Friday, November 14, 2008

a rant and a rave

A friend once said to me that my weblog is too halo-halo, a sari-sari store mix and (mis)match of sorts, without a theme, the topics unrelated to each other. Maybe not in those exact words, but close. And I say, duh! It'd probably be so boring to write about two or three themes only. And aren't we all multi-faceted, yes?

So tonight, I'm not even going to write. Instead I'm going to copy and link to two totally unrelated topics that are similarly close to my heart.

First the rant.

I've been silently seething about the Bolante case these past days and when I saw Dominique's post I said a big Amen. My sentiments exactly, penned so piercingly. Here's an excerpt, click on the link to read the rest of the letter.

Dear Mr. Bolante,

I have a question, a very simple one. Don't worry, it has nothing to do with the scam that will forever be associated with your name. I'm not interested in your innocence or your guilt. That much has already been decided. In the public's eye, you are guilty; but in the eyes of Philippine law, you are innocent. So long as you stick to your story, you will continue to be so.

You know, I didn't even bother to follow your performance at the Senate on television. The fact is, I've seen it all before. The senators will scream and the senators will shout; they'll wag papers under your nose and trip you up with your words; they'll sneer and they'll shout; and yes, they'll call you names. But you and I already know, at the end of the day, nothing will come of it. You are innocent; so long as you stick to your story, you will continue to be so.

No, my question is a very fundamental one. If you will, it's a very human one. Read the question...


Then the rave.

This very good looking young man over here just won the Man Asian Literary Award for his novel Ilustrado. His name is MIGUEL SYJUCO and he's only 31 years old. Manila-born, Ateneo-bred and now Montreal-based, Syjuco has published poetry, fiction and journalism.

Sponsored by the investment company Man Group Plc, the Man Asian Literary Award is designed to draw greater attention to Asian writing and authors.

Ilustrado won over the other four finalists in the shortlist:

Kavery Nambisan (India), The Story that Must Not be Told

Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi (India), The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay

Yu Hua (China), Brothers

Alfred A. Yuson (Philippines), The Music Child

So what is Ilustrado all about? This here from Chuck Syjuco's webpage.

"Ilustrado begins with Crispin Salvador, lion of Philippine letters, dead in the Hudson River. His acolyte Miguel investigates the author's demise and the disappearance of a manuscript about the corruption behind rich Filipino families. To understand the death, Miguel scours the life, charting Salvador's trajectory via his poetry, stories, interviews, novels, polemics and memoirs. The literary fragments become patterns become stories become epic: a family saga of four generations tracing 150 years of Philippine history forged under the Spanish, Americans and Filipinos themselves. Finally, the story twists, belonging to young Miguel as much as his lost mentor."

And if you want to read an excerpt from the novel, it's here.

Everybody's raving about Miguel Syjuco and these links here are where I got all above information:

Ian: Chuck won the Man Asian!

Gulf News: Philippines' Miguel Syjuco wins Man Asian Book award ...

National Post: Montreal Gazette copy editor Miguel Syjuco wins .. Miguel Syjuco Wins $10,000...

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