Rizal publishes new book

Noli Me TangereJOSE Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere” has been published in a new English translation and released worldwide by Penguin Books, one of the major publishing houses of the English-speaking world, under the Penguin Classics imprint. The publication effectively canonizes the novel as one of the classics of world literature.

It is the first time that a Southeast Asian title has been included in the Penguin Classics, which was started in 1946 with the publication of E.V. Rieu’s translation of Homer’s “Odyssey.”

In the book’s blurb, Penguin bills the “Noli” as “the book that sparked the Philippine revolution” and “the great novel of the Philippines.”

“[Rizal] is a prisoner of his own legend… Whoever he was in life has become irrelevant. He’s probably closer to Joan of Arc or St. George than he is to Jose Marti,” he said.

“[It] was the first major artistic manifestation of Asian resistance to European colonialism, and Rizal became a guiding conscience—and martyr—for the revolution that would subsequently rise up in the Spanish province,” Penguin said.

The new translation of the “Noli” was done by an American writer, Harold Augenbraum, a scholar of Hispanic-American letters and the executive director of the National Book Foundation and the National Book Awards.

“[Rizal] is a prisoner of his own legend… Whoever he was in life has become irrelevant. He’s probably closer to Joan of Arc or St. George than he is to Jose Marti,” he said.


Defying No Permit, No Rally

From Inq7.net

AROUND 150 lawyers and law students reached the foot of historic Mendiola Bridge around 2:15 p.m. Thursday afternoon in defiance of a government no permit-no rally policy that designates the area a no-rally zone.

The protesters, led by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), were joined by former vice president Teofisto Guingona as they assembled near the University of the East on Recto Avenue before kicking off their march around 2 p.m.

“I came here to support the lawyers,” said Guingona, a staunch critic of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The lawyers had vowed to hold a peaceful mass action at Mendiola, with or without a permit, to assert their right to freedom of expression and to peaceably assemble.

IBP president Jose Anselmo Cadiz said their protest is also to condemn the administration’s attempt to amend the Constitution through a people’s initiative, which critics assert is illegal.

Lawyer Neri Colmenares of the Counsels for the Defense of Liberties (CODAL) also said they were protesting to “uphold civil liberties and condemn political killings.”

Cadiz said the permit granted by Manila City Hall was only for Plaza Miranda.

But he said there was “no basis for not issuing a permit for Mendiola.”

In Malacañang, Solicitor General Eduardo Antonio Nachura advised his fellow lawyers to bring their protest to a venue allowed by law.

“Whatever message it is they want to convey, they can do it without using Mendiola,” Nachura told reporters. “The purpose will be achieved in the same manner.”

Nachura said Mendiola has been a no-rally area for a long time, thus there was no “real question on whether or not it was fair not to give a permit for a rally.”

Bishop Rosales Swipes Cha-Cha

Excerpt from Inq7.net article.

TAKING another swipe at Charter change, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales warned Filipinos in his New Year’s message that “new laws may not shape us into what we want.”

Calling for unity and sacrifice to lift the nation out of poverty, the 74-year-old Catholic leader said that what the public desired could be “put into life” better than what a new law could do.

Rosales earlier led a prayer rally at Manila’s Rizal Park to denounce the Arroyo administration’s attempt to hastily overhaul the Constitution. What the country needed was “character change,” not Charter change, he said.

Worst year for human rights in RP since Marcos

Here is an excerpt from Inq7.net

POLITICAL murders in the Philippines reached their highest level in 2006 since the toppling of dictator Ferdinand Marcos more than 20 years ago, human rights activists say.More than 180 activists — including journalists, human rights workers, left-wing politicians, trade unionists and lawyers — were assassinated this year for their criticism of those in power, they say.”An average of three extra-judicial killings is occurring every week in the country,” a Canadian human rights team concluded recently after a fact-finding mission to the Southeast Asian nation.

“A clear pattern of state-perpetrated politically motivated extrajudicial killings” was occurring in the country, the team said.