Summary: Carlo Vergara’s Hula Hoop

Summary
Carlo Vergara’s Hula Hoop
Moderator, Vlad Gonzales

Inilahad ni Carlo Vergara ang kanyang kasaysayan bilang manunulat, partikular ang kanyang mga pinagdaanan sa pagsusulat ng kanyang pinakapopular na akdang Zsazsa Zaturnnah at kung paano ito tinanggap ng samu’t saring audience. Ani Vergara, malaki ang naging pressure sa kanya na sundan ang naging tagumpay ng akdang ito. Ngayon, mas nakatuon ang mga sinusulat ni Vergara para sa entablado, tulad ng “Hula Hoop” na napabilang sa Virgin Labfest ng Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Nagustuhan ni Butch Dalisay ang premise ng dula, at kung paano nito inilalahad ang relasyon ng nakaraan sa kasalukuyan at hinaharap. Gayunman, hinahanap niya sa dula ang “moments of tenderness” kung saan mas nagiging kongkreto ang mga tauhan at ang mismong kuwento. Ganito rin ang naging komento ni Luna Sicat-Cleto, na nagwari kung maaari pang pahabain ang dula upang mas maipakita ang salimuot ng mga tauhan. Read More »

Summary: Enrique Villasis’s Manansala

Summary
Enrique Villasis’s Manansala
Moderator, Bienvenido Lumbera

Halaw sa mga obra ni Vicente Manansala ang mga tulang ekphrasis ni En Villasis. Nakakiling si Villasis sa pakahulugan sa ekhprasis poetry bilang isang anyo ng dialogo. Aniya, sa pagiging dialogo nito, ang pagtula ay nagiging isang anyo rin ng kritisismo o pagpuna. Bagaman inaamin ni Villasis na natatakot siya na maliit lamang ang mambabasa para sa ganitong mga tula, nasisiyahan din siya sa posibilidad ng ganitong uri ng pagtula.

Pinuri ni VJ Alquisola ang koleksyon, at tinukoy ang likas na kahirapan sa pagsusulat ng ekphrasis poetry dahil sa kahilingan nitong maipakita ang isang “poetic vision.” Pinansin naman ni Vlad Gonzales ang antas ng trabaho na ibinuhos sa pagbuo ng koleksyon. Tinukoy ni Luna Sicat-Cleto ang halaga ng pagtukoy sa panahon ng mga obra sa bawat tula. Para sa kanya, kailangan ito upang madala ng mga akda ang mga mambabasa sa mundo ng bawat obra. Read More »

Summary: Cheeno Sayuno’s Super Boyong Wears a Malong

Summary
Cheeno Sayuno’s Super Boyong Wears a Malong
Moderator, Eugene Evasco

Nakatuon ang maikling kuwentong pambata ni Cheeno Sayuno para sa mga mambabasa mula middle-grade hanggang high school. Sa mga sinusulat ni Sayuno, mahalaga ang paggamit sa mga simbolong katutubo upang maibahagi sa mga batang mambabasa nito ang yaman ng kulturang Pilipino. Dagdag ni Sayuno, sinisikap niyang gawin ding integral sa naratibo ng mga kuwento ang pagbibigay kapangyarihan sa mga bata, kung saan sila na mismo ang gumagawa ng mga desisyon para sa kanilang mga sarili, sa halip na inaasa pa ito sa mga matatanda.

Sa usapin ng wika at paraan ng paglalahad, naging matagumpay ang kuwento para sa panel. Iminungkahi ni Francisco Montesena na paunlarin pa ang tauhan ni Boyong. Para kay Mina Esguerra, maganda kung magkakaroon din ang kuwento ng bersyon para sa mga mas batang mambabasa. Nakita naman ni En Villasis ang potensyal ng kuwento na ituro ito sa isang classroom setting sa pamamagitan ng isang pagtatanghal.Read More »

Summary: Mina Esguerra’s Iris After the Incident

Summary
Mina Esguerra’s Iris After the Incident
Moderator, Charlson Ong

According to Charlson Ong, Mina Esguerra’s romance novel is the first of its kind to be accepted in the Workshop. Esguerra defined the elements of the genre and described how authors around the world have already tweaked the basic formula of the romance novel. For her part, Esguerra said that her own work follows certain rules, which she also shares with the romance novel writing class that she holds. Esguerra also described the research (e.g. identifying the reading habits of her audience), that she puts into the process of writing a new book.

Pointing out that the genre still adheres to certain formulas, Cheeno Sayuno asked how romance novels negotiate the political correctness of their work. Luna Sicat-Cleto underlined the double standard of the genre in terms of how women express their sexuality. She noted that in romance novels, it is usually more acceptable for women from the upper class to “mess around,” while there is still judgment for women who do it if they belong to the lower class. Eugene Evasco recognized the innovations done by contemporary romance novels, but he also challenged Esguerra to play more with the formula and to include social issues in its structure.Read More »

Summary: Ma. Elena Paulma’s Sendong

Summary
Ma. Elena Paulma’s Sendong
Moderator, Jose Dalisay

Ma. Elena Paulma’s project is a nonfiction book which aims to “make sense” of the events that happened at the aftermath of typhoon Sendong. It is a collaborative work with writer Jeena Marquez that interweaves their personal stories of the disaster with those they have interviewed.

Jose Dalisay situated the project within the framework of the literature of trauma. Categorized as such, Paulma’s work raised questions regarding its intended audience and chosen form. Noting how the work is composed of both highly stylized pieces and reportage writing, Dalisay wondered if the elements of the book would gel together as one solid piece. He asked if the refinement of the language worked with the rawness of the material. For J. Neil Garcia, the gritty interviews didn’t really provide relief from the lyric pauses of the project. Garcia also noted the possibility of framing the work within disaster studies instead of trauma studies.Read More »

Summary: Melecio Turao’s The Anti-Model

Summary
Melecio Turao’s The Anti-Model
Moderator, J. Neil Garcia

The collection is intended to go against Turao’s previous aesthetics and influences in writing. By celebrating the ordinary, Turao is also attempting to veer away from the “grand gestures” that informed his earlier poems. J. Neil Garcia acknowledged the contrarian bent of Turao’s “Anti-model,” adding that the norms the project is trying to oppose are mostly personal norms. For Garcia, however, there is no great distance between Turao’s old work (from his last UP Workshop) and the “Anti-model,” as the latter still strives for insight, which ultimately reveals its New Critical aesthetics.

Garcia also identified the seemingly misogynistic and very “macho” underpinnings of Turao’s collections. RM Topacio-Aplaon asked how writers should negotiate between the compulsion to stay true to what they want to write and the need for political correctness. Turao explained that he sees political correctness as a form of “playing it safe,” which is something he doesn’t want to do. Citing the radical potential of literary works that are somewhat offensive, Vlad Gonzales asked up to where Turao could push his collection’s “incorrectness.” Garcia and Butch Dalisay related Turao’s overtly masculine poetry to the works of Robert Graves and Fidelito Cortes, noting that while these poems are indeed saturated with machismo, they are also very vulnerable. For Luna Sicat-Cleto, this vulnerable persona in Turao’s poems ultimately redeems the collection from any perceived incorrectness.Read More »

Poetics: Carlo Vergara

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I had never considered myself as a Writer. That is, a Writer with a capital W, the kind who’d spend their days writing their next great work with the kind of laudable wordsmithing most mortals aren’t able to achieve, and their nights conversing with fellow Writers about the sorry state of the craft, the wannabes, the charlatans, the PR experts, as well as the gifted ones, the promising ones, the ones destined for greatness.

I had been employed to write, from news and feature articles to web copy, from press releases to training modules, for over a decade before I self-published my first comic book, One Night In Purgatory. In that sense, I had seen myself as a writer with a small w. Though I did have some kind of “creative” writing done, it was mostly of the sort that I’d keep for myself. To me, Writers with a capital W existed on a higher plane, even if they were writing something like Twilight, or 50 Shades of Grey.Read More »

Poetics: Enrique Villasis

MANANSALA: O KUNG PAPAANO AKO NAGSUSULAT NG TULA

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Kamakailan lamang, matapos ang paglulunsad ng panganay na aklat ng mga tula ng isang kaibigan, sa harap ng ilang bote ng serbesa, napag-usapan namin ang proseso ng paggawa niya ng tula. Naitanong din kasi sa kaniya ng editor/publisher (na isa ring kilalang makata) ang naging paraan niya sa pagsusulat. Hindi niya alam ang itutugon. Dahil para sa kaniya, pagpapaliwanag niya sa amin, basta na lamang dumarating ang tula. Hindi sinasadya. Basta na lang. Tula ang tula dahil ito’y tula.

Madaling pagsang-ayunan ang ganitong paliwanag. Bakit pa nga ba kailangang ikahon sa mga dahilan at pamamaraan ang pagsusulat? Hindi ba maaaring magsulat nang walang tinatakdang limitasyon at hangganan? At hayaan na lamang ang akda ay siyang maging susi sa laberintong pag-iisip ng may-akda.Read More »

Poetics: Cheeno Sayuno

TOWARDS A PROMISE OF CULTURE AND EMPOWERMENT
What, How, and Why I Write

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As a budding writer, I would write about stories of murder. For me, I really enjoy plot twists, and I find fascination in crafting the craziest plots and characters. The niche that I found myself in the literary scene, however, is ironic: I ended up enjoying writing children’s literature.

I love writing about children for children because their stories are always hopeful. Whatever trials are set up for these child characters, writers of short stories for children always put in their every work a glint of hope. It brings forth a kind of feeling that assures the child readers that they are empowered and that they can overcome trials in life, may it be simple problems and virtues or real-world issues that children are surely ready to face.Read More »