Thursday, April 17, 2008
Did Jose Rizal Ever Write or Publish in Tagalog?
I've been asking this question among knowledgeable friends and acquaintances, both here and abroad because I honestly do not know the answer and cannot myself point to any verifiable work of his that would qualify in the affirmative. Whenever the Language Wars flare up I often get thrown in my face the following quotation attributed to him:
Ang siyang hindî nagmamahal sa sariling wikà,
Ay mas mabantot pa sa bulok at malansang isdâ
But can anyone tell me when and where he is supposed to have written or said this and what might be the authoritative reference for the oft-repeated claim. We know of course that he wrote the most masterful Español and was quite literate in French, German and English, with a smattering of Japanese thanks to sometime paramours and girlfriends. (His common law wife Josephine Bracken, with whom he fathered a son, spoke English, though badly we are told.)
My good friend the antiquarian and goldsmith Ramon Villegas also points to Makamisa, alleged by Ambeth Ocampo to be an unfinished novel in Tagalog. But half a chapter hardly qualifies as "an unfinished novel" and I consider the report apocryphal, though I am largely ignorant of the details of the supporting research.
If you know of any other works by Rizal in Tagalog please let me know in the Comment Thread.
For those interested in how to raise money for NGOs and foundations, please visit the weblog of another good friend, John Silva. who is also associated with the National Museum.
Long on my blogroll and a favorite is this Bikolnon poet.
Sacre bleu! -- The French worry about Anglospheric hegemony.
Many thanks to "Angela Stuart Santiago" in the Comment Thread for pointing out a poem by Jose Rizal that contains the line cited above about smelly fish and those who loathe their own native language. Given the valuable info I found Spanish and English translations of that poem (Sa Aking Kababata -- A Mis Companeros De Ninez -- To My Childhood Companions) in the 1961 book, The Complete Poems of Jose Rizal in Spanish and English, "Where Slaves There Are None". Lo and behold, the translation from Tagalog into Spanish is by Epifanio de los Santos (EDSA!) . The English Translations are by Alfredo S. Veloso. The book is illustrated by Alfredo R. Roces. and was published by Vasquez Bros. & Co. Inc. for the Rizal Centenary in 1961. There are only one or two things that bother me about this however. Angela's reference says the original in Tagalog was written in 1869, when Rizal was but eight years old. But then again all the rest of the poems and plays in the book are equally sophisticated. The second observation is this IS the only poem in the whole volume said to be originally in Tagalog. The others are all Spanish, as most of Rizal's written works are. Thanks again to everyone who contributed to this post, especially Angela Stuart Santiago. I think we shall see more of Rizal's poetry around here and read on my poetry site as well, Reading Poetry Out Loud.
Posted By: Deany Bocobo
On Thursday, April 17, 2008
On Thursday, April 17, 2008