Category Archives: Memories

My One Week in Davao: The things I experienced in the 2014 Davao Writers Workshop

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My One Week in Davao: The things I experienced in the 2014 Davao Writers Workshop

Ever since I travelled from Davao, I’ve been having hard time writing, not that it didn’t serve me well. On the contrary, the 2014 Davao Writers Workshop has taught me so much about the craft. It’s just that, with all the sound insights from the panelists as well as co-fellows, it was hard to choose which ones to take. Plus, I had a handful of projects on my mind, it was difficult to keep up and decide which ones to write first.

I’ve raved about being in the final list of fellows in the 2014 Davao Writers Workshop but I still haven’t blogged about my Davao experience. Abby even beat me to it.

So here’s my take on our Davao Writers Workshop experience. dww5

Trip to Davao                

My trip to Davao was fraught with hang ups. For one, I’ve been having a hard time looking for someone to take care of my dad. The previous one had to go back to her hometown a week before the workshop. She had to leave because of health reasons. Good thing I talked our house help, Ate Dodong, into getting the job.

Second was the fact that I was practically dirt broke around the 3rd week of October. I usually get my paycheck on the 25th. But then it fell on a Saturday which means no money, no honey. Aside from that, my wallet was snatched by a rugby-sniffing kid around XU. Good thing I had my ATM card in my bag and not inside my wallet. That would’ve been a colossal screw up. So, I called in a few favors. Good thing they took pity on me.

On the night of the 26th of October, Abby and I met up at the Agora Bus Station. We were quite surprised that a crowd was already waiting for the next bus to Davao. We had to stand up for 20 minutes before it arrived. By the time it parked, all of us swarmed towards the bus.

I now have first-hand experience on how humans would behave when the zombie apocalypse comes.

We could’ve been on the bus that left at 10pm but we didn’t get the memo about virtual strangers getting hired to reserve seats for passengers. We even had to plow our way into the bus only to find out there were no seats left for us. That bummed us out.

It took Abby and I at least 2 hours to get ourselves on the bus to Davao. We even had to watch this cheesy show in TV5. It was another Wattpad story that got adapted into a TV show. I don’t remember the title but the most “profound” line that got stuck in my mind was “Mas pinili ko pa siya kesa sa online games.” (I chose her over online games.)

It was the last trip to Davao. At a quarter to twelve, it left the station. By the time it zigzagged through Puerto Heights and I saw the city lights from the pier to Macajalar Bay, I had this odd feeling of relief.

We were going to Davao for the first time. It was pretty daunting knowing that our amateur works were going to be scrutinized by the seasoned panelists. But we were also excited on the new things we were about to learn from the workshop.                

I was in and out of sleep on the ride and there wasn’t much view to be seen from the window because it was practically dark out. But there was a time when I woke up and there was a fork up ahead. The sign said left for Davao and right for Kibawe. When I read it, I thought “Oh man, moment of truth.” The bus turned left.

At 5am on the 27th, the sun was going up. We reached this place where we had an impeccable view of the foggy mountains. The fog looked like a huge white lake. It was magnificent. (No photos. The view wasn’t on our side of the bus.)

Touchdown

We checked in at Lispher Inn at around 6am. When we got our things out of our bags and into the cabinet, we realized one thing. We were starving. The breakfast slip handed to us was only valid for the next day so we had to call Jollibee for delivery.

Davao ww

At 9am, Sir Julian dela Cerna, the workshop director, called us down. I must tell you. Sir Julian and I have been corresponding via text even before the workshop. He put his personal number on the email he sent the fellows. I had to tell him I had no IDs left on me because my wallet got snatched on the 25th. (Didn’t I tell you that earlier? It was one of those hang-ups I told you about.) I also asked for directions from the bus station to Lispher Inn. He suggested that we should just take a taxi to the inn. True enough; the place was pretty near from the station. The taxi only charged us 50php.

First day

When Abby and I got into the conference room, we were greeted with warm smiles from Sir Dom Cimafranca, who surprisingly commented on my post, and who I would eventually know as Sir Macario Tiu. Sir Dom even greeted us with an inside joke. I didn’t get it immediately (being in the bus for 6 hours does not make me the sharpest cookie in the block) but good thing Abby replied something witty.

The room was gaining crowd. Two groups of monoblock chairs were set up inside divided by an aisle. I noticed that the veterans were seated on the right side and the young guns on the left. There was a podium upfront. Behind it, the wall was covered with the official tarp of the 2014 Davao Writers Workshop. People who knew each other were already mingling. We seated ourselves at the back, near the water cooler. Most of them were virtually strangers but I noticed someone’s voice that stood out faintly but familiar.

Ma’am Jhoanna Cruz officially welcomed us to this year’s workshop. She acknowledged the presence of seasoned Davao Writers Guild members. The experience was so vivid. It felt like I had to know these people but then being the local literature dumb that I am, that hampered it. And then she nonchalantly mentioned Joey Ayala. Joey Ayala! I had to stop myself from squeaking like a hormone-raged teenager.

dww6

Then, Sir Julian was on the podium. He informed us of the statistics of applications sent for this year’s workshop. The demographic of applicants was spread throughout the Philippines. There was one from Diliman. I think there was even one from abroad. He also said there was a 40% drop of applicants. It may be attributed to the fact that UP Mindanao, whose student body is a steady source of applicant, changed its school year starting in August, also around the same time the deadline of applications was set. Out of 37 applicants, 14 were accepted as fellows. He introduced us by reading our bios. By the time he read mine, I stood up and a weird sense of pride came to me. I was representing CDO with Abby. I told myself I shouldn’t screw this up.

He then introduced the panelists for this year: Sir John, Bengan, Sir Nino de Veyra, Ma’am Jhoanna Cruz, Sir Macario Tiu, and Sir Nikki Gomez.

Sir John Bengan teaches writing and literature at UP Mindanao and took his MFA at The New School in New York City. His English short story “Armor” won 1st Prize for Short Story in English in the 2013 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.

Sir Nino de Veyra is BA Communication Arts graduate from the UP Visayas Tacloban College and took his MA in English at Silliman University. He is currently Assistant Professor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences of UP Mindanao.

Ma’am Jhoanna Cruz is the President of the Davao Writers Guild. She also teaches writing and literature at UP Mindanao. Her play “Halakata, MS.D” won 2nd Prize for Full Length Play in English in the 1999 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.

Sir Mac Tiu is teaches Literature at the Ateneo de Davao University. His short story “Tsuru” won 1st Prize for Short Story in Cebuano in the 2008 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.

Sir Nikki Gomez is a journalist in Davao City. He is also a member of the Davao Writers Guild.

They have such awesome bios. All so accomplished in the literary industry.

Then, Sir John introduced the guest panelist for this year, Ma’am Daryll Delgado, the winner for the 2013 Outstanding Book Award for her book “As the Body Displaces Water.”

He gushed about how he met her in New York. He did pabaga’g dagway and introduced himself to her. After that, Ma’am Daryll went on the podium and said that she was also a fan of Sir John’s as well. It was so refreshing to witness such quick repartee by two distinguished writers. Made me see that the industry wasn’t as cut-throat as it seemed to be. (Side note: Abby and I shipped Sir John and Ma’am Daryll by then. Although Sir John told us he was gay on the third day, we still went on with this fantasy even after the workshop. We’re crazy like that. Haha. )

She then gave a lecture on Philippine Fantasy. She compared the fantasy writers from the 80s to the current ones. The fantasy writers from the 80s (who included Nick Joaquin), she noted, didn’t have precedents and somehow had a richer Filipino cultural texture. On the other hand, the more recent ones are very much influenced by Western, especially American, sensibilities.

I think it was her dissertation for her PhD. I’m not quite sure. I couldn’t focus because my brain wasn’t fully functioning well. If there’s an English word for being jetlagged on a bus, I’d have written it here.

(Nananawagan po ako kay Ma’am Daryll. Ma’am Daryll, if you’re reading this, I apologize for not paying attention to your lecture. Being bilar is not an excuse.)

After her lecture, we had our lunch break. Sir Julian even asked Abby and I to tell the other fellows about the first few works to be critiqued later that day. I think it was his way of making us break the ice. It kind of didn’t work. Not yet.

For this time of the workshop, the head panelist and moderator was Ma’am jho. The pieces that were critiqued that afternoon were written by fellows MJ Tumamac (Poetry), Arjay Viray (Short Story), Ria Valdez (Poetry), and Reil Obinque (Short Story).

That afternoon, the panelists gave their comments first before the fellows did. It was fascinating listening to them. They saw and made critical opinions about the details that lacked in the pieces but not without pointing out the good aspects of it.

Second day                

By this time, we had the schedule and the compiled drafts handed to us. It was hardbound in blue leather with gold letters. We called it The Manual. My 2 poems were scheduled to be critiqued on the 29th and the 31st.

From the 28th to the 31st, the workshop started with a Craft Lecture given by one of the panelists followed by a snack break. Then, we proceeded to critique the scheduled pieces for the day; expected that we all have read the works from the manual beforehand.

For this day, we had Sir Mac discuss on “Effect” as his framework. He pointed out that the question “How would you want your readers to feel after reading your piece (happiness, nostalgia, sadness, grief, etc.)?” would become a point of reference, or a framework, when we write. All of the details we write should all aid to move the plot towards that effect. This framework doesn’t just apply to short stories but in creative writing in general.

The written works critiqued on the 28th were written by Neil Cervantes (Poetry), Resty Bhoy Partoza (Short Story), Hannah Valencerina (Poetry), and Jecia Anne Opiana (CNF).

This time, we fellows were the first ones to say our opinions about the pieces. We kind of got the rhythm of diagnosing the drafts from the example led by the panelist. It was a bit of a hit and miss for me because I never had any experience with literary critical frameworks before. So, I had the tendency of saying what I liked and pointing out confusing details about the pieces, but then, I never really any suggestions to improve the drafts.

Third day

On the 29th, Sir John opened the workshop with his lecture on translation and equivalency in writing Philippine fiction in the English language. He made use of Matthew Choate’s interview on him about his process in writing “Armor”.

Writing Philippine fiction in English is a tricky feat, I found out. Not only are we writing about our own Filipino culture, we also have to consider the audience, not just the Filipino readers, who will be able to read our works. When he was asked how he deals with the balance between information, background, and the rhythm of the story itself, he answered that he ultimately trusts his instincts. It takes finesse to write in details without coddling the foreign reader. In the end, “The Eurocentric reader will have to accept that there’s a world out there.”, he said.

This was the day my balak Proben and Abby’s short story were scheduled to be critiqued. The panelists and co-fellows were very thorough in diagnosing the drafts in the last couple of days.

It was pretty daunting to be under that amount of scrutiny but I felt relieved when most of the panelists and fellows received my poem well. I still have to work on it and have to put additional details to push the effect that I want to (using Sir Mac’s framework right there.) Sir Nino’s insights on it were very helpful to me. It made me figure out what sort of details to write on my next draft. (Side note: His Craft Lecture on Poetry will have an immense effect on me.)

Fourth day: “Ilabay sa Bankerohan River”                

We began the 29th with a Craft Lecture from the Goddess, Jhoanna Cruz, on the basics of playwriting. She explained how playwriting is the least solipsistic medium in creative writing because it demands collaboration; from set design, to the director, to the actors, and the production staff. There are a lot of things to be considered, both in the literary and the production side.

In the literary aspect, you as a writer must create at least two well-defined characters (at least for a one act play). A well-defined character, simply put, is a fictional entity that has its own unique voice in the script. Character must be shown through dialogue. You have to consider how the physical, psychological, social, mental being of the character in order for that unique voice to come out of the script. Not only that, you must also show character through action. After that, you can write how the story goes.

“It’s a play. It is meant to be performed on a stage, in front of a live audience.”, she said.

It has been known in the closely knit literary circles in Mindanao that the phrase “Ilabay sa Bankerohan River” is Sir Mac Tiu’s signature line. The fellows and I have heard about this urban legend even before we got into the workshop. I thought it was incredulous that someone as soft spoken as he was would say such harsh words.

And then it happened. I won’t tell you which draft garnered this comment. On a brighter note, Sir Mac only wanted to get rid of a part of the draft and not throw the entire piece in the Bankerohan River.

Later that day, we found out our batch broke a record. It usually took Sir Mac the first two days of the workshop to utter such phrase. But with us, it took him four days. I guess it’s a sign that our batch will go farther in this field. Either that or he just had more patience with us. Haha. We will never know.

Fifth day                

Sir Nino de Verya (not sure if related to Lourd) opened the day with his Craft Lecture on Texture in Poetry. He subtitled the lecture as “How not to write like Lang Leav” to make it controversial. He used Lang’s poem “First Love” and compared it to Elizabeth Bishop’s “The Fish” to show contrast. Lang’s poem used a familiar notion and added random imagery to support the idea. Elizabeth Bishop’s, on the other hand, vividly described the fish, as a subject, with all its detail. The description made the poem more visceral and captivating. The metaphor leaped out of the literal. The point? It had depth. It had texture.

I pretty much had to hide myself because I used to be a proud fan of Lang. Yes, the workshop changed me so much. I cannot read something without using any critical framework. It kind of sounds like I’m sort of renouncing my fandom on Lang and a bit of a literary snob. I’m not. Let’s just say that I outgrew her.

It was also the day my other balak Uniporme was critiqued. It was the last one to be under the microscope. I got a lot of insights from my co-fellows and the panelists. Like Probe, it made use of anthropomorphism as its framework. Thought, most of the panelist advised me to give it another twist. Make it not didactic and polemic. (Currently editing it as I type this.)

Fellows’ Night                

After the workshop was done, the fellows and I prepared a show. It took us almost two nights to finish the program. We made co-fellows Arjay and Neil sing their own songs. Abby, Jecia, and I did an improv called Pick-up Lines. We literally had to pick up lines written on small pieces of paper. We also gave hashtag awards to the fellows and panelists. The night and the workshop was closed with so much laughter.

Thoughts after the workshop

For the distinguished panelists, thank you for giving us your full attention and patience. For you to read and critique our amateur works for five days was such an honor. You weren’t as harsh as I expected you to be. On the contrary, you were so nurturing towards us. Of course, you all did criticize our works regarding form, framework, conflict, and the basic issue of grammar, but all of you also praised us for our own unique voices.

Ma’am Daryll even told some of us fellows, in one of our conversations in the lobby, how she enjoys coming to the South whenever she can. She appreciates how writers like us here make use of our own hometowns as settings. Such trait gives our stories its own local color.

But we still have a long way to go. We have to work hard and improve on our craft, as what Sir Nikki always said.

I also owe my learning experience to my co-fellows, for being such wonderful companions and for being honest in critiquing each other’s works. Like what Ma’am Jho said in our Fellows’ Night, “You are responsible for each other’s growth in this process.”

At the end of it, I realized how writers have an integral part in forming the mindset of our society. We, as writers, have the responsibility to show our own culture in our own works. I know the Philippines isn’t the best place to live in, what with all the corruption and shit it has been going through, but I think we should display the ugly underbelly of our own country for what it really is and show our resilience as a people. It’s what makes us Filipino.

Davao Writers Workshop: What I Went Through To Check Your Confirmation

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Ever had that nagging feeling pressing you to check your email for no apparent reason? And then you found out your laptop doesn’t work. Your phone has no reception. Basically, you’re screwed.

Saturday night. Two of my closest friends, Abby and Summer, PMed me in FB asking if I’ve checked my email. Since I had a shitty reception at home plus my virtually non-existent non-compliant laptop wouldn’t do its job, I had no way of scanning through my email. Which made me ask this question: why would these two people ask me about as mundane as checking my email? And then I remembered.

Last August – Summer, Abby, and I applied for the annual Davao Writers Workshop. We had to submit our portfolio electronically through Dagmay – the online literary journal of Davao Writers Guild. I applied for the Poetry Category which made me submit at least five poems.

At the time, I only had four poems. You know what I did? I made a poem on the day of the deadline (August 15) about the fox’s perspective from The Little Prince. I named it Chapter 21 because in the novel, the fox is featured in Chapter 21. (duhdoy) I will not see the light of day on that poem because I made a stupid mistake of not saving it before sending it.

After that, every once in a while, I check my email and see if I had made the cut and each time I did, there was no message from Dagmay confirming my submission which made me a bit anxious. Some friends said they usually update a month before the workshops.

And then, at 11 o’clock in the evening on September 27, the organizer of the Davao Writers Workshop emailed the applicants.

I had absolutely no way of checking my email at that ungodly hour. I may be living in one of the Top 5 developing cities in the Philippines but I had a four year old and absolutely obsolete phone in my hands. I felt defeated.

So I waited for Sunday to come to check my email at a net cafe. As luck would have it, all of the cafes were closed. The sun was high up. The heat was as hot as it could ever be. I felt like I was living in a desert. And no way of checking my email.

I went home feeling anxious. Did I make the cut? Didn’t I? Maybe they didn’t like my last poem. Why’d I even make that one as haphazardly as I had done it. I should have edited it some more. I should have planned it out. The what ifs and should haves kept running in my mind as I walk my way home.

And as a futile resort, I tried checking my email through my phone. And wouldn’t you know! It budged. My phone pulled through just when I needed it the most. And I got in the workshop!

To the screening committee of the workshop, thank you so much for considering my poems as worthy of your prestigious event. It is a huge honor to be chosen as one of your fellows.

The Davao Writers Workshop is organized by the Davao Writers Guild (DWG), in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the University of the Philippines Mindanao (UP – Min). This year’s workshop will be held on October 27-31 at Davao City and will be participated by 15 delegates with 4 from outside Davao but reside in Mindanao.

And I’m one of the four lucky fellows from outside Davao!

Peace out!

Poem: In Another Existence

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A few days ago, there was this viral message about Mars’ cosmic ray scare floating around the interwebs. It said something about turning off all electronic devices as cosmic rays will affect mobile phones. Of course, being the skeptic that I am, I didn’t heed anything about it.

And then I wondered, what if my being a Luddite got over me and I actually turned off my phone? What if I didn’t get to that party my friend invited me to? What if I didn’t meet that guy down at the corner where I usually wait for my jeepney ride home? What if?

Here goes.

Me

meeting you

at that exact corner

where jeeps

and motorcycles

passed

me by

like

the flowing

river

was not

just

coincidence

 

You

with your

wild-eyed silliness

and your

inability

to keep

your bearings

in this

strange strange city

 

asking me

the girl

who basically

has

the city’s map

at the back

of her palm

for directions

was not

just

pure luck

 

It was cosmic rays

pushing us

into that corner

 

 

It was

divine providence

 

It was

a mixture

of luck

and coincidence

and decisions

all leading

to

that corner

 

to that

destiny

 

in another

existence

You just don’t

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This is from the time I got broken-hearted. The situation was complicated. I was young.
I don’t remember how I finished and what I felt when I was writing this. Angry – obviously. But, I don’t remember exactly.
**********************************************************
You don’t get to call me in the middle of the night,
you don’t get to ask me you need a friend;
oh that ended the day you let go of me.

You don’t get to love me,
and not love me at the same time.
You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.
You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

I know I was pathetic,
I know I was weak,
Holding on to bonds that we shared,
Saving everything we had.

You don’t get to ask me if I’m alright.
No, I’m not alright.
You broke my heart, shattered it to pieces.
You chose to break my heart.

I see you when I close my eyes.
Much more when I open them.
You don’t get to haunt me in my dreams.
You don’t get to hold me in my sleep.

But it’s time for me to make a stand,
and start moving on.
I’m building my own dreams without you.
I guess you already did that a little ahead of me.

I see you everywhere.
try to purge you out of my system,
but I want to embrace your memory even more.

And yes, I’ve already forgiven you
but no, I will never forget.
I will never meet someone like you;
Cause I’ll meet someone better than you.
I deserve someone better.
I deserve someone better.
Am I right?
Am I right?
*********

Too sad? Too bitter? Too.. what? Do tell me what you think about it.
I’ll be waiting.
Peace out!

Would it?

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I wrote this when I was ‘past the point of no return’ and started noticing that I still liked the things he liked even after we broke up. I know some of my friends hate certain things simply because these remind them so much of their exes. I saw myself not hating these things at all, no matter how much I wanted to, if only to forget him.

***********************
Would it matter if I still love the things you made me love?

I still love the coffee down at the bakery where we used to share a cup. I still love the book you bought me at the thrift bookstore when I didn’t have enough money. I still love the film you made me watch because you said it was amazing. If I still love the things I associate with you, then does that make me still love you?

I found a place that serves better, and I mean way better, coffee than that bakeshop. I bought a book and have actually read it more than a couple of times. I watched a film that made me laugh, cry, and love my life even more when I got out of the cinema. But I still love the things you love, does that make me still love you?

Would it matter if I still love the things you made me love? Maybe. Maybe not.

I’m with good company, if ever you’re wondering. Nope? Oh, my bad.

***********************

Well?
Peace out!

Handkerchief

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I wrote this when I was cleaning my room and I found le ex’s hanky. dun dun dun dun….

********************
Handkerchief. That handkerchief. That red tribal-printed handkerchief was all he left her; was all she kept. She threw everything away; those gifts, those letters, those poems, those promises, except for that handkerchief.

To tell you honestly, he didn’t give her the handkerchief. She stole it form him. Or maybe he knew she took it. He just didn’t bother getting it back from her.

That’s what he did. He stole her. He robbed her of her innocence and she gladly gave it away. Was it still stealing?

Memory. At some point, a stimulus will cross her path and activate those neurons in her brain to tap the black box of forbidden and ill-forgotten dreams. Like a movie reel, the past plays before her like an unstoppable force of reckoning.

That handkerchief. That red tribal-printed handkerchief. She is burning it.
*******************

Have I ever written anything not sad? I dunno. I suck at writing happy things. >_<

But what do you think?
Peace out!

I have a lake inside my mind

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                I have a lake in my mind. It’s been in there for as long as I could remember.

                I go in there whenever I do mundane tasks like washing the dishes, cooking meals, riding a jeepney  around the city, taking a shower, or often when I’m dropping a deuce. (Sorry. Have to put it here because it’s true) I just wade along the shore line. There, I would see these words and sentences turn into paragraphs and stories. Lines and stanzas mingle with melodies and rhythms and turn into songs. I see my own fictional characters talk and argue and cry and laugh.

                I write down the stories, scripts, and songs immediately after these ‘visits’ lest I forget them if I take too long. I’ve already finished a couple of scripts and a few dozen songs and stories but they have yet to be performed in a much wider audience.

                Sometimes I go knee-deep into the lake. There, I would see the future. Or at least, the future I hope to have someday. I see road trips with my friends, the hot romantic kiss I’ve been to have atop the Eiffel Tower, my own apartment, a six-figure monthly salary, and a couple of cats to keep me company when I’m alone.

                I seldom let the water reach my chest. Its depth makes my breathing a bit labored. There, I see a little girl crying her heart out.

 She sees her Kuya beat the life out of her Sangko (third elder brother) with his own fists. Her Sangko cowers on the floor and blocks the punches with his scrawny arms. Her Sangko turns into her DIko (second elder brother) and draws a knife out of the kitchen sink. Her Ate talks him out of what he is about to do. He drops the knife. Her Ate picks it up. She turns into her Mama and now she is leaning the blade against her Papa’s neck. Her Mama says, “Walang hiya ka! Nakuha mo pang magloko at buhayin ang ibang pamilya samantalang sariling pamilya mo naghihirap?!” Her Papa just cries silently. She turns into an adolescent who falls in love with a slightly older boy. They promise each other forever. It lasts for four years, six months, and ten days. She mourns the death of her dear friend right on her 21st birthday.

I’ve been somewhere much deeper for just a blip of a second. I see nothing. My eyes, ears, hands, taste buds, and skin fail me. I am insubstantial. I become fully aware that my body is just an empty vessel. I am empty.

But somewhere in the recesses of my mind a voice calls out and says, “You are going in too deep. Come back.” I reach inside my pocket and see this small box. I open it and see the persons I love; my family and friends. Holidays with my family, trivia nights with the gang, milk tea sessions with friends, meeting deadlines with colleagues are all in the box.

The box makes me come back to reality.

Eating Daisy

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Don’t get me wrong. I don’t eat flowers. Although, I might give it some thought.

Kidding!

My brother and I were watching reruns of CSI. Yes, the one with Ted Danson (the guy from ‘Cheers’) and a whole lot of different casts. Well, I’m digressing. But there was this instance where Sara (played by Jorja Fox) says “The victim went to a place where he eats whale meat… Immorally.” Huwell, my brother got me thinking. Dialogue went like this;

Bro: Why’s it immoral [to eat whale meat]?

Me: Coz they’re getting extinct.

Bro: What about pigs? Aren’t they [getting extinct]?

Me: They wouldn’t get extinct. There are people who grow and feed them so they wouldn’t get extinct and we all could still eat adobo (a Filipino delicacy).

That right there got me thinking. How are pigs different than whales? Aside from the obvious (their size and their habitat), I don’t see anything different about them.

The perception we have been accustomed and displayed by our society makes us see these two creatures as different. Like what I said (see dialogue), there are hog raisers who raise pigs to sustain our supply and demand. Don’t get me wrong, I eat red meat. But the talk with my brother got me thinking. Why are animals treated differently than others?

Which reminds me of my quirk.

In the Philippines (where I live), every time there is a celebration (fiesta, birthday, anniversaries,etc.), households would throw parties and invite friends and relatives. The main attraction on the buffet table is the lechon. One day, I saw Daisy on the table charred and lifeless. Knives cutting on her flesh. People too eager to sink their teeth on what she offered.

Daisy was my neighbor. We became friends when I was about five. It was the time of my life when everything was possible. Every time I wake up, I’d go to her place and feed and talk to her. We would even sing together. Daisy was a pig. She was literally a pig. 

Ever since then, I can never eat lechon without it being quartered. Coz I don’t want to see Daisy.

 

But I still eat meat.

 

 

 

 

Looking Back And Staring Beyond

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With the holiday rush gone and the first month of the year about to run out of days, I’ve come to look back on how I spent my 2013. It was kind of unfair to my friends and acquaintances that I have houdini-ed (you know, disappeared into thin air) on them. And for that, I apologize. Let’s just say I didn’t feel well and had to take my time off.

I was fortunate to have had opportunities in acting and playwriting as friends and acquaintances offered them to me. And I grabbed each opportunity. I always say to myself “Fortune never smiles on people who say no.” which I got from Josh Radnor’s film “Liberal Arts” (you should watch this film and tell me what you think). It’s with these blessings that I’ve realized how a Higher Being works wonders in one’s fate. 

As for my writing, I did finish one play. And when a literary awarded guru critiqued it, it was shredded into bits and pieces before me. Figuratively, of course! There. There. He said I had a knack for dialogue which I very much took as a compliment coz if it wasn’t then I don’t know what is. Which reminds me, deadline is on January 31, 2014. o.O

As with everyone else, I met acquaintances who eventually became friends. Looking back, I can’t believe I spent hours playing Dungeons and Dragons with fellow  self-proclaimed proud nerds! Haha!

I also I regret not spending enough time with my friends who I have come to grow up with; like my friends from Yahweh’s Choir.

Losing someone you have known and have looked up to growing up felt so surreal. Kind of like how amputees feel with their phantom legs. I know Kuya Puloy will always be in our hearts. But I will never see him again. He died on my birthday. But I have resolved to instead of mourning for his passing on, I will celebrate his life with my life. 

And this is how I celebrate; by sharing my experiences with you! This blog will be filled with reviews on books (both published internationally and locally in the Philippines) and films (shown in and out of my country) , my musings, my poems, short stories, and scripts (if I can get passed my over self-criticism), my (cross my fingers ) weekly Trivia Night outs, and everything I get my pens and hands on.

I’ll get back to you soon!

 

Peace out. 🙂

Oh, Dear

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My favorite playwright reminds me of you. You practically introduced him to me. My favorite play reminds me of you. We practically played out the same story.

 

I’ve written an alternate story out of it. It’s not some sort of literature where you’d get to unlock the private events of my life. It’s my way of overwriting your mark in his work of art. 

 

My muse inspired me to write this. Up until now, he probably doesn’t know he’s my inspiration. Or, he’s that good acting oblivious.

 

I’ve possessed my muse before. It was you. Look where we are.  I’ve learned my lesson. I cannot possess him.