Tag Archives: noli me tangere

My (second and third) day with the Rizal manuscripts

Taken with my iPod's crappy camera

I know all three of you readers may be tired of all my posts on the original Rizal manuscripts — I believe this is the fourth one? — but I hope that you will humor me this one last time.

Over the weekend, I made two more trips (Friday and Saturday) to the National Library to take a look not just at the original manuscripts — I’d seen them up close before anyway — but also at the other Rizal artifacts that the National Library had on display in celebration of our national hero’s sesquicentennial. And as it turns out, the National Library did have more artifacts in its vaults than just the “Noli”, the “Fili”, and the “Mi Ultimo Adios”.

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Your week in books #8

The return of the comeback! It’s been months since I last put up one of these, so I hope I can come up with some interesting stuff to present to you readers in bullet form.

  • Of course, this week’s big news is still the exhibit of the original manuscripts of Jose Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere” and “El Filibusterismo” at the National Library of the Philippines. While I had originally blogged that the exhibit was only until today, the National Library has been ordered by the President himself to extend it up to Monday, June 20. So for those of you with an interest in history and our national hero, it’s best to check this exhibit out. The last time these works were exhibited to the general public was in the 60s, and you guys certainly don’t want to wait another 40 years to get to see these priceless historical relics.
  • What has been keeping the Internet abuzz, though, is J.K. Rowling’s announcement of her new project, Pottermore. All everybody has right now is just a website, though; Rowling says the big announcement will come maybe five days from now. Mark your calendars!
  • While some of my elementary school classmates grew up on Tintin, I grew up on a healthy diet of Funny komiks, Hardy Boys, Sweet Valley High, and Asterix comics. And as the cover on the right suggests, Asterix had quite a lot of violence in it. Probably because they had nothing better to do, a group of academics have analyzed the violence in these books in detail and published a study about in the European Journal of Neurosurgery, Acta Neurochirurgica. The results are just what you’d expect. (Source)

Calling all Rizal and history buffs!

Remember back in May 9, when I posted this blog about spending a day with the original manuscripts of Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere”, “El Filibusterismo”, “Mi Ultimo Adios”, and “Guillermo Tell”?

The people at the National Library told me that they’d tell me when the manuscripts would be put up on display after they were restored by visiting German conservators. Weeks passed with me not getting any word about it, so I assumed that something fell through.

Then I got this in the old email inbox:

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My day with the Rizal manuscripts

Me being dorky beside the original manuscript of the "Noli".

I think it was back in my fourth year in college that I made my first trip to the National Library of the Philippines. Me and my classmates were writing a paper on the little known Filipino writer Nita Umali Berthelsen, whose works you can only now find in the National Library. Aside from being impressed by their extensive collection of Filipiniana serials, I remember fearing for my life riding their temperamental elevator, which had the unnerving habit of shutting down between floors.

The second time I was there was several years later, when my editor asked me to write about the National Library. This time around I had a tour of the whole place, from their section for blind people all the way up to their copy of the very first issue of the Manila Bulletin, the country’s oldest newspaper. The only section were I wasn’t given access to was the Rare Books and Special Collections section, which is where they keep the original manuscripts of Rizal’s works as well as the Philippine Revolutionary Papers. Of course, I obsessed about getting inside that section ever since.

This year, I sort of got my wish.

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