OUT NOW! Is There Rush Hour in a Third World Country?

Our book Is There Rush Hour in a Third World (translated by Kristine Ong Muslim with an introduction by Eric Abalajon) is now available in various bookshops across the UK and Europe. Always grateful to my publisher the 87Press for bringing this small book to English language readers. This translation is so special to me as this is my first book translated into the English language, outside the Philippines.

Call centre agents and migrant workers, soldiers and charity workers, fresh university graduates and street children — they all navigate the myriad of avenues in which their desires are entangled within the Philippines’ harsh and unforgiving conditions of migration and labour in Rogelio Braga’s collection of stories, Is There Rush Hour in A Third World Country? Now translated by Kristine Ong Muslim into English, the collection offers a glimpse of the lives of ordinary Filipinos, told amidst coup d’états, active conflict areas, late-night convenience store rendezvous, and bumper-to-bumper Manila traffic, given a considered dignity and nuance by one of the Philippines’ celebrated playwrights.

Is There Rush Hour in a Third World Country? was launched last December 2022 at the OTO Cafe near Dalston Junction in East London. You can watch me introduce the book and read an excerpt from the story Mga (translated by Kristine Ong Muslim as ‘Plural’) below:

I have a lot of things to say about this book of stories, and the context of the time when it was all written and published back in the Philippines. But for now, I’d like readers outside my country to enjoy this book, the world I recreated in these stories, and Manila from the eyes of someone who lived in that city all through their life.

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