OMF Lit Publishes Memoir on Fear, Blindness, and Faith

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“It’s one thing to eat chicken served fried on the table and another to see it lifeless and pale, sitting in a kitchen sink prior to cleaning. Naked, yes, that is how it feels. Feather-plucked chicken me, speechless in shame.”

And so begins the story of fourteen-year-old Janina Marie Rivera, fighting a battle against Arterio-Venous Malformation (AVM), a fatal congenital condition of the brain that left her with recurring headaches and a permanent blindness in one eye.

“I was absent from the girlish gossip, teenage flirtation, and mall lakwatsa so necessary in high school. My excuse? A vein had ruptured in my brain,” Janina shares, narrating her journey—from that fateful night in August 1996 when she was rushed to a lying-in clinic because of a terrible stomachache, to the diagnosis of her AVM, to her successful operation via Gamma Knife Radiology. Janina also details the process her recovery and her struggles to live a normal life despite her sickness.

Years later, Janina pens a moving account of her experiences in A Night Bird Sings of Blindness and Fear. Published by OMF Literature, the book is more than a story of AVM as a medical condition; it is also an extraordinary testimony of self-acceptance, maturity, and wonder, especially in a time where sickness has its different, and sometimes invisible, forms. The book shares Janina’s fears and self-doubt, and her faith, which helped her overcome the hardest, and sometimes saddest, times in her life.

Leaders and experts in different fields offer generous praise for the book:

Poet Marjorie Evasco, in her Introduction, believes that A Night Bird Sings of Blindness and Fear is “meant to inspire young people like [Janina], as well as older ones, whose lives are intimate with pain or suffering, to take courage and to learn that pain can heal through the creative mind’s power of transformative absorption.”

Dr. Jose Aguilar of the Academy of Filipino Neurosurgeons Inc. admires Janina’s courage: “She bravely resolved to study and understand her ‘enemy,’ and succeeded in conquering her fears and overcoming the challenges brought by her debilitating brain ailment.”

Dr. Miguel Alvarez of the Asian Seminary of Christian Ministries points out how the book “shows the testimony of a miracle and the way God intervenes in behalf of His loved ones . . . how His love and care are tried and true—by the beauty of an inspirational conviction that life is meant to be experienced in full.”

A Night Bird Sings of Blindness and Fear will be launched on November 24, 2018 at The Pergola Mall, BF Homes, Paranaque City. The book is available at all OMF Lit Bookshop and Passages branches for P275.00. It will soon be available in National Book Store, Philippine Christian Bible Store, and other leading bookstores nationwide. The book may also be ordered online through passagesbooks.com. For more information, please contact OMF Lit Marketing Sales Associate Meljie Lorenzo at 0906.6723.963.

OMF Literature