This Saturday at 3PM, Ambeth Ocampo will be giving his final talk on the History Comes Alive Series at the Ayala Museum. I've learned a great deal in three short sessions so I'm pretty excited to attend the fourth one. I can now relate with his pupils from the University of the Philippines and the Ateneo who adore his offbeat teaching style. So just to give a taste of tasty historical tidbits I picked up, I listed them down as some of the top things I picked up from Ambeth Ocampo:

1. In the images we have of our heroes, Jose Rizal is always portrayed as the writer, hunched over his desk with his quill.  Andres Bonifacio on the other is brawny and muscular complete with six-pack abs. But he said that it was actually the other way around, Rizal had a body builder's proportion with a perfectly v-shaped back. While Bonifacio was skinny to the point of being sickly.
2. Guillermo Tolentino, a Filipino National Artist for Sculpture, was also a founding member of the Union Espiritista Cristiana de Filipinas. He'd communicate with dead heroes through seances, ask them about themselves in order to get their busts to come out correctly. He even wrote a book, "Si Rizal" where Tolentino has a transcript of him talking to Rizal through a medium.
3. Thomas Edison, the man hailed for inventions like the lightbulb and the phonograph, was also quite the avid filmmaker. He was commissioned by the U.S. government to create propaganda films about the Philippine American War. He showed us some of the clips which were supposedly shot in the Philippines, but actually took place in generic looking jungles in the U.S. using an all-American cast with African Americans playing the Filipinos.