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Reportage on Crime: Thirteen Horror Happenings That Hit the Headlines

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The thirteen narratives in this anthology of true crime stories transcend journalism by attempting analyses of character, motive, period and ambiance. What emerges is the picture of a fascinating decade: the 1960s.


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The thirteen narratives in this anthology of true crime stories transcend journalism by attempting analyses of character, motive, period and ambiance. What emerges is the picture of a fascinating decade: the 1960s.

30 review for Reportage on Crime: Thirteen Horror Happenings That Hit the Headlines

  1. 4 out of 5

    kwesi 章英狮

    I don't know what really happened to the Filipino youth now a days, including me. I never understand why we love to read foreign novels and never tried to read books and short stories of our local authors and samples of our national artist, Nick Joaquin. Is it the youth or the education that mistakenly made Filipinos innocent to the beauty of there own people? I've heard lots of praises bout Rizal and the other old bayanis (heroes) that I'm sickeningly bursting of knowledge of there lives and his I don't know what really happened to the Filipino youth now a days, including me. I never understand why we love to read foreign novels and never tried to read books and short stories of our local authors and samples of our national artist, Nick Joaquin. Is it the youth or the education that mistakenly made Filipinos innocent to the beauty of there own people? I've heard lots of praises bout Rizal and the other old bayanis (heroes) that I'm sickeningly bursting of knowledge of there lives and history, why not help ourselves understand and know our current heroes that help Philippines well known because of there name through there works. Unfortunately, Nick Joaquin was one of the unlucky hero that had been erased to the mind of Filipinos, even my parents and old mates. I asked them if they really knew Nick Joaquin, and they answered no. How disappointing that even the old Filipino generation is too innocent of his works. Thanks to my college Phil. Lit. professor, he helped us understand and knew Nick Joaquin by reading his short story, The Summer Solstice, from the first word until the end of the story, he never disappointed me from liking his work even I have hard time understanding every details, the running imagination and the supernatural culture of the characters. (The Summer Solstice, is not suitable for young readers since it shows sensual scenes and demoralized characters of females. - I'm not here to defy the female but simply shows that females are equal to male.) Below is a short introduction of Nick Joaquin, copied from Wikipedia. Nicomedes Márquez Joaquín (May 4, 1917–April 29, 2004) was a Filipino writer, historian and journalist, best known for his short stories and novels in the English language. He also wrote using the pen name Quijano de Manila. Joaquin was conferred the rank and title of National Artist of the Philippines for Literature. After Jose Rizal and Claro M. Recto, both writers in Spanish language, he is considered the third most important Filipino writer (but the most important writer writing in the English language). - Wikipedia Reportage of Crime: Thirteen Horror Happenings That Hit the Headlines, is composed of 13 narratives of true crime stories (I have doubt that the articles were fiction) transcend journalism by attempting analyses of character, motive, period and ambiance. What emerges is the picture of a fascinating decade: the 1960's. And yes, it really put me in a time machine and it gives me the chance to see the past of so called teen-ager and society. The number thirteen (13) itself means unlucky to numerology and Feng Shui and I'm fascinated with the fact that hotel floor, rooms and even streets don't have thirteen (13), in fact number 13 in the Tarot card is The Death. I can't help myself get scared while reading the book and analyzing every articles, not to mention number thirteen (13) will always pops in your mind. Below are my top 3 most wanted crime and most interesting so far! 1. Chapter 2: The Boy Who Wanted to Become 'Society' - In the world of rich and poor, a young boy wanted to become a 'society' - high-toned, high-priced, high-spirited and hifalutin - but what he wanted to be better become worst. He become the victim of his own wish and coward to his own social status. The practice of what Rizal called Social Cancer. 2. Chapter 3: Gun Duel at LVN and Chapter 7: The Short, Unhappy Life of Boy Virgil - Hollywood movies become popular, cowboys, gunslinger and even high powered and well-weaponed villains exist in the world of movie or in the real world itself. When Filipinos adopted such movies, a group of young man (teen-ager) become particular of the movies in the past, gun killing and womanizing increases in number. It become a big problem for the community, and become the cause of deaths of one of riches and well known actors of Erap's generation. How can a drop-out of Ateneo and a frat member become the president of the Philippines? Is he the mirror of what we call poverty or the mirror of the rebells? 3. Chapter 8: The Lodger - One day a building burned and 21 people died from the incident, it shows difference of the society, race and individual. The power of the higher rank and the effect of poverty. Everyone receives death, destiny. Nobody knows who's next in the headline, maybe you or the person at your back. [image error] While waiting for the food to be served, I read while my sister take photos of me. I look like nobody cares but my book! #127 ordered, hot pancit canton and plain tofu. Rating: Reportage of Crime: Thirteen Horror Happenings That Hit the Headlines by Nick Joaquin, 3 Sweets. (One thing for sure, I liked the book but I have hard time reading it, I don't know if my recklessness or the Christmas season gave me the guts to gave it 3. I never tried to read such a hard and wonderful facts of the past by a National Artist and he mentioned a lot of interesting crimes that have symbols depicted to each stories.)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kristel

    It's not quite as journalistic as I expected, the stories often have some editorialized comments regarding morality. But once I got over that, I found it pretty enjoyable. A bit of probably unintended hilarity with the juxtaposition of cheerfully bucolic 1960s Manila with the grisly crimes told here. Knifings at ice-cream parlors and hooligans fighting over bowling competitions. You couldn't make this stuff up.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael David

    Nick Joaquin is recognized by a good number of Filipinos to be among the greatest Filipino writers. With his well-written May Day Eve and Summer Solstice, he certainly made a good case for himself. However, even in spite of his wide knowledge of the modern classics from Fitzgerald to Hemingway, his journalism is but a pale attempt at evocation when compared to greats such as Norman Mailer or Truman Capote. His work is nevertheless extremely interesting: in Boy Sta. Romana's story, I discovered t Nick Joaquin is recognized by a good number of Filipinos to be among the greatest Filipino writers. With his well-written May Day Eve and Summer Solstice, he certainly made a good case for himself. However, even in spite of his wide knowledge of the modern classics from Fitzgerald to Hemingway, his journalism is but a pale attempt at evocation when compared to greats such as Norman Mailer or Truman Capote. His work is nevertheless extremely interesting: in Boy Sta. Romana's story, I discovered that Joseph Estrada was an asshole even before he became president of the Philippine Republic. Joaquin's social commentary on the evils of poverty was also on point, but I've never really been impressed the way I was with other Filipino literary works such as El Filibusterismo. Maybe that's why, even after all these years, Rizal's still the go-to for greatest Filipino writer ever.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ara Santiago

    Reportage on Crime is a collection of 13 grim stories with lush poetic writing style painting the old Manila as the pitiful host of scandals and carnage. As each chapter presents a different tragic story, I found some are easier to chew than the others. Even though Nick Joaquin's impassioned writing is present in the book as a whole, there are moments when I couldn't feel any empathy towards any of the characters be it the victim or the murderer (with all their sob-story background). The first f Reportage on Crime is a collection of 13 grim stories with lush poetic writing style painting the old Manila as the pitiful host of scandals and carnage. As each chapter presents a different tragic story, I found some are easier to chew than the others. Even though Nick Joaquin's impassioned writing is present in the book as a whole, there are moments when I couldn't feel any empathy towards any of the characters be it the victim or the murderer (with all their sob-story background). The first few chapters, for me, are intense (maybe even borderline psycho) but then it winds down a bit at the end. Not that I want more gruesome crimes that really happened in Manila, mind you.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brian Codilan

    He is the EA Poe of the Philippine Literature, no doubt about it. These 13 horror happenings took place way back in dekada-sisenta when crimes were, just like of today's, too brutish to air on radios/tvs and you'd wish did not actually happened to a life.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Annabelle

    The headlines that dominated the Philippine crime scene of the sixties. A different era, a different place. The same inherent corruption: the powerful will get away (case in point: Banjo Laurel). Except in the case of Maggie de la Riva's rapists.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Pretty good read. Particularly moved by the story of Boy Vergel, and cringed at the crimes in a house on Zapote Street and at the RCA office. A few chapters had intros that were too long, but the stories were interesting nonetheless. It’s a crime to not read this book. Hehe

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

    In the dimly lit streets and uneven stone cold pavements of Manila, criminal minds lurk in every corner. The city lights coming from the nearby disco bars and blinking street lamps illuminates all the crime happenings every night. Nick Joaquin’s, “Reportage on Crime: Thirteen Horror Happenings That Hit the Headlines” is a collection of thirteen true crime happenings that happened during the early 1960’s. Armed with his skills in prose and fictional writing, he combined straight-to-the point jour In the dimly lit streets and uneven stone cold pavements of Manila, criminal minds lurk in every corner. The city lights coming from the nearby disco bars and blinking street lamps illuminates all the crime happenings every night. Nick Joaquin’s, “Reportage on Crime: Thirteen Horror Happenings That Hit the Headlines” is a collection of thirteen true crime happenings that happened during the early 1960’s. Armed with his skills in prose and fictional writing, he combined straight-to-the point journalistic reporting with a dash of creativity. Joaquin tries to capture all the crime happenings during the 1960s where rampant violence is prevalent among people. Strengthened by aggression, men take the rule of justice in their hands with the help of their deadly weapons. These horror happenings attested on how Joaquin pictured Manila as an urban city marked by rebelliousness and filled with diverse forms of illegalities. It depicted on how quick it is for its dwellers to resort to brutal means of resolving conflicts and petty altercations. Murders, witchcraft, gang wars, gun duels, and arson are just some of the strange occurrences included in this crime anthology. As creative nonfiction, Joaquin attempted to sustain his faithfulness towards the crime narrative while stating actual facts consistently. From factual statements, interviews, testimonies, newspaper articles, and crime records he merged all these sources in order to produce a creative crime narrative. He lets the interview and the order of investigation flow through the stories. As he revisits these cases, he indirectly posed his personal judgment without distorting the essence of the narrative. This was done by framing each stories based on the point of view of the victim and injecting his own position. “Somewhere he lurks: this boy who left the world of the slums, attracted by the glitter of what he called “society,” determined to move up to its lights. It’s a perilous climb and, like so many before him, Boy Nap slipped and fell.” – p. 17, Chapter 2: The Boy Who Wanted to Become “Society” This is an excerpt taken from the case of Napoleon Nocedal (a.k.a. “Boy Nap”) during March 1961 where he was hunted by Quezon City police for shooting Joe Ramos in a gang altercation after fleeing to the mountains of Bataan to escape from his perilous life. Joaquin portrayed the character of Boy Nap neither as a thrill killer nor a rebellious teenager but as an innocent lad who became a victim of his own societal fantasies. One of his apparent styles he used in his collections is by injecting journalistic style of writing in his creative narrative. He starts by giving the important facts of the story; a short description of the crime that took place, the place, the date, and the persons involved. The succeeding pages are devoted for the chronological order of the events before the crime occurred which include flashbacks and the personal background of the characters through the use of subtopics. By inserting the back stories of the characters, the readers were given an idea on how the crime itself precipitated between the two parties involved. “The ring is something Nestor Macapagal Angel wears, not on his fist, but over his left eye-or, rather, where his left eye used to be…after about a decade in the ring, he won a trophy: that eye patch he’ll have to wear the rest of his life.” – p. 109, Chapter 6: The One-Grand Fix In here, Joaquin begins the narrative by suggesting a brief foreshadowing on the character’s fate after the crime took place. He combines the headline reporting in newspapers and the narrative style of creative writing. Not only did he give a momentary glimpse on the aftermath of the crime but he presented it in an artful way. This was done by providing personal reflections that point towards the moral lesson of the crime itself. Joaquin offers the readers a fresh way of reading traditional news reporting. When we try to read a headline, we interpret these crime cases quite objectively, focusing only on facts presented to us. We are quick to judge on these filtered crime cases because the mass media takes full control of its true content. As a result, we fail to look beyond on how and why these crimes took place. What Joaquin did is to provide a full-length narrative of these crimes instead of focusing only on facts. He shed light to the varying perspectives of the characters by delving inside their thoughts so readers could see both sides of the issue. At the same time, through the lives of the characters, the complexities of the rampant crime culture in Manila and the class struggles are also represented. Nick Joaquin’s, “Reportage on Crime: Thirteen Horror Happenings That Hit the Headlines” is indeed a wonderful crime anthology that does not only retells the truth but paints it beautifully. The combination of creative nonfiction and investigative story is indeed a fresh outtake of these stories when it comes to journalistic writing. As an urban dweller in the heart of the metro, it did not only affect me as a reader, but it continues to haunt me on the prevalence of crime culture from the 1960s until today.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bay

    In the 1960s, where the year blues music was starting to become popular, the year Marcos would ascend to the Presidency, the year Man would walk to the Moon, the Philippines was hit with Crime that shocked the entire islands. Although not as horrifying as today, it can still strike into our hearts, and bring terror to anyone who reads it. As a journalist back then, Nick documented these thirteen stories, and made it to his anthology. Nick analysed the different circumstances that led the charact In the 1960s, where the year blues music was starting to become popular, the year Marcos would ascend to the Presidency, the year Man would walk to the Moon, the Philippines was hit with Crime that shocked the entire islands. Although not as horrifying as today, it can still strike into our hearts, and bring terror to anyone who reads it. As a journalist back then, Nick documented these thirteen stories, and made it to his anthology. Nick analysed the different circumstances that led the characters to commit the crime, often character analysis. Some are really disturbing, as in the case of The House on Zapote Road, where the father had an obsession with her daughter. A prevalence of Witches, though you feel pity on the parents' beliefs, is another disturbing story. Cases like that happened as evidenced by the Supreme Court. A very old case, I think, that happened a hundred years ago. On the other hand, The Flesh and the Devil may bring your anger out to those human traffickers. Deceiving the provincianas that they will have a better life in Manila, as it turned out, they became sex slaves of customers. Despite the degrading effect of slavery, one of the provincianas decided to fought back, and she won; their slavers incarcerated. Other stories have similarities: the gangster stories. A particular gangster stories, the Boy Sta. Maria case, struck me: Erap was there, and he was the pal of the deceased. That story gave me an insight: he never grew up to become a matured man. Nick is right all along; he predicted that Erap would never grow. The last story, about the deathroom, that is the electric chair, brought Nick Joaquin's opinion on the death penalty: it is anti-poor and not an effective deterrent to curb up the crime. An argument that is still being used today, for the reinstatement of the death penalty in the public's opinion is becoming popular. All in all, his reportage taught us this: that individual circumstances, if not changed, could lead to commit a crime. The only thing that I do not like in this reportage is, Nick often insert his opinion, when in fact, he do not do that, because it will compromise objectivity. I give it four stars since the book has literary flair and a great analysis, only to be tainted slightly by his opinion

  10. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Hooked me with the first 2 stories, after which it went downhill and I read just to finish up. Nice peek into that old decade in Manila though. With side story of Erap too!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cyril

  12. 5 out of 5

    Arrallenica Magcuro

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pepe Alas

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marco Caabay

  15. 4 out of 5

    Janelle A.

  16. 4 out of 5

    John Kenneth

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marc Kevin

  18. 5 out of 5

    Palo Garcia

  19. 5 out of 5

    Abbie

  20. 5 out of 5

    Diana Alexandra

  21. 4 out of 5

    Junv Hongco

  22. 4 out of 5

    Adriane

  23. 4 out of 5

    Zia

  24. 5 out of 5

    Hans Malgapu

  25. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

  26. 5 out of 5

    Iza Maria Reyes

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nora Amahan

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mary Anne

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