Category Archives: Bibliophilism

Friday Snapshot: Skeleton Slow Boat

I think I found a dock by the Mekong river where they build slow boats

Backstreet Books 

Nomenclature of bookshop — Backstreet Books

One thing I love about Chiang Mai is the prevalence of bookshops selling used books. One of them is Backstreet Books with its categorized and neatly arranged books, so unlike most secondhand shops. By the way, browsing in a used bookshop is oftentimes more delightful because of that library feeling ambiance I would get — a feeling that is absent in those Barnes & Noble types.

Mobile Library

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Mobile Taipei Public Library at a park in Tamsui

Public service means bringing the Taipei Public Library closer to the people.

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Flavier’s Parable

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Here is one parable from Juan Flavier’s compilation – Parables of the Barrio.

Parable of the Letter to God

During the last typhoon, Lencho lost all his rice crop because of a severe flood. The whole barrio was affected so he had no one to turn to for help. In sheer desperation, Lencho wrote a letter to God:

“Dear God:

The typhoon devastated my whole crop. We have nothing left. I have seven children. Please, God, send me one hundred pesos to tide us over.

Sincerely Yours,

Lencho”

He actually placed the letter in an envelope, stuck a stamp on it, and mailed it to “God in Heaven.”

The letter reached the post office but it could not be delivered. However, the postmen had the time of their life laughing at the oddity of a man actually writing to God. Some people said God was dead, but here was a farmer writing to God out of sheer faith. The postmen decided to show the odd letter to their postmaster.

“Do you want to laugh today, sir?” the postmen asked their boss.

“Why, yes,” answered the postmaster eagerly.

And so the letter was handed to the postmaster who read the letter to God. But he did not laugh. Instead he reread the letter in all seriousness and then faced the postmen.

“We talk of social action,” he said. “We all speak of the brotherhood of all men. Yet here is a man in dire need and you think it is funny? Shouldn’t we pool our resources instead and help Lencho?”

The postmen were embarrassed by the truth of the postmaster’s remarks. So the group decided to pass the hat around and raise money among them to assist Lencho.

But they were few and money was difficult to come by, so all the post office personnel could raise was eighty pesos. Nevertheless that was better than doing nothing.

They also decided to play the game with Lencho, so they placed the money in an envelope, put a stamp complete with stamp mark, and wrote on the upper left-hand corner: “From God in Heaven.”

A postman personally hand carried the letter with the money to Lencho in the barrio, who was ecstatic with joy. “I knew God would answer my plea,” he exclaimed. “God did not forget to send the money!”

Lencho quickly counted the paper bills and found only eighty pesos, instead of one hundred he had asked for. So he wrote another letter.

“Dear God:

Thank you for answering my prayer, God. But, please, next time, do not send the money through the post office, because the people there are thieves.

Sincerely Yours,

Lencho”

Parables of the Barrio
Vol 1, Nos 1-50
Juan M. Flavier
Copyright 1988
New Day Publishers

Of Traveling and Newspapers

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Dumaguete

It’s quite interesting to read all sorts of news including the classified ads of the locality you find yourself at the moment.

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Baguio

The act of buying from newspaper kiosk, the acquisition of their local paper, and the pleasure derived from reading some curiosities of the region while resting at a park or common area in a guest house defines cultural traveling. This has become a habit.

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Brunei

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