Category Archives: Realizations

Poem: I’m Never Gonna Marry A Writer

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I’m never gonna marry a writer
He’s perceptive
At one time
he’ll gaze and stare
into the depths of my soul
only to find out
that I’ll be one of his characters
in the next theater season

I’m never gonna marry a writer
He’s mercurial
At one point he’ll pour all his attention to me
and the next
his hands will be on his pen
scrawling the current good idea he has
on his handy dandy notebook
before it flees into the air

I’m never gonna marry a writer
Because I am a writer myself

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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!

Mindblowing Seminar

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Mindblowing Seminar

September 13, XU AVR 1, Cagayan de Oro City –  I was very fortunate to have participated in “Over A Cup of Coffee: A Talk with the Writers” –  ‘a literary discussion with the leading local writers of Mindanao.’ Said leading local writers who shared their journey in their specific literary field are Dr. Maria Elena Paulma , Dr. Steven Fernandez, Prof. Rogelia Garcia, and Prof. Arlene Yandug.

The talk was organized by XELLO (Xavier English Language and Literature Organization – a student organization for ELL and English major students in Xavier University) spearheaded by Kristen Senajon. (She also has a blog. Please check her out right here.)

Dr. Paulma started the talk by sharing the introduction of her dissertation. She was suppose to discuss about fiction but she ended up telling her process of writing in general. I didn’t actually take a lot of notes. I was too drawn listening to her. She has this aura that commands attention, not the kind that drill seargents have, but more like the kind Mother Mary had (if ever I did meet her).

One of the things she said that really struck me the most was the quote she shared by Butch Dalisay, “The knowing is in the writing.” Indeed, whenever I write, there’s always this sort of discovery that unfolds before me. Truths that I’ve never actually thought of in my waking moments. Thoughts that have lain dormant in my subconscious.

She also said how a writer’s best friend is the trash can. Haha! How true. Or if you’re more of the techie kind, the recycling bin, which is virtually a trash can.

There is also this dichotomy of creation and destruction in writing. I can’t seem to find the right words to explain how this phenomenon happens but let me paint a picture:

I’m writing. Pen on my right hand. A clean sheet of paper under it. I scribble words that come from my brain and down to my fingertips. Just as I’m about to put that last dot that ends the paragraph, I crumple that ink-filled sheet of paper and shoot that to my make-believe ring, which actually is just a trash can.

I know the picture I painted kinda sounded lame but….I tried.

I asked Dr. Paulma how she overcomes that fear of sharing to much of herself in her writing. She answered me with “It’s like jumping into a cliff. You just have to do it.”

The second part of the talk was about Poetry discussed by Prof. Yandug. She focused more on the structure of poetry and how line breaks are there to make the reader ask questions at the end of every line.

She used William Carlos Williams’ poem entitled Poem (As The Cat) to explain how line breaks work. As far as I could remember, she explained it like this:

As the cat                                 what?
climbed over                            climbed over what?
the top of                                 top of what?

the jamcloset                           and then?
first the right                            right what?
forefoot                                    oh okay, and then?

carefully                                   and then?
then the hind                           the hind what?
stepped down                         stepped down where?

into the pit of                           pit of the what?
the empty                               empty what?
flowerpot                                oh okay, the cat is safe. Yippee!

Now that I think about it, poetry is about suspense.

She also shared her poem entitled “Going Back to the Island”. The poem was published in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. If you like to read the poem, click this.

After reading the poem, some of the participants almost cried. Even the host of the seminar, my friend Abby, almost cried.

I asked Prof. Yandug if she thought of ever performing the poem while writing it and she said she never thought of it. My first question was only a set-up to invite her for the Poetry Night and she definitely said yes! It actually pays to have a very thick face.

The third resource speaker that day was Prof. Rogelio Garcia. He’s more fondly called as Sir Roger to colleagues and students. I first met him when NAGMAC (Nagkahiusang Mambabalak sa CDO) conducted a poetry workshop back in July. But, his reputation did precede him. Most of my friends who are English majors have been fawning about him; telling me how he is such an inspiration. And I do agree he is an inspiration.

He discussed the literary genre Creative Non Fiction (CNF) – the youngest literary form in the bunch and focused on discussing the memoir CNF. He also showed the guidelines of CNF (I’d rather not enumerate them here.) and how different memoir CNFs are from autobiographies and biographies. Simply put, CNFs are true accounts of someone’s life (or in a memoir – true accounts of YOUR life) but written artfully whereas autobiographies and biographies are more informative and concerned in dates and times.

Did my explanation make sense? I do hope so.

Last and definitely not the least was Dr. Fernandez – the rock star of Mindanao drama and the DEFENDER OF OUR HERITAGE. Seriously, he actually did get an award from China.

Instead of showing slides and discussing his topic, which was playwriting, he opted to make things more interesting by making us – the participants – ask questions first.

Someones asked him when he started performing, to which he answered that he started performing ever since he was born. And he said all of us perform. We perform at home, in school, in meeting, even that time when we were in the seminar. Even he was performing before us.

Performance is a part of our lives.

He was asked many questions to which he answered very wittingly. Even fellow resource speaker – Sir Roger – asked him questions about his craft. He was asked how he deals with writers’ block to which he answered “sex”. The crowd jeered!

He shared his experiences is the source of his creativity. His quotable quote that day was “You write what you know.”

The seminar was closed by Zara, one of the organizers, with an encouragement: “Writing is for the brave. Be brave.”

I hope this seminar has sparked the young local writers of our city. We badly do need it to uplift and promote our own heritage. As what Dr. Fernandez said, “It’s our own culture. Nag-iisa lang ‘yan. We have to defend it.”

And with that, I will now jump into the cliff (figuratively, of course).

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.

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Well?
Peace out!

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.

Ride (Excerpt)

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If you’ve read this post in my FB account, go immediately to the end part. 🙂

 

For those of you who haven’t read or seen 20 questions, here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/notes/juan-ekis/twenty-questions/535292073163424. READ IT! Porbida….

 

 

For those of you who’ve seen and/or read Juan Ekis’es 20 Questions, you’ve probably known that Jigs and Yumi got stuck in a hotel room because of their Barkada Tradition.

 

What if…. another couple in their barkada will undergo the same thing?

 

 

Characters : 

 

Dee – early 20’s; sales agent.

Ram – early 20’s; government employee.

 

Setting:

Sa isang sasakyan. Nagdadrive si Ram. Nasa front seat si Dee.

 

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Ram: So payag siya sa cheeks.

Tahimik.

Ram: Payag siya sa cheeks?

Tahimik.

Ram: Payag siya sa cheeks!

Dee: Ewan ko sa’yo!

Ram: Pero…

Dee: Tangina mo, simulan mo ng maayos yang kwento mo.

Ram: (stuttering) Ninguso ko siya. Tapos, inoffer niya yung cheeks niya.

Dee: Tapos?!

Ram: Pisngi lang namin.

Tahimik.

Dee laughs.

Ram: Shut up, Dee.

Dee laughs some more.

Dee: Grasya na, naging bato pa.

Ram: Shut up!

Dee: Anyare?

Ram: Ewan! Lalapit na sana ako to kiss her.Tapos, akala ko iilag siya. Inoffer ba naman yung cheeks! Tapos, ako naman, split second decision, bineso ko nalang.

Dee: Parang kapatid lang?

Ram: Yan nga sabi niya.

Dee laughs.

Ram: Shut up, Dee!

Dee: Gentleman.

Ram: Torpe.

Dee: Euphemism yun.

Ram: Shut up!

Dee laughs. 

Dee : Kamusta na kaya sila dun?

Ram: If I know, pinikot na yun ni Yumi.

Dee: Haha! Grabe ka naman. Kaka-break lang nung tao.

Ram: Kelan ba nagtagal ang lalake sa kanya?

Dee: Kung makapagsalita ‘to. Si Jigs rin kaya.

Ram: And I thought he was going all the way with Krizzy.

Dee: Oo nga. Pero napansin ko, Jigs wasn’t happy anymore.

Ram: Sayang. Tagal na nila.

Dee: Yang mga ganyang relasyon, pinapatuloy nalang yan kasi matagal na. Pero kung tutuusin, wala rin namang patutunguhan.

Ram: Is that what happened to you and Jack?

Dee: Hoy! He cheated on me.

Tahimik.

Ram: Makes you think, no? 

Dee: Naghanap lang yun nang mapaglagyan ng titi niya.

Ram laughs.

Tahimik.

Dee: Why do I end up with guys like him?!

Maikling Katahimikan.

Ram: Tinatanggap lang naman natin ang sa tingin natin ay nararapat sa atin.

Maikling katahimikan.

Dee: So masukista ako?

Ram: Hindi ba?

Dee: I don’t need this kind of bullshit!

Ram: Sorry.

Dee: No, not you.

Maikling katahimikan.

Ram: Ano na naman nangyari?

Dee: Tumawag si Elmer.

Ram: Ano sabi?

Dee: Talk some sense out of him daw.

Ram: And?

Tahimik.

Ram: Dee.

Tahimik.

Ram: Dee?

Tahimik.

Ram: Dee!

Tahimik.

Ram: Tanga!

Dee: I know!

 Tahimik.

Ram: Masukista ka nga.

Dee: What was I suppose to do, let him die?

Ram: Among other things!

 

END

 

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It’s still an excerpt so don’t worry. I will definitely continue this, unlike my other works online. :p

obnoxious witch strikes: Top 10 Realizations in my Life

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10. ) never let your life revolve around someone or something

because once that someone or something vanishes; you’re left with remnants of a life you once knew and the shattered pieces of your broken heart. trust me guys, i learned that the hard way.

you can do different kinds of activities in your spare time; like bungee jumping. face your fears. get into theater! hahaha..

9.) when a favor puts you in a pinch, don’t do it

remember that time when you were so pressured with school or work and then a friend asks you for a favor. now, depending on the favor, just say no for heaven’s sake. if he or she is asking you to do his or her job for him/her, then damn it man, carino brutal! (cruel love). if he or she is asking you to donate your blood because he or she is sick, then that’s the time you say yes. dude! that’s your friend. 🙂

now that i think about it, learn to say no is more appropriate.

8.) keep your promises

i know, sounds too cliche but ever since i was little i’ve gotten used to being disappointed so promises, for me, don’t have that much bearing. i’ve come to realize that promises are important. a promise is a pact, a vow, an agreement. keeping promises is a sign of strength and integrity. keep your promises, especially promises you keep for yourself.

7.) man up (or woman up) 🙂


own up to your mistakes. be accountable of your own actions. you can’t blame others for how screwed up your life is. do something about it. take charge of your life. and yes, i learned that the hard way, too.

6.) dream


let your imagination flow. reach for the stars as what woody said. always wanted to meet tracy mcgrady? always wanted to become a playwright (yeah…)? don’t brush it off as something far-fetched and would never come true. keep them in you hard-drive of a brain. maybe someday it might come true.

5.)  be weird

eccentric is just another word for sticking-out-like-a-sore-thumb. be different. break the status quo. dare to deviate from the majority.

4.) accept change

let’s face it. this is a pain in the ass. from presidents to trends and season after season, we will never be rid of change. embrace change.

3.) color outside the lines

challenge yourself to think outside the box. try to do things no one has ever thought of.

2.) don’t ever let your guard down

the night is dark and full of terrors (game of thrones fanatic). but seriously, always have a pepper spray in hand. better yet, learn self-defense techniques like krav maga.

1.) you can’t forgive and never forget. you can’t forget and never forgive.

true forgiveness happens when you wipe the slate clean.