Working on the book, Tales From the 7,000 Isles: Filipino Folk Stories with Dianne de Las Casas, has given me the opportunity to be exposed to the social and cultural diversity of the Philippines. In books and first hand interaction with Pinoys, I experience face to face the variety of beliefs and influences that flavor the Filipino psyche and way of life.
For one, Pinoys in general are reticent at sharing their stories, personal ones and those in the oral tradition. Perhaps a certain amount of time is needed for them to share and openly talk about it to a friendly stranger. There are but a few who would tell in great candor the learned and heard stories of old. Despite this, it has made me realize the need to further storytelling as a way to preserve images.
Coding and writing them down is one way to posterity. Then again, the oral tradition is a dying art. There is a need to resurrect the performance of tales and folk narratives to truly say that a culture is alive and well.
For the next couple of weeks, I will be heading back to university libraries, the National Library of the Philippines and yes, the Cultural Center of the Philippines for further research.