This is a collection of writings on Mindanao from 1890 to 1990. The year 1990 was chosen because that was the year the existence of a “Mindanao literature” was officially recognized through the ANI Issue on Mindanao edited by Aida Rivera Ford and Antonio Enriquez and published by the Cultural Center of the Philippines in June of that year. From there, the book’s editor worked back a century to cover a hundred years of writings in the island. The book is divided into two periods—from the 1890s to pre-independence and the postwar till 1990—with the former featuring the island’s colonial literature and the latter literally the post-colonial and the modern. The term “stories” includes all genres of literature—including oral literatures translated into English—published within the timeframe of the book, with a few exceptions. The introduction provides a historical background to the development of literature and writers in the island. The whole anthology is an ongoing recuperative archival project intended to be picked up, continued, corrected, and enriched by writers, researchers, and educators in the island’s six regions for the initialization and sustenance of their own archives, literary and historical awareness, and development of distinctive artistic practices independent of Western influences. Thus, the book includes a literary map that, based on available information, locates the storytellers herewith in the identified places in the regions where they were born, lived, or worked, or else passed through. It assumes that there are individuals and/or groups in the regions who care for their history, literature, and the arts, as well as for the people involved in these endeavors, and who are willing to write and articulate their own local histories and respective arts and literatures and ways of reading and appreciating them in their own languages, hopefully, and gradually begin to wear their pride of place as badge of honor. There is, however, no way of telling whether such an intention will be fulfilled nor whatever repair and rectification of some data carried out. The book is at home with uncertainties, impermanence, imperfections, and some imprecisions. Still, it was written to prove it can be done because it needed to be done—and anybody can do it, too, anywhere they and the need to do so may be.
Published in 2022.