Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Clicking them open, one by one, was saddening. (Of course, I have to check each before sentencing it to hell). The once lively community is now a virtual ghost town. I didn’t even know where these people are right now.
Curious, but is this how the present mindset works these days? Are we just too click-happy on all things trending and new, that it is easy to dismiss this and that in a heartbeat? Do we now have the attention span of a paperclip!?
If that is the case, they should at least give the data cloud a favor and delete their sites before jumping onto Tumblr or Twitter. It does not do any good leaving the internet with articles about red nail polish and other related matters.
(And yes, I won’t admit that I have entries falling under related matters).
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
IYAS announces its Roster of Fellows for the 11th IYAS Creative Writing Workshop at the Balay Kalinungan, University of St. La Salle in Bacolod City, Philippines on April 25-30.
Michelle Abigail Tan (English)
Karlo Antonio David (Filipino-Playwriting/Drama)
Rom Peña (Filipino-Kuwento)
Norman Darap (Hiligaynon)
Jayson Parba (Cebuano-Sugilanon)
Romeo Bonsocan (Cebuano-Sugilanon)
Ronn Andrew Angeles (English)
Louise Vincent Amante (Filipino)
Cor Marie Abando (Filipino)
Rogie Bacosa (Hiligaynon)
Chuvic Monserate (Hiligaynon)
Darylle Rubino (Visayan)
Ioannes Arong (Cebuano).
The panelists for this year are: Dr. Marjorie Evasco, Dr. Gerardo Torres, Dr. Genevieve Asenjo, Dr. Christine Ortega, Prof. Danilo M. Reyes and Prof. John Iremil Teodoro.
The IYAS Creative Writing Workshop is sponsored by the University of St. La Salle, the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center of De La Salle University and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
We welcome submissions in Filipino and English. Please visit our site to get a more comprehensive idea as regards the work we do and the poetry and essays we publish. We also welcome reviews of published poetry collections, especially of Filipino authors.
The deadline for submission is on June 15. For poetry submissions, please send no more than five (5) pages of verse. There is no page limit for essay contributions.
High Chair is a non-profit independent press based in the Philippines. Its first online issue went live in 2002 and has, over the years, published more than 19 chapbooks and full-length collections in English and Filipino.
Please email your submissions or enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject heading: High Chair Issue 14). Feel free to circulate this call for submissions to other interested parties.
(lifted from this site)
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
It seems this is the reason why writing does not require a licensure exam unlike accountancy or engineering or dentistry. Nothing is definite for what the craft demands. It is a constant struggle of the letters, a coming of terms with one’s duende, a Möbius strip of starting in the beginning and ending at the beginning all over again. The reasons could go on and on.
(fragment from a longer article)
Saturday, April 23, 2011
For some reason I asked a pebble this question:
Why your heft on my palm like the tug from a child
In the fair? The first drop of rain on the forehead?
The handwritten note? Your smoothness against the rush
Of sea is something my fingers have longed to touch.
Lately, mornings and evenings have been rough on me.
(Empathy towards a stone is an old ritual;
It takes practice to cipher grains of its surface
Some story that's less sad and jagged than the one
Found at a well's cold bottom. Or in a man’s chest.
I did not wait to hear a word from a pebble.
I stood silent as stone, holding on to what matters.
The outdoor garage was not yet done in the evening of 1993. After dinner, your family laughed that communal laughter. Being the youngest, you felt that they were scheming against you. You always thought things were about you, reason or without reason. Tantrum was your weapon of choice, so you dropped on the floor and flailed your arms, thrashed your legs, then cried louder than the screeches of a rock song playing on the radio.
You got their attention. When breaking things was not enough, you ran outside and stumbled on the rectangular plot of gravel near the garden, sharp edges digging into your palms and knees. Your father and mother pursued you, your brothers and sisters behind them. Your mother tried to talk you out of the unfolding drama, approaching you, when you hurled a piece of rock straight at her face. It was meant to be a warning of some sort but it was too late.
You could neither remember the faces nor the voices of anyone except for the blood. You remained crouching on the unfinished garage while your family ushered your mother back in the house. You were stunned at how small things could break the comfort of the night. Or someone like your mother. This time it was really about you. You cried for a reason. A few years later, you willed to hate the song playing on the radio that night.
Lighter than air, that’s
What we are, until we pick
Stones and pocket them.
We remember names by what we can recall, often for validity: stone for David, bear for Theodore, flowers for Rose, cats for Josie, guavas for Juan. Curious, but the grand scheme is simple: we name them in such ways because they seem appropriate, impeccably fit, something like You for Me. So apt is this union that I will brand our names on a stone and toss it in a lake, for in days like these one has to feel the depth of all things.
I have a guess and I believe in it
Since guesses are potent when trusted:
To think of strength with a piece of rock is
To blaspheme who is deemed the immutable one:
The Creator. The Grand Architect. The Master Builder.
A chip off a rock used to stone someone to death is ungodly.
Stoning could not bring a human back to dust. It’s not that easy.
In many anthologies, a lottery has recounted enough about it. Here’s
A confession: I could never cry on a rock. I have other things to lean on.
Summer, 2009. You left the beach and brought the pebble with you, leaving the place of the free, the municipality of La Libertad, Negros Oriental, to return to Dumaguete. But as the bus trudged on a tough dirt road, you saw chickens in a coop. The fowls were not free.
There was an engine problem. All of you had to get off the bus. You checked on a chicken and were surprised that it pecked on a little stone then swallowed it. You stepped back when a man behind you said the chicken had to do it. In your mind, you hated the word had.
“Chickens don’t have teeth.”
“They can’t chew. They even have to swallow more.”
“Yes, the stones go to their gullet and ground the grains for the stomach to digest.”
You stared in wonder at the feathered creature. Then you surmised the chickens could never be free: they were forever bound to stones to live. The man laughed at you and threw a handful of rice grains into the pen.
Tonight, under the dormant waters
in the backyard, no stones are turning,
their shadows remain heaped in their
usual spots. The pool is their lullaby,
the rainy month’s full moon their mother.
As a child I would not dare disturb
the stillness to pluck something glowing
in the waters, else the di-unato would pull
me into a world much different than ours.
Years pass but the small lake insists on its presence.
Beneath it the pebbles that we, brave brooding
kids of mornings past, have flung to see how
wonderful certain things move before our eyes,
until we grow up and notice the swaying of hips.
Or the arms one hopes to be embraced with.
Remarkable, how capable they are to resist
the nudge of time. Unlike us: children became
men who loved women who loved men who
loved other men. Even the mango
tree that looms at the far end bears fruits
already. A true sign of a golden age.
But overall this faithfulness and un-
faithfulness to time is a beautiful reminder:
The world spins, a butterfly takes flight.
See, the waters quiver with the stone I drop,
only to return to their oneness in seconds,
a mirror showing what constantly changes us.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Myrna Peña Reyes
Second Week (May 9-13, 2011)
Ricky de Ungria
Third Week (May 16-20)
Kirpal Singh (Visiting Asian Writer)
(lifted from Tapok Silliman page)
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Thursday, April 07, 2011
After all the food binging, off we went to Talisay City’s The Ruins. Since no amount of sun-dance could bring the fiery sun out of the clouds, we remained thankful that the day did not offer us rain instead. (Fact three: locals shared that we were lucky—days and weeks before we arrived the province was washed in almost-ceaseless downpour, morning until evening). Story of the skeletal grand house replayed in my head but our guide, who was supposed to be enjoying his day-off if not for our timely appearance, is a comedic historian in a positive way. We listened to Roger, who impeccably pronounced his name as ‘Row-Jhur,’ even if I heard it all in the past. Time was running fast, so we purchased our mandatory pasalubong at Bong-Bong’s before rushing on to our next trip.
Though Iloilo supposedly followed in the chronology of our B-I-G Trip, we only got to linger in this city for a couple of minutes, in transit for the moment. But after our stay in Guimaras, we will have Iloilo City all by ourselves for one night and one morning before we all fly back to Manila.
We arrived at Guimaras’s Jordan Wharf in the Municipality of Jordan (it’s not a joke, though they articulate it as ‘hor-dan’) in the early afternoon of April 1. Between our twenty-to-thirty minute ride via multicab to Kenyama Beach Resort, we stopped over at a local dry market to raid boxes upon boxes of the island province’s world-famous mangoes. And here’s one important tip for future visitors: make sure the fruit stall where you’ll be buying your mangoes has a license or permit of something. This way you can assure yourselves of the sweetest carabao mangoes that appeared on the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records in 1995.
Not to dampen anyone’s spirits but one has to be as compliant as ever when it comes to accommodations. Some resorts basically had no 24/7 electricity and running water, so ours can be considered luxury at its best. Though the night was always young in Guimaras, seconds moving in turtle pace, we got some shuteye by twelve midnight to visit the white sand beaches in some nearby coves, caves especially one where you can drink water that drips from its stalactites, and the lonely lighthouse that sits on the edge of a cliff. Before six in the evening, we all returned to Jordan Wharf as the sun set, the pier turning gold like the island’s mangoes.
We were back in Iloilo, and I have never seen a province, or a city at that, packed with so much malls and department stores. Imagine, if I am not mistaken, three SM Malls! What is even more interesting to note is that they do not look cramped and crowded like other [over]developed counterparts.
Whether it is due to the looming flight back to Manila or the settling of exhaustion in our bodies, we find that the place seemed to be in a constant rush, people somewhat dressed for a special occasion, with nightlife throbbing at Smallville, a Western Visayas version of Eastwood City, Libis. But no one was complaining. We got to visit one mall for a pair of slippers and a headband, bought another set of pasalubong at Biscocho House, and dined at Ted’s for their piping hot bowl of special batchoy. After a few rounds of drinks at JAQ’s, coffee and buns at KopiRoti (yes, we specifically had to visit this branch in Iloilo), chatter, and more chatter, the grouped returned to Riverside Inn for a much-needed quick nap.
By 6:45 in the morning of April 3, we found ourselves in a plane cabin, all worn out but with smiles on our faces, that rare kind of smile that could only come across in days spent with the right people at the right time. Today’s Thursday, we are back to our office grind.