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BOOK REVIEW: DIWATA BY BARBARA JANE REYES
Date of Review: 
Mar.01.2011
Published Work: 
Reviewer: 
Carolyne Whelan
Source: 
Coal Hill Review

A Diwata, in Philippine culture, is a guardian spirit of nature similar to a nymph or elf who resides in large trees and is capable of delivering both fortune and misfortune. They are called upon ritually to bring a fruitful harvest, health, and wealth, but will cause harm to those who disrespect or cause harm to the natural world. Barbara Jane Reyes, in her new collection, Diwata, adds that Diwata (seemingly a singular spirit in the book, though culturally there are many Diwatas) is the sister of Thunder and Lightning: “And their sister, the strange diwata whose light remains contained. Witness she is, and weaver. If she would only speak, then she would tell you – these stories I give you, I swear they are the truth.”