Tuesday, January 17, 2012

familiar things

Reading The Dumaguete We Know (edited by Merlie Alunan) is a practice on skillfully harnessing the reins on nostalgia. Those who have lived in this capital city of Negros Oriental (I had for four years), or those who are held captive by its secret magnetism upon first glance, would find a lot of truths interspersed in every page. Things familiar are magnified and things that are not strangely become identifiable. It is like stumbling upon your journal of some distant year in the attic. In short, recollections here—whether encapsulated through essay, heightened through poetry or dramatized through fiction—are as piercing as paper cut. Small, maybe even microscopic, but you’d know it left a mark. And it could either be blissful or tragic.

Note: It has taken me weeks, literally, to get hold of this. And then I realize, sometimes, it is worth asking the customer service of a bookstore. This anthology is apparently concealed among the large coffeetable glossies in the Travel section, not in the Philippine Literature shelves.

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