By Marivir R. Montebon
New York – Here’s one silver lining of the coronavirus pandemic: a book written by women about their stories of courage and continued struggles.
Prof. Maria Diosa Labiste, associate professor of Journalism at the University of the Philippines Diliman penned the introduction of the book Covid19 Journals, a published by the nonprofit Women Writing Women and Gantala Press in Manila.
WWW Philippines is a group of empowered women journalists, writers, artists, advocates and trainers who champion women’s rights by challenging the narratives that limit girls and women from understanding the world of bigger truths and realities.
On the book’s introduction, Labiste writes: “This book, COVID-19 Journals, joins the growing literature and publications that document the lives of women and communities drained by the pandemic. The stories function as a logbook of the various stages of lockdown, starting with mothers selling vegetables and cooked food in their neighborhood and ending with a minutely detailed account of receiving a vaccine.
Eighteen writers explore moments of living in extraordinary times, and write them in a manner that the circumstances, which are grounded in life and vivid details, become remarkable.
The stories in this collection reveal the generosity, bravery, and creativity of women, both the writers and subjects of narratives. Despite difficulties, like losing a job or a loved one, women have found ways to support their families, their communities, and other women through gardening, baking, sewing masks, and making pickles. These pursuits seem ordinary that they may easily be excluded from official post-COVID19 narratives in the future. Should that happen, this book of women’s stories will defy that exclusion.”
The contributing writers of this book are: Maria Diosa Labiste, Diana Mendoza, Pinky Serafica, Chi Laigo Vallido, Olive Tripon, Faye Cura, Tessa Reyes, Mons Sta. Cruz, Agnes Espano Dimzon, Ivee Bongosia, Geela Garcia, Dana Batnag, Shalom Allian, Yllang Montenegro, Vida Misa, Corrina Pettyjohn, Joefelle Tesorio, and Marivir Montebon.
COVID19 Journals was virtually launched in a three-part series in July and August 2021 and is now available at shopee.ph at PhP350.