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Salingkit: a 1986 Diary

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Kitty Eugenio's life is far from ideal. She has to live with her relatives. Her mother has gone abroad. Her best friends sometimes act weird, and sometimes keep secrets from her. Her classmates persist in pairing her with a boy she doesn't like, but who might be able to help in the search for her father. The love of her life doesn't know she exists. And it's not just any ordinary year, it's the year of the Tiger, the year of People Power, and the year of Halley's Comet, the year of upheaval and change.

140 pages, Paperback

First published July 1, 2012

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About the author

Cyan Abad-Jugo

15 books31 followers
Cyan Abad-Jugo took her master’s in Children’s Literature at Simmons College, Boston, and is currently pursuing a PhD in English Studies: Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines. Her first book, Father and Daughter: The Figures of Our Speech, was a joint project with father Gémino H. Abad (Anvil 1996). This was followed by a collection of short fiction called Sweet Summer and Other Stories (UP Press 2004). Her most recent book, Leaf and Shadow: Stories About Some Friendly Creatures (Anvil 2008), includes her children’s story “Behind The Old Aparador” which won second place at the Carlos Memorial Palanca Awards in 2003.

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5 stars
30 (27%)
4 stars
39 (36%)
3 stars
29 (26%)
2 stars
7 (6%)
1 star
3 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews
Profile Image for K.D. Absolutely.
1,820 reviews
January 22, 2013
This book's best part? It's the 16-page Introduction where Abad-Jugo summarized the event that led to the 1986 People Power Revolution. Short and sweet. Succinct, no frills but well-documented, i.e., with references. Good job, Abad-Jugo. My heart felt a tinge of pain when I was reading that part when Ninoy died. To think that according to this interview by Philippine Daily Inquirer she said that she struggled writing this portion because when she was still in school, History was her Waterloo. This summary is a quick reference for all young people who'd like to know exactly what happened in 1986 here in the Philippines in just 10 minutes. However, as the book is intended for young adults, it safely avoided the important part played by the US government during Marcos regime. For this reason, I thought that the summary inserted by Lualhati Bautista in her 2006 tour-de-force Desaparesidos (4 stars) was more truthful, fearless and complete.

This book was the outcome of Abad-Jugo's graduate school requirement: to write a YA novel that was either historical or set in the present day. Now, this being a YA, I felt alienated while reading it. The book has a YA voice - that of the 12-y/o girl protagonist, Kitty Eugenio and the narration is peppered with lyrics from the foreign artists' music from that era particularly the songs of Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Tears for Fears, etc. I was 20 when EDSA Revolution happened in 1986 and Abad-Jugo was 14. However, I did not particularly like foreign sounds, i.e., the light rock and the new wave music genres that were so popular among rich city kids during those years as I was more into local sounds (original Pilipino music also referred to as O.P.M.) and the ballads (my sister's favorites). Also, like her character, Abad-Jugo, being the daughter of a known popular writer and university professor, Gemino H. Abad was part of the city middle-class while my family was part of the farming community in our hometown in the province. So, I was not able to relate to the story that is full of teenage corny issues and barkada intrigues. Too shallow for my taste even if say had I been a couple of decades younger.

This book is just not for me. However, overall, I still like this book only for the summary and of course its intent: to educate the young people who were born after 1986 so they vaguely knew anything about 1986, one of the turning points in the history of our country. Abad-Jugo used this semi-autobiographical story to make these young people identify to a young girl of that turbulent era probably in the same way that young people around the world are able to understand and empathize with Holocaust victims more because they can relate to Anne Frank.

Hence, I know that I will be looking forward to Abad-Jugo's other works. I am sure she still has a lot of meaningful works in the offing to contribute to our local literary scene.
Profile Image for Neil (or bleed).
965 reviews741 followers
January 20, 2020
I received an e-book from Arvyn and Anvil Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much!

Salingkit is a fine coming-of-age YA novel. It is actually a 1986 diary of Kitty or, Goro, to her friends, and her story during the year of People Power.

I like Salingkit for it has a good storyline. Despite the fact that it reads like a typical YA novel, I can't deny that this book sparks interest and affects me somehow on emotion department.

To be honest, I can't really formulate the right words to review this book. I like it but I will probably forget about it after a some time. What I really liked though and possibly I won't forget, is the introduction of this book. The little history lessons and summary that gives additional knowledge which are truly helpful.
Profile Image for Chris.
25 reviews
July 29, 2012
I stumbled across this book completely by chance! After school, I often pass by Powerbooks and browse through their Filipiniana collection (which I believe is the best out of all the bookstores in the area). In the middle of the collection was a table full of copies of Salingkit. I read the blurb and flipped through some pages; I felt the urge to get a copy, in the hope of something wonderful (as well as to find a possible new novel for the Freshmen!).

Having grown up in the post-EDSA years, I only know as much as what my brothers and father have told me. Stories of Martial Law and Coups, of protests and rallies. Salingkit has made all of these more vivid for me, even more than some history books.

To say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book might be an understatement. I love how Cyan Adad-Jugo was able to masterfully and playfully weave the not-so-mundane life of a fangirling teenager and her unique family situation against the momentous events of 1986. The book not only made the happenings of that particular year “real” to me, it has also sparked an interest in the music of the time.

Salingkit made me laugh, tear up, and kilig. And well, I think this will make an excellent Year I novel. And even if your aren’t a high school Freshman, this book is so worth reading.
Profile Image for Mary.
568 reviews
May 27, 2022
3.5, rounded up. In the midst of all that's going on in the Philippines right now, this YA book is crucial to hold on to.

One of the strongest points in this story is the introduction, where Abad-Jugo provides the historical backdrop, from Martial Law to People Power, as well as the tumultuous presidency of Cory Aquino. And hey, Voltes V was mentioned here! I was too young to know about People Power, and I wasn't even born yet when Marcos was in power, but if there was one thing my older siblings had talked about, it was him banning their favorite show. Voltes V Generation, indeed.

Writing-wise, this book was simplistic, but then again, this is a diary of a teen girl, so it's appropriate that the voice sounds young. The shift from 1st to 3rd-person POV was kinda jarring at first, but again, it's a diary, so those kinds of details don't really matter.
Profile Image for Xi Zuq.
14 reviews10 followers
December 10, 2012
The novel presents real issues of a young adult, such as transitioning from high school to college, getting involved in romantic relationships, maintaining friendships and breaking family rules.

The socio-political events in 1986 were seamlessly placed in the novel. The author made sure that the novel is not about Martial Law or People Power but a story of a high school girl living during 1986.

The use of a diary is an excellent piece for a young adult novel. It makes the story relatable and appealing to young adult readers.

The sprinkling of song lyrics throughout the novel is fantastic. Besides capturing the young adult readers’ interest, it is amazing how these foreign songs also spoke of Filipino experiences during 1986.

Overall, the novel is brilliant. I mean, the book flawlessly combines 1986 Philippines, diary entries and songs, and still maintains to be a young adult book.

16 reviews
May 19, 2021
For 80s-90s music fans, there are A LOT of good music recommendations here. I think I would've enjoyed this more if I read this during puberty.
Profile Image for paula.
28 reviews
March 12, 2022
liked it enough to appreciate it but i hated reading it
Profile Image for Monique.
498 reviews
December 29, 2013

Originally published as part of a Shorts post HERE.

Personally, it was a toss between this book and Woman In A Frame - I appreciated both novels because (1) they were both set in important eras in Philippine history, albeit hundreds of years apart, and it is no secret how big a fan I am of historical fiction, and (2) they were both, in my humble opinion, very well-written. I guess, what set Woman In A Frame apart from its co-nominees was the fact that it tackled more relevant themes and motifs than the other two.

But Salingkit also had its merits. Set during the EDSA People Power I revolution, which put an end to decades of martial law under the Marcos administration, Salingkit is the coming-of-age story of Kitty Eugenio, Depeche Mode fangirl and certified martial law baby. Kitty's journal entries revealed her innermost thoughts about her group of girlfriends, her young beau, her desaparecido father and OFW mother, and also detailed the country's political scenario during those chaotic years, told from a young teenage girl's oblivious eyes. Kitty was, after all, from the outside looking in. A salingkit.
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews

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