Ongpin Stories by R. Kwan Laurel
Book Cover Design
Published by Milflores Publishing, 2021
R. Kwan Laurel takes us to the Chinese-Filipino enclave that is Binondo to wander into the Chinaman's mishmash of merchandise--race, class, and the search for belonging.
Digging our chopsticks into these eight stories, we examine a teenage boy raised in a strict Chinese household struggling to pas his Mandarin lessons; a radical teacher whose pure motives yield to miscalculated actions; a policeman and his insane friend's search for gold; a mathematical genius who dreams of leaving for Hong Kong; a Filipino sales clerk and his forbidden fondness for the eldest daughter of a Chinese businessman; a grandmother fighting an illness neither traditional medicine nor modern science can cure; a father's struggle to preserve his family's small business.
Brilliantly observed, these stories of people finding their place in a new world while struggling to hold back the seeping influences of their adpted country linger long after we've savored the feast that is Ongpin.
Worm’s eye view of the Ongpin street sign where the title is placed,
based on the area at the corner of Ongpin and Salazar streets in Binondo, Manila.