BUGS & BYTES,
In Bigger Prints

Table of Contents

 

Section I
PROLOGUE, EPILOGUE, IKLOG (O MANOK?)

1 The Egg

2 Hatsing! (Bless Me)

3 Arthropodic Wisdom

4 Dear Decision Maker

5 Letters To The World

6   A Pain In My Head

7 Something Happened On My Way To School
8   A Discourse on The Grand Laws of the Universe

9 Black or White

10 Bayanihan in Jeddah

11 Chair of The Interim Board

12 Breakaway Telephonic Existence

13 The 'R' in Mrs. Regis

14 One City, One School

15 Eggs Breaking

16 PESJ History

17 The Chicken Fence

18 Believing The Man

19   My Own Version of The Jolo-Caust

20 My Sister's Version

21 The Rifle Guitar

22   Cat Stevens Unplugged

23  Landing on D-Day

24 The Great O-O-Os of the Late 20th Century

25 He Kept On Stumbling Over Chickens And Eggs

26   The Renaissance of Tilapia Farming And The Likes

27   The Saga Continues

28   The Pigeons In Our Lives

29 The Essence of Education

30   A School Is A Home

31  Gentle Fire From The Qur'an

32  At The Threshold

33  A Brief Discourse On Dancing

34  Being First

35   At The Edge of Light-Blue Metallic

36   Grappling With The Colossus

 

Section II
BUGS & BYTES
In Bigger Prints

The Power To Be
Excerpts from B & B Vol. 1 # 1

Of Crabs & Men
Excerpts from B & B Vol. 2 # 2

PathWalks
Excerpts from B & B Vol. 2 # 2

An Inability To Understand
Excerpts from A Speech by Prince Charles,
B & B Vol. Vol. 3 # 1

'Educating Miriam'
Excerpts from A Case Study of A Philippine School,
B & B Vol 3 # 2

 

Section III
BABEL RISING

A millennial short story

 

A Glossary of Pilipino
(& Near-Pilipino) Terms
Wondering what iklog is?

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Prologue, Epilogue, Iklog (O Manok)
Copyright 1999 by Said Sadain, Jr.

5   Letters To The World

Francisco Arcellana, Professor Emeritus of the University of the Philippines, surprised me with a letter in late 1993. And then when I was rummaging through my old dusty files in Ramadan of January 1999, he surprised me again with his letter of 1993. In Arcellana’s scraggly handwriting, it read like this:

49 Maginhawa Street
UP Village Diliman Q.C.
MM. R of the P

Thursday 4 November 1993

Dear Said K Sadain:

Thank you for Bugs & Bytes and, by implication, thank you for thinking me a "decision-maker." In all my 77 years I regard that as the highest compliment I have ever received – that would put me up there in the company of the movers and shakers of the world. "Personal publishing" – that’s a fascinating concept. Isn’t it a kind of samizdat – sort of sophisticated? Technically, what you do – isn’t that a form of desktop publishing? In any case, I’m happy to hear from you even if it is so formal "business-like" way. For indeed from an examination of B & B, I realize that you’re engaged in serious business, very serious business indeed but I doubt very much that in the harum-scarum of this hurly-burly world, there’d be people enough who would understand you, enough people who’d pause long enough to try to understand what you’re saying. I remember you as a poet. Now I see you’ve become a prophet too. Of course poetry has always a form of prophecy. A prophet, they say, is unhonored in his own country. At 77 which is how old I am as of this writing I’m convinced that the prophet, not unlike the poet, is not just unhonored in his own country, he is unsung, unpraised, unhonored in the world! But I tell you I can only hold the highest hopes for your very worthwhile enterprise. I think I have most of Volume 2 – how about sending me Volume 1 – and all the back issues you can spare. We have a reading room in the UP Creative Writing Center. I can have them displayed there (which is exactly what I am going to do after I have finished digesting them) so our writing students can read them. Meanwhile, while you’re there, why don’t you make a bid for being a foreign correspondent for one of the Metropolitan Manila newspapers like, maybe, the Philippine Daily Inquirer? There’s a big Filipino community there and Philippine readers will always be interested in what happens there. Right now, top news is Nur Misuari and the MNLF. Filipinos would like to know the Filipino Muslim view from there. Incidentally, how are you? And where is Mehol? I’m trying to recall – were you ever a fellow at the writers workshop that we’ve been holding since 1965? What degree did you get from UP and what class do you belong to? I’m now Professor Emeritus of English and still teaching one class, for free. I am also consultant for the Creative Writing Center. I’m 77 now which means a dozen years since I was retired and drive myself to school in my Beetle which I acquired in ’73! I’m pleased that you’re doing Bugs & Bytes but I’d be happier if you’d address some of your writings to the Filipinos here. I do feel there’s place and need for the writing that you do right here. Engaged, as we are, in the supremely important and paramount effort towards unification, the Muslim Filipino isn’t adequately heard from. We don’t have as much Muslim writing as we should have. What we do have are the writers of Davao City, Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro. How fairly representative are they? They are mostly Xtian Filipino writers. The Muslim writers are unheard from. Among my own contemporaries I can remember only Ibrahim Jubaira. And where is he? The writing students that come from Mindanao to UP CWC summer workshops have been almost all of them non-Muslim. Why is that? How is that? You might use B & B to help that sad circumstance. Indeed it is a sorry situation. You know what this means, Said; you must take time to write me a letter in answer to the questions I have asked. But keep B & B coming: they’ll end up on top of the round table in the UP / CWC public room where the UP writing students gather. They’ll get curious. They’ll read your letter to the world!

Francisco Arcellana, Professor Emeritus of English

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