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My Sad Republic

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Winner of the Centennial Literary Prize in 1998, My Sad Republic is a story of love, obsession and loss, set against the epic background of the Philippine revolution against Spain and the Filipino-American War. Loosely based on the life of a faith healer who declared a schism from the oppressive Spanish government and proclaimed himself the Pope of the republic, the novel  includes a memorable cast of characters: Tomas Agustin, whose ambition to rise in society compels him to fight his own people; Isio, the folk hero who becomes his lifelong nemesis; Asuncion, the woman for whose affection the two men wage a brutal war; and her son Felipe, who tragically attempts to unite his family and country. Gamalinda takes us to a world of relentless savagery and eerie beauty, seen through the eyes not of victorious colonizers but of the vanquished people who lived through it: people portrayed with humor, sensuality, intelligence and dignity.