Manila Bolder : Emilio Salgari – “The Horrors of the Philippines”

A two volume cycle from Emilio Salgari, comprising “The Horrors of the Philippines” and “The Flower of the Pearls.”

EXOTIC SETTING: The Philippines, during the 1896-97 War for Independence from Spain.

TOPICS OF INTEREST: The colonials wars for independence in Cuba and the Philippines.

HEROES: Romero Ruiz, the mestizo liberator who may be very, very loosely inspired by Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Phillipines; his beloved, the beautiful Teresita de Alcazar, “The Pearl of Manila”; and her equally beautiful rival, Than- Kiu, “The Flower of the Pearls.” Yeah, that’s not going to be confusing at all.

SIDEKICK: Chen, “The Flowery Pearl of Peal Thieves.”

VILLAINS: Hang-Tu, (not to be confused with Than-Kiu), a Chinese who leads the insurgency but is treacherous, because he’s Chinese; Major Alcazar, Teresita’s father.

ACTION SCENE: An exciting siege in an abandoned, burning finca.

MEAN ANIMALS: Mean things are done TO animals: notably, hot ash is poured into the ears of horses.

TORTURE SCENE: A character is threatened with the dreaded thorn cage… where you’ll be free from thorns as long as you don’t move.

BIZARRE MOMENT: The one when you realize Salgari has done absolutely no research beyond whatever was on the newspaper headlines at the time.

DIALOGUE GEM:

“The Pearl of Manila will be the death of the Flower of the Pearls,” Than-Kiu said.

“The Flower of the Pearls shouldn’t think so much of the Flower of Manila, because love blossoms equally for the Pearl of the Flowers and the Manila of Pearls,” Romero said.

CULTURAL/RACIAL INSENSITIVITY: “She was a Tagalog, but all the same she could be considered almost as desirable as a white woman.”

RATING: Kinda COOL!

POST-SCRIPT:

Here’s a by-no-means exhaustive cover gallery.

T

T

T

T

T

T

T

T

T

T

T

T

T

T

T

T

T

T

Advertisements

One thought on “Manila Bolder : Emilio Salgari – “The Horrors of the Philippines”

  1. Pingback: Still in the Nile : Emilio Salgari – “The Daughters of the Pharaohs” | THE PAGEAHOLIC

Say What You Need To Say

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s