Antonio Vivencio del Rosario Archives, University of Santo Tomas, Manila

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Main Building, University of Santo Tomas, Manila: January 2018

The University of Santo Tomas is the oldest university in the Philippines. The first book printed in the Philippines, the Doctrina Christiana, is housed there, in the Antonio Vivencio del Rosario Library (named after self’s great-great-grandfather). At the opening, self’s great uncle, who donated the money for the archives, cited a thesis self had written in the Ateneo de Manila, which traced the del Rosario family history back, four generations. But self wasn’t there. Her brothers went, and great was their shock when they heard her name mentioned as the reason the archives exit. (Self couldn’t go because — well, she couldn’t afford the airfare. Husband was out of work. None of her family offered to make up the fare)

She FINALLY got to drop by in January 2018, met the librarians, and took pictures. The archives survive on the generosity of individual donors. Three full-time employees are responsible for digitizing the vast collection.

“How many books have been digitized so far?” self asked.

The answer: 150.

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Self is thinking about the archives because today she decided to try and work on her 18th century novel-in-progress, Blue Water, Distant Shores. Her novel — a product of over-reach, self is no historian — is about a Spanish priest who, in 1736, is sent to the Philippines to fight demons. She’s reading about books by the early missionaries, books like the Ilocano catechism of 1621, translated by Fray Francisco Lopez.

“Your books should be here, ma’am,” she remembers the librarians telling her. “We’ll add them to the display.”

What? No . . .

On second thought! She’ll contact her press right now. Please send copies to the Antonio Vivencio del Rosario Archives in University of Santo Tomas, stat!

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Found these copies of self’s third short story collection in the National Bookstore in Gateway Mall, Cubao, Metro-Manila! (January 2018)

Afterwards, self dropped by the Program in Creative Writing, and got to pose for a picture with the professors:

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University of Santo Tomas, January 2018: Creative Writing Program Director Jing Hidalgo is on self’s right.

Dearest Mum’s only response, when self showed her the pictures: Why are you so short?

lol

lol

lol

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

amreading: Filipino short story writer Gilda Cordero-Fernando

from “Hothouse” :

Tia Dolor has been around the world several times, but towns and cities — Nikko and Capri and Copenhagen — all look alike to her: the same buildings, the same churches, the same automobiles. In fact, she is hard put to tell one country from another except from what they sell in the shops. And she has something to bring home for everybody — no one is ever forgotten — her suitcases are cleaned out of everything she has brought home including some that she went away with. And if you expect her somehow to look more chic (a new hairdo, a new suit) you are sorely disappointed: she minces down the ramp wearing the squirrel coat from Hong Kong and her black lizard skin wedgies.

Filipino (Prose) Literature in English, A Few Recommended Titles from the Golden Age:

  • The Distance to Andromeda and Other Stories, by Gregorio C. Brillantes
  • A Season of Grace, by N. V. M. Gonzalez
  • Children of the Ash-Covered Loam and Other Stories, by N. V. M. Gonzalez
  • The Bamboo Dancers, a novel by N. V. M. Gonzalez
  • Now and At the Hour and Other Stories, by Aida L. Rivera
  • Brother, My Brother: Stories, by Bienvenido Santos
  • You Lovely People, by Bienvenido Santos

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Philippine Dept. of Education Call for Supplementary Materials

Self got an e-mail yesterday from alma mater Ateneo de Manila University. They’d been trying to reach her because the Philippine Department of Education wants to include her first collection of short stories, Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila, in schools. It will be part of the supplementary learning materials (SLM) for Grades 7 to 12.

You know what that means, self’s Philippine publisher said. That means, they will order copies. Lots of copies. And if the publisher runs out of copies, they’ll have to print some more.

That book, self’s first, was one of five finalists for the Philippines’ National Book Award. She forgets who won that year. She told her Dad about it, and of all the things he could have said, he said this: “Do you know how famous your Mom used to be? She was so famous, she performed in Carnegie Hall!” Self had no answer.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Weathered in the Philippines

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Volumes of Manuel Blanco’s FLORA DE FILIPINAS

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The trees in the Quadrangle of the Ateneo de Manila University (self’s alma mater) have been there for decades. So have the stone benches.

 

Simeon Dumdum, Jr: “Cattle Egret”

Excerpt From CATTLE EGRET

— by Simeon Dumdum, Jr.

You’re riding on a carabao
(Oh, what a day and what a life)
As birds would settle on a bough

Light cuts the sky with a long knife
And morning drops its load of dew
(Oh, what a day and what a life)

— from the collection If I Write You This Poem, Will You Make It Fly (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2010)

Simeon Dumdum, Jr. is a judge in the central Philippine island of Cebu. His other poetry collections are The Gift of Sleep, Third World Opera, and Poems: Selected and New (1982 – 1997)

The white Cattle Egret is found throughout the Philippines. It perches on grazing cattle and rids them of lice. Its native name is: talabong, tabong, tagak kalabaw.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Refraction: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Last year, some former college classmates took her to the Church of the Gesu, on the grounds of her alma mater, the Ateneo de Manila.

Since this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is REFRACTION, which has everything to do with light — light refracted, self presumes, as through a prism.

Here’s part of The Daily Post prompt:

  • For this photo challenge, show us what REFRACTION means to you.  It could be an image taken in a reflective surface, it could be light bent from behind an object . . .

The first picture is the interior of the Church of the Gesu in her old college, the Ateneo de Manila, in Diliman, Quezon City, Metro-Manila.

Church of the Gesu, Ateneo de Manila, Diliman, Quezon City

Church of the Gesu, Ateneo de Manila, Diliman, Quezon City

The next two pictures were taken from the back seat of a car. She’s not sure where she was going. But she loves taking pictures of the streets of Manila, especially from within a moving vehicle. She likes the reflections from the car window, the streaks of light and color and movement, the inevitable roughness and blur.

Streets of Manila, Refracted (Through a Car Window)

Streets of Manila, Refracted (Through a Car Window)

More of the Streets of Manila as Seen Through a Car Window

More of the Streets of Manila as Seen Through a Car Window

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Nighttime: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week, the WordPress Photo Challenge asks us to share our photos of nighttime:

What nocturnal photos do you like taking? Whether it’s a street sky, a street lamp, or the shadows cast by your cat, share them with us.

101, 10:30 p.m., Saturday Night, May 2013

Heading home on 101, 10:30 p.m., Saturday Night, May 2013

Chatting outside Church of the Gesu, Ateneo, October 2013

Chatting outside Church of the Gesu, Ateneo, October 2013

In the backyard, looking at the moon to bury my disappointment over Chiefs vs Broncos

In the backyard, looking at the moon to bury my disappointment over Chiefs vs Broncos, 2012

Virtual Blog Tour: 3rd Introduction

And now, the third of the three people self tagged for the Virtual Blog Tour:

STEEELLAAAAA KALAW!

Excuse the emo post. Self was introduced to Stella K almost 15 years ago, by the woman self considers her mentor, her icon, her 2nd mother:  Doreen Fernandez, who taught self Freshman English at the Ateneo de Manila, many many many oh too many years to count long ago.  Since that fateful meeting, right here in self’s home in Redwood City, California, she and Stella became friends for life.

Stella Kalaw, Photographer Just Blazing with Talent

Stella Kalaw, Photographer Just Blazing with Talent

Stella Kalaw is a photographer. An A-MA-ZING photographer.  You can find samples of her photography projects here.  And she writes a fantastic food blog on tumblr,  Shoots to Roots.

She was born and raised in Manila.  She earned a BA in Communications from De La Salle University and a BA in Photography from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA.  Her work has been exhibited at the Singapore International Photography Festival, The Ayala Museum, and the Silverlens Gallery in Manila, Wall Space Gallery in Seattle, Rayko Gallery in San Francisco and at the UCR California Museum of Photography.  Her photographs explore narratives rooted from family, memory and places.  She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Back in Time: Ateneo de Manila, Katipunan Road, Quezon City

Back to the old stomping grounds:  Ateneo, Loyola Heights, Quezon City

Back to the old stomping grounds: Ateneo, Loyola Heights, Quezon City

The Ateneo Art Gallery is in the old Rizal Library.  The large artwork is by Marina Cruz-Garcia.

The Ateneo Art Gallery is in the old Rizal Library. The large artwork is by Marina Cruz-Garcia.

More from the Ateneo Art Gallery:  "With Love and Squalor," 2005 by Maya Muñoz

More from the Ateneo Art Gallery: “With Love and Squalor,” 2005 by Maya Muñoz

The Covered Walk to the Admin Building

The Covered Walk to the Admin Building

So much about the old campus has changed.  Self is grateful for the presence of Prof. Danilo Reyes, who is always the soul of courtesy when she drops by his office in the English Department.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Absolutely Happy

Chatting outside Church of the Gesu, Ateneo

Chatting outside Church of the Gesu, Ateneo de Manila campus

Lunch with Lissa M, Sandy Daza's Wooden Spoon, Katipunan Avenue

Lunch with Lissa M, Sandy Daza’s Wooden Spoon, Katipunan Avenue

Lissa wondering:  Is there actually room in my tummy for this Reina Blanca?

Lissa wondering: Is there actually room in my tummy for this Reina Blanca?

There was a wait at Wooden Spoon.  But oh, oh, oh how delicious was the tinapa fried rice, the kare-kare with bagoong, the breaded fillet of fish with Wansoy sauce.  Self is sated, absolutely sated.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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