Black Clouds in Manila, a novel by Tessie Jayme
by Tessie Jayme
Black Clouds in Manila
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The July 2014 edition of the Filipino American Journal.

An image of the article that features Black Clouds in Manila.

The Filipino American Journal
Vol. 16 Number 12 -- July 1-15, 2014
I'd like to express appreciation to The Filipino American Journal for including an article about me and my novel, Black Clouds in Manila. Thank you very much!

You can read the full text from the newspaper below:

Author Explains the Story Behind the Story
On December 8, 1941, Japanese troops attack the Philippine Islands and catapults the Filipino people into the fray of World War II. A month later, Manila finds itself under full Japanese occupation. The occupants of Manila must now choose to remain in the city under full Japanese authority or to take flight to other islands in the hope of remaining beyond the enemy’s immediate presence.

In Tessie Jayme’s historical drama, Black Clouds in Manila, Torio and Rissing Santos have been married nine years when this event occurs. As a Filipino Scout with MacArthur’s ESAFFE troops, Torio leaves his family to join his company for battle. Rissing, pregnant with their fourth child, decides to flee Manila to join Torio’s family on the island of Panay. The book follows the travails of the Santos family as they struggle to survive the challenges of the war.

Back in Manila, Lucing Trinidad, an Associate Professor at Santo Tomas University, decides to stay in Manila where she volunteers to assist the Japanese Camp Commander tho has been placed in charge of the internment camp which Santo Tomas University has become. Her plan is to assist her countrymen by passing on inside information which might assist their goal to ultimately liberate Manila from the Japanese. Despite the rational warnings of her mind, she falls in love with the Commander and her life becomes a conflicted moral struggle in the midst of her own people who see her as a traitor to their cause.

This novel chronicles the history of the war as it progresses in the Philippines, and depicts not only the heroism of the Filipino people living under the duress of atrocious acts during war, but their humanity as they somehow find the grace to choose right actions despite bad situations.

Inspired by the stories her parents and family have told her about their war-time years in the Philippines, and with the help of extensive research, Tessie Jayme has created a fictional novel which educates, entertains, and engages a reader’s sympathy.

This is not a war novel. It’s a family novel and a love novel. The author shows us how love permeates through life so deeply, it even weaves its magic during wartime and  proves, as always, the resourceful spirit of the human condition.


"Tessie does an amazing job of creating characters and using a writing style that takes you into the thoughts, feelings,
and behaviors of this culture in time that resonates deeply with our humanity
." - Mona L.