Reading, Third Thursday of August (2013): “The Music Child” by Krip Yuson

Self is 3/5 of the way through Wolf Hall!  With any luck, she’ll finish in a week or so.  She hates to rush, but the book is overdue:  she’s already renewed it the maximum two times (six weeks)

She’s begun “The Music Child,” by Krip Yuson, in The Best Philippine Short Stories of the Twentieth Century.  The beginning is very enthralling.  It’s taken her 10 years to get to this point of the anthology because she’s lingered over each story.  She would really like to thank Isagani Cruz for the masterful job he’s done, assembling these.

Krip’s story is by no means a new story: she first read it about 20 years ago.  But reading it this evening, the writing seems very fresh.  Even more fresh is the fact that this is the first Filipino short story she’s read that’s narrated by an American:

I was in Southern Philippines for a follow-up story on muro-ami fishing, having already sent a report on the Manila end of the ecologically ruinous operations.

I had interviewed the big bosses of the Frebel Fishing Corporation, as well as a few legislators involved in a committee on natural resources.  Easy enough to get into these high offices when one represents Western media.

It was a dying issue as far as the local papers went.  Officials had upheld the ban on boy divers pounding the reefs with iron balls to drive fish into giant nets.  All that the greedy operators could do was take it on the chin and shrug.

But for the Examiner back home, the triumph of environmental concern would always rate a banner story in the features section.  So had my editor assured me as soon as I faxed Part One of the series.

Ecology couldn’t die as a cause in the world’s leading democracy.  And where better to flush out tales of horror than in Third World enclaves run by petty politicians?

Cebu City was a smaller Manila, just as dense, dustier, hotter, more humid, except at the seafront where I found the usual spot of calm amid the chaos, by sitting over cold San Miguel beer in a small restaurant.

Self finds herself thoroughly engrossed by the voice.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


  1. Lyla said,

    August 23, 2013 at 5:26 am

    Sadly, I read very few Filipino stories during my childhood.

    • August 23, 2013 at 5:53 am

      Never too late to start! There are so many websites now that publish Filipino short stories! You can read for free!

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