Tides Ebb as Islands Dream
a novel by Brian J. English
Links to Information about the Philippines
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Philippine Islands and the Visayan Sea
(click to enlarge)
Olango and Gilutongan Islands in the Cebu Strait
Tides Ebb as Islands Dream is an emotional journey that details the experiences of a Peace Corp volunteer and the people he meets in the Philippines. The novel weaves a tapestry of tales that includes a snakeboy, a teenage girl with synesthesia, a masseuse with haphephobia, a reformed poacher, dynamite fishermen, exotic tropical islands, scuba diving adventures, hidden Japanese gold from WWII, the not-so-clandestine flesh trade, several diseases, drugs and even murder.
Through romance, humor, irony, metaphor and painful truth, the story conveys a powerful environmental message about sustainable development and the stewardship of resources. Sean's experiences as a volunteer expose the complexities of how a community battles to find a balance between their immediate needs and those of their future generations. The collection of personal histories illuminates the intricate connections between environmental degradation and greed while emphasizing that it is the poor, especially women and children, who suffer the most when resources become scarce.
Tides Ebb as Islands Dream is literary fiction that provides historical and cultural background about the Philippines. The story also draws parallels between class domination and environmental degradation.
Facts about the Philippines
Population - Estimated at about 100 million people. It is the 12th most populated country in the world with about 1.3% of the world's people.
Land Area - 7,107 islands (only about 2000 may be inhabited) for a land area of 115,830 sq. miles or about 300,000 sq. kilometers.
Highest Peak - Mt. Apo at 9,691 feet (2,954 meters)
Poverty - Over 25% of the population live below the poverty threshold. Although major cities have a growing middle class, the per capita gross domestic product is still only about (US) $2,000. Despite the doubling of this statistic in the last ten years, millions of households still manage to survive on less than $5.00 per day.
Coral Reefs - 26,000 square kilometers. Some reports say 30% of the reefs are dead and another 39% dying. Most of the damage is due to destructive fishing techniques.
About the Author...
Brian J. English is an associate professor in the School of Global Studies at Tama University in Japan. He holds a doctoral degree in International/Intercultural Education from the University of Southern California. Brian has conducted qualitative research on the dissemination of environmental knowledge in small island communities in the Philippines. His writing is mostly academic and related to either education or environmental issues. However, he enjoys writing fiction and poems in his spare time. Much of his writing is relevant to the issues and concerns of people living in the Philippines.
Integrating Environmental Awareness into Language
in KOTESOL 2011 International Conference Proceedings.
Integrated Coastal Resource
Management: A Prescription for Sustainable Development in the Electronic
Green Journal, December 2003.
The Need for Environmental Education in Schools in Teacher Focus Monthly, April 2003.
Ecofeminist Theory in Sustainable Development: Moving Toward a New Environmental Paradigmin Academic Exchange, December 2002.
Environmental Education in Community-Based Coastal Resource Management: A Case Study of Olango, Philippines. (USC, 2002). Doctoral dissertation that describes the education process of developing a community-wide environmental ethic for coastal resource management.
email: admin [at] brianenglish.net
Copyright © 2013 by Brian J. English