General

Balay Sugidanun (House of Storytelling)

Genevieve Asenjo, of indie Hiligaynon publisher Balay Sugidanun (House of Storytelling). She published a beautifully illustrated children’s book, “Si Bulan, Si Adlaw, kag Si Estrelya” by Early Sol Gadong in Hiligaynon (a Visayan language).

If you’d like to order a copy, you can contact Genevieve at vvasenjo(at)gmail(dot)com. The book sells for P250 / US$7 + delivery fees.

Book summary: Once upon a time, Adlaw and Bulan lived together as husband and wife. Adlaw boasted of his brightness and life-giving powers. Bulan was majestic to look at, with many beings – heavenly and earthly – mystified and envious of her vast beauty. Bulan knew that Adlaw married her because she wanted to show her off to other beings in the sky. She hoped that Adlaw would realize that she, too, had her own desires other than being just pretty.

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Poetry Wednesdays

Cebuano Poetry: Marlinda Angbetic Tan Reads “Bomba”

Over a year ago, I met Marlinda Angbetic Tan in Cebu. I had “met” her via email, intially, and whe was, sight unseen, incredibly warm and supportive of this Sari-Sari Storybooks venture. It was wonderful to meet her in person then.

Marlinda is a writer, and the former Lifestyle Editor of “The Freeman” (a Cebu City newspaper). Here she reads “Bomba,” a poem based on a bombing.

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Process

Sneak Peek: “Melo the Umang-Boy”

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 […]

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Poetry Wednesdays

Waray Poetry: Janis Salvacion Reads “Kahayag” / “Light”

Next up in the Poetry Wednesdays series is Janis Salvacion, reading her luminous poem about her grandmother, “Kahayag.” It’s not evident in this recording, but Janis carried on through the sound of trikes and motorcycles revving past her bookstore (where we snuck in this recording).

Janis opened Bookstorm about a year ago in downtown Tacloban, some months after Typhoon Yolanda destroyed the books she had collected over the years. It’s the only indie bookshop in Tacloban. 

When asked if this had been a dream of hers, if she had always wanted to run a bookstore, the answer was no. She just felt the need to open a bookstore, post-Yolanda. That urgency is something I heard echoed by other new Tacloban entrepreneurs I met, like Trixie and Jacques Palami of Yellow Doors Hostel, and one of the Alunans, who opened Pizza Canto within months of the storm.

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Process

Researching the Chavacano Story

The Yakan are one of several distinct ethnic groups living in Zamboanga City, though originally from Basilan. They are known for their complicated patterns, their weaving being among the most intricate and difficult to create in the Philippines. Below is a Yakan backstrap loom, housed at the National Museum of the Philippines. You can see the diamond patterns and bright colors typical of Yakan work. This was part of the day’s research and inspiration for […]

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Poetry Wednesdays

Waray Poetry: Voltaire Oyzon reads “Gab-i” / “Night”

For the second installment of Poetry Wednesdays, here’s Tacloban-based Waray poet Voltaire Oyzon, reading “Gab-i.”

Voltaire is also one of the minds behind the Corpora Project, a database of texts in various languages. It’s purpose is to preserve language and provide structural analysis that can be used to classify texts according to comprehension level for use in mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTBMLE). Check it out at http://corporaproject.org/

 

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