Utzurrum: ‘La Oveja’ by Abad

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014


HAVE you heard of the prestigious Premio Zobel? It is the oldest literary award in the country, established in 1920 by Don Enrique Zobel de Ayala, grandfather of foremost publisher, Georgina Padilla y Zobel de MacCrohon, who is a passionate Premio Zobel patron.

Georgina will be in Cebu on May 16, Friday, to launch the book La Oveja de Nathan (Nathan’s Sheep) authored by our very own, Barili-born, Antonio M. Abad, (1894-1970), one of the most respected Filipino writers in Spanish.

Considered as the worthy successor of Jose Rizal’s Noli Mi Tangere and El Filibusterismo, this literary masterpiece was awarded the Premio Zobel in 1929.

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Abad, 1926 had already won his first Zobel Award for his novel, El Ultimo Romantico, and is highly regarded as a giant in the Spanish literary and academic world, being the only Filipino writer to have won the award twice.

First published in 1928 by Editorial La Opinion in Manila, Calle Juan Luna, La Oveja de Nathan is set against the backdrop of Europe, ravaged by World War 1, resurgent America, and the Manila of the early 1920s. In the novel, the Philippines is portrayed as the Sacrificial lamb, lovingly protected by Spain, and coveted by rich, powerful America.

Eighty-six years after its first publication, Doña Georgina Padilla has revived Abad’s magnum opus as a bilingual edition under the Zobel Collection.

Well-known Hispanist and editor, Lourdes Castrillo-Brillantes, who is also a Premio Zobel Awardee, has faithfully translated the novel into English. The masterpiece, which captures vividly the rich and elegant early American period, will be launched on May 16, at the regular lunch meeting of the Amigos de España, at the Casino Español de Cebu.

Members of the Amigos whom we are featuring today, are all enjoined to attend this once-in-a-lifetime, historical-cum-literary event, the likes of which may not happen again in the near future.

“Read and buy the book, it’s a collector’s item," enthused la presidenta, Amparito Lhuillier and Amigos founder Don Jaime Picornell.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 08, 2014.

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