From various parts of the world, friends and relatives write me about their weather: what is being harvested and put up for the winter in North America; where they are going for the summer in Australia; the school year that is starting in Zimbabwe; and the aftermath of typhoons in Manila and Taipei. All this earth's energywe are cupped in its motion and it brings a feeling of restless sentimentality. I misremember a line from a Denise Chou-Allas poem, "It's raining where I am / is it raining there too?"
Oh, this roiling turmoil. The fourth issue of Our Own Voice is a retrospective one, calling back the work of Filipino writers no longer in this life with us. Somehow, the tone tying the pieces together is reassuring, that for large hearts like Reme, the words of past writers are conjured up in one place for us to readperhaps a delicious repeat, perhaps for the first time.
The sample of work here is hardly complete and not even a fair representation of what has been written. Instead it is the best of what we could get. Here is writing about NVM Gonzalez by Alberto Florentino, and a short biobibliography on P.C. Morantte by Vic Gendrano from the late Heritage Magazine. Margarita Villaluz's niece shares insight into a much younger Margie. The frontispiece for the issue is a tribute to Angela Manalang Gloria. The surprising poetry of relatively unknown "Bette" Mejia , a translation of Rizal's Mi Ultimo Adios into Bicolano, a taxi dancer's memories of 1930 Chinatown, and a hip review of The Anchored Angel also grace the issue. Carlene Sobrino Bonnivier's review revives interest in a documentary video of the last days of the I-Hotel. We had hoped to include something from Valorie Slaughter Bejarano, who was recognized at this year's Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture in San Pedro, California but up to the last minute, were unable to contact her immediate family for their permission. We had hoped to include writing by Maningning Miclat, whose death last year touched deeply many who did not even know her. We console ourselves and think forward to future issues when we can present the work of these too-soon-gone women, along with the work of living writers.
Winter, summer, rainy season or drywherever you are, dear reader, welcome to the fourth issue of Our Own Voice.
Nadine L. Sarreal