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Friday, July 12, 2019

Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang

The stories of Lola Basyang (Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang) were published in a popular magazine Liwayway from 1925 to 1942. Besides magazines and books, the stories found their way in many other forms through comic books, radio film and television and brought joy to both young and old.

The stories are being retold now that through them, this generation and the next ones will experience this rich source of valuable lessons, history entertainment and other important facet of Philippine literature.

Actually, it was not a lola (grandmother) who wrote the stories of Lola Basyang but a lolo (grandfather)- Severino Reyes , the father of the Tagalog Zarzuela.

One time the Zamora family of Quiapo,Manila invited the Reyes family to dinner.  Severino noticed that after the meal all the children sat in front of Gervasia Guzman de Zamora or Tandang Basyang  to listen to her stories.  This happened every evening at the Zamora House.  Tandang Basyang would take a seat holding her betel-chew while her grandchildren gathered around to listen to her wonderful stories.

This inspired Severino to wite the well-loved stories of  Lola Basyang. He wrote more than 400 Lola Basyang stories about kings and kingdoms, love and hate, and strange enchanted places and all l the stories contained moral lessons for children to think about..

Lola Basyang is a significant part of hundreds of Filipino legends.  There is a real Lola Basyang but when she was given a literary voice by Severino Reyes, she became a magical source of stories inviting young people  to the world of happy-ever-after. 

Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang books as retold by Chrisitine S. Bellen with the help of illustrators Frances C. Alcaraz, Liza A Flores, Albert E Gamos, Ruben de Jesus and Elbert Or, there is now a renewed vigor in the voice of the grandmother of all ages.


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