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Viajero (A Filipino Novel)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  284 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Viajero is a novel of history of the Philippine Islands and their people long before the Spaniards came. It is also the story of the Filipino diaspora as seen by an orphan who is brought by an American captain to the United States in 1945. Through the eyes of Salvador dela Raza unfolds the epic voyage of the Filipino, from the earliest contact with China through Magellan's ...more
Paperback, 313 pages
Published 1998 by Solidaridad Publishing House (first published January 1st 1993)
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Nov 13, 2012 rated it liked it
I give it 3 stars, only because the story is so sincere about cultural perceptions and the actual experience of being a Filipino ‘viajero’ (Spanish for ‘traveler’) that I felt ill at ease while reading it. Also, 3 stars only because it is not for everyone? Hard to follow through or to get interested if you know zilch about Philippine history.

This book doesn’t just bring the reader ‘time-traveling’, it takes one across the US, Europe, Japan and the Philippines. It is subtitled as “A Filipino Nove
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"I then realize I have been on a voyage for so long, buoyed up even more by the knowledge now that my real father had also fought like them. The unexplored terrain beckons to me, compels me to go on. I know it in my bones -- if I am one of them, then I should help them, suffer with them. Ninoy had pointed out how -- you are a teacher. Teach! Show them themselves so they will be even stronger, their vision sharper, their future nearer."

Gersie Santillana
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is all about, from the title itself 'Viajero', a journey of Salvador dela Raza, a Filipino in World War II who's adopted and brought to US. An orphan who was traveling in an unknown path. But as he matures, it hit him, he came to realize that he wants to unearth the Filipino roots in him. A must read novel beautifully written by a multi-award winning Filipino, F. Sionil Jose. Pride of Pinoys! ...more
Michael Gerald
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A historical novel with a time-travelling feel to it, this ambitious undertaking takes a grand sweep of Philippine history through the eyes of fictional characters. F. Sionil Jose can be compared to Gabriel Garcia Marquez in his storytelling. Marquez won the Nobel Prize for literature; Sionil Jose deserves to win too.
Ariel Anunciacion
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Someone who's been adopted and in search for the truth
The book I can read over and over again. This book, similar to Ermita is visually captivating. The type of book that makes me want to demand Sofia Coppola and her father to go back to my motherland and make a movie out of this book. Consider it a book about learning about oneself and the country you think you belong to.
Megan Panapanaan
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Awesome. A must read for all Filipinos.
John Ray Catingub
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Almost a distillation of Filipino history, "Viajero" is truly "A Filipino Novel" as its subtitle acclaims. FSJ weaves together an orphan Filipino's search for identity in and though America, Europe, Asia, and—ultimately—the Philippines with Filipino history from pre-contact, through the Spanish Empire, the Filipino-American War, colonial ordeals with Japan and America, and the internal trials of the second half of the 20th century. While not as epic in length as the "Rosales" saga, its scope is ...more
Edwin Del Rosario
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
With a lost boy with fragmented identity trying to find himself juxtaposed to a country searching for and trying to build its sense of nationhood, F. Sionil Jose's Viajero takes its readers to a magnanimous intricacy of history of these groups of island later to be called the Philippines.

Well-written, insightful, and mentally-perplexing, Viajero challenges our perception of nationalism and its many nuances, of history and how it is viewed and studied, and the role of education in bridging the m
Feb 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
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Gabriela Francisco
"Viajero" is the Spanish for "Wanderer." First published in 1993, it is only my 3rd F. Sionil Jose book and the 2nd of his novels that I have read.

The book is an attempt to answer the age-old question: "Why are Filipinos driven to leave the country of their birth? Why do so many choose to abandon it to its fate?"

The frame narrative is simple enough: we have a Filipino orphan saved from the Japanese and taken in by an African American soldier, raised in California, then embarks on what starts out
Apr 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
We read this in 8th grade I think and it was wonderful. I am content that at least one Filipino writer got this far in writing. I am so proud.
Shweta Ganesh Kumar
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"There is so much that is not in the books, documents, frayed or well preserved they may be. Their lives are not described in this at all- Vladmir, Anita, the helmsman of yore, and now, those thousands in the desert, those maids strewn wantonly all over the world; it is they who have supported all these years the profligacy of the rich, the creaky functions of government . I can see them so clearly, the dead soldiers in the trenches felled by American guns ; they are barefoot because they are fa ...more
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I would've never known this book had it not been for my professor, who required us to read this for class. It was required for our finals, and, most importantly, served as an example for Metafiction. Furthermore, it was an introduction to memory studies (although we did not concentrate on this in class).

Here I was, a reader, unaware of the existence of this novel and Metafiction in general. But this book opened my eyes. It is wonderful.

Viajero is not only rich in prose, but also in symbolism, in
Lik C
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reading Viajero made me feel like a Viajero again, travelling around the world with Salvador dela Raza, and discovering parts of Philippine history. I enjoyed the journey, reacquainting with the history I’ve learned in school, through Salavdor’s researches in libraries, and his encounters with Filipinos overseas and in the Philippines. I’d say it was too neat, meeting Filipinos while following the sequence of our history –pre, during, and post-colonialization - and reaching the end of the journe ...more
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Historical fiction enhanced with vivid and dramatic storytelling.

Novel has comprehensive coverage of Philippine history - from pre-colonial times to Cory Aquino administration. Tackles social injustice, racism, various cultures and a bit of romance.

Plot is however unrealistic, but what matters more is Sionil's socio-political commentary, spoken through his characters.

Literature is for scholastic pursuit rather than for pure entertainment.
Carla Mae Sumalinog
Apr 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I've read jk rowling, stephen king and daniel steel, but this book, viajero, remains to be my favorite. ...more
Jun 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
A must read! Deepened the meaning of heroism. . .involving and captivates a Filipino heart on their pain with what really matters to you and nationalism itself.
Alan Mar
Apr 25, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Not my best read from Sionil but I liked how story was tied-up with one of his books (Mass). Basically the story of Salvador (badong) Dela Raza, his adventures, travels and search for his Filipino roots.
Jonh Paul
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i0i
samantha Pancho
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
i must read it :)
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Francisco Sionil José was born in 1924 in Pangasinan province and attended the public school in his hometown. He attended the University of Santo Tomas after World War II and in 1949, started his career in writing. Since then, his fiction has been published internationally and translated into several languages including his native Ilokano. He has been involved with the international cultural organ ...more

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