Wednesday, November 03, 2010


[First published in The Philippine Star, Nov. 1, 2010]

New Filipiniana titles (Part One)
The following titles are all worthy additions to everyone’s Filipiniana shelves.


Mondo Marcos: Writings on Martial Law and the Marcos Babies, edited by Frank Cimatu and Rolando B. Tolentino (also published by Anvil), collects short fiction, personal essays, and poetry — mostly from “Martial law babies” — that theme up on the Marcos world.

Contributors for fiction are R. Zamora Linmark, Paula Angeles, Cyan Abad-Jugo, David Hontiveros, Robert J.A. Basilio Jr., and Cesar Ruiz Aquino, whose meta-fiction piece titled “The Diaries of Mojud Remontado: 55 Days in Dumaguete” is certainly worth more than the price of this volume alone.

Essays are by Wilfredo Pascual, Jr. (who has two), Ige Ramos (three), Sandra Roldan, Apol Lejano-Massebieu, Oscar Atadero, Grace Celeste T. Subido, Johanns Fernandez, Gabe Mercado, Pete Rajon, and Shubert Lazaro Ciencia.

Poetry is contributed by US-based Pinoy poets Eileen Tabios, Luisa A. Igloria, Vince Gotera, and R. Zamora Linmark, as well as co-editor Frank Cimatu, Alma Anonas-Carpio, Padmapani L. Perez, BJ Patiño, G. Mae Aquino, and one bashful Anonymous.

It seems Mondo Marcos is a two-volume collection, with one in Filipino, also of essays, poetry and fiction — but I don’t have that copy.

In his Epilog, co-editor Tolentino writes: “The writers are from the generation of young people who have grown up, lived through, and generated their consciousness and being primarily during the martial law period. Forced into singing the New Society theme song, gardening vegetable patches, and deprived of a chunk of the Voltes V series, these ‘martial law’ babies had little choice than to involve themselves in materially and symbolically slaying the Marcos-father....

“...There was no language outside the Marcos dictatorship. On the other hand, the world given unto them, the officialdom of the conjugal dictatorship’s nation-building is engaged, critiqued and re-worlded. Even as there can be no language other than those uttered by the Marcoses, the idioms for rearticulating the language are retransformed by this generation of writers....

“... The Mondo Marcos volumes seek to memorialize the generation’s coming of age with the legacy of the Marcos era, whose utmost legacy may be surmised in the slogan, ‘never again.’”