Sunday, October 3, 2010

Orosa-Nakpil, Malate: The English Transliteration by Louie Mar A. Gangcuangco

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Orosa-Nakpil, Malate: The English Transliteration
This book, written in the second person, presents beautifully the life of a male who prefers sexual intimacy with those of his own sex (with some emphasis on his love and heartbreaks). It also is, somewhat, a primer on HIV & AIDS, although it's not really the main focus of the book. (The HIV & AIDS part may be looked at as a sort of consequential school of thought, a "shout out", if you will.)

I can almost say as well that the book is a mixture of romance and tragedy, although it has a very hopeful ending. The parts on forgiveness and reality were also played quite well.

---

This is a story about the life of Dave De Jesus. We see Dave (who had known early on in life that he had a "different" sexual orientation than the "norm") when he is still young, to when he progresses into an adult who has borne the brunt of heartache and love.

Not only does this book discuss the little details of being in love and in pain are, but it also gives especial care to inform the reader on sexually-transmitted diseases. Gangcuangco uses the setting of Orosa-Nakpil, a street once known for being the center of gay clubs and what not, in order to show how recklessness may lead to very serious consequences, particularly to one's health. (For my part, I was quite interested on the little snippets of info on HIV & AIDS that were presented here. While sometimes sounding as if it'd be something you'd read on a brochure, the info was presented little by little, so the reader wouldn't get too "bored" about it.)

Oh, and just for the record: not knowing the identity of the "narrator" up until the end was something so... mind-boggling and almost annoying for me. 'Twas quite a great show, the presentation of the identity of this mysterious person at the end of the book.

Also, I wish I had gotten the Tagalog version one. I feel that that would've had a more personal feel while reading... Not that I hadn't felt that while reading this English version. Maybe someday :D


Orosa-Nakpil, Malate: The English Transliteration by Louie Mar A. Gangcuangco
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



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Monday, August 23, 2010

Forbidden Fruit: Women Write The Erotic by Tina Cuyugan

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Forbidden Fruit: Women Write The Erotic
The foreword mentions how difficult it is for erotica to be written and read, especially by women. This volume pieces together different works-- from the subtle and meaningful, to the blunt and capricious.

If you're in search of a straightforward sexy erotica book, this might just not be your best choice. If you are, however, in search of erotica that leaves sprinkles of dust on the skin and snippets of words on the tongue, this is your book.


Forbidden Fruit: Women Write The Erotic by Tina Cuyugan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



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Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

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Love in the Time of Cholera
This story is about patience and love. How Florentino Ariza found it in him to wait for so long to have the woman he loves finally in his arms is a rather singular sequence of events, one with its heartbreaks and peculiarly human enterprises.

The characters are shown in such a unique light, so much that their personalities are so intense, they almost seem to be talking to you off-page. Ariza himself is not shown as an angelic fairytale prince; rather, he is shown as a man who, though loyal and true, has within him faults, mistakes and failures. (Let us also not forget that Fermina Daza, the woman he loves so dearly, had looked at him with disdain and disgust at more than one point of her life, due to his physical attributes.)

The story-telling is brilliant, with the incidents being foreshadowed, forgotten, brought back into light, deftly mixed into other realities, and finally: being given way to a beautiful ending.

All in all, a lovely read.


Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



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Monday, July 19, 2010

The Indolence of the Filipino by José Rizal

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The Indolence of the Filipino
This book was something we discussed in our Rizal class. Reading through it, I couldn't help but feel a kind of admiration for Rizal, who was able to lay bare the, simply put, indolence of the Filipino. The reasons for it may be looked at as mere excuses, but the train of thought is still something exciting and interesting. I suppose the only thing that is perceived bothersome is that Rizal seems to still convey a subtle message on wanting the Islas Filipinas to be a province of Spain, as one may see in the last sentence of the book:

This policy has the advantage in that while it may
not lull the instincts of liberty wholly to sleep, yet the day when
the mother country loses her colonies she will at least have the gold
amassed and not the regret of having reared ungrateful children
.

(An explanation/reaction to this subject would actually be of use to me, as our PI 100 discussions seemed a long time past... Perhaps I should go read again, though o___O)

Nevertheless, Rizal's stress for the importance of national sentiment and lack of training is quite realistic, and valid still today. The PDI's article about it should summarize it quite well.

All in all, a good read for the indios, even at present.


The Indolence of the Filipino by José Rizal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



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Women Loving: Stories and a Play by Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz

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Women Loving: Stories and a Play
To date [review's written in 2010], there are very few books in the Filipiniana section that have the topics of homosexuality in them-- much more so lesbianism. With her words, Cruz shows us the kind of love women can share with others, even in dangerous and compromising positions, and with whomever they please. A very nice collection of stories.


Women Loving: Stories and a Play by Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



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