4 out of 4 stars
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A Memory of Time by Virgilio A Reyes Jr. is an engaging memoir. The book captures the author's musings on the people he has met and the places he has been during his peripatetic 35-year career as a Foreign Service Officer with the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs. The book comprises five parts. Virgilio A. Reyes Jr. is the author of other books, one of which is Gloria; it received the 2004 National Book Award.
As a dedicated young man with the wit required to represent his country at an international level, Virgilio A. Reyes Jr. rose from the ranks of the Department of Foreign Affairs and subsequently retired as an ambassador for the Republic of the Philippine. As a veteran diplomat, he represented his country in New York, the United Nations, Myanmar, Chile, Mexico, etc. Among the notable personalities he has met are Aung San Suu Kyi, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Nadine Gordimer, Fidel Ruz Castro, and Frederich Wilhelm de Klerk. Some of his published works border on global issues and the political and cultural heritage of the Philippine. Through his writings, he has contributed immensely to other Philippine media platforms such as the Star, Daily Inquirer, Business Day, and Positively Filipino.
I found this history book to be exciting and free-flowing; it is not a book to be rushed. For readers who are fashion lovers, they will learn how Louis Vuitton, one of the oldest and most famous luxury brands in the world, has come to represent the gold standard for travel and innovation. Readers will also learn about the most expensive piece of art designed for the fashion giant and its worth. Overall, readers will gain a lot, particularly about the Philippines. The author's finesse and the depth of his wisdom reflected on every page of the book. There are adequate translations of other languages used in the book.
I most liked the last part of the book because it contained a collection of the author's reflections on subjects that showed the depth of his knowledge across various spheres of life. The catchy titles of the Reflections and their contents will impact readers. I also liked how detailed and light-hearted the book was at the same time. There was not a dull moment in this 224-page book; the author dedicated a portion of it to his late parents. The tribute he wrote to them was remarkable because July was a significant month for them. While his father, Virgilio Rex Reyes Sr. was born on July 5, his mother, Erlinda Alcantara-Reyes was born on July 7. They got married on July 4 and hoped that they would have a child born on July 6. However, that wish was ungranted, though his parents had five children. Unfortunately, his father passed away from a heart attack on July 21, 1977.
The book contains several pictures, most of which are the depiction of the author at various events with other dignitaries. These pictures further brought the author’s stories to life and gave its readers a full view of his experiences. However, some illustrations were uncaptioned. Examples are pictures on pages 37, 40, 42, 44, 60, 68, and 82.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Memory of Time. It appeared to be professionally edited because I found a few errors in it. It contains no profanity or sexual content. For the above reasons, I rate this book four out of four stars. I did not award it a lower rating because it is educative. I recommend it to everyone, particularly readers who enjoy impactful memoirs and travelogues. Historians will find this book invaluable.
A Memory of Time
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