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Haunting and affecting war novel is now in Filipino

From left: Randy Bustamante; Dr Lourdes Reyes-Montinola, FEU chair emeritus; and Anna Maria Tan-Delfin, The Bookmark Inc. general manager

Localized bookstore The Bookmark, Inc. launches Pagbasag ng Katahimikan, a translation of Lourdes Montinola’s Breaking the Silence, which narrates the “most barbarous episode of the Pacific War.”

Book editor and literary translator Randy Bustamante finds the war memoir worth telling because it teaches both history and creative writing. “I used the original memoir in my creative writing classes and it occurred to me that more people—including those for whom English remains a foreign language—need to read this,” Bustamante explained.

While hundreds of history books tell stories about the Japanese’s role in our history, Breaking the Silence is one of the lesser known versions of the story. It is an account written by Far Eastern University Chair Emeritus Dr. Lourdes Reyes Montinola, a firsthand witness of the Japanese atrocities we heard and discussed in our classrooms, but, more importantly, it is also her story.

Montinola recalls having a hard time answering questions about the war and retelling the story felt like reliving each unfortunate event including her father’s death. At that time, some of her experiences can be described only by silence, until she found comfort in writing her own journal.

Randy Bustamante’s previous projects for Bookmark include an English translation of Florante at Laura by Balagtas as well as a Filipino version of the Sea of Stories collection by Carla Pacis.

Pagbasag ng Katahimikan is available at bookstores nationwide.

Pagbasag ng Katahimikan is available at bookstores nationwide.

 

 

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