An English Major’s Choices: Unforgettable Lines from my Favorite Love Stories in Philippine and Asian Literature

I was an English major in college and I had the privilege of having access to the best collections of Philippine and Asian literature in English thanks in part to the University of the Philippines Main Library at its Diliman campus and in part to my very well-read professors. I have come across some stories I would like to recommend to those who would like to know more about classic Philippine and Asian lit. For starters, here are some quotes from some of my favorite love stories I was introduced to at school:


1. This Earth of Mankind, a novel by multiawarded Indonesian writer Pramoedya Ananta Toer (translated by Max Weber)

“My own name… for the time being I need not tell it.” – Minke, an ardent Native admirer of the half-White Annelies



2. “Dead Stars”, the first Philippine short story in English (written by Paz Marquez Benitez in 1925)

Those six weeks were now so swift–seeming in the memory, yet had they been so deep in the living, so charged with compelling power and sweetness. Because neither the past nor the future had relevance or meaning, he lived only the present, day by day, lived it intensely, with such a willful shutting out of fact as astounded him in his calmer moments.


3.  “May Day Eve”, a short story written by Nick Joaquin, Philippine National Artist for Literature

“Mirror, mirror, show to me him whose woman I will be,” – young Agueda



4. South of the Border, West of the Sun, a novel by Japanese literary giant Haruki Murakami (translated by Philip Gabriel)

“I was always attracted not by some quantifiable, external beauty, but by something deep down, something absolute”




Poetic Diversions 2

Smile 2

by sweettring

Your smile

So careless

So carefree

Masks the

Thousand and


Things you


The thousand and

one things you

Don’t understand.

I am lost

Because I am

not sure

about the things


know about


how much

you care

to understand…

How I really

feel about you…

How much I love

you deep in my heart.

Radio advice program featuring Bro. Eli Soriano as resource person celebrates first anniversary

Listeners of the radio advice program Dear Kuya can email their life stories for dramatization in the segment Dear Kuya ‘The Drama’ and receive Biblical advice from the program’s resource person, Bro. Eli Soriano, host of the multi-awarded and internationally recognized religious program Ang Dating Daan or The Old Path.


Bro. Eli Soriano continues to expand his pursuit of service to his countrymen as he continues to be Dear Kuya’s resource person on its second year of broadcast. The program began airing on January 14, 2013 over UNTV Radio La Verdad 1350. It is hosted by veteran media personality Kuya Daniel Razon (’s Ultimate Luminary for 2013) and tackles social, family and life issues from the perspective of the Holy Scriptures.

Like other programs on UNTV Radio, Dear Kuya which airs from 10am to 12 nn on weekdays, may also be heard over live web stream at

In an interview with Yahoo! Philippines, Kuya Daniel says that he aims “to bring back the glory of radio” through the programming of UNTV Radio La Verdad. The radio station is managed by Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International, the production company which he has founded.

UNTV News’ Recently Launched Public Service Project

I have done some research work for UNTV News before and I feel very excited about one of their latest projects for improving road safety in the Philippines, Tulong Muna Bago Pasada. Under the leadership of veteran broadcaster Kuya Daniel Razon, UNTV now offers free First Aid and Basic Life Support training for cab drivers. The first batch of training, organized in cooperation with the Philippine Red Cross, has started last week and each cab driver who passes training will be given a certificate indicating one’s qualifications to administer First Aid.

Interested parties may contact 441-UNTV (8688), 0938-803-0777, 0926-633-5744, and 0923-416-1377.

Aside from Tulong Muna Bago Pasada, UNTV has also organized and has been overseeing other public service pursuits including free medical and legal assistance at Clinic ni Kuya and Law Center ni Kuya. UNTV also pioneered Tulong Muna Bago Balita, which means that all UNTV reporters are trained to respond to emergency situations and administer First Aid to victims of accidents or calamities. All UNTV reporters are taught to focus on saving lives first before reporting on accidents, in contrast to the ideology of mainstream media wherein news is held more sacred than the safety of accident or calamity victims.!

Now airing: radio advice program “Dear Kuya”

The character of our times today perfectly fit the description of the perilous times forewarned by the Bible when so many would perfectly fit the Bible’s description of men “without natural affection” (2 Timothy 3:3) towards their fellowmen. I do not think I need to mention any more examples of these men “without natural affection” since the newspapers and even TV are already filled with so much disheartening news of crime, betrayals between friends, lovers, and even among family members.

Those who seek a Biblical perspective on relationship matters and societal concerns like gay love, boyfriend-girlfriend relations, marital infidelity, artificial reproduction, and other similar topics today would be bound not to be disappointed by the Biblical wisdom in the advice of Kuya Daniel Razon (program host) and Bro. Eli Soriano (resource person) in the radio advice program “Dear Kuya“. Life stories sent in by letter senders are dramatized by student-scholars from La Verdad Christian College.

“Dear Kuya” airs during weekdays (Philippine Time, GMT +8) from 10 am to 12 nn both on Radio La Verdad 1350 (AM Radio) and  (via webstreaming).