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Reportage on Lovers: A Medley of Factual Romances, Happy or Tragical, Most of Which Made News

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Classic Oriental Love--as in the tale of a Japanese girl who asked her Filipino lover neither marriage nor even affection but simply the permission to serve him and slave for him until he should find himself a wife.

Modern Cosmopolitan Love--as in the glamorous affair between a young Filipino sportsman and an international beauty that had for settings Manila, Long Beach, and an old city of the Conquistadores.

Tragic Cold-War Love--as in the drama of the Displaced Person from behind the Iron Curtain and the ballet dancer who chose to share with him, in Madrid and in Manila, his Dark Night of the Soul.

These are among the portraits of lovers collected in this album of true love stories. Plus the portrait of a hip chick from then Swinging London as she discourses indelicately on a most delicate topic: the Filipino as Lover.

159 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1977

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About the author

Quijano de Manila

12 books11 followers
Pen name of Nick Joaquin.

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5 stars
84 (39%)
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81 (38%)
3 stars
30 (14%)
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10 (4%)
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Displaying 1 - 18 of 18 reviews
Profile Image for Aldrin.
56 reviews252 followers
October 26, 2016
Nick Joaquin assumes the identity of his journalistic alter-ego in telling a quick succession of tales of, among many others, stolen kisses, inter-municipal liaisons, and love not at first sight but on second thought. There are only so many permutations of true love stories, whether ending in joy or tragedy, one can report before one shades into tedium, but Quijano de Manila seems equipped with a limitless writerly faculty that makes an otherwise dull and repetitive collection even more interesting, and at times stranger, than fiction.
Profile Image for Gena.
118 reviews9 followers
October 3, 2015
Either you look at it as the Filipino's adoration of anything foreign, even when it comes to lovers; or the foreigner not just falling in love with the Filipino but becoming Filipinos themselves.

Personal favorites:
1. Love Me, Love My War; or, L'Amour Among the Activists
2. The Mystery of the Murdered Bigamist

I liked them most because these are the only two stories that did not involve (a) foreigners and (b) happy endings.
Profile Image for Bennard.
36 reviews11 followers
August 31, 2012
from The Book Hooligan

Side-by-side Review with That Kind of Guy

“Certainty is sexy.” – Julie, That Kind of Guy

“The Filipino, indeed, makes the most imperious of husbands but the meekest of lovers” – Narrator, Reportage on Lovers

That Kind of Guy by Mina V. Esguerra is a story about Julie, a woman who is a “manang“, a word used to describe Filipino women who are frank and who does not readily give up herself to relationships because she knows how brutal relationships can be and how it can turn life sour. This attitude keeps Julie from having long-term relationships until she meets Anton, a typical player-type kind of guy who has experienced a lot about relationships particularly sexual ones. Their meeting and eventual dating has both transformed them in a way that is averse to their nature. Julie is finally enjoying a long-term relationship and Anton has walked away from a lifestyle of multiple girls at a time.

While Reportage on Lovers by Nick Joaquin is a series of nonfictional short stories about lovers that made the headlines. Most of them deal with love with a happy ending (there are some that end with death) and love that is almost like a fairy tale. There are stories that are about love between foreigners; love between two different people, economically or philosophically; love between the young and the old; love mired in scandal; love drenched in infidelity; love that is doomed from the start; and love just because.

That Kind of Guy and Reportage on Lovers are two different books not only because they are set in different eras of Philippine history but also because the former is fictional while the latter are real life accounts of love stories that made the news during Nick Joaquin’s tenure as a journalist (his pen name then was Quijano de Manila). Not only that, the books are also different because of how they portray the Filipino as a lover.

In That Kind of Guy, Mina V. Esguerra portrays that the most successful of lovers are those that are open about their attraction and are certain about their own attractiveness no matter what their intentions in entering a relationship whether it be a serious one or a sexual one. On the other hand. Nick Joaquin’s Reportage on Lovers portray the Filipino lover as meek and gentle with the attraction stemming from the man’s perseverance in pursuing a lady and the lady’s devotion to a man who has given her his everything.

Maybe the difference between the two books stem from the difference of their respective eras. Nick Joaquin’s time was characterized by conservatism where women are closely guarded by their parents and, in order for men to woo them, one must have the approval of the women’ parents. However, today’s relationships, especially in the cities, are characterized by a certain degree of aloofness where a man or a woman have fewer inhibitions as compared to the past and that dating around is a common practice and that the first move is not restricted to the men anymore. Finding love is easier in today’s era of online dating, speed dating, and bar hopping as compared to before where such avenues are not available.

However, what still rings true both in the past and in the present is the concept of true love. Filipinos still respect this concept and, if a couple becomes serious with each other, the kilig moments that were not present during the period of aloofness will reappear during the course of the relationship. One will feel that the relationship is not sexual and it already hinges on something inexplicable, something that transcends carnal desire and that something is what Filipinos, in the past or in the present, call true love. Whether if you are a skeptic or a believer, love can still be found in the unlikeliest of places. More often than not, the person that you end up with forever is not the one that you are expecting.
Profile Image for Meeko.
84 reviews2 followers
August 29, 2022
This is my first ever Nick Joaquin book and I am amazed by his writing style. No wonder he is a National Artist here in the Philippines.

The stories in here are somewhat repetitive in terms of the theme which is people from other countries falling in love with Filipinos and it is where most of the stories revolved around. Tho most of them are alike in nature, Sir Nick Joaquin managed to tell different stories in a way that it is easy to read and understand. I just wish that there were more diverse stories told in this book, focusing on love and being a Filipino. Nevertheless, it was a fun read.
Profile Image for Patty .
49 reviews9 followers
May 24, 2017
If you fell in love no matter want happened you'll find a way to make your love story a happy ending. This book shows the different shades of a love story if its a happy ending or tragic ending.
Profile Image for John Ray Catingub.
94 reviews2 followers
July 25, 2018
Almost like a collection of short stories, "Reportage" is pithy, as newspaper writing should be, though it doesn't lose Joaquin's artistry. The style can be terse at times--sharp inhales in contrast with the extended breaths of his other writing--but that doesn't take away from the stories he reports on or the way he writes them. As the Filipino is normally drawn to love, Joaquin writes in a way that pulls him in based on that attraction; after he has been baited, the rest of the news story comes through the gullet of the Filipino. Uniquely post-war, Joaquin's reports give a snapshot on Filipino society and culture that, one on hand, retains its cherished traditions but, on the other, aims to move through the revolting sixties and the messy seventies to come. It's a short read but that doesn't take away from its value.
Profile Image for Mitch Cerda.
1 review5 followers
April 11, 2013
Magaang basahin ang mga sanaysay. Kapansin-pansin na puros "international" ang relasyon ang pag-iibigang isinalaysay sa marami sa mga sanaysay. Dahil ba ito sa target audience na alta sociedad? Kung ano man, dinala ni Nick Joaquin ang kanyang paksa nang may katapat. Kahit medyo paulit-ulit, nailabas ni Joaquin ang natatangi sa mga kuwentong ito ng pag-ibig at kasawian.
Profile Image for Roberto D..
330 reviews3 followers
June 11, 2022
Book 125 out of 200 books
"Reportage on Lovers" by Nick Joaquin

An anthology of love stories, tragic or comedic, Nick Joaquin's collection of short but engaging love stories transports us to a newfound world of hope, all in 160 pages.

The stories of this book is great! I do remember crying over the first story because I honestly thought that the Filipino and Japanese won't see each other anymore. Glad they actually met and married!

But tragic too is Ante Radaic's story in this book because the man committed suicide. I feel damned by reading Radaic's story.

Anyway, the stories with some shyness, foreigners and domestics in it, in short, all- this book is worth reading and the last book I read in March 2022.
Profile Image for Bianca Nagac.
64 reviews5 followers
June 25, 2019
In ancient times, 14 February used to be a Roman feast of wolves called Lupercalia. Without spoiling too much, Quijano, which was National Artist Nick Joaquin's other name, presents us love stories from different countries, races, time, status, and personal backgrounds. While the stories will swoon your hearts, Nick's words will make you blush - as if he was writing a love letter for you. They were not the cheesy type, but they spoke the truth.
Profile Image for Tisa.
98 reviews4 followers
May 1, 2021
I LOVE anthologies and this book did not fall short! I enjoyed reading every story and found myself googling some of the personalities mentioned just so I can picture the characters in my mind while the stories play out. My favorite is L'Amour Among Activists, which hurt me more than I expected it to.
Profile Image for Mikaela.
26 reviews1 follower
February 17, 2021
While reading this, I was equally kilig, frustrated, and (quite frankly) disgusted with, well, men. Nick Joaquin's writing is impeccable, though I couldn't help but be annoyed with the subtle romanticization of some toxic male ideologies.

This was a brief and enjoyable read nonetheless.
Profile Image for Harold.
45 reviews2 followers
March 19, 2022
Full of stories about forlorn and unlikely love written in a florid prose that is Nick Joaquin's own.
Profile Image for Eunice Helera.
29 reviews2 followers
July 21, 2022
"It was not love at first sight but love on second thought, not love upon acquaintance but love on recollection."

- Boy Meets Girl; or The Sweet Old Story Retold (Reportage on Lovers, 1977)
Profile Image for Annabelle.
997 reviews7 followers
June 10, 2020
Love stories that made news in the sixties, so effortlessly narrated, shifting from saccharine to laconic as the stories unfold, by that cynic romantic, Nick Joaquin.

It's not so much the love stories that fascinated me. It was more the sepia-hued window into the ghosts of love affairs past that drew me in. And reflected here is a Manila in its heyday, the Manila idyll I keep hearing old-timers hark back to. A Manila in the Age of Aquarius, with its post-war topography and straight-laced, if sometimes ridiculous, mores. Where decorum dictated you must marry a man you were out with overnight, never mind if you were literally kidnapped, and with your yaya the entire time you were away. Where a scion's courtship of a South American beauty queen dominated the headlines for months. Where sons and daughters who were educated abroad, children of well-to-do families, had to struggle tooth and nail for their family's approval. Where jaded journalists sincerely played Cupid to an absurdly lovestruck Japanese girl, whom today would be diagnosed positively certifiable.

In other words, a Manila that no longer exists.
Profile Image for Danna Mangalindan.
42 reviews29 followers
November 19, 2015
Very intriguing love stories from the 60s to 80s wonderfully written by the great storyteller Nick
Displaying 1 - 18 of 18 reviews

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