Archive for the ‘Barbara B. Ricafrente’ Category

Charles Dickens’ Artful Dodger comes to life in Barbara Ricafrente’s short story

January 20, 2009

Despite his poverty, Awil had a happy disposition. He had neither expectations nor goals. He did not bother to get employment anywhere, join his peasant neighbors reap palay for local landowners during the harvest season, weave weed baskets for local middlemen in the lean months like his neighbors did, or sell rice biscuits or puto in nearby cities for extra income. He simply lived each day as it came.”—Manuel (01/20/09, Ricafrente, B)

The colorful sketch of Manuel’s life (Awil) by Ibalon’s Bambi Ricafrente resurrected my memory of Artful Dodger, the smart petty robber in Charles Dicken’s moving story of Oliver Twist (1838). The clever pubescent Dodger introduced gullible Oliver into the world of stealing headed by the old merry patron Fagin in the dark dingy slums of London.

Yet, the similarity of Manuel’s life to the pickpockets in the squalid backstreets of the 19th century England abruptly ends. I learn there is more to Awil’s thievery than what meets the eye. Bambi describes an extended and complex life that is curiously worth learning from.

In an ill-descript Bicol town, Awil has to wrestle with fate and intergenerational circumstantial snags that shape adaptation and dampen acrimony against the changes of the seasons. His life and that of Artful Dodger and Oliver Twist seem intertwined. In all of them, the antagonism between good and evil must really be fought relentlessly until the last.

If one stands on Awil’s shoe, the forbearance to survive pulsates at a rate and vibrancy of a baby’s racy heart. His story tells of the struggles of ordinary people—those who are fallen and redeemed. Awil’s imperfect life isn’t far from what the Catholic preacher Rev. Fulton Sheen often referred to: a “life that is worth living.” (Photo Credits: George Cruikshank; Bohirab) =0=

RELATED BLOG: “Manuel” Posted by Bambi Ricafrente at 1/20/2009

Oliver Twist
by Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) and page illustrations by George Cruikshank for his work in 1838 which mirrors society’s paradoxical influences in the lives of ordinary people. The story of Oliver Twist portrays wholesome dignity and antithetical sordidness in a world where good and evil exist and are in constant debacle. The popular English author of Victorian vintage had A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Bleak House, Nicholas Nickleby, The Pickwick Papers, and A Christmas Carol among his great works. (Photo Credit: Charles Dickens PD; George Cruikshank x 2 PD)

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The roar of thunder & the white lilies of the valley

December 19, 2008

Incongruence, alienation, and a feeling of déjà vu are some of the most inexplicable rousers of the human senses. They come and go in our guts like distant pulsations of life in a plane at different seasons.

Let’s take time, pause, and write— so strangeness, we can mend from within. We wish to rid ourselves of the angst of some smokey blur. Like the fearsome thunder behind the clouds, disturbing the fields of white lilies in the valley…the woods and trees have their barks marked by box-cutters and stabbed with imprints of our names.

Yes! How wonderful to read Bambi Ricafrente’s engaging poetry: Thunder Lilies, from Monologues and other Poems, 1982. (Photo Credits: Gorpie; Wazka)=0=

RELATED BLOG: “thunder lilies” Posted by bambi ricafrente at 12/19/2008

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Bicol Vignette: Bambi Ricafrente’s Antero

December 17, 2008

“Though a non-Chinese, Antero grew up in China. He was only about five when he migrated to that country with his stepfather, a Chinese merchant, who brought him along in place of his mother, who had refused to board the boat when it was time to leave. He had been orphaned by his Filipino father soon after his birth in January 1900 in Albay, a Philippine province famed as much for the majestic Mount Mayon as for its dishes done in generous amounts of coconut milk and the hottest of peppers – the siling labuyo.”—Antero (12/17/08, Ricafrente, B)

Many lives go their usual pace until they reach terminus without being written; their unchronicled mundane beauty are regrettably lost forever. Yet, UP Ibalon’s Barbara M. Ricafrente (Bambi) does it differently. For posterity, she shares a crisp and fascinating tale of a guy whose “breath was sweet as the White Rabbit candies.”

Read her. Posted in the blog, her scintillating story cuts across an extraordinary Bicol experience. The deservedly admired work effectively knocks open the door of our soul—as if we’re back home again for a holiday.—mesiamd(12/17/08)

RELATED BlOG: “Antero,” posted by Barbara M. Ricafrente at 12/17/2008

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