by Agnes Manalo
To the Sun, Moon, and Stars, written by Cariza Opana and illustrated by Ellé Om, is a collection of poetry and prose that reads as letters meant to be sent to the skies and diary entries stored and locked in cages we all keep in our hearts.
This book talks about holding on and letting go, of becoming and unbecoming, of struggling, yet still going, and finally, of one’s self journey on the road towards healing. Get a copy: Amazon (ebook), author’s website (print) / Read reviews: Goodreads
WHAT I LIKED
I liked this part of the introduction:
“I hope they’ll take you places and comfort you in ways I have sought comfort in other people’s words.”
And as in its blurb, the work does feel like a mix of unsent letters and diary entries. It’s intensely personal, sometimes uncomfortably so, and I have nothing but admiration for an author who shares her feelings with such vulnerability I would never dare attempt. In spite of, there were still things I was able to see myself in, such as below, and that connection, as what many readers seek, is already indeed a thing of beauty in itself.
“I find myself searching for the language that my heart doesn’t have.”
The accompanying art is also lovely, and matches the feel of the volume.
(Spoiler alert! Highlight succeeding text to read.) She makes the most of her format, playing little on variety, and gives too pure of thoughts and feelings rather than carefully pruned bushes. Maybe there was catharsis in letting it all out, but I think little would be lost in editing in the name of of better communication. Also, there’s one reference—probably phrased that way as a stylistic choice—that I really wished she’d just outright attributed to Leonard Cohen.
To the Sun, Moon, and Stars by Cariza Opana is a collection of intimately written letters and journal entries, and it feels raw, intimate and brave. Prepare to get lost in a swirl of words, and to wade through the general emotions. ☁️