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Recuerdo is an epistolary novel consisted of messages sent through email. The messages all came from Amanda, a middle-aged widow, to her daughter Marisa, a university student. Amanda is in Bangkok while Marisa is in Manila. Writing letters is Amanda's way of sorting out her life and helping Marisa understand their family' past. Amanda use her own mother's (Isabel) stories ...more
Published 1996 by UP Press
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I taught this novel three or four times in the late 90s into the early 2000s. A historical novel in the form of e-mails, which is a very Filipino format even fifteen years ago. Hidalgo's narrator traces her ancestry, mainly the female side, back and forth from Spanish colonial days to the present. There are wonderful vingnettes, like the woman that faced down some unruly Filipino independence fighters. Largely through such scenes, the author covers much of modern Philippine history in dramatic f ...more
I felt an instant bolt of emotional connection to this book because of its well-crafted stories that beam with the Spanish colonial period and Philippine modern history references. The first half part of the book builds the sensation leading to the middle part, which consists some of the most interesting topics tackled by the narrator—romance in the time of uncertainties and war, the roles of women (depending on their social statuses), and some fragments of essays and poems clipped to support a ...more