VALENTIN VENTURA

 

 

Don Valentine Ventura financed the publication of Rizalís El Filibusterismo in the same way that Viola shouldered the expenses for Noli Me Tangere.

 

Accounts of ancestry and childhood have remained unknown. He was the brother of Don Balbino, father of the late Secretary of Interior, Don Honorio Ventura. All of them were native of Bacolor, the former capital of Pampanga.

 

Don Balbino, the wealthy property owner and benefactor of the local parish, urged him to work with the other Filipinos fight for reforms in the government in the Philippines. He left the island primarily to obtain higher education. He stayed for about 30 years abroad, in Barcelona, in Paris and other European cities. When the movement for reforms began to stir, he was sufficiently entrenched in Europe to help nurture it.

 

In Paris, Rizal lived for some time with him. Their friendship gave him an opportunity to listen to Rizalís ideas which he greatly admired. He used to read the chapters of the Noli and Fili. When the printing of El Filibusterismo was suspended for lack of funds, he offered to publish the second novel out of the money sent by his brother.

 

In 1881, when Rizal was in Ghent, he sent him financial aid in the amount of one hundred fifty pesos. He promises more money so that Rizal would not have to be soliciting help.

 

Don Valentine was so impressed by Rizalís novel that he read the Fili all over again so he could say something other than that it was perfect, correct, vigorous, poetic, and deeply felt.

 

The Spanish-American Museum offered $12,000 for the original of El Filibusterismo but Don Valentine preferred to keep it as a souvenir for his family. However, he said that whenever the Philippine Government desired to posses that book, he was willing to offer it as a donation. This was affected later through Dr. Trinidad H. Pardo de Tavera.

In Spain, he married Carmen Tobar, a Spanish mestiza. The couple lived in Barcelona with their four children; Jose, Valentine, Carmen and Maria. Jose married and stayed in Aparri, Cagayan, where he lived a quite and prosperous life. Don Valentine came back to the Philippines with his family in the late 1920ís. However, finding the local conditions unsatisfactory, he went back to Spain with his family. He died in the early 1930ís and was buried in Barcelona.

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