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This winter in New York has been called the worst winter yet, with several significant snowstorms in the last couple of weeks.  Now is the perfect time to check out a post by Nestor Palugod Enriquez on the Blizzard of 1888.

Jose Rizal

As a trustee of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) and an online historian, Enriquez has been connecting Filipino-Americans to their past for over ten years through various bulletin boards, magazine contributions and with his own website (www.filipinohome.com).  Here is an excerpt of his story of Filipino national hero Jose Rizal* in New York City:

The 2010 blizzard is very mild when compared with the most famous snowstorm in American history, the Blizzard of 1888. It has acquired an almost legendary status. The White Hurricane caught New York by surprise with heavy snowfall and frigid lower temperatures. The blizzard’s combination of inclement conditions has been unmatched in human tolls. Rizal arrived in Manhattan just a couple of months later. The blizzard cancelled the scheduled Mark Twain speaking engagement in the city. He was also worried about running out of cigars and not able to come home in Connecticut.

[Cuban national hero and writer Jose] Marti** described New York as ‘a city silent, deserted, shrouded, buried under the snow.’  But he also paid tribute to the courage and ingenuity of New Yorkers in coping with the great disaster… ‘For two days, the snow has had New York in its power, encircled, terrified, like a prize fighter driven to the canvas by a sneak punch. But the moment the attack of the enemy slackened, as soon as the blizzard has spent its first fury, New York, like the victim of an outrage, goes about freeing itself of its shroud.’

Read the rest on the FANHS Metro New York site.