Friday, September 2, 2011

Confessions of a Filipino book blogger



Poke a stick right through me, roast me, and I'm done. I must admit that I'm way behind on my Philippine literature reading. If it weren't for the book club, I wouldn't have gotten to read works by Filipino writers.

Oh, the humanity! How dare do I call myself a Filipino blogger when the total Philippine works of fiction that I've reviewed on my blog can be counted by one hand! The shame of it all!

But maybe there's hope for me yet. After all, one of my favorite authors is a Filipino -- our national artist for literature, Nick Joaquin. Who wouldn't love a guy who's always seen holding a bottle of beer and being, ummmm, just a little bit wasted every waking moment. He's such a dearie. Maybe the secret to having that talent in writing is alcohol, and loads of it.


To say that Nick Joaquin's works are eclectic would be an understatement. He's written fiction for both young adults and adults, works of journalism, and even drama. For those who haven't even read or seen the play "Portrait of the Artist as Filipino," then you're missing out on a lot of good drama. My favorite works of young adult are still those written by NJ -- Pop Stories for Groovy Kids, which are retellings of well-known fairy tales.

So maybe it's high time I somehow become less of an anglophile and sample more works by Philippine writers. For a country known to be a nation of short story writers, perhaps the renewed interest in Philippine fiction would encourage Filipinos to write more novels. Now that's something to look forward to.

And hey, I'm attending the event below at this year's Manila International Book Fair. I hope to see you there!

This post has been made in line with the Filipino Fridays meme hosted by the organizers of the event. Check out other posts here.

13 comments:

mel u said...

Here is a list of the works by Filipino writers I have posted about on my blog

Barefoot in the Fire:A Manila WWII Childhood by Barbara Gamboa Lewis

Adventures of a Child of War by Lin Acacio-Flores

Songs of Ourselves: Writings by Filipino Women by Elizabeth Manlapaz

Pinay Autobiographical Narratives by Women Writers-1928 to 1998 edited by Christina Hidalgo

Living with the Enemy: A Diary of the Japanese Occupation by Pacita Pestano-Jacinto

The Tobacco Monopoly in the Philippines 1766 to 1880 by Ed. C De Jesus

"Metropolis" by Crystal Koo

"Magnificence" by Estella Afon

"The Servant Girl" by Estella Afon

I have also read a couple of very good pre-WWII short stories I hope to post on soon

Peter S. said...

Thanks so much, Mel! I will check those out at a bookstore today.

Mina V. Esguerra said...

Hello, Peter! Here via the Filipino ReaderCon site.

I seem to have missed the Pop Stories for Groovy Kids book in my childhood. (How'd that happen?!) I first heard about it when some friends were remembering it fondly a few years ago. I wonder if I can still find it in bookstores.

aloi said...

Poke a stick right through me, roast me, and I'm done.

Hilarious :) But I'm better i'm probably burnt beyond recognition. Bakit nga ba ang hirap magbasa ng Tagalog? At kung ingles nama, hindi maganda yung cover? ;P

ןıuǝ oɟ ɟןıƃɥʇ said...

hunting for new (and old) non-fiction social science/history/humanities titles in the Phil. Studies sections of Manila bookstores is a true treasure hunt which almost always yields nuggets of gold.

Peter S. said...

Hi, Mina! I think the stories in Pop Stories for Groovy Kids are in an anthology. I forget the title though. But as a series, the Pop Stories work work of art in themselves. Lots of beautiful pictures!

Hello, Aloi! Tama! Bakit nga ba hindi magaganda yung covers ng Philippine books?

Hi, line of flight! One of these days, I will go on a book hunt on Philippine literature!

fantaghiro23 said...

Love the picture you have of Joaquin. And I'm still trying to figure out how we can get Pop Stories for Groovy Kids back in circulation.:)

Peter S. said...

Honey, I hope it's not in e format!

ןıuǝ oɟ ɟןıƃɥʇ said...

i was advocating phil. studies, which sometimes is just as gnarly as fiction. but phil. lit would also suffice.

Chachic said...

I think the only Nick Joaquin that I've read is The Woman Who Had Two Navels and that was because I was required to read that in school. I should check out his other novels, Pop Stories for Groovy Kids looks interesting!

Peter S. said...

Hello again, line of flight! Where would we find books on those?

Hi, Chachic! Sadly, it's out of print. There are two series -- the red and the green. The red's for younger readers. I totally love the books from the green series!

Jesser said...

Some titles you may want to try (and look for at MIBF) :)

1. Smaller and Smaller Circles by Batacan
2. The Sky Over Dimas by Vicente Garcia Groyon
3. The Jupiter Effect by Katrina Tuvera
4. Para kay B by Ricky Lee
5. Pink Men in Love by Gerardo Torres

I'll let you know if I remember some more titles. Those are just on the top of my head. :)

Peter S. said...

Thanks so much for these, Jesser! Will be on the lookout for them!