Lunes, Hulyo 31, 2006

Mission Accomplished

I finally finished a story! *dances in joy*

But I still need to revise it. *stops dancing and sighs*

The idea for the story has been haunting me for about a year and a half but only recently did get a breakthrough that would encourage me write this story down. (I talked about my joy and frustation here.) I tried to write this story based on an idea and scene i found very interesting. During the summer, I tried to write it but it didn't work for me. But a month ago, I had a new development in terms of the details of the story. So basically I wrote this story in two months but struggled with for a year and a half. That's while I feel elated. I've been exorcised.

Another interesting thing about this story is that the whole text is a little over twenty pages long (double spaced). The last time I clocked in more that twenty pages, I still sucked. (I'm now at the rank of passable. Now, I need to reach the rank of publishable.) Gee, that was a long time ago, like three years ago.

Yeah, I'm still fidgety since I know this is still not over. But I need to get the story out of my head for awhile before I can revise it. So there.

Sabado, Hulyo 29, 2006

One Year After

Isa sa mga high points ko noong nakalipas na taon ang pagiging bahagi ng 11th Ateneo-Heights Writers Workshop. Marami nang nangyari mula noon hanggang ngayon, Fine Arts Festival, LS Awards, Graduation, pagkuha ng Masters. Noong nag-apply ako, inisip ko na magandang sukatan ang workshop kung may pinatutunguhan nga ako sa aking pagiging Major ng Creative Writing. (Diyos ko, kung mababasa nyo lang ang basura na sinulat ko bago ng 3rd year ko.) Inisip ko, kung makapasok, magiging masaya na ako. Syempre tuwang-tuwa ako nang makita ko ang pangalan ko sa Heights board. Dami akong natutuhan dun na mahirap lang talagang ilarawan.

Kani-kanina lang, napaka-nostalgic ako at binuklat ang workshop mats. Browse lang. Sa totoo lang, mas sarap basahin ang mga comment sa tsinuging kuwento ko kaysa sa pinaburang kuwento. Mas madaming praktikal na komento doon. At mas makakatuwa rung reaksiyon kasi hindi nila kung paano lalapitan iyon. Hindi children's lit ba iyon o pangakaraniwang kuwento. Nakakatuwa. Ganoon din, binasa ko ang mga komento ng mga panelist na mga gawa ng mga ka-fellows ko. Doon nakukuha ang ideya ng "learning form your peers". Iwasan ang kanilang pagkakamali, gayahin ang kanilang tamang ginawa.

Ngayong isang taon na ang lumipas, mayroon nga ba akong natutuhan mula sa workshop. Sigurado ngunit mahirap sukatin. Mas masinsin na ako sa aking syntax at sa first draft pa lang, pinipilit ko nang iwasan ang mga typos sa aking kuwento. (Ang dami kong typo sa mga draft na ibinigay ko sa Height. Nakakahiya.) Sa mga panahong iyon, alam ko na kung saan ko gustong ilugar ang sarili pagdating sa pagsusulat. (Sinusunod ko lang T.S. Eliot.) Sinigurado lang ng workshop kung pwede nga ako sa gusto kong paglagyan. Nakakainis nga lang at nahihirapan na akong magsulat ng kuwento. Masyado na akong nagiging pihikan. Kapag hindi ko makita ang ending, hindi ko na hinahabol ang ideya. Kung sa kalagitnaan naman ng pagsusulat ko ng kuwento ay nakitaan ko ng malaking butas ang banghay/tauhan/lohika, tinitigil ko na ang pagsusulat. (Ilalagay ko na lang sa baul ng aking "Unfinished" folder ng aking computer.)

Hindi sa mahabang weekend na ito ang 12th Workshop, sa susunod na linggo pa. Pero sana maging malaking tulong ang ang workshop sa susunod na batch.

Linggo, Hulyo 23, 2006

Superman in 3D

Pagkatapos ng napaka-draining na araw kagaya ng kahapon, pero tama si arkaye na satisfying din naman kahit papaano, nanood kami ng pamilya ko ng Superman Returns sa Imax ng Mall of Asia. Ilang linggo nang naka-reserve iyon. Akala ko buong pelikula 3D, hindi pala. Yung mga action packed na eksena syempre. Ok naman yung pelikula. Nakakatuwa nga lang at parang may lovehandles si Superman. Wala lang.

Medyo na-late din ang simula ng pelikula kaya naggala muna kami. Sa isang wing lang ako naggala, sobrang lawak naman kasi ng Mall of Asia. Napadaan ako sa Powerbooks doon at nakatagpo ng isang kopya ng "Discipline and Punish" ni Michel Foucoult. Kung babasahin ko ito, dalawa lang ang mangyayari, dadami ang brain cells ko o magpapatayan sila.

Sabado, Hulyo 22, 2006

Today was (is?) a long day. :D

Linggo, Hulyo 16, 2006

Biyernes, Hulyo 14, 2006

Huhumm...

Kanina ang pangatlong araw ko ng pagiging Grad assistant at wala akong ginawa. Down ang server ng Ateneo. Kailangan ko pa namang i-access ang ateneo website para maipagpatuloy ang naatasang trabaho ko. Kaya ayon, nakatunganga lang ako sa dept buong araw, which is just 4 hours anyway. Tutal, nakapagbasa ako ng mga readings. Advance na nga ako ngayon para sa Fil 201 at tinatapos ko pa ang Urbana at Feliza. Kahapon nga pala pumasok ako kahit na walang klase. Staff kasi ako kaya kailangang magtrabaho kahit na may bagyo at walang klase. Nakakaawa pero OK lang. At least hindi ako nagkasakit. Anyway, back to reading.

Martes, Hulyo 11, 2006

Bagong Developments sa Aking Buhay

Bukas, simula na ang aking pagiging graduate assistant. (Yeah!) May mga papeles na kailangang ayusin pero kailangan na rin naman talaga nila ng tulong. (Kita nyo na, may trabaho agad ako sa... trabaho.) May kailangang ilagay sa database at deadline sa 22. Hindi rin naman ako paspasan nito, ano? Pero ipinakita na naman sa akin ang kailangan kong gawin at mukhang madali lang naman. Ang pag-iipon ng ilalagay kong data ang, sa tingin ko, matatagalan. Nakakatuwa't may sarili akong desk. Nasa likuran. Mukhang lonely dun pero hindi pa ako sigurado. Kaya matatagpuan ako sa Fil Dept. tuwing 10-12 AM at 1-3 PM. (At may dadalaw ba naman, ano?)

Bilang bahagi ng mga papeles na kailangan kong ibigay, kailang ko ring kumuha ng SS Number. Kaya pumunta akong SSS sa East Ave. Nagtaxi ako para mabilis ang pagpunta. Nakakatuwa yung taxi, bahagi ito ng sistema ng mga taxi na may controller. Magraradyo ang controller sa mga taxi ng mga naghahanap ng sakay. Kaya habang nasa daan, naririnig ko yung radyong bumibigkas ng mga address. Ang kakaiba, may isang nahingi ng taxi para raw sa isang shooting. Nakakatuwa nga't nangungumbinsi pa yung controller sa mga drayber na kunin yung assignment. "Kunwari sasakay yung artista sa taxi tapos yun na," sabi ng controller. Nakakatuwa.

Sa SSS building, natulala ako sa umpisa. Ang dami kasing pila. Ngunit nang mahanap ko na ang tamang proseso, madali rin ang daloy ng mga bagay-bagay. Napansin ko lang na may mga taong hindi sanay sa pagpila. Hindi naman sa bastos sila o ano, hindi lang talaga sila sanay. May mga hindi na talaga pumipila at dumidiretso na sa mga counter. Mayroon din namang mga hindi sanay na mag-fill-up ng form. May nanghiram sa akin ng ballpen at doon ko napansin na mali ang kanyang mga nilagay. Kaya tinuruan ko siya. Pero mali pa rin. Hindi naman sa tanga siya. Kung tutuusin, nakakalito nga yung form para sa isang baguhang hindi pa nakakaranas ng proseso ng papeles. Masyado lang siguro akong sanay sa mga ganyan kaya ganun.

Huwebes, Hulyo 06, 2006

Graduate Assistant?

Nilapitan ako kanina ni Ate Mel kanina noong dumating ako sa department. Naghahanap kasi siya ng pwedeng maging graduate assistant. Sayang daw yung slot. Karamihan kasi ng mga grad students, may trabaho na, nagtuturo sa high school o sa kagawaran mismo. Kaya inalok niya sa akin kasi wala naman akong trabaho. Apat na oras araw-araw, libre tuition at may allowance. Medyo no brainer. Tatawagan ko lang ang mga magulang pero papayag naman ang mga yun. Ayoko rin namang buong umaga akong nakatunganga sa condo. Mukhang sumasaya ang buhay.

Miyerkules, Hulyo 05, 2006

Kamot, kamot

OMG! Hindi ko maintindihan si Georg Lukacs! AAAAH! May kaunting mga bagay na naiintindihan ako pero hindi talaga masakyan na masakyan ang unang dalawang kabanata ng kanyang "The Theory of the Novel".

Anyway, may ORSEM pala ang mga freshie na grad students. Sa Sabado nang ikawalo nang umaga sa Escaler. Mukhang mahirap hindi dumalo kasi pupunta ang mga Dean at ang mga Chair ng mga kagawaran. Meron kayang dress code? Hanggang maong lang ako!

Sabado, Hulyo 01, 2006

Destroying Our Nation Through Federalism

Maybe you may or may not have heard, but there exists an organisation that calls its self Save Our Languages through Fedaralism. (SOLFED) The title is self explanatory, this organisation advocates an ethnically centered federal states so that the Filipino languages marginalized by our nation building. I'm against this organisation because what it aim would eventually lead to the dissolution of Filipinas. But first their arguments in favor of federalism.

1. Language and Culture

SOLFED wants to save the languages and cultures of Filipinos through federalism. They believe that the current "colonial" unified nation would sound in the demise of the cultures that "non-Tagalog." I understand their concern. But I think this all comes from their shortsightedness both in history and culture.

This movement, understandably, is Cebuano-centric. They are the only ones who are in position to challenge Tagalog. But they know that they cannot "win". (I don't like to use the word because, in nation-building, something will eventually be lost) So they now try to rally the other languages to fight against the Tagalog-centric government.

But I would like to put forward the argument against the cultural card. Is there really a "great" difference in culture of all Filipinos? Maybe the Lumads and Muslims can use this argument. But are there great differences between the Christianized, Hispanisized, and Americanized Filipinos? I think SOLFED is just riding on the marginalization of the other "cultures" in bid to gain more power.

In a letter by Rizal to Blumentritt when he was exiled in Dapitan, our national hero was surprised in the similarity between Visayan and Tagalog. (I would guess that he would be refering to Cebuano since it is the dominant language among the Visayans.) He mentions ponemic differences, like kaon and kain. Granted there are other difference but, again, is there a great cultural difference behind our languages?

Today, there is a movement, a silent one admittedly, among the poets and writers in Filipino/Tagalog to incorporate in there works words from the other native languages. Their aims is primarily aesthetic and nationalistic second. (I'm not part of this movement. I'm too young and this project is a very advanced thing to do.) In using putting the these words, with the particular meaning a word carries, a writer, primarily a poet, could create a more robust work, both rhythmically and phonetically. It is true that the other native languages have words that can make the current National Language grow. And this won't happen in a federal system.

2. Power (That's what it all comes down to anyway.) and Identity

SOLFED sees the nation as a system led by "Imperial Manila". They see that the "other peoples" of Filipinas is continually marginalized. But in a system of centers there will always be a margin. If history had been more "kind" to Cebu, would we be fighting "Imperial Cebu"? In the project of nation building, there things, symbols that is held on to. Naturally, things in the center will most likely be saved, and in the margins lost. But this is just in theory. Some things cannot fully be lost and cannot fully be held. In all the other nations in the world there would always be a culture, a language that marginalized; France has Occitan, UK has the Celtic languages, Spain has, well, a lot, other than the prominent Basque. In these countries, these "minor" languages continue to thrive.

So I think that all the other major languages in Filipinas will not go the path Sanskrit anytime soon. The other minor languages, with inly a few hundred speakers, most probably. But this is inevitable in nation building.

So why not create many "nations" to accomodate the other languages? An argument that SOLFED puts forward. But what would be made wouldn't be Filipinas anymore. Kaya nga Nation-State e. There is one "national identity" that the state embodies. Admittedly, the "national language" has been dominated by Tagalog, but has the 'national identity" really been dominated by the Tagalogs also? I could name a few Cebuanos, Bikolanos, Ilocanos, Ilonggos, Kapampangans etc. that are part of our "national consciouness". Should we continue to see them as such, in their regional affiliations, or see them as Filipinos?

If on the off-shoot that such "nations" would be created, how many languages and dialects that these would kill? As said early, in the project of nation-building some things will always be lost. I, for one, is a Tagalog from Laguna. When I'm in Metro Manila some people would notice my accent when I talk and even when I write! Even among the Tagalogs, there are those who are marginalized. How many people, do you think, are marginalized by Metro Cebu? Their argument of being "saviors" is a little problematic. In a creation of federal states, not only are we destroying Filipinas, we create margins from a multitude of centers.

So there, I "bashed" them hard enough. (That was tiring.) Should we stay in our current project of nationa-building? (It isn't complete mind you. It might take another hundred years, two if we keep up this pace.) The "Filipino Identity" is a modern phenomenon, created, more or less, a hundred and thirty years ago in the great upheaval in the late 19th century. Should we keep on going or part our separate ways because of our "differences"? But as what Rizal felt in Dapitan, maybe we'd be surprised with the similarities.