[Blueboard] VENUE CHANGE: ATENEO ART GALLERY for El Campeon Book Launch, 5 March 2013

Ma. Luz C. Vilches mvilches at ateneo.edu
Fri Mar 1 10:17:53 PHT 2013

Dear Friends,

On March 5, El Campeón, a novel by Filipino writer Antonio M. Abad, is
set to make its debut at 4:30PM in the ATENEO ART GALLERY at Ateneo de
Manila University.

Although a recipient of the Commonwealth Literature Prize in 1940, it
has remained unpublished until now. It is the third title in the
collection Clásicos Hispanofilipinos, a project initiated in 2009 by,
Instituto Cervantes de Manila, the cultural arm of the Spanish
Embassy, to revive an area of Philippine literature often neglected
and shrouded in mystery - works by Filipino authors written in
Spanish.  The publication of El Campeon was made possible through the
collaboration between and among Instituto Cervantes, the Embassy of
Spain, UnionBank, Ateneo de Manila University and Colegio de San Luis,
A.C. (Mexico).

Antonio M. Abad (1894-1970) was a poet, playwright, essayist and
novelist born in Barili (Cebu) and is frequently referred to as "the
greatest Hispanic Filipino novelist after Rizal". In 1927, he
published his first novel El Último Romantic. Two years after, he won
the Premio Zobel said to be the most prestigious award in the field of
Filipino literature for the novel, La Oveja de Nathan.

***Antonio Abad is the father of Poet Gemino Abad and grandfather of
Fictionist/Poet Cyan Abad-Jugo - both are teaching at the Ateneo
English department.***

The novel El Campeón is told from the point-of-view of the rooster
Banogon who, after suffering a crippling injury in a cockfight, has
been destined for the chopping board. However, because of his fame as
a cockfighting champion, he is instead brought to a farm where he is
to guard the mother hens from preying hawks. There, he befriends the
caretaker, with whom he shares the tales of his reign as a national
champion and the story of his first great love, Baikiki, whom he
eventually meets again in the den where he is destined to spend his
remaining days as a cripple. To fully appreciate the genius that Abad
had created, it must be noted that El Campeón was written during a
time when the American colonial government had been pushing for the
eradication of cockfighting in the Philippines. The novel was Abad's
reflection on the polemic that was resonating in the halls and in
streets of Manila then. In reply, Abad wrote about the art inherent in
this sport that many Filipinos, up to this very day, take delight in.

This edition of  EL CAMPEÓN  has been annotated by Mexican scholar
Salvador García (Colegio de San Luis, San Luis de Potosí, Mexico) who
taught Spanish this year at Ateneo de Manila's Modern Languages
Department, and Luisa Young, a Spanish instructor in the same
department.  El Campeón's publication is a significant contribution to
the preservation and appreciation of Filipino cultural heritage and
the School of Humanities takes joyful pride in helping uncover such a

Join us at the launch.


Associate Professor
Dean, School of Humanities
Loyola Schools, Ateneo de Manila University
Loyola Heights 1108, Quezon City, Philippines
Telephone (632) 4266001, Ext. 5300, 5301
Telephone & Fax (632)4261042

"I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."
           -W.B. Yeats

More information about the Blueboard mailing list