In photo: His Excellency Israel Ambassador Rafael Harpaz brandishing the book of Etgar Kere, “Bigla, May Kumatok sa Pinto”
By Monsi A. Serrano
in its desire to bring closer ties between Philippines and Israel, the Embassy of Israel in the Philippines launched the first Hebrew to Filipino book translation entitled: “Bigla, May Kumatok sa Pinto” by revered Israeli author, Etgar Keret.
Graced by His Excellency Israel Ambassador Rafael Harpaz in a virtual launch, he pointed out that the book is something that the Filipino people while like. Ambassador Harpaz shared his observation during the time when he arrived in the Philippines in 2018 and attended a book fair in Manila and saw thousands of young Filipinos lining up to go to the book fair.
The Israeli envoy noted that the book of Etgar Kere is something that will interest Filipinos to read and enjoy the short stories since this book is also being enjoyed by the young generations in Israel.
The “Bigla, May Kumatok sa Pinto”, known for its English version as “Suddenly, a Knock on the Door”, is a collection of short stories by Etgar Keret – a leading voice in Israeli literature and cinema. His five best-selling story collections have been translated into 46 languages.
During the book launch held via Zoom on 26 April 2021, Etgar Keret expressed his hope that the Filipino readers will relate more to the short stories now that they are translated to their local language. He also encouraged the Filipino caregivers working in Israel to read the “Bigla, May Kumatok sa Pinto” book.
“This is another milestone that demonstrates the strong relations between Israel and the Philippines. This book is one of the many areas of cooperation between our countries in literature, culture, and arts. We hope that many Filipinos, especially the young generation, will get a copy and read the book that is a product of good friendship,” Ambassador Rafael Harpaz said.
The Filipino translation of “Bigla, May Kumatok sa Pinto” was done by Mr. U Z. Eliserio of the Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas, Kolehiyo ng Arte at Literatura of the University of the Philippines.
“During this pandemic, and with many of us staying at home, books have been a great source of entertainment, comfort, and escape. Etgar Keret’s stories provide these,” Ms. Alexandra Ramos-Padilla, Head of National Book Store and Anvil Publishing said in a video message.
Anvil Publishing, Inc. is the official publisher and distributor of the book. “Bigla, May Kumatok sa Pinto” is available in National Bookstores and online shopping platforms for only PHP 395.