Alfredo Navarro Salanga: The Birthing of Hannibal Valdez

The latest addition to my website is Alfredo Navarro Salanga‘s The Birthing of Hannibal Valdez

This short novel from the Philippines tells the story not so much of Hannibal Valdez but of his grandfather, Leon. Leon’s daughter-in-law, daughter of one of his tenants, is about to give birth to a child. Leon is sure that it will be a boy and not like his weak and unmanly son, Antonio, father of the child, but manly like his grandfather. The child is born – a boy – but the mother dies. Leon does not care as he will now he able to bring up the boy as he wishes. He is visited by a US major (the tale takes place in 1945, after the liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese by US forces). The rest of the book involves Leon telling the major about his exploits in the war against the Spanish and how he became the successful man he is today. Indeed, this book might well be called The Boasting of Leon Valdez. It i still an enjoyable tale, full of bravado and braggadocio.

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