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For your eyes

By Jullie Y. Daza

FOR your eyes only, three books and a movie to enlighten and entertain you.

The movie is more than its title suggests, but watch it for two reasons other than Bea Alonzo, Derek Ramsay, Paulo Avelino. Those two reasons are 1) Cebu as it has never been cinematographed before, and 2) Ricky Davao as you have never imagined him before.

Going against the tide of bookstores downsizing or disappearing, three books were boldly launched this week to capture our imagination, refresh our memories good and bad, and remind us how life can be so unfair because that’s the true adventure.

“Wala Lang” is the title of Jaime C. Laya’s Monday column in the Manila Bulletin. As his readers know (or should have guessed by now), those columns are written from the perspective of a scrupulous banker who’s equally at home with pesos and centavos as he is with art, culture, architecture, history, and most important of all, good taste. At the launch of his third “Wala Lang” book, he told me: “Every column is 500 words long, not 499 but 500.” That’s a bean counter for you.

Typical of Dr. Laya’s keen eye are “Till Death Do Us Part” and “What to Do” while in Traffic. In the first, he measures the wealth of a rich man as he lies dying in the year 1870. The man has meticulously divided his fortune among his wife and nine children with instructions to “refrain from breaking one another’s head the day after tomorrow” (English translation mine). But don’t let my translation of the article on traffic dilute your enjoyment, you must read it with your own eyes.

“Marawi and Beyond: The Joint Task Force Marawi Story” recounts the battle to liberate the city from the ISIS Maute as told by enlisted personnel, officers, LGUs, elders, and members of the affected communities. Each bundle consists of 27 handbooks and one hardbound, a collaboration between Tarlac Heritage Foundation and the Philippine Army.

On a deeply personal note, Marichelle Roque-Lutz, a former schoolmate, has authored a book to bare her soul to her four daughters, in the hope that they will “read it and love her enough to understand and forgive” (quoting from her own press release). Hers has been a colorful life – being a writer here and in the US was not enough! – which gives her the right to call “Keeping It Together” “a very private memoir” – all 300 pages of it.