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Epifanio de los Santos

Writing history is writing the soul of the past...

Epifanio de los Santos y Cristóbal (7 April 187118 April 1928), sometimes known as Don Pañong or Don Panyong, was a Filipino humanist historian, literary critic, art critic, jurist, prosecutor, antiquarian, scholar, painter, musician, musciologist, philosopher, philologist, archivist, journalist, chief-editor, bibliographer, paleographer, ethnographer, biographer, civil servant and patriot. He was appointed director of the Philippine Library and Museum by Governor General Leonard Wood in 1925.

QuotesEdit

  • Today’s events are tomorrow’s history, yet events seen by the naked eye lack the depth and breadth of human struggles, triumphs and suffering. Writing history is writing the soul of the past... so that the present generation may learn from past mistakes, be inspired by their ancestor’s sacrifices, and take responsibility for the future.
    • As quoted in Epifanio de los Santos by Fernando Bernardo. Silent storms: inspiring lives of 101 great Filipinos. Anvil Publishing, Inc.(2000). p. 37–38.
  • We Filipinos are the most promising people in the world. We have unheard-of-possibilities. There have never been a people similarly situated. Here we are in the Orient with our Oriental thoughts and sentiments, but living amid a civilization more Western than was ever known in The East. The Philippines is the only country where East meets West. The Filipino is a true cosmopolitan. From him the world may expect something new and distinctive.
    • As quoted in “Don Pañong – Genius" by A.V.H. Hartendorp in Philippine Magazine (September 1929), p. 210
  • When I left the University of Santo Tomas, I had but a smattering of Spanish. My friends made sport of me. What keen mortification did I suffer at my ignorance! One day, no longer able to stand the jeerings of my friends, I made up my mind to learn Spanish. I purchased a dozen good novels and began to read. I did not spend hours over a grammar, but just kept on reading, taking care to remember the idioms. In the meantime my library grew. At the end of three years my knowledge of Spanish and of literature in general was far beyond that of my friends. It was then my turn to laugh!
    • As quoted in “Don Pañong – Genius" by A.V.H. Hartendorp in Philippine Magazine (September 1929), p. 211
  • Lazy geniuses! There are no such men. Laziness and genius never go hand in hand. Each excludes the other. Laziness is the best proof of the absence of genius.
    • As quoted in “Don Pañong – Genius" by A.V.H. Hartendorp in Philippine Magazine (September 1929), p. 211
  • The time has come when we should have a critical, official, monumental edition of all of Rizal's works, with illustrations contributed by Luna about other artists of ours... When every Filipino home shall contain such a national work, stimulative of autonomous sentiments...then the Philippines will be spiritually and practically independent.
    • Philippine Magazine vol. 38. no 1 p. 14.
  • If by sticking to the moral principles you have followed all your life, you jeopardize your happiness and that of others, throw over your principles. Principles for principles' sake -that is not wisdom; that is obstinacy. Principles should be fluid because life is fluid."
    • As quoted in “Don Pañong – Genius" by A.V.H. Hartendorp in Philippine Magazine (September 1929), p. 211
  • Religion is one thing, and science another. What if they conflict? Religion is a matter of faith. Faith always gives satisfaction, whereas the truth does not always do so. As for me, I follow Anatole France who enjoins us to keep religion in one compartment of our head and skepticism in another.
    • As quoted in “Don Pañong – Genius" by A.V.H. Hartendorp in Philippine Magazine (September 1929), p. 211
  • What I want to impress on our youth is the necessity of thoroughly preparing themselves for their life's work. As a rule they bluff their way through life , pulling plums out of life's pudding by hook or by crook. They seem to hold the notion that knowledge is not essential to great achievements as courage. They overvalue courage forgetting that without knowledge it is only recklessness...Less bluff, more study.
    • Philippine Free Press. Manila. April 28, 1928.
  • ( ...philosophy is more often the systematization of the prejudices of philosophers than the systematization of nature.) Distrust all generalizations: stick to the concrete.
    • As quoted in “Don Pañong – Genius" by A.V.H. Hartendorp in Philippine Magazine (September 1929), p. 211
  • There is nothing more regenerating than music.
    • Philippine Free Press. Manila. April 28, 1928.
  • All of us here are servants of the reading public. I am the head of the servants and I must show that I know better than any of the servants where the materials are found. I want to show that our service here is efficient and that we are really working to serve.
    • As quoted in Filipinos in History, Vol. 2 (1989) by National Historical Institute of the Philippines

Quotes about de los SantosEdit

  • Epifanio de los Santos was a genius, with all the great spontaneity and fire, and all the almost analyzable complexity of such a spirit. … His scholarship was profound. … Yet he was no mere pedant. He was never solemn. He was too wise to take life too seriously. He was always jovial and good company. He was something of a sensualist and liked good food and drink. But he had moments of sadness, and there were times when he drank not for pleasure, but for surcease.
    • A.V.H. Hartendorp “Don Pañong – Genius" in Philippine Magazine (September 1929)
  • One of the best product of the 20th century Renaissance in Philippine arts and letters, Don Epifanio de los Santos y Cristobal exemplified the intellectual gentlemen whose passion for knowledge and the arts paralleled his life long existence.
    • Carolina Afan " Epifanio de los Santos Y Cristobal
  • Great among the Great Filipino Scholars.. He was recognized as the foremost scholar of his time.
    • Zaide, Gregorio F. 1965. Epifanio de los Santos: Great among the great Filipino scholars. In Great Filipinos in history. 88: 575-581.
  • He was the first highly educated and cultured Filipino to direct he attention of his countrymen to their illustrious men, and to their art, literature, poetry and music.
    • As quoted by Hartendorp “Don Pañong – Genius" in Philippine Magazine (September 1929)
  • ,,, powerful intelligence, a formidable receptacle of culture and gifted with words.
    • As a quote by Jaime C. De Veyra in "81 Years of Premio Zobel Legacy of Philippine Literature in Spanish" by Lourdes Castrillo Brillantes. Vibal Publishing House, Inc. 2006
  • ( As Assistant Director of Technical Census)...He exhibited his astute powers of observation and astonished all his associates with that endurance for continued effort seldom equalled but never surpassed by men of even younger years.
    • As a quote by Jose P. Bantug from "Epifanio de los Santos y Cristobal" by Libardo Cayco. National Heroes day. University of the Philippines. 1934.
  • On more than one occasion when reading Epifanio de los Santos, one reads Don Juan Valera.
    • As quoted by Menendez Pelayo from Manila Spanish Daily in The Manila Tribune of April 19, 1928
  • To be a worthy biographer of Senor de los Santos you would have to be his equal, so that remains a thing undone perhaps undoable, but that admiration he feels for his countrymen---the very best--other feels for him and they have crowned him as a leader in the path of scholarship.
    • As a quote by Miss Norton ( Cablenews-American) from "Epifanio de los Santos Cristobal" by Libardo D. Cayco. National Heroes Day. University of the Philippines. 1934.
  • Greatest of the last generation's men of letters in this country. - A. V. H. Hartendorp
  • the esteemed ornament of Filipino Culture.
    • As a quote by Wenceslao Retana in "81 Years of Premio Zobel Legacy of Philippine Literature in Spanish" by Lourdes Castrillo Brillantes. Vibal Publishing House, Inc. 2006
  • Generally regarded as the foremost scholar, Don Panyong is equally deserving of popular encomium for the singular distinction which he has achieved in several other fields of human endeavour.
    • Cayco, Libardo D. Epifanio de los Santos Cristobal. Manila, National Heroes Day. University of the Philippines. 1934.
  • He was both great, and very, very human.
    • As quoted by Hartendorp “Don Pañong – Genius" in Philippine Magazine (September 1929)
  • It is not strange that Menendez Pelayo should discover the Filipino scholar because in brains and heart they were the same.
    • As a quote by Don Jose Ma. Romero Salas cited in Manila Tribune. April 19, 1928.
  • "If you want to do something great in the world, do not get married, remain single... One may get married after he had accomplished something great in this world." Yet this great man who advised against marriage, was the happiest of men at the fireside of his family.
    • Views on marriage in The Manila Tribune. April 19, 1928
  • To evaluate the greatness of the late director of the Philippine Library and Museum is utterly impossible. An accomplished musician, the foremost scholar in the land, a collector of the first rank, at home among the great masters of foreign tongues, Epifanio de los Santos leaves behind him a record of service and achievement that would be difficult to equal.
    • R. McCulloch Dick ( Editor, The Philippine Free Press)
  • Among the new bibliographers, Sr. Epifanio de los Santos, a young scholar with great culture, stood at the head; he possessed more than 2,000 titles, some of them were very rare.
    • As quoted by Wenceslao Retana in Gregorio F. Zaide's "Epifanio de los Santos, his collection and library" (The Tribune Magazine. p. 4)
  • He had a passion for historical accuracy, saying that it is useless to write when one is not sure of the facts. It will only be adding confusion to an already confused world.
    • The Manila Tribune. April 19, 1928
  • ..he brought a sanity of perception and appraisal to his criticism of our prose productions, our plays, our linguistics, and what ever in letters that touches vitally the life of his people. The country has lost a truly great man in the death of Epifanio de los Santos Cristobal. He wrought for himself a destiny of glory which is the glory of his native land.
    • Zaide, Gregorio F. 1965. Epifanio de los Santos: Great among the great Filipino scholars. In Great Filipinos in history. 88 p. 581.
  • He taught us by example to place little emphasis on personal material gain...his aim was to bequeath to posterity the riches of his brain and the wealth of his soul.
    • The Manila Tribune. April 19, 1928
  • He was a master of humor. He believed that humor is the test of the natural, of the sensible, of the truth. To him most persons who have no sense of humor are generally absurd.
    • The Manila Tribune. April 19, 1928
  • Known as supreme in the Philippine literary world, the keenest critic and writer we ever had.- Dr, Trinidad Pardo de Tavera
  • The foremost literarian in the Philippines. - Claro M. Recto
  • He was, in the early twentieth century, the country's most eminent biographer and literary scholar.
    • Resil B. Mojares in Brains of the Nation: Pedro Paterno, T. H. Pado de Tavera, Isabelo de los Reyes. 2006. p. 477.
  • Epifanio de los Santos, greatest connoisseur of Filipiniana, foremost Filipino historian and biographer, and the first Filipino to become member of the Spanish Academy of Letters.
    • Esteban de Ocampo's eulogy ( Former Head, Department History,U.B.)
  • He was undoubtedly the best critic, writer and biographer that the golden age of literature in our country have ever produced. An artist by temperament, he was a scholar in the truest sense, interested and well versed in all branches of human learning, not in the manner of present-day specialists who confine themselves in the limited branches of their chosen fields. He was also recognized as the most authoritative historian and interpreter of fruitful and transcendental events in our epoch, a researcher of the first order, a collector of rare and antique objects that are landmarks of Philippine culture. None could equal him in rigidness and perseverance and study of our past , even in search of our wealth of relevant and important data that enrich the sources for the study of national history and literature. He was also recognized as the foremost Filipino scholar of his time. -Rafael Palma
  • ..we were not aware of this and the seditious character of the poem (Balagtas' Florante and Laura) until Epifanio de los Santos discovered and pointed them out
    • Leopoldo Y. Babes "A brief survey of Iloko literature from the beginnings to its present development, with a bibliography of works pertaining to the Iloko people and their language" Manila Oriental Co. 1924, p. 56-57.

Quotes by de los Santos in reference to people, literature and artworksEdit

Guillermo Tolentino

  • ...the greatest Filipino sculptor, in or outside the Philippines
    • The Philippine Republic. 1928. Washington, D. C., C. H. Tavenner., p. 19

Manuel S. Guerrero

  • ...was one of the most brilliant students of the Ateneo Municipal as far as humanities and natural and mathematical sciences are concerned
    • The Philippine review (Revista filipina) [1921]

Jose Rizal and Tagalog

  • ...as regards to teaching of languages, he (Rizal) advocated, among other things, the study of Tagalog. Since he was eight years of age, Rizal championed his native tongue as a language of its own pure type, noble and exalted"
    • Philippine Magazine. Manila,: Philippine Education Co.(Vol. 34, no.1) p. 35

Filipino Literature

  • Before the conquest, the Filipinos had a literature written in characters of their own, and its manifestation in verse constituted of maxims, proverbs, boat-songs, nuptial-songs, war songs, love-songs, and the like.
    • As a quote in Quirino & Hilario's "Short History of Tagalog Literature" in Thinking for Ourselves. Manila Oriental Co. 1924, p. 56-57.

External linksEdit

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