LAKE WYLIE — Stephen Colinco portrays the struggle between good and evil in his first book, “The Spider and the Skull,” based on his own family.
Colinco, 58, tells the story of his grandfather, Lucio Tio, a Filipino who served as a guerrilla fighter and a commissioned American officer during Japanese occupation of the Philippines in World War II.
Colinco is a risk analyst for Bank of America who lives in Lake Wylie with his wife, Tiffany, and their children, Everly and Elijah.
Colinco said the book, a work of fiction, is based on the memories of his mother and on information gleaned from journals kept by his grandmother. He said he also did some research on the guerrilla insurgency through the Library of Congress.
Colinco said the book, however, is about more than the war.
“One of the reasons I wrote the book is I want people to understand that no matter how bad your plight is, no matter how bad your situation is, God will always provide for you,” he said. “He is faithful, and that’s the theme of the book.”
The book covers the time from 1942 to 1945 in the Philippines, Colinco said. He said his grandfather, a wealthy businessman who owned land there, was a quartermaster in charge of supplies in the largest area of the country, Mindanao.
“He was actually wanted by the Japanese because he was a very important person,” Colinco said.
The book evolved to include the story of his grandmother, Salvacion Miranda.
“The story became about my grandmother, who became the protagonist of the book, and it’s significant because you have a woman who has five young children, the youngest being a newborn baby,” he said.
Colinco said that at one point, U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur visited his grandfather and had lunch on the family estate in the Philippines because it was near an airfield.
Colinco, born in the Philippines, said his mother grew up and started a feeding center and an orphanage there, and that many of the orphans have gone on to establish churches.
Colinco was about 14 when his family, including both parents and seven siblings, moved to the U.S.
His father, he said, “decided for us to go here for economic reasons.”
Colinco said he was encouraged by friends to tell the story of his family. His parents, both living in Charleston, “are very honored with it. My mother wanted to story to spread.”
Colinco said the book is not anti-Japanese. “I have no animosity or ill will toward them,” he said. “I actually admire their culture.”
Colinco said he is now at work on two more books, both fiction.
“The Spider and the Skull,” a 256-page paperback, is published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises and costs $19.99 from the publisher. It also is available from bookstores nationwide and on Amazon.com.
Jennifer Becknell • 803-329-4077