HOW BUHAY SA
ANGONO (Life in Angono) CAME ABOUT
The author had
written so many poems that he decided to produce a book of them. He
had a feeling that fellow Angonians, especially those who had emigrated,
might appreciate a book of poems about their hometown. He talked with
friends, though, and realized that a dual-language book, in Filipino
and English, would appeal to a much broader audience. It would be a
book that his children, not being fluent in Filipino/Tagalog, grandchildren,
and future generations could read and appreciate. He made plans to translate
his poems into English after he finished writing his poems. However,
with English as his second language, the author thought it would be
better to have someone who had a stronger command of the English language
to translate his poems for him. The ideal translator would be a close
Angonian friend who had studied English beyond high school. He set about
creating the talahuluganan, or glossary, for the book and completed
it on Christmas 2002. From January to February 2003, the author and
his wife Dolly spent nearly a month visiting Angono. During that visit,
he approached Ate Nene, Mrs. Leonor S. Bautista-Samson,
who lived in the house across the street from his childhood home about
helping him with his project. Mrs. Samson had taught English at Angono
Elementary School and had also served as an assistant principal at the
school before retiring. She was then teaching her grandsons creative
writing and offering her writing and English translation services to
others. Even though the author would not be able to pay her for the
translation work, she agreed to translate his poems because of her shared
love of Angono and desire to share memories of their town with others.
Before leaving Angono to return home, the author and his wife traveled
around town and took photographs of places and things for possible use
in the book.
For the cover of his book, the author looked to his youngest child, Tim D. Saguinsin, who had earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, for help. His artist-son, living in Northern Virginia, had spent three months in the Philippines during his second visit there and could best help his father make a cover that would depict the Angono in his father's poems. While the younger Tim worked on a book cover design, the older Tim continued to write more poems and completed his last one, "Ang Simbahan," or "Church Bells," in April 2003.
In August 2003
the author received the remaining English translations of his poems
from Mrs. Samson through her son, Mr. Marlon Bong Bautista
Samson, a good family friend also living in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The author was elated upon reading Mrs. Samson's wonderful English translations
of his poems. Not only had she captured the essence of his writing in
her translations, she had done so in skillful rhyme. The editing of
the books rough draft began in October 2003, after the Filipino
poems and English poems were paired.
to Virginia Beach, in May 2004 the author received the book cover his
son Tim had designed. It included a black-and-white photograph of the
author with others at Sapang Dulangan, Angono, Rizal, around 1965. The
following month his daughter Mary helped finalize the contents and her
husband Jon C. Embry the cover of the book for its first printing. During
the third week of July 2004, the first copies of the perfect-bound book
were produced by Colley Avenue Copies and Graphics in Norfolk, Virginia.
The following week copies of the wiro-bound version of the book were
produced by C2Media, Inc., his son-in-law Jons employer based
in New York City.
The author still remembers the Angono of 1965. The town was still relatively unchanged in the four years he had been away since joining the U.S. Navy. Fishermen still roamed the shores of Laguna Lake, the freshwater lake on the western side of the town, and the children were still using bingwit, or hook and line with bait. Farmers still plowed the muddy ricefields with the help of water buffaloes, or carabaos. In the 1970s and 1980s the Angono of his youth began to change. Ricefields surrounding Angono were soon replaced by new housing developments due to the town's population growth, and the town has continued to grow ever since. In order to preserve and share some of his memories of his beloved hometown of Angono, the author wrote his book of poetry, Buhay Sa Angono (Life in Angono).
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