Saturday, April 11, 2020



Jack and Agyu by Justine Villanueva and illustrated by Lynnor Bontigao 
(Sawaga River Press, 2019)

Receiving the book Jack and Agyu by Justine Villanueva is such a thrilling moment for this reader of Bisayan, Pilipino, and English upbringing~ mabuhi tanan.

Seeing the Baybayin characters in the front cover with two Brown boys from different shores facing each other with their hands meeting upon greeting each other

Urban youth meets the islander youth
~ it is a time of celebration

Nakahilak ko sa lipay
I am in tears of joy!

As a young child I grew up with multiple languages: Bisayan, Filipino Tagalog, and English. Our Mom was born in Bukidnon and after her Father went MIA as a recruited USAFFE soldier (we never met our Lolos as they died during WW2), our Boholana Lola returned to Bohol with her 4 children.

Both my parents are Bisayan: Mom with roots from Bohol and Dad was born in Cebu. But us kids were born in Quezon City and raised in Marikina, with wonderful childhood memories visiting our Lolas and relatives in Bohol and Cebu via overnight barco rides. As young kids, we were taught to prepare coming to America and practiced English at home and in private schools.

We immigrated to the USA and reconnected with our Dad a year after our Dad left  for the USA and landed in California in 1981.

This is such an amazing book to behold in my hands, rooted from the heart of islander ancestry and the future of mixed relations ~ mga halo halo .

With careful attention to indigenous authenticity and respect to the indigenous peoples of the archipelago, Justine and her team has done a marvelous job of endless beauty.

Nakahilak ko
I am in tears with joy to hold this beautiful halo-halo reading. A well thought out format in addressing indigenous relations. Those of us with halo-halo ancestry is acknowledge with much thought and love for future generations. 
A wonderful experience to open up the book with its teachings of diverse islanders’ language and images
Grateful for Balik sa Dagat Bangka Journey’s collaboration.


Reyna Daudian or Mylene ‘Leng Leng’ Amoguis Cahambing, RN, PHN, MPH is a Vision Holder/Lead Coordinator/Blogger, local county PHN Public Health Nurse, a former foster care public health nurse, retired pediatric nurse, community health nursing instructor ~ Maayo pag-abot. Tuloy po kayo. Welcome. This is not just about bangka building, carving and design. it consist of stories of many along the way,  new experiences and living dreams. it is a blessed gift, the umbilical connection with our ancestral roots unfolding with each step, the highs and the lows of the tide. forgive me if have intruded or have made a mistake. i come and go with peace in my heart to share happiness, joy and the spirit of love. i am learning with each step i take. kitang tanang magkuyog adto. let us journey together. magpadayon ta sa pagpangandoy. daghang salamat po sa yaya ko atsaka bisayan interpreter ko, si bernarda baobao taga tanday, baclayon, bohol. ~ ako si leng leng, i am leng leng

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