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Lot 144: Antonio de Morga (1559 - 1636) Annotated by José Rizal (1861 - 1896)

Est: ₱800,000 PHP - ₱1,040,000 PHPPassed
Leon GalleryJune 17, 2023Makati City, Philippines

Item Overview

Description


Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas
por el Doctor Antonio de Morga; Obra Publicada en Mejico en el Año de 1609, Nuevamente Sacada a Luz y Anotada por Jose Rizal, y Precedida de un Prologo del Prof. Fernando Blumentritt (Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas by Dr. Antonio de Morga; A Work Published in Mexico in the Year 1609, Brought to Light and Annotated By Jose Rizal With a Prologue by Prof. Fernando Blumentritt.) Libreria de Garnier Hermanos, Paris, 1890 First Edition

8 3/4" x 5 1/2" (21 cm x 14 cm) depth: 1/2" (1 cm)


PROVENANCE Private Collection, Manila



José Rizal's edition of Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas [Events of the Philippine Islands], the early history of the Philippines that Antonio de Morga published in Mexico in 1609, is, in a few words, the best work of research from the pen of the Calamba hero. To understand the significance of this fundamental title of the Rizalian bibliography, it is necessary to understand the context of indigenous identity vindication that the Filipino ilustrados were carrying out at that time. Pedro Paterno, an uncredited pioneer in this as in so many other things, had printed in Madrid a few years earlier an ethnohistorical essay with the eloquent title: La antigua civilización tagalog [The ancient Tagalog civilization] (1887). Paterno's thesis was that Tagalog was one of the great civilizations of Asia, and that traces of that greatness were also evident in the Filipinos during his years. Pardo de Tavera, who was always moved by a more scientific approach, published two linguistic studies in Europe's most prestigious journals that implicitly stressed a vindication of the Filipino identity through the Tagalog language: Contribución para el estudio de los antiguos alfabetos filipinos [Contribution to the study of ancient Filipino alphabets] (Lausanne, 1884) and El sánscrito en la lengua tagala [Sanscrit in Tagalog language] (Paris, 1887). In 1887 Pardo de Tavera got a copy of Juan de Plasencia's manuscript on the ancient customs and rules of the Tagalogs, which he only published with annotations in 1892. With the same purpose, though in a more didactic and pragmatic spirit, Isabelo de los Reyes launched the bi-monthly journal El Ilocano in 1889. Thus, Rizal's intention in publishing the magnum opus of the Andalusian oidor of the Audiencia of Manila was in accord with that of the best-educated intellectuals in the Philippines during those years. What perhaps set Rizal apart from his colleagues was undoubtedly his passion, his artistic and imaginative talent and, of course, his ambition. Why did Rizal decide to transcribe, edit and annotate the long chronicle of a Spanish colonizer? Let us recall the profile of Morga's chronicle: a work written from an imperial perspective, structured around the different governors who had ruled the Philippines until then, with special emphasis on their role in the defense of Manila Bay in the battle against the Dutch. Retana has stressed that the work must have been written to clear Morga’s own name, as his attitude during the heat of battle was far from honorable, according to some witnesses. What must have caught Rizal's attention in his tireless bibliographic searches in the British Library must have been that the book was a rara avis among so many ecclesiastical chronicles: Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas is an interesting and engaging political and civil chronicle. But above all, what must have caught his attention was Chapter VIII, which contains a detailed description of Philippine cultures, nature, richness of resources, and geography during the early days of contact with the Spaniards, a description in which the natives are consistently delineated in positive terms. For example: “The people who inhabit this great island of Luzon [...] are medium in body, of a baked quince color, well built, both men and women, very black hair, little beard, good wits for whatever they put their minds to, sharp and choleric, and of good determination. They all live by their farms, labors and fishing and contracting, sailing from one island to another by sea, and from one province to another by land.” Rizal believed it was absolutely necessary that his fellow countrymen should know about this. The juiciest part of this edition are, of course, Rizal’s footnotes, which intervene frequently to contradict Morga, to explain etymologies, to deepen the understanding of matters that would not be clear enough, or even, to emphasize that certain customs were still maintained in his time, and to confront Morga's opinions with his own or with those of the Jesuit chroniclers Pedro Chirino and Francisco Colín, or the guide of the Franciscans, Buzeta and Bravo. Rizal does not behave in any case as Morga’s ally. If Morga, for example, pointed out the tendency of the natives to get drunk easily, Rizal intervenes to comment that it is a custom that fortunately was no longer familiar. In this sense, Rizal's edition of Morga constitutes a very personal work, in which his love for the Filipino people sometimes makes him lose his philological and historical objectivity, as his friend and colleague Ferdinand Blumentritt delicately reproached him in the introduction — which Rizal, with his characteristic spirit of chivalry and loyalty to his friend, included without censure. However, it is difficult to reproach Rizal for anything when the point at the time was to underline a fundamental thesis: that the inhabitants of the pre-Hispanic Philippines had a high degree of civilization and that the supposed cultural and material development obtained thanks to the arrival of the Spaniards and, above all, the friars, was not so big as believed. If there is something we can criticize about Rizal's footnotes, it is his excessive patriotism, as Isabelo de los Reyes himself pointed out to him, and which provoked an angry polemic between both of them in La Solidaridad. Historian Ambeth Ocampo, commenting on this book, concluded that "the significance of Rizal's view of Philippine history is that its influence is still felt and, taken in the context of Philippine historiography remains the key to an understanding of the reconstruction of the Philippine past as a means to forge a national identity.” José Rizal was the first Spanish speaker to see the value and rarity of Morga's work —even today there are very few copies of the original 1609 edition-, and the Spanish-language reprints that have followed must be credited to his re-discovery. The battle for the legitimate aspirations of the Filipinos that had begun through his literary talent in his well-known novels, gave way with this important textual rescue to a strategy of identity and historical re-definition. Therefore, José Rizal’s edition of Morga’s chronicle constitutes at the same time a pioneer work of Philippine scholarship and an essential chapter in the history of Philippine nationalism.

Artist or Maker

Payment & Shipping

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Shipping

Auction house will help to arrange shipment at buyer's expense.

Auction Details

The Spectacular Mid-Year Auction 2023

by
Leon Gallery
June 17, 2023, 02:00 PM PST

Eurovilla 1, Rufino corner Legazpi Streets, Legazpi Village, Makati City, PH

Terms

Buyer's Premium

22.0%

Bidding Increments

From:To:Increment:
₱0₱9,999₱1,000
₱10,000₱19,999₱2,000
₱20,000₱59,999₱5,000
₱60,000₱199,999₱10,000
₱200,000₱399,999₱20,000
₱400,000₱799,999₱50,000
₱800,000₱1,999,999₱100,000
₱2,000,000₱4,999,999₱200,000
₱5,000,000₱9,999,999₱500,000
₱10,000,000+₱1,000,000

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Auction house will help to arrange shipment at buyer's expense.

Payment

a. The balance of the invoice must be paid in full and merchandise picked up within three (3) days from the date of the sale. One week after the auction, left items may be moved to an off-site facility for pick-up. A storage fee will be charged if merchandise is left longer than two (2) weeks of One Hundred Pesos (Php 100) per lot per day. If the property is left longer than four (4) weeks, it will be considered abandoned. We are not responsible for shipping, but if packing and handling of purchased lots will be done by us, it is done at the entire risk of the purchaser. A refundable deposit may be required.

b. Cash, cashier's check, wire transfer, personal check (items may be held until the check clears). If any legal action is commenced to enforce these Conditions of Sale, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover its reasonable attorney's fees and costs. Time is of the essence.

Payments shall be wired to:

Account Name: Leon Gallery
Account Number: 2166008845
Address: G/F Corinthian Plaza, 121 Paseo de Roxas, Legazpi Village, Makati City, Philippines
Swift Code: MBTCPHMM