I’m currently reading this book. It’s an anthology of short stories written by Muslim Filipinos from 1940 t0 2002. It’s a delightful read while traveling to Jolo, and Bongao. In it are stories on Muslim culture and experiences in the Mindanao context. It will give you glimpse in politics, friendship, marriage, love story, and technology from the Muslim perspective as time evolves. There are funny surprises like that of the twists in “Good Old Papa” and “Bird in a Cage.”
There is also story of two friends– between one who chose to work in Manila and the other who fought a struggle in Basilan. It saddens me that sometimes we can no longer savor the joy of true friendship because of tragic injustices and ideals we hold on.
My favorite stories are Blue Blood of the Big Astana, The River Below and The Homecoming.
The book was recommended and lent to me by Sir Claudius J, the son of Ibrahim Jubaira, whose four stories were placed in the first pages of the book. Ibrahim Jubaira was described by the book in its preface as “the best–and for a long time only– known Muslim short story writer”. Some of his works are reading requirements in Literature subjects in UP.
Sir AJ shared to me some anecdotes about his father. It made the reading more interesting.
Some of the authors are MSUans like Calbi A. Asain, Elin Anisha Guro, and Loren Lao. I together with a friend visited Sir Asain’s house when I was in MSU-Sulu. He was not home so we were not able to meet.
It was only later, when I arrived in Digos that I discovered after scanning all the stories that he’s one of the authors in the anthology. I missed him in Jolo. It’s rare to meet a living author this day.
Other authors include the brothers Said and Mehol Sadain, Noralyn Mustafa, a PDI columnist (Kris-Crossing Mindanao), Pearlsha Abubakar, and Arifah Jamil.