Fanny A. Garcia

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Fanny Abalos Garcia(born 1949) is a Filipino Teacher, Fictionist, Essayist, Scriptwriter, Editor, Researcher, Translator and a full time mother to a special child. She is a recipient of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and other prestigious literary awards such as the annual short story contests by Asia-Philippines Leader and Weekly Graphic.


Contents

Background:

Fanny Abalos Garcia was born in Malabon, Rizal (Malabon City) at February 26, 1949. She graduated Bachelor of Science in Education in the University of the Philippines. She also finished Master of Arts and Doctorate Studies in Filipino Creative Writing at also the said university. She is said to be the first to finish masters and doctorate studies in the said field of study. Due to her diligence and dedication to her studies, she was awarded Gawad Chancellor Awardee as a Ph.D. student in UP. She is among the list of writers that were included in the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art, Volume IX, Literature in 1994. She is currently a faculty member of the Filipino department of the De La Salle University, Taft, Manila.

Palanca Winning Works

She is a distinguished Palanca awardee winning in several categories, namely, short stories, essays, scriptwriting and children stories. In 1972, she won a palanca for “Sandaang Damit”. In 1976, she won the palanca for “Alamat ng Sapang Bato”. In 1982, she won 3 Palancas for Arrividerci in the short story division, "Isang Liham sa Baul ng Isang Manunulat" and "Italia, Italia" for the essay division.In the succeeding year, she won yet another Palanca for “Tayong mga Mariang Magdalena”. After 12 years, in 1994, she won a Palanca for a different category, Teleplay, for her work, “Hello…Paalam”. In the following year, she wrote “Sapagkat ang Special Children ay Bahagi rin ng Lipunan at Mundo” winning another Palanca for the category short story for children. She is also a winner in the annual short story contests of Asia-Philippines Leader and Weekly Graphic. In the movie industry, she was also nominated for best story and screenplay for the film, “Saan Darating ang Umaga” (Viva Films).


Published Books

She was able to publish 6 books namely, Sandaang Damit at Iba Pang Maikling Kuwento (1994); Apartment 3-A Mariposa St. (1994); Pitong Teleplay (1995), co-editor; Apat na Screenplay (1997), co-editor; Erik Slumbook Paglalakbay Kasama Ang Anak Kong Austistic (2004), Family Album (2005).


Literary Works

Erick Slumbook (Paglalakbay Kasama Ang Anak Kong Autistic) (Anvil Publishing)

A loving gift from a mother to her child, Erick Slumbook vividly describes the journey of Fanny Garcia and her son, Erick, as they face the challenges of Autism. From the moment when Fanny is having difficulties nurturing Erick in her womb until Erick learns to type his name in the computer, Fanny Garcia describes in a narrative manner the joys and hardships of guiding Erick who is diagnosed with Autism.

As Bienvenido Lumbera Ph. D commented, it can be considered as a humanitarian document since it serves as an account of how Fanny brought up a Special Child. It also gives scientific facts about Autism. Fanny Garcia was able to research on different scientific views about Autism and how she tried and used these methods for the betterment of Erick. It also talks about how she contacted Cecile Sicam, former president of the Autism Society of the Philippines, in dealing with her son's sickness. It talks about how Fanny and Cecile teamed up in finding ways in conquering Autism.


1st Chapter: "Name" This chapter tackles the period where Fanny and her family isn't aware of the sickness beholding Erick. It tackles the the moment where Fanny vividly remembers how she conceived Erick up until she felt hurt and fazed that Erick is an autistic child.

2nd chapter "Describe Yourself" This chapter deals on how Fanny contacted professionals and experts especially Cecile Sicam with regards to Autism. This is the period where she actually confirmed that Erick is autistic. In this chapter, Fanny can be seen as the hardworking mom as she struggles in finding solutions for her child especially since by that time, Autism was still new in the Philippine context.

3rd Chapter "Unforgettable Experiences I: 1991-1993) In this chapter, Fanny talks about the early years of Erick as he was finally diagnosed with Autism. It is a very detailed daily account on how Erick slowly progress with his sickness.


4th chapter: Ambition: To be a Writer Erick is confirmed to be non-verbal. In this period, Fanny describes her mission in teaching Erick to write so that he could "speak". In this chapter, Fanny also emphasizes on how she was able to help Erick speak through using the computer.


5th chapter: Erick the Writer

In this chapter, Fanny showcases the original writing works done by Erick. In this chapter, Fanny narrates her hardships as she tries to teach her son in expressing himself in hand writing and through the computer. Erick writes everything that he observes especially things that he sees especially the advertisements shown on T.V.


6th chapter: Unforgettable Experiences II: Hanggang 2004

As Erick grows up, there were many changes that happened especially since he matured to be a young adolescent. In this chapter, Fanny narrates on how Erick helps in household chores, how he was able to express sore throat and other amazing feats that he can now do.


7th chapter: Unforgettable Experiences III: Photos

In this chapter, Fanny proudly shows some pictures of how Erick developed as a kid to up until as a young adolescent.


8th chapter: Define Love

Every person needs love. Even special people need love from the community and the world around them. In this chapter, Fanny incorporates the different laws and human rights to Erick’s own individual rights.

9th chapter: Dedication

Fanny shares her letter of love and appreciation for his son, Erick.


Narrative: Isang Liham sa Baul ng Isang Manunulat

Another of Garcia’s masterpiece, Isang Liham sa Baul ng Isang Manunulat gave her a first prize. This work of art used a letter to show the life of a simple teacher and how a student has affected her greatly. This narrative has a touch of realistic truths that makes it easy to understand. Upon finishing Isang Liham for the first time, you will encounter a lot of lessons in life. After reading it the second time, a new set of lessons will occur to you. Every time you read this selection, it will give you a different experience.

Isang Liham sa Baul ng Isang Manunulat is narrated through a letter of a retired teacher to her student who had a big impact on her. She opens with three happenings that surprised her. First, the piece of paper with a note by Andrei telling her that he read some of her stories. Second, is the letter of gratitude Andrei gave to her when she was bidding goodbye to everyone that she was about to leave. Third, was Andrei’s story. After these surprises, Simone narrates her hardships as a writer. She tells her struggles financially and socially. She would tell how she was deprived of her ability to give her mother a gift that she wanted. She had to put so much effort just to be able to save money for that gift. In the end, she says that she has already started her story. Her main characters were named after her and her student Andrei. She tells that Andrei and her loved ones are her treasures and source of happiness. Simone concludes her letter with a message to Andrei telling the purpose of the letter. She says that she does not want to forget Andrei and that the letter would serve as a chain binding them together.


Short Story: Alamat ng Sapang Bato

The story “Alamat ng Sapang Bato” is not one of your typical short stories that a typical writer would make. First, the story was narrated in a very unusual manner. While reading the story, you would notice that the narrator is like talking to the reader directly. Minda, the Home for the Aged “tourist guide”, is like touring the reader inside the place. This unusual way of narration contributed to the eccentric beauty of the story. Second, the story would actually shake the reader with its mind boggling imagery of the reality of poverty. Because of the unusual way of narration, the reader would feel that he/she is actually part of the story and is actually seeing how the old lady and her family in the story were forcefully evicted from their own land. Finally, the story was written in manner that the story wouldn’t drag you to death. The words used were easy to understand making the story easier to comprehend. Though this is the case, “Alamat ng Sapang Bato” still has a mystery element in it that would leave the readers thinking and wondering what those mysteries mean. In summary, “Alamat ng Sapang Bato” is undeniably one of the best works of art by Fanny Garcia.

The story starts with a brief introduction of who the main character is. Minda, a Home for the Aged staff, narrates her job in the institution. She considers herself as the tour guide of the institution and the institution itself is the tourist spot. She tells brief stories about different experiences inside the institution. Then the story shifts when she starts to tell the story of her experience with Lola Victoria , a beggar who was caught in the streets and brought to the Home for the Aged. At first, Lola Victoria was quite aggressive on the issue pertaining to her stay inside the institution. Then, when she was already comfortable with Minda, Lola Victoria starts to narrate her painful past. Through that narration, Minda starts to learn why Lola Victoria acts as such. Also, Minda learns how Lola Victoria and her loved ones were forcefully evicted from Sapang Bato and relocated to another place. The story ends with Minda’s desire to be able to write about Lola Victoria’s bitter and painful life.


Short Story: Arrividerci

Arrividerci is a a very complex story. The narration followed a stream of consciousness that gave complexity to the story. This story shows the painful and bitter life of an overseas Filipino worker in Italy. It shows how hard it is to live in a place away from the Philippines. The story portrays how OFW’s would treat their everyday lives in general. In this story characters such as Vicky, Nelly, Evelyn, Cynthia, Loida, Jimmy and others portray different characteristics of Filipinos abroad. In this story, readers will meet Nelly and Vicenta and their struggles as OFW’s.

The narrative starts with an outing by overseas migrant workers who are about to go to a cave in the mountains. Then each character is described in a very peculiar manner noticing even the smallest details. Different activities are also happening inside the two big busses. Conversations between the characters are full of laughter and happy jokes. Then some characters are given a brief background on their lives in the Philippines and the transition from their homeland to Italy. Then the story focuses on the conversation of two people, namely Vicky and Nelly. Then Vicky starts to introduce herself while Nelly every once in a while buts in to crack a joke or give insights on the raised issue. Then Vicky tells Nelly how she got into Italy. On the other hand, after Vicky’s sharing, Nelly starts to narrate her own story to Vicky. Vicky is disturbed by some of Nelly’s sharing. When they are already comfortable talking to each other, they now talk about the hardships that they have undergone. The story ends with Vicky’s tragic death; one that has a reason yet to be known.


Narrative: Italia! Italia!

Italia! Italia! is somehow connected to Arrividerci. Italia however is an essay about Italy and its migrant Filipino workers. some characters such as Vicenta (Vicky) from Arividerci were also included in Italia! Italia! According to Fanny A. Garcia, she wrote both Italia! Italia! and Arividerci when she was in Europe. That is the reason why those two works of art are closely related to each other.

The essay starts with an orientation of how similar Italy and the Philippines are. The story would mention the climate and certain attitudes that the citizens of each country share. It would also claim the feeling of “home” is present in Italy because quite a number of the populace there are Filipinos. The essay would explain why there are a lot of Filipinos in Italy. Because migrant Filipino workers have already been in Italy for quite a long time, the essay would inform you of a certain culture formed by these workers. The essay ends with a question “Quo vadis, Pilipinas?”


External Links

Fanny Garcia's Multiply Site


Citation

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