Monday, June 12, 2017

Philippine Independence Day

Today is Independence Day in Philippines, commemorating the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain in 1898. Neither Spain nor the United States recognized Philippine independence, with the U.S. gaining control later that year.

In a blatant display of colonialism, the United States officially granted independence to Philippines on July 4, 1946. July 4th was chosen by the U.S. in order that the date would be forever tied to the U.S. Independence Day. However, the date was officially changed by Presidential Proclamation No. 28, in 1962, which declared June 12 a special public holiday throughout the Philippines.

Coincidentally, I am currently reading a novel by Philippine national hero, José Rizal. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had read Rizal's Noli Me Tángere, as translated by María Soledad Lacson-Locsin, about fifteen years ago. I know fifteen years is a very long time, and one's memory can play tricks, but I see few similarities between that translation and the 1912 translation by Charles Derbyshire that I'm reading now. Nothing seems familiar.

Also, as I mentioned in the earlier post, following Noli Me Tángere, I'll move on to Derbyshire's translation of the novel's sequel, El Filibusterismo.

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