El Folk-Lore Filipino
Isabelo de los Reyes, intent like the other propagandists on proving the Spanish colonizers wrong in their contention that there was no pre-Hispanic Philippine civilization to speak of, collected folkloric material from his native province of Ilocos Sur, Zambales, and Mabalon. Thus one finds in this translation, information on Ilocano religion, mythology, psychology, types, customs, and traditions; selected poems of the author's mother, poetess Leona Florentino; aspects of Zambales and Malabon folklore; and the story of Isio illustrating what Don Isabelo calls "administrative folklore." His efforts were duly recognized, for El Folk-lore Filipino won a silver medal at the Madrid Exposition, and the prizes at the Paris and St. Louis Expositions.
This translation tries to convey the flavor, versatility, and the power of Don Isabelo's very personal and inimitable style, by hewing the English version as closely as possible to the original Spanish text without, however, neglecting the peculiar genius of the English language. Hence the very simple style, the words left untranslated as Don Isabelo obviously meant them to be, and the digressions he often indulged in.
This undertaking aims to contribute to research efforts in Philippine folklore so that we Filipinos can know more about our ancient past. It is hoped that additional data on our folklore will provide students with a broader, richer perspective from which to view Philippine culture from the past up to the early and present century.