This novel is set in the fictional Garsoponga, an impoverished village of fewer than 250 people on the Philippine island of Cebu. The trackless jungle behind the settlement conceals deep within it the legendary "Valley of the Rainbow," where it's said that one can view an incredible circular rainbow only during the rainy season.
An epic poem steeped in legend and death, the novel centers on the spiritual growth of a boy named Toshio during a span of some three years in his early teens, from 1998. Born to a Japanese father and Filipina mother, Toshio lives with his grandfather Gabriel, a man in his mid-seventies, and is the only one in the village who knows how to get to the mystical valley, where an antigovernment rebel named José has made his camp. The boy and rebel form a close friendship.
One day a woman named Queen returns triumphantly to the village, which was once her home. Some 20 years earlier she had gone to Manila, where she married an elderly Japanese artist and acquired great wealth. The story shifts rapidly as she flings her money around the community. Chavez, the local leader, has entered into shady dealings with Queen, but is found to have fathered a child in an incestuous relationship with his own daughter, bringing about his downfall. Toshio agrees to a request from Queen and guides her to the Valley of the Rainbow, thus exposing José to danger.
Three years pass, and Toshio learns that Queen, too, was once a guerrilla and José's lover; he also finds out that José is his uncle. In the end, all the people in whom Toshio placed his faith, beginning with José and Gabriel, die one by one.
(Vol. 1) ISBN 978-4087475722, 464pages
(Vol. 2) ISBN 978-4087475739, 480pages