Thomasians featured in ‘radical’ anthology of children’s stories

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THOMASIAN writers will be part of an upcoming “radical” anthology of children’s stories.

Jack Wigley, Chuckberry Pascual and Mar Anthony Simon de la Cruz are among the 43 Filipino writers whose stories will be included in “Taas Kamao: Mga Radikal na Kuwentong Pambata,” a “first of its kind” anthology that deals with “radical” issues such as broken families, discrimination and violence.

Wigley’s story “Batang Nog-nog” follows a young Aeta who deals with racial prejudice.

“The story is very Catholic and has underlying layers of religion, faith and acceptance of one’s skin,” Wigley, director of the UST Publishing House, said in an online interview with the Varsitarian.

“I hope that Thomasians will resonate with the story. We have community development linkages and programs dedicated to serve the Aetas living in remote areas,” he said.

De la Cruz, a fellow at the UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies (CCWLS), narrates the story of a young person whose family falls victim to debts and neighborhood gossips in “Ang Notebook ni Botchok.”

The story reflects the life of Filipino farmers who struggle with poverty and neglect, he said.

“Taglay ng mga radikal na kuwentong pambata ang potensiya na makapagmulat … at nagde-develop din ito ng empathy at compassion, na siyang pinahahalagahan ng mga Tomasino,” he said.

“Sampaguita” by Chuckberry Pascual looks at the grim reality of poverty from the eyes of a child.

Pascual noted that the issues and experiences of children are not given much attention in literature.

“Mahalaga ito kasi kailangan din mabigyan ng representasyon sa panitikan ang karanasan ng mga bata o iyong mga karanasan na may kinalaman sa pagiging bata. Iba kasi ito sa canon na parating pang-adult o pang-matanda ang mga isyu at karanasan,” he said.

Palanca winners Eugene Evasco and Segundo Matias serve as editors of the anthology. Matias is an alumus of the University.

“Taas Kamao: Mga Radikal na Kuwentong Pambata” will be published under Lampara Books, an advocate of children’s literature.

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