Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Mondays LIII

featured readers for the 53rd installment of the bi-weekly Happy Mondays Poetry Nights @ mag:net cafe Katipunan this coming Monday, May 18, @mag:net cafe Katipunan are as follows:

1. Ramil Digal Gulle
2. Sasha Martinez
3. Keith Cortez
4. Jonathan Gonzales
5. Philip Kimpo
6. Mikael Co
7. Wincy Ong
8. Carlomar Daoana
9. Allan Popa
10. Angelo Suarez
11. Kash Avena
12. Yna Abuan
13. Yol Jamendang
14. Mia Tijam
15. Emman Nobleza

(hosted by Waps San Diego)
*plus other regular and surprise guest readers.
*readings start promptly at 7:30 pm followed by the Open Mic sessions @ 930pm-10pm.
*for those interested in reading during the open mic, we will leave a sign-up sheet with Rogel, the bar tender of mag:net cafe. please feel free to sign up and read your work. :)

10pm onwards, Happy Mondays BayawZoundz featuring:
1. Ang Bandang Shirley
2. Ivan Theory

FREE ADMISSION the whole evening. Kitakits po tayo. :)

*Fringe-inspired photo taken from

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Craig Arnold, American poet and creative writing professor, disappeared during a volcano hike in Japan. He was doing a book of poems and essays about volcanoes.


Craig Arnold

Of many reasons I love you here is one

the way you write me from the gate at the airport
so I can tell you everything will be alright

so you can tell me there is a bird
trapped in the terminal all the people
ignoring it because they do not know
what do with it except to leave it alone
until it scares itself to death

it makes you terribly terribly sad

You wish you could take the bird outside
and set it free or (failing that)
call a bird-understander
to come help the bird

All you can do is notice the bird
and feel for the bird and write
to tell me how language feels
impossibly useless

but you are wrong

You are a bird-understander
better than I could ever be
who make so many noises
and call them song

These are your own words
your way of noticing
and saying plainly
of not turning away
from hurt

you have offered them
to me I am only
giving them back

if only I could show you
how very useless
they are not

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ooh, Poet Links

Hello Tumbleweed, Cricket. Me sharing some interviews with poets. Some of them are old (one's from 2004) but fun to read. Fun. Poet. Huh. Wala lang. Share share, kasi it's so GONDO GONDO. Labo. Sige na.


An interview with Jesse Ball, poet and fictionist. I want his book, The Way Through Doors, if anyone's wondering what to get me for, uh, yeah.


An interview with John Ashbery. Hm. I always thought he had two Rs.
Guernica: Some of your early critics complained about your lack of political writing.

John Ashbery: My feeling is that most political poetry is preaching to the choir, and that the people who are going to make the political changes in our lives are not the people who read poetry, unfortunately. Poetry not specifically aimed at political revolution, though, is beneficial in moving people toward that kind of action, as well as other kinds of action. A good poem makes me want to be active on as many fronts as possible.

Guernica: Can you elaborate on what you mean by that?

John Ashbery: Political poetry seldom achieves its goal since the people who should read it (presidents, politicians) don’t read poetry, and most of those who do are already persuaded of the truth of its messages (war is bad, government and industry are often corrupt, racism and other kinds of discrimination should be abolished, global warming is destroying the world, etc.) and might be annoyed at being lectured for wanting ideals they in fact possess. Non-didactic poetry, which seeks merely to delight (Keats’s sonnet about the grasshopper is a good example) can inspire readers to act humanely on many different levels, including the political one.


An interview with Ted Kooser, former US Poet Laureate, who "advocates accessible poetry."


An interview with Stephen Dunn. Who is, uh, Stephen Dunn.

Guernica: As you write, do you think about specific people reading specific poems that might have something to do with them?

Stephen Dunn: I certainly think about it. But I think, again, it has to do with motive. If the motive of writing is for some people a kind of exercise in dirty laundry, that’s one thing. I’ve always thought of my poems as meant to be overheard, as I think all of these poems are. It seems to me if you get experience right, even your most painful or humiliating experiences—if you get those experiences right for yourself and make discoveries as you go along and find for them some formal glue—they will be poems for others.

It seems to me that no matter how perverse or private you might think your attitudes are about anything, if you speak them well there’ll always be a few others nodding. My best experiences with literature as a reader have been when something that I thought was freaky about myself, or something odd or private that I hadn’t told anybody, got articulated or enacted in a poem or story or a novel. It simply brings us into the human fold. Literature at its best is communal in that way. And as much as these poems were written out of a certain personal urgency, I’m always conscious of myself as a maker of poems, thus to some degree a fictionist.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What Short Story Month?

Cross-posted from my Wordpress blog. Hello mga bayaw, and the three or five lurkers of this blog. :)


Short Story Month

Let’s make this clear: I did not make this up. For seriously, yo.

It’s at the heels of the Inter/National Poetry Month – and if the theory that the readers of this blog run in very small circles, then you know what I’m talking about, what with the daily renga over at Joel Toledo’s blog contributing to the whole Ooh Poetry Festivities. And that’s fantastic. That’s great. Anything to further literature, short of shoving manuscripts down the throats of unsuspecting passers-by.

But. When I/NPM was announced, well, I thought – like any bitter short story writer would, haha – “Don’t the fictionists get their own month?” (It’s not as temper-tantrum-y as it came out, I swear.) I didn’t know how such a month would work, given that the short story is goddamn long compared to the poem (with notable exceptions – go to hell, T.S. Eliot, and don’t you dare hide Walt Whitman) and lots of other things like blah and blah and blah. A round-robin can’t be accomplished in one day, unless writers really are the unsocial sort and churn out paragraphs and lie in wait for the next paragraph.

And then the people at Emerging Writers Network (Dan Wickett) thought of something kick-ass. And tada, the Very Unofficial Short Story Month. (If you don’t believe me, go here, and then here. And then Google it.)

Dan Wickett at EWN has proposed we go about it this way: “find three stories to read and blog about – one from a collection that maybe I’ve held onto a little too long, should have finished and reviewed by now, etc; one from a print journal; and one from an online journal. By month’s end, if all goals are met, just under 100 short stories will have been read and commented upon.”

Now. Knowing my tendency to get distracted by shiny objects, I’ll have a really hard time accomplishing that 100-Short Stories mark. But I will try.

And you are SO welcome to join me. Email me at so you can guest-blog at this little blog here. PLEASE I BEG YOU. Ahem. DON’T MAKE ME CALL YOU OUT YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. Ahem. If you don’t want to yap on about short fiction, you can do other things, like, uh, read short stories, get a copy of a short story collection, subscribe to an online journal, read short stories, write short stories, give someone a love story with the names of the protagonists replaced by your and your hunny-bunny’s names, read short stories, write short stories, buy this fledgling and flailing fictionist here a drink.

And. And. And. You’re asking, “Why? What for?” I’ll try not to hit you too hard with a hairbrush as I say, “Because, damn it, it’s time people read short stories.” Is short fiction really the boo-hoo genre? According to one panelist/commenter(?)/tambay(!) (I conveniently don’t remember your name, but you were in Mogwai, and you were wearing a white blouse thing) from February’s Writers Festival, “Short fiction – fiction – is the most ignored genre in Philippine literature.” And I gasped at that, yes, I did, but I thought, True. Bitterness and sourgraping is not the issue here. It’s to further literature, even if I have to shove blog entries about short stories down the throats of unsuspecting traffic.

Can’t I just say, “Because, damn it” or “Why not?” or “La lang”?

Also, you may ask, isn’t this exercise a little too self-serving? Well, aren’t you just a little question machine? (Credits to Fringe! :p) My answer? I suppose. Haha. I’m not here to argue the merits of lit-sharing, because I’m a lover not a fighter, and because, well, I’m also banking on the fact that after a couple of days, this blog won’t just yammer on and on about the stories I love – you could have your entry as well, here (NUDGE NUDGE WINK WINK DAMN IT) or in your own blogs. And let’s be optimistic about it: maybe I make a few people read, maybe, well, we get to be all in this together.

And because stories are wonderful little rainbows/blades/grasshoppers/mudcakes in your palms.

That said, I am five days late. We are so off to a good start. So. But I tried to catch up. If you’ll follow these links over tharr, you’ll see my entries supposedly for May 1st down to yesterday. Why make it seem like I did it everyday? Because I’m OC, and I don’t want my archives messed up because I stayed under my rock too long.

May 01 – “Missing Women” by June Spence; “The Children Stay” by Alice Munro; “Intimacy” by Raymond Carver.

May 02 – “The Metaphor is Dead—Pass It On” by Carol Shields; “The Girl Who Became a Fish” by Fidelis Angela C. Tan; “Family” by Bret Lott.

May 03 – “A Temporary Matter” by Jhumpa Lahiri; “Reconnaissance” by Tara FT Sering; “The Facts behind the Helsinki Roccamatios” by Yann Martel.

May 04 – “Toad’s Mouth” by Isabel Allende; “The Virgin” by Kerima Polotan; “The Cannon” by Kelly Link.

May 05 – “The Housemaid” by Timothy Montes; “The Painted One” by Lakambini Sitoy; “In Caress of Beloved Faces” by Wilfrido Nolledo.

As you can see, had a shitload of catching up to do. Guh. So I would really appreciate it if you help me out. :) Spread the word, and uh, more rallying stuff. Yeah.

PS - And Holy Baby Panda – we have a logo! It’s by Steven Seighman of Dzanc Books, and yes, it’s green. I’m still trying to figure out why there’s a ruler over there yonder, but whatever. I am easily distracted by shiny things, and that logo over there is the most shiniestest, uh-huh.

PS - And a note: the only resources I have are anthologies, the odd copy of Free Press, Graphic, and Story Philippines, and the interweb, as well as short story collections by authors I love. Biased, yes, and woefully limited. So I’d appreciate it if you send me stories: Not stories you want to publish, haha, get them manuscript-wielding pitchforks out of the way, but stories you want me to talk about. Or you can be a dear and write about it too, and I’ll post it here, haha.



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

in case you haven't heard:

Arkaye got in. 

And Mo, of course, and Keith and Petra. Not to take anything away from the rest of the people who got in, but I'm telling you: Arkaye's genius should've been recognized ages ago. 

National Artist for Literature and National Writers Workshop Director Emeritus Edith Lopez Tiempo, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and Silliman University are pleased to announce that the following young writers have been accepted as fellows for the 48th National Writers Workshop scheduled on 4-15 May 2009:

For Poetry

• Mariane Amor Romina T. Abuan (University of Santo Tomas)
• Jonathan S. Gonzales (Ateneo de Manila University)
• Arkaye V. Keirulf (Ateneo de Manila University)
• Patricia Angela F. Magno (Ateneo de Manila University)
• Niño S. Manaog (Ateneo de Manila University)

For Fiction

• Keith Bryan T. Cortez (University of Santo Tomas)
• Ana Margarita Stuart del Rosario (De La Salle University)
• Monique S. Francisco (University of the Philippines - Diliman)
• Russell Stanley Geronimo (De La Salale University)
• Aleck E. Maramag (De La Salle University)
• Gabriel Millado (University of the Philippines – Mindanao)
• Gabrielle L. Nakpil (Ateneo de Manila University)
• Joy C. Rodriguez (University of the Philippines – Mindanao)

For Creative Non-Fiction

• Philip Y. Kimpo Jr. (University of the Philippines - Diliman)
• Marck Ronald Rimorin (University of the Philippines - Baguio)

This year’s panel of critics is composed of Dumaguete-based writers Ernesto Superal Yee, Myrna Peña Reyes, and Cesar Ruiz Aquino, as well as guest panelists Gemino H. Abad, Juaniyo Arcellana, J. Neil C. Garcia, Susan Lara, Rosario Cruz Lucero, DM Reyes, and Alfred Yuson.

The workshop, which is the longest running Writers Workshop in Asia, is coordinated by the Silliman University Department of English and Literature.

Happy Mondays LI

featured readers for the 51th installment of the bi-weekly Happy Mondays Poetry Nights @ mag:net cafe Katipunan TONIGHT, April 20, @mag:net cafe Katipunan are as follows:

1. Arnold Molina Azurin
2. Gemino Abad
3. Marne Kilates
4. Pocholo Goitia
5. Vincent Eviota
6. Angelo Suarez
7. Pancho Villanueva
8. Mia Tijam
9. Carlomar Daoana
10. Keith Cortez
11. Sasha Martinez
12. Andrea Teran
13. Yol Jamendang
14. Lawrence Bernabe

*plus other regular and surprise guest readers.

*readings start promptly at 730 pm followed by the Open Mic sessions @ 930pm-10pm.

*for those interested in reading during the open mic, we will leave a sign-up sheet with Rogel, the bar tender of mag:net cafe. please feel free to sign up and read your work. :)

10pm onwards, Happy Mondays BayawZoundz featuring:

1. Roberto Nicolas
2. Popoy Diokno
3. Khavn

FREE ADMISSION the whole evening. Kitakits po tayo. :)


a little Haiku below for the midsummer night's rain. :)

A fork of lightning
staggers the proud sunflowers.
Summer's relenting.

Renga # 20

Friday, April 17, 2009

sci-po #1: a poem about 3:19am

in a few seconds it will be meaningless to say
that time is embodied by all movement. my body
becomes fathomless. my toes are not the sun
but the cold black nothing that envelops it.

the line will comb the planet. the scientists will
record. the journalist will leave his cell and make
for emergency and wakefulness. the bats come out
and drink their breakfast. the honeybee will smell

of rain and futility. because there is no purpose. nothing
to play around with in the garden of a minute. not
even the harness of a child danced with by spirits.
and every hand is as bodiless as a dream. waking up

from pins and needles. from the surge of blood. from
the need to feel alive. this is what we call connection
in the planet Zorg. where all meaning dilates into a single
hole. from where all matter ceases to have certain space.

what you call a heart i call a timeline. and every moment
it throbs, i am getting closer to sleep. you are a clock.
and in a few seconds my world will dazzle itself with the
rich fragrance of new animals waiting to be awakened.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Happy Mondays L

featured readers for the 50th installment of the bi-weekly Happy Mondays Poetry Nights @ mag:net cafe Katipunan TONIGHT, April 6, @mag:net cafe Katipunan are as follows:

1. Allan Pastrana
2. Al Leonidas
3. Panch Alvarez
4. JR Moll
5. Pocholo Goitia
6. Glenn Atanacio
7. Eric Melendez
8. Ken Ishikawa
9. Mikael Co
10. Angelo Suarez
11. Pancho Villanueva
12. Wincy Ong

*plus other regular and surprise guest readers.

*readings start promptly at 730 pm followed by the Open Mic sessions @ 930pm-10pm.

*for those interested in reading during the open mic, we will leave a sign-up sheet with Rogel, the bar tender of mag:net cafe. please feel free to sign up and read your work. :)

10pm onwards, Happy Mondays BayawAkouztikZoundz featuring:

1. Easy Fagela
2. Roberto Nicolas
3. Johnoy Danao

FREE ADMISSION the whole evening. Kitakits po tayo. :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Renga Que Rico, 2 April 2009

Suppose we were never children
and there are no carousels, no santa clauses,
house lizards-- not dragons, nothing hidden
fireflies merely fireflies in the night. Then
all we could return to was confusion. Imagining
in stead of money and non-magical skies.
There is that pause.
This is that-- pause--
before we want
that thought of clouds
forming fists,
we wanted first rain,
and puddles to splash in,
and maybe a cup of cocoa to keep away the fever-

dreams. But sunlight touches you
now and your fingers search for
the sweet treasures of a flower.

It is night. Sunlight
happened earlier. This is only 
me, imagining. As I did
when I was a child.

-- Sasha, Joel, Pancho V., Waps, Mia, Glenn, Pancho A., Javier, Den, Mikael

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


it's the beginning of the international poetry month (i'd like to think the US has no monopoly on this). can we do it again this year? a poem a day is the idea, but since that's really a herculean task to do individually, maybe we can instead begin an elaborate Renga and contribute a few lines which we can then collate and put together for posting in this blog at the end of each day? for those interested, just put your lines in the comment box and i'll post the full Renga at the end of the day.

so who's with me? :)

*many thanks to Ivy Alvarez and Maureen Thorson who are the original proponents of this project.

"Poems present their testimony as circumstantial evidences, not as closing argument." -- Denise Levertov

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Mondays XLIX

featured readers for the 49th installment of the Happy Mondays Poetry Nights tomorrow, March 30 @ mag:net cafe Katipunan re as follows:

1. Angelo Suarez
2. Adam David
3. Leigh Reyes
4. Iñigo de Paula
5. Yol Jamendang
6. Pancho Alvarez
7. Lawrence Bernabe
8. JC Casimiro
9. Pocholo Goitia
10. Carl Clemente
11. Lourd De Veyra

*plus other regular and surprise guest readers.

*readings start promptly at 730 pm followed by the Open Mic sessions @ 930pm-10pm.

*for those interested in reading during the open mic, we will leave a sign-up sheet with Rogel, the bar tender of mag:net cafe. please feel free to sign up and read your work. :)

10pm onwards, Happy Mondays BayaWazakZoundz courtesy of:

1. Johnoy Danao
2. Spastic Children (featuring Lourd De Veyra vs. Jay Gapasin)
3. Valet Parking

FREE ADMISSION the whole evening! Kitakits po tayo. :)

photos below from the second year anniversary of the readings last March 16

Friday, March 27, 2009

Apo Lakay

"Who is your grandfather to you?" - Pancho Villanueva

He taught me about stillness. One afternoon when I was five, he embraced me all throughout my parents' worst fight. Years later at the onset of Parkinson's, he called out for me all afternoon. I sat by him and talked about my day. I wondered if his hardened body could still comprehend tenderness. As when reason fails us, that is all we can strive for. He accomplished much in his ninety-six years. Got four orphaned brothers through school, and the war. Winning over Grandma, which is no easy feat. Becoming a man of the Law. Some time ago I promised myself I'd live by his example, but so far I haven't done much. I can only hold on to those short hours when I was certain we came from the same place. Wonder if I will end the same way. Surrounded by love, and grief, and greatfulness. I watched his embalming and noticed how they had to force his knees to lie straight down. I remember his empty face and mine full of tears. I remember his faint gravel voice mumbling my name, as though it were something important he had forgotten. I remember his cold hands and my arms around him. I remember his quiet demeanor and from where I got mine.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hunger Strike: A '90s Alternative Music Tribute

reliving the glory daze of the '90s rock and alternative music scene. from the college anthems of the Gin Blossoms, The Lemonheads, and Ash to the Seattle grunge movement of Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam. we'll even include rare one-hit wonders and, well, a little bit of Bush.

tomorrow, march 27, Friday, 9pm onwards. an all-cover night of '90s pop ditties and rarities. featuring:

1. Patience, Dear Juggernaut
2. Virgin Hunters
3. Broken Sauce
4. Shotgun Lola
5. Fat Acid Drop
6. Dissent

Entrance P150 (P50 consumable).


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Earth and Sky

The Sunsets of Joel

We see a church from afar
and a bell, tolling the meek
into recollection, announcing

the hour. A plant grows
stedily by the sill with
a little care and some light.

And I wonder what it would
dream of, if it could dream.
Distance is paraphrased into

the strange formations of clouds,
none of them ever the same.
And while my friend begins playing

an old song, I forget why I am
heavy with loss. It must be the view
from that window. It must be

the weak red arcs of heat that
reach me and form soft-edged
tiles of sunlight in the room.

Wherever we are, we are home
at the end of the day. Each end
something good and old, announcing

that it is time you stare out into that great
dome, its billion feathers wiping blue away,
transcending body, lifting up the night.



Every day, come summer, I fear for
the limitations of our two-toned seasons

and for my garden. And I hate leaving
the house for vacations. Because

the equation is simple enough:
the tragedy of wailing afternoons

filled with fire trucks and heated
news about weather, or wilting

flowers. These tropical depressions,
they attend to the greenhouse

like a crowded congregation
waiting for glorious homilies,

that assuring voice of the pastor
who loves greenery and God

yet offering nothing more than
coming months of restless clouds

finally obeying, some holy water
for cleansing, or warm wine. Also,

another garden teeming with
just the right amount of rain-

fallen apples: fiery red, fresh,
and sinless come harvest time.


The Maningning Miclat Awards 2009

The Maningning Miclat Art Foundation is calling on young poets aged 28 and below to submit entries to the 2009 Maningning Miclat Trilingual Poetry Competition in three divisions: Filipino, English and Chinese.

An entry must have at least eight but not more than 15 poems. Authors may join all the divisions but can submit only one entry in each division. All entries should be original in any of the three languages and not a translation of another entry.

Four copies should be submitted, with the poems printed double-spaced on regular bond paper with one-inch margins on all sides, using Arial or Times New Roman size-12 font. Only a pen name must be printed on an entry, with the real name and pen name submitted in a separate sealed envelope together with the entrant’s biodata, birth certificate copy, and a notarized declaration of originality and authenticity of authorship.

Entries must be addressed to the Maningning Miclat Art Foundation, Inc. (MMAFI), 2nd Floor, Mile Long Building, Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City (Tel No. 816-7490 to 91) not later than 5:00 p.m. of April 15, 2009. Entries sent by mail should be postmarked/invoiced not later than April 1, 2009.

The Maningning Award, handed out yearly since 2003, honors China-born Maningning Miclat, a poet in three languages, a published essayist, and a prizewinning visual artist who was also a teacher, translator and interpreter. Her collection Voice from the Underworld (Anvil Publishing, Inc., 2000) is the first book of poetry in the world in Filipino, English and Chinese written solely by one author. Some of her poems were included in a book of top international women poets in Chinese published in China. She passed away in September 2000.

The Maningning Miclat Art Foundation was formed in 2001 to carry on the artist/poet’s legacy, encourage creativity, and support outstanding young poets and artists. The trilingual poetry competition is held during odd-numbered years, while the painting competition is held during even-numbered years.

Grand winners in the divisions of the Poetry Competition will each receive P28,000 together with a Julie Lluch trophy and the special collector’s edition of the books Voice from the Underworld, Beauty for Ashes: Remembering Maningning and Beyond the Great Wall: A Family Journal, which won a 2006 National Book Award for biography.

Past winners of the Maningning Poetry Awards are Naya Valdellon and Joselito delos Reyes in 2003; Allan Pastrana, Joseph Saguid and Ye Cai-sheng in 2005; and Raymond John de Borja, Erica Clariz delos Reyes and Chen Si-yuan in 2007.

For more information on the 2009 Maningning Miclat Art Competition, e-mail or You may also log in to

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Mondays XLVIII: The 2nd Year Anniversary Edition

featured readers for TONIGHT's 48th, SECOND YEAR ANNIVERSARY installment of the long-running, bi-weekly Happy Mondays Poetry Nights @ mag:net cafe Katipunan Katipunan are as follows:

1. J. Neil Garcia
2. Aldus Santos
3. Marne Kilates
4. Arnold Molina Azurin
5. Larry Ypil
6. Adam David
7. Jonar Sabilano
8. Jimmy Abad
9. Gabe Mercado
10. Ramil Gulle
11. Vim Nadera
12. Krip Yuson
13. Kash Avena
14. Lourd De Veyra
15. Jun Cruz Reyes
16. Keith Cortez
17. Pancho Villanueva
18. Angelo Suarez
19. Inigo De Paula
20. Leigh Reyes
21. Mikael Co
22. Joseph Saguid
23. Sasha Martinez
24. Rafael San Diego
*plus other surprise guest readers.
*as there would be a lot of readers celebrating with us tonight, kindly be in magnet cafe by 7 so we can start promptly at 730 pm.

Happy Mondays Bayawazakzoundz for the evening courtesy of:
1. Los Chupacabras!
2. The Purple Chickens!
FREE ADMISSION this whole, celebratory evening! Kitakits po tayo. :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Finally received word from University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of New Hampshire: Rejected.


Still waiting for word from Guelph and Syracuse, but at this point, it feels like a long shot. Guess I'll just have to reapply next year. Damn, sumakit ang dibdib ko ah. If anyone wants to have beer, lemme know.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Good or A Bad Mail?

hahaha! laughing my ass off. what a friggin' nice invite!

the sky

i think of peace as the most expansive
wound cleft by schools of fish, and the memory
of tropical rain, and kissing under a tree.
a wound that can only be thought about.
because you do not feel the sting of silence
or the grazing of stillness against your
body. you only recall the mother of all
shits after eight hours on the road. and
the satisfying smell of your own excrement,
something as personal as the design around
your irises or how each day's sky is shaped.
nobody can love it as much as you. no one
will handle it the way you will. flushing
all the clouds away, standing up again,
ready to go back outside and smash your face
against the tireless all-encompassing blue air.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bird Watching

Because the eagle, by itself,
is beautiful and allows
the whole expanse of its body
to span across the high air as it

gazes down on our awkward gestures
and flailing and failures. But
I for one, value instinct over
intelligence. Or the devotion

of penguins, the delirious flutter
of a mockingbird. There is no
loneliness in them, no noticing
of the splendor of sunsets. Also,

those little sonnets doves make,
their endless preening, these are not
done out of love. Their fleeting presence
on the thin wires of trees or behind

windowsills--these do not concern us
as much as we’d hope. They are
the given observers, and they never
look too close nor care enough.

And while we continue primping
in front of our mirrors, they simply
watch as new leaves sprout above
and heighten the canopies, notice

the new antenna installed above
some rooftop. And if you manage
to get some bird to eat from your hands,
it does so out of necessity. So we go on

taking pictures of such encounters.
We study their feathers and try to measure
the true importance of color. We feel,
we fall, we stumble. And they continue

flying in perfect formations, rising
and soaring and seeing everything, oblivious
to our daily want for grandeur, these dull,
imperfect limbs bristling with all-too-human

commotion. Every day I lose a potential
feather. Then I find another by the roadside.
And holding it up, wonder how the wind
animates it, this bodiless thing. I guess

there are just too many mistakes to atone for.
And so wide and high a sky to elevate to.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Mondays XLVI

featured readers for the 46th installment of the bi-weekly Happy Mondays Poetry Nights @ mag:net cafe Katipunan TONIGHT, February 16, @mag:net cafe Katipunan are as follows:

1. Conchitina Cruz
2. Mabi David
3. Larry Ypil
4. Adam David
5. Twiggy Bastareche
6. Douglas Candano
7. Egay Samar
8. Andrea Teran
9. JL Poquiz
10. Waps San Diego
11. Wincy Ong
12. Marne Kilates
13. Krip Yuson
14.Angelo Suarez

*plus other regular and surprise guest readers.

*readings start promptly at 730 pm followed by the Open Mic sessions @ 930pm-10pm.

*for those interested in reading during the open mic, we will leave a sign-up sheet with Rogel, the bar tender of mag:net cafe. please feel free to sign up and read your work.

10pm onwards, Happy Mondays Bayaw zoundz featuring:

1. Roberto Nicolas Vs. Khavn
2. Patience, Dear Juggernaut
3. The Purple Chickens

FREE ADMISSION the whole evening. Kitakits po tayo. :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Call for Submissions: The 48th Dumaguete National Writers Workshop

The Dumaguete National Writers Workshop is now accepting applications for the 48th National Writers’ Workshop to be held May 4-15, 2009 in Dumaguete City.

This Writers Workshop is offering fifteen fellowships to promising young writers who would like a chance to hone their craft and refine their style. Fellows will be provided housing, a modest stipend, and a subsidy to partially defray costs of their transportation.

To be considered, applicants should submit manuscripts in English on or before March 27, 2009 (seven to ten poems; or three to five short stories; or three to five creative non-fiction essays). Manuscripts should be submitted in hard copy and on CD, preferably in MS Word, together with a resume, a recommendation letter from a literature professor or a writer of national standing, a certification that the works are original, and two 2X2 ID pictures.

Send all applications or requests for information to Department of English and Literature, attention Prof. A.G. Soluta, Chair, Silliman University, 6200 Dumaguete City.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Uy, renga!

Que Rico Renga 07Feb2009

Choose. I believe in one thing.

I believe in reasons. Especially

reasons to choose. Love. Or don’t.

What matters is the why of things.

How birds fly, for example.

I know to describe this in terms

a five-year-old would understand.

The decision to fly, though.

that remains silent. And it occurs

only in stillness while mouths go on

talking dry of plans, wants, and lies

that remain in the background.

That when we do things, to stop meant

we never did them at all.

Not unless flowers talked.

Not unless they say,

I am always here and so will you.

But to fly is not just about having wings,

it’s about escaping, dreaming, distance.

Choose. Distance, stillness or one reason.

The first petal to pluck from a flower.

The words a five-year-old will understand.

One thing.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Isn't it good, Norwegian Wonderboy?

B A Part - Thomas Dybdahl

In other news, last Saturday I got to watch the Juan de la Cruz Band. Wasak! Na-inspire ako. So magtatayo ako ng banda. I will be auditioning for members of my new wasak rock and roll band. those who are interested please apply to me for further rakrakan. Wahoo! serious ha! contact me pare, buo na tayo ng banda.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Happy Mondays XLV

featured readers for the 45th installment of the bi-weekly Happy Mondays Poetry Nights @ mag:net cafe Katipunan TONIGHT, February 2, @mag:net cafe Katipunan are as follows:

1. Gemino Abad
2. Lawrence Bernabe
3. JC Casimiro
4. Adam David
5. Israfel Fagela
6. Allan Hernandez
7. Egay Samar
8. Andrea Teran
9. Larry Ypil
10. Krip Yuson

*plus other regular and surprise guest readers.

*readings start promptly at 730 pm followed by the Open Mic sessions @ 930pm-10pm.

*for those interested in reading during the open mic, we will leave a sign-up sheet with Rogel, the bar tender of mag:net cafe. please feel free to sign up and read your work. :)

10pm onwards, Happy Mondays music from:

1. Johnoy Danao
2. Patience, Dear Juggernaut
3. Taggu nDios

FREE ADMISSION the whole evening. Kitakits po tayo. :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

TABOAN: Philippine International Writers Festival 2009

11 to 13 FEBRUARY 2009
University of the Philippines Diliman (Feb 11)
Ateneo de Manila University (Feb 12)
Cubao Expo (Feb 13)

University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City

Venue: Pulungang Claro M. Recto, Bulwagang Rizal

Welcome Remarks
• UP Diliman Chancellor Sergio S. Cao
• NCCA Chair Vilma L. Labrador
• Festival Director Ricardo M. de Ungria
• Festival Coordinator Jose Y. Dalisay, Jr.

PHILIPPINE LITERATURE TODAY. The keynote address, a synoptic overview of where we’ve been and where we are, taking into account our literature in Filipino, English, and the regional languages; Philippine literature in the 21st century; and Philippine literature in the Asian and global context. To be delivered by National Artist Francisco Sionil Jose.
Venue: Pulungang Claro M. Recto, Bulwagang Rizal, UPD

9:45AM | A TRIBUTE TO EDITH TIEMPO. The tribute to National Artist Edith L. Tiempo is a short poetry reading by Merlie Alunan, Dinah Roma, and Ronald Baytan, who all attended the Dumaguete National Workshop and have been influenced by Tiempo’s poetics. To date, Edith Tiempo is the sole woman National Artist for Literature.
Moderator: Marjorie Evasco
Venue: Pulungang Claro M. Recto, Bulwagang Rizal, UPD

10:30AM | GANITO KAMI NOON: WRITING THROUGH THE DECADES. A plenary panel discussion to set the tone for all other panel discussions. A representative each from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s can talk about the conditions for writing and publishing in their eras and how things have changed, or maybe not. And where do we go from here? 
Panelists: Elmer Ordonez (1950s), National Artist Virgilio S. Almario (1960s), José Pete Lacaba (1970s), Marjorie Evasco (1980s), Angelo Lacuesta (1990s)
Moderator: José Y. Dalisay, Jr.
Pulungang Claro M. Recto, Bulwagang Rizal, UPD

1:30PM | ICONS OF THE NEW CENTURY: WRITERS WHOM WRITERS READ. Who are you reading and why? Who's your literary daddy (or mommy)? A discussion of literary influences and how they are shaping contemporary Philippine literature.
Panelists: Rebecca Añonuevo, Franklin Cimatu, Carlos Cortes, Francis Macansantos, Katrina Tuvera
Moderator: Gémino H. Abad
Venue: CAL New Building (CNB), Room 508

WRITING FOR A LIVING. What's writing like as a profession in the Philippines? What writing jobs pay, and how can writers get them? How should writers deal with writing commissions? What about copyrights and contracts? How do we break into the global market and find and deal with agents?
Panelists: Vietnamese writer Nguyen Bao Chan, Tony Enriquez, Kragi Garcia, Luis Katigbak, Charlson Ong, Alfred Yuson
Moderator: José Y. Dalisay, Jr.
Venue: CAL-AVR, 2/F Bulwagang Rizal, UPD

THE CREATIVE WRITING CLASSROOM. The teaching of creative writing, for the teachers among us: challenges, strategies, approaches, tips and tricks in the creative writing classroom.
Penelists: Merlie Alunan, Conchitina Cruz, Jun Cruz Reyes, Macario Tiu, Ricardo de Ungria
Moderator: Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo
Venue: CNB Inquirer Room 201

WORKSHOPPING THE WORKSHOP, ORGANIZING WRITERS. A review of the Dumaguete, Baguio, and Iligan workshops, plus maybe the biggest school-based ones, and how they grew. A sharing of best practices, as well as a discussion of common problems and situations. This panel can also deal with writers’ organizations, centers, institutes, and programs.
Panelists: Vicente Groyon III, Christine Godinez-Ortega, V.E. Carmelo D. Nadera Jr., Benilda Santos, Anthony Tan
Moderator: Lito Zulueta
Venue: CNB Rm 309

3:30 PM | WRITING OFF-CENTER: THE REGIONAL EXPERIENCE. How goes creative writing and literary publishing outside of Metro Manila? Have new centers of literary activity emerged, and what are the keys to their success? What does it take to promote writing from the regions to broader audiences? 
Panelists: John Bengan, Jose Jason Chancoco, Rey Duque, David Genotiva, Alice Tan-Gonzales
Moderator: Ricardo de Ungria
Venue: CNB Inquirer Room 201

ATBP: WRITING OFF THE MAINSTREAM. Gay/lesbian literature, chick lit, "spec fic", Chinoy lit , and all that jazz. What alternatives exist to straight, realist, mainstream lit? Is this kind of "pigeonholing" good or bad—or, when is it good, and when is it bad? 
Panelists: Dean Francis Alfar, Jhoanna Cruz, J. Neil C. Garcia, Jaime An Lim, Tara FT. Sering
Moderator: Danton Remoto
Venue: CNB Room 309

FILIPINO-NESS IN THE GLOBAL AGE. A perennial hot topic in the blogosphere. How can "Filipino-ness" be defined? Is it an absolute necessity in this age of globalization? Is "nation" even a relevant concept? How can this be manifested in a literary work? Why don’t we seem to see enough of such central elements of Filipino life as crime, sex, and humor in our literature, or is that only in English?
Panelists: Efren Abueg, Leoncio Deriada, Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo, Resil Mojares, Timothy Montes
Moderator: Isagani R. Cruz
Venue: CAL-AVR

Ateneo de Manila University
Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City

Venue: Leong Hall Auditorium

• Opening Remarks, Prof. Ricardo de Ungria, Commissioner for the Arts, NCCA
• Welcome Address, Dr. Ma. Luz Vilches, Dean of the School of Humanities
• Message, Dr. Antonette Palma-Angeles, Academic Vice-President, AdMU
• A Concise History of 150 Years of Ateneo Writing
• Open Forum
• Tribute Proper
• Screen Presentation on Emmanuel S. Torres and Reading of Citation
• Screen Presentation on Gregorio C. Brillantes and Reading of Citation
• Response of the Honorees
• Closing Remarks, Dr. Ma. Luisa Torres Reyes, Chair, Dept. of English



THE POET-CRITIC. The issue of how art and criticism interface has been a central topic even in the creative writing curricula of top universities worldwide. Whether our writers have found the interface uneasy or comfortable, consciously or unconsciously, it has shaped the craft and aesthetics of generations of authors in the Philippines. 
Panelists: Gemino H. Abad, Exie Abola, J. Neil Garcia, Allan Popa, Jun Cruz Reyes, and Thai fictionist/screenwriter Prabda Yoon 
Moderator: D(anilo) Francisco (M) Reyes
Venue: Social Science Conference Rooms 1 & 2

TEXT AND CONTEXT. The encounter between art and politics, writing and ideology, or aesthetics and social engagement, has been a significant consideration in countries like the Philippines as it has been said to make for bad writing and good politics/bad politics and good writing. Thus, these binary categories have been considered mutually exclusive practices by some writers, but deemed mutually constitutive commitments by writers. 
Panelists: Isagani R. Cruz, National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, Danton Remoto, Roland Tolentino
Moderator: Oscar Campomanes
Venue: Social Science Conference Rooms 3 & 4

PUBLISHING FOR THE FUTURE. No literature can prosper without publishing, but publishing itself is taking on new forms and challenges in this new century, such as online publishing and print on demand. What directions will Philippine literary publishing and Philippine literature itself take in the foreseeable future? What can the Philippine academic and commercial publishers do to promote literature here and abroad? Are there alternatives to mainstream publishing that can be explored, and can they be commercially viable?
Panelists: Karina Bolasco, Adam David, Antonio Hidalgo, Esther Pacheco
Moderator: Maricor Baytion
Venue: NGF Conference Rm, G/F De La Costa Hall


FEMINISM IN OUR MIDST. The question of how women writers write under conditions quite distinct from men writers has been a source of dynamism and controversy in both their works and the criticism on their work. This has been a point of contention in recent literary history as some women writers organize themselves as women writers, weaving literature and sharing life.
Panelists: Rica Bolipata-Santos, Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo, Priscilla Macansantos, Aida F. Santos, Dinah Roma-Sianturi, Hope Yu
Moderator: Benilda Santos
Venue: Social Science Conference Rooms 1 & 2

LITERATURE IN ACTION. Non-canonical texts abound in contexts like the Philippines in which literature’s energies come from places quite apart from "Literature." Foremost among this type of literary production is the whole range of performative practices which create cultural "events" as opposed to literary "art." Most prominent examples of this range from avant-garde forms to so-called "agit-prop" art in which visual and/or performance artists and educational and community theater groups like PETA have been making a splash in the international art and academic scene since the 80s and 90s. 
Panelists: Michael Coroza, Steven Patrick Fernandez, Servando Halili, Bonifacio Ilagan, Glenn Mas 
Moderator: Gary Devilles
Venue: Social Science Conference Rooms 3 & 4

CHILDREN’S LITERATURE. In the Philippines, it has been said that the reading fare of Filipino children continues to be dominated by children’s literature from the West, as evidenced by the children's books usually on display in major book shops. Nevertheless, it can be argued that for decades now, significant headway has been made in providing alternative reading materials for Filipino children by publishing houses like Aklat Adarna and noted Filipino authors and published locally in English, Filipino and other Philippine languages. What genres have been developed in children’s literature by Filipinos? Are these genres a mere imitation of the western models? Has the production been enough to begin to draw up a canon of children’s literature in the Philippines? What has been the impact of children's literature on the readers? What role must children's literature play in the Philippines? 
Panelists: Cyan Abad-Jugo, Christine Bellen, Jean Lee Patindol, Ramon V. Sunico
Moderator: Jerry Respeto
Venue: NGF Conference Room, G/F De La Costa Hall

Venue: Leong Hall Roof Deck

• Closing Remarks, Dr. Assunta Cuyegkeng, Vice President, Ateneo de Manila Univeristy-Loyola Schools

Cubao X, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City

Venue: Cubao X
Hosts: Angelo R. Lacuesta, Festival Coordinator; Joel Toledo, Festival Assistant Coordinator


HOME, ROAM, AND AWAY. Publishing locally versus publishing abroad. How does place of publication—or place of writing—affect or define your audience, or your career or your work? This should also function as a guide for those who seek international publication: what are the challenges and what are the chances? 
Panelists: Vicente G. Groyon III, Mookie Katigbak
Moderator: Lourd Ernest De Veyra
Venue: Mogwai 2

THE END OF PRINT. Web-based publishing, traditional print publishing, and print-on-demand: the meaning of publication has multiplied so much these days. Has the meaning of quality, or rigor, or intent changed as well? How has this affected today’s writer? Has he (or must he) achieve convergence, or should there be dividing lines?
Panelists: Roberto Añonuevo, Adam David, Jean Claire Dy, Luis Katigbak, Edgar Samar
Moderator: Dean Francis Alfar
Venue: Pablo

WRITE TO LIFE. Writing to live, or living to write? Many literary writers have commercial writing careers—but what about other lines of work? And what of the lines that divide work and writing? This discussion covers all sorts of jobs writers must take—and the amount of confrontation and compromise writers must endure. It will also cover tips and tricks to avoid burnout and “multitasking hell.”
Panelists: Josua Cabrera, Dominique Cimafranca, Mikael de Lara Co, Ramil Gulle, Victor Dennis T. Nierva
Moderator: Frank Cimatu
Venue: Kolektib 1

LINGO NG WIKA. Language and authenticity in Philippine literary practice—it’s an old argument. So should we be done with it, then? Or shouldn’t we? (This conversation covers all Filipino languages.)
Panelists: Genevieve Asenjo, John Barrios, Jaime Jesus Borlagdan, Jose Jason Changcoco, Jason Laxamana, Glen Mas, Voltaire Oyzon, John Iremil Teodoro
Moderator: Rica Bolipata-Santos
Venue: Kolektib 2

GLOBAL WARMING. A plenary discussion over lunch featuring Asian and Filipino writers who have gone “global.” Our international panelists will discuss the challenges and rewards of writing in their local language and still achieving international recognition and popularity. The panel will also discuss practical tips on international grants, fellowships and exchange programs. 
Panelists: Nguyan Bao Chan, Conchitina Cruz, Dinah Roma-Sianturi, Prabda Yoon
Moderator: Angelo R. Lacuesta


PURO FORMA. The formal versus the experimental in poetry—is there a conflict? Young poets discuss the issues (and, inevitably, the non-issues) that abound. 
Panelists: Michael Coroza, Conchitina Cruz, J. Neil C. Garcia, Mookie Katigbak, Angelo Suarez
Moderator: Allan Popa
Venue: Mogwai 2

MOVING UP IN THE WORD. Building the literary career—does it still have the same requirements as ten years ago, or are there new ways to get that break? Is the PalancaTM Award still the quickest path to writerhood? Or is that old-school thinking? What’s a literary career anyway?
Panelists: Efmer Agustin, Janice Bagawi, Arifah Jamil, Junley Lazaga, Leonila Lopido, Monica Macansantos, Harold Mercurio
Moderator: Mikael Co
Venue: Pablo

FICTIONAL SHOWDOWN. This is a friendly showdown between the realms speculative fiction and “non-speculative” fiction—its advocates, practitioners and its subject matter. Also up for discussion: attempted definitions, blurred boundaries and common goals. 
Panelists: Dean Francis Alfar, Adam David, Jonathan J. Siason, Alvin B. Yapan, Prabda Yoon
Moderator: Ian Casocot
Venue: Kolektib 1


ALL ABOUT MY OTHER. The I versus “otherness” in poetry: how do they figure in your work? Insights, questions, problems and answers on this mind-boggling topic. 
Panelists: Ronald Baytan, Kristian S. Cordero, Conchitina Cruz, Larry Ypil
Moderators: Carlomar Daoana, Dinah Roma-Sianturi
Venue: Mogwai 2

UNSCRIPTED. Playwrights, screenwriters and writers in general discuss the difficulties of writing for the stage and screen—from the issue (or non-issue) of language and the challenges of the craft, to the long road to production and the burden of having to win the audience. 
Panelists: Jhoanna Cruz, Glen Mas, John Iremil Teodoro
Moderator: Jun Lana
Venue: Pablo

THE YOUNG AND THE LITLESS. Is the Filipino youth worth writing for? In the age of the Internet and digital home entertainment, Filipino children and young adults have so much to see, hear and read—without having to open a book. How does this affect the youngest generation of the Filipino literary audience? How does this affect the Filipino writer?
Panelists: Christine Bellen, Jean Lee Patindol
Moderator: Tara FT Sering
Venue: Kolektib 1

THE STORY OF OUR LIVES. Short story writers and novelists discuss the concerns of today’s fictionist—from language and style to themes and subject matter. Also to be discussed: getting published internationally, and the problem and the burden of writing long-form work.
Panelists: Vincente Groyon III, Arifah Jamil, Luis Katigbak, Januar Yap, Alvin B. Yapan
Moderators: Genevieve Asenjo, John Bengan
Venue: Kolektib 2

6:30PM | PLENARY: DEAR NCCA. What can the NCCA do for the younger or emerging writer? This discussion hopes to come up with a wishlist for the NCCA, covering specific measures of support for the Filipino writer. 
Moderators: Angelo R. Lacuesta, Joel Toledo
Venue: Mogwai

• Address, National Artist Virgilio S. Almario
• NCCA Resolutions
• Response and Closing Address, Ricardo de Ungria

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hello! And Welcome!

welcome to another edition of BYWHM. i'm your host wild wappy and this is my co-host leonardong libag. *fake mikael voice* - magandang madaling araw mga kaibigan.

since this is a blog, we'll be posting videos in stead of making mp3 playlists. so sit back, relax and enjoy as you listen to and watch our top picks. without further ado, this is Richard Thomas with his beautiful opus, "1952 Vincent Black Lightning"

awright! now back to your regular programming.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pambansang Bayani

Mula sa Wikipedia -

José P. Rizal (full name: José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda) (June 19, 1861 – December 30, 1896) known as Manny Pacquiao is a professional Filipino boxer. He is currently the WBC Lightweight Champion. He is the former WBC super featherweight world champion, IBF super bantamweight world champion, and WBC flyweight world champion. He has also held the Ring Magazine titles for featherweight and super featherweight. For his achievements, he became the first Filipino boxer to win four world titles in four different weight divisions. He is currently rated by the Ring Magazine as the #1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world.

Wala lang, baka nalimutan mo na

Monday, January 19, 2009

Soundtrip muna

"First Day of my Life" - Bright Eyes

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy Mondays XLIV

featured readers for the 44th installment of the bi-weekly Happy Mondays Poetry Nights @ mag:net cafe Katipunan TONIGHT, Jan 19, @mag:net cafe Katipunan are as follows:

Gatula Reunion!
1. Ed Geronia, Jr.
2. Lilledeshan Bose
3. Israfel Fagela
4. Joseph Saguid
5. Doodz Generoso
6. Drey Teran
7. Pancho Villanueva
8. Khavn Dela Cruz
9. Waps San Diego
10. Sasha Martinez
11. Jaton Zulueta
12. Pancho Alvarez
*plus other regular and surprise guest readers.

*readings start promptly at 730 pm followed by the Open Mic sessions @ 930pm-10pm.

*for those interested in reading during the open mic, we will leave a sign-up sheet with Rogel, the bar tender of mag:net cafe. please feel free to sign up and read your work. :)

FREE ADMISSION. Kitakits po tayo. :)

iyas national writers workshop

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Wade Davis on Endangered Cultures

utang ng loob, basta panoorin n'yo na lang.

Friday, January 16, 2009

YEARS LATER: Holding Back The Years

the fifth installment of the monthly Years Later New Wave music all-cover night happens TONIGHT @ mag:net cafe Katipunan.
8pm onwards, with spinning of New Wave anthems and oddities in-between sets. featuring the following bands:
1. The Superchongs
2. Angel Radio
3. Atomflot
4. Skies of Ember
FREE ADMISSION. kitakits, mga chong. :)