This collection seeks to continue the dialogue between what is uttered and what has been uttered by past writers and residents of Makiling. It also attempts to build connections between these young writers’ juvenile notions of science fiction, noir and literary alterations. Some works simply play with ordinary objects such as Soleil Cruz’s “Chess” where a proud king is seen walking on black and white tiles eventually surrendering to “the inevitable fall/the sudden checkmate”.
Other seemingly ordinary scenes are defamiliarized in villanelles entitled “In a Field on the Far End of Spring” by Amber Garma and “City’s Malady” by Therese Genota and “The Retired”, a pantoum by Ma-i Entico. Also in traditional form is Maura Yap’s tanaga entitled “Pagtanda” that speaks of growing up rendered through the discovery of do-ol, tiyanak and mananaggal.
Some pieces attempt to preserve the practice of myth making among students and pay obeisance to creatures of Makiling. Aswangs and kapres hound the works of Ina Borlaza as the persona in Dalaw: “R U Mine?” wonders which is more strange “waking/ with an ache arching over your thigh,/or what you found under the sinew/of your pillow: not the fate of spare/ change, but bruising flesh and bone/”. A familiar creature lurks in Therese Genota’s “The Makiling Hellhound” as the speaker tells us that “The howl is deafening tonight– it is calling upon the beasts of the abyss.”
There are narratives that are reminiscent of those shared in secrecy. We have Carmela Evangelista’s “Modus Operandi” and “Stolen Meat” whispering stories of passerby’s “seeing a collection of dismembered parts of what used to be a whole boy’s body” and girls with extraordinary cravings. We also have Martina Herras’ “Tayo”, a play that presents a protagonist’s battle, albeit in a humorous tone, with schizophrenia.
This year’s collection also includes comic strips, another innovation in Dagta’s chronicle. Makiling Noir, edited by Ligia Daroy and Lora Noreen Domingo, is a continuum between stories uttered and written. As Domingo’s short story weaves through different realms and beyond what is deemed permissible, Daroy’s swim through the routines that remain even after life ceases. We pass these stories and poetic experiences to you with a desire to delight and forewarn.
Rae Rival-Cosico (Editorial Consultant)