This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.
Cupful of Anger,
Bottle Full of Smoke:
The Stories of
Jose V. Montebon Jr.
Silliman Writers Series, 2017
First Sight of Snow
and Other Stories
Encounters Chapbook Series
Et Al Books, 2014
Celebration: An Anthology to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Silliman University National Writers Workshop
Sands and Coral, 2011-2013
Silliman University, 2013
Handulantaw: Celebrating 50 Years of Culture and the Arts in Silliman
Tao Foundation and Silliman University Cultural Affairs Committee, 2013
Inday Goes About Her Day
Locsin Books, 2012
Beautiful Accidents: Stories
University of the Philippines Press, 2011
Old Movies and Other Stories
National Commission for Culture
and the Arts, 2006
FutureShock Prose: An Anthology of Young Writers and New Literatures
Sands and Coral, 2003
Nominated for Best Anthology
2004 National Book Awards
I liked the story. On the surface it was fun, light, and relatable, although when examined closely it had more layers and was actually something to think about.
I also really liked the treatment of LGBT. It wasn’t an issue/problem for the characters. I felt that the whole point of the story wasn’t even someone’s sexuality. It was treated just like it should be -- equal to the way boy-girl couples are treated. Without fuss. And that was something different.
The theme of language, of words -- beautifully executed. Loved the incorporation of untranslatable words into the story. They helped illustrate Kia’s character, and at the same time gave the story more depth.
The story explored how words are unique to the culture and identity of every region/place, and that these words, though sometimes untranslatable, can still be beautiful in the way they just exist for themselves. As Kia says, “We’re trying to say it doesn’t matter whether these words ... cannot find their exact translation in English. That’s their value.”
Looking at this broad concept on a smaller scale, it led me to think that who we are -- our emotions, our passions, our truest selves -- is in itself a language. And yes, that language may be untranslatable. We can’t always put that into English. Maybe, maybe we ourselves are made up of unsent letters, of all our unexpressed feelings, of all the things we don’t know how to put into words. Because the human being is complex, and to accurately express every part of who we are is close to impossible.
Now there is beauty in just letting that “language” of who we are exist in itself. To just feel. To just be our truest selves.
But but but just as people of different countries attempt to communicate, translate, and get past language barriers, there are also times when we want to reach out to others and translate our innermost sentiments in the best way we know. It is still necessary to be connected. That connection can even mean the world for some of us as it did for Kia to let Roz know how she feels. And so we talk, we tell stories, we have words, we have literature, we have art.