RSS Feed

Of Spanish Ties

Posted on

OF SPANISH TIES
(A Sonnet)
Hilario Ziálcita y Legarda

What binds us to Mother Spain
who, in truth, loves us, her sons?
What strange force attracts us
To her people with bonds of brotherhood?

What treasures do we have of her culture,
her Christian tradition, her fervent faith,
her romantic language, its cadence,
Castilian elegance bequeathed to me?

When you circled the globe, the first
in your daring voyage of exploration,
you encountered the Philippines

Thus meriting the world’s admiration…
She, the heiress of your charms,
Thanks you with all her heart.

Manila, June 1999

From left to right: the poet Edwin A. Lozada, Don Hilario Ziálcita y Legarda, and Javier Galván (former director of the Instituto Cervantes de Manila). Photo taken on 27 June 2002 at the Casino Español in Ermita, Manila.

As a young man, Hilario Ziálcita y Legarda (b. 1913) wrote poems in Spanish and had them published in the Spanish language newspapers of the 1930s. Although he wanted to pursue a career in poetry, he took up medical studies instead. He finished high school and pre-med at the Ateneo de Manila and his formal medical studies at the University of Santo Tomás. After the liberation of the Philippines he pursued higher studies in radiology at Michigan University, at Ann Arbor, USA.

He was in charge of radiology at the U.S. Army 49th General Hospital at Fort McKinley in (sic) 1949-50 and in the U.S. Veterans Administration Office in Manila until 1959. He was the Chief Radiologist at the Chinese General Hospital. With Dr. Paterno Chikiamco, he organized the Philippine Radiology Society and was president at one time. He returned to America in 1986 and worked for the U.S. Army and Air Force until his last assignment at Fort McPherson, Atlanta, Georgia, when he retired in 1993.

Despite his busy career, he had taken time to pursue graduate studies in Spanish at San Juan de Letrán College and in English Literature at the Ateneo de Manila before going abroad. After retiring from the practice of medicine, he went back to his old love — writing poems in Spanish.

From his bilingual book, The Manila Galleon and Other Poems, published by Caridad Z. Sevilla and printed by Eres Printing Corporation, 2004)

Click here for the Spanish version of this blogpost!

About these ads

6 responses »

  1. maggie zialcita tomas

    hey that’s my favorite uncle.
    im proud of him and thank you
    for writing a blog on him.

    Reply
  2. esperamos ver publicados aquí algunos de esos poemas Pepe.
    Gracias por exponer a la luz pública a los grandes hombres filipinos.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: More “new propagandists” to the Filipino cause! « FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES

  4. Pingback: Don Hilario Ziálcita y Legarda goes back home… « FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES

Please share your thoughts about this article.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 819 other followers

%d bloggers like this: