I was e-mailed by Charlene Rajendran, the Asia-Pacific Book Reviews Editor for Theatre Research International, an academic journal, to review Buhol-Buhol by Sir Anril Tiatco last January 2018. His book, published in 2017, is about contemporary Manila theatre. While I found the book to be informative and insightful overall, he was unable to cover aspects of the scene, like musical theatre, which I feel are significant when discussing the topic. As I’ve written in the review, a more comprehensive book has yet to be written.
Writing this was nerve-wracking in many ways: first, I have never written an academic book review for a journal as a graduate student before and, second, I am an acquaintance of Sir Anril Tiatco and while my review was generally positive, it wasn’t without strong criticism, so I am nervous about his reaction. Regarding my first concern, Charlene was very supportive and gave me insightful questions and comments that helped me refine my first draft. As for my second concern, given the review hasn’t been published yet, I can’t do anything about it except have faith in the spirit of collegiality.
Apart from the final copy of the review, I have also included the draft with Charlene’s comments.