The Law of the Sea

Arturo M. Tolentino: I wish people will remember me for The Law of the Sea

Excerpts from Vols 1 to 3

It’s probably difficult for some readers to imagine my father as young romantic poet, play writer, and Short Story writer. He was very young at one time and like most young men – romantic. I will include here two short poems, the others I will just mention the titles, when it was published and by what newspaper or magazines.

When he started sending short stories to the magazines, it was his way of getting extra money although my grandfather was supporting him through college and with allowance. How he managed all these and get the excellent grades in record – is indeed amazing.

Volume One

You Never Knew

You never knew that when I saw you
and beheld your radiant smile,
you brightened life that once was lonely
like a solitary isle.

You never knew that when I’m gloomy,
blue a shut out from thy light,
your name alone could make me happy,
giving bliss and rare delight.

You never knew that in my rambling
'neath the starry eastern skies,
For you I’m sighing, ever dreaming,
as my earthly Paradise.

you never knew that when I ponder
on the thorny path I thread,
your memory rends the clouds asunder,
kindling hopes that have been dead.

You never knew how cold and dreary
this my life is bound to be,
if from your gilded rays you shut me,
fountain of my breath and glee.

Di Ko Akalain

Di ko akalaing sa silong nang langit
nitong tanging perlas nang dagat silangan,
ako’y makakamalas nang mayuming bulaklak
na sa aki’y aakit sa pagmamahalan.

Di ko akalaing may birhen sa lupa
na mayroong panlunas sa pusong may dusa,
at magiging marilag at marikit na dambana,
na hahatungan nang aking papuri at paghanga.

Di ko akalaing ang talang maliwanag
ay matipas sa langit at ditto’y malaglag,
upang sa iyong mga mata sila ay suminag,
at tawagin and puso ko sa dalisay na pagliyag.

Di ko akalaing aho ay malango
sa alak ng hinhin at gandang taglay mo;
subalit ikaw ngayon and dakilang mutya ko,
na pinaghahandugan ng tapat napasuyo.

There are 19 Poems altogether but the two above are samples of what he did both in English and Tagalog. Some are dedicated to a special person mentioned in the book. These are some of his published poems.

IfPhilippine Collegian U.P. published January 14, 1929
My DreamThe Tribune, published January 20, 1929)
The Song of LoveThe Philippine Collegian, U.P., published February 11, 1929
My LyreThe Graphic, published May 4, 1929
Do you RecallThe Graphic, May 4 1929
We’ll Meet AgainThe Philippine Collegian, U.P., published June 22, 1929
Only ThenThe Philippine Collegian, U.P., published August 5, 1929
AlinlanganThe Philippine Collegian, U.P., published August 12 1929
Automobile accident (Short Story).Published in The Tribune Magazine. June 3, 1928.
Three X’s (Short Story)The Tribune magazine, Feb. 3, 1929
The Provinciano (A short Story).The Tribune Magazine. April 7, 1929
The legend of Angono (A Short Story)The Tribune magazine. May 5, 1929
The Verdict of the Virgin (A Short Story)The Philippine Free Press. June 1, 1929
Prophecy (Short Story)The Philippine Herald. June 2, 1929
Solved by a Child (Short Story)the Philippine Free Press. July 6, 1929
Promises (Short Story)The Tribune magazine. April 21, 1929. My mother’s name was again used in this story.
A greater Love (Short Story)The Philippine Free Press. Sept. 14, 1929
The Red Cross (Short Story)The Philippine Free Press. January 11, 1930
All in a Day (Short Story)The Philippine Herald. June 7, 1930

“Love and Patriotism”.

In November 1930 Arturo M. Tolentino was awarded First Prize, in playwriting contest during U.P. National Heroes Day celebration. The play has two acts. Act 1 has three scenes. Act 11 has four scenes. My father used my mother’s name, Consuelo as one of the characters. He had done this in some of his short stories as well, sometimes he would use her nickname, Choling or Chol.

A Bitter Freedom (Short Story)The Philippine Free Press. August 16, 1930
Roses (Short Story)The Philippine Free Press. November 29, 1930
Two Battles (Short Story)The Philippine Herald. November 1, 1930
The Lesson (Short Story)The Philippine Free Press. March 7, 1931
Standing Between Her And Tragedy: “A Song and a Child” (Short Story)The Philippine Herald. March 14, 1931
Two words (Short Story)The Philippine Herald. May 9, 1931
The Silver Paddle (Short Story)The Graphic. May 27, 1931
The Masquerade (Short Story)The Philippine Free Press. May 30, 1931
Fraternity Pin (Short Story)The Philippine Free Press. June 20, 1931
The Play Actor (Short Story)The Philippine Free Press. July 12, 1931
Extra…. Extra (Short Story)The Philippine Magazine. August, 1931. This short story became a required reading material in school.
Splintered Glass (Short Stories)The Philippine Free Press. October 3, 1931
Vindictive Justice (Short Story)The Herald, Mid-week magazine. November 4, 1931
Confessions of a Romeo (Short Story)The Herald Mid-week magazine. January 13, 1932
Why The Qeen Was Sad (Short Stories)The Philippine Free Press. Jan. 30, 1932
Talisain (Short Story)The Herald Mid-week magazine. Jun 29, 1932
The Playing Wife (Short Story)The Philippine Free Press. July 1932
20-cents A Dance Girl (Short Story)The Philippine Free Press. September 17, 1932
Circumstantial Evidence (Short Story)The Philippine Free Press. October 22, 11932
Memoy’s Christmas Gift (Short Story)The Mirror. December 22, 1932
Cervantes Murder Case (A Mystery Story)The Philippine Free Press. May 27, 1933.
Futility (Short Story)The herald Mid-week Magazine. June 27, 1934


Volume two

Volume two contains published and unpublished essays he wrote from 1929 to 1946.

Volume three

Volume three are his speeches delivered on different occasions from 1934 to 1947, as well as open letters to public officials when he was a young lawyer. In these three Volumes, I saw my father developed from what I thought was a young romantic person to a constitutionalist long before he entered politics. He wrote open letters to President Manuel L. Quezon, published by the Philippine Free Press, May 13, 1939 and followed by a second open letter to President Quezon on the subject of “Presidential re-election and amendment of the constitution”.

He delivered this speech on Rizal day over station JOHK, Radio Japan, June 19, 1943:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The most cherished dream of of Dr. Jose Rizal was to see our country freed from the yoke of Western domination. That freedom has been assured in the historic speech of Premier Tozyo, before the Imperial Diet three days ago. We now stand on the threshold of a new life, and will soon see the dawn break upon our fatherland, where many, including Rizal, had fallen in the gloom of night, sacrificed upon the alter of national liberty. The youth of our country cannot and should not ignore this fact. They are called upon to perform an important, if not a leading role, in shaping the course of our new existence. A new order is being established in East Asia, a new order in the Philippines, to be tangible reality, calls for new blood, new spirit, new men.

In the past, just before the out break of the Greater East Asia War, the youth of the Philippines have been ignored. They were branded as irresponsible and unfit to help in the administration of the nation’s affair. But when the war broke out and men were needed, avowedly to die for the sake of fatherland, these so called irresponsible youth were sent to the gory fields of battle in the futile and needless sacrifice.

Upon their ashes, scattered on the shores of Pangasinan and Tayabas, in the jungles of Bataan and on the rocks of Corregidor, shall now arise a new nation. That new nation must be imbued with the spirit of youth, the spirit with clear vision, which can act with quick decision, unhampered by long standing loyalties and deep seated prejudices, and which can forge ahead with unbending determination, even to death, as has been shown. There can be no new life without new blood.

If the youth shall once more be ignored as under the old order, it will then be their duty to assert themselves. This is the spirit of the new order. Nippon came forward without the asking, because she saw that it was her sacred duty to liberate the people of East Asia; the youth of the Philippines, with the same spirit , must come forward, even without bidding, for they are and will be needed to invigorate the nation with their fresh vitality, their new ideas, and determination. In so doing, they would be only keeping faith with Rizal, who exclaimed:

"Hold high they brow serene,
Oh youth, where now you stand.
Let the bright sheen of your grace be seen,
fair hope of my fatherland.”