This is a gripping and magical tale of a little Filipino girl who goes by an endearing nickname, Baykoy.
At four years old, she witnesses the death of her beloved youngest sibling and her mother’s transcendent grief. In a cryptic event that follows, she has to sit in a funeral van, and gets to peek into her little brother’s casket. Soon after, a ruthless storm wipes out their home, leading her to live with her loving grandparents who are in charge of the only Primary School in a remote town where a memorable encounter with a mysterious boy only adds on to her angst.
By the time she turns five, she explores the wonders of the mind through reading and learning being an imposed family law. Her sensibilities intensify as she becomes more aware of nature, human connections and spiritual existence.
At six years old, since none of her grandparents’ pupils would even invite her to join their games, her only special wish is to have a good friend. Granted, she meets a 13-year-old girl whose angelic presence captivates her. However, in a mystical twist, her one and only friend passes away the next day.
What transpires next is a wild-bursting battle against her beliefs in angels and the powers of heaven as she gets to confront and experience the supernatural realms that may hold the supreme truths of death and the cycles of life.
The story is told through the heart-convulsing letters of a woman to her niece, detailing her childhood in the Philippines.
This is a work of fiction.
Any similarity to any person, living or dead,
is merely coincidental.
— Indomitable —
It’s like a carnival. Frightening, fun and wistful. With or without going for the rides. Never be disappointed. Just keep moving forward. Into the unknown, by all means. You only need one word to make it. Don’t confuse it with heavy logic. Stay away. I mean it.
Never explain. Leave pedantic elements alone. Ostentatious intellect can be a deceit. Never bargain. Never cringe away either. Challenge your heart and mind. Let go. Allow them to be tugged out. You’ll find a way. Right and wrong are tied together. Best lessons. Always.
An adversity is non-negotiable. So is love. So is a decision. Face it with bursting courage. Face it with humility. Never face it with a humbug’s pride. Allow your senses to go berserk. Never allow them to be abused.
A satisfying accomplishment is found in a haystack. Lurking in your spirit. The spirit of freedom. The spirit of wisdom. The spirit of personal experiences. Honor these. Honor yourself. Honor those who love you. You will be an accomplished human.
Feel hearts. Find out what they can do. Everything else is trivial. The truth is found in the darkest night. Defying light does the job. Never fear. You will be enlightened.
Passion is a disease of wonders. But you will experience the magic of heaven. It’s about the good, the bad, the ugly, the beauty and all the in-betweens. Never apply an educated guess. Intuition accompanies you. Use it.
Independence is like sweet honey. Go for your exciting impulses. With moral discretions as your guide. Create something that makes you happy. Never be a hypocrite. Never brag either. Delight. Never impress.
The least of your worries: recognition.
Never be an aggressive social butterfly. Keep your mystery alive. It is your prestige. Fall in love with your creative comfort. Curiosity will snatch you out of the box. Wait. Be patient. It comes at a special time.
Push yourself forward to create. Beauty is discovered in it. Make sure it is conceived out of your enthusiastic heart. To become a prodigy is to be authentic. To achieve a goal is to uphold genuine intentions. To rise is to keep your feet on the ground.
An idea and an inspiration must go hand in hand. Be content with who you aspire to be. Never rest on your laurels. Desire something kind and beautiful. Be a heartfelt human. Understand your nature. Only then you will understand human nature.
Never fear your emotions. Rupture your heart. Never fear your decisions either. Nurture sound judgment. It is a staggering world of mysteries and experiences. Seek. Have fun. Guard yourself at all times.
Pursuit is never a choice. It is a dedication. It is not a gambling path. It is an outrageous discipline. Love is magic. Expect to be in awe. Take care of it. Stay noble. Love is not a privilege. Pleasure is not always present. Acknowledge it. Stay calm.
The only something.
— Indomitable ––
J.J. Ireneo was born and raised in the Philippines.
She studied Mass Communications and English Literature.
She lived and worked in China as an ESL teacher.
She was also an International English Language Testing System Instructor in Manila for a long while.
She has been writing plays and books.
At 18 years old, while studying at the University of San Agustin in the Philippines, she wrote a full-length English play for the Elementary Department. It was “The Wand of Fantasies from the Cradle.”
She has been living in Canada for many years since.
An epiphany sparked in when her niece was born. She found her voice as a serious writer for the first time. This invigorating voice. This book.
They have not met yet.