“A landmark in both Filipino and Spanish literature…”
This was how Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Jorge Domecq described the first bilingual and critical edition of Jose Rizal’s Noli me Tangere, which was launched last November 22 at the Instituto Cervantes de Manila.
A first in Philippine publishing, Vibal Foundation and Instituto Cervantes collaborated in publishing the bilingual Noli Me Tangere edition in commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary this year of National Hero Jose Rizal. Edited by Spanish scholar and philologist Isaac Donoso, the book was supplemented with over 1,200 notes on both the published Berlin edition and the original manuscript, highlighting Rizal’s additions, deletions, and emendations.
“Nothing will compare to the experience of reading this version of Dr. Rizal’s work, and you will definitely find something more than meets the eye,” Amb. Domeqc noted.
The launch, held at the ampitheater of the Instituto Cervantes, turned out to be an auspicious occasion with the presence of National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose, dignitaries led by Amb. Domecq, members of the Rizal clan led by Ms. Lisa Bayot (a great granddaughter of Saturnina Rizal, Jose”s eldest sister); members of the media, as well as other industry and society figures. Representing the Vibal Group of Companies during the event were Vibal Foundation Executive Director Gaspar A. Vibal and Vibal Publishing House president Esther A. Vibal. They were warmly welcomed by Instituto Cervantes Deputy for Cultural Affairs Jose Maria Fons Guardiola.
In his speech delivered in three languages (English, Spanish, and Filipino) Donoso emphasized that the book will provide the opportunity for Spanish readers to read the original manuscript written in Español, while Charles Derbyshire’s English translation accompanies the Spanish text. Prior to the release of the bilingual Noli me Tangere, the original Spanish text could only be found in the National Library.
“This project makes Donoso a Filipino by heart. His passion and tireless effort in bringing the greatest Filipino novel available to Spanish readers, in its purest Spanish form, bridges the cultures of both nations,” said National Archives Director Ino Manalo in his speech. Manalo wrote the epilogue for the book while Rizal scholar Ambeth Ocampo was commissioned to write the prologue.
Copies of the bilingual Noli which were released with a special launch discount, were immediately sold out during the event.
“This event is a triumph for Rizal’s memory. It only shows that he is still the most relevant Filipino today,” Donoso remarked after the launch. ###