Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Look at Ichi Batacan

Maria Felisa Batacan, also known as Ichi Batacan(picture unavailable), is a fairly new Filipino writer. Her book, Smaller and Smaller Circles, which was published last 2002, won the 1999 Palanca grand prize for novel, the National Book Award from Manila Critics Circle in 2002 and the Third Madrigal-Gonzales First Book Award in 2003. She has a degree in Broadcast Communication and a Master's degree in Art Studies in UP Diliman.

She grew up in an environment where poor people were abundant. There weren't too many job openings during her time here in the Philippines and the economy wasn't also that good. Also, the Philippines she grew up in didn't have a decent police system. Crimes that were reported by people were most of the time left unattended. Policemen were slow in taking action whenever crimes were committed. For the typical Filipino, policemen were very unreliable.

She used these factors as her background in her novel Smaller and Smaller Circles.

She writes quite similar to Dan Brown. She likes to shift from a slow discussion about something to a quick action-packed scene. This makes the story interesting since the readers won't be able to anticipate what's going to happen next. She also likes to describe things in detail, particularly the murders done by the killer in her story. Blood is very abundant. Ichi also provides a look inside her murderer's mind (a first person type of thing) but besides that, nothing is known about the identity of the murderer up until the end, much like what Dan Brown does.

She grew up here in the Philippines (exact place of birth and birth date not available on the net) and is currently a business copy editor for The Straits Times in Singapore.


-patrick sy

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