Jose P. Filio’s first book fulfills a lifelong dream – to write his memoir before turning 80. He missed his deadline by a few months, but in Uncharted, he tells his story from his childhood in a rural Philippine village to immigration to the U.S. and a long career as an auditor with the Department of Defense.
Filio notes that he always had an interest in writing. He was the editor of his high school newspaper and later sought a journalism job for a big-city paper. But the plan failed to materialize, and he then decided on a military career. He attended the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and became a member of his nation’s Air Force. He spent almost a year in an avionics training program in the U.S., then returned home. Soon after, he married a Texas woman, and after a short residence in the Philippines, they settled in San Antonio and raised a family.
The book details Filio’s career, step by step. His straightforward writing style gets the job done without flourishes. But at times, the author delivers too many mundane details. Writing about a flight to Japan, for example, the author notes: “The passengers were cautioned to stay in their seats with their seatbelts fastened. They should remain in their seats until the aircraft was fully stopped and the fasten-seatbelt lights were turned off.” On other occasions, seemingly important chunks of his life—his wife’s serious auto accident, his sons’ marriages and new families—are mentioned in passing, almost as an afterthought.
Another problem is the author’s omission of the year of events he’s writing about. He’ll furnish the month, but not the year; five years can pass in just a few pages, which can be confusing.
Filio’s life has been one of hard work and determination to provide for his family. His story is worth telling, but, ultimately, this book will be of most interest to the author’s family and friends.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.