Vida Cruz's Reviews > The Lost Journal of Alejandro Pardo: Creatures and Beasts of Philippine Folklore

The Lost Journal of Alejandro Pardo by Budjette Tan
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really liked it

This was an excellently illustrated compendium of some well-known and not very well-known creatures from Philippine Lower Mythology. Belongs on the shelf of local lore lovers, next to the books of Maximo D. Ramos and "101 Kagila-gilalas na Nilalang." Imagine if Hiccup's dragon manual from "How to Train Your Dragon" and Dipper's journal from "Gravity Falls" were actually printed, and you have this book. Something that really tickled me was how science was convincingly mixed in.

The book actually has three layers of narrative. The first one is written by the unknown person who collated and transcribed the notes of one Alejandro Pardo, an ancestor of the former's colleague. This narrative is entirely contained in Foreword and Afterword bookending the book's entries.

The second layer is the short, often sexist notes of Alejandro Pardo, an eccentric expert in the field of the Philippine supernatural.

The third layer are the descriptions and annotations written by the unknown transcriber. They often shed more light on the beasts and weapons (and yes, there are some three weapons and a ritual included at the end) than Pardo's notes.

My only criticisms of the book also come in three. The first is that it's too short, even at 125 pages--there are definitely more mythological creatures than those documented, but I imagine it's already expensive enough having to print these sepia-colored drawings on glossy paper.

The second is that the descriptions of the monsters could've been improved by indicating which regions they're found in. I managed to guess in the few times certain tribes were mentioned, but the rest were found via google-fu. Maybe accompanying map(s) would've helped, too.

The third is that the three narratives mentioned above could've bled into each other or extended a bit more. They're very well-written, however.

Hope there's a next installment!
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Reading Progress

May 8, 2016 – Started Reading
May 8, 2016 – Shelved
May 12, 2016 – Finished Reading

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