Myself, Elsewhere by Carmen Guerrero Nakpil

8 / 10

This is the first time I read an autobiography. When Gracie , one of the few book enthusiast I know in the office, introduced “Myself, Elsewhere” to me, I had doubts on finishing the Guerrero-Nakpil’s book just by seeing that it is a autobiography of someone I don’t even know.

I guess she knew of my interest in Philippine history and me engaging into the other classics of the country. She lend the book Myself, Elsewhere to me, because I mentioned to her before of my praises for F. Sionil Jose’s “Ermita” and how I love to be in the old pre-war Manila, filled of the best description of the “pinoy” culture.

There’s no better time for me to read this, as I’ve taken it as a my own sequel for my interest of the pre-war Ermita.

As soon as Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil perfectly described the pre-war condition of Ermita, Manila and its people, I have been then sooooo engaged with the book. I can’t help but to be more interested in our beautiful country after reading this wonderful masterpiece.

Ermita, Manila reflects the current condition of the country. Battered and bruised from the World War II-Battle of Manila, it seems that the Philippines being one of the most successful country in pre-WWII Asia, is stuck in a slumber from the damages done and evils instilled to us by the different foreign colonizers we’ve had. The pre-war Ermita formed in my mind is, I can say, a paradise in Manila, even in Asia. While the Ermita we can see today are filled with frustrations for people with a sense of nationalism like me. It is now a street filled with sins, prostitution, vices, and poverty. Some of the buildings and houses of old Ermita still stands up to this time, who are just like most of us, staring and watching corruption and immorality devour our people and our country’s streets.

Guerrero-Nakpil’s “Myself, Elsewhere” is a must read for the nostalgic patriots and Philippine enthusiasts. I enjoyed the tour of pre-war Manila. Now, I Got my eyes on it’s sequel book for another enchanting travel to the past, “Legends & Adventures”– Nakpil in the post-war Manila/Philippines.

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