"In this age of revolution, the contemporary writer should utilize the pen for the preservation of peace," Norbert Mercado, a Filipino author, stressed. The books he has written and published, including his anthologies, unapologetically assert the indispensability of peace in a nation’s progress.
The author has written more novels than any Asian writer had in just a brief period of time. In fact, he has surpassed the number of novels written by world-renowned novelists like Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn (winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, 1970) and American authors Ernest Hemingway (winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, 1954). Solzhenitsyn has four novels to his credit, while Hemingway has eight.
His style of writing is simple and succinct, but poignant and colorful like Hemingway’s THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA, and Solzhenitsyn’s ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DESONOVICH. "The simpler the novel, the better," he said.
In line with Japanese Yasunari Kabawata’s writings about the Japanese way of life, most of Norbert’s novels focus mostly on the current situation in his country. Kabawata is the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1968.
His books present hope to the Filipino, especially to the "economic exiles" in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan whom he has spent most of his time with, in their daily struggles. But most of all, his novels lucidly show the futility of war and violence in the resolution of political-economic-class conflicts in the Philippines.
"War should not be used as an instrument in resolving political conflicts. Writers who abet wars and revolutions must think of the widows and the fatherless, the chaos, destruction, and suffering of the people whom they claim to be concerned about," he said.
What if, like Solzhenitsyn, Hemingway, and Kabawata, he eventually wins the Nobel Prize? What will he do with the US$1,000,000 award?
"I will use the prize for establishing a Peace Foundation that will assist in the formulation of policies which will resolve the current shooting conflicts in the country and help alleviate the continuing poverty of our countrymen."
He will take charge of the foundation and personally campaign for a peaceful settlement of the conflicts in the Philippines.
"The insurgency and the secessionist rebellion have foreign support. A Nobel title will give me the personality to approach the leaders involved in the conflicts," he explained.
Born on March 25, 1955, he is the youngest among the children of Mr. and Mrs. Aurelio Mercado, Sr. of San Manuel, Tarlac. He graduated from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, with two degrees, Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Communication. Voted Outstanding Campus Journalist in 1974, he was a columnist and associate editor of the Philippine Collegian, the campus publication of the University of the Philippines. He has also written articles for various newspapers and magazines in the Philippines, as well as abroad. He also won the 1981 National Essay Writing Contest sponsored by SIDESTREETS Magazine.
Norbert is a graduate of the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP), the topmost armed forces school in the country, where he was conferred a Master’s degree in National Security Administration (MNSA) and the rank of Lt. Colonel in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). He graduated from the NDCP at the age of 32, the youngest in Class 21 which had already produced several generals in the Armed Forces, and the youngest graduate in the history of the National Defense College of the Philippines. He was elected one of the fifteen directors of Class 21.
He was conferred the degree of Doctor of Divinity (Applied Servanthood), Honoris Causa, for his almost 30 years work in Christian literature. His batch mates include Senator Robert Barbers, Undersecretary of Trade and Industry and Bulletin Columnist Nelly Villafuerte, Actor and Producer Fred Galang, Rev. Peter Vasaya, and the His Royal Highness Sultan of Sulu and Sabah Ishmael Kiram.
A sports lover, he was a rifle marksman in his UP ROTC days, and a winner of the 1988 and 1989 5,000 meter-run sponsored by the National Defense College Alumni Association. His sports include swimming, basketball, volleyball, boxing, karate, cycling, and marathon among others.
A traveler, he has attended various international conferences and trainings in Asia and Europe. His travels have widened his insight not only of places, but also of people he has constantly observed and empathized with.
He is the youngest graduate of the Singapore Haggai Institute for Third World Leaders in 1980 at the age of 24.
"Let us work for peace in our country, in any way we can," Norbert stressed. Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers."
Ria M. Mercado
Where to find Norbert Mercado online
A Summer Day In Paris
“Smile, Norbert! This is your souvenir in Paris from me. Whenever you see this photo, you’ll remember this summer day in Paris.”
From “A Summer Day In Paris”
Shepherds of Bethlehem
As the young couple talked in the early evening, they heard a cry from a sheep.
Abner immediately took his rod and staff, for he knew that their flocks were most likely being attacked by either wolves or lions.
Abigail took her rod and staff, too, to help her husband.
“No. Just call father. Tell him to follow and help me. Stay with mother. We can take care of this,” Abner told his wife.
The Demise Of A King
“Where is the Child who has been born King of the Jews? For we observed His star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage,” one of the wise men from the East who came to Jerusalem asked one of the guards at Herod’s palace.
Architects Of Earth
“When I find the right guy, then that’s the time I’ll walk down the aisle,” Jennifer said.
Jimmy felt bad at Jennifer’s statement because he had been courting her since their third year in college. But Jennifer only saw him as a friend. There was never a hint of romantic emotion for him. Still, Jimmy kept on hoping and praying that someday, she would feel something for him, too.
One In One Hundred
Two men in white t-shirts refrained from following the crowd. They were there on a mission to observe the future President of the Japanese Government in the Philippines. Despite having to listen to the tumultuous shouts of their countrymen, they had to imprint everything about Laurel – what he looked like, his mannerisms, the way he dressed up, and the way he talked - in their mind.
A Father's Love
“The tests in life are not necessarily God’s punishment for His children. Remember the story of Job. It was not God who inflicted troubles on Job. It was Satan. God allowed Satan to bring trouble and inflict pain on Job for a purpose. God wanted to test Job’s faithfulness in Him. In the end, God blessed Job.”
“Nineveh, you will be overturned in forty days! God has seen your lawlessness, violence and immorality, and has caused judgement upon you! God will send your enemies to punish you. They will burn your city! The same thing you did to your enemies will be done to you!” Jonah cried to the people of Nineveh.
Escape To Tarshish
“Is Tarshish a big city?” Jonah asked Shaphat as they lay on wooden beds for paid passengers after dinner.
“It is. It’s the center of commerce in the region. That’s why ships bring goods from other nations to be sold there. There are so many rich people in Tarshish. Commerce is good,” Shaphat replied.
“What about gold?”
“Yes. The ships also bring gold to Tarshish, and also silver.”
The M.V. Apollon, a Greek pleasure ship which was chartered by the Kuwait Petroleum Company to temporarily house the firefighters for the Al Awda Project of the royal government of Kuwait, lazily docked at the Shuaiba seaport of Kuwait in the Persian Gulf.
The Al Awda Project, or The Return Project in English, was aimed to put out all the burning oil wells, oil refineries, and oil lakes in Kuwait
“Jerusalem was settled in 3500 B.C. It is a plateau on the Judean Mountains. Jerusalem was first situated on the Ophel above the Gihon Spring. In the 19th Century B.C., Jerusalem was mentioned as Rusalimum in the Egyptian Execration Texts. In the 14th century B.C., Jerusalem appeared in the diplomatic correspondence in what they call Amarna letters. It was then called Urusalim."
“Love is an emotion, too. But it is more than an emotion, a fleeting feeling which a man experiences when he meets a woman of beauty. That’s how I felt for you the first time I met you. It’s a strange feeling. The full admiration is there. And I still feel that way. Even now… I’m excited to see you everyday. I feel strangely sad if I don’t see you even for a day," Dr. Ratanopol explained.
"Revenge will destroy both the subject and the perpetrator. Absolutely nothing good can come out of it,” Dr. Chatchai Ratanopol said when he talked to a group of Thai teens in Sangkhlaburi which had fought a series of rumbles against a group of teenagers from the Mon village. The Thais would not help in the rebuilding project until the fighting stopped, and the Thais and Mon groups were at peace.
The Saphan Mon wooden bridge spans the Song Kalia River which cuts through the town proper of Sangkhlaburi and the Burmese Mon Village, Ban Wangka. On one side of the bridge lives Thinzar Wint Kyaw, a twenty-one year old girl whose parents fled Burma when she was only nine years of age. On the other side of the bridge, Chatchai Ratanopol, a young doctor, returns to his hometown. Their paths meet.
Blessed Is The Fruit Of Thy Womb
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16
This Christmas, remember how blessed you are that God gave up His one and only Son to redeem you from a world of sin. A classic Christmas story retold through the pen of Norbert Mercado.
Pilgrims To Jerusalem
“Life is more exciting if there is a dream,” Jonathan Abraham told Gene Ensomo as the cruise ship Queen Virginia plied the Mediterranean Sea on a cold night. The ship was on its way to Port Haifa in Israel. Jonathan Abraham, and his wife Ruth, were Jews who were born in Australia. Their parents escaped from the Netherlands to the Philippines during World War II.
A glimpse of Gene Ensomo's past.
A Year Without Summer
"The wicked man who destroys the earth won’t last long, and he will eventually be swallowed by the earth," Engineer Timothy Muller, the Operations Chief of the Bechtel Corporation, said as he addressed more than fifty people that day. The crowd was mainly composed of engineers and firefighters hired by the company to help put out the flames coming from the oil wells and refineries in Kuwait.
The Burning Of The Fields
AUGUST 2, 1990. Iraq’s Army invaded the oil-rich nation of Kuwait today. President Saddam Hussein of Iraq justified the invasion of Kuwait by saying that Kuwait historically belongs to Iraq. Saddam said that Kuwait is the birthplace of Nabopollasar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar is the founder of the Babylonian Empire. Babylon is today’s modern Iraq.
The Syrian rebels have captured groups of Fijian and Filipino soldiers and held them hostage. Now, the Syrian rebels are demanding for the surrender of Colonel Lucero and the rest of the remaining soldiers of the Philippine Contingent to the Golan Heights.
One Summer Day In Cana
A celebration is in danger of coming to a halt. Nahalel, Bezer, and Jezebel are worried. Even their chief, Ephraim, is at a quandary. What surprises await in Cana?
The Battle Of Manila Bay
The Spanish Armada has allowed the Spaniards to maintain their powerful grip on the areas they have conquered.
The American Asiatic Squadron aims to break that grip and bring freedom to the inhabitants of the Spanish colonies.
Explore the battle which paved the way for a new era.
"The Battle Of Manila Bay" is the latest novel from the pen of Norbert Mercado, author of "The Children of Mars".
A Jewish worker for the Roman empire witnesses an event that will change his life. From the author of "In the Shadow of the Roman Empire" comes "Golgotha!"
With her husband gone, Josephine decides to join the rebellion against Spanish colonial rule. What fate lies forth for the British lass from Hong Kong? Dulce Extranjera is the fourth and final book of the Morning Glory Series.
Prepare for Eternity
A patriot. A woman. A revolution. The third novel of the "Morning Glory" series.
Love Is Beautiful
The 2nd novel in Norbert Mercado's Morning Glory series. Continue the journey with the exile, Jose Rizal and the foreigner, Josephine Bracken.
The first novel in a trilogy about the love story of the Philippine National hero Dr. Jose Rizal, and the Irish beauty, Miss Josephine Bracken.
Cambodia's Children of Sorrow
Cambodia's Children of Sorrow and Other Stories. This is the first anthology of short stories in Asia written by Norbert L. Mercado.
The Child In The Storm
Janet Boncodin is about to have a baby, but her boyfriend has refused to take responsibility. What future awaits the child?
The Fall Of Egypt's Islamist Dictator
Winning the first democratic presidential elections in Egypt after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, Mohammed Morsi, backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, seized absolute dictatorial powers by ramming down the people's throat an Islamist constitution placing himself above the court and the law. Dictatorial abuse of power and economic crisis in Egypt drove millions of Egyptians to protest.
Saigon: War's Remembrance
A veteran soldier is tired of all the fighting in his country. He comes to a point where he must flee for his life. Will he choose life over love?
Saigon: War's Remembrance is the latest novel from the pen of Norbert L. Mercado.
Summer Poems From The Sea
A collection of poems written by Norbert L. Mercado on a ship named St. Michael the Archangel while travelling from the Port of Cagayan de Oro City
to the Port of Manila
The Roman Governor of Judaea
Book III of "In The Shadow Of The Roman Empire" explores the story of the Roman Governor of Judaea's struggle between political survival and deliverance of justice for the innocent.
Book II of "In The Shadow Of The Roman Empire" explores the story behind the villain captured by Marcus Aurelius.
In The Shadow Of The Roman Empire
Marcus Aurelius is a newly promoted Roman military officer who finds himself surrounded by unusual circumstances in a strange new land. What revelations await him?
The Korean War
In 1951, best friends Pete Alvarez and Jose Aban, young men with adventurous goals and ambitions, have joined the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK) along with other Filipino soldiers in the 19th Battalion Combat Team.
What experiences await the two in the Korean War?
One Love, Three Summers
Father Rex is a priest involved in the communist movement. Because of Annabelle, he begins to question the ideology he has followed for years.
This novel spurns and condemns a bloody revolution as a solution to the problems of society, and gives an unapologetic argument that compassion rather than the pursuit of power is the noblest of human aspirations.
Vivian and Remedios have begun a new chapter of their lives in a strange foreign land. What struggles will they face as they try to secure a better future?
Beyond the darkness lies the rebuilding power of love.
A novel about the struggles and sacrifices of working women abroad in their quest for a better life.
The Days of an Empire
An amazon is the key to the success of a daring mission. The target is the man she deeply loves!
A novel for peace, stressing the sacredness of life, faith, and liberty in the lives of men and in the destiny of a nation.
I Don't Need A Throne
Apasra seemed like an ordinary foreign student striving to get through Harvard University. Unknown to her peers, she has a well-kept secret.
A novel of great love. The author argues that "great love exacts a great price". It vividly shows that love is undoubtedly the noblest and mightiest of all human emotions.
Some Winds Blow Forever
Cara, a well traveled Lithuanian-American businesswoman, has uncovered the truth she was asked to search for in Macau. Ecological destruction results in a terrifying natural disaster.
Even The Grass Bleeds
On July 16, 1990, the most devastating earthquake in Philippine history takes place. Daniel, an engineering student is trapped beneath the rubble of the Hyatt Terraces Hotel. Rose, his girlfriend, is an OFW in Hong Kong. She awaits news of his situation.
After The Summer Rain
Luzviminda, could only listen intently as news of the devastating Mount Pinatubo eruption reached her in Hong Kong. Couple that with a violent-tempered mistress and a boyfriend whom she has hardly heard from. How does she cope with all of these trials?
72 Hours In Moscow
Arthur, an American journalist is madly in love with Natasha, a patriotic Russian medical student. Will she choose his love over her love of country? A story set in the midst of the coup d' etat against Russian Premier Michael Gorbachev...
The Winter Is Young
Josephine's father is an active Major in the military. Dante, her boyfriend, has joined the forces against the government. The rebel controlled bombers swooped over Malacañang Palace on the first day of the bloodiest military rebellion in Philippine history. The Aquino administration fought for its life, a nation shook, and the fate of an unspoiled love stood still.
The Last Romanov
Written by Norbert L. Mercado, the author takes us on a journey of possibilities about the tragic story of the last Romanov family - that of Tsar Nicholas and Empress Alexandra - after the end of World War I and the Russian Revolution.
The Children of Mars
Written by Norbert L. Mercado, The Children of Mars is novel about an unusual friendship that took place between a Filipino guerrilla and a Japanese Captain in the darkest days of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during World War II.
Chrys, a Filipina singer in Hong Kong, is torn between Michael, a dedicated soldier fighting against communist insurgency, and Peter, a jet-setting Chinese businessman capable of offering her financial security.
Written by Norbert L. Mercado in 1989, Chrysanthemum is a touching story of love and revolution in the Philippines.
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