Thursday, June 25, 2015

good news, good times


It has been two years or so since I’ve last written or even completed a poem. Aside from the technicality the craft requires, the prospect of surrendering yourself again to your well of “feelings” can be tricky. And, perhaps, mentally and emotionally difficult.

Writing poetry is like being skinned alive, the rib cage opened, your heart exposed, as all the weight of things that surround you are resting upon your shoulders. Writing the first verse alone would subject you to that macabre transformation. That is why writing, as many have said, can be a painful, lonely job. But I tried to get up from the rut.

Recently I completed one here and another one there. And the struggle gave back a reward. Just a few weeks ago, I received this:

(click photo to enlarge)

According to the University of the Philippines-Diliman website, New Voices will be “a two-volume anthology of poetry and fiction by new Filipino authors writing in English. To be published by the UP Press and possibly in cooperation with the Commission on Higher Education, these volumes will provide a platform for new writers to gain literary renown, as well as contemporize teaching materials for Philippine literature in English.

The New Voices anthologies seek to draw attention to a new generation of Philippine writers by filling a gap between the authors’ publication of individual poems or stories in periodicals, and the publication of their first book. New Voices will feature approximately 15 poets and 10 fiction writers.”

15 poets out of how many from all over? Possibly circulated in schools? The joy was electric. And then more news of acceptance letters from other people came flooding in. It became even more unbelievable. So far, from what I’ve gathered, I’d be in the company of Glenn Diaz, Tin Lao, Jason Chancoco, Mia Tijam, and Lystra Aranal. These names are giving me the chills. Aside from the flattery of being one of the country’s new voices in literature, I am just glad I have a voice.


Last Tuesday, June 23, at around 7PM, saw the release of the results of the Nursing Licensure Exams for the May 2015 takers. The suspense was killing me, with every alphabetical update online an exercise in patience. Until it was revealed: My sister passed the board examinations.

I know very well the feeling of rejection and hardship, the seemingly endless missteps. That is why this is the singular news in many years that I have felt an overwhelming happiness not for myself but for another. All my sister’s hard work and sacrifices finally paid off. The purest form of fighting spirit is in her.


The legendary Duran Duran is back after so many years. And they’ve brought along disco god Nile Rodgers and the impeccably talented, genre-defying Janelle Monáe. This music came at the most opportune time. It’s perfect, the stars have aligned. Everybody, everywhere! Step out into the future! It’s time to take the pressure off!

1 comment:

Mugen said...

Congratulations, Fred. I hope to get to read your poem in that anthology someday.