Haec est Sibylla Cumana: A Book by Rizal


“A compulsive traveler, he frequented parlors, cafes, bewitching pretty ladies, quarreling with rivals like M.H. del Pilar and Antonio Luna, indulging in hugely wide interests, comic tales, butterfly hunting, sunken vessels, even home decor for the family house in Calamba. Jose Rizal continues to surprise us.” says Carmen Guerrero Nakpil in her article she posted in Manila Bulletin Haec est Sibylla Cumana.

Haec est Sibylla Cumana is a book about a parlor game he invented using a character from the ancient Graeco-Roman culture of occult practices, the Sibylla Cumana, seeress and fortune-teller.

Carmen described  it as a Spin-the-Top-and-Learn-Your- Future game, using a wooden top and a list of numbered questions and answers on popular, worldly matters like love, business and relationships. Packed in an old recycled envelop with a New York City address of a machine shop and a family tree sketch,  an octagonal wooden top, questions and answers in Spanish and two hand-drawn portraits of the Sibylla. He later entrusted the materials for playing Sibylla to his sister, Narcisa who visited him in Dapitan. It is only this year, 2011, the year of the National Celebration of the 150th Rizal Birth Anniversary, that the heirs of Paciano Rizal decided to reveal this family heirloom to the nation. [Photo courtesy of Manila Bulletin]

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