Dr. Jesus Rodrigo F. Torres Translates English Version of Balatik

Dr. Jesus Rodrigo F. Torres, an ALP 2017 Father Victor L. Badillo, SJ Astronomy Service awardee, together with Dr. Ruby-Ann dela Cruz , were able to successfully after 4 years to finish the translation of another fellow 2013 ALP Father Victor L. Badillo, SJ Astronomy Service awardee Sr. Dante . Ambrosio ‘s Balatik, an Etno-Astronomy Book. The translation project began in March 2017 when Dr. Torres  attended a lecture-seminar of the History and Heritage Working Group of the Southeast Asian Astronomy Network held in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

As a student-participant,  he knew almost nothing about the topics which were all about Archaeastronomy and Ethnoastronomy. Professor Wayne Orchiston talked to him during one breakfast if he could translate the book Balatik by Professor Dante Ambrosio because he said “we want to read it too!”

Wayne had a copy with him.  Jesus looked at the pages, read a few paragraphs, and he  knew the work will be difficult. Nevertheless, he said he would do the translation, and when he returned to the Philippines,  he worked on it right away.

But administrative work in two big State Universities gave him little time for the translation. The work of Professor Ambrosio, however, began to grow on him and he looked forward to the time in the evenings when he could lose myself to the world of Filipino beliefs and knowledge about the heavens and the phenomena in the sky.  He got so lost in the work that he did not notice the months and years passing. Right in the beginning, he sought the assistance of Dr. Ruby-Ann Dela Cruz whose research in the technical indigenous terms which had became so indispensable that it would be just fair if she was included as a co-translator to his project.

Professor Mayank Vahia of India, and Professor Duane Hamacher of New Zealand informed him also that it would be best if Balatik can be read by interested astronomers in the world.

Dr. Torres knew that he had a noble task of translating the work of Professor Ambrosio, an important aspect of Filipino culture as well which the work expounds, known to the world. Thus after 4 years, the project was finally done and is now ready for publication.

2017 ALP Father Victor L. Badillo, SJ Astronomy Achievement Awardee Dr. Jesus Rodrigo F. Torres with ALP President/ Chairman James Kevin Ty.  Credit: Angelito Sing