Specifically, if I have to travel for a month, I would bring the fiction anthology of Jorge Luis Borges and David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. These are books I keep going back to for the past five years and probably for many more years to come. If I lose them, I would not get affected at all. After all, I only need these books when I have time to burn. And indeed, I've lost them more than once before. Luckily, Jorge Luis Borges would turn up again in an old suitcase or knapsack. And David Foster Wallace -- I would buy him again, which is what I did this Christmas when I realized I may find some time to read during the break. Regarding free will and destiny, I have long concluded that it is a foolish enterprise to determine if we make our own destiny or God has provided us with definite paths and conclusions. The brains that could comprehend the complexity of this mystery do not belong to humans. So I tread along in life observing, waiting to be amazed by what turns up every now and then, and grateful for all this energy and time.
This is a reply to F. Sionil Jose's blog post, http://www.fsioniljose.com/blog/what-is-your-most-prized-possession. Frankie's Two Filipino Women, which he later released as Three Filipino Women, was the first Filipino fiction I read. I was a twelve year old kid then and unfortunately too young to understand it. But words and images from the book would turn up in my dreams -- like Cadena de Amor and Pobres Park.