FilLit Series: Tall Story

Who doesn’t not know the story about Bernardo Carpio? Well how about the story about Bernardo Carpio moving and living in London?

‘Tall Story’ by Candy Gourlay is not only an easy and fun read, but it's deeper Filipino roots linked to pamilya, ‘Kapwa tao’, and to Filipino diaspora is tale a lot of modern immigrant Filipinos and Filipino families can relate to. This is a heart-warming story about Andi, the sister, living in London and Bernardo, the brother, from a small barrio of Montalban and the different families that surround them, and how they both manage to grow with each other with the help of basketball.  Of course a lot of Filipinos could relate to basketball which is an essential part of this story. Aside from basketball, funny and interesting quirks can be found in the characters of a typical modern Filipino-British family; like having a zealous and loving Filipino mother, or a life living in a hot humid barrio with one ‘mananahi’ in contrast to the cold yet fun streets of London. I love how Candy wrote about the Filipino experience, through Bernardo leaving the Philippines to settle in a new country like the United Kingdom. It is funny but at times sad to read the book, perhaps because many of us including me, can relate to the story of leaving our warm home, Pinas. This book does not only talk about migrating and the struggles a lot of Filipino go through, but more importantly this book is all about pamilya.

On another note, I had the chance to meet and listen to one of Candy’s talk. She is a complete inspiration for Filipinos living in the UK. A sensitive and creative author who wants to share stories about Filipinos, the Philippines, and the importance of Filipinos as individuals and people within the modern world. A lovely character as well!

Till the next book review!!!

M.