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February 24, 2016

Libro run ang Darwa ka Tagdaug nga Istorya sa Hiligaynon| Chapbook Series of PALANCA Award-winning Stories in Hiligaynon from KasingKasing Press

by Pangga Gen

Amburukay
First Prize, Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, Short Story -Hiligaynon, 2015

The short story “Amburukay” by Jesus C. Insilada is an ingenious conceptual, structural, and linguistic craftmanship that renders the magnanimity of Amburukay, the old, ugly hermit woman of the Panay Bukidnon sugidanun (epic) as nurturer of the young generation. Insilada, a Panay Bukidnon himself, created his own Amburukay out from the collective image and narrative of Amburukay, retold and popularized by the elders of Panay Bukidnon. Here, Amburukay is your familiar laon (old-maid) and ugly relative or neighbor. She carries with her the weight of her village’s expectation to be married, that is to say, to have her own child to take care of her in old age. Amburukay plotted her marriage to a considerably younger man in their village. Amburukay is joined by equally interesting and well-developed set of characters. The setting is vivid and the plot advances in a convincing causality curated toward a cathartic and cinematic ending. This is a story of grandeur and magnificence. It is brilliant in its lyricism. The wit is remarkable. It would really be unfair to Insilada if his masterful use of language will be reduced to that common lame excuse “budlay basahon” (“difficult to read”). Insilada’s domestic images and sounds evoke both nostalgia and estrangement to stories dear and real to us. This is Insilada’s own generosity: he provides breathing spaces for contemporary readers to insert, and assert, their own memories and visions in that constellation called sugidanun. Thus, the story of Amburukay lives on…
Libro ni Gil
Third Prize, Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, Short Story -Hiligaynon, 2015

Gil Montinola’s “Ang Lapsag sa Taguangkan ni Belen” is a successful storytelling in realist mode. It challenges society’s fixation in what an ideal marriage should be: faithful husband and wife in love, both fertile, will have baby. A family. The family. What if they can’t bear one? Is it reason enough for the other party to be unfaithful? To separate? Most of all, once you’ve betrayed the beloved, will you confess? The story advances in a linear fashion, with enough dexterity to establish milieu and develop characters, in an effective point-of-view, and competent language. There is maturity in approach and authenticity in tone, thus we are convinced and moved.

For inquiries, visit KasingKasing Press.

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