Philippine Daily Inquirer / 08:57 PM March 30, 2021
‘Of Love and Other Lemons’ by Katrina Stuart Santiago
“Of Love and Other Lemons” is a collection that plays with the form of the personal essay, turning it on its head, insisting on the we versus the I, the distant versus the familiar, even as it can only be about the personal. As such it is honest but impersonal, particularly of one but speaking of (if not for) the other, creative nonfiction premised on what remains fictional for women on this side of the third world.
Here are, and ultimately, essays about being raised a girl in Manila, feminist in the academe, woman struggling with/in the silences and noise of a nation every day.
Originally published with a small run in 2012, the 2020 version is a leaner, edited and revised version that takes into consideration the shifts and changes in the state of woman eight years hence. (Everything’s Fine; available through everythingsfineph.com and anahawbooks.com.)‘The Revolution
According to Raymundo Mata’ by Gina Apostol
In telling the contested and fragmentary story of Mata, Apostol finds new ways to depict the violence of the Spanish colonial era, and to reimagine the nation’s great writer, José Rizal, who was executed by the Spanish for his revolutionary activities, and is considered by many to be the father of Philippine independence. Originally released by Anvil Publishing Inc. in 2009, “The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata” offers an intoxicating blend of fact and fiction, uncovering lost histories while building dazzling, anarchic modes of narrative. (Soho Press; available from Fully Booked and fullybookedonline.com.)
‘Tangere’ by Rodrigo V. Dela Peña Jr.
Award-winning poet Rodrigo V. Dela Peña Jr.’s book is a poetic reinvention of José Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere,” with each poem corresponding to a chapter in Rizal’s seminal novel. Part experiment, part palimpsest and collage, part interrogation and reclamation, the poetic sequence channels the imagined voices of Maria Clara, Pilosopo Tasio, Sisa and other minor characters of Rizal to create a resonant, kaleidoscopic chorus. (University of the Philippines Press; available at press.up.edu.ph/store, and the Shopee and Lazada shops of UP Press.)
‘TRESE 1: Murder on Balete Drive’ by Budjette Tan and KaJO Baldisimo
Shortly after the announcement that Liza Soberano and Shay Mitchell will be providing the voices for Alexandra Trese comes this 2021 version which contains the remastered artwork, as seen in the US edition. It has 16 additional comic book pages of extended action scenes and concept sketches from 2005, when “TRESE” was created; this book marks the 13th publication anniversary of “Murder on Balete Drive,” and contains the following cases: “At the Intersection of Balete and 13th Street,” “Rules of the Race,” “The Tragic Case of Dr. Burgos” and “Our Secret Constellation.” (Avenida Books; available at myavenida.com, Avenida Books on Shopee, Fully Booked, Comic Odyssey, Secret HQ and Mt. Cloud Book Shop.)