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    My characters and the village they live in are entirely my own creation. But I have set their story during a very real moment in Philippine history: the American invasion of 1899. 


    The people of the Cordillera were never conquered by Spanish colonizers. People say that this was because of their isolation … but highlanders had always engaged with the lowlander communities surrounding the mountains. The fact was: Cordillera people were so independent that they fiercely spurned all attempts to conquer them by both foreign and Filipino outsiders.


    That is, until the arrival of the Americans in 1899. 


    Throughout their 300 years of colonial rule, the Spanish did much to erase the indigenous culture of the native Filipinos. I was thrilled to realize that the peoples of the Cordillera may well have preserved aspects of our pre-colonial culture that we thought were lost to time. 


    We read not just to seek answers but to ask questions … and in Bone Talk are many questions, not just about our nation’s history but about our identity as a people. 


Candy Gourlay 

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