Ed Maranan, a Carlos Palanca Hall of Fame writer and 3-time winner of the PBBY-Salanga Writer’s Prize for children’s literature, has twelve new children’s books in Filipino under the imprint of C&E Publishing, one of the country’s fast-rising publishers and an established book distributor. Maranan’s books are the first to be published by this company under its children’s literature program. The books were featured at the C&E booth during the recent Manila International Book Fair held at the SMX Mall of Asia convention center.
Maranan’s twelve books, illustrated by various artists, cover a wide range of topics that would appeal to the intermediate level of young readers (grades five and six). Each book includes a synopsis at the beginning and a glossary at the end. In this series, the author has woven narratives touching on issues in Philippine history, politics, and culture, with particular focus on the plight of indigenous people and of the environment. Some of these stories have won the Carlos Palanca award for children’s literature.
Two of the country’s leading writers have endorsed Maranan’s new children’s books. National Artist for Literature Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera writes in his blurb for each of the books:
Bunga ng dalisay na imahinasyon ng isang premyadong manunulat ang kwentong ito na pangkabataan. Ang Wikang Filipino sa kamay ni Ed Maranan ay payak ngunit makulay, angkop na angkop sa kabataang mambabasa pero kasiyasiya pa rin sa mga maygulang nang mambabasa. Ang dahilan ay maingat na hinubog ang wika ng manunulat na nakasusong mahigpit sa tradisyon ng pampanitikang pagsusulat. Sa hanay ng mga lumilikha ng panitikang pangkabataan, matibay na huwaran si Maranan na dapat pagsumundan bilang guro ng mga naghahangad makapag-ambag sa panitikang pangkabataan.
[These stories for young readers are the creative fruit of the imaginative skills of a prize-winning writer. The Filipino language in the hands of Ed Maranan is handled simply but colorfully, and is equally accessible to children as well as an adult audience. The reason is the adept handling of language by the author, who has nurtured himself thoroughly in the traditions of creative writing. Among the ranks of today’s children’s writers, Maranan is one outstanding practitioner who could serve as a teacher for those wishing to contribute to children’s literature.]
Rogelio G. Mangahas, literary critic, playwright and prize-winning poet and fictionist, describes these stories in his blurb:
Ang mga kuwentong ito ni Ed Maranan ay tumatalakay sa iba’t ibang paksa at usaping nararapat lamang na maipakilala sa kabataang Pilipino sa kasalukuyan. Kabilang sa mga temang ito ang mga panganib na nakaumang sa ating kalikasan, ang mga karapatan ng katutubong Pilipino sa kanilang lupaing ninuno, ang mga paghamong kinakaharap ng kabataan sa ating masalimuot na panahon, ang patuloy na pakikibaka ng sambayanan tungo sa isang makatarungang lipunan, at ang mga pangarap ng kabataang nabubuhay sa mga nayon at lunsod ng ating nagbabagong bansa. Isang mahalagang ambag sa panitikang pangkabataan ang mga kuwento ni Maranan.
[These stories by Ed Maranan dwell on various topics and issues with which today’s Filipino youth ought to familiarize themselves. These include: the crisis faced by the environment, the rights of indigenous people over their ancestral domain, the challenges faced by the youth in our troubled times, the continuing struggle of the people towards a just society, and the aspirations of the youth who live in the barrios and cities of our developing nation. Maranan’s stories are a significant contribution to our literature for Filipino children.]
The twelve titles and their respective themes are:
Si Pepe at si Pilar (a boy and a girl, both of them star pupils in a barrio, confront difficult choices for the future and find their dreams on hold, when the hardships of rural life force the girl’s mother to work abroad as a domestic helper, with unexpected consequences for herself and her family);
Pangako ng Bayani (a young boy named Edgar makes a promise to his yaya Sianing that he would help poor people like her when he grows up, and works to make good his vow when he becomes the popular student activist known as ‘Edjop’, who later turns into a widely admired revolutionary);
Ang Apoy sa Sambá (agricultural settlers and a land developer play out an age-old conflict in the highlands of Rizal, while the children cope and learn to survive in their small farming community often visited by bulldozers and tropical storms);
Halimaw sa Bundok (the ancient myth of the monster Kumaw comes to life, and Tingguian children of a mountain village come to have a better understanding of what it takes to protect the ancestral domain, as their elders come together in defending their forests in a time of martial law and militarization);
Hagdan sa Langit (two young Ifugao friends are reunited after years of separation, and they re-live the joys of childhood and the rituals of the tribe, amidst the rice terraces that resemble a stairway to the sky);
Si Kidlat, si Kulog, at si Kilot (images of Aeta life before and after the Pinatubo eruption, from the point of view of an Aeta boy who learns about the nuances of Philippine-American relations the hard way);
Ang Ambahan ni Ambo (a brother and sister from the city find an amazing friend in the mountains of Mindoro and learn the ancient ways of the gentle, peaceful and artistic Mangyan, when they accompany their parents on a mission of hope to the hinterlands);
Bahaghari (a group of Dumagat flee their settlement and seek to return to a wondrous “promised land” they have known only through half-forgotten tales, only to make a startling discovery at the end of their long and difficult journey);
Si Molok at ang Bangka ni Asok (a Palawan mountain village welcomes their foreign friends who have come to learn about their culture, while a young boy discovers the magic of music in his kudyapi, learns about the tales of love and the earth, and marvels at the Palawan night sky whose stars and constellations tell stories);
Si Buhawi at si Bantay (two friends—a horse and a dog—are inseparable unto death, and they become legendary heroes in a faraway village, while their young master grows up to be like his revered father, a hero and defender of the people);
Ang mga Buwaya ng Silangan (a grandfather recounts to his grandson how life in an idyllic town was disrupted by World War II and post-war unrest, until its inhabitants were dispersed across the land and in deserts across the sea, and why life must go on despite the cruelty of wars and the sadness of separation);
Ang Alamat ni Hári Púti sa Buhay ni Búi Bagani (the people of Gimbalan in Kamindanawan invoke their mythical gods and heroes when the ravaged mountain of Lagimdim comes crashing down, only for survivors to realize that real heroes and saviors can only come from the Earthworld, and not from some fantastical Skyworld of supernatural beings).
These twelve books are available—individually or as a complete set—at the C&E Publishing main bookstore on Quezon Avenue, Quezon City (beside Hi-Top), and in all its other branches in Metro Manila (Valenzuela, Claro M. Recto, Dapitan, Fairview), as well as in Dagupan, Baguio, Naga, Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Davao and Zamboanga. They will later be available in other leading bookstores.
[For inquiries from abroad, please call Jean Fernando at C&E Publishing, 00632-929-5088 local 126, or write to her at email@example.com. You may also contact edmaranan<firstname.lastname@example.org>]
Ed Maranan writes short stories, poems, essays and plays. He has won a record number of prizes in the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, and joined the Palanca Hall of Fame in 2000. He has been awarded the PBBY-Salanga Writer’s Prize for children’s literature (1989, 1990, 1991), the NCCA Writer’s Prize for the English Essay (2008), the Gawad Francisco Balagtas by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino and UMPIL (2008), the National Book Award for poetry (2007), and was also a winner in the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Free Press and Philippine Graphic magazine literary contests. He is an active member of the Baguio Writers Group, PEN Philippines, and UMPIL (Unyon ng Mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas). He served as Foreign Information Officer and newsletter editor of the Philippine Embassy in London from 1993 to 2006, and actively participated in events and projects involving the Filipino community in the UK and Ireland. Before joining the Philippine foreign service, he taught Political Science (1970-1972) and graduate courses in Philippine Studies (1979-1992) at the University of the Philippines.