Eileen R. Tabios is a poet working in multiple genres and in-between. She also loves books by writing, reading, publishing, critiquing, romancing and advocating for them. This blog will feature her bibliophilic activities with posts on current book engagements and links to her books and projects related to books.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

PAGPAG REACHES CHINA


I’m delighted, of course, to see PAGPAG: The Dictator's Aftermath in the Diaspora start its journey around the world. These photos come from China during the farewell talk of Sze Ping Lo as he stepped down as CEO of WWF China. His lecture included two slides that referred to Red Constantino's remarks during PAGPAG’s book launch. The first image presents an excerpt from my book accompanied by a close up detail of one of the Constantino Murals, which was commissioned in 2007 to commemorate the lives of two ordinary Filipinos who, because they answered their people's call, rose to become giants. One was Macario Sakay, and the other, in the photo with my quote, is Lean Alejandro. From PAGPAG, my quote

“The optimism in my memory is a taste of rust, jarring against what I observed the country had become. The optimism is an ache that will not go away. It is a ghost haunting.”

(That little red book is Araling Panlipunan (used in Philippine civics classes).)

The second image presents my favorite part of Red’s PAGPAG remarks (reprinted in ABS-CBN) which I think is much needed for the times:

"To survive and thrive in the near future, we will need everyone. And we will need to revisit the past constantly, not as a bludgeon to smash our enemies with but as a constant companion in our effort to distill meaning in our fleeting lives. Because everything will count and because the written word will always -- always -- be our strongest and most reliable ally."