... and so were the Generation Y, IBM PC, MTV, AIDS, space shuttle mission, pac-man, Midgnight's Children, Naya Valdellon, Yol Jamendang, the first American test-tube baby, Alicia Keys, Andrei Kirilenko, Anna Kournikova, Beyonce Knowles, Britney Spears, Elijah Wood, Eric Harris, Julia Stiles, Justin Timberlake, Kelly Rowland, Natalie Portman.



I received this e-mail from a friend. Can anyone verify/confirm this?

"dont bring any pirated vcd, copy cd, data cd when you plan to ride the LRT or MRT. they are confiscating cd's unlabled and unliscensed cds. They dont care if it is a data disk for your work or files for school.. pls pass this info to avoid the situation and if ever they tried to confiscate your data cd for work/school purposes, just prepare an explanation for the importance of your data cd.

they dont even know how to identify a pirated cd/vcd or personal data cd files. if you have CD or DVD files, it's best not to ride the MRT/LRT. VRB has a operation in confiscating pirated media effective today. pls pass this message to warn all of our E-media data users. thanks."


Something Booba

If you're updated to showbiz news (really: chismis, tsika), you must have been fed up as well with several blind items on various sex videos of undisclosed personalities. The most recent is of Ethel Booba and Alex Crisano (obviously, not a blind item anymore). A video capture is now on the net (see it here). [But of course, it's strictly for adults only so if you're below 18, don't click on the link, unless you have a guardian beside you for guidance.]

Meanwhile, will GMA-7 do something about this? The station's most popular show, Extra Challenege, will definitely be affected. Is the management also willing to sanction Ethel (who obviously boosted the show's ratings) as much as what they did to Phoemela Barranda for the latter's supposed "misbehavior" before?


Rio Alma on Filipino Spelling

(Rio Alma delivers his lecture on Filipino spelling.)

(Rio Alma receives a token from TWG officer, poet Angelo Suarez.)

Last Saturday, National Artist Virgilio S. Almario gave a lecture on Filipino spelling. He gave out a small flyer with the following usual dilemma (especially of students) on writing in Filipino:
  1. Natutunan o Natutuhan?
  2. Kayat o Kaya't?
  3. Ala-ala o Alaala?
  4. Salo-salo o Salusalo?
  5. Aspeto o Aspekto?
  6. Taks o Tax?
  7. Bisyon o Visyon?
If you are not able to attend his lecture, but would want to know more about spelling in Filipino, get a copy of Gabay sa Editing sa Wikang Filipino (tuon sa pagbaybay) published by the Sentro ng Wikang Filipino-Diliman. I am not in the mood to echo his lecture right now.


Iyas Creative Writing Workshop

Press Release

The Iyas Creative Writing Workshop accepts fellowship applicants for the annual workshop, held from May 19 to 24, 2004, at Balay Kalinungan, University of St. La Salle in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.

Fifteen fellowships will be awarded by genre and language. Grants will cover board and lodging and a partial transportation subsidy.

Interested parties may send two (2) short stories, six (6) poems, or two (2) short plays for consideration, signed with a pseudonym, along with a sealed business envelope containing the author’s real name and pseudonym, a 2x2” ID photo, and a short resumè. Works must be submitted in five hard copies, manuscript format (12 pt Times New Roman, letter-size paper), accompanied by a soft copy (MS Word format) on a diskette. Works may be in English, Filipino, Tagalog, Hiligaynon, or Cebuano.

Send applications to

Dr. Gloria Fuentes
College of Arts and Sciences
University of St. La Salle
La Salle Avenue, Bacolod City
Negros Occidental 6100.

Other inquiries may be sent through fax (034) 434-0415; or e-mail glofuentes2003 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Deadline for applications is on 31 March 2004.

The Iyas Creative Writing Workshop is sponsored by the University of St. La Salle, the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center of De La Salle University, and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.



In the latest issue of Newsbreak, Chay Florentino Hofileña talks about the real score on the networks war. A related story presents the ABS-CBN's new tandem, Cito Alejandro and Maria Ressa, who shoulder the task of regaining the top spot in the Mega Manila ratings game that their station held for years.

Meanwhile, Carla Montemayor shares her insights on the migration of words and the way they adapted to the nuances of the adopting culture. Her reflection on "alamat" comes most insightful:

"In some cases, you can chart the journey of certain words as they traveled from Indonesia to the Philippines. On Indonesian immigration forms, for example, they’ll ask you to write down your “alamat.” I thought I’d have to pen an epic poem explaining my existence: Ang Alamat ng Carla. Noong unang panahon, may isang salbaheng bata (Once upon a time, there was a naughty child). Alamat is “legend” in Tagalog, but in Indonesian (and Malay), it means “address.” It originally signified one’s domain. Then the word traveled across the seas and later it came to mean one’s origins—where one came from. We have had to construct memory in symbolic terms following the forgetfulness wrought by time and distance."

27/7 (Walang Panahon)

Received this call for submissions from Carlos Piocos:

Para sa mga humihingal at humahabol...

24/7 (Walang Panahon)

Para sa mga makata/nagmamakata/nagmamaganda, bukas ang mga pahina ng Philippine Collegian literary supplement (24/7) para sa inyong mga tula, maiikling kuwento at sanaysay, sa English o Filipino. Maaring ipasa ang inyong mga akdang pampanitikan sa aming opisina, RM 401, Vinzons Hall o sa aming email address: kule_litsup@yahoo.com. Walang panahon, hanggang February 11, 2005 lamang ang pasahan.

TEXTULAPINOY Winners: Poets for the Environment

Press Release

Five of the winning poets in the first week of TEXTULA PINOY contest are former winners. Ferdinand Bajado, Roger Endaya, Joel Costa Malabanan, and Fernando Gonzales have already won in poem-texting contests sponsored by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), UP Institute of Creative Writing, and Filipinas Institute of Translation (FIT), Inc.

First-time winner Rene Ayala, an Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) employee from Los Banos, Laguna shares the top prize with Ferdinand Bajado. Other first- time winners of consolation prizes include Arnulfo Sambajon and Rudy Fernandez.

The organizers received more than 2,000 entries but half were disqualified for not following the strict poetry rule required by the contest. National Artist and board of judges head Virgilio S. Almario, suggests that participants study the rhyme and meter rules of Filipino poetics. Almario extols the winners’ awareness of the need to protect our natural resources as well as their familiarity with Philippine mythology and folk literature that they employed in creating metaphors.

Here are the winning proverbs:

Pag Piedras Platas wala na;
Magdadalit ang adarna.

-Rene Ayala, Los Baños, Laguna

Handog Niya’ng paraiso,
Huwag mong gawing disyerto.

-Ferdinand Bajado,

Bago tagpasin ang puno,
Isiping ito’y kay Nuno.

-Fernando Gonzales, Las Piñas

Ang ilog na basurahan,
Parang buhay na pinaslang.

-Arnulfo Sambajon, Taytay Rizal

Antay ng sisiw sa pugad,
Ang ibong iyong tinadtad.

-Roger Endaya, Maynila

Walang matimtimang lupa,
Kung ang puno’y salaula.

-Roger Endaya, Maynila

Alkans’ya ang kalikasan,
Pamana sa kabataan.

-Joel Costa Malabanan

Gubat na nilapastangan,
Delubyo ang hahantungan.

-Arnulfo Sambajon, Taytay Rizal

Posporong yari sa kahoy,
Laksang gubat pinag-apoy.

-Rudy Fernandez, Quezon City

May ibinuwal na kahoy;
May adang lalaboy-laboy.

-Rene Ayala, Los Baños, Laguna

TEXTSAWIKAIN is the flagship project of the NCCA Committee on Literary Arts for the National Arts. Everyone can join by texting until February 28 a two-line poem, or proverb, about the environment, via # 09279245243 or # 09279245242. For details, please call Eva or Rose at the UP ICW office # 9221830.


Because the internet is about urgency--immediate yet reliable information, this blog will be more up-to-date. What does it mean? Simple: No more daily entries. Yes, updates will now come as soon as something new comes up (only in my fields of interest and areas of knowledge, of course), and that means, in most cases, more than a single entry every day. Visit this blog more often from now on for news and reflections that come brief and exciting, the way blog entries should be.


Another Murakami

Laura Miller reviews
Haruki Murakami's latest, Kafka on the Shore. Read the book's first chapter here.



I received two good news today. First, from Glen Maboloc. After almost two years, Ubod is finally in its pre-press stage. Vim, Jema and I will go to the NCCA office on Monday (first Monday of February is an Ateneo holiday) and check on the final layout. Ma'am Beni wrote the introduction for my chapbook in this series. Titled Isa Na Namang Pagtingala sa Buwan: Mga Tula, the chapbook includes 21 of my early poems.

Second, from Ma'am Beni. She told me that she finally gave my first (book-length) poetry collection, Pag-aabang sa Kundiman: Isang Tulambuhay, to Ms. Karen Cardenas of the Ateneo's ORP and she was willing to publish the book. I already spoke with Karen earlier and she just needs my concept for the cover and an introduction (I hope Sir Rio will give me an intro for this book; I'll meet him tomorrow in his lecture at UST), and the printing will follow, according to her, "as soon as possible." The book's 49 poems does not yet include the collections that won in last year's Gawad Surian sa Tula and Palanca.

The obvious still overwhelms me: If everything turns out okay, I may just have two published poetry books this year.