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'The Groovy Manananggal' a critique of factionalism and divisive politics

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Fred Figueroa's latest book, "The Groovy Manananggal," offers a scathing critique of factionalism and divisive political beliefs.

The story follows Samantha, a fourth-generation manananggal from the Mansilyo family. Her unique circumstance, having reached the age of 27 without undergoing the transformative process, becomes a symbol of "cure" within the clan.

Events take a different turn upon the passing of Samantha's grandmother, Mamang Karen, leading to a series of shocking events within her family.

The plot also revolves around the age-old rivalry between the Manswetik and Mansilyo families, two factions of manananggals with distinct ideologies. The Manswetik family embraces their inherent nature and victimizes people, while the Mansilyo family believes they should abstain from killing others.

As the story unfolds, it morphs into a poignant reflection on Philippine politics, and a commentary on polarizing views between the Administration and the opposition, especially evident in last year's national and local elections.

The narrative underscores the far-reaching consequences of factionalism, affecting relationships between family members, friends, or colleagues. 

Unwittingly, "The Groovy Manananggal" is a reminder that horror exists not only in the supernatural realm but also in our collective inability to overcome our differences as a nation.

Moreover, it mirrors other struggles in the political arena, such as turncoatism and betrayals, as the characters fight to preserve their families and beliefs.

"I want my readers to enjoy reading this supernatural fiction," Figueroa shares with Metro News Central. "Throughout the process, I hope they glean some lessons, such as being more discerning before allowing themselves to be lured into traps."

Figueroa has also written several fantasy stories. His first mythology, "The Secret of Saint Gregory’s Church," was published in the anthology book "Fly by Night" by 8Letters Bookstore and Publishing.

"The Groovy Manananggal" is part of "Manananggal in the City," a nine-piece book collection that offers a fresh perspective on Filipino folklore. All these books were self-published with the support of Pinoy Indie Authors, a community of independent writers established earlier this year.

Other titles in the collection include "The Tie That Binds" by Mayumi Cruz, "Naima’s War" by Jean Karl Gaverza, "Moonlight Eclipse" by Maita Rue, "One by One" by Yeyet Soriano, "Maya, At Your Service" by Marigold Andres Uy, "Expansion" by Mia Daquial, "My Girlfriend is a Manananggal" by Keira Viresse, and "My Manananggal Dream" by Paola Aliedo.

Visit Pinoy Indie Authors on Facebook to learn more.

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