Tahanan Books Launches Homecoming Stories For Global Filipino Community
Manila (July 2012) – Nostalgia, humor, native food, and beautiful music marked an evening of Filipino homecoming stories held at the Filipinas Heritage Library during the book launch of Hanggang sa Muli: Homecoming Stories for the Filipino Soul (Tahanan Books), edited by Reni R. Roxas.
The event showcased a new collection of 32 memoirs, short stories, and poems lauded by The International Examiner as “wonderful chicken soup for the soul.”
The irrepressible master of ceremonies Tessa Prieto Valdes, charmed the audience with humorous personal insights while National Book Development Board Chair and bestselling author Neni Sta. Romana- Cruz introduced the publisher. Thereafter, editor/publisher Reni Roxas reflected on the Philippine diaspora and her desire to create meaningful books about and for the millions of Filipinos living abroad.
The program opened with Tonet Jose, son of internationally acclaimed writer F. Sionil Jose, who read an excerpt from his father’s work “The Pretenders.” The piece, which served as the book’s epigraph, reflects on Filipino identity and the blood bonds that hold a people together.
Jessica Hagedorn’s niece Jennifer Hagedorn-Dizon shared a snippet from her aunt’s bittersweet memoir “Ghost Town” while R. Zamora Linmark had the audience in stitches with an account of his hilarious love-hate relationship with Manila (and its airports) in “My Genesis.”
The tone shifted from humor to wistful longing as Congressman Antonio Tinio read his father Rolando Tinio’s poem “Valediction sa Hillcrest.” Sandra Nicole Roldan shared her sense of displacement as an exchange student in Korea in her essay “Sleepwalking Through Korea, Awake in Manila.” And Jaime An Lim read from “The Axolotl Colony,” his story about a marriage that implodes from the pressures of living abroad.
The statuesque Gemma Cruz-Araneta wrapped up the series of readings with her mother Carmen Guerrero Nakpil’s timeless essay “Where’s the Patis?” The piece, which is about how the Filipino loves his country regardless of where he is in the world, resounded with the audience.
Capping the evening was an evocative rendition of the classic kundiman “Maalaala Mo Kaya?” performed by Ian Carandang and Maria Carmina of The Cellar Doors.The song was played to a slide show of photographs taken by Gisela Marcelang.
The Manila event follows Hanggang sa Muli’s launches earlier this year in Seattle, San Francisco, and New York. It is but fitting that the tour make a stop in Manila, where it all began.
Tahanan Books also used the occasion to announce the launching of their sister company A&S Books’ new line of stationery paper products. Guests delighted in the memo pads and notebooks featuring Pinoy pop culture cartoons and lovely illustrations taken from Tahanan’s art archives.
Tahanan Books celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and is an eight-time National Book Award Winner. Hanggang Sa Muli is available at National Book Store, Powerbooks, and Fully Booked for P475.