This 1338-page book is a gift from the court interpreter who will be retiring soon. He loves novels and will be donating his fictions to my local school. I already spotted this heavyweight last time and I mentioned to him that he gift it to me because I personally "eye" it. Fellow bookworms bond...
Quickly, I skimmed the book and the quick index. Of course, I am interested what were the entries for the Filipinos... So far, I found Jose Rizal under the tagline Filipino-Spanish and Jose Garcia Villa under Filipino writing in English. What were my instant thoughts? Why was Jose Rizal not placed as Filipino when the others were under Chinese, Malay etc. I shall write of my thoughts on Villa separately.
WATER AND FIRE
Water are we, you say, and yourselves fire;
so let us be what we are and co-exist without ire, and may no conflagration ever find us at war.
But, rather, fused together by cunning science
within the cauldrons of the ardent breast,
without rage, without defiance,
do we form steam, fifth element indeed:
progress, life, enlightenment, and speed!
(Translated by Nick Joaquin)
I enjoyed this empowering poem.
It is very Filipino to be resilient...
to be "without rage, without defiance,"
But it is also very human to finally find our way...
"do we form steam, fifth element"
Our independence is achieved because of the fifth element
"progress, life, enlightenment, and speed!"
I wished there is one more entry.