Alburo’s book

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Thursday, April 24, 2014


UNABLE to do any writing because of sudden power interruptions that happened at any time of day or night in the past number of days, I was forced to spend more time catching up on my reading of accumulated books and periodicals.

I have a file of them purchased some years back and left on the shelves of a plastic cabinet in the hope that I would have the time to read them later on. Which was exactly what happened to this book about the late Greg M. Mercado.

The book was given to me by its author, Linda Alburo, more than a year ago, probably because, as it turned out on reading it, I am one of her references. She referred to one of my articles written in Sun.Star Weekend magazine that I edited then for Sun.Star Publications.

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Alburo was working then for the Cebuano Studies Center of the University of San Carlos. Her book is a biography of one of Cebu’s respected bilingual creative writers and journalists during the early years of our independence and experiment in democracy.

The late Greg Mercado was already active and involved in media work at the height of World War II and the months following the end of the war and the declaration of Philippine independence.

The most active media facilities in Cebu during the war and after we became independent were the print and broadcast facilities. KzRC, for example, was the first radio station in Cebu. It was opened in 1929, relaying broadcasts from Radio kzRM in Metro Manila.

The book, as written, is as objective as it could be, without any personal bias or special interest. That’s something one would expect from Alburo, she being obviously very close and intimate with her materials without being personally “enmeshed” in it.

She didn’t develop a kind of emotional involvement in her material that would have somehow pushed her to acquire attachment to some aspects of it, thus preferring to promote these aspects over the others.

In a sense, there is a kind of dispassionate expose or re-telling of bits of facts about Greg’s life and experiences. This was done so with candor and openness that seeks to ask the reader to accept them without fear or doubt that some may be untrue or questionable.

Each bit of fact presented is gingerly backed with basis or source that is immediately acceptable as true, or that does not leave any doubt about it in one’s mind or conscience.

Going through the book “Romancing with Words,” which honestly refers to the subject’s surprising intimacy and facility in the use of the two languages used by the subject to express his views, one is tempted to think that somehow the author herself has over-emphasized her subject’s “romance with words.”

And yet, indeed, one is left without doubt about the authenticity of Linda Kintanar Alburo’s sense of seriousness and sincerity of her subject’s life and work. Truly, the book is an interesting read as a bit of history and a bit narrative essay.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 25, 2014.

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