Our Own Voice arrives at its seventh year and into its 24th issue.
By any stretch of the imagination, it is a remarkable adventure when you consider that no commercial ad pops up in our pages. And the pages, like perennials, bloom year in and year out.
2007 is a watershed year marked by two sleeper events: Being mentioned in the April 22, 2007 Sunday New York Times Magazine where the works of OOV contributors, Nadine Sarreal and Corazon Amaya Cañete, are quoted by author Jason Deparle in his cover story, "A Good Provider Is One Who Leaves." No other major news publication could have brought home to a worldwide readership the experiences of overseas contract workers and specifically those of the Filipino's contributions to family and country.
The other "event" is the cataloguing of OOV's Global Filipino Literary Awards of past and future years as a special collection, to be housed as a collection, in the Library of Congress Asian Division.
Congratulations to the Global Filipino Literary Awardees, the authors and publishers of:
Letters to Montgomery Clift
Love Gathers All
Seasons by the Bay
A Country of Our Own.
This issue is devoted to genealogists, archivists and family historians for their ongoing efforts on behalf of their family trees; proving that it is a work-in-progress, constantly added to and expanded; started by one and updated by others down the ancestral line. They are silent plodders intent on documenting their ancestors, digging deep for roots. Rarely compensated for their efforts, they are obsessed in pursuit of clues to connections binding families one to the other.
We each belong to a tribe, a clan, contributing our family stories of heroism and idiosyncrasies, and traditions that solidify into what in abstract is called "heritage". No family member is tossed out of the tree. He could be a professional assassin, a rake, a black sheep. Members could be "anak sa labas", a bastard, or adoptee. Still, each is connected, either vertically or horizontally, by a family branch or twig to the ancestral tree. Belonging is permanent. Always, family on a grand scale spells a sense of pride; in smaller units, a safe harbor for anyone lost or astray.
To those of us who are holding the end of the progeny line, we hand down our name, and singularly preserve it in a people's collective memory minus the human progenitor connection. We do this by creating a body of literature, by our passionate art form, by music, dance and/or film-all of which invigorate the world's cultural expressions. As writers and artists, as prophets and visionaries, we pass on dreams-a precious inheritance down to the nth generation.
31 May 2007