The Panther lurks no longer in foreign shadows—he’s come home to rest. Crispin Salvador’s fitting epitaph, by his request, is merely his name.
—from an unattributed obituary, The Philippine Sun, February 12, 2002
When the author’s life of literature and exile reached its unscheduled terminus that anonymous February morning, he was close to completing the controversial book we’d all been waiting for.
His body, floating in the Hudson, had been hooked by a Chinese fisherman. His arms, battered, open to a virginal dawn: Christlike, one blog back home reported, sarcastically. Ratty-banded briefs and Ermenegildo Zegna trousers were pulled around his ankles. Both shoes lost. A crown of blood embellished the high forehead smashed by crowbar or dock pile or chunk of frozen river.
That afternoon, as if in a dream, I stood in the brittle cold, outside the yellow police tape surrounding the entrance of my dead mentor’s West Village apartment. The rumors were already milling: the NYPD had found the home in disarray; plainclothes detectives filled many evidence bags with strange items; neighbors reported having heard shouts into the night; the old lady next door said her cat had refused to come out from under the bed. The cat, she emphasized, was a black one.
Investigators quickly declared there was no evidence of foul play. You may recall seeing the case in the news, though the coverage was short-lived in the months following September 11, 2001. Only much later, during lulls in the news cycle, was Salvador mentioned at any length in the Western media—a short feature in the arts section of The New York Times, a piece in Le Monde on anticolonial expatriates who lived in Paris, and a negligible reference at the end of a Village Voice article about famous New York suicides. After that, nothing.
At home in the Philippines, however, Salvador’s sudden silencing was immediately autopsied by both sides of the political divide. Both The Philippine Gazette and the Sun traded blows with Salvador’s own Manila Times, debating the author’s literary, and indeed social, significance to our weary country. The Times, of course, declared their dead columnist the waylaid hope of a culture’s literary renaissance. The Gazette argued that Salvador was not “an authentic Filipino writer,” because he wrote mostly in English and was not “browned by the same sun as the masses.” The Sun said Salvador was too middling to merit murder. Suicide, each of the three papers concluded, was a fitting resolution.
When news emerged of the missing manuscript, every side discarded any remaining equipoise. The legend of the unfinished book had persisted for over two decades, and its loss reverberated more than its author’s death. Online, the blogosphere grew gleeful with conjecture as to its whereabouts. The literati, the career journalists foremost among them, abandoned all objectivity. Many doubted the manuscript’s existence in the first place. The few who believed it was real dismissed it as both a social and personal poison. Almost everyone agreed that it was tied to Crispin’s fate. And so, each trivial tidbit dredged up during the death investigation took on significance.
Gossip cycloned among the writing community that Salvador’s pipe was found by the police, its contents still smoking. A rumor circulated that he long ago fathered and abandoned a child, and he’d been maddened by a lifetime of guilt. One reputable blog, in an entry titled “Anus Horribilis,” claimed extra-virgin olive oil was found leaking out of the corpse’s rectum. Another blog surmised that Salvador was not dead at all: “Dead or alive,” wrote Plaridel3000, “who would know the difference?” None among Salvador’s colleagues and acquaintances— he had real no friends—questioned the suicide verdict.
After two weeks of conjecture, everyone was happy to forget the whole thing.
I was unconvinced. No one knew what I knew. His great comeback was scuppered; the masterpiece that would return him to the pantheon was bafflingly misplaced and the dead weight of controversy buried in his casket. The only remaining certainty was the ritual clutter inherited by those left behind—files to be boxed, boxes to be filled, a life’s worth of stuff not intended as rubbish to be thrown out for Monday morning pickup. I just about ransacked his apartment searching for the manuscript of The Bridges Ablaze. I knew it was real. I had witnessed him typing away at it at his desk.
He had spoken of it, puckishly, on many occasions. “The reason for my long exile is so that I could be free to write TBA,” Salvador had said, that first time, spitting out the bones of chicken feet we were eating in a subterranean Mott Street restaurant. “Don’t you think there are things that need to be finally said? I want to lift the veil that conceals the evil. Expose them on the steps of the temple. Truly, all those responsible. The pork-barrel trad-pols. The air-conditioned Forbes Park aristocracy. The aspirational kleptocrats who forget their origins. The bishopricks and their canting church. Even you and me. Let’s all eat that cake.” But what remained of the manuscript was only crumbs: the title page and a couple of loose leaves scrawled with bullet points, found sandwiched and forgotten in his disintegrating Roget’s Thesaurus. Missing was twenty years of work—a glacial accretion of research and writing—unknotting and unraveling the generations-long ties of the Filipino elite to cronyism, illegal logging, gambling, kidnapping, corruption, along with their related component sins. “All of humanity’s crimes,” Salvador said, spitting a bone atop the pyramidal pile in his bowl, “are only degrees of theft.”
I, of course, believe the conspicuous lack of clues is stranger than the disarray of the domestic scene from which he was mysteriously absented. Ockham’s razor is chipped. Every bone in my body recoils at the notion Salvador killed himself. Walking through his apartment afterward, I saw his viridian Underwood typewriter loaded, cocked, and ready with a fresh blank page; the objects on his desk arranged in anticipation of writing. How could he have brought himself to the river without passing his conscience reflected in that Venetian mirror in the hall? He would have seen there was still so much to do.
To end his own life, Salvador was neither courageous nor cowardly enough. The only explanation is that the Panther of Philippine Letters was murdered in midpounce. But no bloody candelabrum has been found. Only ambiguous hints in what remains of his manuscript. Among the two pages of notes, these names: the industrialist Dingdong Changco, Jr.; the literary critic Marcel Avellaneda; the first Muslim leader of the opposition, Nuredin Bansamoro; the charismatic preacher Reverend Martin; and a certain Dulcinea.
That you may not remember Salvador’s name attests to the degree of his abysmal nadir. Yet during his two-decades-long zenith, his work came to exemplify a national literature even as it unceasingly tried to shudder off the yoke of representation. He set Philippine letters alight and carried its luminescence to the rest of the world. Lewis Jones of The Guardian once wrote: “Mr. Salvador’s prose, belied by the rococo lyricism and overenthusiastic lists of descriptions, presents a painfully honest picture of the psychosocial brutality, actual physical violence and hubris so acute in his home country.… His vital works will prove timeless.”
In its efflorescence, Salvador’s life projected genius and intellectual brazenness, a penchant for iconoclasm, and an aspiration to unsparing honesty during obfuscated times. He was, even until his death, touted as “the next big thing”—a description he could never transcend. “From the early age of self-consciousness, I was told I’d been gifted gifts,” he wrote in his memoir Autoplagiarist. “I spent the rest of my life living up to expectations, imposed by others but more so by myself.”
Such pressure, and a strong belief in living a life worth writing about, led him through many roles and adventures. His autobiography read so much like a who’s who of artistic and political icons that readers wondered whether it was fi ction. “I’ve lived nearly all my nine lives,” Salvador wrote. His work borrowed liberally from and embellished each of those lives: his upbringing as the son of a sugar plantation owner, the sentimental education in Europe, Mediterranean evenings spent womanizing with Porfirio Rubirosa or drinking zivania with Lawrence Durrell, the meteoric fame from his scoops as a cub reporter, training with communist guerrillas in the jungles of Luzon, the argument with the Marcoses during dinner at Malacañang Palace. The group of influential artists Salvador cofounded, the Cinco Bravos, dominated the Philippine arts scene for years. Yet it was the internecine intensities of the local literati that gossiped Salvador’s life into chimerical proportions. Among the stories: he gave Marcel Avellaneda that scar on his face during a duel with butterfly knives; he drunkenly, though surreptitiously, vomited in the seafood chowder bowl at a George Plimpton garden party in East Hampton; he danced a naked moonlit tango at Yaddo, with, depending on who is telling the story, Germaine Greer, Virgie Moreno, or a dressmaker’s dummy on casters; Salvador was even said to have insulted conductor Georg Solti after a per for mance at the Palais Garnier (it’s alleged he shook the maestro’s hand and chummily called him “a smidge off at the start of the second movement of Rach Two.” Note: I’ve been unable to confirm that Solti ever conducted the Second Piano Concerto at the Garnier).
Salvador’s early work—most agree—possessed a remarkable moral vigor. Upon his return from Europe in 1963, he began building his name with reportage focusing on the plight of the poor—producing subversive stories famously at odds with his father’s philosophy of political toadyism as a means to the greatest social good. In 1968,
Salvador declared his international literary ambitions with the publication of his first novel, Lupang Pula (Red Earth). The story of the charismatic Manuel Samson, a farmer who joins the communist Huk Rebellion of 1946 to 1954, the book earned some acclaim and was later translated for publication in Cuba and the Soviet Union. (Salvador’s true first novel, The Enlightened, released in the United States three years earlier, won prizes before it was published but could not live up to the fairy-tale hype. About his grandfather’s role in the 1896 Philippine Revolution and the subsequent war against
American invaders, it was a work Salvador hoped would be forgotten. He once told me his portrayal of his grandfather had created “shoes too big for me to fill.”)
Despite his having been unanimously awarded the Manila Press Club’s coveted Mango de Oro Trophy for his exposé of police brutality during the Culatingan Massacre, it was the young writer’s milestone essay in the January 17, 1969, edition of The Philippines Free Press, titled “It’s Hard to Love a Feminist,” which incited uproarious controversy. To his own surprise, the attention thrust him into the consciousness of Philippine pop culture. Radio talk shows nationwide carried his voice, its studied enunciations characteristically losing form and rising in pitch when excited; television screens bore the images of his lanky frame seated insouciantly with a leg tucked beneath him, black pomaded hair parted severely, finger wagging at the other members of the panel discussion—a grab bag of effeminate academic men and thick-waisted female activists. He energetically debated with feminists on the television and radio, delivering froths of invectives that at times required intervention by the host. Salvador justified his work as “not chauvinistic, but realistic for a poor country with greater bêtes noires than those raised at that recent symposium, ‘Changing History into Herstory.’” In October 1969, in the same magazine, Salvador published an essay, “Why Would a Loving God Make Us Fart?” This earned him the ire of the Catholic Church and further enshrined his intellectual infamy.
Salvador left Manila in 1972, a day before Marcos declared martial law. He hoped to make a name for himself in New York City, but success there was more coy than he would have liked, or was used to. He lived in Hell’s Kitchen, in a coldwater studio “so sordid even the buzzing neon sign outside my window no longer lighted up.” To make ends meet he took a job at the Petite and Sweet Bakeshop in Greenwich Village. At night he wrote short stories, some of them finding print in small magazines like Strike, Brother! and The Humdrum Conundrum. His next milestone came with publication in the March 12, 1973, issue of The New Yorker, of the short story “Matador,” a piece reportedly “not disliked” by the magazine’s editor, William Shawn, but pointedly chosen for its relevance to the ongoing war in Vietnam. An allegory about the toll of neocolonialism, “Matador” drew on Salvador’s experiences as a banderillero in Barcelona during his youth, presenting the United States as the matador and the Philippines as the brave but ultimately doomed bull named Pitoy Gigante. After this success, Salvador had hoped closed doors would open, but his agent and publisher queries returned slowly, each demurring, though expressing interest if he should happen to have a novel. He started work on a new manuscript. A book attempting to provide a vivisection of loneliness, it was to be based on the unwitnessed drowning of a close friend and the effect the death had on the Salvador family.
In May of 1973, Salvador fell into a tempestuous relationship with Anita Ilyich, a Belarusian ballerina, disco queen, and early advocate of the swinging lifestyle. One stormy autumn morning following a party at The Loft, the couple, each of them reportedly under the influence of one too many gimlets and Quaaludes, had a jealous and theatrical fight there on Broadway in front of David Mancuso’s apartment building. Salvador, convinced it was “just another one of those tiffs,” returned to their home after a palliative walk to find his possessions dumped on the sidewalk to soak. Among his stuff were the translucent pulpy pages of his nearly completed novel.
That afternoon, Salvador quit New York for Paris, a city he’d frequented during his university studies. He swore off both women and literature, settled in a leaky chambre de bonne in the Marais, and worked as an assistant to a pastry chef’s assistant. Soon after, he broke his vow to teetotal the comforts of the softer sex, but it would be two full years before he returned to literature. Ultimately, both poverty and his restless spirit brought him back to writing in the summer of 1975; he took freelance assignments for The Manila Times and The International Herald Tribune and began work on what would become his popular Europa Quartet (Jour, Night, Vida, and Amore). Written one after the other between 1976 and 1978, the quartet follows the life of a young mestizo gadabout in 1950s Paris, London, Barcelona, and Florence. It was a hit with housewives in three countries.
Buttressed by new success, Salvador returned periodically to the Philippines to undertake research, appear on panel discussions, stump for election campaigns, and work with other artists. In 1978, he began “War & Piss,” his long-running weekly column in The Manila Times. His recently out-of-print travel guide, My Philippine Islands (with 80 color plates), despite its unabashed subjectivity, was described by Publishers Weekly as “the definitive book on the Philippines [sic] people … entertaining and brave, chock-full of vivid anecdotes infused with a local’s intimate knowledge … It situates the tropical country in the context of the rest of the world, retrieving it from the isolation and exoticization it is oftentimes suffered to endure.” Later, in 1982, Salvador published Phili-Where?, a satirical travel guidebook that charted his country’s fall from “gateway to Asia” and proud U.S. colony to a plutocracy ruled by an “incontinent despot.” The book was banned in the Philippines by the Marcos regime and thereupon enjoyed decent sales abroad.
The 1980s—the decade of global stock market greed, of beehived matrons meeting for weekly Jane Fonda workouts, of Corazon Aquino’s People Power Revolution—was a new dawn for the Philippines. It was in that climate of moral contrasts that Salvador finally found the respect for which he’d intensely yearned. He published widely and often. His career peaked in 1987 with the publication of Dahil Sa’Yo (Because of You), an epic account of the Marcos dictatorship that included a pointed indictment of the opportunistic cronies responsible for the couple’s rise and fall, epitomized by Dingdong Changco, Jr. Salvador re-created the tumultuous era through a mixture of press clippings, radio and TV transcripts, allegories, myths, letters, and vignettes from the various points of view of characters, factual and fictional, intended to represent Filipinos from all walks of life. The book spent two weeks at the bottom of the New York Times bestseller list; it was reprinted three times and translated into twelve languages. It earned acclaim abroad, and therefore also in the Philippines, and placed him on the long list for the 1988 Nobel Prize in Literature (he thereafter often said: “I’m the first and only Filipino to be in contention for a little award called the Nobel Prize for Literature”). The award went to Naguib Mahfouz.
Salvador, like other prolific writers of extraordinary breadth and reach, was well acquainted with such disappointments, as exemplified by the various publications that made the literati doubt his abilities. Critics consistently judged the less successful works to be long-winded, messianic, or derivative. (Avellaneda called his oeuvre “a dirty cistern filled with feces that has not been well formed. Objectively speaking, it’s the sort of crap that sparks fears of outbreaks of amoebic dysentery.”) The most memorable of these unmemorable works were: the 43,950-word essay Tao (People), which Salvador meant as “a catalog and homage to the glorious diversity of our race, our rich customs, and our beautiful women”; Filipiniana,§ an ambitious but idiosyncratic survey of Philippine literature in English, which included most of Salvador’s short works, but only one each from other writers; and an early book-length epic poem about Magellan’s cartographer and translator, Antonio Pigafetta, entitled Scholarly Plunder.|| Attempts to justify the latter in 1982 by transforming it into All Around the World, a disco opera, resulted in bankrupting failure.
What irked Salvador most—more even than Avellaneda calling his life abroad “a metaphor for an anonymous death”—was the critics’ claim that Because of You was his literary swan song. And so began whispers about an epic book that had been in the works since the early 1980s: The Bridges Ablaze. But what Salvador published next surprised the country, establishing him as a much-read writer but giving credence to what local books columnists called his “flimsy literary prowess.” Manila Noir, the most popular of his crime novels, presented Antonio Astig, a swashbuckling mystery author investigating Jack the Ripper–style killings of pretty women from shantytowns (the real-life murders were a sensation in 1986 and ’87: the police investigation was regarded as a sham and the murderer rumored to be a prominent “confirmed bachelor” politician). The Bloody Sea,† a five-hundred-page rip-roaring nautical saga set in the Philippines of the 1500s, pitted the dastardly Chinese pirate Limahong against the dashing Spanish captain Juan de Salcedo, and proved to be amazingly successful at home and in Britain. (The book, along with rumors of a sequel and prequel, fueled, to Salvador’s delight, public disdain from Patrick O’Brian.) And aiming to reach younger Filipinos, Salvador wrote the Kaputol (Siblings) trilogy, a magic-infused offshoot of the YA tradition of Franklin W. Dixon. Following the adventures and coming of age of Dulcé, the tomboyish leader of a group of young boys in martial law–era Quezon City, the trilogy became his most enduring work, remembered and loved by a new generation of readers.
That period of his life, full of prolificacy but lacking in gravitas, plunged Salvador into a deep depression that made him lash out indiscriminately, though his behavior during both defeat and success had long elicited eager mockery. His mania for collecting subjected him to accusations of being “a closet bourgeois.” He famously wrote letters in purple ink, in grandiose longhand. With the advent of e-mail, to which he took early with extreme enthusiasm, he began sending long tirades to newspapers—intent on skirting the judgment of the editors of his column at The Manila Times—placing in his crosshairs such targets as our cultural crab mentality, or the hope that expatriate Filipinos will help rather than abandon their country, or the bad ser vice at the Aristocrat restaurant and how in such an old institution it represented the passing of a more genteel society. The periodicals refused to run his missives, so he collected and self-published them in the book All the News the Papers Are Afraid to Print.* Salvador’s fastidiousness of manner also opened him to rumors of homosexuality, yet he was criticized for being a womanizer “with the lascivious energy usually found in defrocked clergymen.” And he could never live down his 1991 TV commercial which showed him being served lunch in a book-lined study, shaking a cruet over his food before turning to the camera to deliver the now immortal words: “Silver Swan Soy Sauce, the educated choice.”
On June 2, 1994, Salvador held a book launch at La Solidaridad Bookstore in Manila. The event had been wrapped in secrecy, and excited literary watchers expected The Bridges Ablaze. Salvador instead unveiled Autoplagiarist, yet another self-published book, a memoir that refracted through his life’s story a history of the Philippines from the start of the Second World War to the end of the millennium. The 2,572-page volume, perhaps the most ambitious and certainly the most personal of his books, won him angry responses. One local critic said: “The Oedipal impulse was so ambrosial, [Salvador] fucked his father and killed his mother.” Another said: “Dear old Crispin might have done better had he put his money where his mouth is and cleaned up Smokey Mountain [garbage dump].” Abroad, Salvador’s literary agent could not sell Autoplagiarist to publishers, and even ultimately terminated their professional affiliation. Worst of all, the memoir’s frankness destroyed what had long been a tenuous relationship with his family and friends at home. Salvador was suddenly a true exile. “You’re lucky your parents are dead,” he once told me. “The people who love you,” he said, while moving his bishop to take my queen, “will only see their deficiencies in your work. That’s the strength of good writing and the weakness of the human ego. Love and honesty don’t mix. To be an honest writer, you have to be away from home, and totally alone in life.
The cut ties saw Salvador settle permanently in New York, and inexorably into a period of deep silence. He dropped his newspaper column. He gave up writing. That he became well known as a teacher attests to his oh-so-very-Filipino resilience. As he said in “War & Piss” on many an occasion: “If life gives you lemons, have your maid make some lemonade.”
Much of his life was apocryphal, so it may well be that this next bit was, too. Shortly after clipping the last review panning Autoplagiarist and pasting it into an album, Salvador went out by the Hudson River and burned the scrapbook, along with his diaries, in a public trash receptacle. It was in the wee hours of a summer night. Two policemen happened upon him while he was relieving himself into the conflagration. “I’m just trying to put it out,” he told them. Salvador was taken downtown and charged with misdemeanors for drunkenness and public urination. The event was somehow reported in the Manila papers and elicited the habitual snickers from those who remembered him.
But it was in that fire, Salvador later told me, that he rediscovered what it is like to be intoxicated by your own anger, to find the solace of destruction. The following morning saw him returned to his desk with frightening intensity. He had retrieved, from a locked drawer, the three black cardboard boxes containing the unfinished manuscript of The Bridges Ablaze.
At the end of the first week of last February, Salvador left for home. The purpose of the visit, his first in years, was for him to accept the Dingdong Changco, Sr., Memorial National Literary Lifetime Recognition Prize, or, as it is widely known, the DCSMNLLR Prize. The afternoon he arrived in Manila, Salvador ate a late lunch at the Aristocrat restaurant before going to their comfort room to change clothes. In front of the mirror, he adjusted the collar of his formal barong and practiced his speech. Outside it was raining heavily, and he took a taxi to the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The audience was composed of the old guard, mostly members and officers of PALS, the Philippine Arts and Letters Society. They leaned back in their plastic monobloc chairs, smirking magnanimously, faces serene and satisfied, as if at a much-awaited funeral. (The DCSMNLLR Prize is historically given to writers at the end of their careers.) Salvador bounded up the steps onto the stage, shook hands, posed for a picture with PALS deputy vice president Furio Almondo, and stepped to the podium. He looked admiringly at his gold medal—an ornately filigreed circle made of sterling silver. He poured himself a glass of water and drank it. Finally, he spoke. “Literature,” he declared, “is an ethical leap. It is a moral decision. A perilous exercise in constant failure. Literature should have grievances, because there are so many grievances in the world. Let us speak frankly, because we’re all peers here. Your grievances with me are because you say I have failed. Though I only failed because I extended myself further than what any of you have ever attempted.” The boos and jeers came suddenly, then peaked savagely, as at a crucifixion. “I accept this award,” Salvador continued, shouting to be heard, “ahead of what I will achieve. Next year, I will publish my long-awaited book. Then you will see the truth of our shared guilt.” The boos and jeers turned into laughter. “History is changed by martyrs who tell the tru—” The microphone was disconnected.
The author walked through the audience and out of the CCP building. When there was nobody to see him, he began to run, splashing headlong into the torrential rain. He caught a flight out that evening—just missing the unseasonable super typhoon that would flood vast swaths of the city—and returned to New York via Narita, Detroit, and Newark. I saw him the morning of his arrival, the day before Valentine’s Day, when I rushed to his apartment on the pretense of dropping off a folderful of students’ essays from his missed classes. He was seated in his study, bedraggled but radiant, banging away at his typewriter. It sounded like machine-gun fire. He had not even bothered to change out of his ruined barong. Beside him, there it was: yesterday’s Philippine Sun, turned to the deaths and births page. Though the paper’s website had run an erratum, blaming an intern for accidentally running Crispin’s from their stock of prepared obituaries, you could almost hear the self-satisfied chuckles swooping in on the westerly tradewinds. I didn’t know how Crispin had taken it, so I asked if he’d had a good flight. And what had got him all fired up. Crispin smiled at me brightly. “Death,” he said, “in Manila. I apparently have nothing more to lose.”
That was the second-to-the-last time I saw him.
Then silence too soon for one whose most pernicious enemy was silence.
If our greatest fear is to sink away alone and unremembered, the brutality that time will inflict upon each of us will always run stronger than any river’s murky waves. This book therefore shoulders the weighty onus of relocating a man’s lost life and explores the possible temptations that death will always present. The facts, shattered, are gathered, for your deliberation, like a broken mirror whose final piece has been forced into place.
—Miguel Syjuco, en route to Manila, December 1, 2002
 Natalia Diaz, “Filipino Footnote,” The New York Times, May 6, 2002.
 Carla Lengellé, “Les guérilleros de Paris: de Hô Chi Minh à Pol Pot,” Le Monde, July 22,
 Anton Esteban, “Grand Central Terminus,” The Village Voice, August 15, 2002.
 Lewis Jones, “The Salvador of Philippine Literature,” The Guardian, September 21,
 Crispin Salvador, Autoplagiarist (Manila: Passepartout Publishing, 1994).
 Lupang Pula (Manila: People’s Press, 1968).
 The Enlightened (New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1965).
 The story is renowned as the first fiction published by a Filipino in the magazine since
Carlos Bulosan’s “The End of War” in the September 2, 1944, issue. Marcel Avellaneda
called “Matador” “over-earnest faux Ernest” and “a chapter edited judiciously from The
Sun Also Rises.”
 Jour, Night, Vida, and Amore (New York: Grove Press, 1977–1981).
 My Philippine Islands (with 80 color plates) (New York: Macmillan, 1980).
 Phili-Where? (London: Faber and Faber, 1982).
 Because of You (New York: Random House, 1987).
 Dingdong Changco, Jr., sued for libel. Salvador famously told the court: “Whatever
truths you fi nd in my fi ction are only universal ones.” The book was banned in the Philippines
after only 928 copies were sold nationally.
 Interview by Clinton Palanca, The Paris Review, spring 1988.
 Tao (People) (Manila: Passepartout Publishing, 1988).
 Filipiniana (Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1990).
 Scholarly Plunder (Manila: Ars Poetika, 1981).
 The Bloody Sea (London: Chatto & Windus, 1992).
 The Bloody Sea (London: Chatto & Windus, 1992).
 Kapatid, QC Nights, and Ay Naku! (Manila: Adarna House, 1987–1990).
 Crispin Salvador, All the News the Papers Are Afraid to Print (Manila: Passepartout Publishing, 1993).