Picture of Osamu Dazai from the book

Picture of Osamu Dazai from the book

The latest addition to my website is Eric Gamalinda‘s Confessions of a Volcano. It tells the story of Daniel, a thirty-year old Filipino who wins a contest to go to Japan for a month, to do research on an article about Osamu Dazai (see picture at left, taken from the book). However, he also intends to write an article about Filipinos living illegally in Japan, particularly the women, who are exploited for prostitution and as mail order brides. He meets Luisa, a Filipina, who claims to have a permanent visa and to have a Japanese boyfriend, Kato, who runs a club where men go for drink, entertainment and sex. Kato has promised to marry Luisa, though she has found out that he is married with two children. He becomes friends with a Japanese man, Seiji, who falls madly in love with Luisa, and meets both Filipino and Japanese women, and learns about the exploitation. However, he very much likes Japan and is not happy when he has to return to Manila, where he will work as a journalist, dealing with the grim situation in his own country. It is an interesting novel, highlighting the difference between the Filipinos and Japanese, pointing out the exploitation that goes on of Filipinos in Japan but also showing the dark side of the Philippines.