A “period-defining publication” will be released this June 24 (Tuesday) by the same pioneering group that launched the ejeepney revolution in 2007. Titled Agam, an early Tagalog word for foreboding and memory, the book brings together new work from Filipino writers across diverse disciplines, focused on the confrontation between climate change and cultures across the archipelago.
The book launch will be held at the Ilocano restaurant Victorino’s in Quezon City from 3:00 to 6:00 PM. It will be followed by similar events in the US in mid-July, in Berkeley and New York.
“Agam represents story-telling at its best. More than climate change, the book is about people, about what was, what might be, and what is. It is the story of all of us,” said Renato Redentor Constantino, publisher and executive director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (iCSC).
Agam is composed of original creative narratives by 24 Filipino writers, minus the crutch of scientific and NGO jargon. Works were submitted in the languages of Tagalog, Waray, Maguindanao, Ilocano, Bisaya, Sinama and English, in response to images taken by the elusive photojournalist Jose Enrique Soriano.
Agam contributors include distinguished poets Merlinda Bobis, Ramon C. Sunico and Padmapani Perez, Dean of Columbia School of Journalism Shiela Coronel, UP Diliman Chancellor Dr. Michael Tan, and anthropologist Arnold Azurin.
According to Dr. Leoncio Amadore, considered the godfather of Philippine climate science and who provided the book’s foreword, “The work is nothing short of compelling, moving and provocative — a body of work the scientific community urgently needs.”
“I am glad that the literary community of the Philippines has taken notice,” wrote Albay Province Governor and Green Climate Fund chairperson Jose Ma. Sarte Salceda, in his review of the book’s manuscript. Citing stories of “tenacity and hope,” Salceda said he looks “forward to the time when climate change will be the overriding theme of songs and poems.”
All proceeds from the sale of Agam will go to the Re-Charge project, an integrated solar and sustainable transport services and training facility that is being set up in Tacloban City. ICSC is a pioneering climate policy group that approaches big problems sideways, by incubating ideas, innovating approaches and implementing solutions.