At the Ortigas Foundation Library, we regularly receive used books for donation. We in turn segregate them sending off the useful ones to school libraries (textbooks, children’s reading, or high school or adult appropriate) in various parts of the country.
A box of books that I went through recently had some very interesting additions. There were two books, their covers wrapped and taped inside with thick opaque paper. After over 50 years, the wrapping paper was brittle and flaked on the binding. The two books curiously enough, were on the controversial Imelda Marcos by Carmen Pedrosa and the other was an investigation into the killing of Ninoy Aquino. These books were risky to possess during the dictatorship so it was natural to have the books not stand out on a shelf, or simply stored for safekeeping.
Leafing through the pages, I found a folded paper, and in it, entitled HAIL MARCOS, was a poem, a riff, on the Catholic prayer the Our Father but with reference to the allegations of immense stealing.
The other stanza was to the tune of a local ditty (Paru-Parong Bukid) about Sgt Galman alleged to have shot Ninoy Aquino and Imelda Marcos dancing in celebration.
This mimeographed copy passed around in the tens of thousands were used in rallies to chant or sing.
The third artifact I found was the ubiquitous red Chairman Mao’s little book of quotations. Printed in the tens of millions of copies and a must to own by every Chinese red guard or Maoist, the inside of the book contained a dedication to a “ninong” (godfather) as a remembrance of the first table tennis competition in “Peking, China” signed Joey and Bing.
Whether the two signatures suggested being part of the competition is unknown.
We’d be happy to receive books that you no longer wish to clutter your shelves and we’ll dispose of them accordingly. A history of sorts may, like the above, appear for our reflection.