It took me four years and three months to complete this project, and just like any endeavour that spans a long time, there are many people who deserve heaps of gratitude for helping me in this journey.
First and foremost, thanks to my loving and indulgent parents. Without their support for my hobby, I don't think I would have had a lifestyle that allowed me to develop my novel consistently after school and work. Thank you also to my long-time online friends, Booksrgood4u and 1221Bookworm, who have been cheerleaders of my writing since my fanfiction hey-days. They were there for every single fandom I dived in, and they were there when I spontaneously decided I would write something original. Thank you to all my early beta-readers, Booksrgood4u and 1221Bookworm again, Vanathy Easwaran, and Bessie Bovolaneas. Not only did their early input helped steer the story in the right direction, but their wonderful feedback encouraged me to keep honing my novel. Thanks to my developmental editor, Katie Zhao, who pushed and challenged my character arcs – Anina is a much stronger character because of her. And last, but definitely not least, thank you to my copy editor, Stefanie Tran, as well as my final beta-reader, Myta Santiago, for administering the final polish that made this story as presentable as it is today.
There are also those who have indirectly helped me write this story without knowing it. Many thanks to the admin of Pinoy Culture, one of the largest online archives of precolonial Philippine history. Their tireless curation of resources have helped me, and no doubt many others, learn and discover such an underrated part of our heritage.
The bulk of the information I used to develop the world of this novel comes from reading Barangay by William Henry Scott. While much of the Dayungan Kingdom is inspired by precolonial Tagalog culture -- and some Kapampangan -- it is still a fictional analogue. It is not my aim to write a precise and factual depiction of precolonial Philippine cultures. That said, any inconsistencies or misattributions are my own, and I will strive to do better in the future.
And finally, thanks to you, dear reader. Whether you liked my story or not, I appreciate you taking the time to read it. Have a great day!