“Father is the Blood, Mother is the Wine”, my “Anito-punk” tale set in an alternate pre-Hispanic Philippines, is the cover story in Volume 9 of LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction. Check out the beautiful cover art by Lydia Wong.
It features the entity known as Balatik, the ancient Filipino deity of Hunting, Travel and Slash-and-burn agriculture. Nowadays more popularly known as the “Tres Marias” (The Three Marias) in Tagalog, “Magbangal” in Bukidnon, and “Seretar” in Teduray, the constellation of Balatik is composed of the three almost evenly spaced stars which act as the “belt” of the constellation of Orion the Hunter. It appears in the night sky between the months of October to May. Once directly overhead, it marked the start of the swidden farming season for many ancient Filipino tribes.
I opted to leave this story out of my collection, The Infinite Library and Other Stories, because at that time I felt like I could develop it into a longer story.