Discussion

Shot 4 Jamie Legaspi · Author · added about 2 months ago
Hey there readers, it’s been a super-long time, but here’s the new chapter!
Shot 4 Jamie Legaspi · Author · added 6 months ago
What’s up folks, I made a small but important edit for this WIP! Starting from the chapter "red hands," I changed Ned’s dog-name from "Moony" to "Bulan" to both get rid of the Harry Potter references and start hinting at more Filipino mythology.

I’m trying to get the latest new chapter finished, but as with so many things in the post-pandemic world, progress is going slowly.

Keep your masks on and wash your hands frequently!
Shot 4 Jamie Legaspi · Author · added 12 months ago
Hey folks, I know it’s been a while since I updated, but I got pretty distracted with writing "The Crocodile God!" Since that draft is finished and I’m just trying to get audience feedback on it now, I’ll definitely be trying to finish this draft soon.

Hope you’re all staying safe with all the chaos in the world. Thank you all for following this story!
Jqqhmizz Aldo Salt · Author · edited about 3 years ago
Fair point: I can’t exactly poo-poo a "Hidden Magic Village" setting, given that my own "Cold Iron Crossing" book is built around the exact concept. 

And now I’m imagine The Tagalong Pantheon flailing their arms around like Kermit the Frog :)

Edit:

Out of curiosity, what drew you to Irish Folklore and the Tuatha De Danaan as central themes for the first 75% of your story?

Shot 4 Jamie Legaspi · Author · added about 3 years ago
@Aldo Salt I mean, there is a time and place for "secret magical society unknown by mortals" (I love HP myself), but I’d like to clarify that being "weary" of the concept doesn’t mean I’m absolutely avoiding it forever--I’m just taking a break from it. Lol.

It’s gonna take the beginning of the next book for the return of Filipino magic to actually be processed, but Mayari and other Tagalog deities are going to be very, VERY publicized at the end of Moonflowers. 

It’s mostly going to happen in the background (through news reports and a flood of Facebook messages to the Song family, lol), but a large chunk of the diaspora is basically going "WHAT THE SHIT, WE HAVE GODS??? NO YAY FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER, BUT YAY FOR PINOY BADASSERY," the mainstream islander Filipinos would miss the point and wonder why "some tattooed, dark-skinned tribal gods" are getting so much attention, and the NON-mainstream islander Filipinos are going "YES, WE HAVE OUR OWN GODS. PLEASE SAY HELLO, FIL-AMERICANS--THE ANITO CLEARLY LOVE YOU THE SAME AS US IF THEY CROSSED FIVE OCEANS TO RESCUE A FIL-AMERICAN AND HER HALF-CHINESE DAUGHTER.
And in-story there’s already a low-key feud between modern pagan Irish and mainstream Catholics, so the difference between pagan/Catholic and diaspora/mainland response to the Wild Hunt is going to be pretty obviously mirrored to the Filipino response.

This story started out as a much more general "LET’S PUT MORE PEOPLE OF COLOR IN FANTASY!!!" but when I realized after 75% of the story that I nearly FORGOT to bring in my own culture’s mythology, it shook me up like hell, so I’m like "OKAY, DOES ALIMA KNOW FILIPINOS HAVE GODS??? DOES LUCY??? FUCKING SHIT, IF I DIDN’T KNOW, NEITHER WOULD THEY!!! WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THE FUCKING WORLD, BRUH??? DO THEY KNOW WE HAVE GODS???" (Insert flailing :P )
Jqqhmizz Aldo Salt · Author · added about 3 years ago
Wow! You have a really clear picture of the kind of story you want to write,  and you’ve tied it in beautiful with the tragic epic of Philippine colonization and resistance.

You also raised a very good point about how the "Harry Potter" concept of magical people hiding themselves from the ’mundane world’ is a false narrative––that in fact, practitioners all across the world play a public, productive role in their cultures and communities.

Your story could go in any direction depending on how your characters act, think and evolve over time. But I can’t resist asking: how do you think the Philippines will change when Alima brings the magic back?



Shot 4 Jamie Legaspi · Author · added about 3 years ago
@Aldo Salt Haven’t heard of it, but YAY for an urban-fantasy crime drama! I’ll bookmark it and check it out soon.
The magical war sounds like a fun idea, but for me personally, I’m weary of the concept of "a secret war somehow unnoticed by Muggles."

The Spanish are well known for slaughtering whole villages of Filipino civilians because they were openly pagan, specifically to traumatize others into converting. I mean, if the village next door gets executed to a man, you’ve lost the bare minimum of one shaman/priestess, at least one apprentice, one village chief who frequently had a religious/magical position as well as political, one midwife/healer who ALSO frequently worked with the shaman, and at least two or three elders with a host of generational (and frequently magical) knowledge. So in my world of Moonflowers which is "Like Reality Unless Noted," the Spanish conquest WAS the magical war.

Loss of people/culture/resources = loss of magic.

Similarly, the only "secret" about Moonflowers’ loss of Filipino magic is the same thing that happened in real-life: How the Spanish conquistadors wrote their version of history with a shitton of propaganda to reinforce their rule. Most Filipinos think our ancestors just sat there cowering and let the Spanish shoot everyone and take all our gold, but actual history notes that they took advantage of our constant feuding and pit a lot of tribes against each other, like a medieval version of The Sopranos. (So basically, Game of Thrones’ War of the Five Kings with a LOT more than five kings.)

I’m thinking that the community-wide losses, especially in the Manila/Maynila region, would have cut off the Tagalog gods from their followers and straight-up traumatized them into retreating to the Otherworld, except for small pockets of their followers’ remnants and post-colonial revivalists.

Meanwhile on the mortal end, Moonflowers’ version of the the Boxer Codex would have recorded some Filipino magic, but this also means a lot of Filipinos DON’T WANT TO READ IT because the Spanish keep calling it "ridiculous and primitive." 
Jqqhmizz Aldo Salt · Author · added about 3 years ago
That’s both a dark and interesting plot element: I’m imagining a ’war of traditions’ where western Hermetics clash against Philippine ’Kulam’ practitioners in the shadow of Spanish Colonialism, culminating in a ceremonial ritual that seals away the potency of Philippine magic.

On a related note, have you ever read this Philippine urban fantasy comic series?

http://tresekomix.blogspot.com
Shot 4 Jamie Legaspi · Author · added about 3 years ago
Indeed it did, unfortunately enough.
Jqqhmizz Aldo Salt · Author · added about 3 years ago
Hah! Good point! Worldbuilding and setting bibles are sort of the potato chips of writing!

Out of curiosity, what exactly drove Filipino magic out of the world of your story? The Spanish conquest?