Frontispiece Credits & Gallery
Our frontispiece images are, as we said, a collaboration of sorts, mainly upon
my importuning of friends. But many of them are responding with fantastic shots, and from places
of memory as well as elsewhere around the globe. Pictures may appear more than once,
in rotation. I will notify the photographers or artists if their work is being featured on the home page.
So send those digital masterpieces now, of doors, windows, passageways. The older and with more
character, the better. By email only email@example.com/.
(The images or pictures remain the property of their owners.)
Frontispiece Credits 2009 ►
Frontispiece Credits 2010 ►
Frontispiece #1 was taken in Sabtang Island on a trip to Batanes middle of 2008. I was traveling with National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario (Rio Alma), who was gathering material for a long poem he was writing (soon to be released as Huling Hudhud or The Last Song). My role in several trips to important places in the country was as a photographer (no matter my amateur status).
Steps & Door in Catalunya
Frontispiece #2. Good friend Marjorie Evasco, one of our leading women poets (and who is also Dr. Evasco of De La Salle University's literature department), recently came back from a trip to European parts, and most especially from a pilgrimage to the birth place of Federico Garcio Lorca in Andalusia. This interesting picture of stone steps and door is of the Chapel of St. Elm, San Feliu de Guixols, Catalunya. It is one of the pictures of doors she took during the trip, apart from others in the Alhambra in Granada, which shall grace our Home Page as well.
Another of Marj's Catalan doors, this one on a street in the same town mentioned above. Her title for it "Lovely Door," which is probably noting else one can call it. Does anyone know what kind of vine that is? Could we smell cooking? What a, well, lovely door to come home to.
Angkor Wat Hallway
Award-winning Bikol poet Kristian Cordero sent us this sun-soaked hallway from Angkor Wat in Cambodia, a side trip on visit to Thailand which, I understand, he had to do clandestinely. Kristian is a busy young poet, with three books to his name at a tender poet's age, several major awards for his poetry in Bikol and Filipino, and lately the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Writers Prize for Poetry. The winner receives a nice sum to complete a book based on his winning proposal. He teaches at the Ateneo de Naga University in Naga City, Camarines Sur.
with Spain's Moorish history inscribed in its arabesques and equilateral arch, also by poet Marj Evasco from her Iberian sojourn.
Our friend Chi Balmaceda Gutierrez, formerly of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, and former deputy director of the literature department at CCP, who now operates Heritage Pomotions in Baguio City, wrote when she sent us "Scotty's Door" (my title): "I am a fan of the great writer-historian William Henry Scott... He was long gone and dead when I had the chance to visit his private library. His house caretaker was cranky and took so long to open the door for me. That was when I took note of the queer-looking doorknocker, something similar to those in the old Spanish houses in Batangas."
Breathing history, a Chinese-Filipino one, the home of the Syquias (Chinese who became wealthy Ilocanos in the colonial period) is now the Syquia or the Quirino Mansion-Museum, depending on whose telling the story. But it's still a family vacation house looked after by a caretaker, a descendant of the mayordomo and servant families. It is as much the Quirino Mansion, as the Commonwealth congressman, then member of the Philippine Independence mission under Quezon, then 6th President of the Republic, Elpidio Quirino, married into the Syquia family. But he was already a widower when he became president. His wife, Alice and three of their five children, were killed in the Battle of Manila (1945). From my Ilocos album.
Gate with ornate grillwork in Figuerres, Spain
Once more the the Spain album of poet Marjorie Evasco. In the larger image of the home page, once can see the cut "1799" detail. What could be its significance? The Web's lists show it to be year the Rosetta Stone was discovered, Napoleon's first coup, and little else. The place (probably a rectory) could have been the haunt of any of Borges' mysterious and passionate characters.
Paete Church Door with Old Woman
Jose Y. "Butch" Dalisay, leading Filipino fictionist, columnist, gadget and techno guru, and Mac addict, who had just published his second nover, Soledad's Sister (Anvil, 2008), did not give me this photo. I filched it from his Flickr files. He has just relieved his hard disk of the files of his countless photographs and had to have somwhere to store them. Filckr proved useful but it also opened his collection to nosy guys like me. I downloaded some favorites but this one caught my eye, as it would perhaps yours. I stared and stared at it and thought there was a poem there somewhere. I was agitated for maybe two week. Tried out a few lines, then "slept" on them.
When the poem arrived Butch had the first copy.
Boy & Train by Santi Bose
Santiago (Santi) Bose (1949-2002) was one of our best Filipino artists, using mixed media (often indigenous, or cast-off debris, found objects, bottles, trash) which he thought probably represented our mixed, hybrid, and cobbled up culture that was nevertheless whole and seeking its own strength and identity. His assemblages were folk, religious, post-colonial, syncretic, but assertive of what he thought as Filipino. He co-founded the Baguio Arts Guild and was respected here and abroad.
Espiritu by Diday Morales
or someone's soul, visiting from the great beyond, simply appeared just in time for the shutter or the aperture or whatever it is now that clicks when a digital camera receives an image, was what Diday's Canon captured on a family trip to the Ilocos. Diday is a neighbor, a stewardess, and wife to architect and artist RG Morales, who got her hooked into photography. My poem, "All Souls'," in the Hometown Portraits section, goes well with this image.
Berlin by Jury Gregorio. Last I heard, Jury was still based at one of the leading ad agencies in Singapore, as a hotshot copywriter or maybe already a creative director (a position one usually fights tooth, nail, and pecker for in ad agency work). At the local DDB, he was our hotshot copywriter, working under me when I was no longer a hotshot creative director. Then he won awards, got restless and moved to Singapore and took up his cameras and computer and started shooting. I am shooting all this off a the top of my head since I can't find a resume of him on the Web. But as his pictures would tell you, he has exhibited, beyond Singapore, in Japan and Berlin. It will take sometime again before he checks his email. But he said to use any of his images (with credits of course) so there will more of his great shots among these pages. Just watch.
Second-hand Saints by Pancho C. Villanueva. Pancho is an architect, painter, and poet whose “negotiations” with his technical training and art, and his intense sensitivity that drives him to use both pigment and found object in his paintings, compel him to be a poet (he has long practiced his profession and art before attending the Silliman University Writers Workshop). While his spatial studies of bold color fields, textures, and surfaces make him popular among collectors, his realistic works are full of magical narratives that, as in his abstracts, underline his belief in and esthetic of what he calls in his poetry “the persistence of energy...” that he uses to address “the unnameable terror [that] hides behind the creases of the ground, among the fine, delicate debris of surrounding human ruins.”