From the Authors
“Agam” does not claim to provide the answers, but it gives a real time-space for the reader’s imagination to dwell consciously on the question of how humans and all living species intricately weave together the life-strands of our earth, this very ground of being that sustains us. More than examination of consciousness, the narratives in “Agam” sustain our interstitial spaces for hope.
GRACE MONTE DE RAMOS
We are really way behind the deadline for saving the planet for ourselves. In many parts of the world, not least in our own corner of it, the effects of climate change have already altered landscapes and lives, led to conflict and privation, and placed in jeopardy the future of our children’s generation. What positive action we do now will perhaps mitigate the ruinous aftermath for our grandchildren. Agam represents our hopes and our most fervent prayers for them.
It is only right that we give the issue of climate change our best efforts, whether that be in writing or some other form of action; after all, this blue planet is our only home and source of life. To borrow from Thoreau, “Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself?”
It really uses ekphrasis with photographs as an inspiration for poetry. The constraint na hindi dapat banggitin ang mga technical parts ng project, wala talagang binanggit but the manifestations of disaster and the feelings of the characters na nasa photos. Ang aking main contention is yung, sinapian yung kaluluwa… nagsapian ng kaluluwa yung subject at yung author, and that makes the poems in Agam very touching.
RAMON C. SUNICO
At any rate, what I liked was that Red was proposing a book that brought us back to where we stand. We weren’t invited to be there as advocates. We weren’t invited to be there as academics. We were invited to be there as people. I think that was the purpose of the photo we were asked to write about. It was to remind the poets that the book wasn’t about the science; it wasn’t about the humanities; it was about life.
Agam is exquisite: a deeply original concept executed with tremendous artistry. Rather than asking readers to care about the whole world at once, these elegant vignettes distill the climate crisis down to its most intimate and human details. By focusing on the small, the biggest questions of all are cracked open. How do we heal after our most beloved and nourishing places have turned against us? How do we live in a world that has itself become a question mark? And most of all: How can we stop inflicting such violence on one another?
LOREN LEGARDA, Senator, Republic of the Philippines
A highly insightful book…”
JOSE MA. CLEMENTE SARTE SALCEDA, Economists; Governor, Albay Province and Chair, Green Climate Fund
“I am glad that the literary community of the Philippines has taken notice… I look forward to the time when climate change will be the overriding theme of songs and poems.. [The book is about] lamentation and grief, tenacity and hope…”
ALEX DIAZ, Puerto Rican Journalist/Environmentalist
“…this is MAGNIFICENT. Fabulous. Fantastic. Thanks so much for the share. Green Hope at its very best and most eloquent. The GH platform we’re putting together will now be inspired by Agam to include this sort of storytelling, and more, since we’ll be making it part of a broader communications project to take these stories deep into every society on the planet.”
In between sorrow and whatever feelings the inadequacy in disaster preparation/management stirs in you, Agam contain narratives that aim to inspire change. After all, it all begins with desire-to improve and to help.
No technical terms and jargon here. Within each literary piece, accompanied by moving post-distaster photographs, lies the invitation to speak, to think, to learn from the past even as we move to the future
KARL B. KAUFMAN, GMA News
As always, words and pictures make for a nice package. Paired together in this context, the book presents a very human face of the climate problem, which is just as loud a call for attention and understanding as the jargon-infested reports of climate experts. The people behind the project do not implore readers to go out on the streets and seek changes through threats and militancy; what they hope to accomplish through “Agam” is for readers to think more deeply about the problem, particularly its causes, so that long-term solutions can be proposed.
LUIS FRANCIA, Inquirer.net
Agam is aimed at restoring the survivors as the locus and centerpiece of the continuing narrative(s) around Yolanda. And it succeeds admirably. Facts, statistics, demographic predictions, scientific charts—these are all very well and good, and unquestionably important, but lack the emotional pull that draws the reader in. Unless stories and poems are wrought that make us feel viscerally the maelstrom of emotions and events brought about by the storm, then Yolanda remains a terrifying notion but mostly in the abstract. More than that, even as depressing as the context to these texts may be, the very fact of their existence, of their being written and read, implies continuity, of hope and humanity. This is a way of saying, we will bend with the wind but with grace, humor and fortitude. We will survive