Mag's Reviews > Ilustrado

Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco
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's review
Mar 15, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: asia, philippines, fiction
Read from March 15 to April 03, 2010 — I own a copy

A Filipino ilustrado embarks on a journey to discover the real cause of drowning of an author, in which we mainly weave between the Philippines and North America, Manila and New York. Ilustrado, if you wonder, is an interesting word with several meanings ranging from just being illustrated as with a book, through being wise, to denoting a man who made something of himself through being enlightened or learned. I found it neat that the story delivered in all the meanings of the word. The story is clever, enlightening and entertaining, and illustrates different aspects of Filipino life and emigration, even though it suffers somewhat from lack of focus. It took me an awfully long time to actually get into it with its bits and pieces of scattered narration that offers everything from snippets of Filipino history and politics, social criticism, vignettes from life in Manila, parts of other stories, and even Filipino jokes to boot. The structure was clever though, and not so difficult to follow once you got the hang of it.
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