The Vegetarian by Han Kang: A Book Review

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“Look, sister, I’m doing a handstand; leaves are growing out of my body, roots are sprouting out of my hands…they delve down into the earth. Endlessly, endlessly…yes, I spread my legs because I wanted flowers to bloom from my crotch; I spread them wide…”

If my fellow Filipinos are addicted to K-Pop and K-drama, well, I am now to K-Lit as in Korean literature. If it were not to my list of the 1001 Best Novels of All Time, I would not have known some immortal Korean novels such as Land by Park Kyung-ni and The Taebek Mountains by Jo Jung-rae. Unfortunately, I have not read them yet; I have still been looking for their English translations at book stores here in the Philippines and  their free PDFs on the internet as well. Nonetheless, thanks to my student’s birthday gift Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin, my first ever Korean novel. After that I got the  good chance of reading  some  other Korean fictions :Deep Blue Night by In-ho ChoiThe Dwarf  by  Cho Se-HuiHuman Decency  by  Ji-young Gong, and The Wounded by Yi Chong-Jun,.These books have piqued my interest in reading another Korean fictions .I wish I could complete all the other books published by the same publisher.

Upon catching the glimpse of The Vegetarian  by Han Kang in an Indian book club in which I am a member , I googled it to find its free PDF or giveaways since I still prefer real books. However, the book , after reading it , is not what I had played in my imagination. This is not what a Korean novel with which I am familiar. It is a different genre that does not reflect Korean life and culture as what the other books I have read above. Rather,it is something new:utterly bizarre, preposterous, fanciful, and insipid but awful and impressive.

Its conceptualized story drives me crazy. A woman whose name is Yeong-hye loses her sanity after turning vegetarian. She quits eating meat because she has delusion that she is growing like a plant. Also, she is somewhat an exhibitionist because she takes pleasure in exposing herself naked to the sunlight. Furthermore, Mr. Chong, Yoeng-her’s brother-in-law, has repressed sexual fantasy  for Yeong-he by filming her having sex with the other man ( including himself) , both bodily painted with  flowers.Besides,the details of how Mr. Chong desires to paint Yeong-he’s body a flower with petals are so erotic that I even got a hard-on. (blushing)

I was impressed by the way how Han Kang combined all the events that happened in different time in one story. I am accustomed to reading a novel that has the same events in one chapter. For this reason, it is a challenge for me to patch all the events together in order to understand the roles of the characters as well as the wholeness of the story.

One of the common comments by the book reviewers is that it is well-written. I guess the best words to put it is that it is well-translated. But to put it mildly, there are some unknown novellas or fictions I have read better than this. May I cite Her Resurrection: A Survivor’s Journey of Emancipation, Reclamation and Redemption by Soumyadeep Koley ? How about the other finalists? I wonder if its Korean version must be more impressive.

On the contrary, the other good points above tend to evaporate as there are some snippets that I find deadening and undermining. There are some lines in the conversations that I find just-nothing as in they lose my interest while I am in the state of dawdling curiosity, puzzlement, enthrallment, and excitement. I may be guessing, but it seems like Han Kang may have found those parts essential to the story. How I wish she had deleted or revised them.  If you happen to encounter those parts, feel free to comment here including the snippets I am blabbering about .I am now too lazy to scan them since I read its PDF.  We may turn out to be in the same position after all. Nevertheless, in the context of literary analysis, the feeling, the tone, the emotion, after all, are the embodiment of Yoeng-hye, an insane woman. But still, my subjective reaction stands stationary.

Since the book is a bit ambiguous, there are two questions that I have been trying to answer myself , which, in effect, are  unnecessary; there are still unread books I have to keep up with : (1) If Yeong-he wants to be vegetarian, why can’t her family support her with some alternative veggie food.They can help her find ones  such as what vegetarians do. If they need protein, they can eat vegetarian recipe replete with protein and other nutrients which are usually found in meat. I wonder if this part reflects in Korean family where family members condemn someone who turns vegetarian. In fact, as far as I know, Buddhism, the first religion in Korea, advocates the importance of eating vegetable. (2) What is the relevance of the Mongolian mark to the story? Does Han Kang want to emphasize its implication of the Korean culture?

Off the topic,while reading it, I remembered the time back in university when I attended a one-week youth camp held by a non-government organization from France. The camp was intended for us scholars to be instilled in different development personality training. One of the programs tried to inculcate in us was to how to be vegetarian. Vegetarianism is one of the organization’s causes. So, almost all the meals prepared for us were vegetables without any small mixture of any kinds of meat. They were not even mixed with any seasonings, so they tasted bland. No surprise why my camp mates would frown during meal time. I may not have been used to it, but I tried to force the lump of veggie into my mouth. Besides, I was inspired by our main facilitator, of Chinese extraction, a certified vegetarian, who testified to the benefits of being vegetarian. After that one-week absence of meat in my body, I continued to apply the cause to my life. Believe it or not, I avoided eating any kinds of meat. Whenever my mother served a bowl of viand, I would just ladle out the vegetables added to it. I would only have the good chance of practicing vegetarianism during lunch at school. However, I decided to quit when I came to realize that I was not rich enough to do so. I would have gotten sick of or chaffed by lack of enough protein. Gee, I would have looked patent anorexic, for my weight at that time was 48 kg.

Although I was not much satisfied with the plots and settings of the novella, Han Kang has proved that Korean writers can write something new, a la Haruki Murakami. Besides, I still felt the K-wave, the marvelous , indescribable , invisible  effect  the Korean Ministry of Culture wants to impart to the world as how K-Pop and K-dramas have invaded Asia and some parts of the world. Thus,  I admit that I have fallen in love with Korean literature, and I want to read some more!  Saranggae! 🙂

Rating: 2/ 5 stars ( It’s ok.)

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Her Resurrection: A Survivor’s Journey of Emancipation, Reclamation and Redemption by Soumyadeep Koley: A Book Review

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Toni Morrison, considered as one of the best American writers, popped in my mind while reading it. Most of her works deal with slavery , discrimination against  Blacks, both men and women. Most of them also have scenes about rape, inhumane treatment, degradation- something that breaks my heart  and gets my dander up  at the point I run into those parts.Like Toni Morrison’s writing style, Soumyadeep Koley‘s in his debut is “stripped naked”, audacious, full of beautiful and inspiring snippets and thus engaging and compelling.  In other words, it can be a candidate for an eye-opening book that can make a difference , not only to India  but also to all nations.

Meet Maya, the protagonist, young, ambitious, a daughter of a farmer, but debased by her father as a burden to society. Because of the near rape incident, her father will  marry her off to a man older than her. But  she will resist;instead, she will come to an agreement with the man’s father by letting her be educated first. All she wants is to learn how to speak English and read a thick English book. Not satisfied, she wants to obtain a bachelor’s degree, but her husband-to- be, along with his father, will disagree and insult her.Because of Maya’s full resistance and determination, the man will gang-rape her resulting in her family’s  total humiliation and catastrophe. Her father  will die after his attempt to kill her , and her mother will be sent to jail. To get out of the prejudice, she will venture out in Mumbai where her life will be more miserable; she will be raped for the second time and forced into prostitution. Also, there, she will have the chance to prove her ability to keep up with men in terms of job. However, since men are superior and women are nothing , she will not get ahead in her dreams. Instead, she will fall short…Her story goes on with more and more miseries, and I can’t stand telling them any longer. You read it.

The highlights of the novel are its horrendous  rape scenes, prostitution, the protagonist’s brave face off with police and her failures to  get her dreams, and beautiful snippets. So, hold yourself and take a deep breathe. You might not stand it as you keep on turning the next pages.

The title of the novel  perfectly goes with the real concept of the story: Her Resurrection: A Survivor’s Journey of Emancipation, Reclamation and Redemption , since it  apparently paints a portrait of feminism . Women are still  culturally considered lower, decorations, slaves in India’s social class. Women or girls  who are  fully aware of their social position muster up enough courage to break this wall of rotten culture. They make point of surviving the world they don’t belong to by standing up to it despite the travails they can go through. In the end, like  Blacks during slavery period in America, they  will shed blood , endure,suffer until they  achieve the desired freedom without discrimination, degradation, prejudice, ostracism, and so on.

The story makes much of rape and prostitution which the author must want to point out  that  men deluded into virility or sense of masculinity use such destructive weapon to inflict upon defenseless women- something realistic and must be addressed  even up to this day  , not just  by  conservative  but also  modernly free nations.

To make the heart-wrenching  story somehow soothing, the novel  is also embellished with  literary elements  such as photography , psychiatry, and psychology which reflect the author’s educational and work  background, and I don’t think they undermine the foundation of the story. In addition , Koely’s prose and quotes are  absorbing. If it were not his beautiful sentences, the story would be wincing.

Here are my favorite quotes :

“Since my childhood, I’ve always dreamed to be a soldier. As I grew up and stepped into the twenty-first century, I came to realize that India needs more soldiers not to go to war, but to support the pivotal battle of the nation- to fight for women who have been debased and devolved by patriarchy and misogyny, since time immemorial, in order to reclaim the rights that have always been rightfully theirs.”

“Reality is very hard. Life is harder. It should be worked upon, not dreamt. Dreams should have a place in your mind only in the night, not after you wake up.”

“Time can change everything- from kings to paupers, from settlers to drifters, from lovers to strangers, and from girls to ragdolls.”

“Life is the sum of the choices you make. There’s nothing called destiny, neither anything is written It is the difference between a small ‘yes’ and ‘no’.”

“Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. Don’t let your past define your future.”

“Some things in life are priceless. They can never be repaid off or repaid with.”

This is a novel we should  give a round of thunderous applause and a standing ovation. Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap! Heed me folks!  You read it. I am sure, you can’t bring yourself to proceed to another heart-wrenching parts and end up  liking it a whole lot. Then, you will act like a child pulling  your friends’, publishers’ , or writers’ crumpled hems to draw their attention to it. He can be a promising writer. I bet my  boots.

Congratulations  to Mr. Soumyadeep Koley on his debut novel! 🙂

Rating: 4/ 5 stars ( I really liked it. )

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang: A Book Review

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Reading the book with turon, a famous Filipino delicacy

Thick. Voluminous. Its Flamingo edition has 696 pages. I laid it aside many times. I didn’t know how to finish it , but I wanted to  heap it soon onto the other books read and unread; I was obsessed with the other  new books I had splurged on. When I gave it a shot for the third time; I was so already excited  that  I was close to its real-life –saga ending. Then, I was stuck again, in some  harrowing  parts I had to understand by heart and turn over in my mind . There, I trudged along. I was almost cross-eyed at the figures and  facts I could grasp no more , tearing my hair  until I could  let out a deep breath. ( Heavy sigh) Finally, I was done . My verdict: I SHOULD HAVE READ IT ALL ALONG WHILE I WAS DEEPLY  ENGAGED IN POLITICAL DISCOURSE ON SOCIAL MEDIA DURING OUR NATIONAL PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. Its vivid details could have been mesmerizingly engaging, heart-breaking, and eye-opening. Besides, I came back to my senses  that communism turns out to be an ineffective form of government after all. Also, out of my ignorance, somehow, I brushed upon some   historical facts about Mao Zedong, the man I have been curious about, or I could have been looking up to because of his numinous image.

One of the big challenges for a writer, particularly an autobiographer, is to write all the blow-by-blow accounts to make the book appear accurate and credible. There are instances that some are laconic with their stories; they only choose the situations which could be appealing to their audience. ( It’s a matter of marketing strategy, I guess.) Who could dare write a book that is so full of dramatic but petty details? Of course, padding the book could be intended to impress its audience. And I don’t think it’s Jung Chang’s intention.   Never mind its mind-boggling  and undermining Chinese names of persons, places, and technical words buzzed if you   don’t have these ears for language . You will still be abandoned to the waves of negative emotions each daughter draws off- pain, endurance, hopelessness, despair, cruelty, savageness, you name it. Whoa, woe to you. Sit tight! Make sure that you have this empty chest.

After all, the book is not just about novelizing Jung Chang’s experiences but a way of letting go of the past. She used this as the instrument for cauterizing all the  feeling and thoughts she had pushed to  the  darkest corners of her mind for a long decade under Mao Zedong’s  said totalitarian government. Also, through this book, she had rectified all the injustice her entire ancestors, particularly her parents and grandma, had suffered for a long time. She had the chance to clear of all the  political mud  slung against her families that went down in Chinese history, which was eventually expurgated after Mao Zedong’s  political failure.  At the same time, she had the chance to reminisce about the good memories which shaped her up as a strong and intelligent woman.  However, as far as I know, the New China has not recognized the essence of her book  yet  out of jingoism. In fact, it was banned when it was published  in 1992.

This book   has been translated into 37 languages. No doubt. Quite apart from its heart-breaking themes, it is worth reading because it opens our mind. It will probably change our view points of the social issues in our contemporary era. You will understand that every country has different culture when it comes to family, society, and politics. So, you might come to realize that all the cultures could be immoral but stuck up in a time warp, especially when   human dignity is   already trodden. Everything is changing as is nature. Nonetheless, after all, I can’t cry bloody murder  if such backward culture existed before ; it even did in our country, elsewhere. (Heavy sighs) Dare I say that we humans are still underdeveloped   even up to this day, or it is just a matter of the philosophy of  relativism? Look what is China now. North Korea. Some Middle East countries. The armpits of  Africa. Even in state-of-the-art European nations. Now the issue is Brexit if you are aware of its referendum.

The book’s theme Cultural Revolution  disabused me of that communism is not politically, socially, and economically feasible at all in a country that needs big social changes wherein all people should be ideally equal.  I have been enlightened as an idealistic citizen  that humans are fallible, that there is no such Utopia in a modern world. Evils have been part of the  natural laws  since the world began. ( heavy sigh)

Ever since I took to history subject, I have never had the clear details on Mao Zedong’s life. I was just tipped off  that he was a cruel president of China , that he killed many babies, that he was revered as god. However, Jung Chang did not describe him much in the book. She was too euphemistic about him as though she still respected him despite all the pains China had suffered. In the end, I was not satisfied.  I am still more  curious about him . Who is Mao Zedong? Fiddlesticks! A red thick biography  about him that  I always see in a  premier book store is now sparking my curiosity. The good thing is Jung Chang and her husband Jon Halliday wrote a biography about him : Mao: The Unknown Story. Interesting! As a matter of fact, she wrote another biographies about  Empress Dowager Cixi and  Madame Sun Yat- Sen. I hope to luck out and find them!

Rating: 5/ 5 stars ( It’s undeniably amazing.)

Deep Blue Night by Choe In -Ho : A Book Review

IMG_20130104_111035“Los Angeles is a fictitious place; it does not exist in this world.”

-In-ho Choe, Deep Blue Night-

This line caught my imagination, reminding me  of Carlos Bulosan’s poem, “I Want the Wide American Earth,”  in which he expressed his  Marxist  desires that the world be  like American, that all  countries had no abject poverty, that all were socially and economically equal . He had the perception that America had this prosperous life since   it was the  richest country in the world during  his generation, so the American Dream  came into existence.

Lost Angeles is  a melting pot  in the  US where you can meet  different races of the world. If you plan to migrate  to America, there is the best place you should choose for a greener  pasture. You are for sure secure from some problems because  you can turn to your “ kababayan”  ( countryman ) for help ( if you have this  bayanihan ( cooperative endeavor )  and damayan  ( mutual sympathy ) culture, typical of Filipinos overseas )  just like what happened to the story  of this book.

Jun-ho and Hyeong are both Koreans who ventured  to the US  to escape their  shady pasts.  Jun-Ho  was  a tourist  who  had the opportunity to travel to the US  to take his mind off the bitter experiences he had left behind  in Korea. He used to be a popular and successful  musician but  past his prime eventually due to taking  marijuana.  However, he ended up flat broke   for he had squandered all his money. To make ends meet, he tried to do the same job  in some States in the US  but backslid to his bad shadows . In the end, he became an exile from one  State to another. To survive, he needed to get to Los Angeles by   stolen car, believing that someone  or something there could help him back to Korea. Accidentally, on his way, he met Hyeong who has little description in the story.

It is now my second book of The Portable Library of Korean Literature translation. Comparatively, its prose and tone are heavier and more   emotionally indifferent than of the A Dwarf Launches a Ball by Cho Se-hui. The latter one, on the other hand, is lighter and more gently heartbreaking. In addition, the narration of the story is somehow misleading. You could have the idea that the  narrator is Hyeong,  but  there seems to be another unknown narrator, telling the other part of the story.

In a simpler perspective, you might take it literally that   the story has something to do with what an exiled tourist experiences in a country that is alienated to him. I could buy that way though. However, I want to put it on the fact that I liked the way Cho In-Ho used the persona of   Jun-ho  in the story ; he  embodies people who,  like him , are  unable to move up on to the next step of their life where they got in a conundrum- people ,who have been torn , unknowing where and how they should turn over a new leaf  with the fact that they have been bothered by a pang of conscience for the things they have committed, but in the end, with their heuristic moments, would realize that they have been taken possession of their  “ seven deadly sins”,  innocence, or ignorance.  The story, in the other words,  is an epitome of  the existential point of view that “ Life is a matter of moral choice.”

All the rage in the story is the car they rode on a journey  . For me it represents the vehicle of their life. No matter what happens , you can pull up along the road and chill out, then keep on driving. Moreover, in order to add fuel to the energy, you should make a fortune regardless of how much it could be. Otherwise, you would remain stagnant unless you choose it to be that way.

 In fact, reading it reminded me of the drop-out students in our village or somewhere   else where I usually meet around. I have this imaginary judgment that they must be prejudiced as shiftless or the dregs of humanity. But, Mac, do not judge such people. Like what I have put above: “ They  do not know HOW  and WHERE to begin.” Just like what happened to Jun-ho in the story.

I really liked the story because I can relate to it. Like both the main characters above, there are times that  I am in the  bad habit  of running away from my  bitter experience or from whatever a fait accompli I leave behind  that  I regret I should not have done . Rather, I  leave it unresolved ,  trying to keep up appearances until  I come to a standstill. Nevertheless, upon reading it, I have learned more that  the life I may be choosing is not optimal at all. (sighs!)

As far as I learned, the story is the author’s autobiography. In other words, this must be the product of his feelings he  must have had suppressed for a long time. As a result, it is a beautifully written masterpiece. ^^

Rating: 4/ 5 stars ( I really liked it. )

A Dwarf Launches a Little Ball : by Cho Se-Hui: A Book Review

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” People called father a dwarf. They were right. Father was a dwarf. Unfortunately, people were right only about that. They weren’t right anything else…”

-Cho Se-Hui, A Dwarf Launches a Little Ball-

When it comes to reading books which themes have something to do with physical  deformities such as dwarfism, the condition of abnormal growth as  what we learned from Genetics,  the best examples are  novels  reflecting in social life of India such as A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry and  A  Son of the Circus by  American novelist, John Irving  .  I can understand that such body condition can exist in India   where the  scenes of poverty are probably,  in theory, the leading factor. However, in a developed and industrialized country as well as  heralded as  the “Electronics Capital of the World”, South Korea, such idea is  inconceivable. Perhaps, I have never met any  Korean students  with this  genetic  disease yet.  Besides, as far  as I learned, the Korean government provides its citizens with good health services. In other words, all of them can have free access to  life and health services. So, I was just deluded into the fact that all Koreans were “physically” perfect. That is why I was flabbergasted by  the  title  of this book which  has something to do with a dwarf. In the end, the setting of the story was when South Korea was still a poor country.

In an impoverished neighborhood in the outskirts of  Seoul, there was  a dwarf whose name was Kim Bur-ri, living as a head of his family. Ironically, the name of the place was Happiness District, Paradise County. Eventually, the neighborhood would go into redevelopment  as part of South Korea’s industrialization at that time. Kim Bu-ri’s house would  be one of the houses to be demolished. But the heart of the matter was how each member of the family, particularly  the dwarf’s three children would struggle desperately to restore the broken pieces  of their lives brought about by  the political-economic dilemmas.

The style of the story has a little resemblance to Japanese stories.  (Probably , Japanese literature influenced Korean  literature or vice-versa. ) The tone is  dead-flat, direct but quite soft and calm. It is not that strong   as what I feel in other novels. Besides, it is a combination of realism and fantasy which adds literary excitement to a reader like me. In addition, the flow of the story   is meditating and cathartic , typical of a writer who releases his burden feelings  with the practice of yoga or Zen meditation. Thus, it is not that boring as I had expected .  I wonder if the pathos is the same as the original  Korean version.

“Misconduct, corruption, bureaucratic cleanup – there was a time when those words appeared almost daily in the newspaper. Only then did the family in back lower the volume on their TV. They stowed away their refrigerator, washer, piano, tape player, and other such possessions in the basement and brought out their old clothes to wear in public.”

-Cho Se-Hui, A Dwarf Launches a Little Ball-

If I  try to understand the deeper part of the story without much knowledge of the Korean history, the concept  deals with how  social changes  like industrialization affect human life, particularly a family. In the story, figuratively, dwarf Kim Bur-ri  symbolizes poor and socially  marginalized people , lagging behind the political-economic changes. What happens is how the impact of the  industrialization  affects   the family values. In the story, Kim Bu-ri came to the point that he ended up losing his dignity by working as a dwarf acrobat.

As I am falling to reading Eastern literature such as Japanese and  Korean literature , I come to the realization that there is really something unique  about the novels  written by East Asian writers. Sometimes, I conclude that as the History serves, all eastern Asian nations were one place. So, hypothetically, they had the same culture and customs.

Rating: 3/ 5 stars ( I liked it. )

Twinkle Twinkle by Kaori Ekuni: A Book Review

twinkleMahal ko o Mahal ako? ( I Love or Loves me?)To make it grammatically clear, it means the man I love or someone who loves me? ) This is the title of the love song by our very own Filipino singer, KC Tandingan, which is now  popular in our country. According to the song, a woman has love affairs with two men. At the end , she has to choose between them: the man she loves or the man who loves her but she does not love. The story has complete resemblance to this book Twinkle, Twinkle. The only difference is that it is homosexual Mitsuki, who is in conflict with two personas: Shoko, alcoholic whom he married because of the pressure his parents foisted upon.; and Kono, his secret long-time boyfriend. Then, Mitsuki and Shoko will live together under one roof without making love. They will just live for the sake of companion love, but at the end, Mitsuki has to choose. ..

I could feel in the story the self-restraint of each character as though a lump in my throat blocked my desire to let off steam . Mitsuki is so understanding. He still considers Shoko’s feelings, whereas she can feel that he loves his boyfriend Kono more than her. I bet it is the conservative tradition that determines the personality of the characters. Mitsuki considers his parents’ and Shoko’s family values as well as prejudice against homosexuality. It is a matter of enduring love after all. So, such restricted emotional expression punches in my chest.

This is now my second Japanese novel, and reading another ones strikes my fancy more because I notice that Japanese novels- although I have not read Haruki Murakami’s completely yet, and I am now reading his first novel- seem to bear all the hallmarks of superficiality, gentleness, and idiosyncrasies. So I cannot brush the idea aside that Japanese literature has one distinction. Sooner or later I will get the wind of it.

Rating: 3/ 5 stars ( I liked it. )

Eating Fire and Drinking Water by Arlene J. Chai: A Book Review

arlene1Arlene Chai is a Filipino-Chinese author who migrated to Australia during the political chaos in 1982. Due to her martial law experience, she is known for her skills in weaving the political problem in the Philippines to her fictions. Her first novel THE LAST TIME I SAW MOTHER became a best-seller in Australia and was eventually published in the USA, the UK, and the Philippines.

The style of the story is very typical of a Filipino novel. It deals with the regime of the late President Ferdinand Marcos as well as the modern socio-political culture and values at that time. The story primarily centers around the self-discovery of the main character, Clara Perez, an amateur newspaper reporter, about the origin of herself. Then, she will be involved in the political life of the activist, Luis Bayani.

Obviously, Arlene J. Chai wants to depict the political life of the late President Marcos, along with former First Lady, Imelda Marcos although Chai does not directly refer to them. But through the characters, plots, and settings she used, I could guess their representation:

1. El Presidente = The late President Ferdinand Marcos
2. Madam= Former First Lady Imelda Marcos. In the novel, she is depicted as “imeldific”.
3. Loyola University= it could be Ateneo de Manila University or University of the Philippines-Diliman
4. Lacson Bridge= The bridge across the Pasig River
5. Smokey Mountain= Payatas Dumpsite
6. Colonel Aure=he could represent the butchers of Marcos.
7. Luis Bayani= He could be Benigno Aquino Sr. However; he does not completely resemble him. It must be a twist or other heroic figure at that time.

What I liked about this novel is that it has many beautiful passages. It only proves that Chai has what it takes to be a good writer. However, the only problem is the plots of the story. There are some garden-variety parts which I found hackneyed. They appear to be “deadwoods “and “hedging words’ which lost my excitement. I guess I ‘m almost familiar with them such as telltales, legends, a part that an aristocratic mother hates a beautiful poor girl whom her son will fall for, or a part that a child was adopted by a covenant of nuns, and blah blah blah. Uhmmm. I understand that these kinds of situations are very common in the Philippine culture, but patawarin ako( forgive me) , I’m fed up with them. I wish she had focused on the topic about the Martial Law. If it were not its cute, feminine, and colorful paperback, I would not have  been  driven to finish it. ^^

Rating : 2/ 5 stars