August 6, 2006

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.



  1. […] They may come as prose, poetic and dramatic or a combination of all these. Examples are the Chanters of Baao  and the Pasyon experts. We can also include the tigsikeros and the riddlers […]

  2. […] They may come as prose, poetic and dramatic or a combination of all these. Examples are the Chanters of Baao  and the Pasyon experts. We can also include the tigsikeros and the riddlers […]

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