Buenaventura Gálvez PuigFriday, January 06, 2017
|Buenaventura Gálvez Puig - Photograph Hiroshi Suyama - Manila|
When we are young (or at least when I was young) we are not curious enough to ask questions that depend on people being alive. I can only write in this blog today something that is a combination of what I remember and some guesswork that is purely speculative. Anybody who could clue me in is dead.
What I know about my mother’s pianist aunt Buenaventura Gálvez Puig is that she often combed my mother’s long hair when my mother was a little girl. My mother found the experience excruciating and would complain. Her aunt Buenaventura would then tell her in Castillian Spanish, “Para ser una dama hay que saber sufrir.” translates to, “To be a gentlewoman one must learn to suffer.”
I never asked my mother why it was that she (my mother) played the piano and played it so well. Perhaps her aunt, who was a concert pianist and teacher in Manila at the turn of the century, inspired her.
From Buenaventura my mother Filomena inherited a lot of her sheet music and bound books including a three-volume complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas. Here I have scanned a little book that my mother called a Mozart Mignon as it is about the size of a large pocket book. Buenaventura’s signature has faded with the years.
In our family photo album we have a photograph of Buenaventura as a young woman. It seems she was very beautiful. On the back of the photograph it reads Hiroshi Suyama Photographers. At that turn of the century many of the best Manila photographers were Japanese so this is no surprise.
I just wish I had asked more questions. Buenaventura Galvez (my grandmother Lolita’s mother’s surname) must have married a man from Catalonia as Puig (pronounced pootch) is such a name.