Saturday, December 29, 2012

Our national hero shows us his humorous and whimsical side

Christmas morning. You've unwrapped all your gifts, skipped breakfast as you're still full from all the feasting last night, and talked over your plans for the new year's celebration with your family.

But amidst all the mugs, scented candles, fruit cake, wine, and other stuff that you've received, there's one thing you've received that particularly stands out. One that you feel really giddy about, as if you can chuck away (or at least re-gift) all your presents and just keep this one. For me, that Christmas treasure would be this: Haec est Sibylla Cumana.

Who would've thought that our national hero, José Rizal, created a parlor game involving a wooden top and a booklet containing questions and answers. With the Haec est Sibylla Cumana, Rizal has crafted a unique fortune-telling game, using the sorceress named Sibylla Cumana as the seer.

Thank goodness Rizal handed over the materials for this game to his sister, Narcisa Rizal Lopez. It's quite fun reading Rizal's take on mundane and important matters. In the booklet, he wrote fortunes on one's business dealings and personal relationships.

I doubt if I would ever actually play this game with anyone or even by myself. It's too precious an item. I was told that the Haec est Sibylla Cumana is a limited edition, so I won't risk it. But it does make a lively conversation piece, I think.

The limited edition boxed set

What's inside:
The wooden top and the the 2 booklets

One of the booklets is an exact replica of the original,
showing Rizal's handwriting on an envelope
bearing an address in New York.

The multi-sided wooden top
Thanks so much, R! 


Kaz said...

Do you know - and I read this post while away on holiday (took iPhone, but no other techie gadgets...) - not one person gave me a book this year?!!! Frankly, I think they're scared to - DB and Seventeen aren't book junkies - although, Seventeen is making some strides (marvelous what final year of school English can do to an aspiring jock!). DB HAS given me some lovely treasures - my first edition of To Kill a Mockingbird came from him, as did a delightful little book of Rilke's letters to an aspiring poet. But, alas, this year was the year of lovely scented and indulgent body products, and tea...all sorts of tea!! Twenty-Seven gave me a cook's knife that the whole household is coveting, and Twenty-One brought Haigh's chocolate from Adelaide - BEST chocolate ever... Which is all fine - and as you see from my holiday post, I'm not lacking for new reading matter... Incidentally, the book about the Hebrew language is positively gripping...amazing little gem. Will be posting on that soon.

Peter S. said...

Can't wait for that post, Kaz!