Books by Bicolanos

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Books are available at Bicol and selected bookstores nationwide. Biklish can also help facilitate orders. E-mail Biklish at: Let us support Bicolano writers by patronizing their books!

Books About Bicol

“An mga Asuwang: A Bicol Belief” by Francis X. Lynch S.J. The ASWANG/ASUWANG is the most famous creature in Philippine Mythology and Folklore. Most of what we know regarding this amorphous folkloric being were studied and compiled in this 1949 paper by Francis X. Lynch S.J. This study went on to be used as the foundation for other famous work on the aswang, particularly “The Aswang Inquiry” by GCF Books and “The Aswang Complex in Philippine Folklore” by Maximo Ramos.Stories and beliefs about witches and witchcraft can be found in every part of the world. Almost every country can claim a generous share of them, and the Philippines is no exception. Here we possess our own traditional ideas on the subject, handed down through countless generations from our ancestors, and still very much alive today. In this paper the writer intends to set down beliefs of this sort which are current in one part of the Philippines, the Bicol region.It was by chance that the writer first heard of the asuwáng. Subsequent inquiries during two years in the Bicol region revealed the existence of a very interesting if somewhat complex group of beliefs and half-beliefs concerning this witchlike class of human beings which, in Bicol, are designated an mga asuwáng.In the Bicol region — as throughout most of the Philippine lowlands — belief in the asuwáng is a living belief. It is a belief kept alive by the stories told the children by their parents and grandparents; by the traditional explanations of a scratching on the roof by night, a shadow flitting across the near-full moon, or the cry of the bird of ill omen. Asuwáng stories are dismissed as nonsense by a few, doubted as unproved by many, accepted as true by most. Whether the belief is justified or not, it is there. In the following pages will be found an attempt to synthesize the content of that belief as it exists in the principal towns of the provinces of Camarines Sur and Albay.

“The Philippine Revolution in the Bicol Region” by Juan T. Ataviado. Ataviado wrote with an admirable balance, on the one hand proud of the emergence of the Filipino nation brought about by the revolution, yet not hesitant to blame what should be blamed in the officials of the revolution. He salutes the freedom from Spain, yet does not hesitate to include a thoughtful chapter on the “Spanish legacy.” His tone is in sharp contrast with the anger and contempt for Filipinos found in Spanish writers, as well as the similar hatred for all that was Spanish on the part of some more recent self-proclaimed “nationalist” historians among Filipinos. Above all, he shows convincingly how the Tagalog-initiated revolution won Bikolano support, and took on a national character. -John N. Schumacher, S.J. (Professor of Church History, Loyola School of Theology, Anteneo de Manila University)

“The Coconut Cookery of Bicol” by Honesto C. Heneral. This is a Philippine Cookbook featuring recipes using coconut from the Bicol region.

“Virgin of Penafrancia: Mother of Bicol” by Vitaliano Gorospe. This is a a photo-documentary on the celebrated devotion to the Virgin Mary under the title of Penafrancia. Texts, using archival documents and oral interviews, are combined with vintage and contemporary photographs to give comprehensive picture to the history, rites, and people that make the devotion a truly living tradition for the Bicolano. The roots and manifestations of the fervor that bouys crowds of devotees are astutely analyzed as the photographs capture the press of the crowds, making this book a vicarious experience of religious enthusiasm, truly Filipino.

“Bicol Recovery Project Report” by Hermilando “Ingming” Duque Aberia. The book report presents the results of the evaluation of the Bicol Recovery Project (BRP), a two-and-a-half year intervention designed to assist families and communities affected by a series of typhoons that hit the Bicol region in 2006. It aimed to complement the on-going disaster rehabilitation efforts of Local Government Units (LGUs) in the provinces of Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon and implement a disaster risk reduction and management program in partnership with various stakeholders. Government agencies, led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development–and in collaboration with the National Economic and Development Authority, the Department of Labor and Employment, the National Disaster Coordinating Council through the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and LGUs–implemented the project. Funding assistance came from the United Nations Development Program.

About the Author: Merito B. Espinas, A.B. Philosophy, M.A. English (Meritissimus), and Ph.D., was the 1965 Bipradas Palchaudhuri fellow of Calcutta University in India. Now retired, he was professor of philosophy and comparative religion, literature, speech and English, the humanities and the social sciences…

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