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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Restoring Filipino Art, Culture and History in the Moldering Manuscripts of Rizal’s Noli and Fili

Noli Me Tangere original manuscript
Two of the greatest novels in the history of Philippine politics are “Noli Me Tangere” which the great Filipino Hero and polymath Jose Rizal has written in 1887 and has published in Berlin, Germany and “El Filibusterismo”, the sequel to “Noli”, which he published later in 1891 in Ghent, Belgium.

El Filibusterismo original manuscript
Those two novels have released the consciousness of the Filipinos against the colonial government of the King of Spain and the Spanish Friars, which have fueled the Revolution of 1896.

Vault w/c secures the manuscripts
Ms. Rosette Crelencia
Over a hundred years afterwards, the original manuscripts, which Dr. Jose Rizal himself has bound are in danger of irreversible obliteration because of decay. Some pages have accrued molds and tear. The manuscripts are in the custody of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section in the National Library where they keep them inside a vault with a cooling temperature of 18-20 degrees Celsius to prevent the papers from deteriorating. However, according to Rosette Crelencia, the section head of the National Library, the Library’s air-conditioning system fluctuate and could not provide adequate cool temperature consistently 24/7.

It is good news that Germany and the Philippines have joined hands in an attempt to restore the original manuscripts. People from the Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach will go to Manila to aid the conservation and restoration of the manuscripts. They will bring in funds to buy new equipment for the project.

The value of the novels “Noli Me Tangere” and “El Filibusterismo” in Philippine history is priceless especially to the present and future generations. Kudos to Germans and Filipinos!

Images are screenshots from the GMA News You Tube video below. View for complete details:

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