Apr 9, 2012

Short Story Monday: The Tale of Tonyo the Brave

There is a meme around the blogosphere called All Things Asian, and a fellow Canadian book blogger, Zara Alexis, has been participating. She has posted a number of posts this week about the Philippines and its culture and it is making me reminisce about my trips to the Philippines. I loved the food and the people and the ocean and... everything! I want to go back and take my kids!

I can't do that though, so I took a virtual trip via the written word for this week's Short Story Monday.

Today's story is called The Tale of Tonyo the Brave, written by Maria Aleah G. Taboclaon.

This is a story about the supernatural, or the "not-like-ours." It's also a coming-of-age story, about how a little brave boy grows up by realizing he needs to make a sacrifice for the good of the family he loves.

The culture of the Philippines is wrapped up in this story, with a bunch of words I don't know but presume are Tagalog, such as that for the evil shape-shifting manlalayug. What I like best about the story, however, is its timelessness and universality. You don't know if the story takes place yesterday and the manlalayug is going to be next on the tv show Supernatural, or if it took place a hundred years ago. What you do know is the feeling of a younger brother teased by his older siblings who has something to prove.

This was a fun and suspenseful story, I'll be back at Sushi Dog to look for more.


  1. I've had quite a lot of Filipino students over the years (Yellowknife has a surprisingly large Filipino community). I should read this story!

    1. I am now wondering how all of those Filipinos get home- through Edmonton maybe, or Vancouver? I like to fly home through the Philippines and have some warmth before hitting the cold!

  2. Oh wow, how awesome! I didn't know about this meme! While I am Filipino, I am not that familiar with manlalayug as I am more familiar with the manananggal. Perhaps they belong to the same family of supernatural creatures. hehehe. Very interesting! It's good to hear that you visited the Philippines once before. :) The traffic now is even worse than usual, I heard. :)

    1. I am not familiar with either so you are one up on me!

      I don't know how traffic could get worse! So happy to have Jeepnies to do the driving for me, I could never do it.

  3. Just found this post :) Thanks for such nice words about this story. I wrote the draft for an hour each day for five straight days, and on the 6th day, I completely rewrote everything and finished the story in 2 hours. Fond memories of how I wrote back then haha


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