Catch a Falling Star by Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo (Book)

From the back cover:

With this collection of stories, Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo departs from the "tale" mode of Tales for a Rainy Night (1993) and Where Only the Moon Rages (1994), and returns to the realistic short story, the mode of her earlier collection, Ballad of a Lost Season (1987). But the simple narrative style and the nostalgic tone of these new stories about the young girl, Patriciang Payatot are reminiscient of the tales as well as of her travel essays, a genre in which she pioneered, and which some critics regard as her best work.

Aside from writing three short story collections and six collections of personal essays and travel narratives, Hidalgo has written a novel, Recuerdo (1996) and two volumes of literary criticism. Many of these books have won awards, like the Carlos Palanca Grand Prize and the Manila Critics' Circle National Book Award.

The author is married to Antonio A. Hidalgo and has three daughters. She holds a Ph. D. in Comparative Literature, teaches at the University of the Philippines, and is the Director of the UP Creative Writing Center.


The Magic Glasses
The Notebook
The Mangkukulam
Patriciang Payatot
The Afternoon of the Horses
Little Miss Sunshine
"Sweets for the Sweet"
Beautiful Beth
How I Spent My Summer Vacation
The Woman in the Apple-green Dress

Militant But Groovy: Stories of Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan

Militant But Groovy: Stories of Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan is a nonfiction/anthology book compiled and edited by Soliman M. Santos Jr. and Paz Verdades M. Santos. It was published by Anvil in 2008. The book contained articles by Ernesto M. Valencia, Soliman M. Santos Jr., Ernesto M. Hilario, Isagani R. Serrano, Rolando Pena, Jose Y. Dalisay Jr., Ricco Alejandro M. Santos, Alex F. Ontong, Jaime R. Regalario, Jerusalino V. Araos, Romeo DLC. Candazo, Manuel S. Calizo, Juan Antonio A. Perez III, Ramon L. Fernan III, Jonathan A. Dela Cruz, Efren R. Abueg, Behn Cervantez, Jorge V. Sibal, Lynn Polintan-Castilla, and Vivencio R. Jose.

From the book's back cover:

"The world of my SDK seems like a dream to me now. But it's a dream that keeps coming back, like deja vu. Some of the images look vivid, others are simply too distant and faded...I see Tonyhil, Sid and myself, clad in Che Guevarra jackets tailored by my brother for our threesome, hiking from Diliman to Malolos in midsummer. I remember us three doing this a few times for good reasons, romantic or otherwise. We were preparing our legs, and our hearts as well, for what we were told was the coming high-level struggle." - Isagani R. Serrano

"SDK members had a peculiar closeness to each other that seemed different from those of other groups...Some members were given to hugging when they greeted each other. This was called "givinga revolutionary warmth" until the practice was discouraged because outsiders interpreted this sometimes as an expression of looseness in sexual practice...In the evening, comrades of different sexes lay side by side on banigs on apartment floors without anybody having to fear for his or her chastity. Most of the time." - Ernesto "Popoy" M. Valencia

"After a while the whole HQ wakes up to the aroma of food. Three pieces of small tuna sauteed in three tomatoes and as many onions and bits of garlic, swimming in a sea of tap water that turns the gooey red sauce of the canned delight into a boiling pot of thin liquid barely able to make it to orange. And it feeds all twenty-nine SDK rebels who spent the night at the Kamuning base. This is us, SDK-QCM. Ligo con Pacific Ocean. And it is good...Things are good." - Alex F. Ontong

From the Introduction:

Why this book of SDK stories?

Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (Democratic Association of Youth, SDK), one of the more prominent Filipino youth activist organizations of the early 1970s, was in existence from 1968 to 1975, or about seven years. This book revisiting SDK started as a project in late 1994 and has since been an on-and-off effort, gaining its second and final wind only in 2005 to make it for publication in 2007, thus about a dozen years in the making. Why making the book about SDK took longer than the life itself of SDK also tells us why a book like this had to come out.

The Gods We Worship Live Next Door by Bino A. Realuyo (Poetry Book)

The Gods We Worship Live Next Door is a poetry collection by Bino A. Realuyo that was published in 2006 by the University of Utah Press and then in 2008 by Anvil Publishing. The collection contains 27 poems, most of which have previously appeared in various journals, magazines, and anthologies (The Asian Pacific American Journal, Texas Poetry Review, Del Sol Review, The Kenyon Review, The Literary Review, Mockingbird, The Nation, New Letters, etc.).

Synopsis (back cover blurb):

The late National Artist for Literature N.V.M. Gonzales wrote about Bino A. Realuyo's first poems published in the Philippines: "The most moving ones I have come across in recent years...I am honored to be one of his first readers, although for now, he is a continent and an ocean away."

Realuyo's award winning debut collection is now on Philippine shores. The Gods We Worship Next Door is the recipient of the 2005 Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry in the United States selected by Grace Schulman, distinguished professor of English at Baruch College, City University of New York and Poetry Editor of The Nation.

"If I became the brown woman mistaken for aa shadow, please tell your people I'm a tree." The voice of a Filipino maid in the global economy begins Bino A. Realuyo's five-hundred-year lyrical journey against the extremity and silence of history. In Realuyo's landscape of poetry, the ruins and the ruined of the Philippines gather to speak of "memory that arises from simple truths", and prove that what the punished body cannot endure, the soul will ultimately witness, illuminate, and redeem.

"Bino A. Realuyo has that rare gift of transforming modern horror into art. In The Gods We Worship Live Next Door he writes of his beleaguered country, the Philippines, in ways that reveal universal truths. The land is vibrant and alive, real with mythical shadows -rituals, dances, work - and, at the same time, racked by persecution and death. The book is passionate without a trace of sentimentality, a compelling account of destruction under a silent god." - Grace Schulman

Bino A. Realuyo was born and raised in Manila, the son of a survivor of the Bataan Death March and a World War II Japanese concentration camp in the Philippines. He is the author of the acclaimed novel The Umbrella Country. His poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Manoa, The Literary Review, New Letters, and The Nation. He is the recipient of the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. He lives in Manhattan. His website is

Here's one poem from the collection. It's called "Flower Vendor":

Always, the beginning is in the wetting
of the thread at its tip.
It won't take long - and she knows -
to make necklaces of white flowers.
A wired bulb swings above her,
splashing shadows of arms, hair
and flowers in buckets.

She sits at the mirror and revels
in another day of yelling:
the stretching of words for flowers
hanging around her neck, wrists,
the wide leaps amid loud honking buses
and mouths, and the narrow ones over puddles,
the balance of an umbrella if it rains
while wiping her forehead with her hand,
the quick count of change
between the driver's shouts and whistles.

The rain of hours drifts through her dress.
She breathes in mounds of scent around her.
The reed-mat ceiling slowly drips.
She counts the drips as she exhales,
tongues her lips to begin.

The Gods We Worship Live Next Door by Bino A Realuyo

Tino and the Typhoon by Alice Geer Kelsey (Book)

Tino and the Typhoon is a novel written by Alice Geer Kelsey that was originally published in 1958.


In the coastal Philippine village of Darapidap lives a boy named Tino, the lighthouse keeper's son. Watching his father keep the light inspires Tino to do a grown man's work, but his fears hold him back in his father's eyes. When a fierce storm threatens the safety of the village and the fishermen at sea, Tino's courage is put to a true test.

Excerpt from Chapter 1: Valentino's Secret

Valentino did not call it hiding. He would have said he just happened to be polishing the red outboard motor when his father, Lighthouse Keeper Rodolfo Luna, needed someone to climb the ladder. Its thirty-one dizzy rungs marched up outside the slim white lighthouse in the center in the Philippine coastal village of Darapidap. Its beacon signaled, "This way home," to fishermen in their narrow outrigger bangkas far out in the South China Sea.

It was not his fault, Valentino would have said, that the five-horsepower motor he was shining happened to be where his father could not see it, or see him as he polished. It was the lighthouse keeper himself, not Valentino, who was careful to store it in the thatched bamboo shed with the motors of neighbor fishermen whose wooden bangkas were drawn up on the sandy beach waiting till time and weather for night fishing.

Valentino heard his father call amiably, "I left the empty kerosene tin in the balcony beside the lamp. I need it. Who will be the one to go up for it?"

The boy was glad there were no windows in the banboo shed. He squatted behind the door, hidden from the doorway. He knew what would come next.

"Tino! Tino!" his father called less pleasantly. "Where is that Valentino?"

"He is somewhere around," said Tino's mother. She was sitting on her heels baside the shallow laundry tub near the pump on their high back poarch. "I saw him a minute ago."

The boy knew what he hoped to hear next. And he heard it.

"I will be the one to climb the ladder, Tatang!" It was the cheerful voice of his younger sister, Erlinda. For the hundredth time, Tino was grateful that she sensed his shameful secret and came to his rescue.

"Your lazy brother should be the one." Tino could feel the frown on his father's rugged, weather-lined face. "He is never around when someone must climb the lighthouse ladder."

"Oh, I like to climb it!" Erlinda's brisk voice came from the foot of the ladder - then from higher - and higher. "Tino is not lazy. He is just - just - " Tino wondered what she would say. Would she give away his humiliating secret? He was relieved when she finished, "Tino is just busy doing other things."

"I am going up, too!" Tino heard his brother Pedro say. He was four years younger than Tino. Everybody called him Pedring.

"Me - up - too!" lisped Rosario. She was between Pedring and Baby Pepito in age. "Me - up - too!"

Danger to his little sister brought Tino running from the bamboo shed. He dashed across the hard-packed dirt yard to grab little Rosario as she took a fumbling step from first to second ladder rung. He could not explain why he gave her a spiteful little shake as he set her on the ground. He was angry with someone, but not with her - nor with Pedring - nor with his adored father - nor with loyal Erlinda.

The Tree by Godofredo Burce Bunao (Poem) - Meaning and Analysis

The tree was very beautiful to me
When I was a boy
I climbed for fruit or out of a branch of the tree
Made me a toy—
A top, for instance, that spun around, carefree
And wound for joy until it toppled over and was dead.

No longer the boy,
I find the tree as beautiful as though not
Just for branch
Or a bunch of fruit but-more than that-for a bed
Or to fence the ranch
In which I raise the beasts that fill the pot
In the many shapes
My simple commerce turn them to like bread
Or fish or grapes
To feed the brood the little woman me.

There go the boys.
Go watch them, strong limb; spread up the tree,
They pluck their toys
Out of its branches, as out of my childhood tree

I shaped my joys.

Meanings and Analysis

Imagine the poet standing on a road and on the side of the road is a big tree. Such tree reminds him of his childhood. A childhood where he spent a lot of time climbing trees. Climbing trees for their sweet fruits. Climbing trees for their sturdy branches from which he'd create old-fashioned toys like spinning tops. The memory encourages him to write a poem about it.

At its core, The Tree is a poem about growing up - that memorable transition between child and adult. In this process, some things change but things remain the same and intact. Read the poem again. The poet finds trees beautiful when he was a child. He still finds them beautiful as an adult. But the reasoning behind why he finds them beautiful has changed. As a child, the tree is beautiful because it gave him sweet fruits and sturdy branches for fashioning toys. As an adult, the tree is beautiful because it gives him the materials to build furniture and fences. 

The poet also encourages the reader to watch boys climb trees so that they can also experience what he's experiencing - a sweet trip down memory lane. A trip to a childhood they'll never be able to go back to - physically at least.

The last line in the poem - "I shaped my joys" - is more open to interpretation. It could mean that the poet's childhood shaped his joys into adulthood. As an adult, he finds joy building furniture and fences from trees. The same joy he experienced as a child eating the sweet fruits of trees. Would he have enjoyed building furniture if he didn't experience climbing trees as a child? Probably not as much.