AUTHOR: Myrna J. de la Paz
PUBLISHER: Shen’s Book
REVIEW PUBLISHED IN papertiger.org on September 2009 by Abigail Sawyer
Myrna J. de la Paz’s upbringing in a Philippine town where indigenous culture and spiritual beliefs are practiced alongside Christianity inspired her to share a world of magic and myth that had become familiar to her but was in danger of disappearing as a result of the long history of Spanish Colonization and Americanization. Abadeha: The Philippine Cinderella is a story that had already disappeared from mainstream Philippine folk literature, and de la Paz made it her mission to rescue this tale with its indigenous roots intact.
AUTHOR: Ludy Astraquillo Ongkeko
PUBLISHER: Jack Bacon & Company (Reno, Nevada)
REVIEW PUBLISHED IN PHILIPPINE NEWS (April 11, 2009) By Allen Gaborro
There is something rather intimate about Dr. Ludy Astraquillo Ongkeko’s most recent book, “Forty Years Of Writing In America.” The work not only has a contemplative and reflective aura about it. It also, especially with subsequent readings, radiates with a personal tone and gravity that touches on the author’s collective experiences as a Filipino in America. Ongkeko’s experiences, much of which came about as a writer and as a teacher, span some forty years and two very different, yet historically- interrelated cultures and societies.
“Blistering winds from the South China Sea sway the giant coconut trees lining the pristine beach while the foam of crashing waves melds with the fine white sand. Darkness creeps into the skies, heralding an impending tropical storm on this December morning. The droning gusts turn somber as the skies open up, yielding a sea of planes emblazoned with the crimson symbol of the rising sun. One by one, in perfect formation, they descend swiftly on this bucolic town like a swarm of hornets about to prey. A child’s tiny feet trample madly on the powdery sand, racing with the wild beating of her heart. Her breathing becomes more rapid, each gasp turning shallow and frantic as the invading horde casts its dark shadow from above. Suddenly, an ear-piercing sound is heard, like an echo of a desperate woman wailing in pain.”
AUTHOR: Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard
REVIEW PUBLISHED IN Erlinda Kintanar-Alburo’s column Promdi-wise, Sugbo News
Out of Cebu: Essays and Personal Prose is the newest book of Cecilia “Baby” Manguerra-Brainard, published by the newest press in town, the USC Press. The author, who lives in California, shows how much Cebu is a part of her and her writing. Her saying that “you can take a Filipina out of the Philippines, but you can’t take the Philippines out of a Filipina” may be rephrased “Cebuana out of Cebu” and “Cebu out of a Cebuana.”
TITLE: Tropic Born War Torn
AUTHOR: Susan Vance
PUBLISHER: Inkwater Press
REVIEW PUBLISHED IN CITY BOOK REVIEW.COM
While the scope and horror of war can never be fully realized, personal life stories encourage one to learn history surrounding these events. The author’s mother and grandfather, Gloria Haube Vance and William Haube, were caught up in the Japanese invasion of the Philippines during World War II. On the evening of Gloria’s engagement party, December 7, 1941, her life changed direction and she was plunged into survival mode. Reinforcements for the Philippines were diverted to protect Hawaii after the Pearl Harbor attack, leaving the Philippines to the Japanese. Gloria’s fiancé was captured, endured the Bataan death march — only to die on a Japanese ship bombed by American planes.
TITLE: War Stories: The Pacific, Volume I. Pearl Harbor to Guadacanal
AUTHOR: Jay Wertz
INTERVIEW PUBLISHED IN http://www.armchairgeneral.com
“On December 7th, when the attack come I had just bought me the paper, the Honolulu Times I think it was, and I lay down by a casemate and I was fixing to read it when the first bomb hit … We had targets, they were coming in from every which way; this way, that way, they just flied in a swarm; they’s just like a hive of bees coming through there. You just picked out the one you thought you could get … “
AUTHOR: Donna Miscolta
REVIEW PUBLISHED IN letsbookit.blogspot.com
Confession time: I judged a book by it’s cover. Well, actually by it’s title. Usually I am adamant about not doing that and rely instead on the synopsis. In this case, I was totally vindicated in my choice. This book has found its place on my top 100 list (still in progress).
As you know, if you have spent any time reading my reviews, I almost never include a run down of the plot. There are lots of places, on the web and off, that carry info as to the plot line of a book – my blog is for reviews. ‘When the de la Cruz Family Danced’ is going to be one of those exceptions because I feel like the blurb on the back of the book doesn’t do the book justice.