Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Love and Revenge-Personal Narrative genre

Her genre is personal narrative. Her story is about love's freeing power, told in her book that includes photos of her with other internationally-known journalists. She reflected upon this quote after her ordeals of World War II in the Pacific:

Peace is sweeter to those who have known the true meaning of war.

At the Eternal Light War Memorial on Corregidor island, Mamerta de los Reyes Block meditated on these words inscribed:  

No traveler who comes here sees the magnificent monument and stands unawed;...  
Sleep my sons, your duty done 
For Freedom's light has come. 
Sleep in the silent depths of the sea or in your bed of hallowed soil Until you hear at down the low, clear reveille of God.

Her WWII captors thought her dead when they dumped her in a heap of corpses. They neither knew nor cared about her, the new life within her, or her widowhood due to murderous occupiers. A respected Philippine journalist, she amazingly survived that pile of death. She bore a baby daughter, Aida, and then did physical labor as a detainee. 

After peace came to her island home, she continued journalistic work; she also met and married a US Ensign, Isaac Block, stationed at Subic  Bay, Philippines. She did not seek revenge against her tormentors, but rather adjusted proactively to post-war life. She moved to Washington, DC, where she and her husband rented a large house known as The House on 19th Street, which gave temporary refuge to exiles coming from war-torn parts of the world.

She never forgot the details of cruel and courageous people; of military powers abused and love's powers applied; of betrayals and sacrifices; of downtrodden people relying on faith to survive. She wrote her story, a Philippine story that reverberates everywhere.  

She said of her treasured freedom: "And yet, I still have occasional flashbacks of torture and sudden deaths of loved ones. It is only God's love that can heal."

Her personal narrative ends: 
Charity (love)
Beareth all things, Believeth all things,
Hopeth all things, Endureth all things.
Charity never faileth.
(I Corinthians 13)

(c)2003 Block, Mamerta de los Reyes, The Price of Freedom: The Story of a Courageous Manila Journalist, Trinity Rivers Publishing, Manassas, Virginia USA  


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