Tthe first issue of LONTAR, the Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction, is now available in ebook form. Since LONTAR is a Singapore publication, this is the easiest way for people outside Singapore to access the journal. The inaugural issue includes fiction from Kate Osias, and non-fiction from me, and the poetry section is edited by Filipina Krstine Ong Muslim. Here’s the full table of contents for issue #1:
- Etching the Lontar | Jason Erik Lundberg (Editorial)
- Departures | Kate Osias (Fiction)
- Love in the Time of Utopia | Zen Cho (Fiction)
- Philippine Magic: A Course Catalogue | Paolo Chikiamco (Non-Fiction)
- Jayawarman 9th Remembers the Dragon Archipelago | Chris Mooney-Singh (Poetry)
- The Immortal Pharmacist | Ang Si Min (Poetry)
- Stainless Steel Nak | Bryan Thao Worra (Poetry)
- The Yellow River | Elka Ray Nguyen (Fiction)
- The Gambler | Paolo Bacigalupi (Fiction Reprint)
For those interested, my non-fiction piece is an attempt to bring together the various forms of folk magic in the Philippines, under the guise of a course catalog for a fictional College of Philippine Magic. Here’s an excerpt:
Note: The world of Philippine magic is deep and wide – something that is to be expected of a land with anywhere from sixty to a hundred indigenous cultures, each with their own cultural heritage and oral traditions. I’ve limited my scope to the three general categories of magic that are most well known in Philippine pop culture (although I tried to shed some light on some of the more obscure aspects of each). The rich worlds of magic of particular indigenous communities, as well as magical feats performed in regional epics, are not considered here.
I’m presenting my discussion of magic in the form of a “course catalog” for an imagined school of Philippine magic (named after the Visayan goddess of charms). I’m doing this for two reasons. First, I’m not an expert or a scholar, merely an enthusiastic amateur with a penchant for compiling sources, and a straight up article would appear too authoritative for my comfort (I have, however, cited my sources as the “textbooks” in each Major). Second, well, it was more fun this way. Enjoy!
UNIVERSITY OF ABYANG DURUNUUN
COLLEGE OF MAGIC
COURSE CATALOG for SY 2013-2014
MAJOR in PHILIPPINE SORCERY
A major in Philippine Sorcery involves the study of the principles behind da-ut, a term used here to denote forms of sorcery, without a specific cultural lineage, primarily intended to effect harm on other living creatures (or “Malign Magic” as Lieban might put it). It also entails the application of the principles of at least one of the recognized Sorcery Techniques in real life, in a manner befitting a strict code of ethical conduct. To acquire these skills, students will be sent on regular field work rounds, and we will be bringing in an array of guest lecturers who are actual practitioners. Sparring will take place in a controlled laboratory setting, with professional mananambal on stand-by.
Primary textbook:“Cebuano Sorcery: Malign Magic in the Philippines”, by Richard W. Lieban; University of California Press, 1967.
Secondary textbook:“Encyclopedia of Folk Beliefs and Customs”, by Fr. Francisco Demetrio, S.J.; Xavier University, 1991.
FLK 101 Introduction to Da-ut
An introduction to sorcery, focusing on the role and view of sorcerers in society today, distinguishing between the public perception in the provinces and in the cities, as well as the forms of da-ut that require spirit sponsors (as not all require them). The course will provide a brief overview of the different techniques, which will be dealt with in greater detail in the succeeding courses.
FLK 102 Ethics and Efficacy
While the debate still rages as to whether or not sorcery is effective at all on an innocent, studies show that the success of any technique is increased dramatically if it is applied in retaliation for a wrong done to the client. This course teaches students to determine the guilt or innocence of the prospective target. This course also details the obligation to the soul of the victim, if killed, and the difference between letting the client take responsibility for the soul, or the sorcerer taking on that responsibility.