Thursday, November 16, 2006

Untold Pinoy Story No. 3

Anak ng Jueteng!

Pepe hailed from a well-off family in a town south of Manila but just like the rest of us, he still dreamed of manna from heaven. That’s why he was an avid bettor of the popular local numbers game called jueteng.

Jueteng is an illegal numbers game which had been brought to the Philippines from China. The name means flower (jue) and bet (teng). A bet is made up of a pair of numbers from 1 to 37. Most of the time, the chosen pair of numbers is meant to signify birthdays of the bettor’s family members. Sometimes, they are based on images in the bettor’s dream, with each image represented by a number.

With the lure of quick riches via a lucrative payout, jueteng’s popularity crosses social and economic boundaries. It is therefore not surprising that even a well-educated and well-respected man like Pepe got hooked into it. But unlike most folks who were just milked dry of their last peso without ever winning, Pepe was lucky enough to win.

Pepe used the proceeds of his jueteng windfall to purchase a piece of land somewhere in Zamboanga. He lived there for many years, helping the children cope with their miserable lives in that southern province.

However, it is ironic that while jueteng money led to the downfall of a Phillipine president and threatens the country’s current president, the same jueteng money was instrumental in Pepe’s efforts to improve the lives of people in that forgotten southern town.

Pepe’s heroic deeds for the children and townsfolk of that southern town of Dapitan where he bought a piece of land from his jueteng winnings have been immortalized in various films, the latest of which was Tikoy Aguiluz’s Rizal sa Dapitan.

Yes, the man we call Pepe was our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.

And yes, Dr. Jose Rizal was an avid jueteng bettor.

And you know the rest of his story.
Image from
NEXT: A Holy Man Among Kings and Drunkards


Leah said...

Wow, what a great story, I'm glad you told it and well written too.

Can I link you up?

Nick said...

Thanks for the kind words, Leah.
Yes, I would appreciate a link-up.

Anonymous said...

pa link din, ang galing hehe

now, my horny readers can read far more important infos than porn :)

Nick said...

Hey Paolo.
My apologies for this late reply.
Thanks for dropping by. Thanks also for the kind words.
A link-up? Absolutely YES.

sonoftheprodigal said...

ang ganda naman ng mga sinusulat mo. where do you get these?


Nick said...

Hey Noel.

marielitams said...

yep... i remember this story. profs in UP would tell us that rizal would refuse to visit brothels just like the other filipinos in spain but would be content in betting his money. but another story says that it's the lottery that won him, i think, 20,000 pesos. hehe. im not sure... :D

love your stories. they keep me guessing :D

Anonymous said...

I learned about this from my Rizal Course in U.P. Diliman...I felt sorry for the other students who attended "other" schools kasi "edited" yung mga required reading sa Rizal Course nila. Thank goodness, U.P. teaches history without "sanitizing" the facts.

Nick said...

Hey Mariel.
Thanks for sharing your Rizal course memories. You must really be a conscientious student to remember those details. I don't remember anything from my Rizal course in UP. On second thought, I might have heard this story from my P.I. 100 class.
Thanks for your kind words.
Thanks for dropping by.

Hey Anonymous.
Just like Mariel (see above), you must really be a diligent student to remember those stories from your Rizal course.
A UP education is indeed a privilege. I'll always treasure my UP days.
I hope that you'll leave your name next time.
Thanks for dropping by.

Unknown said...

i remembered that Rizal was fond of gambling during one of the discussions in my Rizal class but i can't remember which one. thanks for this info. all i can remember from that class was rizal's love stories. hehe...

Anonymous said...

hmmm..I am impressed by your "untold stories"..I used to be a total insider in showbiz and now residing in merica, too. some of your subjects are known to me...Were you an insider too?

Nick said...

Hey pinkroma.
Thanks for dropping by.
Watch out for my next story.

Hey me.
Thanks for your kind words.
No, I'm not an insider. Which aspect of show business were you involved in?
Thanks for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

hi nick,
I just started to read your blog and now I'm so hooked. I'm a huge fan of historical trivia. Like the others, I loved my PI 100 class because of the interesting things I learned from my prof whose name escapes me now (he reminds me of the Tonette character in iskul bukol..I'm so sorry but it's the closest description I can get hehe) anyway, may I also link you up to one of my blogs? I'm pretty sure my friends will love your posts. Your blog has inspired me to read more. Thanks and I hope you will keep them coming :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Nick,

Do I need to open a google account to read your other entries? Love your stories...