“When you are old and beautiful,
And things most difficult are done,
There will be few who can recall
Your face as it is ravaged now
By youth and its oppressive choice.”
Punched. The many memorabilia and personal trinkets of one of the most famous writers in Philippine literature surprisingly epitomized the exact contradictory, or some will say the exact sentiment, of the lines of the beautiful poem above. The personal touch of the displays in the 2nd floor gallery brought an intimate ambience to the whole exhibit, and it brought to light another aspect of a renowned writer apart from his professional excellence. Jose Garcia Villa is one of the most eminent Filipino writers of all times, and the Rizal Library and the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies collaborated to bring to the Ateneo de Manila University a collection of Villa’s books and papers from his own personal library. Hung on the walls were frames relating Villa’s biography. From his childhood through his foreign stints to his success, the story was completely divulged to the visitors. There was also a timeline of the writer’s personal and professional milestones. Personal letters from EE Cummings, Nick Joaquin, and some of his other idols and friends in the literature field were also there. Villa supposedly decided to be a writer after he had read Cumming’s works, and Villa’s personal favorite from Cumming’s work was exhibited. Sherwood Anderson was also one of his influences. It was also fascinating to read his very first poem about love. Dated on 1925, his handwriting and writing style was simplistic yet elegant since then. There was also a poem for Marky Mark or Mark Wahlberg, discussing his very attractive physique. Copies of hardbound editions of his poem collections, trial publication designs, and several original old print of his works were displayed. There were also special editions of his works such as 55 Poems with his own signature and a handsome-boxed edition...
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