August 28, 2006

In essence, literary practice is a subject-object dialectic between writer-reader, writer-milieu, and reader-milieu. That is why there is such a thing as literary aesthetics. Writer-reader preferences being a convention borne out of ‘historical contingency’. 

For instance, a literary artist may fail to gain approval in an institution where literary ignorance is prevalent. Or to invert it, a country enmeshed in non-literary preoccupations such as popular noontime shows may avoid literary discussions.

There is a notion that poetry sections in magazines are avoided by Filipinos. That is why we have very few of them in number.

But it is still a subject-object dialectic. For one, my subjectivity may just be further challenged by this set-up making me write more poems, more and more, in order to throw them right in the face of oblivion. The act itself is already ironic, much more, poetic.

That is why we woke up from sleep and started sending poems to magazines again. Thirteen days after we sent it, our short poem ‘Walang Lambat ang Hiningang Malalim’ saw print in the August 27 issue of Philippine Panorama.

Of course, thanks to the maiden who inspired us. And the poetry editor, Cirilo F. Bautista.



August 15, 2006

It was last Wednesday at 3:30 pm when we were asked to talk about blogging over Mom’s Radio FM. Our focal point was the possibility of making a blog earn money. With this, we emphasized that both content and presentation are important and that the blogger should find his/her niche. We also mentioned the FNF Blogging and Podcasting workshop that we attended last month. And we are in a way tasked to share whatever we learned from it for the sake of civic education.

Mr. Goodnews got something for us. Our entry for the Essay Category for the 3rd Premio Tomas Arejola para sa Literaturang Bikolnon is chosen as one of the Finalists. Because of this, we will be joining the awarding ceremonies on September 12, 6pm at the Naga City Youth Center. Keynote speaker for the event is National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera. We are sure to receive a plaque/diploma of merit but we still have a shot for the gold medallion and the trophy. Anyway for this writer, we write irregardless of literary prize. We simply write.

Mr. Frank Peñones’ book launch was a success. But we were able to attend only the one held at Lolo’s Bar last Friday. Published by Agnus Press, his book is a rich addition to the so-called ‘rennaissance’ of Bikol literature.

And it was a cool and rainy Saturday when graduate students from De La Salle University under Prof. Paz Verdades Santos came for a visit. Held at Langag ni Tuy Grill right there at Bagumbayan-Calauag, the ‘Pabasang Berso’ was well-attended by academicians and writers. The readers were: Rudy Alano, Issa Cassillan, Jun Pesimo, Jason Chancoco, Esting Jacob, Frank Peñones, Selina, Zaldy Manrique, Tito Valiente, Boboy Aguay, Carlo Arejola and Aida Cirujales. Bikol scholar Dr. Cyril Conde and literature teacher Sarah Balane were also in attendance along with writers Edgar Ramores and Joy Bagasala. 

Indeed there is the need for coordination between Manila-based writers and those from the provinces. Though the current set-up seems to suggest that Manila is ‘imperial’ culturally and politically, it does not have to be. We can support each other’s projects.

In this vein, we are happy to note that Cirilo F. Bautista quoted some parts of our 3rd JAFWPB article in his Breaking Signs column in the Philippine Panorama (August 6, 2006) and let me qoute him back:

“Another form of literary production occurred last May in the form of the 3rd Juliana Arejola Fajardo Workshop for Bikol Writing. Convened by Carlo Arejola and the Arejola Foundation for Social Responsibility, it was held at the Camarines Sur State Agricultural College and directed by Jose Jason Chancoco. The panelists were Joselyn Bisuña, Jaime Jesus Borlagdan, Kristian Cordero, and Estelito Jacob. The writing fellows were Joy B. Bagasala and Maricris F. Bongalos of Pili, Camarines Sur; Helga Andrea R. Casillan, Nona Mikhaila R. Casillan, Ma. Rizza Icaranom, Edgar Ramores and Victor Dennis T. Nierva of Naga City; Noel B. Dorente of Tabaco, Albay; and Nestor Alagbate of Daet, Camarines Norte. Their works in Bikol, English, and Filipino were the subject of discussion and scrutiny.

“A new feature for this year’s write shop was the presence of teacher-participants. They were interested in the interface between literature, the psychology of the creative writing process, and the psychiatry of the workshop scenario. Coming from various highs chools and colleges of the Bikol, the teachers were: Cora A. Arejola, Salvacion C. Aballa, Emerlina S. Arnante, Ma. Shiela Fortuno, Janet B. Fabay, Ma. Janina B. Catimbang, Alice Abergos, Rita N. Talay, Mylene P. Ababa, Amelia T. Ambion, Dr. Marietta A. Tataro, Fritz T. Nuyles, Nelly C. Aguilar, and Rene Eugenia B. Mercado.

“Interface is always desirable, for it connects the producers of literature with those who must teach and popularize that literature. As Chancoco wrote, “Truly, regional creative writing workshops locate the geography of language and aesthetics. It is here where owners of a certain literary tradition try to assess and re-examine themselves in relation with contemporary writing. In our case, it was for our very own Bikol literature. For who will have a more genuine concern for the many Bikol languages than the Bikol writers themselves?”

“And the young BIkol writers seem to be really concerned with their literary situation. With vigor and commitment, the resurgence of Bikol literature can be realized. “So far so good and it is going better,” Chancoco added.

“There are new publications supportive of Bikol writing such as the Bikol Reporter, Bicol Mail, Bangraw, Burak, Ani, Hingowa, The Pillars, Pegasus, T-Bloc, Dalityapi Unpoemed, A Critical Survey of Philippine Literature, Muse Apprentice Guild, E-Manila, Panitikan.Com.Ph and not to mention Salugsog sa Sulog publisher OragonRepublic.Com. The Premio Tomas para sa Literaturang Bikolnon is now on its third year with Irigueños bringing home gold medallions.””

Also our article entitled “The Chanters of Baao” appears in the August 7 issue of The Daily Tribune. We would like to thank Ma’am Jo for inviting us over for the Soledad and because of this invitation this blogger met Ms. Kaye Buena.

The Red Room used to be one of our tambayans when we were still in Manila. It was the hang-out of RL14, a group of young scriptwriters, directors, actors (what not?) who studied under Ricardo Lee. Most of us were night owls, the place being dark, it was a bit hard to tell the time outside. 

It was also the meeting place for would-be film makers. Such that there is now the thing we call Red Room productions. It is owned by Meyor Sanchez by the way, and not the Calawan retard.

We loved the video games with Dau ming wong, Alvin, Grasya and Al. We loved the film orgies too and of course, the parties.

Now on Saturday (that’s tomorrow),  Meyor and Pam will celebrate their birthday at 5PM. Pre-productions for their new short films will also be done. So far there’s a long list of names from the group with films qualifying and winning prizes at various local and international film festivals.

Happy birthday, Meyor and Pam. Goodluck!

Now our writer-friend Angelo Ancheta wrote an entry for us in the Wikipedia please check it. Also you may want to buy today’s issue of The Daily Tribune because our article “Kiddie Rhymes and Poetic Consciousness” appears in the Life Section.

Meanwhile, another diona:

Pag nagrarawitdawit,
Ading rira ko lubid.
Kunu ka mabibitik?


August 1, 2006

The Lebanon-Israel conflict will surely affect Philippines. In this regard, the Social Sciences Department of Ateneo de Naga University had the issue tackled in its Kapihan sa Soksay held on August 1 at the O’ Brien Library room 111. Lecturers were Duke Dolorical, Jess Pasibe, Ramon Beleno.

Dolorical discussed the root of the conflict, its history. He said it started wth the various Zionist movements of Israel. Europe (partcularly the UK, also UN) sponsored their ‘return’ to Palestine. Since then, they were perceived as ‘land grabbers’ by Arab states.

Pasibe focused on the Hezbollah as a ‘freedom fighting’ organization, equipped with a political and an armed wing. He also named some of its supporters such as Iran (Persia) and Syria. And that Israel’s occupation of Shebaa accelerated the conflict.

Beleno focused on the phenomenology of war. He used the Realist perspective, looking at the givens of the problem rather than the solution. He looked into the root causes of war–such as Man, the State and the current World Order. That man may either be inherently good or evil. That irregardless of good intentions, war is inevitable. That man is selfish and predetermined to prioritize his agenda. That it’s all a matter of perception–war starts with misperception. Thus, a supernational state could be the only arbiter for these conflicts.

Dolorical was convinced that the Israelites are land grabbers. Here we see that war is indeed influenced by ideology and perspective. Israel has its oral tradition and the Old testament to prove that they own a part of Palestine. While the various Arab nations see them as land grabbers.

Pasibe mused that Lebanon twisted the idea of democracy, leading to the emergence of various extremist groups in its bureaucracy And the Hezbollah is one of them.

Beleno thinks war is impractical and non-productive. That when you go to war, you can’t work. That we all lose in this game and the lesser loser wins. Methinks it all starts with an ideology and culture shared by a group of people. Mild forms of war are cultural hybridities–something almost inevitable. We cannot live without relating to other states and in the process, conflicts may ensue. The Jews had their Zionist movements much resented by the Arabs. We opined that it is such a lucrative enterprise to side with the Jews–because they will always be at war with their neighbors. It’s easy to supply weapons to these countries. Not to mention Israel’s role as an ideological apparatus as the chosen people of God. You can gain political points by siding with them.

Christianity was the ideological apparatus of the Spaniards plus warfare and colonization. Indeed, war is work, contrary to Beleno’s thoughts.