The last episode of this season of LeVar Burton Reads is a reading of Dean Francis Alfar’s “L’Aquilone du Estrellas (The Kite of Stars)“, which was published in Strange Horizons in 2003 and the book Kite of Stars and Other Stories. The story is infused with hints of the history and culture of the Philippines, and is set in the shared fantasy world of Hinirang. Mentions of things such as pan de sal give the story a vibrancy and freshness that set it apart from typical fantasy.
Hinirang is a reaimagined Philippines set during the time when the country was a colony of Spain. “Hinirang” comes from the Tagalog phrase “lupang hinirang” (“land longed for”) from the Philippine national anthem. It was created as a shared setting among friends, envisioned to be populated by a diverse cast whose stories were told by short stories and comics.Bibliophile Stalker interview with Dean Francis Alfar
Maria Isabella had just turned sixteen then, and each set of her padrinos had given her (along with the sequined brida du caballo, the dresses of rare tulle, organza, and seda, and the diadema floral du’l dama — the requisite floral circlet of young womanhood) a purse filled with coins to spend on anything she wanted. And so she’d gone past the Calle du Leones (where sleek cats of various pedigrees sometimes allowed themselves to be purchased, though if so, only until they tired of their new owners), walked through the Avenida du’l Conquistadores (where the statues of the conquerors of Ciudad Meiora lined the entirety of the broad promenade) and made her way to the Encantu lu Caminata (that maze-like series of interconnected streets, each leading to some wonder or marvel for sale), where little musical conch shells from the islets near Palao’an could be found. Those she liked very much.“L’Aquilone du Estrellas (The Kite of Stars” at Strange Horizons
The featured image for this post is by guille pozzi.