Sunday, June 01, 2008

being a hipon

Grammar check, language competence, poetic deficiency, and many more, these various features for criticism just never fail to pull us down from what literary pedestal we are standing on. Feelerette! In the 15th Iligan National Writers Workshop that ended last May 31, we were mere fellows and the likes of Leoncio Deriada, Rosario Cruz Lucero, Christine Godinez-Ortega, Tony Enriquez, Man Gervacio, Victor Sugbo and Ralph Galan were the masters.

Well, they did send us monsters. The almost-daily mentioning of “this is an attempt…”, “the problem of this piece…”, and “this will work if…” still ring in my mind. Obviously that’s the purpose of a writing workshop; to be assailed with comments and lessons that stem from one’s very own glory piece.

In my case, who finally got into a serious workshop to have my English poems critiqued by established Filipino poets, I considered myself lucky (except for the colds and cough that I got for being enclosed inside the Elena Towers Hotel with artic air-conditioners). The remarks I received were Level 7.5 Bad (in a range from 1 to 10) and this rating proved that what I thought was enough was never adequate. Remain humble and continue writing. We, fellows, all learned this: Pride in the field of writing never works so what better way of receiving hurting analysis and study is to become a hipon. Forgive the Kafkaesque inside joke here but this was the most effective technique to execute when one had to agree with the Panelists’ observations other than nodding while smiling at the same time with tears welling up in our eyes (this is an exaggeration).

The origin of this “becoming a hipon” still stemmed from one of my many adventures in the Dumaguete Workshop so explaining the whys and the hows here is tasking. Let’s just state that a hipon is basically a shrimp and that a shrimp has scales, scales which strengthened our outer look that subsequently gave us an almost emotionless and expressionless face when we, fellows, decided of metaphorically transforming into one during the sessions. Now, I’m back in Tagbilaran and still coughing.

(Top row L-R: Erick Dasig Aguilar, Xer Jason D. Ocampo, Ma. Elena L. Paulma, Marion B. Guerrero, Efmer E. Agustin, Krisza Joy P. Kintanar, John Lorenz S. Poquiz, Fred Jordan Mikhail T. Carnice. Bottom Row L-R: Sarah Jane D. Sebastian, Leonilo D. Lopido, Samantha G. Echavez, John Philip A. Baltazar, Marius Angelo G. Monsanto, Luciano L. Abia IV, Niño Manaog, Evangeline B. Gubat)



Mugen said...

The countless workshops I attended in my masters had made me so afraid of works, I still can't call myself a writer, even if i weave words almost everyday of my life. Hehe.

And yeah, workshops make you a very very humble person. :)

f. jordan said...

well, same here. im so far from gaining the title of a "writer."

yas said...

im still having a literary hangover. wah

Eva said...

jordan! thank you for creating that lovely poster. :) i am already missing you. us metal-mouths should have a reunion. plus, kasama si sam, na kahit walang braces, we found our homes in her din. i had a grand time sa workshop. ano, kumusta ang pagte-text? :)

f. jordan said...

yeah! let's dominate the world with our metal-coiled pearly whites! roar! hehe... yeah, hopefully our communication will last. See you sa susunod na workshop! (hehe, parang workshop junkie!)

Sam said...

*sniff* thanks again jowdan for the lovely photo art <3 i have yet to blog about the workshop; i plan to use the photo art too as my visual aid hehe :D

salamat gyud sa dumaguete experience mo; otherwise we would not have known the essence/our transmogrification into hipons :)

f. jordan said...

sure. you can use that photo art anytime. thanks for liking it. :)
(and i'll be waiting for that blog post!)

oo nga, dahil sa Dumaguete workshop, na-share ko sa mga Iligan fellows ang importance and true essence of being a hipon! LOL.