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Seekers of Spirits

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Winner, Cirilo F. Bautista Prize for Best Book of Short Fiction in English, 38th Philippine National Book Awards
Finalist, 19th Madrigal–Gonzalez Best First Book Award

Chosen by the chieftains of his tribe, a man sets out to capture a spirit guardian, which can help the tribe fight the private army of a logging company. Using sleight of hand, a healer makes her patients believe that she can operate on them. These are the first and last stories in this collection. They show the opposite roles the supernatural plays in human lives. The seven other stories explore the complex ways humans and spirits interact.

A young couple, fleeing from the customs of their tribe, encounters a deceitful spirit. An enchanting spirit plays with the hearts of her suitors. A man sacrifices his father’s hunting talisman to make a woman fall in love with him. Two brothers must overcome treachery and a mountain full of deadly traps to find a cure for their father’s illness. Healers in a war-torn area fight for dominance to advance their conflicting interests. A healer in her twilight years investigates if her spirit guides have been stolen by a young man who has new methods of healing. The grandson of a healer is smitten with a young woman who is pregnant with an octopus.

All these stories in Seekers of Spirits are set in Cotabato, a region with diverse cultures and a troubled history, a realm where the uncanny is an integral part of reality.