This is my newest book, with a foreword by Lovely Romulo, Chair of the National Council on Disability Affairs. It will be available at the Manila International Book Fair, September 16 to 20; and soon in all bookstores nationwide.
It's one book that took me time to finish. I agonized over every story—but I couldn't walk away. Why did I write it?
Bezalie Uc-Kung, Excutive Director of New Day Publishers, answers this for me with kind words I don’t deserve. Let me quote her in the “Publisher's Note.”
"I waited many years for this dream book to come to fruition, but I am thankful that I waited patiently for the right person to write it. Things have a way of taking shape at the right moment and this is one of them. For who would ever imagine I would cross paths with Grace D. Chong, the writer I just admired from a distance? Or that she would be willing to write for New Day Publishers on such a remote topic as a book on disability, certainly not her cup of tea?
"Reading this book, one feels the sensitive and gentle touch the author used in writing up each life story. Frankly, I never thought this kind of book could be so lovingly and wonderfully written. After all, disability belongs to the stark and ugly realities of life. But the author never tried to sugarcoat or gloss over the unpleasant truth to the point of patronizing. Grace kept a respectful distance that allowed her subjects to be alone in their thoughts and recollections; at the same time, she had empathy and rapport with them that encouraged openness and vulnerability. Each essay reads differently, but all are treated evenly. One cannot say that this story is more touching or engaging than the others. I guess this is where Grace's many years of practice as a mother come in. Thank you, Grace, for this beautiful book! Your passion for your craft and the compassion that goes with it, have given this book heart and soul.
"If this book has made the readers more aware of people who walk on this earth impaired and challenged because of physical disability; or beyond awareness, the readers have been inspired to help push our government to give more teeth to the laws we have for the People with Disability (PWD) in the Philippines, then this book has accomplished its purpose. And if, in addition, this has sparked hope and courage in our hearts, then truly this book is meant to be such a time as this."
Try to grab a copy at the New Day Publisher’s booth at the Book Fair, read it, or give it away as a gift to someone with a disability. Experience the grace of sensitivity to those who have to deal with life with less ease than able-bodied people do.
Bezalie was born with only one foot. Her other foot is a prosthesis. She is one of millions of PWD in our midst courageously flying on broken wings.
|At the soft launch: (from right) Dr. Esperanza Cabral, DSWD Secretary and Lovely Romulo|
|From left: Bezalie, me, and Hon. Grace Relucio Princesa, Executive Director, Dept. of Foreign Affairs|