detail from Labels for Hair Ribbons by Manuel Ocampo a delectable selection of oriental appetizers
Monday, April 08, 2002

: . First Runner-Up:

Maria Portia Plaza. In borrowed finery. Age 14. Trento, Agusan del Sur. 1960.

: . Engendering national memory:
    Surely, all these years, he must have held on to certain ideals, certain beliefs, even illusions peculiar to the exile...
    Afterwards I noticed an old picture leaning on the top of a dresser and stood to pick it up. It was yellow and soiled with many fingerings. The faded figure of a woman in Philippine dress could yet be distinguished although the face had become a blur.
    'Your . . . ' I began.
    'I don't know who she is,' Fabia hastened to say. 'I picked that picture many years ago in a room on La Salle street in Chicago. I have often wondered who she is.'
    'The face wasn't a blur in the beginning?'
    'Oh, no. It was a young face and good.'

From Scent of Apples by Bienvenido Santos.

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