CONTENTS - National Book Development Board



CONTENTS - National Book Development Board
11Read Pinoy! The 12th Philippine
Book Development Month Report
20Interview with Precious Heart
Romance’s bestselling author
Martha Cecilia
24 Book Colllecting: A Lifelong Passion
by Jonathan Best
26The Poem is the Real: A Poetics by
Gémino H. Abad
22Chin-chin Gutierrez: How books
inspire her to help change lives
In Every Issue
Chairman’s Message
Executive Director’s Message
Deputy Executive Director’s Message
Editor’s Letter
10 NBDB Book Club Diaries
18Read Alert!
19 BookStop
29 Hot Off the Press
04 NBDB helps fulfill debutante’s
birthday wish
05 National Book Development Trust
Fund passed into law
06 Booklatan sa Bayan kicks off 2009 in
06 UNLAK brings Isagani Cruz to San
Joaquin High School
On the Cover
07 NBDB launches books
Chin-chin reads Kuwentong Siyudad
(Ateneo Press), edited by Rolando
Tolentino, Romulo Baquiran, Jr.
and Alwin Aguirre. Photography by
Jay Alonzo. Kuwentong Siyudad is
available at National Book Store and
Ateneo Press, at P295.
08 Writers gather for the 2008 UP
Writers’ Day
09 Gatas Tisoy sponsors NBDB
committee 2009
Contributing Writers
Circulation Staff
Camille Dianne S. Mendoza
Jonathan Best
Gémino H. Abad
Arvin Mangohig
Sylvia C. Mendoza
Rhonell C. Dacio
Jun Tomonong
Art Director
Mikke Gallardo
Managing Editor
Maria E.J. Pia V. Benosa
Jay Alonzo, Daniel Tan
Marketing Staff
Alvin Buenaventura,
Glenn L. Malimban, Kristina Corren
Marcelo, Edgardo P. Sabalvoro,
Grace G. Santos
Salvador D. Briola Jr.
Board of Advisers
Dr. Dennis T. Gonzalez
Atty. Andrea Pasion-Flores
executive officer
National Book
Development Board
2/F National Printing Office
Bldg., EDSA corner NIA
Northside Road, Diliman,
Quezon City 1100
Trunk lines: (632) 920-9853,
929-3677, 929-3887
Frances Jeanne L. Sarmiento
deputy executive officer
The National Book Development Board is a government agency created under Republic Act 8047, or the “Book Publishing Industry Development Act.”
Chairman’s Message
Deputy Executive Director’s Message
Deputy Executive Director’s Message
the Ground
the Ground
The NBDB is happy to report
that the 14th Congress has
legislated the “National Book
Development Trust Fund To
Support Filipino Authorship”
(SB 2409 and HB 4213) last 19
January 2009, which most likely will have been formally signed
by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo by the time you read
this issue of Bookwatch. We will change the literary setting in
the Philippines once the interest of the Fund will be available in
the form of grants to at least fifty budding and veteran Filipino
authors from all regions of the country annually.
I thank everybody who joined us through six years in pushing
for the creation of the Book Development Trust Fund. The
NBDB had the great privilege of taking the lead in generating
interest and sustaining the support of industry players, literary
professionals, and legislators through three congresses.
Pushing for this book development agenda was a fascinating
learning experience. We were able to utilize all opportunities
available and work within the dynamics of the existing political
set-up in both Houses of Congress. Timing, focus, information
resources, and our lasting partnerships with our lawmakers
and various industry stakeholders contributed to this successful
legislative drive.
Our special thanks to the principal authors and co-authors of
the law: Representatives Raul T. Gonzalez Jr., Rufus B. Rodríguez,
Del R. de Guzman, Junie E. Cua, Edcel C. Lagman, Thelma Z.
Almario, Laarni L. Cayetano, Carlos M. Padilla, Edgardo M.
Chatto, Maria Isabelle G. Clímaco, Jesús Crispin C. Remulla,
Carmencito O. Reyes, Marcelino R. Teodoro, Rodolfo G. Valencia,
Liza L. Maza, Trinidad G. Apóstol, Mariano U. Piamonte, Mark
Llandro L. Mendoza, Isidro T. Ungab, Florencio C. Garay, Arturo
B. Robes, Francisco T. Matugas, and Eufrocino M. Codilla Sr., and
Senators Allan Peter S. Cayetano, Edgardo J. Angara, Jinggoy E.
Estrada, Manny B. Villar, Lito M. Lapid, and Juan Miguel F. Zubiri.
With this Trust Fund, we shall empower more writers in the
regions, provide new economic opportunities for the publishing
and printing industries, create new contents in the sciences and
literature in major local languages for publication in various
print or electronic formats, and eventually develop new readers
or market niches and a vibrant book trade.
May we sustain this new beginning and find other ways to
build the competitive advantages of the Philippines so as to
become a publishing hub in Asia.
Congratulations to everybody!
The start of 2009 has swept
past us here at NBDB with the
maximum sustained winds of
a supertyphoon. The first two
months alone have kept us
constantly on the move in our
efforts to promote the development of the book industry.
January brings with it the first in a series of Booklatan sa
Bayan activities, which is made possible for the entire 2009
through a partnership with the Knowledge and Development
Center (KDC) and its partner schools and universities. The first
Booklatan was held in Iloilo in cooperation with KDC member
Central Philippine University. In January, NBDB also launched two
historic publications: the Directory of Industry Stakeholders, which
lists all NBDB-registered entities involved in the book publishing
industry; and the first-ever Catalogue of Award-Winning Titles, a
compilation of twenty-five years’ worth of winners of the country’s
four prestigious awards: the National Book Awards, the Gintong
Aklat Awards, the Madrigal-Gonzales First Book Award, and the
PBBY Salanga Children’s Book Award. Likewise, the book Train
of Thought, and its accompanying CD, which compile in book
and audio formats the poems recorded and heard over the PA
system of the LRT Line 2 under the Tulaan sa Tren project, was also
launched in January.
February brings with it the second and third Booklatan sa
Bayan events for 2009, to be held in Caloocan City and Naga
(in cooperation with Ateneo de Naga University) respectively. A
reading-cum-performance of Francisco Baltazar’s Florante at Laura
is also set for this month at the Trinoma Mall in Quezon City.
February also saw the poet Jose “Pete” F. Lacaba visiting Pateros
National High School under the auspices of a joint project of NBDB
and the Unyon ng Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) called UNLAK,
or UMPIL-NBDB Lakbay Awtor Para sa Kabataan.
For March, NBDB has lined up another Booklatan sa Bayan
event, this time in Palawan, with the cooperation of Palawan State
University. We also hope that the signing into law of one of the
most significant pieces of legislation for the book industry, the
National Book Development Trust Fund Act, will be held during
this month, so that we can cap the first quarter of 2009 with a
celebration of a hard-won victory for our stakeholders.
We at NBDB hope that the next three quarters of 2009 will be
as positive and productive as the current one.
The start of 2009 has swept
past us here at NBDB with the
maximum sustained winds of
a supertyphoon. The first two
months alone have kept us
constantly on the move in our
efforts to promote the development of the book industry.
January brings with it the first in a series of Booklatan sa
Bayan activities, which is made possible for the entire 2009
through a partnership with the Knowledge and Development
Center (KDC) and its partner schools and universities. The first
Booklatan was held in Iloilo in cooperation with KDC member
Central Philippine University. In January, NBDB also launched two
historic publications: the Directory of Industry Stakeholders, which
lists all NBDB-registered entities involved in the book publishing
industry; and the first-ever Catalogue of Award-Winning Titles, a
compilation of twenty-five years’ worth of winners of the country’s
four prestigious awards: the National Book Awards, the Gintong
Aklat Awards, the Madrigal-Gonzales First Book Award, and the
PBBY Salanga Children’s Book Award. Likewise, the book Train
of Thought, and its accompanying CD, which compile in book
and audio formats the poems recorded and heard over the PA
system of the LRT Line 2 under the Tulaan sa Tren project, was also
launched in January.
February brings with it the second and third Booklatan sa
Bayan events for 2009, to be held in Caloocan City and Naga
(in cooperation with Ateneo de Naga University) respectively. A
reading-cum-performance of Francisco Baltazar’s Florante at Laura
is also set for this month at the Trinoma Mall in Quezon City.
February also saw the poet Jose “Pete” F. Lacaba visiting Pateros
National High School under the auspices of a joint project of NBDB
and the Unyon ng Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) called UNLAK,
or UMPIL-NBDB Lakbay Awtor Para sa Kabataan.
For March, NBDB has lined up another Booklatan sa Bayan
event, this time in Palawan, with the cooperation of Palawan State
University. We also hope that the signing into law of one of the
most significant pieces of legislation for the book industry, the
National Book Development Trust Fund Act, will be held during
this month, so that we can cap the first quarter of 2009 with a
celebration of a hard-won victory for our stakeholders.
We at NBDB hope that the next three quarters of 2009 will be
as positive and productive as the current one.
Trust Fund
Law for Our
NBDB Chairman
What I’m Reading Now
Young and edgy fashion designer Tippi Ocampo, in her charming, little cloth-covered Not
By the Book (available in Powerbooks), shows us how the unsightly, the ordinary everyday
things, and the chaotic can be sources of creative inspirations. Tippi’s funky designs,
believe it or not, are inspired by everyday scenes, from cabbages in the wet market and
the rusting tin roofs of shanties, to patterned jeepney seats and fish tails. Creativity does
not only apply to fashion and design, and the book serves as a guide for anyone who’s
into anything that requires creativity.
Just like Tippi, we at the NBDB also believe that we should always come up with
something fresh, cutting-edge, and new to make Filipinos from all walks of life read more.
Take for example the successful 12th Philippine Book Development Month (Pages 1217), where we were able to pull off never-been-done-before activities like the overnight
Marathon Reading of Noli Me Tangere, the Food and Writing Tour in Bulacan and
Pampanga, and bringing PBDM activities to Cebu for the first time.
While Tippi tells us to go against what the book says, this issue’s cover girl Chin-chin
Gutierrez (Page 22) followed the example set by a heroine in her favorite children’s book
to change the lives of thousands around her, using her creativity as an artist.
Who says that in this country, writers cannot be celebrities? Queen of Romance Martha
Cecilia (Page 20) debunks this misconception, as she shares with Bookwatch the many
outrageous and unbelievable things loyal fans have done in devotion to her. We are also
honored to feature poet Gemino Abad’s UP Centennial Panayam Lecture (The Poem is the
Real: A Poetics on Page 24).
Not By the Book does not only show us how a Filipino reacts to her everyday
surroundings, translating the ugly and ordinary into fabulous pieces of art. Beautifully
designed by Cynthia Bauzon-Arre, Lizza Gutierrez, and Chinggay Labrador, the book is a
tactile experience that delights one’s sense of touch and should set an example for other
publishers to think of design as an important element to market books.
(Not By the Book: Fashioning Design by Tippi Ocampo is available in selected
Powerbooks branches at P950.)
Congress approves trust fund
to support local authors
Birthday book-drive
NBDB executive director Andrea Pasion-Flores
and Nicole Tan give life to the stories Aka, Aka,
Ayaw Maging Palaka by Amrel Janna and Wako,
Ang Kuwagong Pilyo by Victoria Añonuevo.
Laptops and iPods may make it to the top of
young people’s wish lists these days, but for
eighteen-year-old Nicole Tan, books are still the
ideal gifts to give and receive, so that instead
of asking for anything else, she asked relatives
and friends for books which she hoped to
share with other kids when she celebrated her
eighteenth birthday last September.
Getting in touch with the NBDB and the
Quezon City Public Library (QCPL) to help
her distribute the books she raised from her
birthday book drive, Nicole shared her love for
books and reading with kids of Brgy. Escopa II
Day Care last January 30 by holding a special
book donation and storytelling party. Seeing
the smiles and joy in the faces of the children
who attended the party proves that books are
still the best gifts.
NBDB executive director Andrea PasionFlores and Nicole delighted the kids by
reading Aka, Aka, Ayaw Maging Palaka by
Amrel Janna and Wako, Ang Kuwagong Pilyo
by Victoria Añonuevo. Aside from donating
books, Nicole also gave away toys and
goodies to the preschool children. The NBDB,
through the help of AHON Foundation, also
donated over six boxes of children’s books
from its book donation program to the
barangay library.
The storytelling event is one of the NBDB’s
programs for 2009 to help spread the love for
reading among the young. The Brgy. Escopa II
Day Care Center was the first venue of the
monthly storytelling sessions the NBDB is
spearheading together with QCPL’s Troy
Lacsamana.—Glenn L. Malimban
Photo by Jay alonzo
NBDB helps debutante fulfill her birthday wish
f there is an advocacy shared by local
authors, publishing industry players
and the NBDB that began at the
12th Congress through the 14th
Congress, it is the enactment into law of
the National Book Development Trust
Fund to support Filipino authorship.
This legislative agenda of the NBDB
to create a trust fund to support Filipino
authorship began when the first Authors
trust fund bill was filed at the 12th
Congress by then Iloilo Congressman and
Deputy Speaker for the Visayas and now
Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez. At the
13th Congress, said bill was filed by his son,
Congressman Raul T. Gonzalez. Jr. at the
House with Senators Luisa “Loi” Estrada
and Edgardo Angara at the Senate.
On 19 January 2009, the current
Congress accomplished what the previous
Congresses failed to do. Both Houses
have adopted Senate Bill 2409, authored
by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano together
with Senators Edgardo J. Angara and
Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada. This provides
for Php 50M allotment from the General
Appropriations Act (GAA) annually for
5 years aside from allotments from the
Philippine Amusement and Gaming
Corporation (PAGCOR) and the
Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office
(PCSO), which will each contribute P5
million a month for ten months or P50
million each to the Fund. Technically, it
is now enacted into law and is awaiting
signature by the President.
Dr. Isagani Cruz, a former Education
undersecretary and founding chair of the
Manila Critics Circle said in his Philippine
Star column last year that “one of NBDB’s
biggest efforts [this year] is to have Senate
Bill 2409 passed into law.” He stressed
that “the point is to help starving writers,
those that write books that publishers will
ordinarily not touch (such as books of
plays or literary theory, books in vernacular
languages other than Filipino, books on
local history, or books about scientific
experiments or discoveries).”
“We would like to thank the
participation and support of the book
industry associations, the NBDB personnel,
local authors and writers groups, in
lobbying for the passing into law of the
National Book Development Trust Fund
to support Filipino authors,” says NBDB
Chairman Dr. Dennis T. Gonzalez. “This
will be a new window of opportunity for
authors and creative artists who could not
avail of limited number of research grants
or fellowships and are forced to temporarily
abandon their literary or artistic calling
or pursue other financially rewarding
undertakings,” he adds.
With quality works produced annually
by competing authors, the local book
publishers will be forced to compete and
invest in new talents and new titles. The
Philippines being a publishing hub in
Asia will soon be a reality.
For the NBDB Executive Director
Atty. Andrea Pasion-Flores, a book author
herself, a trust fund will “boost the annual
number of titles produced especially in local
history, science and technology, indigenous
children’s stories and the translations of
classic works into local languages, not only
for books written in English.”
This will encourage veteran as well
as budding authors and book writers to
write Filipino books in English or in the
eight major local languages or dialects viz.
Cebuano, Hiligaynon (Ilonggo), Bikol,
Kapampangan, Ilokano, Waray, Tagalog,
Pangasinan etc. and eventually create a
vibrant book trade in the regions, she adds.
With at least sixty-five (65) grants worth
P150,000.00 each per region that will be at
stake annually, the NBDB believes it will
benefit the right people—deserving writers
or researchers in the Philippines who will
produce or finish excellent manuscripts
on a variety of topics or subject areas for
publication that will eventually benefit the
book-reading Filipinos.
The NBDB will act as fund administrator
and would soon hold consultations on the
law’s implementing rules and regulations or
(IRR). –Edgardo P. Sabalvoro
NBDB launches publications
ook industry luminaries
gathered last January 28 at
the Filipinas Heritage Library
to celebrate the launch of the
three landmark publications of the NBDB:
A Catalogue of Award-Winning Titles,
Directory of NBDB Stakeholders, and Train
of Thought: Poems from Tulaan sa Tren.
Published to help put the Philippines
in the book industry world map, the
Catalogue of Award-Winning Titles and
Directory of NBDB Stakeholders will serve
as an important reference to the best
published books in the country and a
comprehensive list of the Philippines’
book industry entities respectively. The
Catalogue of Award-Winning Titles
features all the books that have won the
National Book Awards, the Gintong
Aklat Awards, the Madrigal-Gonzales
First Book Award, and the Philippine
Board on Books for the Young People’s
Salanga Prize. The Directory of NBDB
Stakeholders, which lists all the book
entities registered with the NBDB, aims
to help promote publishing entities in
both local and international markets.
Finally, Train of Thought is the muchawaited compilation of the poems
featured in the NBDB and Light Rail
Transit Authority’s Tulaan sa Tren
project. The book also includes a special
edition CD containing some of the
poems pre-recorded by celebrities and
heard in LRT stations. Fuji Xerox
Philippines sponsored the printing of the
book designed by poet Adam David.
demonstrate their skills
in storytelling during the
group presentation
NBDB gears up for
2009 Booklatan
First of 2009 Booklatan sa Bayan held in Iloilo
-Glenn Malimban
visits school
UNLAK brings Isagani Cruz
to Pasig high school
The UMPIL-NBDB Lakbay Awtor para
sa Kabataan (UNLAK) recently brought
playwright, fictionist, critic, and columnist
Isagani Cruz to the San Joaquin-Kalawaan
High School in Pasig City for the fourth
leg of the UNLAK tour.
The prizewinning author and founding
member of the Manila Critics Circle
spoke before high school students,
encouraging them to write, while giving
tips on how neophyte writers can hone
their writing skills.
Dr. Isagani Cruz advises aspiring young writers
to keep a journal and write everyday
Awtor para sa Kabataan) tours foremost
Filipino writers around schools in Metro
Manila to bring local authors and their
works closer to the young.
-Camille Dianne Mendoza
Participants of Booklatan sa Iloilo
Booklatan sa Bayan
goes to
10 cities for 2009
Every year, the NBDB brings the
Booklatan sa Bayan to different parts
of the country. It has been successfully
implemented in the cities of San Fernando
(La Union), Dagupan, Calamba, Lipa,
Naga, Iloilo, Ormoc, Pagadian, Iligan,
Pasig, Mandaluyong, and Manila; and in
the provinces of Camarines Sur, Sultan
Kudarat, and Davao Oriental.
In 2009, the NBDB is partnering with the
World Bank-Knowledge for Development
Center (WB-KDC) to bring Booklatan to
eight major cities nationwide. The KDC
schools and institutions will sponsor the
venues. These schools are Palawan State
University, Palawan; Ateneo de Naga
University, Naga City; St. Paul University,
Tuguegarao City; Notre Dame University,
Cotabato City; University of Southeastern
Philippines, Davao City; Western Mindanao
State University, Zamboanga City; and
Siliman University, Dumaguete City.
Teachers, librarians, and other school
officials of the said schools are expected to
attend the series of trainings.
Aside from the WB-KDC-sponsored
Booklatan, the NBDB will also implement
the Booklatan in Bagumbong High School
in Caloocan City, and in the Philippine
State College of Aeronautics, Villamor
Airbase, Pasay City. – Glenn L. Malimban
Photos by Glenn Malimban
Resource speaker Dr. Elena Cutiongco,
former president of the Reading
Association of the Philippines, discussed
the need for schools to raise the level of
functional literacy in our people, as well
as the importance of reading among
children and students. Manolo Silayan
of the Alitaptap Storytellers Philippines
Inc. gave workshops on how teachers and
librarians can hone their skills in bookbased storytelling.
The Booklatan sa Bayan is the
NBDB’s continuing readership and
market development program. It aims to
promote Filipino-authored books and the
importance of reading as a life-long habit.
Photos by Glenn Malimban
The NBDB’s Booklatan sa Bayan
program kicked off 2009 in Jaro,
Iloilo City last January 21 to 23. The
NBDB partnered with the Review and
Continuing Education Center of the
Central Philippine University (CPU),
headed by its director Dr. Felnor
Importante; and the Knowledge for
Development Center (KDC), Iloilo,
committee chaired by Prof. Victory
Dionio, to bring Booklatan to Iloilo.
Over 90 participants consisting of
teachers, principals, and librarians
benefited from the three-day series of
lectures and workshops on promoting
good reading habits held at the Henry
Luce III Library inside the CPU campus.
”The NBDB is
beginning the year
right for the local
book industry, in
spite of the gloomy
global economy,”
says Chairman
Dennis Gonzalez.
LRTA Administrator Mel Robles
congratulated the NBDB for the success of
Tulaan sa Tren, which continues to receive
recognition and warm response from the public.
Robles also expressed LRTA’s willingness to
renew the contract with the NBDB.
Tulaan sa Tren featured poets Conchitina
Cruz, Alfred Yuson, and National Artist
Virgilio Almario each read their own poems.
Almario read “Huling Biyahe” (Rekwerdo),
the first time he read before an audience in
two decades.
Others present during the launch were
Central Book’s Paolo Sibal, Milflores
Publishing’s Antonio Hidalgo, Philippine
Board on Books for Young People’s
Ruben de Jesus, author Jaime An Lim,
and other representatives from different
publishing houses.
The Catalogue of Award-Winning Titles
and Directory of NBDB Stakeholders are
available at the NBDB office. For details on
how to order, call the NBDB at 920-9853.
-Camille Dianne Mendoza
Rio Alma
Nang umagang umalis ang huling tren
Si Suko’y sanlinggo nang may koronang dilim
At nilalangaw ang bagong-huling hito’t pehe
At may limang naglilimas sa maputik na palengke.
Nang umalis ang treng kinakalawang
May natuklasang walong bangkay sa parang;
May kalabaw pang biglang tumawid sa riles
At hinimatay ang limang balo sa bukid.
Amoy-kandila’t amarilyo ang mga gusgusing kapilya
At ang panadero’y kinakapos sa arina.
Nang umalis ang tren sa estasyon
Gumagapang sa buntis nang uhay ang mga tipaklong;
May galít na ngiping kumakagat sa gutóm na dila,
May nagtitiis lumunok na lamang ng laway at luha.
Maraming lumuluhod sa namumutlang santo
Marami ding kumakatok sa saradong munisipyo
At dumarami ang nakikinig sa mahabang talumpati
Ng kumander hinggil sa tunggalian ng mga uri.
Nang umalis ang tren palunsod
May limang pasahero’t walong sundalong pagód;
Hinayang na hinayang ang mga komersiyante,
Pinunit ng meyor ang sampaldong tiket na libre.
Mga paslit lamang ang nananaginip habang naghahatid:
Babalik ang tren, ang tren ay babalik.
(Retrato at Rekwerdo, 1984)
Fuji Xerox’s Ricky
Munoz with a copy of
Train of Thought
LRTA Administrator
Mel Robles expresses
his joy for the success
of Tulaan sa Tren
Rio Alma reads
“Huling Biyahe,” the
first time he has read
before an audience
since the 1980s
Krip Yuson reads his
poem “Babala”
Conchitina Cruz
reads “Dear City”
Gatas Tisoy: The Magic
of Fresh Milk
Hacienda Macalauan, the dairy capital of Laguna
By Alvin J. Buenaventura
mga Mata by Alvin B. Yapan, Apókripos by
Jerry B. Gracio and Pagluwas by Zosimo
Quibilan, Jr. Quibilan. Quibilan’s Pagluwas,
a collection of short-short fiction, won the
award plus a check for P50,000.
The LIKHAAN: UP Institute of
Creative Writing which organizes
UP Writers Night, thought better of
expanding the occasion in line with
the celebration of the University of
the Philippines’ centenary. The second
issue of the Likhaan Journal, edited by
National Artist Virgilio S. Almario, was
also launched this year, and contains the
works of writers such as Abdon M. Balde,
Jr., Carlos Piocos, Mookie Katigbak,
Marne Kilates and many others.
Organized in part by UP Writers Club,
the Writers Night, which concludes the
event, is also a gathering for budding
writers. Most of them were the performers
themselves, all providing temporary
entertainment to men and women who
become once again their supers and
professors when school days return.
There were also remarkable performances
by renowned artists Susan Fernandez,
Romancing Venus, Cynthia Alexander,
Giniling Festival and the ventriloquist, Ony
Carcamo. Performance Poets GP Abrajano
and Siege Malvar hosted the event.
After this year’s jam-packed celebration,
we definitely have much to look forward
to in the years to come. After all, with
the expansion of the UP Writers Night
to UP Writers Day, we just know that
things move in one general direction
(and hopefully the same goes for the rest
of Philippine Literature): that of getting
better.- Maria EJ Pia V. Benosa
he NBDB and Hacienda
Macalauan, Inc. are partnering
to give Filipino children a
healthy body and sound
mind, as HMI commits to provide young
participants of NBDB storytelling sessions
Gatas Tisoy milk during NBDB-sponsored
Finalists and judges for the 2008 MadrigalGonzalez First Book Award
Benefits from Milk
Milk contains nine essential nutrients
which benefit children, teens, and adults.
Calcium builds strong bones and teeth.
Experts from Boston University also
discovered that children and teenagers,
who consume at least three servings of
low-fat milk and dairy products a day,
lower their risk of becoming obese in
adulthood. The protein in milk, whey and
casein are called “high-quality proteins,”
which makes the creamy liquid the best
muscle builder in the world.
Folk singer Susan Fernandez serenades the
Hacienda Macalauan,
home of Gatas Tisoy
Mookie Katigbak reads her poem
Alitaptap Storytellers read Jean LeePatindol’s Mama’s House, Papa’s House
Photos by Glenn Malimban
ast December, writers drove off
to Diliman, postponing thinking
about the economics of living
even for just one day, to celebrate
their craft with other writers and artists
at the UP Writers Day.
The 2008 festivities began even before the
actual Writers Day on December 5. Weeks
before, an exhibit had been put up at the
Faculty Center of the College of Arts and
Letters commemorating the many years
of the UP National Writers Workshop.
The concept this year was homecoming,
and most of the activities were aimed at
bringing together all who have been fellows
in the Workshops, as well as young writers
who will eventually gain admission to the
advanced UP NWW held yearly in Baguio.
On December 5, Dr. Gémino H. Abad,
Professor Emeritus at the UP College
of Arts and Letters, gave a lecture for
the last instalment of the UP ICW’s
Centennial Panayam Series. His talk,
“The Poem is the Real: A Poetics”, which
is about the importance of poetry as a
signifier of reality, gained an audience of
students, writers, artists from other fields,
literary critics and other colleagues.
It has also been a tradition to award
the Madrigal-Gonzales Best First Book
Award at the annual Writers Night. This
year, to give people in the audience a chance
to hear about the writing process and the
difficulties that authors had to endure
before the publication of their works, the
finalists were invited to a round-table
discussion, moderated by Palanca awardwinning writer Kristian Cordero. The
finalists were: Naglalayag (Silent Passage)
by Irma V. Dimaranan, Ang Sandali ng
Photos courtesy of UP-ICW
‘Night Becomes Day at
THE UP Writers DAY 2008
Contributors to the 2008 Likhaan Journal:
(from left) Vim Nadera, Jose Dalisay, National
Artist Virgilio Almario, Susan Lara, Marne
Kilates, Angelo Lacuesta, Mookie Katigbak,
Abdon Balde, Charlson Ong, Carlos Piocos,
Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo, and Roland Tolentino.
Nestled in the pristine foothills of Mt.
Makiling, Hacienda Macalauan (www. is currently
home to more two hundred Freshian
Sahiwals dairy cows. Owner-manager
Eduardo Jose Soriano imported the initial
herd via airplane from Australia. Soriano
is a veteran of San Miguel and an expert
in the dairy industry. His family brought
to generations of milk lovers Magnolia’s
“Choco-Vim.” Now, his low-fat fresh
milk is marketed as Gatas Tisoy.
Hacienda Macalauan, Inc.
(HMI) partners with NBDB
In an interview with BOOKWATCH,
Soriano said that “it’s important for the
baby (calf) to drink its mother’s milk
early on because this first milk known
as colostrum contains antibodies that
will protect the calf from diseases
later on.” From an initial 100 heads,
the farm doubled its herd through
artificial insemination and the care of
its dedicated veterinarians. Intensely
innovative, Soriano is pushing for a fully
operational Embryo Transfer laboratory.
Through HMI’s marketing officer
Sandra Yulo, packs of delicious Gatas
Tisoy were distributed for free to
participants of the Pistang Kwentuhan at
the UP Bahay ng Alumni. As part of the
National Book Development Board’s 12th
Philippine Book Development Month
celebrations, the agency invited GMA
7 broadcasters Rhea Santos and Lyn
Ching-Pascual to conduct storytelling for
children at the festival.
GMA 7 newscasters and TV hosts Rhea Santos
and Lyn Ching-Pascual take turns as storytellers
to read to pre-school children of Taytay, Rizal
and Batangas City at the “Storytelling Festival
(Pistahang Kentuhan)” organized by the NBDB
at AT3 at the U.P. Bahay ng Alumni on November
21. Rhea gave life to the story “Si Langgam at si
Tipaklong” while Lyn told the story “Bakit Asul
ang Langit?” Gatas Tsinoy provided milk to kids
who participated in the event.
Good books for a
healthy mind, quality
milk for a healthy body
Nuts Doughnut chain, Java Man chain,
Mario’s, Dulcinea, Manila Golf and
Country Club, Manila Hotel, Manila
Peninsula, Crowne Plaza, and Hyatt
Hotel, among others. Prior to the NBDB
partnership, HMI milk fed 9,602 children
in DepEd’s Food for School Program and
11,060 children in the Department of
Social Welfare’s feeding program.
HMI’s commitment to high quality and
excellence did not go unnoticed as
they were conferred accolades like the
2005 Philippine Marketing Excellence
Award and the National Shopper’s
Choice Award. HMI’s clientele includes
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Bo’s
Coffee chain, Krispy Kreme chain, Go
Aside from the standard low-fat fresh
milk, enjoy the magic of Gatas Tisoy in
chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla flavors.
HMI is open for educational visits and
invites would be distributors to contact
Sandra Yulo at 811-5656 or Peter Flores
at 0915-974-7519.
Student NBDB Book
Club participants with
KUTING members
Of Heartbreaks and
January 2009
It was barely Christmas and already, the
NBDB Book Club was gladly wallowing
in heartbreak with its reading of Sawi:
Funny Essays, Stories, and Poems on All
Kinds of Heartbreaks last December 13
at Hooked on Books along Katipunan
Avenue, Quezon City.
Guests from the Fort Bonifacio High
School in Makati, consisting of a number
of students led by their teachers, provided
a youthful account of how it is to fall for
someone and have your heart broken instead.
Edited by Ada Loredo, BJ Patiño
and Rica Bolipata-Santos, Sawi centers
on the different takes on love and the
frustrations of unhappy endings that
woe each of us. Loredo elaborated on
the appeal of the book as a “vicarious”
experience for everyone effected not only
by the universality of the untiring theme
of love but also by the assorted genres of
poetry, short fiction and essay included in
the collection with which the downsides
of love were dealt with either hilarity or
solemnity. Testament to the appeal of
Sawi is its relative success as a bestseller
and the prospect of a sequel in the works,
suggestions for which were solicited from
the attendees who willingly voiced their
preferences and expectations.
Sawi is published by Milflores Publishing
Inc. and is available in bookstores
nationwide.—Kristina Corren Marcelo
Who doesn’t remember those awkward
‘tween years, when you starved yourself
at dinner and secretly tried slimming
pills to shake off stubborn baby fat? The
pressure you felt when not a single boy
in class had made a move to be your
date three days to prom night? When
you began to get insecure with a cousin
your age who had more suitors and was
more popular in school? Surely, writers of
KUTING (Kuwentista ng mga Tsikiting)
clearly remember, and they accurately
illustrated the troubles, heartaches, and
sappy experiences that make adolescence
memorable in Bagets, a collection of
short stories for young adults.
The NBDB Book Club discussed the
book together with members of KUTING
and students of Krus na Ligas High School
last January 31 at Popular Bookstore in
Tomas Morato, Quezon City. KUTING
members Bong Oris, Zarah Gagatiga, and
Astrid Mae Tobias discussed the genre of
young adult fiction, a relatively new genre
in Philippine Lit. Bagets was the product of
KUTING’s effort to offer young readers a
local book about their own experiences.
Published by UP Press, Bagets (an
Anthology of Young Adult Fiction) is
edited by Carla Pacis and Eugene Evasco.
The book is available at the UP Press and
National Book Store.
Bagets: An Anthology
of Filipino Young Adult
—Camille Dianne Mendoza
The message was brief and catchy. Two short words, that
relayed two different meanings: to peruse the exceptional
works of Pinoy writers, and at the same time a shout-out to all
Filipinos—read! Both meanings redound to one ultimate goal,
so we didn’t mind the double meaning at all.
Sawi editor Ada Loredo (extreme left) and writer
Libay Linsangan Cantor (second from right) share
their thoughts on how to turn one’s heartaches
into creatively written pieces.
And so with the 12th Philippine Book Development Month,
the NBDB successfully got the message across to people all
over the country, who participated in the activities the NBDB
spearheaded last November. We flew and brought fun-filled
book activities to Cebu, brought a group of Manileños on a
literary and gastronomic adventure up North, stayed up all
night to read an entire novel, quizzed students on how much
they know about the books they read, showcased teachers’
storytelling prowess, brought book fairs to malls as our early
Christmas gifts to bookworms, and made sure everyone
hollered with us, ‘Read Pinoy!’
KUTING’s Bong Oris, Astrid Tobias, and
Zarah Gagatiga with NBDB Executive
Director Andrea Pasion-Flores
Sawi is a hit among high school
NBDB Book Club attendees
Photos by Pia Benosa and Dianne Mendoza
Sawi: Funny Essays,
Stories, and Poems on All
Kinds of Heartbreaks
Noli Me
Writer Edgar Samar
reads Chapter 14
“Tasiong Baliw o
National Artist Virgilio
Almario praises Jose Rizal,
the novelist, during his
opening lecture for the
marathon reading
p.m. Fictionist Sarge Lacuesta
and poet Mookie Katigbak
read Chapter 25 “Elias at Salome”
a.m. Fictionist Abdon Balde
reads Chapter 54 “Il Buon Di
Si Conosce Da Mattina”
p.m. Alitaptap Storytellers begin
the Noli marathon by reading
the first three chapters of the novel
“Kailangang basahin si Rizal
hindi dahil bayani siya, kundi dahil
magaling siyang manunulat.”
p.m. High Chair
poet Oliver Ortega
reads “Sisa” as cellist
Renato Lucas strums along
p.m. Poet
and Ateneo
professor Danton Remoto
reads Chapter 18 “Mga
Kaluluwang Naghihirap”
Photos by Glenn Malimban and Dianne Mendoza
p.m. Husband and wife Julius
and Christine Babao play read
Chapter 7 “Suyuan sa Isang Asotea”
p.m. Poet and
Radioactive Sago
Project’s frontman Lourd
de Veyra reads Chapter 13
“Mga Banta ng Unos”
a.m. Storyteller
Melody Remorca
gives life to Chapter 57
“Sabi-sabi at Kuro-kuro”
Fictionist and UP-Institute of
Creative Writing director Butch Dalisay
reads Chapter 37 “Unang Ulap”
Veteran actor Roy
Iglesias moves the
audience when he
reads Chapter 19
“Mga Kapalaran
ng Isang Guro”
Fictionist and
Jerry Gracio
reads Chapter
59 “Isinumpa”
Poet Rogelio Mangahas
reading Chapter 60
“Pambayan at mga
Pansariling Kapakanan”
The young
poets of LIRA stay
awake to read
Chapters 38-43
Children’s book
writer and
publisher Ani
Almario reads
Chapter 8
“Mga Alaala”
Fictionist Mario
Miclat reads
“Vae Victis”
Poet Becky Añonuevo
reads Chapter 56
“Malaking Sakuna”
Cultural Center of
the Philippines’ chair
Emily Abrera reads
Chapter 5 “Isang
Gabing Madilim”
Storyteller Napoleon
Loseo reads Chapter
28 “Sa Takipsilim”
p.m. Family of poets: Marra
Lanot, Kris Lanot Lacaba, and
Pete Lacaba read Chapter 26 “Sa Bahay
ng Pilosopo”
Stage director
Njil de Mesa
reads “Basilio”
Poet Vim Nadera
reads Chapter 4,
“Erehe at Filibustero,”
accompanied by
musician Cesar Caleja
– National Artist for Literature
Virgilio S. Almario
LIRA’s Lilia Antonio
reads Chapter 55
“Ang Pagbubunyag”
By Camille Dianne Mendoza
The Marathon Reading
We’re not sure if we would’ve made it to the Guinness Book of
World Records had we invited them; the event lasted approximately
24 hours. But whether it could have been a world record or not, the
long reading of Noli Me Tangere was definitely one of the highlights
of the 12th PBDM celebration; it was a major feat on its own in the
entire Philippine Book Development Month history.
It wasn’t Noli as you’ve seen, heard or read before. For one, it
wasn’t required or imposed reading and everybody stayed as they
pleased, unlike how you experienced it in third year high school
or in your Rizal class in college. Practically everyone has read the
novel, yet that day, people flocked to the Filipinas Heritage Library,
to revive the power and beauty of this great Philippine novel, and
experience it again on a different level. Using National Artist for
Literature Virgilio Almario’s exceptional translation, storytellers
animatedly read aloud, poets and authors recited the chapters most
meaningful for them, veteran thespians moved us with their powerful
reading, a contemporary dancer and a cellist enthralled us with their
accompanying performances, and surprise celebrity readers gamely
read their favorite chapters. The audience, with copies of the book in
hand, read along. People stayed over merienda, dinner, and midnight
snacks, until breakfast and lunch the next day – an overnight festivity
celebrating not Rizal the National Hero but Rizal, the great Filipino
Thanks to Almario’s faithful translation, Rizal’s dream of making
the novel available to the Filipino reader in a language he/she
understands was realized. And for one night, Noli Me Tangere,
oftentimes read for its historical value, was savored for the literary
jewel that it actually is. And for that, the marathon reading last
November 8 and 9 should already make a record.
p.m. Stage directors
Arthur Casanova and
Frank Rivera read Chapter 20
“Ang Pulong sa Tribunal”
of Pinoy Poets read
Chapters 23 and 24
a.m. Chin-chin
reprises her role as
Maria Clara as she reads
Chapters 61 and 63,
“Ikakasal na si Maria
Clara” and “Nagpaliwanag
si Padre Damaso”
High school principal
Jeanette Coroza reads
the second to the last
chapter “Pagtakas
Hanggang Lawa”
Poet Mike Coroza
finally concludes the
marathon reading
with the novel’s
Epilogue at 11:35
The mural on the wall of Hiyas Museum, painted by Bulacan artists, depicts the province’s
colorful past and its significant contributions to the country’s history and culture.
Hiyas Museum in Malolos.
Claude Tayag and wife Mary Ann
welcome everyone to Bale Dutung
Historian Jaime Veneracion discusses
how Bulacan’s food, history, and
literature are intertwined
The food were served one dish at a time, our meal lasting for four
hours, because Claude and Mary Ann wanted everyone to savour
and appreciate every specialty served before us.
The group feasts on ensaladang pakó, inasal na pugo,
and lumpiang ubod for appetizers.
The Tayags opened their
house at the upper floor of
the restaurant and showed
us functional pieces of art
made by Claude himself.
The group made a short stopover at Eurobake
for pasalubong and a demo on how to make the
yummy inipit
Bulacan’s local delicacies at Citang’s
Participants view the mounted exhibit
featuring National Artist for Literature
UP Pampanga’s Dr. Juliet Mallari talks
about the literary tradition of Pampanga
and how young Kapampangan writers
enliven the present literary scene
Bulacan and Pampanga
Virgilio Almario
ulacan and Pampanga ooze
with warm hospitality, yummy
gastronomic treats, colorful
histories, and rich literary
heritage. Whatever historical
controversy and conflict have been argued
for decades about the relationship of the
two provinces do not match the good
stuff that abound there.
Armed with adventurous appetites and
a great passion for history and literature,
a group of twenty Manileños joined the
NBDB and the Filipinas Heritage Library
on a Food and Writing Tour of Bulacan
and Pampanga last November 22.
So much have been said about
the cuisines of these two provinces,
Pampanga being the “Food Capital of
the Philippines” and Bulacan famous for
its desserts and pastries, that many of
us have overlooked the affluent culture
worth boasting of in these provinces.
Bulacan is the home of the Balagtasan,
hometown to eight National Artists
including Amado Hernandez and Virgilio
Almario, literary giants like Francisco
Balagtas and Jose Corazon de Jesus, and
many more great Filipino artists. The
tour’s first stopover at Hiyas Museum
displays exhibits of the famous sons
and daughters of the province from
celebrities to revolutionary heroes and
artists. There, renowned historian and
Bulakeño Dr. Jaime Veneracion gave a
brief lecture explaining how the culinary
heritage, history, and arts of Bulacan all
By Camille Dianne Mendoza
Photos by Glenn Malimban
and Dianne Mendoza
The Food and Literary Tour
Claude signs copies of his book, Food Tour,
for tour participants
play a significant part in the development
of the province’s literature.
From Hiyas Museum, the group
proceeded to Citang’s Eatery for brunch
where we sampled the kakanins and
pastries Bulacan is famous for, especially
the goto and pancit, anyone who’s been
to Aling Citang’s little carinderia rave
about. From there, the group dropped
by Eurobake to watch a demo of how
the local delicacy inipit is made before
proceeding to Pampanga.
Artist chef Claude Tayag and wife
Mary Ann welcomed us to their home
and restaurant Bale Dutung in Angeles
City for lunch. Bale Dutung, which
means wooden house in Kapampangan,
is a restaurant, house, and museum of
sorts. Claude, who apart from the many
other things he does, is also a writer, told
us that what defines Pampanga cuisine
is the “linamnam.” Thus, we savored
the linamnam of his version of inasal na
pugo, ensaladang pako and lumpiang
ubod. Our lunch lasted for four hours
because Claude and Mary Anne served
one dish at a time, instead of the usual
smorgasbord Pinoys are used to, so that
we could savor and appreciate each
cuisine. UP Pampanga’s Dr. Juliet Mallari
also joined us for lunch to talk about
Kapampangan literature.
Participants of the trip went back to
Manila with a full stomach, plenty of
pasalubong, and a bagful of new insights
about the provinces.
Other Highl
NBDB executive director Andrea
Pasion-Flores and USC’s Ching Remedio
Dr. Cristina Pantoja
Hidalgo lectures on
creative non-fiction
How to Read Lecture Series
Textbook R & D
What better way for lovers of literature to
have greater appreciation for the poems,
essays, and stories they read than by
having authors themselves teach them
how to better understand literary works.
Teachers and students alike attended the
four-part lecture series, where some of
the biggest names in Philippine Literature:
Gémino Abad (poetry in English), Jose Y.
Dalisay (English fiction), Cristina Pantoja
Hidalgo (creative non-fiction), and Vim
Nadera (Philippine poetry), discussed
techniques on how to read and teach the
different literary genres.
With the many issues surrounding the
quality of instructional reading materials,
the NBDB invited former DepEd
undersecretary Dr. Isagani Cruz and
Instructional Materials Council Secretariat
Director Socorro Pilor to talk about the
importance of research and development
in textbook publishing for private and
public school textbooks.
Lost in Translation
fictionist Jose
Dalisay talks
about the
elements of
With over 170 languages in the country,
translating publishing works should be
considered a worthwhile endeavor in
Philippine book publishing. Prizewinning
translator and poet Marne L. Kilates
discussed the losses and gains in
translating, and how translator and
translatee both “profit in meaning and
Writers’ Rights
Sycip Law’s Atty. Vicente Amador gave
an audience of publishers and authors
the basics on copyright, royalties, and
other fees.
How Writers Can Break
into the International
Penguin Publishing’s Ariel Balatbat,
Random House’s Rino Balatbat, and
Simon and Schuster’s Jenny Javier –
Philippine representatives of the biggest
international publishing houses – took
part in a panel discussion to give
Philippine writers tips on how they can
get published abroad.
Poet Vim Nadera gets questions
and reactions from participants
Book exhibit at the
Publishing 101 Fair
McCann-Erickson’s Emily
Abrera presents publishers with
innovative ways to sell books
Market-based Selling
for Publishers
With other products and foreign titles to
compete with, how do local publishers
get the attention of their target market
to buy locally-published books? McCann
Erickson Philippines’ Emily Abrera
provided participants of the lecture
innovative ways on how to creatively
sell their books, in the midst of tough
competition and a world in recession.
Publishing 101: Academic
Publishing Conference
The NBDB partnered with the University of
San Carlos-CHED Zonal Research Division
in Cebu City to hold Publishing 101:
Academic Publishing Fair for Visayas and
Mindanao-based schools and publishers.
More than a hundred participants were
taught the basics in academic and
commercial publishing, with executives
from the biggest commercial and
academic publishing houses as speakers.
Book Fairs at the
Ayala Malls
The NBDB and members of the Philippine
Booksellers Association, Inc. (PBAI) treated
bookworms to an early Christmas treat,
when they organized pre-Christmas book
fairs at the TriNoma from November 10
to 14 and the Ayala Center Cebu from
November 28 to 30.
NBDB partners for the 12th Philippine Book
Development Month are the Filipinas Heritage
Library, Ayala Malls, Manila Bulletin, National
Commission for Culture and the Arts,
Book Development Association of the Philippines,
Philippine Booksellers Association Inc., Philippine Association
of Educational Publishers, Philippine Bible Society, C & E Publishing,
Central Books, A-Z Direct Marketing, National Book Store, Yuchengco
Museum, Fuji Xerox Philippines, Vibal Publishing, Adarna House,
Anvil Publishing, and Cebu Daily News.
Participants of the
storytelling and Art
of Folk contests in
the Visayas
Nikki Gil surprises
mall-goers with a
storytelling treat
Book fair at the
Ayala Center Cebu
Winners of the Book
Marathon with their
teachers and loved ones
during the grand finals
at the TriNoma
Storytelling and Book Marathon Contests
Private and public school students
and teachers from the National
Capital Region and the Visayas joined
the storytelling and book marathon
contests the NBDB organized in
celebration of the 12th PBDM.
As early as September, the
NBDB and the Filipinas Heritage
Library already started with
preliminary elimination rounds
for the Storytelling contest for
teachers and the children’s book
marathon. Fourteen English and
Filipino elementary and high school
teachers from public and private
schools were invited to join the
storytelling contests, where teachers
showcased their storytelling skills
and read from Philippine-authored
books. Twenty-two elementary
school students from various schools
joined the Book Marathon contest,
where they were quizzed on how
much they know about Philippineauthored children’s books.
The grand finals were held at
the TriNoma Mall for participants
in the NCR, while Ayala Center
Cebu hosted the grand finals in the
During the grand finals at the
TriNoma, Get Caught Reading
celebrity endorser Nikki Gil surprised
mall goers, when she treated them
to a special storytelling session at
the mall’s activity area. Nikki read
Rene Villanueva’s well-loved classic
Tiktaktok at Pikpakbum to mall-goers
and students of the Brgy. Calamansi
Day Care Center in Caloocan City.
Winners of the contests
1ST place - Eliezl M. Montemayor,
Mapulang Lupa Elementary School
2ND place - Joshua Martin L. Kalaw,
Elizabeth Seton School
3RD place - Lyza Del P. Natividad,
Kids Land Christian School
1ST place - Rosemarie Rada Vasquez,
Colegio San Agustin
2ND place - Katherine Paulette B. Colonia,
Mapulang Lupa Elementary School
3RD place - Napoleon N. Loseo,
Manuyo Elementary School
Winner- Gleah T. Sevilleno, Mandaue City
School for the Arts
Winner – Mandaue City School for the Arts
The winners received cash prizes
and gift checks from the Ayala
Malls and National Bookstore.
hildren’s stories are fun to
read. Children have an innate
love for stories; they are
always delighted to explore
their imaginations through reading
and listening to stories. Tell a child that
you have a story and he’ll surely be
enthusiastic and excited to listen. His
eyes would light up in anticipation of the
adventures the simple words bring.
I remember hearing a mother share
how her children would always ask her to
tell stories at night before going to sleep.
The children love hearing them and
would always ask for more stories. There
even came a time when the mother
made up stories of her own out of the
lizard up on the ceiling, the ants on the
floor, the cat meowing, the dog barking,
or the fish in the aquarium. Imagine how
the simple and ordinary (like the lizard)
can make one good story.
Doctor-writer, Luis Gatmaitan, has
written several children’s books, many
of them are award-winning. A lot of his
stories were about his young patients;
he wrote the funny yet enlightening
Duglit, Ang Dugong Makulit and the very
inspiring Isang Dosenang Sapatos. A writer
by heart, Dr. Gat, as his friends call him,
writes heartwarming stories depicting how
extraordinary young characters in his stories
overcome hardships, such as illnesses, while
maintaining positive outlook in life.
your guide to the city’s little book havens
Popular Bookstore is located
along Tomas Morato Avenue,
Quezon City
Popular Bookstore boasts of hard-to-find titles
they import directly from abroad
One Family’s Legacy
By Maria E. J. Pia V. Benosa
Photos by Dianne Mendoza
By Glenn L. Malimban
The NBDB regularly organizes
storytelling events in line with their
readership campaign program. The
NBDB’s Get Caught Reading endorsers are
often invited as the featured storytellers
in venues like daycare centers, public
libraries, and malls. Active on these events
are Karylle, Miriam Quiambao, Nikki Gil,
Lyn Ching-Pascual, Rhea Santos, and
Christine Bersola-Babao.
There are a lot of children’s stories
written by Filipinos and they are best for
storytelling to children. The NBDB often
recommend the use of Filipino-authored
children’s books in these events. There
are plenty of stories which are equally
good as, if not better than, ‘Snow White
and the Seven Dwarves’ or ‘Tarzan’.
Some of the NBDB-GCR endorsers
even venture into writing children’s
books, writing from their childhood
experiences and for the sheer joy of
telling stories to kids: Christine Babao has
already written three books: “Bryan”,
“Basura Monster”, and “Christine.”
Award-winning actress Maricel Laxa
created a superhero, “Superbenj,”
inspired by her own son, who underwent
heart surgery. TV Host and newscaster
Rhea Santos is also considering writing
her own children’s books.
Among the Hollywood celebrities
who have written books for kids are
Bill Cosby, Jamie Lee Curtis, Whoopi
Goldberg, Bette Midler, Dolly Parton,
Madonna, Will Smith, and John Travolta.
This proves that writing stories for kids
is fulfilling. Writers may write a book
thinking of a child, own experiences,
or impart lessons learned. Others say
writing a children’s book is part of the
process of healing.
I’m no longer a child but I still like to
read children’s stories. In bookstores, I
would browse different titles of children’s
books, or read for hours at home old
books I had as a kid. There is something
uplifting reading them. The stories are
simple, entertaining, and of course,
funny yet always offer lessons about life.
Above all, they make you forget about
life’s heartaches, even for a moment.
Take time to read children’s stories to
the kids in your life. Sometimes, for an
adult, being happy is as simple as having
a child’s heart.
Photo by Daniel Tan
A Child at Heart
t used to be that when people
needed books for school or were
itching to get their hands on upbeat,
phenomenal and forbidden reads,
they would scoot over to authentic book
shops in Old Manila, and only then would
the digging begin. But today the old
ways of the trade are gone, and with the
advantage of having the latest technology
in the inventory and delivery systems,
it is but natural for customers to flock,
and even hang out, at the bigger, more
efficient book superstores in the city.
Some, however, like to keep things
the old way. A true gem in the world of
Literature, Popular Bookstore has had its
own share of a colorful past grounded in
some of the most important periods in
Philippine history. It was opened shortly
after World War II in 1946 by Joaquin Po
and his three younger brothers, Alfredo,
Vicente and Jesus, wanting to provide
quality textbooks and other reading
materials to engineering students at the
Mapua Institute of Technology, and other
schools at the University Belt. The four
brothers, as is common with the Chinese,
are skilled businessmen—thus, before
the actual structure was built at Doroteo
Jose St., they had begun peddling in
carts books and magazines they bought
at the docks in Manila.
Later on, as the business boomed,
Popular started importing pocketbooks
and textbooks from abroad. What
they became more known for later on
however, was their varied selection of
rare and progressive books. These days,
though their shelves carry an eclectic mix
of New Age books, cookbooks, books on
Art and many others, traces of their liberal
past are still visible on the racks. Some
of the books are on literary criticism,
poetry, feminism, Marxist thought and
postmodernism, among others.
The role of these books was maximized
in the most tumultuous of times. In the
1950s, Joaquin Po was questioned and
tortured by authorities because Popular was
the favorite bookstore of nationalist writer
Amado V. Hernandez. His release had
to be campaigned for by the media and
after a stretch of months, the government
eventually gave in. Years later Martial
Hardcore bookworms will get more than
great bargains on prices from the discount
shelves of Popular
Law prohibited the continuous operation
of radical bookstores across the country.
But Joaquin Po was firm on his support
for underground activists, and advocated
the education of the people in political
studies. Fortunately the consequences for
this were not as rash, Po was invited by
the military to answer questions, and after
giving a statement that he sold the kinds
of books he did because he’s a capitalist,
and that these were the titles that sold
well, he was released.
Popular Bookstore relocated to Tomas
Morato Avenue in Quezon City in 2001.
Here, they are able to host functions and
other events, such as NBDB Book Club
Meetings, in the wide space on their top
floor. Popular is now being managed by
the daughter of Joaquin Po, the artist Dina
Po, along with her sisters Jackie P. Co and
Katherine P. Palomera. Though the change
in location has proved a radical deviance
from the antiquated feel of Manila,
students and academics have not ceased
to seek books in the comforts of Popular.
After all, this is one landmark only waiting
to be spurred again by the annals of history.
By Maria E. J. Pia V. Benosa
In the world of books, celebrity is when, without the added fuss of
checking stocks, a store clerk can lead you immediately to specific
shelves after you had just given an author’s name. Or when on
ordinary days, you, the writer receives in the mail gifts from fans
like fruitcake, the latest Twilight books and more surprisingly,
as a consequence of posting online that your current device is
malfunctioning: a computer monitor in the old one’s stead. Or better
yet, it’s when a party is funded and thrown for you by supporters—
not even because it’s your birthday, but in celebration of your
thirteenth year anniversary in the writing business. Really, who has the
time to do these things in this country?
Such are life’s rewards for bestselling
Tagalog romance novelist Martha Cecilia,
who hides her pride in ladylike laughs
and blushes as she recalls stories of the
craziest things her fans had done for
her in the past. Among her friends and
colleagues in the publishing industry, she
is simply known as Babes, a nickname
derived from her real name, Maribeth
dela Cruz. Her second child, the real
Martha Cecilia, is all grown up now and
teaches in preschool.
Setting up the Pen
Martha did not set out to be a writer
of novels. She took up Management at
the University of the East in the 1970s,
but dropped out on her fourth year
because then, she was also part of a small
construction firm. “I have absolutely no
regret,” she says, “because what I knew
then about management, I was actually
learning more at work than at school.”
Secretly though, she says it was probably
the military service classes for women
True to Life
Definitely, Martha Cecilia writes what
she knows. She makes use of her own
life experiences, as well as friends’, for
her stories. For example, she shares with
us how a single letter from a man in her
past had inspired many of her books.
Though they did not end up together,
Martha reads the letter to this day, taking
it from her treasure trove every so often,
and gets either a good laugh out of it, or
a story. “’Pag naiyak ako sa kuwento ko,
maiiyak din ang reader ko. ‘Pag natakot
ako, matatakot din siya. ‘Pag natawa
ako, sigurado tatawa din siya.”
However, Martha’s characters and
storylines beg to differ. She says each
of her heroines is a tweaked version
of herself, and every guy always of an
alpha male vibe—stable and, of course,
irresistible, even if only in the page.
It is actually said that Martha’s books
are one of the first to deviate from
the practice of other Tagalog romance
novels (which derive themselves from
early Tagalog comics): where vengeance
is a must, and she who comes from
rags blossoms into princess-hood later
on. Her book Dugtungan for example,
attempts to topple the usual stereotype
of women, because early on the heroine
is presented as heavy with child. “I try
hard at grounding the situations in the
real world, only with fewer problems,
because it’s for escape that readers come
to us. Should I really give them more
things to worry about?” she asks.
Living like Royalty
Photos by Pia Benosa
TheQueen of
that turned her off from college. When
the construction company had to shut off
during Martial Law, Martha was forced to
look for work in other places (Carnation
Philippines, now Nestle), and ventured
into networking, direct selling, and other
‘sidelines’ pragmatic moms excel in.
So when did the actual writing come
into the picture? Martha said that as a
child, she had always loved to read, write
and draw. After leaving her hometown
Dapitan when she was nine, she had to
move from place to place with her mother
in Manila. Once, she recalls, they got to
live in a house in Natib St., Cubao, where
neighbors were the likes of Nora Aunor,
Artemio Marquez and other directors
of the time. “I was really fond of those
people, so I watch the movies they make,
too. But after watching, what I feel is that
I can write better stories,” she says.
Still, it wasn’t until many years later, in
1994, that she became driven enough to
produce a manuscript. By then, she had
read the books of American romance
writers Brenda Joyce, Sandra Brown,
Stella Cameron and Barbara Cartland.
But the bigger picture was this: she and
her husband were raising four kids, Jose
Paolo, Martha Cecilia, Nina Martinne and
Juan Miguel, all still very young and in
school. “When I was a beginning writer,
I was really doing it for the money,”
Martha admits. She tells the story of how
her first finished manuscript, Dugtungan
mo ang Isang Magandang Alaala, was
really just something she wrote out of
desperation. “I had four kids then and
I was missing my period. It was making
me crazy!” she laughs.
Fortunately for Martha, her editors
immediately liked her work. Her first
letter of acceptance even commented
on how she seemed to be writing in the
tradition of Judith McNaught—whom
she hadn’t read at the time. Since then
Martha has written over a hundred
books (she can’t even remember the
exact number), including several series
like Kristine and Sweetheart, with twenty
books or more in each of them. When
writing these days, Martha says she
actually has to lay down all her books
so she could be reminded of what she
already wrote to avoid repetition of
details in the newer works.
Martha has taken a pause in writing these
days. A thorn had just been taken from her
throat: daughters Martha and Nina now
have careers in education, while Jose Paolo
and Juan Miguel have been engaged for
a while with their own writing activities,
both in books and in media. Martha does
not want to force herself into writing,
because when she does, it has to be from
a trembling surge of emotions, and she
has to be in a really quiet environment. She
can’t seem to write with music around.
That is why as of late, Martha writes
only because she has an intended message
to deliver to her readers. These readers,
whom she meets regularly, on days like her
13th Anniversary Celebration last October
2008, or more casually as friends hanging
out, continue to inspire her to improve
her craft and to make longer, better, more
mature stories. Her Sweetheart series, for
example, was inspired by fan mail from a
fifteen-year-old girl in Mindoro. “But that
was back then! Imagine how many more
fifteen-year-olds are out there right now
and are writing to me in their spare time,”
she exclaims.
Besides having inspired her own sons
to write, Martha is also proud of her
protégés—friends and fans who surprise
her by showing her their own manuscripts,
though she admits she needs more time
to read them because they come in such
amazing numbers. She is very meticulous
in the criticism of these works because,
she admits, “It’s the same stories being
told over and over again. The difference
only comes from how you turn the familiar
patterns around—how you weave the
Bestselling author
Martha Cecilia,
who turns 54 this
May, has published
over one hundred
books in the span
of her thirteen-year
writing career.
Martha Cecilia’s fans come from different
walks of life. There are engineers, colegialas,
moms and others, who are great friends to
this day. Her website,
eirycat, is maintained by fans.
Martha has been friends with her publisher,
Segundo Matias, Jr., for over a decade now.
In the 2007 NBDB Readership Survey,
Romance ranks number 2 (33%) in the
top 5 kinds of non-school books that
Filipinos read. The Bible ranks number
1 at 67%.
Martha has released 73 titles,
including the popular series Kristine and
Sweetheart, and published 109 books.
The sales figure of the top three
book retailers in the country shows
over 200,000 copies of Martha Cecilia
books sold in 2008, making Martha
one of the bestselling authors in the
country, along with Bob Ong of Visual
Print Enterprises.
words.” According to Martha, who is
a naturalized Bulakeña, language, this
weaving of words, is very important in the
romance genre because once you take
away a word and replace it with another
that’s unfitting, you take away the very
romance you wanted to write about in the
first place. Martha, then, does not keep to
herself what she knows about craft. “After
all,” she says, “style cannot be copied. I’m
just teaching other people how to write,
primarily—how they are to overcome initial
difficulties such as their anxieties to finish
up manuscripts.” Her own sons give her
away though. “’Pag pinuri ka ni Mama,
maniwala ka. Kasi mahal ang papuri niya,”
they say, laughing.
Dealing with Celebrity
In 1997, through the initiative of Precious
Hearts Romances General Manager Jun
Matias, Martha and two other popular
writers of the time, Amanda and Hilda
Amor, went to Hong Kong to launch their
new titles. The presence of fans there was
so overwhelming, that the function had
to be transferred from a conference room
in a mall, into the atrium itself. The three
writers even had to be surrounded by their
own security. Talk about a real mall tour!
On a regular Monday Martha gets fan
mail that says, “I read Substitute Bride
again, for the umpteenth time, and what
do you know, I still feel very much the
same way when I first read it,” and her day
is made. On other days she spends time
with her family: her husband is engaged in
business, and their children enjoy watching
with them TV shows like Criminal Minds,
House M.D., CSI and many others—which
is also why she wishes to pursue writing
thriller novels in the future.
“The reason why this whole thing has
been so rewarding for me is probably
because I know how to take care of
people, friends—and I see them as that,
not just readers or fans. I tell them that
‘My friendship has no floors, no ceilings,
and no walls’,” she shares. True enough,
long-time friend and publisher Jun
Matias enters the room toward the end
of our interview and tells more stories
about Martha, plus news that some of
her books are again, for the nth time, up
for reprinting. Long live the queen!
her childhood heroine
In spite of breaking into mainstream TV and film since her debut
role as Maria Clara in the National Commission for Culture and
the Arts’ adaptation of Noli Me Tangere, she has remained brooding
and enigmatic over the years. I imagine each time the set wraps up
and her stage performances end, she goes back to her enchanting
world. What else could explain her intact sensibilities, her pursuit to
safeguard the environment and uphold our indigenous heritage?
Before she graced the screen in the memorable roles she
portrayed in film and television and gained recognition for her
efforts to preserve the environment and our cultural heritage, Chinchin Gutierrez was a toddler in nursery school who read fairy tales
to classmates during siesta time and dreamt of saving the lives of
many just like the audacious heroine of her favorite story.
Chin-chin fondly recalls her first years in school, when during
breaktime, she’d pick her favorite book, The 1001 Arabian Nights,
and read to classmates the story of Scheherazade. “There was
urgency in the story. It meant life and death for the women of
that time. (She) was a voice that represented lives. (Her story
shows that) what you do can affect lives.” Defying the norms of
her time, Scheherazade saved the lives of many
women by marrying the ruthless King and
educating him about morality and kindness
through the stories and books she read.
Chin-chin’s grandfather, Solomon Arnaldo,
was one of the first Library Science students
in the University of the Philippines and was
director of the UNESCO in its early years in
the Philippines. Chin-chin’s mother, a former
nun, took up Fine Arts in college, while her
father has a PhD in Botany. “All the books that
they have collected from all those years (of
study), I lived to see in our library at home.”
“Even simple stories like fairy tales give you a multi-sensory
glimpse of a culture in a very internal way. You become more
sensitive and specific about relating to everyday life; it shapes
the way you think. It gives you a chance to open your mind to
so many options and possibilities that may not normally happen
in a very linear way of living out your life,” says Chin-chin. The
stories she read as a little girl would make an indelible mark on
her, that years later, although she did not intend or plan to do so,
she would be an advocate of many causes and her works as an
artist would affect the lives of many.
Chin-chin Gutierrez
How the books and stories Chin-chin grew up reading made a real life heroine out of her
By Camille Dianne S. Mendoza
heroes and received the 2004 The Outstanding Women in
Nation’s Service (TOWNS) Award.
her latest advocacy
As one of the latest additions to the NBDB’s Get Caught
Reading campaign endorsers, readership promotion is now an
addition to Chin-chin’s many advocacies. Chin-chin takes daily
commuters of the LRT in a refreshing poetic ride with her
captivating readings of Nick Joaquin’s The Innocence of Solomon,
Alain Russ Dimzon’s Munting Inday, and Marra PL Lanot’s
Quiapo, which are regularly played in LRT stations. Chin-chin
was one of the celebrities who took part in the Tulaan sa Tren
project of the NBDB and the Light Rail Transit Authority. A
poet herself, she looks up to Filipino poets like Nick Joaquin and
Edith Tiempo. It’s a good thing Chin-chin remembers her own
poems by heart. When their house burned down a few years ago,
her journals containing her poems got burned to ashes along with
her collection of books. Chin-chin is grateful that friends send
her copies of some of the poems she no longer memorizes.
During the 12th Philippine Book
Development Month celebration, Chin-chin
reprised her Maria Clara role by reading the
last two chapters of Noli Me Tangere during
the overnight Marathon Reading of Rizal’s
novel. Reading the Noli and playing Maria
Clara for her first professional performance was
very memorable for Chin-chin. “Without this
book, I probably would not have experienced
performing. It was just like an initiation. (I got
to work with the likes of ) Rolando Tinio, Tony
Mabesa, Ruben Rustia, and Ishmael Bernal. It
was too significant for me to ignore–the investigative process that
goes with it, our Filipino identity, our Filipino soul.”
“Books and the
experience of reading
build cultures.
It’s a way to build
culture in a very
intimate way.”
Chin-chin reads
Jose F. Lacaba’s
Edad Medya
(Anvil Publishing)
Watching Chin-chin Gutierrez play eccentric roles on TV
and in movies, listening to her ardently talk about caring for
nature in lectures and interviews, with her goddess-like features
and soft voice enthralling audiences, I’ve somehow believed
that she was actually a forest nymph who grew up with fairies.
It wasn’t until this interview that I found out that Chin-chin
actually had an ordinary childhood in Bicol, and what made
the difference was that she and her brother were raised by their
grandmother, in a house filled with books.
voice in the desert
Chin-chin’s calling to be Mother Nature’s ambassador
started ten years ago, when fellow artist friends organized an
environmental concert. “Bringing what I feel and what I think
into action, together with others, is something manifested from
reading about those heroes,” she says.
Since then, local and international recognitions for her efforts
to preserve the environment added to her already numerous
acting accolades.
Aside from that, she is also known as a “defender of the
country’s cultural heritage” by helping preserve our indigenous
roots through her works as an artist. Her album, “Uyayi: A
Collection of Philippine Lullabies,” received the 2004 Catholic
Mass Media Award (CMMA) as Best Secular Album. She
graced the cover of TIMES Asia in 2003 for a feature on Asian
preserving our tradition
For someone as devoted to the preservation of our traditions as
Chin-chin, books should also serve as useful tools to preserve
our rich heritage. “We have over a hundred different languages
in the country – such rich diverse, and immensely beautiful
culture, which we have not really discovered and explored deep
enough. We’ve lost the content of our oral tradition.”
Being the spiritual and introspective person that she is, Chin-chin
cites the Bible, the Koran, The Granth Sahib (Sacred Book of the
Sikh Religion), Philippine Materia Medica authored by her father
Dr. Hermes Gutierrez (“It’s a book I glance every now and then.”),
her mother Cecilia Maria Arnaldo’s book Fingerprints of an Angel:
Golden Secrets of Eternal Love (for which she wrote the Foreword
and was nominated for a National Book Award for Spirituality),
and Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet as her favorite books. She is also
currently enrolled in SAIDI School of Organizational Development.
“Books and the experience of reading build cultures. It’s a way
to build culture in a very intimate way,” remarks Chin-chin.
Chin-chin’s distinction as an actress who can play the most
eccentric of roles is only matched by the many roles she plays
in real life as an earth-keeper, cultural preserver, and reading
advocate. It turns out it wasn’t the receptivity of the woods that
gifted her with such deep feeling and awareness as I used to
imagine, but the pages of books that nurtured her sensibility.
A Life-Long Passion
by Jonathan Best
For a chosen few, book collecting is a
life long avocation. Whether they collect
books for their artistry, as beautiful
antiques or as invaluable reference
material, for each collector their library
is a highly personal accomplishment.
Books reflect a person’s character and
deepest interests more closely than any
other possessions. Whether one collects
in conjunction with one’s career, area of
study, hobby or sport, the book collection
itself oftentimes becomes the primary
interest. Information in one book leads to
others, on and on, one book to the next.
Each book imparts new knowledge and
this in turn stimulates one’s curiosity.
Over a lifetime, few passions will enrich a
person as much as book collecting.
Grouped together in libraries, books
become a “body of knowledge” and
take on added value in association with
their peers. A single book of poetry is
fine; a complete set of a favorite writer’s
work is even better. A couple of dozen
books on Philippine art make a good
starting collection; several hundred
books, pamphlets and catalogs become
a comprehensive collection. The desire
to create comprehensive and unique
collections is the passion that drives book
collectors and dedicated librarians around
the world.
Collecting takes many forms. Some
collectors collect simply for the beauty
of a book’s design and printing. They are
connoisseurs of the “book arts”. They
look for fine art illustrations, unique
typeface, pages crafted from handmade
paper or parchment, and gold stamped
lettering on fine hand tooled leather
bindings. The book arts go back at least
a thousand years in Western Europe
and even longer in Asia. As early as the
ninth century, during the Tang Dynasty,
the Chinese printed copies the Diamond
Sutras from hand carved wood blocks.
The earliest book with extensive
Filipiniana illustrations is the 1595
Boxer Codex, a bound manuscript, with
a series of seventy-five color paintings,
fifteen depicting pre-Spanish Filipinos
in elegant regional costumes adorned
with exquisite gold jewelry. Also from
the late sixteenth century, the Doctrina
Christiana is the first example of a book
printed in the Philippines and the first
in a native language. The deluxe four
volume folio edition of Father Manuel
Blanco’s Flora de Filipinas, published
posthumously from1877-1883, is the
most magnificent Philippine printed
book. With over two hundred color
lithographs of Philippine botanicals
it is a monumental work of artistry
and decorative book binding. Today
there is a revival of the book arts in
the country, with many Filipino artists
including national artist Ben Cabrera
experimenting with handmade paper and
custom illustrations.
Most Filipino book collectors collect
historical Filipiniana subject matter, or
famous Filipino authors. A first edition of
the Noli Me Tangere in good condition,
signed or inscribed by its author Jose
Rizal is a prize any collector would love
to have. However, at well over half a
million pesos it would be out of reach
for most. Despite the destructive effects
of the tropical climate, earthquakes and
wars, many works by other Filipino
writers, politicians and illustrious men
and women are available at much more
modest prices. Manuscripts, letters,
pamphlets and photographs are also
valuable additions to book collections.
At the Ortigas Foundation Library, we
collect photographs and maps as well as
books, periodicals and personal archives
relating to Philippine history.
Internationally, collectors specialize
in just about every subject imaginable.
Early medicine and science, travel and
exploration, military history, erotica,
ethnography, cook books and local
histories are a few of the most popular
subjects. Subject collecting here
usually focuses on a particular period
of Philippine history. Only the richest
collectors or institutions can afford to
collect early European travel accounts or
maps of the Philippines going back to
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
A fifty-two page anthology published
in Venice in 1536, including the first
accounts of Magellan’s voyage by
Maximilianus Transylvanus and Antonio
Pigafetta, was recently offered by a New
York dealer for US$375,000. Seventeenth
and eighteenth century illustrated books,
atlases and Friar accounts of the islands
can also fetch very high prices.
The Spanish Era in the Philippines
lasted until 1898 and there are thousands
of books, pamphlets and newspapers
here and in Spain documenting this
period. The revolution against Spain
and the voluminous writings of the early
“propagandists” and nationalists like Jose
Rizal, Apolinario Mabini and the editors
of La Solidaridad newspaper are very
collectable. The arrival of the Americans
and subsequent Philippine American
War was well documented, although
mostly from an American view of point.
World War II and the war in the Pacific
are also eagerly collected by military buffs
and historians.
One of the windfalls of the fortythree year American occupation of the
Philippines was books. The Americans
were obsessed with documenting their
“new possessions.” Dozens of books
were written about the Philippines
and thousands of pages of government
reports were published along with
invaluable sets of photographs. From
the late nineteenth century onwards,
photographs became an increasingly
important part of documenting history,
culture and personal lives. If there is one
priceless legacy both the Spanish and the
Americans left the Philippines it is their
love of books and libraries.
Budding book collectors can start
out buying in-print books in their field
of interest and work back in time to
out-of-print and rare books as there
budgets permit. Used book stores offer
many wonderful finds and the internet
and E-bay open up an entire world of
possibilities for collectors. Avoid the
more trivial coffee table books and
overnight commercial publications. Try
to ferret out works by serious writers and
recognized scholars in their field, and get
to know the high quality publishers and
book dealers as well. If you travel abroad
head for the book stores and buy books.
Books may be heavy to carry home but if
you buy wisely they will give you lasting
pleasure and a lifetime of continuing
Jonathan Best is senior consultant at the
Ortigas Foundation Library in Pasig. The
Ortigas Foundation Library is located at
the 2nd Floor of the Ortigas Building,
Meralco Avenue, Pasig City. Visit their
website at www.ortigasfoundationlibrary.
The Poem Is The Real:
A Poetics
he real is the poem. To
write the poem is to get real.
The real is what we
call “our world.” But our
world is only our experience
of it. If so, the world is only, for each one,
that little time-space where we “ex-ist” or
stand out as conscious beings; the world
is only our consciousness of it in our
experience of it. It is our only world; we
have no other. A cat’s world is its own;
we have no access to it: the living of it.
What we call reality is only, and
forever, a human reality: what we are able
to perceive. The world of matter is our
science; the world of spirit is that of our
world’s religions.
And who are “we”? – Not I, not you, not
the other, it is in their interconnectedness
that we are: thence, you and I and the
other, and thereby we are.
“To experience” anything, in
consciousness of it, has from its etymology
in Greek, enpeiran, and Latin, experiri,
both an active and a passive sense: it is
“to try or attempt, to pass through, to
undergo.” The word in both Greek and
Latin is associated with going on a journey,
faring, meeting with chance and danger,
for in setting forth nothing is certain.
Such the meaningfulness of our English
word “experience.”
But then, it is only with words and words
that, after the event – that “fundamental
entity,” the experience – we again try and
remember, undergo and pass through what
we call our world. This other journey is
verbal; it may end nowhere, the trial fail,
the experiment pall. But working our
language – soil and fallow of all human
thought and feeling, our only ground – we
invest our words with a power to evoke,
to call forth, to our mind and imagination
a meaningfulness that we seem to have
grasped in that human event or experience:
indeed, whether that event did happen, or
had only been dreamed or imagined, or is
only an inextricable conflation of fact and
fiction; indeed, too, that we call an “event”
or experience may only be a thought that
seeks a clearing or a feeling that haunts.
And in that finished weaved of words –
the very text – our aim is to apprehend,
to understand, the living of it, the full
consciousness of the event or experience: its
very sensation.
When we speak, write, or read a
word, we begin to create our world
again – our world in our image, in or
from our language; this is so because
it is with words that we connect to
reality with each nerve of perception – a
filament of feeling, a spore of thought:
we have no other means for connection
but our words; with our words, we
give a meaningful form to the feeling
or thought that pulses with our grasp
or apprehension of the world in our
experience. And that apprehension
sows our mind with images of the
encompassing reality and thereby reforms our language and shapes us, forms
us within. We are informed, we are
formed within.
To understand our experience then is
with words and words to stand under a
cloud broken by shafts of light from a
makeshift sun. To understand, to stand
under, for the immense Reality of creation is
essentially, infinitely mysterious. Here is the
poem, this poem, and that poem: we journey
form sun to sun, then pass to night again.
What we understand is not a meaning,
fixed and stable, but a meaningfulness of the
living of it: the very sensation of it.
Yet the living of it is only one human
being’s memory of it: as Eduardo Galeano
says, “to remember is to pass through the
heart.” And the reader, another human
being, also remembers what he may have
lived or passed through: the living of
it as he now imagines it himself. And
thus, as he reads alive, he dwells where
all things live – that universal plane
where his humanity always achieved,
for that moment, as he reads, as he is
also read. Here, indeed, on that plane,
is that vibrant interconnectedness of the
human community: each one immersed
in a history, a culture, and a natural
environment – all change, transformation,
energy. The words chosen, to convey
that vibrancy of interconnectedness, are
cathected: that is to say, invested with
mental and emotional energy.
Poems are forms of thought and feeling
wrought form language by an individual
mind and imagination. Feeling is deeper
and wider than thought: it is also the most
honest part of oneself. And, as Derrida
suspects, peut-etre, “perhaps, there may
be forms of thought that think more than
does that thought called philosophy.” The
poem leaps over Derrida’s perhaps; for
what is wrought there is what has been
lived as imagined. We may see only what
our words permit us to see, and yet, with
* ICW Panayam Centennial Lectures series, UP Faculty Center, 5 December 2008. This lecture sums up earlier essays: “Poiesis: Toward the Lyric – A Way to Hear,”
Tomas 10 / The Literary Journal of the UST Center for Creative Writing and Studies, March 2006: 54-59; “Creativity and Philippine Literature” in the University of the
Philippines Forum, vol. 7, no. 3, May-June 2006; 1-3; “As Imagined as Lived: Sense for Language, Sense of Country,” Bookwatch / Quarterly Publication of the National
Book Development Board, Apr-Jun 2008: 14-17 (from my Centennial Fellow lecture, in U.P. Mindanao, 29 Feb 2008)
imagination, we are enabled, also with
words and words, to see beyond them
the infinite possibilities of invention and
innovation; we perceive other words,
other possibilities.
So here then is my own poetics, in response,
it may be, to present and future critics:
Poems are forms of the imagination.
The imagination has infinite possibilities
of apprehending a human experience in
the very living of it. Thus, my critical
standpoint seeks to engage with the
varicolored forms of the imagination
because, for me, what is most imagined is
what is most real. I would much rather
go by what Wallace Stevens says of “the
nobility of the imagination.”
The word “criticism” and its kin,
“crisis,” both come from Greek krinein,
“to divide and judge”: that is, to
discriminate, to perceive distinguishing
features, to use good judgment. Thus,
in any critical approach, from any
standpoint, it is in fact much simpler,
and more honest, to say just what you
mean. It is also much more exciting to be
free to draw from all sources of possible
enlightenment: for revel and revelation.
You need only choose your words with
care and respect for their freight of
This is why I would much prefer for
my standpoint not to be pinned by any
label on the critical board. All labels
are constrictive: formalist, feminist,
Marxist, deconstructive, poststructuralist,
postmodern, postcolonial, other
“posts.” My chief care and concern is
to rescue the living experience from the
discombobulations and borborygmus
of theory and ideology – to rescue the
experience, as lived as imagined, even
from the words that would evoke it: just
as though the words themselves were a
hurdle to leap over. One aspires to that
state of contemplation where no words
break – where one no longer has even any
need for words.
Only for convenience of overview, I
here encapsulate certain assumptions
about language, about the literary work
and its form, about the writer’s playing
field, and about a country’s literature as
its image. The “field work” in research
– that is, the reading of the poetic texts
themselves over the last century, our
poetry from English since Man of Earth
through A Native Clearing to A Habit
of Shores; our short stories through
English, 1956 to 1989 so far in my field
work, from Upon Our Own Ground to
Underground Spirit – all that field work
enabled me to clarify to myself, chiefly by
the inductive method, those assumptions.
The argument is as follows:
About Language
Particularly when the work is literary,
linguistic usage is essentially translation.
The word, “translation,” is from Latin
transferre, translatus, meaning “to carry
or ferry across.” When we write, we
ferry across our words our perceptions
of reality. Such working or tillage of
language is work of imagination: it
makes things real to the mind, for
it is the mind that has imaginative
power. This implies that one’s sense for
language is the basic poetic sense. It
is intimately bound with one’s sense of
reality. As Albert Camus says, “When
the imagination sleeps,” says Albert
Camus, “words are emptied of their
meaning.” The same tillage or cultivation
of language implies that the meanings
of our words do not come so much from
the words themselves as from lives lived.
This is why, in the critical response to
literary works, the stress falls not on
meaning but on meaningfulness. We
translate a thought, a feeling, or an
impression into the words of a language;
the translation could fail. We try and
choose the right words in the right order,
we invent or even reinvent our words, or
transform or even subvert their accepted
syntax, in order that we might ferry across
them our own soul’s freight without hurt.
I might note here that English is already
one of our Philippine languages, not
regional, but national. We have used it for
our own purposes for over a century now,
and it is chiefly through that language, in
speech and writing, that we are understood
in the world outside our shores. English
is already a national language like Tagalog,
Cebuano, and Ilocano; that cannot be
helped, it was simply inevitable, for their
speakers live all over the archipelago,
and even globally. Only by legislation
is Tagalog-based Filipino the national
language. This certainly is not to assert
that Filipino is adventitious; it is an
inherent aspect of our aspiration to be our
own country, one people. That aspiration
should be rooted in respect for all our
languages and their cultivation in literature
because our literature presents our image
of ourselves. Personally, I believe that
there is no English, no Tagalog, no
Filipino: there is only one language –
language itself. And that language is most
manifest in our finest writers, whatever the
provenance of their idiom.
About the
Literary Work
The literary work itself, without Theory, isn’t
mute. The word “theory” is from Greek
theoria, meaning “a way of looking.” Any
theory then is only a way of looking, and
essentially heuristic; none has monopoly of
insight. Now then, for me, a literary work’s
chief appeal is to the imagination, and the
basic requirement for intimate engagement
with a work of imagination is a sense for
language. There in any literary work a
human action, a human experience, as
imagined as lived, is feigned or mimicked in
language; be that human action or condition
only someone’s mood or train of reflection,
as in a lyric of poem, if it is then shaped or
endowed with form, it becomes meaningful.
Not a fixed meaning, but meaningfulness.
That meaningfulness is its moral or ethical
dimension. And that moral dimension raises
it to a universal plane. That plane isn’t the
site of eternal verities, it is the clearing of
everlasting questioning.
Granted a fair enough sense for language,
to read an essay or a poem is first to interpret
the text on its face, to deal with it by and on
its own terms. The text, after all, has come
to terms with itself. That close reading,
attending to the form of the literary work, is
the antidote to the text’s predestination, that
is, the privileging of Theory over text such
that text is read to conform to the theory one
prefers. Such theory-bound dealing with
the text is eisegesis: that interpretation of the
text by reading into it one’s own ideas. The
critic aspires to a reading of the text that isn’t
beholden to any theoretical or ideological
“To interpret” is from Latin interpretari,
from interpres, agent, negotiator,
interpreter. To interpret then is to present
in understandable terms, as when you
interpret a dream. You might say that the
literary text is the dream on the page. To
interpret is also to bring to realization by
performance or direction, as when you play
a role in the theatre. You might say that the
literary text is a stage on which a moment
or a life is lived.
What I have in mind is first-level
interpretation, for the literary work is already
interpretation of a human experience, it
already represents that experience by means
of art. First-level interpretation then means
that you present that experience again
in understandable terms. You bring to
realization in your mind – and in the reader’s
mind – that experience as already interpreted
and realized by the means of art. You have
to deal with those means of art. The human
experience in the literary work has already
been performed and directed in the text by
those means of art.
This is what is meant by close reading
of the text.
When we read a story or poem, we need
to imagine the human action, the human
experience, that is mimicked or simulated
there. That is the form of the literary
work. It is that which must direct and
validate the interpretation of its content.
For the form that has been wrought is that
by which the content is achieved, that is,
endowed with a power of meaningfulness
by which we are moved. Form is the
matter of art, content the matter of
interpretation. When Jose Y. Dalisay, Jr.
was asked whether his stories are true, he
said, Yes, of course, because “on the page,”
where the story is, “is the life that matters.”
That life is achieved by the story’s form.
In practice, it may be useful to
distinguish the literary work as a work of
art from the literary work as discourse.
In my view, the work of art precedes the
discourse. There is no meaningfulness
without form; but form is achieved content;
in discourse, the focus is on cultural and
ideological content, but in a literary work,
content is achieved by the means of art.
About the Writer’s
Playing Field
The writer’s playing field is the field of
imagination. For the writer, poem or short
story is only a convenient label; when they
write, they do not adhere to any fixed
criteria or theory of the literary work. They
only aspire to creating something unique
in their playing field: they make things
anew or make new things. Without the
masterful use of language, no literary work
can rise to the level of art. For that thing
made anew, or that new thing, is the very
form of human experience as imagined as
lived that has been simulated by a particular
use or deployment of language, a particular
style. Albert Camus speaks of such style as
“the simultaneous existence of reality and of
the mind that gives reality its form.”
We shouldn’t forget that the word
“poem” is from Greek poiein, “to make.”
The poem or short story is a thing made
of words, an artifact. It may sometimes be
claimed that “in English, we do not exist.”
But of course, nor indeed in any language,
except in and through the poem, where
– as the poet Isabela Banzon says – “the
lights mutate from artifice to real.”
About a Country’s
Literature as Its
A country’s literature is its own
imagination of how its people think and
feel about their world and so, justify the
way they live. In short, its literature is its
lived ideology. In that light, our writers
and scholars create our sense of country.
Our writers and scholars do not proclaim
their nationalism, their love of country;
their works proclaim it – but of course, as
with everyone else, not only their writings,
but all the other things that they do.
Let me make myself clearer by stressing
the obvious. The things that a people
do make their country. Writing is also
doing, and more: those who write create
a people’s sense of their country. In their
writing is a people’s memory, and a people
is only as strong as its memory.
For one’s sense of country is basically
how one imagines her; essentially then, a
poetic sense: an imaginative perception of
our day-to-day living in the very element
of our history and culture. While it may be
shared through education, the mass media,
the art, and other means and institutions,
our sense of country is, in the first place,
personal and subjective, but that doesn’t
make it any less real. It is more image
that concept, more feeling than thought.
Which of course is why that sense is more
readily apprehensible in the artistic media –
painting, film, theatre, song, the literary text.
The literary text, as language purposefully
worked, may be the clearest expression of
one’s sense of country; in that light, a poet’s
sense for language – whatever the language
he has mastered – may be his most intimate
sense of his country’s landscape and his
people’s lived lives.
For the writer, one’s country is what
one’s imagination owes its allegiance to.
Gemino H. Abad
20 October, 19,
30 November 2008
U.P. Faculty Center, Rm. 1062
Dr. Gemino H. Abad delivered this
lecture as part of the University
of the Philippines Institute of
Creative Writing Centennial Panayam last December 5,
2008 at the Pulungang C.M. Recto, Bulwagang Rizal,
College of Arts and Letters, UP Diliman, where Dr.
Abad is professor emeritus. He edited the landmark
anthologies of Philippine poetry Man of Earth, A
Native Clearing, and A Habit of Shores. Dr. Abad also
edited Upon Our Own Ground (Volumes 1 and 2),
which collects the best short stories written by the
country’s finest writers in the 20th century.
Walong Diwata ng Pagkahulog
(Anvil Publishing)
By Edgar Samar
“Binubuksan ng nobelang ito ang panibagong yugto sa pagsusulat
ng nobela. Malayo na ito sa tradisyon ng mga romantisista at
modernista, na laging mabigat sa dibdib ang paglalahad ng naratibo.
Sa akdang ito wala nang imposible sa materyal at maging sa
pamamaraan ng paglalahad nito. Tinatangka nitong lampasan ang
wika ng isipang malay, at wala o hindi nangyari. Ikinakatuwa ko ang
mga akdang tulad nito na nangangahas magpakilala ng pagbabago
sa paglalahad ng naratibo.” -Jun Cruz Reyes
The novel won the 2005 Writers Prize and is published by Anvil Publishing.
Available in major bookstores.
The Promise of the
Nation: Gender, History,
and Nationalism in
Contemporary Ilokano
(Ateneo Press)
by Roderick G. Galam
The Promise of the Nation examines
the construction of the nation in
contemporary Ilokano literature in the intersections of gender,
history, and nationalism by tracking Ilokano literature’s political,
material, and socio-cultural connections and examining its
intervention in Philippine socio-political discourse, history, and
historiography. It attends to and addresses the limitations,
contradictions, and potential constituting Ilokano writers’
efforts to (re)make a Filipino nation, efforts made in the context
of Spanish and American imperialism, neocolonialism, martial
law, militarization, urban squatting, patriarchy, migrant work,
and the marginalization of ethic peoples. Finally, the book
argues that the writers’ project of realizing what Caroline Hau
has evocatively called the nation’s “promise of community”
may be more powerfully imagined and grasped were
nationalism transformed by feminism; indeed if we dream this
nation, see and seek its promise and possibility with a feministcommunitarian imagination.
“Roderick Galam offers a though-provoking and profoundly
feminist critique of the formation of the ‘Ilokano nation’ in
the imagination of the best contemporary novelists and poets
writing in Ilokano today. Those who dare speak authoritatively
of the “Filipino nation” now must engage with these writers’
vision of nation and nationhood and their contribution to a
truly nationalist discourse on Philippine society, culture, and
history” reviews Lilia Quindoza Santiago.
For details on how to order, call the Ateneo Press at (63-2)
4265984, 4266001 ext 4612.
A Film Study Guide
(Anvil Publishing)
By Nick de Ocampo
Filmmaker and author Nick
Deocampo recently added
another first in his growing list of
groundbreaking publications with his
new book SineGabay: A Film Study
Guide. Published by Anvil Publishing,
the book is the first major publication on the subject of film
literacy in the Philippines, which focuses on the subjects of
independent and alternative cinema, Filipino film history, and
early cinema in the Philippines and in Asia.
SineGabay contains a compilation of 100 Filipino films that
Deocampo had featured in his numerous film screenings and
lectures. Included are titles of classic feature-length films like
Bata, Bata… Paano Ka Ginawa?, Burlesk Queen, Himala,
and Oro, Plata, Mata, as well as documentaries, animation,
experimental films, and even propaganda movies. The book
serves as an excellent teaching module containing valuable
lessons and informational data about the chosen films. Listed
inside are the films’ synopses, filmography, audience suitability
and MTRCB ratings, recommended study areas, guide
questions, and a valuable resource of contacts where to rent,
purchase, or borrow viewing copies.
As a guidepost for teachers, historians and film enthusiasts,
the book makes for an excellent introduction to the study of
the forms and concerns of Filipino film production. It is a useful
companion piece to film viewing for teachers, students, critics,
festival programmers, and ordinary moviegoers. Reading about
the films in the book will help one remember them not just with
fondness but also with more intelligence and understanding.
Kalahati at Umpisa: Mga Tula (UST Publishing House)
by Rebecca T.Añonuevo
by Arvin Abejo Mangohig
t was already the summer of 2008
when I was asked to help with
the UP Press Centennial titles, a
project conceived by the UP Press
editorial board to commemorate the Press
invaluable contribution to the university. I
had to say yes, I thought.
My own contribution to the project
would also be my way of saying thank
you to UP, its tradition of excellence and
the professors whom I had encountered
in my long love affair with the campus
and its denizens. After all, it is not
everyday that one gets to edit former
professors like Rosario Cruz Lucero, who
can reduce Haruki Murakami into sashimi
slices or J. Neil Garcia, whose three hour
graduate studies lectures deserve tomes
unto themselves.
I had worked for the Press before
and must have set some Guinness
Book of World Record of sorts, editing
six manuscripts in the span of around
twenty working days, including those of
two authors who would eventually make
it to the Centennial list: the legendary
Damiana Eugenio and the equally
voluminous O.D. Corpuz.
But things had changed at the UP
Press since I had worked there a few
years ago, I soon found out. The printing
machines had stopped their grinding;
sadly, printing was no longer done inhouse. We were now neighbor to the
College of Architecture, its students
romping across our windows like birds
in punk colors. And the Editorial Section,
a roomy and well-lighted space, now
had blue modular offices, a legacy of
color from former UP Press director
Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo. My desk was
right beside the office of Director Maria
Luisa Camagay, her infectious laughter
indicating she was in.
My first manuscript was Orville
Bondoc’s Animal Breeding, a
comprehensive guide from the renowned
UPLB scientist. I quickly moved on to
other manuscripts like F. Landa Jocano’s
Sulod Society, Selected Essays on Science
and Technology for Securing a Better
Philippines and others which were not
really Centennial titles.
One manuscript I particularly enjoyed
was Priscelina Patajo-Legasto’s Philippine
Studies: Have We Gone Beyond St. Louis?
Here, Rolando Tolentino discusses dogeating, using the lens of postcolonialism
and the theory of abjection to dissect
both the cultural practice and the
Western cultural practices which attempt
to commandeer dog-eating. Francisco
Guevara’s discourse ironically matches
Conchitina Cruz’s ethereal Dark Hours
and does one better, examining both the
theoretical and physical in a heady mix of
praxis and actual place.
The grand launch of the Centennial
titles was held at the UP College of Law
last December 12. I got to see the actual
Damiana Eugenio in her actual flesh.
National Arists Virgilio Almario and F. Sionil
Jose graced the event, as did the widows
of National Artists Francisco Arcellana and
NVM Gonzalez, and Letizia Constantino,
widow of Renato Constantino. UP
President Emerlinda Roman imparted wise
words: “There can be no better proof of
the originality, creativity and importance of
a university’s intellectual and artistic output
than the list of the books produced by its
publishing house.”
They say that one of the few ways
to become immortal is to write a book.
In the face of the Internet, even that
alleged immortality a book affords is
doubtful; what with the viral spread of
electronic formats stealing the royalties
and copyright of authors. Against time
and technology’s inevitability, only a few
things can survive and are worthy of that
survival. One hundred years later, one
hopes that the UP Press 100 Centennial
titles will survive and that the editor
sitting at the very spot I am in will also be
working on the next 100.
This is the complete list of the UP Press 100 Centennial titles:
A Study of Psychopathology (1973)
– Lourdes Lapuz
An Economic History of the
Philippines (1997) – O.D. Corpuz
Ang Bagong Lumipas (vol. 1 & 2)
(1996) – Renato Constantino
Cavite Before the Revolution 15711896 (2002) – Isagani R. Medina
From Colonial to Liberation
Psychology: The Philippine
Experience (1992) – Virgilio Enriquez
Mabini and the Philippine Revolution
(1996) – Cesar Adib Majul
Muslims in the Philippines (1973)
– Cesar Adib Majul
Slum as a Way of Life (1975)
–F. Landa Jocano
Sulod Society (1968)– F. Landa Locano
The Fateful Years: Japan ‘s Adventure
in the Philippines , 1941-45 (vol. 1 &
2) (2001) – Teodoro A. Agoncillo
The Political and Constitutional
Ideas of the Philippine Revolution
(1967) – Cesar Adib Majul
The Revolt of the Masses: The Story
of Bonifacio and the Katipunan
(1996) – Teodoro A. Agoncillo
The Roots of the Filipino Nation
(vol. 1 & 2) (2006) – O.D. Corpuz
Arkitekturang Filipino: A History of
Architecture and Urbanism in the
Philippines (2008) – Gerard Lico
Awit and Corrido, Philippine
Metrical Romances (1987)
– Damiana L. Eugenio
Gongs and Bamboo: A Panorama of
Philippine Music Instruments (1998)
– Josè Maceda
Home Body Memory: The Feminine
as Feminist ‘Elsewhere’ (Filipina
Artists in the Visual Arts, 19th
Century to the Present) (2002)
– Flaudette May V. Datuin
Protest / Revolutionary Art in the
Philippines 1970-1990 (2001)
– Alice G. Guillermo
Treading Through: 45 Years
of Philippine Dance (2007)
– Basilio Esteban S. Villaruz
Tunugan: Four Essays on Filipino Music
(2005) – Ramon Pagayon Santos
Wages of Cinema: Film in Philippine
Perspective (1998) – Joel David
Animal Breeding: Principles and
Practice in the Philippine Context
(2008) – Orville Bondoc
Digenetic Trematodes of Philippine
Fishes (1975) – Carmen C. Velasquez
Fundamentals of Traffic Engineering
(2008) – Ricardo G. Sigua
Introduction to Statistics
and Econometrics (2002)
– Rolando A. Danao
Nutrition in the Philippines :
The Past for Its Template, Red for Its
Color (2004) – Cecilia A. Florencio
Philippine Birds and Mammals
(1997) – Dioscoro Rabor
Philippine Tuna Fisheries:
Yellow Fin and Skipjack (1995)
– Virginia L. Aprieto
Selected Essays on Science and
Technology for Securing a Better
Philippines (2008) – Caesar Saloma,
Giselle Concepcion (eds.)
Amado V. Hernandez: Tudla at
Tudling. Rosario Torres-Yu (ed.)
(1986) – Amado V. Hernandez
An Edith Tiempo Reader; Edna
Zapanta Manlapaz, et al. (ed.)
(1999) – Edith L. Tiempo
Asintada: Mga Tula (1997)
– Lilia Quindoza Santiago
Hairtrigger Loves: 50 Poems on
Woeman (2002) – Alfred A. Yuson
In Ordinary Time: Poems, Parables,
Poetics 1973-2003 (2004)
– Gèmino H. Abad
Mujer Indigena (2000) – Vim Nadera
Pidgin Levitations: Poetic Chroma
Texts (2004) – Ricardo M. De Ungria
Poetika / Politika: Tinipong mga Tula
(2008) – Bienvenido Lumbera
Poro Point: An Anthology of Lives
(Poems, 1955 – 1960) (1961)
– Alejandrino G. Hufana
Selected Poems (2004)
– Merlie M. Alunan
Sonetos Postumos (2006) – Rio Alma
The Garden of Wordlessness : Selected
Poems (2005) – J. Neil C. Garcia
Una Kong Milenyum, two volumes
(1998) – Rio Alma
(H)istoryador(A) (2006) – Victor
Emmanuel Carmelo D. Nadera, Jr.
A Grammar of Dreams (1997)
– N.V.M. Gonzalez
An Embarrassment of Riches (2000)
– Charlson Ong
Dugo sa Bukang Liwayway (1989)
– Rogelio Sicat
Etsa-Puwera (2000) – Jun Cruz Reyes
Feast and Famine: Stories of Negros
(2003) – Rosario Cruz Lucero
Ginto ang Kayumangging Lupa
(1998) – Dominador Mirasol
Jungle Planet and Other Stories
(2005) – Lakambini A. Sitoy
Mata ng Apoy (2003)
– Domingo G. Landicho
My Sad Republic (2000)
– Eric Gamalinda
Recuerdo: A Novel (1996)
– Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo
Sa Loob at Labas ng Mall Kong Sawi
/ Kaliluha’y Siyang Nangyayaring
Hari: Ang Pagkatuto at Pagtatanghal
ng Kulturang Popular (2001)
– Rolando B. Tolentino
Sandaang Damit: 16 na Maikling
Kuwento (2007) – Fanny A. Garcia
Selected Stories (2005)
– Jose Y. Dalisay, Jr.
Selected Works (2008)
– Francisco Arcellana
The Bread of Salt and Other Stories
(1998) – N.V.M. Gonzalez
The Undiscovered Country (2004)
– Luis V. Teodoro
The Winds of April (1998)
– N.V.M. Gonzalez
Work on the Mountain (1995)
– N.V.M. Gonzalez
Breaking the Silence (1996)
–Lourdes R. Montinola
Creative Nonfiction: A Manual
for Filipino Writers (2003)
– Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo
Creative Nonfiction: A Reader (2003)
– Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo (ed.)
Looking for Jose Rizal in
Madrid : Journeys, Latitudes,
Perspectives, Destinations (2004)
– Gregorio C. Brillantes
Sarilaysay: Danas at Dalumat ng
Lalaking Manunulat sa Filipino (2004)
– Rosario Torres-Yu and Alwin C. Aguirre
Almanac for a Revolution (2000)
– Nicolas Pichay
Apat na Dula (1998) – Rene O. Villanueva
Cao Yu: Taong Yungib ng Peking
(1999) – Mario I. Miclat (tagasalin)
Last Order sa Penguin (2003)
– Chris Martinez
May Katwiran ang Katwiran at Iba
Pang Dula (2001) – Rolando S. Tinio
Sepang Loca and Others (1981)
– Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio
The Heart of Emptiness is Black:
A Tragedy in Verse (1975)
– Ricaredo Demetillo
Bukod na Bukod: Mga Piling
Sanaysay (2003) – Isagani R. Cruz
Emergent Literature: Essays
on Philippine Writings (2001)
– Elmer A. Ordoñez (ed.)
Kilates: Panunuring Pampanitikan ng
Pilipinas (2006) – Rosario Torres-Yu
Mula sa mga Pakpak ng Entablado:
Poetika ng Dulaang Kababaihan
(2006) – Joi Barrios
(Adarna House)
By Nanoy Rafael
Illustrations by
Sergio Bumatay III
Published by Adarna
House and the
Philippine Board of
Books for Young
People (PBBY), Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu!, written by
Nanoy Rafael, and illustrated by Sergio Bumatay
III is a story that revolves around a young boy’s
mysterious problem. Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu! won the
PBBY-Salanga Writers’ Prize and features the winning
artworks from the PBBY-Alcala Illustrators’ Prize.
Available in major bookstores.
Origins and Rise of the Filipino
Novel: A Generic Study of the Novel
Until 1940 (1983) – Resil B. Mojares
Panitikan ng Rebolusyon(g 1896):
Isang Paglingon at Katipunan ng
mga Akda nina Bonifacio at Jacinto
(1997) – Virgilio Almario
Philippine Gay Culture: The Last 30
Years (1996) – J. Neil C. Garcia
Philippine Studies: Have We
Gone Beyond St. Louis? (2008)
– Priscelina Patajo Legasto
Si Rizal: Nobelista (Pagbasa sa
Noli at Fili Bilang Nobela) (2008)
– Virgilio Almario
The Likhaan Book of Philippine
Criticism 1992-1997 (2000)
– J. Neil C. Garcia
Toward a People’s Literature: Essays
in the Dialectics of Praxis and
Contradiction in Philippine Writing
(1984) – E. San Juan , Jr.
Women Reading: Feminist
Perspectives on Philippine Literary
Texts (1992) – Thelma B. Kintanar
Writing the Nation / Pag-akda ng
Bansa (2000) – Bienvenido Lumbera
A Habit of Shores (1999)
– Gèmino H. Abad
A Native Clearing (1993)
– Gèmino H.Abad
Ang Aklat Likhaan ng Dula 19972003 (2006) – Rene O. Villanueva
and Victor Emmanuel Carmelo D.
Nadera, Jr. (eds.)
Paano Magbasa ng Panitikang
Filipino: Mga Babasahing
Pangkolehiyo (2000)
– Bienvenido Lumbera, et al.
Philippine Folk Literature: An Anthology
(2007) – Damiana L. Eugenio
Philippine Folk Literature: The Epics
(2001) – Damiana L. Eugenio
Philippine Folk Literature: The Folktales
(2001) – Damiana L. Eugenio
Philippine Folk Literature: The Legends
(2002) – Damiana L. Eugenio
Philippine Folk Literature: The Myths
(2001) – Damiana L. Eugenio
Philippine Folk Literature: The Proverbs
(2002) – Damiana L. Eugenio
Philippine Folk Literature: The Riddles
(2005) – Damiana L. Eugenio
Philippine Short Stories 1925-1940
(1975) – Leopoldo Y. Yabes
Philippine Short Stories, two
volumes (1981) – Leopoldo Y. Yabes
Sa Ngalan ng Ina: 100 Taon ng Tulang
Feminista sa Pilipinas, 1889-1989
(1997) – Lilia Quindoza Santiago
The Likhaan Anthology of
Philippine Literature in English
from 1900 to the Present (1998)
– Gèmino H. Abad, et al.
The Likhaan Book of Philippine
Drama: From Page to Stage 19911996 (2000) – Anton Juan
Upon Our Own Ground: Filipino
Short Stories in English 1956-1972 [2
volumes] (2008) – Gèmino H. Abad
Translation is an exchange, a conversation
between two languages, a trading between
economies. Because they have different currencies
and denominations, and even reserves (of
knowledge and experience), there are surpluses
and deficits, devaluations and inflations. Either
language—translator or translatee, traduttore or
tradittore—loses or gains. But both always profit—
in meaning and understanding.
Photo by Whammy Alcazaren, post-editing by Greg Sabado
– poet and translator Marne Kilates

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