Novel-in-Progress: A Priest’s Letter to His Superior in Madrid, 24 March 1760

Before, the natives were mere shadows, moving silently through the forest, keeping their distance. They left scarcely more evidence of their comings and goings than wild animals. The forest is their home, and I do my utmost to show them that I respect it, as much as they do. I know that they feel themselves intimately connected to the great Nature around and about them. They believe Spirits live in the whispering trees and speak to them from babbling streams. Nature is full of omens, both of good or evil.

Novel-in-Progress: from a Priest’s Journal

Diary of Father Castellanos, Isla del Fuego, Philippines, 16 July 1731:

They are a most physical people, who cannot utter a word unless they have some part of their person touching yours. If you startle or shy away, they are quick to take offense.

PROLIFIC: Title of an Ilocano Grammar, Published 1627 in “The Most Noble and Ever Loyal City of Manila”

Other PROLIFIC:


The book’s original title was

  • Arte de la lengua iloca compuesto por el Padre fr. Francisco Lopez de la Orden de San Agustin (translation: Ilocano Grammar, compiled by Father Francisco Lopez, Augustinian Priest)

For its second edition, published 165 years later, the title had become

  • Compendio y methodo de la suma de las reglas del arte del idioma ilocano, que a los principios del siglo pasado compuso el M.R.P. Fray Francisco Lopez del orden de S. Agustin, y a los ultimos de este siglo apunto otro religioso de la misma orden, el M.R.P. Predicador Fray Fernando Rey, Examinador synodal de este Obispado

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

AWAKENING That Has Nothing to Do With a Photo Challenge

Self thinks she’s going to change her spirit animal.

It used to be a turtle.

When she was growing up, her parents gave her, each birthday, a Steuben glass animal. She has a whole collection of Steuben glass turtles. Even, a Steuben glass toad.

She thinks she’d rather be a dolphin.

Dolphins are playful.

Dolphins are not poky-slow animals.

COME ON, SELF! YOU ARE NOT A TURTLE! YOU ARE NOT A TOAD!!!

YOU ARE A DOLPHIN!

Awakening.

Stay tuned.

Poetry Friday: Irene Suico Soriano

Excerpt from Balitaan

Maricris Sioson died on September 19, 1991, allegedly of hepatitis. Her body bore head injuries and stab wounds . . . She worked as an entertainer in Japan.

Could it be in 40 floors of windows, rooms
beds and kitchen sinks is where
you once laughed saying this arm will pay for
Dodoy’s next semester at school
this leg for Christena’s girl scout uniform.
Arms scrubbing bathrooms all day
legs walking endless streets in the afternoon
to find Ama’s particular herb
ANGAT SA BUHAY, ANGAT SA BUHAY
Life will get better, you would say.
It will all happen . . .
I would add at once, Once we return!
and we would both laugh.

Irene Suico Soriano was born in Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines. At eleven years of age, she and her mother immigrated to Los Angeles, California. Her childhood was spent soaking in the neighborhoods of pre-gentrified Downtown LA, East Hollywood, Rampart/Temple, Melrose, and the Wiltshire/Vermont corridor.

Balitaan is from the collection Primates from an Archipelago (Rabbits Fool Press, 2017)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

#amreading: Manuel D. Duldulao

  • The greatest link . . .  to the Spanish past is Intramuros. For almost 400 years until its destruction, Intramuros was Manila.

The Filipinos, Portrait of a People, by Manuel D. Duldulao

Novel-In-Progress ‘Blue Water, Distant Shores’ Started As a Short Story

An excerpt from the short story (which self is thinking of sending out, after so many years): Apologies, she may have posted this excerpt several weeks or even several months ago. She’s adding a further paragraph.

What’s interesting is, the name of the main character never changed. It was always, and still is, Matias (and she personally knows not a single person with that name). It always amazes her when she finds this story again: because the cadence! She pulled it from the bottom of a pile of stuff, just a few minutes ago.

Matias had no recollection of going back to bed but when he next opened his eyes it was daylight. A last fragment of dream slipped from his consciousness. He sat up, feeling bereft.

He stayed with the Bishop for almost a week, receiving his instructions. It was May; the heat was at its greatest. At night, a servant shuffled into his room and, from a pole running the length of the low ceiling, lowered folds of gauzy white netting around the bed. He had difficulty sleeping. He spent long nights listening to the faint whine of invisible mosquitoes, just beyond the white gauze. In the morning, the Bishop remarked on the dark circles beneath the young priest’s eyes.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

MANILA NOIR: “Desire”

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Manila Noir was edited by Jessica Hagedorn and published by Akashic Books in 2013.

Hagedorn wanted a brand-new story, so self wrote her one, which she titled “Desire.”

“Desire” can be found in Part III (“They Live by Night”) of the anthology. The story’s setting is Ermita.

What parts of a bird are edible?

Epifanio did not know. He would guess: eyes, tail, breast.

Afterward, when they were all gathered in the small lobby, they were offered warm Coke in thick glasses, no ice.

Why would anyone ask them a question about birds? They were there to study to be seamen: most of them were from Negros, like Epifanio. The rest were from Marinduque, Zambales, Cagayan de Oro, Davao.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Current #wip: The History of War On An Island (Working Title)

About the occupation of a Philippine island during World War II:

Honorato was sent to the mountains. He had just turned 18. His father worried because he was tall, because he was good-looking, because he was the eldest and bore the hopes of his parents on his narrow shoulders. So, hide, his father told him. Hide as far away from the city as you can.

Originally, this was even longer than my other historical novel, Blue Water, Distant Shores. But, a month ago, I broke it apart and it’s now very fleet: just under 250 pages.

Stay tuned.

Beloved 2: From Self’s Recent Trip to Manila, January 2018

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First cousin on mother’s side: Maitoni Cu-Unjieng

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Home-Cooked Food, with Lots of Fried Garlic

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Self is named after this iconic Filipino soup from the central Philippine islands: Batchoy

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