L’Aquilone du Estrellas Review (The Kite of Stars)
Author: Dean Francis Alfar
“Is any love worth this effort? Looking for the impossible?”
Love. Love is almost always integrated in stories, which makes me curious, is there ever a story written that doesn’t have love in it? Love is shown in different forms. It can be love of a person, love of an object, love of a memory, and love of the impossible.
L’Aquilone du Estrellas shows a love so strong it fuels the person to dream incredible dreams and journey on impossible quests.
This tale begins with the end then flashbacks to the reason behind the protagonist’s current situation. The narrative is about a girl, named Maria, who fell in love with a guy called Lorenzo, at first sight. To catch Lorenzo’s attention, Maria had to traverse different parts of the world to acquire the needed materials for her to be able to have a kite made that will help her become part of the stars, since Lorenzo “only has eyes for the stars.”
She embarks on a 60-year journey with a boy‒ who she never knew the name of.
The story is set in a fictional world with the traditional social status in the Spanish Era. Maria apparently belongs to the Illustrados‒those who belong to the middle class and educated in Spanish and exposed to Spanish liberal and European nationalist ideals. Maria’s town is named Ciudad Meiora
The names of the streets, towns, islands and other places in the story are a mixture of the Spanish language, which is used for the spelling, and actual names of places in the Philippines.
The author, Dean Francis Alfar, is a huge fan of fiction, and he is one of the advocates of speculative fiction in the Philippines. He likes imagining worlds and incorporating different Filipino mythical creatures in his stories.
His search for impossible stories is the same as Maria’s quest for the location improbable things.
I am personally fond of the part where the kite maker was persuading Maria to withdraw from thoughts of continuing her impossible journey because it would not only take time to acquire the materials, but the encounters she will face will also be perplexing to get past. As the kite maker said, “Is any love worth this effort? Looking for the impossible?” Obviously, for Maria, it is a journey worth making. But come to think of it, maybe love really has no bounds. Maybe there is no such thing as “impossible” in love.
Maybe it just depends on the degree of love you have for that person, or thing.
I also find the scene wherein Maria disproves the kite maker’s statement, “As you can see it is more than any man could hope to accomplish,” with “But I am not a man.” Surely, if this is not a show of strong female character, then I do not know what is.
This also demonstrates that a girl of her class is not just a pretty face but the type that works hard to get what she wants, and I believe that this could be an inspiration to oppressed women.
Maria’s journey for the impossible is a thought-provoking event. It was such a learning experience for her. She got to learn how to speak 19 different languages and acquire life skills which she used to survive her journey.
Plus, she got to encounter different creatures from Philippine folklore, but sadly, it is not elaborated much in the passage.
The one character in this story who played a major role but did not really get the exposure he needs is the boy, who is no longer a boy by the end of the story. He stood by Maria through thick and thin and never left her even when he had the chance.
He risked having a different life just to be with Maria, and Maria being too occupied with thoughts of Lorenzo noticing her forgot to even ask the boy’s name.
I think some people can relate to this character. Being supportive to a person but not getting the gratification or at least recognition on what you have done for that person. It is sad, but true to life. We do not always have our feelings reciprocated by the person we love or like.
But I think it is enough for other people just to see the person they love happy, just like the boy.
I would give this a 4 out of 5 rating because the writing style was effortlessly understood, the plot is easily navigated, and the characters show a variety of traits, but I find the details of the story quite lacking. If you are looking for a short story about love that journeys through impossible just to achieve it, love that does not seek to be returned, love that conquers hardships of life, and love that never gives up, this story is for you.
About the Writers and How Do they See Themselves 10 years from Now
Luz Dungo, Student – Pasig City Science Highschool
A vague question for my super vague life. I see myself lounging at my own library. Not the grandeur type but a simple one with all the books I love and will love. Reading novels has been an escape drug for me since I started. I love the feeling of being transported into another world where all my earthly issues are not present.
I imagine myself hiking up mountains, crossing vast oceans and trekking rocky roads.
In short, I see myself travelling a lot. I crave for adventure too much to stay in just one place. Hopefully in ten years, I would have a more concrete sense of my purpose in this world so that I can be of more use to the society and to myself as well.
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