Dr. Dumol’s ‘Manila Synod of 1582’ translation wins National Book Award

By UA&P Alumni

Last November 12, Dr. Paul Dumol was announced as one of the winners of the 34th National Book Awards for his translation of “Manila Synod of 1582: The Draft of Its Handbook for Confessors.” Dr. Dumol bested four other translated works including E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web” as translated by Eugene Yvasco, and Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” as translated by Edgardo Maranan.

The other two books up for the award were accounts on Philippine history: “Ang Diablo sa Filipinas Ayon sa mga Casulatan Luma sa Kastila” translated by Benedict Anderson, Carlos Sardiña Galache, and Ramon Guillermo, and “History of Ilocos Vols. I and II” translated by Maria Elinora Peralta-Imson.

The announcement was made at the National Book Development Board (NBDB) offices in Pasig City by NBDB Chair Flor Marie Sta. Romana Cruz and Manila Critics Circle (MCC) Chair Isagani Cruz.

Written by the first Bishop of Manila Domingo de Salazar after hearing reports from Filipinos of the abuses they received from Spanish officials and soldiers, the handbook for confessors not only listed the cases in detail, but also vividly portrayed a number of missionaries who defended native rights and human dignity. Kabayan Central explains that the handbook went through several challenges during publication including delays brought about by the death of Salazar, and a calamity that destroyed almost half the manuscript. A copy of the surviving chapters was eventually made by scribes who incorporated early 17th century annotations haphazardly into the main text. Dr. Dumol managed not only translating the text into English, but also the painstaking task of extricating the annotations and reconstructing the original text.

Dr. Dumol, also known as the playwright of “Ang Paglilitis kay Mang Serapio,” is a literature professor at the University of Asia and the Pacific.

Published by Ateneo de Manila University Press, “Manila Synod of 1582” was also lauded for its design by artist and National Book Awardee Karl Frederick Castro.

The winners of the 34th National Book Awards will be awarded on December 5 at the Old Senate Session Hall, located at the third floor of the Museum of Fine Arts at the National Museum in Manila. Hosted by the NBDB and Manila Critics Circle, the National Book Awards is an annual event that recognizes books published in the previous year.

To know more about the winners of the 34th National Book Awards, visit the official NBDB website here.