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Diwata

By: Barbara Jane Reyes

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In her book Diwata, Reyes uses such Filipino oral tradition devices as meter, repetition and refrain, call and response, incantatory verses which verge on song, and the pantoum (which has Southeast Asian origins). She frames her poems between the Book of Genesis creation story, and the Tagalog creation myth, placing her work somewhere culturally in between both traditions. Also setting the tone for her stories is the death and large shadow cast by her grandfather, a World War II veteran and Bataan Death March survivor, who has passed onto her the responsibility of remembering. Reyes’ voice is grounded in her community’s traditions and histories, despite war and geographical dislocation.

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Product Description


Tagalog is a language spoken by about 22 million people in the Philippines. Diwata is a Tagalog term meaning, “muse.” Diwata is also a term for a mythical figure or being who resides in nature, and whom human communities must acknowledge, respect, and appease, in order to live safely, harmoniously, and prosperously in this world.

In her book Diwata, Reyes uses such Filipino oral tradition devices as meter, repetition and refrain, call and response, incantatory verses which verge on song, and the pantoum (which has Southeast Asian origins). She frames her poems between the Book of Genesis creation story, and the Tagalog creation myth, placing her work somewhere culturally in between both traditions. Also setting the tone for her stories is the death and large shadow cast by her grandfather, a World War II veteran and Bataan Death March survivor, who has passed onto her the responsibility of remembering. Reyes’ voice is grounded in her community’s traditions and histories, despite war and geographical dislocation.

Additional Information

Authors Barbara Jane Reyes
Edition Paperback
ISBN 9781934414378
Publish Date September 2010

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