Old Davao-A A +A
Saturday, August 4, 2012
THE past weeks have been an ongoing review of old Davao. The Davao that was nearly forgotten having been in close and constant proximity to the new one, and the Davao as remembered by those much older through books, essay, and personal accounts.
With Kadayawan Festival officially on comes the realization anew that very few is actually written in a popular keepsake form about this old Davao. Sun.Star for one has been constantly writing about it. But newspaper life is really very short. It’s new for a day, is recycled, before finding its way to the bin. A few copies may be saved by someone who has personal interest on a particular article, and yes, the office files. But, very few will be reviewing these beyond just keeping this for files or for keepsake.
Last Friday, buddy Kublai launched his first coffee table book, Tipik. A book of his black and white photographs of Mindanao laid out in thought-provoking sequence with Brother Karl Gaspar’s Cebuano poem.
This is one. But very few really make it to the greater masses.
On this quick trip to Manila, my chosen book is a book of essays entitled “The Davao we now”, a collection of essays by Davao writers and personalities compiled by Lolita R. Lacuesta, which I chanced on in one of my forays at National Bookstore. It says the copyright is 2011, and for someone who keeps her nose out for Davao books, this one escaped my consciousness. I didn’t even know it existed.
There are some books, particularly those by Dr. Macario Tiu that I know exist but still haven’t got my hands on. Suddenly I miss the book fair that used to be held sometime around Kadayawan in Davao. It was my source of books from university presses in the national capital every year. It was there where I collected the six of supposedly seven volumes of “Jesuit Missionaries Letters from Mindanao”. But for some reason unexplained, that book fair never popped up after the sixth volume came out. It saved me a lot of money, yes, but it has left a gap in my constant source of Davao books.
I’m just glad I was there at the launching of Agnes D. Locsin’s book on neo-ethnic dance the other week, and yes, I have had a copy of Tipik long before this was finally launched. Other than that, the bookstores in Davao are not really reliable sources of such publications – the reason why I can barely get my hands on Dr. Mac Tiu’s books. All of these have just piled up and still I don’t have one single copy. They are proving to be so elusive, and for a person who is on a constant hunt for such at that.
How much more elusive would it be to those who are not even keeping an eye out nor interested to read…
This I find sad.
“Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results,” wrote Machiavelli.
But history is brushed aside as many, as well, particularly because of the way history has been written – a testimony to the victors who rule at that particularly moment in the past. But that is what history will become if there is no deliberate effort by everyone who can to put this in a form that can be kept and reviewed. Okay… “So, where’s your book,” asked Mommyla, the name we call Kublai’s mom. Guiltya s charged.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 05, 2012.