Literature profs highlight writing from personal experiences in workshop


THOMASIAN literature professors highlighted the significance of “autoethnography” in a writing workshop last April 19 at the Tanghalang Huseng Batute of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Autoethnography is a form of literature about one’s personal experiences, with consideration to the subject’s cultural meaning and social understanding.

Prof. Felicidad Pereña, who served as the workshop head, cited the new perspectives that autoethnography can offer.

“It is something that we can do to really analyze what is transpiring not only from our point of view, but from the point of view of society,” Pereña said.

Autoethnography can also be a tool to resolve personal difficulties.

“This will entail critical thinking, so that our problems will have solutions. And other people will be inspired by how we were able to transcend our problems,” she said.

Assoc. Prof. Luciana Urquiola said it was vital to include the “future” when writing an autoethnography.

“Factor in the future when writing one, because you are going to spend most of your life there. You can create it, and you can predict it,” Urquiola said.

Autoethnography is a “legacy” that one can leave behind for the next generation, she added.

Thomasian sociologist Clarence Batan’s autoethnographical book, “Batong Bahay: Naratibo ng Kahirapan at Tagumpay ng Isang Karaniwang Pamilyang Pilipino,” published by the UST Publishing House in 2010, was featured in the workshop.

Batan, who tackles the story of his family in the book, said everyone has the ability to write his or her own “life book” without getting approval from anyone.

“Sana kayo rin magkuwento…how I wish each and everyone, who will read my Batong Bahay, [will be] inspired to write their own stories,” he said in an audiovisual presentation.

Other panelists were Eloisa Perez, Christine Ivy Nogot and Jeanette Grajo.

The workshop was part of the 9th Philippine International Literary Festival, a two-day event that showcased Philippine literature and the arts, renowned Filipino writers and literary experts.


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