“PAGPAG” Book Launch

In the Dictator’s Aftermath: Conversation and Book Launch for PAGPAG by Eileen R. Tabios

“Pagpag” is the practice of scavenging through trash heaps for discarded food that the poor then attempts to clean and re-cook for new meals. Pagpag heart-wrenchingly symbolizes the effects of a corrupt government unable to take care of—indeed, abusing—its people. PAGPAG’s stories, while not overtly addressing this radical torture of cuisine, relate to what lurks within the stew created by a dictator’s actions. The aftermath is not always obvious like the imprisoned, the tortured, or the salvaged (murdered); the aftermath goes deep to affect even future generations in a diaspora facilitated by corruption, incompetence, and venality.

Featuring (in order of appearance):

Aileen Cassinetto, Paloma Press publisher & co-host

Herna Cruz-Louie is the Director and Co-Founder for American Center of Philippine Arts (ACPA). Herna was awarded as one of Filipina Womens Network’s 100 Most Influential Filipinas in 2011, and was a featured Asian American Studies Alumna of San Francisco State University in 2014.

Melinda Luisa de Jesús is a peminist scholar, poet, Professor at California College of the Arts, and mezzo soprano. She shall share renditions of the Philippine National Anthem and the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice”.

Eileen R. Tabios has released over 60 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in ten countries. Her 2020 books include her third short story collection, PAGPAG: The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora. The book already has received some early praise—Ninotchka Rosca calls it “focking brilliant”, Bino Realuyo says “it adds texture to our already failed historical memory,” and The San Francisco Review of Books calls it “an excellent collection of short stories.”

Michelle Bautista, IT System Administrator & co-host

Joi Barrios-Leblanc serves as a Lecturer at UC Berkeley after working as Associate Professor at the University of the Philippines. Her books include To Be a Woman is to Live at a Time of War. She was among the 100 women Weavers of History chosen for the Philippine Centennial in 1998.

Albert Alejo (“Paring Bert”) is a Filipino Jesuit priest and Professor of Sociology, Anthropology, Systematic Theology and Philosophy at the Ateneo de Manila University, with a focus that includes Christian Social Ethics: Corruption and Violence and the Formation of Social Conscience, Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue.

Nerissa Balce is an Associate professor of Asian American studies at SUNY Stony Brook. Her research focuses on race, gender, state violence and popular culture in the U.S. and the Philippines. She wrote the award-winning book, Body Parts of Empire: Visual Abjection, Filipino Images and the American Archive.

Renato Redentor Constantino (“Red”) is the Executive Director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities and the author of The Poverty of Memory: Essays on History and Empire. He also manages the Constantino Foundation which is dedicated to advancing the idea of a usable history, where lessons from the past become active elements of the present.

S. Lily Mendoza is Professor of Culture and Communication at Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan and the Director of the Center for Babaylan Studies. Her research focuses on questions of identity and subjectivity, cultural politics in national, post- and trans-national contexts, discourses of indigenization, race, and ethnicity, and, more recently, civilization and climate change. She is the author of Between the Homeland and the Diaspora: The Politics of Theorizing Filipino and Filipino American Identities and Back from the Crocodile’s Belly: Philippine Babaylan Studies and the Struggle for Indigenous Memory


Pagpag: The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora is available for purchase at the special discounted price of $10. Please email editor at palomapress.net or galateaten at gmail.com for details.

In the Dictator’s Aftermath: Conversation and Book Launch

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Saturday July 18, 2020 05:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada) / Sunday July 19, 2020 08:00 AM Philippine Time

Via FB Live

Autographed copies of PAGPAG are available for purchase at the special discounted price of $10. Please email editor at palomapress.net or galateaten at gmail.com to place an order.

In the Dictator’s Aftermath: Conversation and Book Launch for PAGPAG by Eileen R. Tabios

Eileen Tabios has released over 60 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in ten countries and cyberspace. Recent releases include a short story collection, PAGPAG: The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora and a poetry collection, The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku: Selected Tercets 1996-2019. Forthcoming soon is her third bilingual edition (English/Thai), INCULPATORY EVIDENCE: Covid-19 Poems. Her award-winning body of work includes invention of the hay(na)ku, a 21st century diasporic poetic form, and the MDR Poetry Generator that can create poems totaling theoretical infinity, as well as a first poetry book, Beyond Life Sentences, which received the Philippines’ National Book Award for Poetry. Translated into 11 languages, she has edited, co-edited or conceptualized 15 anthologies of poetry, fiction and essays. More information is available at http://eileenrtabios.com

Moderator:
Joi Barrios-Leblanc serves as a Lecturer at UC Berkeley after working as Associate Professor at the University of the Philippines. She is the author of several books, among them, To Be a Woman is to Live at a Time of War, and From the Theater Wings: Grounding and Flight of Filipino Women Playwrights. She has won national literary awards, and was among the 100 women Weavers of History chosen for the Philippine Centennial, 1998. She received the TOWNS (Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service) Award, 2004 and the Balagtas Lifetime Achievement Award for Filipino Poetry, 2016.

Panelists:
Albert Alejo (“Paring Bert”) is a Filipino Jesuit priest, educator, poet, peace negotiator, humanitarian and human rights advocate. He holds a Master’s degree in Philosophy, a Master’s in Theology, and Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Social Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is founder of “Ehem! Anti-corruption Initiative” and author of “Tao Po! Tuloy!: Isang Landas ng Pag-Unawa sa Loob ng Tao,” “Generating Energies In Mount Apo: Cultural Politics In A Contested Enviroment,” “Nabighani: Mga Saling Tula ng Kapwa Nilikha,” and other works. He teaches at the Ateneo de Manila University, and his areas of specialization include Christian Social Ethics: Corruption and Violence and the Formation of Social Conscience, Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue, and Methods of Research for Doctor of Ministry.

Maria Nerissa Balce is an Associate professor of Asian American studies at SUNY Stony Brook. Her research focuses on race, gender, state violence and popular culture in the U.S. and the Philippines. She is co-curator of the online art project, Dark Lens / Lente ng Karimlan: The Filipino Camera in Duterte’s Republic, an online exhibition of Philippine photographs of the drug war featuring commissioned poems and captions by 40 scholars and artists from the Philippines and North America. Dark Lens is currently on view at SUNY Stony Brook’s Center for the Study of Inequalities, Social Justice and Policy website. Balce is the author of the book, Body Parts of Empire: Visual Abjection, Filipino Images and the American Archive, winner of the 2018 Best Book award in Cultural Studies from the Filipino Section of the Association for Asian American Studies. The book was also a finalist for the best book in the social sciences for the 2018 Philippine National Book Awards. She was born and raised in Manila, Philippines.

Renato Redentor Constantino (“Red”) is the Executive Director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities and the author of The Poverty of Memory: Essays on History and Empire. He is anthologized in Letters to the Earth (HarperCollins, 2019) with Yoko Ono, Mary Oliver, Emma Thompson and Mark Rylance, Humanity (Paloma Press, 2018) with Eileen Tabios, Laura Mullen, and Murzban F. Shroff, Literary Encounters: A Comprehensive Worktext in 21st Century Literature from the Philippines (University of San Carlos Press, 2016), and the Japanese publication The World Can be Changed: An Anthology for Posterity (TUP/Seven Forest Bookstore, Tokyo: 2004), along with Ariel Dorfman, Jane Goodall, Chalmers Johnson, and Sami Ramadani. As head of ICSC, he published and contributed to the anthology, Agam: Filipino Narratives on Uncertainty and Climate Change (ICSC, 2014), which was awarded three national book awards. He writes for several publications, and his essays on history, memory, environment and development have been translated into several languages. Red also manages the Constantino Foundation which is dedicated to advancing the idea of a usable history, where lessons from the past become active elements of the present.

S. Lily Mendoza (she, her, hers) is a native of San Fernando, Pampanga in Central Luzon, Philippines, the traditional homeland of the Ayta peoples. She is a Professor of Culture and Communication at Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan and the current Director of the Center for Babaylan Studies (CfBS), a non-profit organization on Turtle Island (North America) offering educational programming aimed at facilitating decolonization and pagbabalik-loob (recovery of an indigenous way of being in the world) among Filipinos in the diaspora. She is the author of Between the Homeland and the Diaspora: The Politics of Theorizing Filipino and Filipino American Identities and lead editor of Back from the Crocodile’s Belly: Philippine Babaylan Studies and the Struggle for Indigenous Memory and has also published widely in various cultural and native studies journals and anthologies on questions of identity and subjectivity, cultural politics in national, post- and trans- national contexts, discourses of indigenization, race, and ethnicity, and, more recently, civilization and climate change.

Hosts:
Aileen Cassinetto
Michelle Bautista

About PAGPAG:
“Pagpag” is the practice of scavenging through trash heaps for discarded food that the poor then attempts to clean and re-cook for new meals. Pagpag heart-wrenchingly symbolizes the effects of a corrupt government unable to take care of—indeed, abusing—its people. PAGPAG’s stories, while not overtly addressing this radical torture of cuisine, relate to what lurks within the stew created by a dictator’s actions. The aftermath is not always obvious like the imprisoned, the tortured, or the salvaged (murdered); the aftermath goes deep to affect even future generations in a diaspora facilitated by corruption, incompetence, and venality.

Eileen R. Tabios wrote “protest stories” from 1995-2001 against Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law in the Philippines, including “Tapey” which was read for Hawai’i Public Radio. These stories, except for a 2019 story written as a coda, form her new short story collection, PAGPAG. As indicated by its subtitle The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora, the collection presents stories from the points of view of children brought out of the Philippines by their parents (or other adults) in response to the Marcos dictatorship—children who grew up watching and listening to adults remember the homeland they left behind and who, as adults, can more fully articulate the effect of their histories.


Barnard’s Millie’s List recommends Eileen Tabios’ PAGPAG

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Barnard College’s “Millie’s List” recommends Eileen Tabios’ new short story collection, PAGPAG!

“Pagpag” is the practice of scavenging through trash heaps for discarded food that the poor then attempts to clean and re-cook for new meals. Pagpag heart-wrenchingly symbolizes the effects of a corrupt government unable to take care of—indeed, abusing—its people. PAGPAG’s stories, while not overtly addressing this radical torture of cuisine, relate to what lurks within the stew created by a dictator’s actions. The aftermath is not always obvious like the imprisoned, the tortured, or the salvaged (murdered); the aftermath goes deep to affect even future generations in a diaspora facilitated by corruption, incompetence, and venality.

Eileen R. Tabios wrote “protest stories” from 1995-2001 against Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law in the Philippines, including “Tapey” which was read for Hawai’i Public Radio. These stories, except for a 2019 story written as a coda, form her new short story collection, PAGPAG. As indicated by its subtitle The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora, the collection presents stories from the points of view of children brought out of the Philippines by their parents (or other adults) in response to the Marcos dictatorship—children who grew up watching and listening to adults remember the homeland they left behind and who, as adults, can more fully articulate the effect of their histories.

For more information about the book, please click this link.

Fil-Am publishing house releases short story and poetry collections

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By WALTER ANG, Philippine Daily Inquirer

SAN FRANCISCO — Filipino American publishing house Paloma Press has released short story collection Pagpag: The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora by Eileen Tabios.

The book includes “protest stories” against martial law in the Philippines that Tabios had written in the latter half of the 1990s appended with a story she wrote in 2019 as a coda.

The stories are presented from the viewpoints of children who had been removed from the Philippines because of the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship. Children who grew up watching and listening to adults remembering the homeland they left behind and who, as adults, can more fully articulate the effect of their histories.

Aftermath

Pagpag is the practice of scavenging through trash heaps for thrown away leftover food that is then cleaned and re-cooked for new meals.

In a statement, Paloma Press describes “pagpag heart-wrenchingly symbolizes the effects of a corrupt government unable to take care of—indeed, abusing—its people. Pagpag‘s stories, while not overtly addressing this radical torture of cuisine, relate to what lurks within the stew created by a dictator’s actions.

The aftermath is not always obvious like the imprisoned, the tortured, or the salvaged (i.e. murdered); the aftermath goes deep to affect even future generations in a diaspora facilitated by corruption, incompetence, and venality.”

Turmoil

Tabios has released more than 50 publications ranging from poetry collections, fiction, essays and experimental biographies. Pagpag is her third fiction collection. Her wide-ranging body of work includes inventing the hay(na)ku, a diasporic poetic form.

Paloma Press founder and publisher Aileen Cassinetto says that Tabios pitched the book to her.

“For years she had these short stories gathering dust in her files. With the escalation of political turmoil and increased suffering among the poor during our current time, hence the reference to ‘pagpag,’ she thought to dust them off for publication and wrote a new story as a coda to bring the collection together,” Cassinetto explained.

The book cover features a painting by Fil-Am artist Rea Lynn de Guzman titled “Self-Contained.”

“The painting is in Eileen’s collection and she thought the image could symbolize loss as well as missing the homeland. Loss is a theme that permeates the lives of characters in the book,” she says.

Press

Cassinetto was inspired to go into book publishing after she and her sister once thought of creating personalized, handmade books for children.

After making one for a nephew and another one for a niece, they quickly realized that their dream was not very feasible at the time, but they had “knack for creating and reimagining art objects” and that they could still create books through printing using conventional methods.

They laid the groundwork in 2016 and released their first book—the illustrated poetry book Blue by Wesley St. Jo and Reme Grefalda—a year later. Including Pagpag, Paloma Press has since published 19 titles.

The publishing house’s name was inspired by the title of a poem “La Paloma,” which means “The Dove,” that Cassinetto had written when she was newly married and living on a street called Paloma Avenue.

Civic engagement

The publishing house has a history of civic engagement. It has previously released fundraising poetry collections Marawi, to support relief efforts in southern Philippines, and After Irma After Harvey, to support hurricane-displaced animals in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

Cassinetto’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been to provide free online access to the ebook format of essay anthology Humanity. (The print format is still available for purchase.)

Humanity gives us an ‘overall picture of strength and fragility, of empathy, and myriad hopes.’ It is, thus, a timely read, I feel, given our current crisis,” she says.

Filipino American contributors in Humanity, which is edited by Tabios, include Cynthia Buiza, Melinda Luisa de Jesus, Gabriela Igloria, S. Lily Mendoza and Leny Mendoza Strobel.

Other releases

Paloma Press recently also just released Christopher Shade’s poetry collection Shield the Joyous.

“We released his critically acclaimed novel The Good Mother of Marseille in 2018. When Christopher pitched Joyous to us, we felt that it is a good fit for the kind of poetry we wish to publish,” said Cassinetto.

Paloma Press has a slate of poetry titles for release throughout this year. Visit Palomapress.net. (Reposted from usa.inquirer.net)

PAGPAG’S Anti-COVID-19 Initiative

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SUPPORT FOOD BANKS: This is a modest initiative to help support foodbanks for which we’ve set aside 20 copies of PAGPAG. For every minimum $20 donation to food banks, whether your local community’s or through Feeding America, you will receive a free, signed copy of PAGPAG.

“Pagpag” is a term applied to food scavenged out of garbage—thus, the book’s theme is itself highly-sensitive to issues of food insecurity, a matter just drastically ramped up by the Covid-19 pandemic. New millions are now turning to food banks due to job disruptions and school closures. We hope you can participate in this initiative of supporting those in need of food, even as you add a book to your reading pile to weather shelter-in-place requirements.

This initiative is in line with PAGPAG publisher Paloma Press’ belief in “the power of the literary arts, how it can create empathy, bridge divides, change the world.”

You can send a copy of your donation receipt and address to Eileen Tabios through Facebook PM or email at galateaten at gmail dot com

PAGPAG in the news

APA

From the Lantern Review:

Yes, PAGPAG is fiction, not poetry, but it’s by LR contributor and APA literary great Eileen R. Tabios—we’d be amiss not to feature it! Hot off the presses (it was released barely a fortnight ago), this collection of short stories is not one to miss.

From the San Francisco Review of Books:

Between 1995 and 2001 Eileen wrote protest stories against Marcos’ martial law, and now she shares those stories and more with her readers, revealing the horrendous conditions as viewed through children’s eyes. Noting that these stories are reflections of an ‘ex-patriot’ gives a new insight into the history of the political climate as viewed from afar – a more insightful blend of memory and history that makes her stories all the more compelling. Hunger in the face of the need to scavenge for discarded food, the need to change, moments of introspective humor – all these tales add to the impact of this excellent collection of short stories.