Thursday, November 28, 2019

Man Friday Repost

BECAUSE I WANT TO GET BACK into its groove after serious history stuff, I am reposting this piece from two years ago. Subway papercut art by Asian-American Bianca Levan. Have a great Pinoy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 22, 2019

The Folk Element

BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT the most unadulterated version of folklore is one that was collected (in accessible English) long ago, I was glad to find a copy of the first edition of Filipino Popular Tales (1921) by Dean Spruill Fansler, an early scholar of Pinoy folklore from Columbia University and protege of Franz Boas, "Father of American Anthropology". From 1908 to 1914, Fansler taught at the then young University of the Philippines.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Most Moral

I DON'T KNOW HOW FORMER editor of The Brooklyn Eagle Charles Montgomery Skinner came to his conclusion about Mangyan morality in Myths And Legends Of Our New Possessions And Protectorate (1900), maybe from reading Dean Worcester, but I'll take it. The earliest book on Philippine mythology in English I've encountered so far.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Weeding Casualties

MAYBE THE UNIVERSITY OF WINNIPEG (then United College) should have held on to this first edition of Manuel Arguilla's How My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife and Other Stories (1940), if only its library weeder foresaw the close to 80K Pinoys that would later call its city home. Weeding a collection is a tricky task dictated by a number of factors, poor circulation and plain ignorance among them, and unfortunately the book had no library due date card when it arrived to give me an idea of its circulation history. Mabel Cook Cole's Philippine Folk Tales (1916) from the USC library had the same fate, but maybe books such as these are better off safeguarded in a private library.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Flash Friday

I INSTANTLY ADMIRED the work of Kristine Ong Muslim, a Filipina writer based in Maguindanao, Philippines, after reading this short piece a while back in Tin House Online, proof that world-class writing in English can be done by Pinoys who choose not to leave the home country.