A long season of drought gripped us and passed by. Before and after the war, local newspapers and magazines carried literary sections, although sometimes irregularly. Martial law clamped down most print and broadcast media, and only the government controlled saw light. Then, little by little, literary sections reappeared like in Panorama magazine, Philippines Free Press, Philippines Graphic and Focus. Poems and short stories and literary essays were published, some subjected to subtle censorship.
A first is now here: the Philippines Graphic Reader. It’s a whole magazine devoted to literary pieces in English by Filipino aspiring and established writers of all ages, from all regions, residing in the country or abroad. It’s a monthly that will be a companion publication of the Philippines Graphic magazine.
The debut issue features a short story “Public Park” by Steven Sy, a fantasy fiction. It deals with kapres and evil forces, and carries hope for an ecological balance.
Another fiction, “The darkest light—a Christmas Tale,” by Maria Therese Nicole Tinio Marbella is a light but touching tale about a character entering a Christmas-lantern contest.
The third story, “A long goodbye,” by Therese Q. Yaptenco-Loy-loy tackles Alzheimer’s disease of a beloved relative.
And the fourth fiction, “That male thing” by Diana B. Noche, takes a look at marital relationship and how wife and husband stay together in the face of a seemingly unclear crisis.
The four poems comprise of “Eyes” by Joey Romualdo, “Prelude and Mercury” by Jeff William Acosta, “ Madonna of endless linen” by Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo, and “Hometown” by Nono S. Felix.