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Seasons by the Bay
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Seasons by the Bay

By Oscar Peñaranda
2004, 240 pages, Paperback.
Descriptive Comments from Inside the Book
Comments From the Back Cover
About the Author

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Descriptive Comments from Inside the Book

Writing for over thirty years, Peñaranda has already established his place as an important California writer. This collection of stories, many of them celebrating the Filipino's existence in America, has been a long time coming. His portraits of Filipino life are imbued with the hare realities of the manongs' survival and are masterfully rendered. More important, his beautifully-told stories which take place in the islands, are legacies that provide a link for the descendants of the Filipino diaspora.
-Shirley Ancheta, writer/Instructor
Santa Cruz University

Oscar Peñaranda is one of the original voices that defined and developed Pilipino, Philippine American, and Third World literature. As a storyteller, poet, and educator, his presentations in English, Taglish, and Ameripino are well documented in publications and films. Not bad for a Waray speaker thousands of miles away from his birthplace of Barugo, Leyte. His travels and (mis)adventures all contribute to the richness, colors, and flavors of his oral storytelling and written works.
-Orvy Jundis
poet, artist, community warrior and martial artist.

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Comments From the Back Cover

You mentioned to me, months back, you were publishing Oscar Peñaranda's story. I have read it only just now...You know that I am a minimalist in the field; but congratulations, you have a masterpiece there. It derives from a provenance unknown in Philippine letters and perhaps, in the world's literature itself. His control of three cultures and their languages gives the story a depth and space heretofore unexplored. Its focus being on the central character, rather than on historical material, supplies the depth; the revolution and the Philippine American war the space. Memory, though, is the subject here, let the reader not be misled, the central character's remembrance is an echo of that which the other characters might have had, had their history been less dislocated. This dislocation, in any case, is more typical of the society depicted than that of the characters. This is where the dimensions of Oscar's art seem directed; at eliciting the reader's feeling than his own remembrance...His "[The] Courier" beomes thus, our awareness of history and its remnants, such as they are, scattered about the world, dazed and uncertain about the future but essentially salvageable from whatever ill it might offer...
-N.V.M. Gonzalez' post to Russell Leong,
UCLA's Amerasia Journal editor, 7/12/99

In the tradition of Carlos Bulosan and N.V.M. Gonzales, this much-anticipated collection of stories by Bay Area writer and teacher Oscar Peñaranda makes a valuable contribution to the rich, complex, growing body of Philippine American literature.
-Jessica Hagedorn
Author of Dogeaters and Dream Jungle

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About the Author

Oscar Peñaranda was born in the seacoast town of Barugo on the Island of Leyte, Philippines. His family moved to Manila when he was five years old, returning to Barugo almost every vacation time - Christmas, Easter, Summer. In Manila he absorbed Tagalog (from the streets) and English (from the schools). He was trilingual and tricultural at a young age. With Waray as his first language, then Tagalog and English his second and third. When he was twelve years old, his family moved to Vancouver, Canada (1956) because his father (a foreign service officer) was one of about ten other officers assigned by the Philippine government to open the first Philippine Consulate in Canada. The families of these Filipino officers would be the only Filipinos they would ever know in Canada. He lived in Vancouver, Canada for five years, between the ages of 12 to 17. On his senior year of high school his family was transferred to San Francisco where he went to St. Ignatius High School. From this time on, Peñaranda has pretty much called San Francisco home. Yet, not really. He explores, among other themes, this ambiguity in his works. He earned his B.A. (in Literature) and M.A. (Creative Writing) at San Francisco State University where he became part of the struggle to establish Ethnic Studies in the schools.

In the summers, he held many odd jobs including hotel help in Las Vegas. He was there when Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) won the heavyweight championship of the world. He worked in the fields of California picking all sorts of x fruits. He also worked in Alaskan fishing canneries for 15 consecutive summers. Some of his farmworker colleagues joined him in Alaska. His work clothes and gear are still there waiting for him.

From San Francisco State University, he received his B.A. in Literature and M.A. in Creative Writing. He taught at San Francisco State for 12 years, Everett Middle School for 10 years, and is currently teaching at James Logan High School in Union City, California.

He helped found the San Francisco Chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) as its first president. He also belongs to the Filipino American Educators Association of California (FAEAC). He advocates for the teaching and creation of Filipino Heritage Studies and Filipino (language) in all his educational efforts. He now lives in San Leandro, California, with his wife Luisa and daughter Milena.

He has also written a collection of poetry,
FULL DECK (jokers playing)

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Most recent revision September 22, 2004