Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Much to my great delight, I've finally located and visited Solidaridad Bookstore yesterday. Hailed as the finest in the Philippines, it reminds me of the quaint specialty book shops in New York that have been made extinct by the superstores like Barnes & Noble and Border's.
However, unlike those specialty Manhattan bookstores now long gone, Solidaridad has managed to thrive for more than forty years now.

he foreign titles it carries -- in fiction, poetry and other subjects like humanities, philosophy, history and political theory -- including its impressive inventory of Filipino books, makes Solidaridad a favorite haunt by serious book collectors and wordsmiths. Its name was inspired by the fortnightly journal La Solidaridad, mouthpiece of leading Filipino nationalists during the Spanish rule.

According to a PDI article by Tina Santos, each and every book sold in Solidaridad is painstakingly scrutinized by its owner, making sure that it is interesting, important or have a permanent value. For my initial purchase, out of deep respect for its owner, F. Sionil Jose, I got two books he authored: Ben Singkol and To the Young Writer and Other Essays.

Fortunately, on that particular morning, Mr. Jose was in his office at the store's mezzanine; thus, the store clerk was able to have him sign my copies. Although I didn't meet him, I did get to meet his wife, Teresita. We enjoyed a brief, though lively, conversation that revolved around her travel experiences abroad, as well as the couple of years she had lived in California with her daughter. Incidentally, our fellow blogger Noypete was her son Tonette's college buddy.

As a prolific essayist and novelist, Mr, Jose prefers to write in English rather than in Tagalog or Ilocano. His works have become some of the most widely-read in the English language.

It was in 1962 when his first novel, The Pretenders, was published. And since then, his catalog of published works has grown to include twelve novels, seven books of short stories, a book of verse, and five important books of essays.

His writings, which are
available in 28 languages, often depict the social underpinnings of class struggles and colonialism in Filipino society,

He has been awarded numerous fellowships and awards; two of which were
the 2004 Pablo Neruda Centennial Award from Chile and the notable and most prestigious award of its kind in Asia, the 1980 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communication Arts. On June 11, 2001, Mr. Jose was awarded the prestigious title of National Artist for Literature in an official ceremony at Malacañang.

Born in Rosales, Pangasinan on December 3, 1924, Mr. Jose started writing while in grade school. As a fifth grade pupil, he frequented the school library and immersed himself in the novels of Jose Rizal and those of great foreign authors.

According to Wikipedia, "reading about Basilio and Crispin in Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere made the young Jose cry, because injustice was not an alien thing to him. When Joe was five years old, his grandfather who was a soldier during the Philippine revolution, had once tearfully showed him the land their family had once tilled but was taken away by rich mestizo landlords who knew how to work the system against illiterates like his grandfather."

Recently, Mr. Jose reportedly walked out during the tribute to Lucrecia Kasilag at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The reason: he couldn’t stand finding himself in the company of Imelda Marcos; worse, seeing the former first lady mount the podium to eulogize Kasilag and then regale the audience with her own major role in the birth of the CCP. That was too much for Mr. Jose, so he decided to get up and leave.

In his statement to the CCP officials, Mr. Jose begged them not to honor Imelda Marcos in any of the CCP activities. Furthermore, he asserts:

In ostracizing her and denying her honor, you honor the memory of Ninoy Aquino and the thousands upon thousands who were unjustly jailed, tortured, killed or salvaged by the Marcos dictatorship.

In honoring the plunderers of this nation and letting them off easy without any punishment (like Erap) we not only condone their infamy; other rapists of this nation will also feel redeemed, convinced that they did no wrong. Then, they pave the way for future criminals to do the same, sure that, like Imelda and her gang, they will not be punished and that after their foul deeds, they can even preen in the limelight before a people without memory.

The Marcoses were in power for more than 20 years — they gave patronage with the people’s money to many. These recipients of their patronage are grateful. I can very well understand that, but keep in mind that the evil that they did far outweighs the miniscule good that they achieved, the Cultural Center is one and the appointment of King is another.

The Center and King helped deodorize a little a murderous dictatorship. And don’t you ever forget, it was your money, my money, OUR money that built the Cultural Center — not Imelda’s.

In his book To The Young Writer and Other Essays, Mr. Jose asks our young writers:

Be an honest witness to your time, and be strong when they revile you for telling the truth. Your vocation will also condemn you to solitude, but remember -- he who stands alone is the strongest. Even in our shattering loneliness, remember you are writing, not for critics, academics, or other writers, but for your own people who, in their silence and perhaps poverty, cannot express the aspirations and anguish. You are their voice but only if you have not deserted or betrayed them.

These days, Mr. Jose and his wife continue untiringly to mind their bookstore's daily grind.

Solidaridad Bookshop
531 Padre Faura Street
Ermita, Manila
Telephone: (632) 523-0870

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!




Labels: ,

posted by Señor Enrique at 7:25 AM


Blogger escape said...

very interesting! i need to schedule a visit on that bookshop.

October 08, 2008 10:30 AM  

Blogger Unknown said...

"Be an honest witness to your time, and be strong when they revile you for telling the truth. Your vocation will also condemn you to solitude, but remember -- he who stands alone is the strongest. Even in our shattering loneliness, remember you are writing, not for critics, academics, or other writers, but for your own people who, in their silence and perhaps poverty, cannot express the aspirations and anguish. You are their voice but only if you have not deserted or betrayed them."

The above excerpt from F. Sionil Jose's book is so beautiful, Eric. And I salute him for walking out from Imelda's speech. He's one Filipino author that I truly admire. F. Sionil Jose deserves the National Artist for Literature title.

October 08, 2008 10:51 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wonder if they still have that writer's night on the mezannine they used to hold. ideas, thoughts and opinions fly around and sir sionil would really push thoughts to the hilt by challenging them.

October 08, 2008 11:21 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

the Joses are truly inspirational people! Congrats Eric for finally finding it! I'm sure you'll be a suki na :-)! And have your own books soon to be displayed there as well! Oy---dilang anghel ako! :-D

I just bookmarked your photojournalism blog!

PS. Luna! You're a writer in the making too! Methinks a publisher just has to discover your writings! If not, maybe I'll have them zeroxed and sell them!

October 08, 2008 1:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I have already bought books there. :) Thanks for posting and sharing this article.

By the way Señor, I saw this title in IMDB, Battle of Manila Bay.

I was able to look for a bootleg copy and I am going to watch it tonight. Let me know if you already watched this.

October 08, 2008 3:45 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I know for sure, donG, that I will frequent that bookstore from now on. No more waiting for the annual international book fair in Manila. Also, I'm confident that the store's staff will help me locate any locally published book that I may be in need of.

Incidentally, it also has a nice collection of Filipiniana coffee table books that you may be interested to check out.

October 08, 2008 4:43 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That I am not aware of, Palma, but will ask about it the next time I visit the store. I wonder if I could get myself invited ... hehehe.

October 08, 2008 4:44 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

What's truly intriguing, Luna is that I came across that news bit on Mr. Jose's walking out of the CCP on the very morning before I went out to look for his bookstore.

And yes, his action and the message he has for young writers are absolutely admirable and inspiring.

October 08, 2008 4:49 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

"I'm sure you'll be a suki na :-)! And have your own books soon to be displayed there as well! Oy---dilang anghel ako! :-D"

Whoa! Wait til I get a Palanca first, Bernadette ... hehehe. Nice to dream sometimes, right?

Creating a sister blog, Manila Photojournalism, is a way to organize my Wish You Were Here site. Next to do group together on a separate blog is my Manila History posts. This way, readers will have an easier time to access my old posts.

Thanks, Bernadette!

October 08, 2008 4:52 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Wow! Thanks for the URL, El Cineasta. I'd be interested to view it as well. Where'd you get a copy?

October 08, 2008 4:54 PM  

Blogger BCS said...

I've been there once before (about two or three years ago) and coincidentally (to your post) I was just thinking of visiting the place again a few days ago. I've seen Mr. Jose once, at the Manila International Bookfair a few years ago (I think it was still being held at Megamall that time). :)

October 08, 2008 9:39 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A dear friend gave me a copy of F. Sionil Jose's Vibora as Christmas gift last year. Kelangan bago mag-Pasko this year matapos ko nang basahin ang book na 'yan..

October 08, 2008 10:06 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I was at the store early that morning, BCS, and was busily browsing around when at the corner of my eye I saw an elderly couple alight from a van and then walki into the store. Hunch told me it had to be the owners. I could have greeted Mr. Jose and introduce myself but the only problem was that I only knew and read about him; haven't read any of his writings. Hence, had no courage to approach "the man" ... hehehe.

A wonderful bookstore, indeed. I plan to return soon as I finish reading these books I've just purchased.

So, the Manila Intl Book fair used to be held at Megamall Exhibit Hall? Whoa! It surely has grown!

October 09, 2008 8:03 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

If ever you plan to veisit this bookstore, Juleste, bring along your copy of Vibora and request to have it signed by Mr. Jose :)

Is it good?

October 09, 2008 8:04 AM  

Blogger BCS said...

The MIBF was held for several years at the Megamall... the first one I attended was in 2001, I believe. I just don't know for how many years it was held there. It moved to the Manila World Trade Center in Roxas Avenue I think in 2005... if I'm not mistaken, it was held for the first time at the Mall of Asia last month. :)

October 09, 2008 8:31 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The youth should be encouraged to read more because as I see it, very few of them now are keen about reading.

I wish the education dept. would increase the teaching period for reading and literature in elementary and high school and include, aside from the Noli and Fili, works of national artists (such as F. Sionil Jose's) as required readings. Well, they have lengthened the learning time for Math and Science to one hour per session, I think. But on the other hand, Literature as a separate subject has been scrapped and instead integrated with the grammar subject. Teaching method is also integrated, in which an article is used as jumping board for the discussion of the grammar topic for the day. So you can just imagine how scrimped the allotted time is, to reading. And often, the teacher would just hurry off with the article in order to proceed to the grammar lesson. Hence, appreciation for reading is not fully imparted in the students.

October 09, 2008 8:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. Eric...

I so agree with Mr. Jose's statement of not honoring Imelda Marcos in CCP activities.

Yes indeed, she always refers to the CCP and PICC as if she owned those! It's not her money, after all, that she used. And if the construction of those centers was her brainchild - aba, dapat lang na may magawa siya para sa bayan, ano! After all, her family ruled the country for more than 20 years.

I remember, at the initial stage of building the Baguio Convention Center, another project of hers(located just opposite UP Baguio), I was walking to school, and a van passed by... a lovely woman seated in front was all smiles, and waving at me. I was sure I was the one she was waving to, because I was the only one walking on that street at the time. But when I realized it was Imelda, ay, di ko nga pinansin. I snubbed her. But then, because it was martial law, I nervously anticipated his men to accost me and take me to the military camp. hehehe.

October 09, 2008 9:28 AM  

Blogger FilMasons NSW said...

Another place to put on my list when I visit.

I am still reading Katherine Mayo's Isles of Fear and could not but remind me of the experiences of Mr F Sionil Jose.

He is one of our best Fipilino writers in English...

Eric, you seem to be collecting autographs nowadays... I guess that inspire you more to read their books, as well as a good topic when you are long and gone and someone will pick up YOUR book with the inscription or signature of the author! Wow I would have love to have Mr Jose signed my old copies of his books...

October 09, 2008 9:30 AM  

Blogger FilMasons NSW said...

“What kind of future are we creating for the next generation if we substitute fame for substance or, worse, forgiveness?…What kind of future will the students inherit when they hear Imelda discourse, yet again, on her philosophy of the true, the good and the beautiful and they are not told of the brutal consequences of that pie-in-the-sky philosophy?
“…Not Imelda’s contribution to the arts, but the true costs of that contribution…is what we should be teaching our students. Not Imelda’s ambitious attempts to turn Manila into an arts capital, but how many workers lie buried in the Manila International Film Center.”

But where did the fault lie for that mob behavior in Baguio? If Marcos money did not fuel it, the fault was not in the star but in the fans and conference organizer(s). Given that Madame’s aging process is not helping her “discourse” any; that books and films have not fallen short of recounting “the brutal consequences of that pie-in-the-sky philosophy;” that not a day passes without someone excoriating Marcos perfidy in the same breath as Arroyo perfidy, something else peeps from behind those two incidents."

Reading the Inquirer's link in your post, we lot are a people who have short memories and easy to forgive. We should make Isles of Fear a required reading for Filipino students. Haven't we learn anything from our history?

I guess blogs like yours serve this purpose.

October 09, 2008 9:38 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I was able to attend its 2007 fair, my first, then I missed the 2008. This year, I made sure, I didn't miss it again, BCS :)

But now that I know of Solidaridad, no need for me to wait a year.

October 09, 2008 10:30 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thank you for sharing with us your insight, Rhoda. If I remember it correctly, you taught Literature for many years.

Besides the school system, parents ought to encourage their kids to enjoy reading, too. But with the average cost of pocketbooks at p500, it may become prohibitive for many average households to afford them; hence another dilemma or hindrance.

But then, I'm reminded of what F. Sionil Jose had lamented in one of his essays: how the Filipinos aren't so fond of reading when in fact their national hero was a novelist.

As for Imelda:

From what I understand, one of the motivating factors in their creation of the "New Society" as heralded by the CCP Complex was the snub they've received from our country's elite.

And yes, F. Sionil Jose is right. It wasn't Imelda's money. It was the peoples' money that was used to build CCP.

October 09, 2008 10:39 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

"Eric, you seem to be collecting autographs nowadays... I guess that inspire you more to read their books, as well as a good topic when you are long and gone and someone will pick up YOUR book with the inscription or signature of the author!"

You're right, Mario! And whoever the recipient in the future of my copies, I hope, will cherish them even more since they were signed by the authors :)

You have got to visit this bookstore, Mario, and have Mr. Jose sign a book, too!

The Isles of Fear was regarded as being anti-Filipino, but I'm sure there were a lot of objective observations there as well made by Katherine Mayo.

If anything, Mario, I wish my blog to be one among the many that will inspire many Pinoys young and old not to give up on our history. And I wish for many other blogs to join in this crusade :)

October 09, 2008 10:45 AM  

Blogger ka tony said...

Hi Eric,

Remember this comment last September 7, your blog about "THE DISNEYFICATION OF GREENWICH VILLAGE"

"...Eric, if there's a place in Manila that I'll consider like "North Beach" or "The Village" during the 60s, was Ermita. Because of its bookstores, boutiques, cafes, restaurant, watering holes, cultural & art scene.

Calle Padre Faura had the "Cocina Italiana Restaurante," Erehwon & La Solidaridad bookstores where one can bump elbows with Nick Joaquin or the brothers Anding & Ding Roces. Calle Mabini had The Soliman Bookstore & Boutique across the street was The Black & White Boutique. Close to the Malate church was The Hobbit House and My Father's Moustache. Calle Remedios area had Cafe Adriatico, Coco Banana and The Hard Rock Cafe. Del Pilar street had Guernica and Nina's Papagayos restaurants & of course the row of bars. By The Luneta Hotel had the mind blowing disco - The Third Eye! Not to mention the small art galleries & the CCP compound by Roxas Blvd."

Salamat Eric & I'm glad you found & like the place,
ka tony

October 09, 2008 11:30 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

it would be a neat concept to put your blog to book form, Eric! Coupled with the annotations of Ka Tony, Rhoda, FilMasons etal in terms of historical data! It would be a valuable contemporary view on history!

Speaking of having authors' signatures. I had the pleasant encounter with the late Francisco Arcellana. He was so witty and even at an advanced age, his memory was razor-sharp! Of course, I got his authograph but he mistook me for another lady. He gently corrected his faux pas by describing that lady like Diana or something. Siyempre, kilig naman ang feminine vanity ko (haha!) Another famous authoress I have the honor of having a signature of is Ms Gilda Cordero-Fernando---another grand dame of literature and wit! Meeting authors in person gives an added touch of coziness while reading their prose.

October 09, 2008 11:44 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow.. that was pretty bold and gutsy for Sionil Jose to express his sincere feelings about Imelda. And he was right. You can seldom find people of who have the courage to do what he did. He is a rare breed. Good for him. The country needs more people like him.

October 09, 2008 11:56 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vibora is about Gen. Artemio Ricarte. you should try reading the rosales novels it is very very interesting. señor, i love your blog i hope to see you around taking those wonderful pictures.

October 09, 2008 12:24 PM  

Blogger FilMasons NSW said...

Ka Tony's litany of places in the Ermita area like the Hobbit's House, Erehwon and The Third Eye disco (was this the same disco at the Hilton EDSA?) brought back a lot of good memories (for us oldies... at least).

Nutart, You are too nice. I would not be in the same league as Eric and Ka Tony. But thanks and made this old guy happy... By the way I still believe that your nut art is the best and classiest "Pinoy souvenir" around. Have not found a more unique and classy Pinoy artsy souvenir at a reasonable price (that is not made in China!). Your garden island paradise is in my list when next time I come "home"! Always home, in my mind...

October 09, 2008 1:21 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Señor,

It won the Telly Awards under Documentary Category. I wasn't able to look for a legitimate copy in our video stores, but I got one from Makati Cinema Square, in Blu Ray Disc packaging.
Manila was so regal back then, there were so many images not included in the "Queen of the Pacific" video in Youtube. But what really struck me most, or made me really sigh was the rape of the city. All the corinthian buildings were torn down and plazas in rubble. I will try to scout for another one and hopefully send it to you Señor by parcel if you can't find any. :)

October 09, 2008 2:36 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Ka Tony!

Yes! Love Solidaridad ... will definitely frequent that book shop from now on :)

Haven't been gallivanting in Ermita and Malata areas all that much since my return to Manila. I guess, it must be due to the fact that I'm no longer a night person of my younger years, and these places seem to get very active after dark.

And prior to moving to NYC, I was too young to be gallivanting in Ermita/Malate at night, except when going to Jai-Alai Fronton and Aristocrat after collecting some winnings :) Other than that, I never had the opportunity to explore this district.

I did read the book "Myself, Elsewhere" by Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil (Gemma Cruz Araneta's mother) in which she described in great detail how grand Ermita was before it got completely bombed into smithereens during the Battle for Manila.

Check out this write-up:

But if ever another artists' haven should emerge in Manila, I wish it'd be somewhere in Quiapo.

October 09, 2008 4:48 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I guess, he had to do it, BW. If anything, to set an example to our young writers. As you know, there are those in our media who had sold out to the ruling elite, and by F. Sionil Jose protesting the presence of a former 'tyrant' others will be awaken or their memories jarred to remembering the dark days of the Martial Law period.

October 09, 2008 4:51 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thank you, Anonymous! Boy, there's plenty of catching up ahead of me. F. Sionil Jose has written quite a bunch :)

October 09, 2008 4:52 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Mario,

As you guys were sweating it out in those discos, which unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to enjoy, I was already in NYC working my butt off and going to school at night ... hehehe.

Yes, I agree with you! Bernadette's Nut Art is truly wonderful! Collectible pieces, actually.

October 09, 2008 4:56 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Now you got me truly intrigued, El Cineasta. How much is it?

I have one of those 6-video pack but it was more about MacArthur's Pacific campaign. Boring stuff.

October 09, 2008 4:58 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Bernadette!

I have so much catching up to do with getting to know our local artists and thinkers and their works ... hehehe. Hope God gives me the needed years to accomplish such task :)

As of now, I'm truly enjoying learning as much as possible with our history and thanks God for everyone's feedback which makes the learning process much more exciting and fun. As for turning my blog into a book form, as they say, "when it's meant to be ..."

Thanks, Bernadette!

October 09, 2008 5:03 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Besides the school system, parents ought to encourage their kids to enjoy reading, too."

I have an uncle, Eric... whom my siblings and I used to avoid like plague whenever he came to visit us. Paano ba naman, malas mo na lang kung na-corner ka niya. He would lecture us about the importance of reading. He would check what books we have read, then, if not satisfied, he'd write down a list of books for us to read until his next visit. I remember he required that I read Moby Dick, and how I feigned illness on his next visit just so he won't give me a lengthy sermon for not being able to finish it. But then, looking back... I can only be thankful to him for helping me develop love for reading which I now pass on to my children.

To Bernadette, thank you for the special mention, but I'm afraid my memory is already fast failing me these days and history is not just my thing anymore. I blame it on anesthesia and the so-called 'twilight delivery' in which I was sedated when I gave birth to two of my three babies. And of course, aging is another factor... hehehe.

October 09, 2008 5:24 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

Oh! I meant every word of it, guys! Gosh!! Moved by your appreciation of the coconuts :-D! If I were living in the city with the too many distractions, I may never have anything done (haha!) I think the coconuts have a life of their own...actually.

My! Ka Tony---I do recall my father would bring us to Erewhon and PECO in Makati and Malate. I was still in elementary but I recall we made it our public library. Later when in college, PECO had a closing out sale of oils and brushes. Quite cheap and with my meager allowance, I was able to get some LARGE tubes and brushes. They lasted me so many, many years!

October 09, 2008 5:41 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

In our household, Rhoda, it was my father who had us, his brood of eight, read the Manila Times and the bunch of magazines that he brought home. And the eldest, Fraulein, would reinforce my father's wish by making us discuss current events over dinner -- nothing else (the eight kids used to eat first, while my parents and the rest were on the second seating).

I was the only one who clamored for more reading material besides the newspapers and magazines, and that was when my father started me with Reader's Digest while in grade school. I also collected Mad Magazine while in high school. After high school, besides the books I had to read for school, I also got into the habit of buying myself a paperback book at least once a week for personal enrichment or amusement.

Moby Dick we read in high school; it was also one of the books that inspired F. Sionil Jose tremendously :)

October 09, 2008 6:19 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Unfortunately, Bernadette, not at all familiar with those stores :( However, in NYC, Pearl on Canal Street and Lee's Art Shop on West 57th Street are the best!

October 09, 2008 6:21 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric, when I was 7 years old, Readers' Digest saved my life!

A cousin in law of mine, an American, used to gift my father with a yearly subscription of the magazine. My father was also a voracious reader, though he was not able to go to college.

One time, when I was seven years old, as I was sitting on my mom's lap, making "lambing" for her to give me two pesos, I suddenly collapsed. My eyes were already dilated and my mouth began to froth - signs that I was already near death. I was rushed to the hospital. My brother flagged down a VW beetle which happened to pass by and along the way, my father gave me CPR, based on what he read from the Readers' Digest. When we arrived in the hospital, I was already revived. According to the doctor, had it not for my father's presence of mind (and that article from Readers' Digest), I could have been DOA.

Hmmm... why don't I write Readers' Digest and relate my story.... :)

Oopss. sorry Eric.. off topic na yata ako. :D

October 09, 2008 7:27 PM  

Blogger mgaputonimimi said...

"To The Young Writer and Other Essays" - ma hunting ko sana ito.

reg emeldific, saludo ako kay Ginoong Sionel sa mga sinabi nya. kasi nakikita ko rin ang anino ng mapait na kahapon ng Pilipinas tuwing nakikita ko si Emeldific sa ccp nong nagagawi pa ako doon...

sabi nila nagbago na ang panahon, pero di mo rin mawawala ang inis tuwing tinatangkilik ng iba ang mga gumawa ng ganoon "noon".. di ko masabi.

salamat po sa pag share!

October 09, 2008 9:45 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You should, Rhoda! They may also award you with a year's subscription.

One time I sent Eukanuba a picture of my dog with a note saying how good he looked despite his advanced age. And that was because I fed him 80% Eukanabo dog food (the other 20% was rice and adobo to keep his hair shiny and healthy-looking). Well lo and behold! They sent me coupons for a few months' supply of Eukanabu for Senior Dogs!

Finished reading F. Sionil Jose's "To The Young Writer" and have started his "Ben Singkol."

I groaned during the first few pages -- thinking the novel's setting was nothing more than that of a poor rural rice field in some Ilocano province. But then Ben Singkol was taken in by his aunt who works in Manila who planned to enroll him at a high school in Intramuros, and then later on at FEU. Nice! The backdrop is now Ermita during peacetime.

October 09, 2008 9:52 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Naku napaka-suwerte ninyong mga kabataan ngayon at marami kayong mga babasahin na may dulot aral sa araw-araw na pamumuhay at siya rin nagbibigay kislap sa mga mata ninyo dala ng masaganang kaisipan.
Salamat sa mga dakila nating manunulat! Siguro marami rin sa atin ang nag-umpisa sa librong aralin na "Pepe en Pilar" at ang asong si Bantay. Ito ang mga babasahin namin nuong mga bata pa kami sa Sampaloc. Sa silong ng kapitbahay namin, nag-pupulong kaming mga magkalaro sa hapon para mag-paligsahan sa pag basa ng aklat at naging kasiyahan namin ito sa maghapon gnmatagal na panahon hanggang isang tag-init ng kami ay bakasyon sa paaralan, isa sa aming kalaro ay nag-ipit ng "Tik-tik" magasin,isang pinag-babawal na babasahin sa mga kabataan. Maghapon namin iyong ginalugad ang bawat pahina na siya ring nag-turo sa amin ng mga bagong tukoy at salita na aming ikinatuwa dahil kapag sinambit mo ay tunog nakakatawa. Magaling din ang mga manunulat ng "Tik-tik" magasin dahil sa sulat lamang nila ay nakikiliti nila ang kisipan naming mga kabataan!

Ka Tony, nalimutan mo yata ang tambayan ng mga manunulat at iba pa na kung tawagin ay "Los Indios Bravos".

October 09, 2008 11:12 PM  

Blogger FilMasons NSW said...

Talking about Reader's Digest - wow we have a shared experience afterall! Love the short articles (and most short stories, especially of Edgar Allan Poe!) in those handy RD. I still read them today and blogged info "lifted" from their pages.

Time mag is another favorite reading material for current affairs, etc. While National Geographic is for photography and obviously for the articles as well (even Playboy publishes great articles, not just nice "pictures"!). All excellent and up and coming photographers wanted their pictures published in the Geographic. If your pictures managed to do so, you've made it as a photographer.

We don't really need that much money to spend on reading materials, I am sure libraries abound with old copies of these mags and books. Newspaper in english is also a good source of good reading material, keeps you a better writer as well.

October 10, 2008 5:37 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hehehe ... bakit ba hindi naguuwi ang aking ama ng Tik-Tik, Pete? Mukhang kaaliw-aliw ang babasahing iyon.

Pepe en Pilar at Dick and Jane with Spot -- ito naman ang mga aklat na binasa namin sa Bonifacio Elementary School.

Salamat pala sa iyong paalala. Nahanap at napuntahan ko na din itong sikat na Solidaridad Bookstore!

October 10, 2008 6:53 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Mario!

I now wonder how many other folks out there started enjoying Reader's Digest during their youth. I love their short articles of diverse subjects. The last time I read them was at my dentist's waiting area in NYC.

The most treasured copy of Playboy that I owned featured an interview with John Lennon. The lengthy interview was held while he was finishing a comeback album -- after having been away from the music scene for many years. It was published a week before he was shot.

To this day, I never really got into National Geographic, though I agree with you: this publication features some of the world's finest photographers. Perhaps, this reveals my lack of interest for exotic travels. Time and Newsweek were regular reads while in NY. But my favorite of all is Vanity Fair -- great writers and photographers!

Yes, I also made good use of the New York Public Library. It is a well-endowed institution; hence, filled with notable and popular recently-published books, including all those in NY Times Bestseller list. My experience at the National Library wasn't pleasant at all. It was hot in there and the database system, antiquated.

There is a nice public library in Sampaloc that I've been wanting to pay a visit. I may just do that soon.

October 10, 2008 7:14 AM  

Blogger ka tony said...

Hi Eric, Bernadette, Mario, Anonymous & my respected friend Ka Peter,

Tama si Bernadette Eric, panahon na upang maglabas ka ng iyong libro!!! You will be the "First blog writer" to do so, with "comment" participation. Kami ni Bernadette ang magdi-design ng libro, from cover to cover & inside pages. Sa design palang panalo ka na! I can have it printed here in the US, mas mura & maganda pang papel, mayroon rin akong kilalang printer. Ako rin ang bahala sa marketing. Actually, the reason why I wanted to see you this February is to propose this project, naunahan lang ako ni "Angel Tongue" ("Dilang Angle" Bernadette).

Bernadette, salamat sa iyong pagtitiwala sa akin. Salamat rin sa iyong parangal kahit noong nakaraang mga buwan! Kasama ka ba sa pagawa noong araw sa FAT sa mga puppet kina; "Alice Kamatis" "Bong Pagong" atiba?

Mario, pare-pareho at pantay-pantay tayong lahat. Ang aking talagang medium ay pagpipinta, napipilitan lang akong magsulat upang ipahayag ang mga nabasang mga "librong pinagkakatago-tago" sa ating Pilipino. Kahit na mali-mali ang spelling, tense, etc... sa ano mang wika ko na isulat, mapa ingles, tagalog o kastila, male pa rin. Mario, ang Hilton Hotel ay nasa UN Avenue, Ermita. Ang disco na nasa EDSA at Ayala Avenue ay "Where Else?" sa basement ng Inter Con Hotel. Ang disco na "Third Eye" ay nasa ilalim ng "Luneta Hotel" at kung pumupunta ka doon noong na nagpe-perform ang "Howlers" at "Red Fox" na ngayon ay "Hotdog" nakita mo na ako, kasama ako ng "Red Fox"

Anonymous, ang naging malaking research na aking nagawa para sa National Heroes Commission ay ang buhay ni Artemio "Vivora" Ricarte, kaya nailabas ang aklat na "Memoirs of General Artemio Ricarte" Hindi pa rin ako na kuntento sa aking na research sa buhay niya, ng ako'y nabigyan ng pagkakataon na magtungo sa Japan. Ako ay nag tungo sa Yokohama, upang makita ang "Karihan Luvimin" sa 149 Yamashitacho, Yokohama. Ito ang kainan at dito rin siya nagturo ng "Philippine History" na itinayo ni Ricarte noong siya ay nag "self exile" sa Japan. Akin rin nahanap dito sa Bay Area ng San Francisco (Hayward) at nakausap ang isa sa mga anak na babae ni Ricarte, Mrs. Maria Luisa Fleetwood. Dito lang nagpapatunay na ang pag research sa kasaysayan ay walang katapusan!!!

Ka Peter, iyong ipagpaumanhin ang aking matandang utak..."Los Indios Bravos" nga naman pala! Ang paboritong hangout ni Nonoy Marcelo, cartoonist ng "Tisoy." Isa pa ang "Di Marks Pizza" sa UN Avenue na malapit rin sa "A&W Drive In" at sa itaas nito masahihan na "Kakadoo." At bandang Roxas Blvd. "Omelet House" ang hangout ni Gatbuno Antonio Villegas. Salamat sa iyong pagpuna sa aking malilimuting pagiisip na pati tuloy ang paborito kong magazine ay aking nalimutang ungkatin, ang TIKTIK. Ang hindi ko malilimutang headline na inilabas ng TIKTIK magazine ay..."Tatay, nahuli ni Nanay na pinagpapatay ng lamok sa loob ng kulambo ang kanilang katulong!!!"

...ka tony

October 10, 2008 8:09 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

""To The Young Writer and Other Essays" - ma hunting ko sana ito."

I highly recommend this book, Mimi. Sigurado mai-enjoy mo it. Promise!

October 10, 2008 8:27 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Naku, ka Tony! I'm speechless. Maraming salamat sa mga inyong tiwala. But the fact that I'm inspired by you all to blog gives me immeasurable joy as it is. Be that as it may, Ka Tony, both Sidney Snoeck and I are looking forward to your visit come February.

Now, Red Fox: I remember my cousin Pocholo as having played drums for this group while he was a student at San Sebastian College. I think his group was started by two good-looking brothers from Pandacan. This was during the late '60s, though. Could it be the same group?

Goodness, ka Tony, you really make me regret not taking speed reading class many many years ago. Now I'm curious and excited about Gen. Artemio Ricarte. Darn! So many books to read ... hehehe. Impresive work you did, Ka Tony ... saludo ako!

October 10, 2008 8:40 AM  

Blogger FilMasons NSW said...

Ay naging chat room na tong comment page mo Eric.

NOYPETES: LOL sa iyong Tik-tik... nakabasa rin yata ako niyan maging ng Liwayway! Siguro ang pinaka popular dahil required reading eh ang Pepe at Pilar (si Bantay ang chaperone... Tiki-tik influence!).

Ka Tony, Wow...musikero din kayo at pintor - kung nagawi kayo sa Olongapo eh malamang na narinig at nakita ko na kayo. Tama nga kayo "Where Else" ang ibig kong tukuyin kasi popular din ang Third Eye.

"The most treasured copy of Playboy that I owned featured an interview with John Lennon." Ang galing na dahilan... hehehee. Kidding aside eh maraming liberal na artikulo sa Playboy.

Siguro nga ay kailangan nating suportahan maski maliit na community library. Meron kaming proyekto na ganayan na nagpapadala ng mga libro sa mga Barangay at elementary school libraries.

October 10, 2008 12:59 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

everytime I read your blog, Eric and moreso when your subject matter deals with historical info, I feel like the educational system of our beloved country has failed me! Not that I'm an intense history lover but that my teachers or the history books failed to whet my curiosity about our country's past. It's just so good that our national anthem always move me kaya I always feel there's more than those dates given to us for memorization.

Alice Kamatis and Pong Pagong were puppets of Batibot Inc. I was not at all involved with this. My first puppet theater break was with Mrs. Amelia Bonifacio of Teatrong Mulat, based at the UP Diliman then:
It was a treasure having her as my first mentor among other unforgettable grand dames.
My second opportunity and honor was having been able to help organize shadowplay puppetry. My former art students of the Phil. Highschool for the Arts in Mt Makiling have brilliantly maintained it through the years and Mrs. Teny Arellano have taken over as mother hen to this surging contemporary puppetry genuises and their genre:

A bit of clarification lang, Ka Tony. I'm also as happy that you are coming over next February! A getting together of history bigwigs ba ito? :-D

October 10, 2008 5:00 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

"Ay naging chat room na tong comment page mo Eric."

That's quite all right, Mario! I, for one, enjoy and learn so much from such intercourse. Btw, Rhoda is right! I should give my posts a day or two for people to absorb and discuss before I post another article. Daily posts may indeed get overwhelming for the readers ... hehehe.

I'll stick to my conviction with Play's issue with Lennon's interview ... lol!

Mario, you may want to communicate directly with Bernadette regarding this public library projects of yours. Would it be all right for me to give Bernadette your email?

Thanks, Mario!

October 10, 2008 8:42 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You're right, Bernadette! Learning history back in high school for me was nothing more than memorizing dates and names of prominent figures, unlike what we do here, which involves a lot of exchanging of ideas and most important, learning from one another.

That Anino site is currently being redesigned. Will have to go back another time when it's done.

October 10, 2008 8:50 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

..."That's quite all right, Mario! I, for one, enjoy and learn so much from such intercourse"...Huh?, with Tik-tik and Playboy magazines mentioned in this blog thread and then the word "intercourse"...nalilito na ako. Baka mapagalitan tayo ng mga puritans sa Pilipinas?...Teka-teka muna, may tanong lang ako...Ano ang tawag sa magazine na pinaghalong TIK-TIK at PLAYBOY?


October 10, 2008 11:25 PM  

Blogger carlotta1924 said...

it's good that f. sionil jose is still active at his age. love reading his articles in the newspapers =)

and oh, that bookstore's now on my list of places to visit =)

October 11, 2008 1:18 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved Solidaridad. They should put up more branches.

October 11, 2008 8:03 AM  

Blogger ka tony said...

"Now, Red Fox: I remember my cousin Pocholo as having played drums for this group while he was a student at San Sebastian College. I think his group was started by two good-looking brothers from Pandacan. This was during the late '60s, though. Could it be the same group?"

Hi Eric,

Pocholo?... from Baste - I think I met him at one of our gig, but Cholo ang tawag sa kaniya, drummer but not with the Red Fox. Our drummer was Ricky Padua, brother of Bobby, our lead singer. Then we have the brothers Rene & Dennis Garcia. Many years later Rene & Dennis Garcia formed the HOTDOG Band with their big hits... "Ikaw ang Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko" - "Pers Lab" - "Annie Batungbakal" - "Manila" - "Bonga Ka 'day" & many, many more.

I produced a reunion concert here in San Francisco couple of years ago with Red Fox, Hotdog, Mike Hanopol, Bits & Pieces & old Pinoy Bands (dapat kasama si Ka Peter / Noypets but hindi sumipot) "After the Gold Rush" Was very successful that I did a follow up last year with "Pinoy Classic Rock San Francisco Awards Night" ala Grammy, gave awards to Pinoy musicians who contributed to the Pinoy Classic Rock. Presented awards to Ramon Jacinto, Snaffu Rigor, The Garcia Brothers, etc...

This year I'm thinking of doing it at The Peppermill Hotel & Casino sa Reno, maybe December, matrabaho lang!!!

Thanks for your interest & asking Eric,
ka tony

October 11, 2008 3:18 PM  

Blogger JayAshKal said...

"Mario, you may want to communicate directly with Bernadette regarding this public library projects of yours. Would it be all right for me to give Bernadette your email?"

Sure Eric, we are just too happy to be of service. Opportunities such as this makes us proud to be Pinoys.

October 11, 2008 6:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

love this bookstore ;-) we used to pass by after lunch at robinsons. i read the rosales novels and ermita. i even got my prof a copy of the book translated into japanese. lovelove f. sionil jose.

October 11, 2008 9:53 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Lol ... Pete, I meant 'intercourse' in the context of "communication or dealings between individuals or groups; everyday social intercourse."

But the word itself can be regarded as a shortened "sexual intercourse."

TikBoy ... hahaha!

October 12, 2008 6:45 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Carlotta!

I enjoyed reading his "To The Young Writer," and now enjoying "Ben Singkol." I plan to read his other books.

You have got to visit this book store; not too far from the recently-refurbished Robinson's.

October 12, 2008 6:47 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I agree with you, Pinoy Era. One in Quiapo would be much appreciated, too. With the thousands of devotees visiting the church on Fridays, I bet some of them are bookworms and would drop by the bookstore after church. Not to mention that such branch would be convenient for me, too ... hehehe.

October 12, 2008 6:49 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Talk about 'six degrees of separation,' Ka Tony, yes! that's Cholo my cousin! And those were the Padua brothers I was indeed referring to. I think when Cholo left Red Fox, Ricky took over the drums. So the Paduas are in the States now, too?

That was quite some organizing and producing, Ka Tony. And I can imagine the amount of work involved.

My favorite local groups back then were the Dynasouls (playing Beatle tunes) and the Tilt Down Men (playing Dave Clark 5 tunes).

I will mention this to Cholo next time I see him. Thanks, Ka Tony!

October 12, 2008 6:56 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i miss those kind of book shops. will add this to my must-visit list for my manila leg of the trip. thanks for sharing this, friend...

October 13, 2008 8:33 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

A highly recommended stopover, Nell. An ideal place to get some 'pasalubong' for those back home in the States :)

October 13, 2008 12:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Nabili ko ng 55 pesos. :) Nakakita ka na ba kayo ng copy?

October 14, 2008 1:41 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Haven't had any success as of yet, El Cineasta; will give myself until this weekend. If still unable to find one will email you. Please email me your email address, by the way. Thanks!

October 14, 2008 7:48 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. F. Sionil Jose - my favorite pinoy author. Have read his Rosales Saga and read it for 5 times. I've tried many times looking for Solidaridad bookstore during my college years(97-2001), whenever im in the area, but could not find the store? San po sya to be exact-famous landmarks? Sorry, not good at places... Isa sa mga list to visit ko pag-uwi this Dec 2008 sa pinas....

October 14, 2008 8:47 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi DubaiBoy!

Better you give them a phone call - Telephone: (632) 523-0870. I'm sure they can give you better directions than I; don't want you to lose your way in Ermita.

His Rosales Saga is next on my buy/read list :)

October 15, 2008 9:10 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

chances are, even if he is in his office, he would not come out and talk. good you were able to talk to his wife. he has a right hand man, too, who has been with them for a long long time now.

btw, we are putting together the Nick Joaquin biography. you might have something to contribute, ideas, pictures, etc., they are most welcome. if you could please send me an email. thanks a lot, and again, congratulations for the PBA win/s!

October 16, 2008 12:30 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Gee, Sexy Mom, I don't know much about Nick Joaquin nor have any pictures of him. Actually, I'm just beginning to read some of his writings.

Incidentally, should you come across any of his heirs, please ask them to contact Bookmark asap. Nick Joaquin's "Manila, My Manila" is currently out of print and the folks at Bookmark haven't been able to find anyone from his family to sign the necessary permission to reprint.

Many thanks, Dine, and congratulations to you as well :)

October 16, 2008 9:01 AM  

Blogger reyd said...

Mr. Jose is really a good writer and he has some critics also since he can be rough on some of his short essays.

I'd rather keep to myself my other comments, hehehe, nakabanga ko na sa discussion si Mr. Jose kasi. :D

Cheers to all admirers of this good man.

October 21, 2008 11:42 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Lol ... sana naman you shared with us, too, your insight on his writings, Reyd.

I just finished his "Ben Singkol" and now ready for another of his.

October 22, 2008 8:46 AM  

Blogger reyd said...

That was long time ago in 1999 and 2000 when he wrote some articles about Filipino-Chinese or Chinese in the Philippines and the Tsinoy community reacted.

Here's an example of one of the reactions:

I hope that URL link works - :D

Anyways, I have nothing against Mr. Jose, he can speak what's on his mind and so do we, and so that we can work out together our differences if there is any.

For all we know, he might have some Chinese blood running in his family. :lol:

Kababayan pa siya ng Tatay ko sa Rosales, Pangasinan... hehehe

October 23, 2008 3:51 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thank you for sharing the link, Reyd.

As for those Chinese schools that Mr. Jose spoke about, my only regret is that I never got a chance to bond with my Tsinoy classmates in Mapua high school because they all had to rush after school to run to their Chinese schools -- doble eskwela nila.

And these days, it's disheartening whenever I meet an increasing amount of local kids who had dropped out of high school for some silly reasons. And then they get old hating those who made something out of themselves :(

October 23, 2008 7:36 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


About Me

Name: Señor Enrique
Location: Manila, Philippines

View my complete profile

This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called Flickr Badge. Make your own badge here.
Señor Enrique Home
Designed by The Dubai Chronicles.
All rights and lefts reserved.