A magnificent literary figure, he was actually small in stature, and could probably blend into a crowd if he wanted to. But he didn’t. Wielding an extraordinarily sharp wit, he set the world on fire with his writings, inspiring reformist fervor and patriotism in his countrymen. He was also a passionate chronicler, recording the goings-on around him in his notebooks, sketchbooks, letters to friends and family, and his literary works.
José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda, or simply Jose Rizal, is best known for his novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Possessing a level of mastery in narrative and form unequaled by writers in the country during his time, Rizal’s works, which range from complex poems to simple folk stories, are considered among the world’s foremost classics.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of Jose Rizal’s birth on 19 June 1861. To celebrate this momentous occasion, Vibal Foundation will mount a multimedia tribute to the life and legacy of the First Filipino, through our web, audiovisual, and print projects.
The Complete Jose Rizal
Filipiniana.net, the premiere digital library of the Philippines, will present The Complete Jose Rizal on 10 June 2011. This comprehensive compilation of Rizal’s works will include his letters, novels, and essays. It will also feature valuable hard-to-find archival materials on his life and times, such as images and public domain biographies.
Fully accessible online at Filipiniana.net’s Jose Rizal portal, the collection will prove a valuable resource for students and casual readers as well as academics and historians.
Also in June, WikiPilipinas.org will feature the Rizaliana Encyclopedia, containing expanded entries on special Rizal topics, as well as chapter summaries and character profiles for Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.
Featuring articles tailored for a wide readership, the “Hip n’ Free Philippine Encyclopedia” will serve as a supplement for Filipiniana.net’s offerings and provide additional information and essential facts to round out our picture of life during Rizal’s time, allowing us to better appreciate his contributions to society.
Jose Rizal did not only pen social commentaries and complex narratives. He also wrote kwentong bayan, or tales for country folk, as well as stories for children, such as Ang Pagong at ang Matsing (The Turtle and the Monkey), a fable about the virtues of friendship and honesty.
In order to let today’s children better appreciate this timeless tale, the Vibal Foundation will release in Jose Rizal’s birth month a trilingual interactive e-book of Ang Pagong at ang Matsing for the iPad, featuring an intuitive interface, gorgeous graphics and an immersive score. Noli Me Tangere will also receive the interactive e-book treatment, to be released in installments of several chapters each.
Children and adults alike can enjoy these e-book apps, another milestone for the Philippines’ first interactive e-book publisher.
In addition, Vee Press, the Foundation’s digital book division, will be re-issuing key translations of Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, as well as essential biographies of Jose Rizal by renowned authors.
Special Print Editions
In cooperation with Instituto Cervantes, Vibal Foundation will publish a special Spanish edition of Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, acknowledging the literary and scholarly value of the original text in its original language.
Also to be published are bilingual editions, placing the original Spanish text side-by-side with Charles Derbyshire’s famous English translation.
A special edition of Lolo Jose, the biography written by Rizal’s grandniece Asuncion Lopez-Bantug, will be released in June. It will feature a new enhanced DVD containing the Lolo Jose documentary (featuring additional interviews with descendants of Rizal’s siblings and historical experts) and a compilation of texts and images from The Complete Jose Rizal, also available on Filipiniana.net.
For more information on the Vibal Foundation, its projects, publications, and our celebration of Jose Rizal’s 150th year, you may contact us at:
Address: 1253 G. Araneta Avenue, Quezon City, 1104, Philippines
Tel. no.: +63 (2) 712-9156 to 59 loc 343 to 344
Fax no.: +63 (2) 4168460