Maktan 1521

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It’s the eve of Independence Day, and I thought it was a fitting occasion to read and review “Maktan 1521” by Tepai Pascual.

I spotted it on a bookstore shelf a few months back and thought the cover was kick-ass (yes, I judge books by the cover). I enjoy reading historical fiction, and the Battle of Mactan is a memorable chapter in history for me — back in college, historian Ambeth Ocampo gave us an exam wherein we had to tell the story of the Battle of Mactan from the point of view of a fish!) — and I thought I’d enjoy this graphic novel.

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Philippine Style

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I’ve been reading bits and pieces of the coffeetable book Philippine Style: Design & Architecture by Luca Tettoni and Elizabeth V. Reyes over several months now, and it’s proven to be the sort of book you can get lost in for hours, with a wealth of detail to explore.

Published by Anvil, Philippine Style is a showcase of Philippine architecture and design, tracing its history from the pre-colonial bahay kubo (nipa hut) to bahay na bato, down to the contemporary Filipino home, in full color and exquisite detail.

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David Macaulay roundup

 

I thought I’d break this blogging fast with a nice roundup, featuring books by the prolific, award-winning author-illustrator David Macaulay!

I discovered David Macaulay back in college, when my illustration teacher showed us the Caldecott-winning Cathedral (which I read along with Pillars of the Earth), and I filed him away in my mental book wishlist. Years later, I lucked out on Black and White and Cathedral while trawling through bargain bins, and I’ve been fascinated by his work ever since.

Lately I’ve been really lucky, as Flipper friend (and hatter extraordinaire) Marie got me a couple David Macaulay books for our annual FFP Kris Kringle, and I’ve scored some more titles during my frequent bookstore raids, so I’ve got a little collection going. On top of the two titles already in my collection, I’ve now got: the storybooks Baaa, Shortcut, and Angelo, and the architecture books Mill, Pyramid, Unbuilding, and Mosque.

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Looking Back

I discovered historian Ambeth Ocampo’s essays back in high school: we were taking up the Noli and El Fili in Panitikan (Literature, in Filipino) class and our teacher wanted us to compile newspaper clippings about Jose Rizal. We didn’t have a newspaper subscription, but I lived a few blocks away from the Inquirer office so I went to their library to get some clippings. The library lady handed me a whole folder of articles (pre-digitization; this was the late 90’s) — most of them were from Ambeth Ocampo’s newspaper column, and I remember being so engrossed reading them that the librarian had to walk over and nudge me to let me know they were closing for the afternoon.

As soon as I enrolled in Ateneo for college, I had my heart set on taking Ambeth Ocampo’s History 165 (Rizal and the Emergence of the Philippine Nation) class, and fortuitously, I got a good random number during reg that sem I was scheduled to take that subject so I was able to enlist in his class.

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