A new book on Naga will be launched on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, 3 pm at SM Naga’s 2nd floor Atrium. “The Naga We Know” is the sixth in Anvil’s series on Philippine cities that have featured Manila, Baguio, Davao, Dumaguete and Cebu.
The editors state that when Anvil’s city series first came out, they knew that it would be incomplete without a volume on Naga, one of the “seven original golden cities of the sun,” according to Nick Joaquin.
Naga has also attracted some fame in recent years for its innovation and progress. The collection of 25 essays and two poems compiled and edited by Paz Verdades M. Santos with Kristian Cordero, is divided into three sections, Shrine, Tree, and River, based on a poem by the renowned Bienvenido N. Santos, “The Heart of Bikol.” Heart of Bikol is Naga’s official nickname as coined by Luis General Jr.
This poem and excerpts from some of the essays will be read during the Aug. 31 launch. The book is a veritable rainbow with its wide range of topics, from the obligatory and profound essay on the Peñafrancia fiesta by Carlos Ojeda Aureus, to memories of well-loved sites and icons such as the seminary and its football field, cinemas, restaurants, a sari-sari store, Bikol Express both the train and the delicacy, the carretela, new Bikol tourist spots, as well as personal accounts of Naga’s history, politics, and people.
The book however does not dwell only in “memory’s fictions” but is also forward-looking with articles by young contributors who carry Naga’s and Bikol’s culture with them into the future. This book is dedicated to three persons who loved and were loved by Naga, Fr. Raul Bonoan S.J., Mayor Jess Robredo, and Ms. Jean Navera-Llorin.
Contributors include Fr. Wilmer Tria and Erick Lagdameo, Evelyn Soriano, Luis Ruben General, Benjamin Pimentel, Greg Castilla, Julma Narvadez, Gabriel Bordado, Tito Valiente, Mary Jane Guazon-Uy, Tuting Hernandez, Sol Santos, Vic Nierva, Fenella Canell, France Clavecillas, Marne Kilates, Conrad de Quiros, Sieg Borromeo, Louise Mabulo, Lorie Santos, Jay Salvosa and Travel-up.
The book cover design, a throwback scene of Naga’s centro with the Bichara cinema sign, is by Vic Nierva and includes the butterfly logo designed by priest-artist Fr. Jerome Gonzales for Giringgiting, the Bikol shop.