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UP Press to release Cordero's first book of fiction


The University of the Philippines Press is set to release its new titles this coming November 22, 2019 which will include the first book of short stories of Bikol writer and filmmaker, Kristian Sendon Cordero.

Entitled Kulto ni Santiago, the first collection contains three stories in Bikol and Rinconda and seven stories in Filipino.

The collection includes two Palanca award-winning stories Langaw (Flies) which won for Cordero his first Palanca Awards for Literature in 2006. The other story is Ad Astra Per Aspera which won the third prize in Palanca for Short Fiction, Filipino Category in 2013. Kulto ni Santiago which was later on developed into a full-length film script won the second prize in the same literary competition in 2017. The story was first published in an anthology Mondo Marcos, edited by Rolando Tolentino and Frank Cimatu who also wrote the introduction of Cordero’s newest title.

The poet Cimatu writes, “Hindi mo maaninag kung saan pupunta’t susuot ang mga kuwento ni Cordero. Tulad na lamang ng kuwentong road trip niya na “ad astra per aspera” na akala mo’y tungkol sa isang wannabe bulkan ngunit pumunta sa pagkakaibigan ng dalawang seminarista na maaaring autobiographical o epekto lang ng kalalanghap ng White flower ng katabi. Magaang basahin ang kuwentong ito at ang “verbo” dahil kapang-kapa ni Cordero ang mga kapa ng pagkukunyari at pagpapakiwari sa loob o labas man ito ng seminaryo o ng Bikol. Mas malakas pa siguro ang epekto nito sa masa kaysa sa imbestigatib buk na sinulat tungkol sa yaman at kapangyarihan ng simbahang Katoliko dahil parang mga kuwento itong tila pinapakinggan mo lang sa katabing upuan at ayaw mo nang lubayan kahit nadaanan mo na ang iyong destinasyon. Naging kontrobersiyal si Cordero sa kanyang mga pananaw lalo na sa unang pelikulang Angustia na pinasadahan ng ilang dokumento mula sa Movie and Television review and Classification Board (MTrCB), at naging persona non grata pa sa isang bayan sa kanila dahil sa kanyang pinagsusulat. Pero ganoon talaga yata ang epekto niya, parang Mompo na hinaluan ng Tanduay, tagay lang nang tagay, basa lang nang basa hanggang maubusan ng hininga at pahina.”

 The book design is by Krizzia Esperanza while the cover art is a photograph by Randy Dagooc. Cordero continues to teach at the Ateneo de Naga University and is set to receive the Southeast Asian Writers Prize in Bangkok, Thailand next month. He runs an independent bookshop/art-cinema space called Savage Mind. 

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