University of the Philippines Manila will launch three anthology e-books on COVID-19 stories and poems on December 21, 2020 at 11 am -12 nn. The The event will be live streamed via the PGH Human Spirit Project Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pghhsp).   

The first book in the series is “Pagkalinga: Ang Pagtugon sa Pandemya ng Pagamutan ng Bayan” edited by Alvin C. Caballes, Amanda Marie A. Cheong, Gabrielle P. Flores, Markyn Jared N. Kho, Alfonso Rafael G. Abaya, Marie Bernadine D. Caballes, and Paul Miguel P. Perez. This volume captures the stories of healthcare workers at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), which is a COVID-19 referral center.

In his preface for “Pagkalinga,” Caballes describes the three-volume series as a compendium encompassing “the complex and the mundane, politics and passion, tragedy and humor, divine and secular, a pinch of Defoe, and a good measure of Boccaccio.”

PGH Director Gerardo D. Legaspi, in his foreword to this volume, emphasizes the importance of writing down human experiences during the pandemic to “leave us with enough cues to help us remember the untold details that were also vital to the whole picture.”

The second book, “Paggunita: Mga Saloobin Ukol sa Paglilingkod at Pagkukusang-loob sa Panahon ng Pandemya,” captures narratives of volunteerism, especially for the UPPGH Bayanihan Na! Operation Center. This volume is edited by Johanna Patricia A. Canal, Tammy L. Dela Rosa, Jed Zachary A. Golez, Felice Katrina T. Ranche, and Jose V. Tecson.

In her preface for “Paggunita,” UP Manila Chancellor Carmencita D. Padilla writes, “Within these pages, the reader will delve into the deep fear and actual risks faced by authors…UP Manila hopes that these sentiments and musings will embolden more in our midst to harness

[volunteers’]

enthusiasm and commitment and offer themselves especially during times of crises.”

The last book in the series is “Pagninilay: Hinga, Hingal, Hingalo sa Panahon ng Pandemya” edited by Joey A. Tabula, Alvin C. Caballes, and Noel P. Pingoy. This volume includes essays, poems, and photographs about the human spirit in communities outside of PGH. 

In UP President Danilo L. Concepcion’s foreword to “Pagninilay,” he mentions that the volume “mirrors [Filipinos’] innermost feelings and insights, their hopes in the ability of our country and our people to rise and overcome in the midst of turmoil, to keep connected to one another and help each other grapple with our own experiences, and make sense  of the pandemic.”

In his introduction, Tabula writes that the essays and poems in the anthology are songs of the legendary Ibong Adarna with the potential to heal, “Ganito ang kuwento sa koridong Ibong Adarna. Awit ng mahiwagang ibon ang nakapagpagaling sa sakit ng Haring Don Fernando ng Kahariang Berbanya. Ganitong maituturing ang mga tula at sanaysay sa antolohiyang ito. Ito ang awit na nakapagpapagaling!”

Published by UP Manila, the books are part of the PGH Human Spirit Project under the leadership of Alvin C. Caballes. The ebooks will be distributed for free. The print version of the anthology series will be published in 2021.