First Sunday in August (2010), Reading

On this early Sunday morning (9:20 a.m.), self is reading a book edited by Merlie M. Alunan, Fern Garden: Anthology of Women Writing in the South. This book, published in the Philippines in 1998, is a fascinating collection that features writers self has never read before. To give just a few examples:  Erlinda K. Alburo, Annabelle T. Amor, Perla Blanca, Pafuncia Borja, Dindin Cañete, Lilia N. Lopez-Chua, Dulce Cuna-Anacion.

What makes this collection even more interesting is the fact that the writers are published in their native dialects: so we have some Cebuano, some Boholano, some Ilonggo.

Here’s a poem about a comfort woman, Nana Salvacion, which begins:

Alang kang Nana Salvacion, edad 69
(For Nana Salvacion, Age 69)

Paglabay sa gubat, mipauli sa probinsiya
Wa na mabalik pa sa siyudad sa Sugbu
Ug di na, bisang kanusa pa, mobalik didto
Sa ilawom sa balay sa eskina sa Junqueta
Aduna pay gitisok nga kapungot nga wa mapapas
Bisan sa makadaghang pugod sa katuigan.


When war was over she went home to the province
And has not returned to the city of Cebu since,
And will never again return there,
Back to the lower floor of that house

    in the corner of Junquera

There is still hatred sown which has not been erased
Even by the numerous nets of years.

The poem’s author is Ruby T. Enario. A note explains: “It is estimated that there were about 60,000 comfort women in Asia, with 80 percent coming from Korea and the rest from the Philippines, China, and Taiwan.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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