An Emerging Filipino-Australian voice, challenging stereotypes
By Erwin Cabucos
September 22, 2016
Short stories from the Asian experience:
Cecilia Brainard, author of the award-winning ‘Ala Carte: Food and Fiction describes Cabucos’ fiction as a window to see the Filipino-Australian experience. “Cabucos' stories are well grounded in the contemporary history, so that after reading his work, one has a better understanding of the Filipino-Australian experience, and of Filipino experience in Muslim Mindanao,” Brainard says.
Cabucos reveals many of these stories challenge stereotypes that pervade against Asians, especially Filipino-Australians. “There’s more to Filipino-Australians than being mail-order-brides, victims of natural disasters, poverty, incompetent tradespeople and dumb for unable to speak English well,” says Cabucos.
“Like the rest of the population, Filipino-Australians and Asians in general are people who share universal human temperament, hopes, fears, intelligence and flaws,” Cabucos explains. This may be an old mentality but it is sad that media still perpetuates myths that people from the non-English background are not as competent in many ways as their white counterparts,” he adds.
“Listening from the perspectives of those who are silenced, marginalised and stereotyped washes away racism from our society,” Cabucos says. “In this book, I have tried to give voice to some of those characters, including a mail order bride, a migrant child, poor Filipino, and similar characters.”
Teachers will find these stories useful for years 10 and over to learn narratives from the Asian experience, particularly from the Philippines where the 5th largest migrant group in Australia originates. Most of the stories have appeared in the magazines and anthologies in the Philippines and Australia. Cabucos has been awarded High Commendation at the 2016 QIEU Literary Competition.
‘Does It Matter What the Dead Think’ ISBN 978 1536928020 is now available from amazon.com as paperback and eBook. It is also distributed locally through Best Friends Store – 07 3854 1462 and Philippine-Australian Books – 0481208381. Launch will be held on Saturday 22 October 2016, 12-2PM at Garden City Library, Brisbane.
Author Erwin Cabucos is a migrant from the Philippines who now teaches English at Brigidine College, Brisbane.
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