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 the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in World War II.
The risk analyst for Bank of America lives in Lake Wylie with his wife, Tiffany, and their children, Everly and Elijah.
The book, a work of fiction, is based on the memories of his mother and on information gleaned from journals kept by his grandmother, Colinco said. He also did some research on the guerrilla insurgency through the Library of Congress.
But the book is about more than the war.
“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 1942 to 1945 in the Phillipines. Colinco’s 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,” said Colinco, who was born in the Philippines.
The book evolved to include the story of his grandmother, Salvacion Miranda.
“The story became about my grandmother, who became the protaganist of the book,” he said. “It’s significant because you have a woman who has five young children, the youngest being a newborn baby.”
At one point, Colinco said, Gen. Douglas MacArthur visited his grandfather and had lunch on the family estate in the Philippines because it was near an airfield.
Colinco’s mother grew up and started a feeding center and an orphanage there, and many of the orphans have gone on to establish churches.
He was about 14 when his family, including both parents and seven siblings, moved to the U.S. His father “decided for us to go here for economic reasons.”
Colinco 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 the story to spread.”
“I have no animosity or ill will toward” the Japanese, he said. “I actually admire their culture.”
Colinco is now at work on two more books, both fiction.
Jennifer Becknell • 803-329-4077