When I further read the information indicated in the net, it was the only time I knew how my first king looked like.
After recognizing, knowing and finally confirming the image, I stood right in front of the bust sculpture, I smiled and simply uttered “Hi!” Before I left the patio square to visit other galleries within The Met. I walked back to the same sculpture I took a photo and say “Thank you dude!”
Syet nakalimutan ko mag-selfie sa Unang Hari ng Pinas.