Tag Archives: davao writers workshop

Sarimanok in my Dreams


I’ve dreamt of a man in white clothes with a sarimanok perched on his left shoulder. It was August 2. The day Dad got out of surgery. You see, he had been amputated due to complications in diabetes. I waited for him to come to his senses. The nurses said he shouldn’t be moved for at least a couple of hours. All I did was follow their instructions.

Mom was in Laguna. Kuya just left the hospital to do his duty online. Diko was working in Davao. Ate was living in Cebu.  Sangko was in Cavite. I was the only one left in the family to take care of Dad and my niece, Anchee.

August 14. Twelve days since Dad had surgery. Also, the day before the Davao Writers Workshop application deadline. I sent my 5 poems: 2 Bisaya and 3 English. I haphazardly made the last one so I could comply for the requirements. Abby and Summer already submitted their applications. And to think, I was the one who urged them to apply for it.

It was almost 5pm and I had to go home because Dad’s caregiver’s shift ends at 6pm. I got stuck in traffic. Had to pay her overtime.

August 30. Dad’s caregiver quit. That night, I dreamt of that man in white clothes with a sarimanok again.

September 23. Ate found someone who could do take care of Dad, Kaking. She immediately sent Kaking and her daughter to come to CDO on a ship. I fetched them form the pier.

September 26. My friends from NAGMAC (Nagkahiusang mga Mambabalak sa CDO) met for our preliminary meeting for our next Poetry Night on the 25th of October.

It was also the same day that Sir Steven Fernandez’s Sarimanok was being performed at the XU Gym.

That night, I dreamt of that man in white clothes with a sarimanok again.

September 27. Abby and I just watched The Xavier Stage’s production of 10 Little Indians – a stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. It was a whodunit stage thriller. It gave me chills.

Upon going home, I had this nagging feeling that I had to check my email, but I chose not to because I just really wanted to go home immediately.

At 11pm, both Abby and Summer asked me if I’ve checked my email. Why would they even ask me… Damn it, I should’ve trusted my instincts. It’s about the workshop.

September 28. I finally got to check my email! And I got in!

October 14. Kaking had to go back to Cebu, which meant I had to look for another caregiver for my dad. 13 days away from the workshop and this happened. That night, I dreamt of that man in white clothes with a sarimanok again.

October 23. My sister and I still haven’t found anyone who could take care of dad when I get to Davao. I was this close to not going to Davao. Good thing I talked to our stay-out house help and she agreed to the temporary situation.

October 25. Poetry Night!

October 26. 11:30pm. Abby and I took a nonstop bus ride to Davao via Buda (shorthand for Bukidnon-Davao route)

October 27. 7am. We finally reached Lispher Inn. The venue for this year’s Davao Writers Workshop.

October 28. The dream became reality.

. dww

See this photo? You see, from where I was sitting, Sir John (the man wearing white in the photo) looked like he had a sarimanok on his shoulders.

I’ve had a lot of dreams that became real. But I guess this one is very much special because I really thought, in the pit of my gut, that I couldn’t go and experience the workshop. What with all the shit that happened to me. Murphy’s Law was a bitch.

But I like to believe that in order to beat Murphy’s Law, we have to be relentless.


In The Final List for the 2014 Davao Writers Workshop


It really is true in this timeline. I really am a fellow for the Davao Writers Workshop.

It’s been a couple of days since I started reading Stephen King’s 11/22/63 and I’ve been feeling out of sorts. I won’t spoil you with any details but let’s just say the novel deals with time traveling. And every time I read stories about time travel, my mind goes out of whack.

Sometimes, I’ve actually felt like I’ve done a task only to hear my dad or niece say I definitely didn’t do it. Or sometimes, I didn’t do things but actually did them. I dunno. I feel like I’m in and out of some time warp.

So, when I found out I’ve been chosen as a fellow for the 2014 Davao Writers Workshop, I’ve been expecting some sort of portal where I get to go back into my real timeline when this didn’t happen.

And then they posted the list.

It wasn’t just a dream! It really did happen.I actually did get that email. I really am on the list.

I will finally get to go to Davao and visit Duterte’s city which I heard is pretty awesome since they actually practice CLAYGO (Clean As You Go) in the entire city. They also have UP Press Bookstore which sells books published by the UP Press and written by sought-after writers in the country. I’m definitely excited to visit other bookstores there as well.

But I’m much more excited for the workshops. It’s my first time to participate in one outside my hometown.I wonder how the other participants would be like. I wonder if they’d be friendly or if they have pipes up their asses. I do hope we all could get along pretty well. We’re only 14 participants so we might as well be amicable, right?

A part of me feels like it’s pretty daunting. But I’ve got Abby with me. No, no lesbo action there. We’re both straight. Plus, Diko works there as well so I’m not afraid to get lost in the city. Besides, if I do get lost, I’ll just toot my whistle. That’ll make the police running towards me, I hope.

I’m also psyched to meet the panelists and the organizers. Their reputations precede them. I wanna ask for tips and suggestions how to maintain an event such as Poetry Night, among other things.

Right now, I’m mentally preparing myself to see and hear my poems be torn and severed right in front of me. I know it’ll hurt but it’s a necessary evil an aspiring writer must undergo in order to hone one’s craft. I always take critiquing as an act of love between a mentor and a student.

Here’s looking forward to an eventful and fruitful workshop in Davao!

Peace out! ūüôā

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


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 РSummer, Abby, and I applied for the annual Davao Writers Workshop. We had to submit our portfolio electronically through Dagmay Рthe 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!