Introduction to Likhaan Volume 8

A big “Thank you!” to the editors of Likhaan Volume 8 — Gabriela Lee (Managing Editor), Rosario Cruz-Lucero (Issue Editor), as well as associate editors Heidi Emily Eusebio-Abad and Eugene Y. Evasco for the great intro to my story “An Excerpt from the Philippine Journal of Archaeology (04 October, 1916)” which I quote, in part, here:

“An Excerpt from the Philippine Journal of Archaeology” unfolds in the same way that an archaeologist sifts through the sand and dusts off the crust of soil stuck to a piece of ancient pottery. It adopts as its fictive mode an archaeologist’s report about a race of people whose remains are discovered on a slope of Mt. Pinatubo. Thus, one might mistake this piece of fiction as a handful of pages actually torn from a fieldworker’s journal. However the American archaeologists names allude to H.P. Lovecraft’s own fictional characters and an urban legend about Rizal’s kinship to Hitler.

And here is the very interesting cover –

Likhaan 8 Cover


“An Excerpt from the Philippine Journal of Archaeology (04 October, 1916)” in Likhaan 8

I am happy to announce that my Lovecraftian fantasy story (as told through footnotes), “An Excerpt from the Philippine Journal of Archaeology (04 October, 1916)” is scheduled to appear in Likhaan Journal 8 by the U.P. Institute of Creative Writing.

This work explores the deeply-rooted racism inherent in scientific circles during the American Colonial period. It also references the self-same Yellow-peril prejudice that H.P. Lovecraft held against those he disdainfully called “Asiatics”.  In fact the text directly uses phrases borrowed from Lovecraft’s own private letters.

Regarding the setting, having hiked through Mt. Pinatubo a few times, the place names and descriptions I used are based on my knowledge of the area, while the geological assessments came from the research papers of local mining companies. For those interested in a little mystery, the next time you visit the walled city of Intramuros in Manila, take a look at the plaque on Sta. Lucia Barracks. It will tell you the ultimate fate of what the research team of Pölzl and Ashley unearthed.

Lastly, in keeping up my recent (unplanned – I swear) theme of Creatures of Philippines Lower Mythology, this work may or may not feature one or more aswang.  As most Filipinos know an “aswang” is a demonic-looking bat-winged monster that flies off at night seeking to eat the liver and other viscera  of unwary humans.

I believe Likhaan Journal 8 will be coming out this December 2014.


Picture above is a still from the NBC series “Grimm”, the episode “Mommy Dearest”