April 2, 2014

In 2012, something great happened in the literary landscape of Naga City, the Bikol Poetry Slam. Watch the complete video here.


Yesterday, I got an SMS from writer-friend Bebang Siy, the famed author of It’s a Mens World. She told me that she will be sending me an E-mail. She didn’t really tell me what the E-mail was all about. And when she did send it, she even left the subject line blank. Surprise, surprise! It turned out to be a “chain letter for writers” where the recipient has to answer ten questions about his or her latest or upcoming book. It’s really a way for the writers to promote their book projects.


1. What is the title of your latest/upcoming book?

My latest book is “Pagsasatubuanan: Poetikang Bikolnon,” a work of literary criticism on Bikol poetics. The working title of my next book project is “The Jason Case”. It will be a collection of my poems in English, Filipino, Bikol-Naga and Iriganon.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

I studied Tagalog poetics under Rio Alma. And when I attended the Iyas and Iligan National Writer’s Workshops, the elder writers in Visayas and Mindanao were also thinking of writing about their poetics. I figured that at the time there was yet no work of literary criticism covering the poetics of a regional language. So I thought that I better do research on Bikol poetics. It took me four years to finish “Pagsasatubuanan”.

The idea for “The Jason Case” came from a poem of the same title. I thought it could capture my case: A writer who writes in English, Filipino, Bikol-Naga and Iriganon.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

“Pagsasatubuanan” is under literary criticism. “The Jason Case” is poetry, tula and rawitdawit.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

People in a typical Bikolnon community. “Pagsasatubanan” posits that the rawitdawit has a dramatic element, specially the tigsik.

The Fire n Ice Dancers could play-dance “Hagbayon,” one of my poems in Filipino. In fact we already have such performance. Baron Geisler could play the poem “The Jason Case”. It would suit him just fine.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your upcoming book?

“The Jason Case” captures multimedia poetry from the vantage point of a Bikol writer–orag, dexterity and all.

6) Who published your latest book? Who will publish the next one?

“Pagsasatubuanan” is published by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). “The Jason Case” will be published by Ateneo de Naga University Press perhaps? DLSU Press? UST Press? We don’t know yet.

7) How long will it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Around one month. It won’t take that much time. I have already gathered most of my poems.

8) What other books would you compare this story (project) to within your genre?

Hmmm… There was this book once with a CD accompanying it.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The people around me. Daily experiences. But the project as it is–it’s inspired by the WG, our regular poetry gig here in Bicol.

10) What else about the book that might pique the reader’s interest?

It will be sulit. Will use all of my “powers” here as a writer, performer and musician.

So there you go. Thanks to Ms. Bebang Siy for including me in the chain. You could check her work here.

Also, by next week or earlier, you could check the answers to the same questions by the following writers:

Stephen Prestado

Jaime Jesus Borlagdan

Santiago Villafania

Edwin Cordevilla

Marianne Villanueva


October 30, 2012

Trapik sa may Pili! It was sickening. Or maybe I am no longer used to Manila-type traffic. I heard it’s because they closed the Diversion road. They have to rush the works then, and let the multitude pass.

Been toying with the idea of a “Stanagatus” or an FB status in the form of a tanaga, an indigenous Tagalog four-liner poetic form with monorhyme. Hmmm… Let’s us see.

Since I have been hearing in the news that former world champion Ricky Hatton is getting suicidal, here’s a sample:


Bakit ka maglalaslas
Dahil lang napabagsak.
Hatton, bilog ang bukas,
‘Di ring na parisukat.

And also, since there is this beauty pageant in China with a nipple-distance measurement requirement:


Mangyaring ‘di lang taas,
Ganda, lapad o liyad.
Kanila ring sinukat

Kung utong ay maagwat.


October 13, 2012

For some reason, people have been inviting me to talk about blogging. During the Pagsurat Bikolnon last summer, I was also there to talk about blogging and technology. Last week, I was invited by CBSUA-Calabanga to once again share my view on the use of the cyberspace by poets, particularly, blogging for poets.

My lecture traced the history of publishing in the Bicol region, going back as early as pre-Hispanic times. Then I shared an essay of mine entitled “Cyberpoetry: Words in Battlefields,” published in The Daily Tribune twelve years ago. You see I was among those who first explored publishing opportunities in the cyberspace during those times. I was then asphyxiated by the scarcity of publishing outlets here in the Philippines, so I sent poems to foreign magazines and e-zines.

Anyway, thanks to CBSUA-Calabanga College of Education for inviting me along with Rea Robles and Jusan Misolas. My powerpoint presentation will be forwarded to Jerome Hipolito soon.


October 12, 2012

Time is flying faster and faster. And there is no looking back. There is a need to put a helmet that makes one see only what is up front. There are distractors, lots of them,  but they must be shut or shot down. There are also forces who are so full of themselves, thinking that the world was created because of them. We all know that it is only a matter of time, and the proper structure of things will mold them as better people. It would also help if they be under my jurisdiction by that time. For I would gladly oblige to do the deed of correcting them–for their own good.

Weekend is here again. And as there seems to be so much time in my hands, I must be cautious.


October 4, 2012

I can’t seem to access the Supreme Court website. I hope it’s not being hacked. It’s all over the news that the hackers are so active and supported by their international network. There is this case that I need to download, perhaps the good hackers would give me a few minutes?

Tomorrow I will be going to CBSUA-Calabanga to talk about blogging. My slant would be the use of blogging to people who are into creative writing. I plan to start with oral tradition, then the printing press, up to the electronic media. I will share something about how to make a blog and how to promote and maintain it. I will also discuss the previous electronic platforms before the blogs came out. I will also include the video-log.

I got the letter today and I learned that Jusan Misolas and Rea Robles will also be there to talk. Good luck to us then.

It will not be just poetry but ‘poetreat’ at 5PM on May 20 at Wharf Galley (Avenue Square) as members of the local literary community and performing arts gather their creative forces to raise funds for cancer patient Jocelyn Bisuña. Dubbed as Mga Berso nin Pagpa-Omay: Healing Verses for Jo, the event will feature Bikol poets, all members of Kabulig-Bikol and Parasurat Bikolnon reading Bisuña’s poems with interpretative dances by theater group Kaboronyogan. Bikol authors will set up a book fair, the proceeds of which will go to Bisuña’s funds. There will also be performances by dance group Fire n Ice.

Bisuña, “Jo” to friends, is a mother, teacher, writer, performance artist and cultural worker. She has taught at La Consolacion College-Iriga and University of Northeastern Philippines. She is a founding member of Kaboronyogan and is a regular panelist in local creative writing workshops. Her works have appeared in various publications and her poems will be published in an anthology of Bikol female poets to come out within the year.

In November 2008, Jo was found to have cancer of the left breast. The particular aggressiveness of her cancer necessitated mastectomy and chemotherapy thereafter, which she bravely endured the next month until April of 2009. All seemed well until the cancer recurred in her chest wall barely a month after the last chemo cycle. This prompted her to have another surgery albeit a local one. September of the same year saw Jo undergoing a series of radiotherapy at the University of Santo Tomas. Despite the continuing treatment, bone and CT scans revealed that the cancer has spread to the bones of her chest and in her lungs. Unable to fund the 160k + per 21-day cycle of chemotherapy, Jo and her family decided to participate in a drug trial in St. Luke’s Medical Center to gain access to chemotherapy drugs and other diagnostic procedures for free. She was subsequently disqualified when after 9 months in the trial her chest tumors stopped responding to the drug. It was at this point where FUDA Cancer Hospital in Guangzhou, China, was considered, as it was recommended by relatives and other patients in St. Lukes. From January to March 2011, Jo spent her days at FUDA Cancer Hospital receiving treatment. The cryosurgery and nano-chemotherapy done on her effected significant improvements much more than what her year of chemo achieved. She was supposed to come back last March for another round of nano-chemo but the expenses have caught up with her and her family. Jo has not been receiving any form of treatment since.

Currently, she is suffering tremendous pains from the bone and skin metastases which leave her with open sores on the chest. The advanced treatments that FUDA hospital offers are her best and last recourse.

The event is in cooperation with Wharf Galley Rock Café, Writers Gig, Sangguniang Panlungsod-Naga, Councilors Nathan Sergio and Cecilia de Asis.

–Jose Jason L. Chancoco and Buboy Aguay

2010 in review

January 2, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,900 times in 2010. That’s about 14 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 12 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 140 posts. There were 5 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2mb.

The busiest day of the year was March 11th with 120 views. The most popular post that day was A PASSING IN A LAND FAR AWAY.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for bicol poems, sioktong, makatang salita, unlawful aggression, and death by herminio beltran.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.




About Me May 2006


KRITIKA September 2006
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