I’ve just returned to urban Manila after 10 days with the blue skies and sun-drenched (read: HOT) cliffs of Batanes (a cluster of small islands near Taiwan). Batanes is the most remote northern corner of the Philippines. It was a gathering of loose ends for the Ivatan children’s story, including the long-awaited illustrations. They are simply beautiful.
Below is a cover detail of the Ivatan children’s story, “Melo the Umang-Boy.” Umang is the Ivatan word for hermit crab, which is a fitting metaphor for our shy little hero, Melo. Illustration by the talented Jaypee Portez.