MANUEL H. BERNABE

 (1890-1960)

 

 

          A poet, linguist, and politician, Manuel Bernabe was born on February 17, 1890 to Timoteo Bernabe and Emilia Hernandez of Paranaque, Rizal.

 

          He studied at the Ateneo de Manila where he finished his

Bachelor of Arts degree with high academic standing. In 1910, Manuel's first paem was published in the Renacimiento Filipino. In 1912, he translated Virgil's Aenid from Latin to Spanish. In 1913, he received an award for his poems The Hymn to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, El Zapote, and Espaņa en Filipinas.

  

In 1912, he joined the staff of La Democracia and in 1918, of La Vanguardia of the Roces Publications. He was a columnist but from time to time he also published poems and short stories.

 

          Manuel also excelled in the balagtasan, where his stalwart adversary was Jesus Balmori.  His other works were: Cantos del Tropico (1929) which contained the Spanish translations of Rubaiyat of Omar khayyam and Perfil de la Cresta. For high academic and excellent performance, Manuel was chosen a member of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language in the Philippines in 1930 and was named poet laureate in Spanish on February 25, 1950. And for his untiring efforts in the propagation and conservation of the Spanish language, Bernabe received two decorations from Spain - El Yugo y las Flechas in 1940 and Orden de Isabela la Catolica in 1953.

 

          In 1951, he accompanied President Elpidio Quirino on the latter's state visit to Spain.

 

          He retired from politics and once more joined the journalistic profession in the La Vanguardia. He was appointed professor of Spanish at the University of the Philippines. and a technical assistant for Filipino-Spanish Relations at Malacaņang from 1943-1447.

 

          Bernabe died of coronary tuberculosis on November 29, 1960, at barrio La Huerta, Paranaque.

 

 

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