I am blogging this to document many of the blessings I have received from life these last few days. Today, two things: one, Zenaide--or Z--or Honolulu Advertiser came to interview me and have a shoot of my reciting the poem, "Another Wife Dies and Goes Home to the Homeland," that poem that I wrote on the spot after receiving an e-mail from Charlene Cuaresma that another Filipina has died from stabbed wounds by her husband. Charlene is president of Filipino Coalition Solidarity.
Two, Ariel Tabag, one of Ilokano literature's rare gifts and talents and promise, wrote to tell me that he was commissioned to do a Tagalog translation of some of my winning pieces in that collection called "Epistolario ti Exilo." The translation, except for some minor alterations and revisions, is a perfect work of art that approximated, justly and fairly, the intent and revelations in the Ilokano original, that, even if I am the author of the original, and even if I do translation myself, I would readily give Ariel a credit for having successfully gone past the challenge of residing into the world of the poems and come out of that world, perhaps touched, but nonetheless not bruised. He said he had that wonderful experience and I believe him. And to him, I give my heartfelt salutations. Given the kind of quality work he is producing, I am certain Ariel will go a long way in becoming an advocate and warrior for the Ilokano cause: the preservation, promotion, and production of Ilokano language and culture.
Three, I have had the good fortune of having been interviewed by Mike Gordon, also of the Honolulu Advertiser, for my work on Domestic Violence and for the same poem on Erlinda Adviento, "Another Wife Dies and Goes Home to the Homeland." The Gordon interview, a number of times on the phone for a couple of days, was most productive, most critical, most aesthetically rewarding for me. It challenged me to look at my work, my life work in particular.
All these began with that innocent, or almost, innocent, involvement with the issue of DV, rampart as it is in this State that is being touted as Paradise. With two cases of domestic violence resulting in the deaths of two women in the hands of their supposedly intimate partners, there is cause for alarm, and the Silent March, as is the case of Erlinda, would have to be staged again so that people would sit up and take notice, and take that resolve to help put an end to DV.
I have been asked sharp questions by both Mike and Zenaida.
Always, I answered from the guts, feelings and all.
The questions ranged from the aesthetic to the political. This would be good for the next blog.
In the meantime, I take my hats off to MIke, Zenaida, and Ariel.
Mahalo nui loa.
A Solver Agcaoili