First Quarter Storm novel What Now Ricky? now available

Anvil Publishing releases What Now Ricky?, translated from acclaimed fictionist Rosario De Guzman Lingat’s 1971 novel, Ano Ngayon , Ricky? by distinguished Philippine scholar and Professor Emeritus at the Ateneo De Manila University, Soledad S. Reyes.

“The novel was first released in Filipino in the popular Liwayway magazine a few months before the declaration of martial law. lt features a “society where various forces– political, economic, social– hold sway and cause widespread misery, massive unemployment, exodus to the city, widening of the gap between the rich and the poor, injustice, unmitigated violence. Taking center stage is Ricky, a university student from Tondo who confronts and responds to these social forces which shaped the lives not only of his family, community but of society.

In this excerpt, one feels the pulse and the grit of an angry and defiant youth who took to the streets to vent their frustration:

Ricky was unperturbed and defiant. Those eyes that could not catch a glimpse of Leong Buldog were on the soldiers who were shouting their warning to the groups of defiant students who refused to disperse.
Don’t be afraid!” Ricky yelled. “Those guns don’t fire live bullets!”
Another round of explosion shattered in the air. A few meters away, several students fell down, crawled on their knees, and tried to rise.
They’ve live ammunitions, Ricky!” Tony screamed.
Run!” Ricky barked.
The students began to run away again, cursing and taunting the soldiers who by now were firing more bullets into the crowd. Some activists tried to look back while other threw more stones. Someone screamed, “Let’s get some guns!”
Another round of bullets. Danny collapsed on the street. Ricky turned around, Tony behind him. Danny lay flat on the ground. He was clutching his leg. The pants were blood-soaked.

The novel is a vivid depiction of an important period in Philippine history which, sadly, is still missing in many high school history textbooks. Reading this, students will get a sense of life during the unforgettable First Quarter Storm that preceded Martial law. The book is now available in the fiction section of National Book Store and Powerbooks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *