During my reading of Trials of the Monkey, by Matthew Chapman (pg. 53), I came across this Filipino word: bungungot. It describes a spiritual homesickness, a sorrow so profound it kills. It occurs among people who believe their land is imbued with spirits, such as those of their ancestors. To be torn from this land is to be torn from your soul. The forced abandonment of ancestral lands imposed by the U.S. on Native Americans, such as the Cherokee, comes to mind. In my second novel, Trout Run, I try to depict the antithesis of bungungot; that is, Eddy’s return to a cursed homeland in a desperate effort to find a new heart and a soul.

Quote of the Day: “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.”  Elbert Hubbard

1 thought on “Bungungot

  1. Dagny Haug

    Great word… I just became aware of a novel called Brooklyn, about a woman who emigrates to the US from Ireland, then returns to Ireland to discover she’s a stranger in her own homeland. I’m excited to read it! Somehow I suspect that word figures in the feelings of the protagonist…


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