Celebrate books


Jullie Y. Daza

When I wrote about bookstores (April 14) as a casualty of the cyber age, the idea was to use it as an introductory paragraph but I got so carried away it became the whole piece.
The real intention, then as now, is to say that every book published is a celebration of sorts, of the reader’s ability to hold a book in their hands, read it from cover to cover, even go to sleep with it.

Two newly published books have found their way into my hands. A children’s book about a “fictional folk tale” on the origins of a Filipino dish called “lumpiang Shanghai” is by Nina Daza Puyat, daughter of Nora Daza of “Cooking with Nora” fame. And a collection of light essays by David Haldane about what it’s like being a foreigner living in a paradise-like island in Mindanao. While Nina is a cook and writer, David is an American who seems to be ebulliently in the process of “becoming Filipino.”

Nina’s The Legend of the Lumpiang Shanghai is for children and adults who love food as something to talk (and write/read) about. Chockful of exuberant illustrations by Sean Erwin Santia, so good that Nina has only nice things to say about their collaboration, the book is available on Shopee, and should tempt the author to consider follow-up stories about the origins of, let’s say, pancit Canton and balut.

David and Ivy Haldane came to the Philippines 10 years after they found each other through an international dating site. When they decided that life would be lovelier if they moved to Ivy’s birthplace in Siargao, it was the beginning of a merry-go-round of a lifetime, which eventually became David’s inspiration for a series of light personal essays written for a Mindanao newspaper — some of them hilarious, others refreshingly tender from one ‘Kano’s POV.

The book carries the title of one such article, A Tooth in My Popsicle and Other Ebullient Essays on Becoming Filipino. Its cover shows a guy, obviously Pinoy, kissing a girl, obviously Caucasian, as their shoulders float above the blue waters (of Siargao?). An alluring image fit for a travel brochure!

Where do tooth and popsicle figure? As a figure of speech? Dental or mental, you decide.