Born on 29 September 1944, Erwin E. Castillo first studied in public schools, then attended U.P., and, on a U.S. State department scholarship, the University of Iowa in Iowa City. He is now in semi-retirement after spending almost 40 years in professional communications, although he continues to sit on the board of the companies he founded. He also actively consults with personal clients in business, sports and politics.
Erwin E. Castillo first began publishing stories, and later, poems in the old Philippines Free Press when he was literary editor of the Collegian. Since then, his works have been published and anthologized here, in Europe and in the United States. he has won a few prizes such as the Free Press, Palanca, Leader, Tagayan, and the ASEAN, which was the forerunner of the SEAWrite Prize.
Several thoughts while reading this: *I might not have been equipped enough to understand this 'high literature' or *The plot of the first story is something I can truly appreciate; the ending was a masterpiece; BUT HELL, how the work was littered with descriptive phrases seemingly lifted from classic novels was off-putting. *The second story was an attempt on stream of consciousness. *It would have been better if I hadn't tried finishing the book.
Simon Stack was right. This is a good book. A bit on the macho side, though. Even the front blurb by Nick Joaquin sounds macho, and the story is dominated by men. I once chucked a book in mid-read, something I rarely do, because I found it too much the man's book. But this has so much more heart, history, and story to it than Catch-22!
* There is a second, much shorter story in the book, The Watch of La Diane. Is it prose meant to be read as poetry? It is readable, but undecipherable.