Eileen Tabios, an Ilocana immigrant who now tends a vineyard in Napa Valley when she’s not being an indefatigable poet, editor and publisher, authored a poetry collection a few years ago titled I Take Thee, English, For My Beloved.
The cover had her in a bridal gown embellished in that old-trad Pinoy fashion, with peso bills slipped into its folds by well-wishing wedding guests. We can easily imagine her having the first dance with a language not our own, but one that has long been made (and romanced) into our own.
As with all the so-called Fil-Am poets and writers, the favored weapon of combat in that highly competitive arena is English. These firstand second-generation writers who still trace their roots, themes, concerns and imagistic motifsback to the motherland are now legion, and increasingly successful, staking claims to authorship or pages in prestigious literary journals, contest prizes, and fellowships at various workshops in the United States and Europe.