Monday, May 03, 2010

how writing grows: after the 10th iyas creative writing workshop


I was excited being the first to arrive at 6:30am in Balay Kalinungan at La Salle Bacolod two Sundays ago, and all of a sudden, cheerless next being the last to leave the place, seeing people you’ve grown to like packing their bags and leaving the doors with a hesitant wave inside their taxis. It was a sad image, recycled over and over in my head.

Like any gathering such as the 10th Iyas Creative Writing Workshop held last April 25-May 1, leaving each other’s familiar presence is but the final untold session of all: the parting tests the strength of bond.

For practicing writers, this bond is what keeps the craft going: the exchanges of ideas, the developments of verses, the first drafts of stories, or simply the never-ending swaps of rumors, both humorous and not.

I hope my co-fellows—Anne Abad, Elsed Tongonon, Gino Francis Dizon, Jesus Insilada, Vernan Jagunap (for fiction), Alyza Taguilaso, Arbeen Acuña, Gian Paolo Lao, Glenn Muñez, Noel Fortun, Paul Gumanao, Roselle Ibabao, Sim Gadugdug, Charmaine Luzano, and Rogerick Fernandez (for poetry)—will soon realize this. But I am sure they will.

Humility aside, I have been to two writing workshops already (one in Dumaguete and another in Iligan) and I can attest that constant communication with fellow like-minds brings out the best of anyone. And being in the tenth installment of Iyas, thereby approximately affirming and reaffirming the birth of a hundred or so budding writers in the country, is one proof that that really is no lie.


In retrospect, I came in prepared for the workshop, considering that this would be my third, but the keen insight and dissecting skills of Dr. Elsa Coscolluela, Dr. Danilo Francisco M. Reyes, Dr. Anthony Tan, Dr. Dinah Roma-Sianturi, Dr. Genevieve Ansenjo, and Prof. John Iremil Teodoro—our formidable panelists of varying literary discipline—never fail to resonate the fact that I was there to learn, to be immersed in their knowledge and talent that could blow anyone’s mind away.

Though all fellows had their fair share of the spotlight in the workshop sessions, special mention should still be made to the fellows for the regional languages (Hiligaynon, Kiniray-a, Cebuano, and Boholano). Their showcase of promising discipline, mastery of language and technique put more weight on the fact that talent and the ability to relay an insight no matter what locality it is based from do not revolve around the English and Tagalog languages only.

And here’s another reminder: No matter how far you’ve gone, with Iyas, the seed that promises a canopy of wisdom and a trunk for the pillars of our future praises, there’s always room for improvement.

To all fellows, I’d like to say that writing and its results are like taking care of a bonsai—to see its startling beauty, one must endure the aching and hard steps of trimming, bending, wiring and rewiring.

Since all beautiful things start with a seed, it is only fitting that by the time we see the point of going back to revising our entries in the workshop, if time permits, let us pull our manuscripts from the envelope, study the branching comments that peek out from a sentence, the erasures that seem tentative in their repose in one specific verse, and keep the writing grow.

That is how our writing will grow.


1 comment:

f. jordan said...

I recently came across your comment too in another blog and found that it read exactly the same with the one you posted here. Nice try.