Falling into the Manhole: A Memoir
John Jack G. Wigley
When I fell and was stuck in the manhole for a time, I had a different view of the world-vehicles were bigger and people were taller and everything seemed ready to swallow me up. It was a frightening feeling. Everybody was smarter, older, stronger, taller, and better looking than me. But I guess I chose to survive. I got up from the pit. This line summarizes the enormity of this memoir. This book has sixteen chapters and each chapter entails a different story, a different view and a different moment in time. The persona in the memoir, the author himself, takes us to a journey of his life, excluding not even the most painful, embarrassing and heart-breaking moments, he takes us, he brings us, he invites us to share his tears and triumphs with him, in the hopes that we might someday get up from our own manholes when the situation do so requires. The story is about a child who possessed all the identity crisis possible. He doesn’t know his father, he’s not sure of his race, and he’s second-guessing his gender. Aside from this, the persona also underwent many challenges in his life. In this memoir we see the shedding of the innocence of a boy, his realization of poverty, and his metamorphosis from a princess to a queen. We see his passion for teaching, his happy childhood despite being poor, and we grasp the truth of how money is not equated with happiness. The story also tells about his mishaps, his misadventures during his first day of work, his own legendary Ondoy tale, and his singing debut which would probably be his last, too scarred to try again. I could say that my favourite character in the memoir, aside from the main character himself is the main character’s mother. She is the embodiment of strength, of courage and of love. Strength because she managed to keep her family alive despite economically hard times, probably going from one job to another. Courage because it takes a lot of...
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