Monday, August 15, 2011

About Marinduque: "Playing with Water"

Described as one of the most reclusive of British literary exiles who shares his time between Austria, Italy and extensive periods over the last 30 years in the Philippines, is poet and novelist, James Hamilton-Paterson.

He is generally known as a commentator on the Philippine scene, where he has lived on and off. His novels on the Philippines include “Ghosts of Manila”, and “America’s Boy” (1998), the latter setting the Marcos regime into the geopolitical context of the time.

One of his books, “Playing with Water”, sold more than 4 million copies, described in a book review by New York Times as “a work of such genuine commitment, balanced perception and responsive passion that it will certainly be condemned to become a classic.”

James Hamilton-Paterson (Basso Cannarsa)

A reader, M. Mcloughlin wrote of Hamilton-Paterson's work: “…I was deeply moved and submerged by this simple book of a man living on a small island in the Philippines. The descriptions, the aura of peacefulness, the coming and goings of the people and associates he grew to cherish…

"A great book to delve into, and the final pages, where he explains how easy it was to accomplish travel with little more than want and initiative,… how these things will slowly change with the world trying to grasp for control, I feel quite envious for the time he lived in, and what he did in his life… if you wish to be away, into the unknown and away from the modern world, this is something you’d enjoy.”

“Unforgettable. The Philippine landscape and these remote islanders are crystalline and at the same time mysterious; the writing itself superb. (Ronald Blythe)

It's Hamilton-Paterson's account of the time he quietly spent here in a hamlet in Boac.

“Playing with Water” is about Hamilton-Paterson’s life in the island of Marinduque. The book “gives an account of life in that class-bound country as a whole. For it is in places like this rather than Manila of the international news reports that the underlying political and cultural reality of the Philippines may be seen”. (Amazon)

Children playing with water at Amoingon beach.