Hello guys, gals, and nonbinary pals! Welcome to the launch of the #EnlightenmentBlogTour! I’m very excited to be bringing you this book today because it involves one of my favorite subjects ever: Philippine myths and legends.
This shit is scary af and does not get nearly enough attention, IMO! I have been hollering for the use of Philippine myths and legends in fantasy fiction for the longest time, so I practically jumped at the chance to read this book and host this blog tour!
Featuring a Fil-Am teenaged girl who discovers her unique heritage, a warrior from a centuries-old clan devoted to keeping the peace, and a cast of characters that every Filipino reader can relate to and will love, Enlightenment introduces us to a universe that, in my opinion, needs to be explored by more authors and readers.
Read on to know more about the book and the author!
When Dorothy Dizon meets the mysterious Adrian Rosario and his alluring knowledge of Filipino history, her life takes an unchartered detour. Dorothy’s true calling is connected to the hidden history of the Philippines, but Adrian reveals nothing about the truth to keep her safe from enemies of his beloved secret society.
Together, they experience an emotional journey that tests their beliefs, their choices ultimately affecting the people they love, leading them to the brink of enlightenment.
Reno Ursal is a Filipino American author who received an English B.A. from The University of Michigan and resides in Northern California. He is the epitome of a familiar U.S. immigrant story when his parents moved to the States from the Philippines (by way of Guyana) in 1974 in search of a better life. He grew up in a small Northern Michigan town as his parents established themselves in their new life. His summer trips to Cebu kept him connected to his Filipino family. The hikes up the mountain from his ancestral home in Catmon had his imagination swirling with ideas, especially with the legends of duwendes and other creatures of Filipino folklore.
Reno was an active reader growing up and started writing during his participation in the Huron Shores Writing Institute in high school. When he took an Asian Pacific American Literature course taught by Dr. Stephen Sumida at University of Michigan, the idea of writing a Filipino American story stuck at the back of his mind. Life moved fast after college. He met a girl named Lynette in California. They married in 2000 and became proud parents of three 2nd generation Filipino American children. He had a full-time job and less time to write, but found time burning the midnight oil. His first novel “The Three Promises” was written when his kids were babies. This novel is currently an unpublished novel, but spawned the hunger to write another novel entitled “The Last Remaining”. Many drafts later, the title changed to “Enlightenment”.
“Enlightenment” is the first book in The Bathala Series, inspired by the beautiful folklore of the Philippines. This is the coming of age journey of Filipina-American Dorothy Dizon and transfer student Adrian Rosario, who teeter between friendship and intimacy throughout the novel.
“Enlightenment” introduces Dorothy as an 18 year old high school student in the United States, learning through Adrian about the mysterious folklore that binds them to the obscure history of the Philippines. She realizes that supernatural forces are no defense for a consuming love, a love that has her lean on her best friend for support, the beautiful Stella De Guzman. Adrian is a blood-eating Danag warrior sent to protect Dorothy from unseen enemies of his secret society in the Philippines, a society that changed the course of history prior to Spanish colonization. Adrian’s doubts about Dorothy are put to the test until the final moment when he feels a connection he could never predict. Together, Dorothy and Adrian experience a metamorphosis of historic proportions, a metamorphosis that changes their souls.
About The Bathala Series
The Bathala Series will take readers through Dorothy and Adrian’s transformational journey in understanding their ancestral past and the roles they play in the world’s uncertain future, debunking the bias about vampires and folkloric creatures prevalent in traditional European and American literature. “Atonement: Book Two of the Bathala Series” is currently being edited with the hope of being released sometime in 2021. The prequel to “Enlightenment” will be released after “Atonement”.
“Enlightenment” is available anywhere books are sold starting on March 14, 2019!
Want to talk about lived experiences of Filipinos growing up in the United States? Interested in Philippine myths, legends, and folklore? Make sure to join the #EnlightenmentBlogTour Twitter chat on March 30, 9PM PHT!