Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Leona Florentino (1849-84) Doyen of Philippine Literature in Spanish and Ilokano Poetry

Dr Abe V Rotor
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday
9th Year (Phase II)

Leona Florentino (1849-84)
“She sung the customs and tradition of their race, the thoughts and ideals of her people, the glory of Filipino womanhood, and the romanticism of her nation. Her mastery of Spanish and Iloko was unsurpassed by any other woman writer of her time, Because she was a devout Catholic, her poetry proved that art and religion can mix to express the glories of God, beauty and Fatherland.”
For her works exhibited in the Exposicion
General de Filipinas in Madrid 1887, and in
the Internationale Exposicion in Paris
Encyclopedia Internationale des Ouevres de Femmes
International Encyclopedia of Women’s Work, 1889

Leona Florentino was a Filipino poet in the Spanish and Ilocano languages. She is considered as the "mother of Philippine women's literature" and the "bridge from oral to literary tradition".

Blasted Hopes

Translation from Ilokano

What gladness and what joy
are endowed to one who is loved
for truly there is one to share
all his sufferings and his pain.

My fate is dim, my stars so low
perhaps nothing to it can compare,
for truly I do not doubt
for presently I suffer so.

For even I did love,
the beauty whom I desired
never do I fully realize
that I am worthy of her.

Shall I curse the hour
when first I saw the light of day
would it not have been better a thousand times
I had died when I was born.

Would I want to explain
but my tongue remains powerless
for now do I clearly see
to be spurned is my lot.

But would it be my greatest joy
to know that it is you I love,
for to you do I vow and a promise I make
it’s you alone for whom I would lay my life.

*Original poem in Ilokano

(Last Farewell)

Timudem man! O Imnas ni ayat,
ti un-unnoy toy seknan ni rigat;
imatangam, O puso ket imutektekannak
anusem a paliiwen toy daksanggasat.

Daksanggasat konak a ta maipusay
toy naldaang unay a bangkay;
ngem ni lagip dinto met bumalakday,
agnanayonto laeng a sitatarabay.

Kas panagpakada dagitoy nga innak baliksen,
ta toy bagik maipanaw kadagita taeng;
taeng ni ragsak, liwliwa nga innak lak-amen,
dinto met mapunas nga innak pampanunoten.

Silaladingit toy puso nga agpakada,
Adios laing, napusaksak nga asusena;
Iti sayamusom ti barukongko ipenpennaka,
tapno dinto maumag ti agdaplay a banglona.

Siaaddaakto laeng, ti taeng ni alinaay,
ta ditoy panunot salemseman ni tarumpingay;
tarabayennakto ni napait a liday,
ket isunto kaniak ti mangay-ay-ay.

Dios ti kumuyog, O napnuan sayaksak,
nga esmanto dagiti agay-ayat;
Dios ti kumuyog, salimetmetmo mangalasag,
ta tapno dayta sudim, taknengmo ti di marakrak. ~
Statue and plaza in honor of Leona Florentino, Vigan, Ilocos Sur. Note old Spanish houses, original in her time. This park is in the heart of this UNESCO Heritage City, the only kind in 

the world. Fronting the monument are Plaza Burgos, and not far, Plaza Salcedo, the historic cathedral and palace, seat of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia. Adjacent is the Divine Word College, then Colegio de la Imaculada Concepcion where the author studied in high school, and the old building of then St. Paul College of Vigan. 

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