The other day Ver sent me a quick note letting me know about the book Almost American’s: A Quest for Dignity. I had come across this book when it was first published, but I have to admit that I was on another train of thought when I read it, and didn’t fully appreciate it for the memoir it is. I need to go back and read it!
Barbara too had sent me a message a while ago telling me of Luis Francia’s Eye of the Fish, and I’ve since found Emil Guillermo’s Amok and Evelina Galang's Screaming Monkeys. Pinoy Poetics, of course, has wonderful essays on poetic form and experience, and I’m very anxious to read Leny’s A Book of Her Own as well as Pinay Power once they (and funding) come available. The wonderful thing about crying out in desperation about a thing is that, in a community, people respond with what is needed and I find myself wonderfully overwhelmed with words.
Scanning Ver blog too, reminded me of the Philippine Scouts, of which my grandfather was a member. He survived the Bataan Death March and lived to fight in Korea, then retired from the US Army after immigrating to Seattle. His six daughters and wife all received US citizenship as a result of his wise choices. It was many years before he received his Bronze Star, a tacit acknowledgement of his role in keeping hope alive during the Japanese occupation, and something that well could have come too late if he had not been the stubborn man he was, living into his mid-eighties. I have since learned that there are Filipino soldiers who did not fare as well as he, for reasons I’m still trying to grasp, but their plight is deplorable and one that needs witness.
Ver's blog also reminded me about being a prose writer and made me hungry to find more prose out there. I looked for insight at Leny’s blog and she mentioned the blog of Melba P. Maggay, a Filipino writer I had yet to come across but whose ability to navigate the troublesome waters of Christianity and Imperial Legacy intrigues me. This led me through a merry search of Google for her other works and I am in awe of how long she has been speaking social justice from a deeply Christian space. I know I will be learning much from her work in the months to come.
I’ve lost track of how I found the other new links to my blog, though the amusement factor of finding that Thoreau has a blog out there remains. Bagong Pinay came of trying to find the cover of Leny’s new book, Babaylan Speaks came of formalizing my link to that space, and the Critical Survey came of just trying to make sure I don’t forget what has already come to pass.
In all though, the generosity of writers has been wonderful to immerse myself in as is the astonishment that the web has linked so much information to the general public that 10 years ago remained only rumor and hearsay to me. I look forward to finding and linking many more to come!