I have been attending national writers’ workshops and really enjoy them. Trying to be a writer in a republic of non-readers can get quite alienating sometimes. These workshops (more of writers’ retreats really) help alleviate the loneliness of writerly existence.

Tomorrow, along with other writers based in Bicol (Kabulig-Bikol), I will be attending a conference for teaching and writing Bikol literature. This will surely be another avenue for Bikol writers to convene and share ideas—together with teachers of literature. It is hoped that the existing Bikol literature agenda will be updated and be given extensive attention by the government, the academe and society in general.

I will be sharing some insights about Bikol Drama and our regional dramatic tradition. I will focus more on how we could utilize the art form as pedagogy of literature. Its very nature would reveal its potent power as a servant art, one that could wrap-up all the other Bikol literary art forms into one package that could fit well within literature modules.

The conference, dubbed as Pagtukdo, Pagsurat Bikolnon 2008 is sponsored by the Kabulig-Bikol, Naga College Foundation, National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Naga City LGU.



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IT’S ALMOST MIDNIGHT

June 19, 2008

I just saw The 11th Hour today as produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio. It is a must-see for those who got the first jolt from Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. The film is more detailed than Al Gore‘s award-winning rendition in the sense that this has more climate change experts thinking out loud. This also delves into the forces behind the current culture of apathy with regard environmental preservation–the corporate and government policy makers who are doing much delay in the implementation of pro-ecology laws, and the miseducated consumers of the present plastic era.

In the end, the film prescribes that all we need is a deep and profound love for our own place. Somehow this rings a bell for writers from the provinces who for the most part, are closer to nature than their Manila counterparts. I think it is easier for them to hear the language of nature and pick up images for their poetic strategy. This is because the prevailing design for poetic expression has always been that of a poet-milieu-audience dialectics. It is then the moral obligation of writers to champion the cause of preserving the environment. Lest we all become plastic poets in a plastic planet.

That is why it is but timely that the Camarines Sur Climate Change Summit will talk about Global Warming on July 29, at the St. Peter Baptist Hall of the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary. It will be a whole-day event with speakers coming from Manila and Bicol such as Energy Secretary Angelo Tomas Reyes and weather scientist Michael Padua of Naga College Foundation. Everybody in invited.

I would like to thank Mrs. Maria Ngo and the Filipino-Chinese community in Iriga City for nominating me for the 6th Dr. Jose P. Rizal Awards for Excellence (for Arts; Literature and Culture). Surprisingly, I landed as finalist. Past awardees include Charlson Ong, Ricardo Lee, Jose Mari Chan and Doreen Yu

I almost had a resolve to shy away from nomination-based contests, but how do you refuse and disappoint an eager nominator? Thanks again Shan-si!

Naga City is fast becoming a destination for trade and finance. Banks and hotels continue to sprout around downtown as more and more people visit the place. However, if it is a prolonged stay (for school or work), hotel bills can get quite expensive. A nice house in a nice neighborhood would then be a better choice

For just PhP15 Thousand per month the family can have the highest quality of life in the city at 19 Jasmin St., City Heights Subdivision, Naga City.

For more info please contact this writer via e-mail or call (054)2995169 or (054)4730487.