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Sour grapes

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Salcedo Auctions lived up to its “praise releases” recently by setting new auction records in the Rare Books department. Last month a first edition of Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere,” published in Berlin in 1887, was put on the block with an estimate of P300-350,000; it sold at a whopping hammer price of P6 million. If you add the buyer’s premium and the value-added tax, the actual price paid was P7 million—the highest ever paid for a Philippine book.

Posted: October 1st, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Manuel Luis Quezon and sukiyaki

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Preparing for Manuel L. Quezon’s private trip to Japan on June 29-July 10, 1938, must have been a logistical nightmare because his itinerary was always changing. This was neither an official nor a state visit because the president of the Philippine Commonwealth could not chart or initiate foreign affairs, which remained with the US government until the Philippines was granted independence.

Posted: September 26th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Quezon in Japan, 1938

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Grant K. Goodman (1924-2014) was a historian who specialized in Japan and Asia. After his retirement from the University of Kansas, he used to describe himself as an “extinguished” rather than the distinguished professor he truly was. I was drawn to him at conferences because of his engaging presentations and his interest in the Philippines.

Posted: September 24th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

With Ricarte in Yokohama

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In Tokyo, the International House of Japan has a famous reference library that has on its locked Rare Book shelf a privately printed book, “Nippon in Spring” by Esmeraldo E. de Leon, the “Souvenir of the Second Filipino Students Educational Party to Japan in 1936.”

Posted: September 19th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Books and privacy

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What books are significant to you? Facebook introduced this challenge to get people engaged and read the advertisements that boost its revenues. Facebook friends ask the same intrusive question to get people to disclose a bit more about themselves. Don’t think too hard, they ask, just give a list.

Posted: September 17th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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