Skip to main content

Read: Eating Fire and Drinking Water


It is an ambitious effort to put the subject of politics, religion, rebellion, family issues and the supernatural all in one story.  But Arlene Chai does it nevertheless.


This book talks about a society’s struggle for political revolution.  A time where its citizens choose to act rather than sit in front of their TV sets and moan.

Though already based in Australia, there is  a certain "Pinoy-ness" in Arlene Chai  that one can never take away.  Her protagonist Clara Perez is, like in every other telenovela we  know, an orphan of separated parents whose relationship have been torn apart by their opposing social status (rich guy vs poor girl).  Her mother, alone and desolate, left her in a convent run by sisters who will eventually lead her to discover her true identity.

Though I have to say that the way it was woven into the story is so subtle that you do not really notice the commonness of it. 

 
The story is also filled with intriguing characters which serve as a characterization of our society’s familiar social figures.  I liked the way she uses interesting names to assist our imaginations in recognizing a real life counterpart for her characters – Luis Bayani, Charlie the Chinaman, El Presidente, etc.

This book made me rethink our need to actively involve ourselves in nation building. Not to be an idealistic, suicidal rebel-activist like Luis Bayani (afterall, we do have jobs) but to just be an ordinary decent citizen who pays the correct tax, observes traffic rules, votes wisely and listens to the news.


Today’s call is about active participation and shared involvement   Do not sell your vote so your overextended family can feast for a day, use it so your family can have access to a transparent and honorable government. 

All good intentions require a certain amount of sacrifice. Yes, it is easier to just cross the dangerous street than use the overpass.  But is the saved effort worth our lives? 


There is no shortcut in achieving a better life.  But you can start by reading this book.  Maybe you just need to be inspired.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Filipino Spirit is Waterproof

I remember writing about this same topic  in December of 2011.  And now, around Christmas time, when everybody else was so preoccupied with wish lists and Christmas carols, thousands of our brothers and sisters has suffered from the recent typhooon...again.

But if there is one thing admirable about the Filipino people, it is our resiliency.Our capacity to take what is given to us with smiles on our faces and hopes in our minds. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING can keep us down.
And we have this uncanny way of turning even the worst disasters into moments of fun and creativity.

Like these:

At this time, the Ayala Museum has called out to fellow Filipinos out there to churn out their creative juices and submit entries relating to the phrase:  The Filipino Spirit is Waterproof And here are some of the examples:











My Bestfriend's Wedding

I hate weddings because it’s one of those times that I am reminded of my solitary existence. See related post here.
Which is why I do not understand fate’s insistence that I become a bridesmaid four times over and maid of honor this time around.

This time was a friend’s wedding.A much deserved celebration fora couple who has gone through so much.

I was made to give a speech as a Maid of Honor and I guess in my haze and hunger, I talked about friendship, made some jokes and such.I know I talk a lot but my thoughts are clearer and much more meaningful when written, so I’d like to put a much more meaningful message here:

Dear Cha,

I wanted to find out when we became friends so I searched thru my email to find some clue. I learned that you first emailed me July 2007.About the practicum arrangements which was a requirement for our Master’s.  This started a series of long conversations - on love, life and laughing moments.

How time has flown.Back then, we were so eager to learn, to go back to sch…

The English Patient

There are movie lines...

And then, there are "the movie lines"


The English Patient is one of my all time favorite movie.  It stars the oh-so-mysterious Ralph Fiennes as Count Almasy (who incidentally is also a real person).

It is based on a novel of the same title by Michael Ondaatje (which is also one of my fave writers).

Michael's writing can be described as "imaginative and whimsical."  He likes to write stories about the ravages of war and the interesting people living it.

He also writes about relationships and betrayal.
 "Betrayals in war are childlike compared with our betrayals during peace. New lovers are nervous and tender, but smash everything. For the heart is an organ of fire." And of course, love.

This movie has "the movie lines" to die for.


Almasy to Katherine:  "Swoon, I'll catch you"
If only this statement can be trusted. If only guys are all like this in real life.