Monday, January 10, 2022

F. Sionil Jose's Article about Cebu and Cebuanos - Hail, Cebu


l-r:  F. Sionil Jose, Cecilia Brainard, Tessie Jose, photo taken 2013

I read this for the first time. I am deeply touched. I did not know that National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose had written about me in his Hindsight Column, September 7, 2014.

"The café is also a meeting place of the Cebu culturati and it was there where I met again old acquaintances like Resil Mojares and Cecilia Manguerra Brainard.
"Cecilia dropped by recently for a tête-à-tête. An excerpt of her next novel was published by Joel Pablo Salud in his Graphic magazine but she did not know about it so I gave her a copy. The novel — her third — is a fictionalized account of a real event: a murder that has haunted her. It is also a story of the violence and conspiracy that happens in the best of families. She is writing it, she said, like a mystery novel and it was at this point that we talked about the narrative — how so many writers, in their attempt to be original, have abandoned the narrative for flashy and fractured prose which soon numbs the reader who then stops reading. I shared with her this thinking: the narrative is what grabs the reader and compels him to read to the very end. How often have I dropped a book, lovingly reviewed by other writers, adorned with obtuse prose and technique but so wanting in tension, I got bored. Cecile belongs to that special tribe of Cebuanos, rooted in the land and writing about it..."

Please read the entire article about Cebu and Cebuanos here:

 tags: Philippine literature, Filipino literature, Filipino writers, Cebuano writers

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