Literature is beyond ‘instant gratification, fleeting celebrity’— Hidalgo

(File photo by Mark Darius M. Sulit/The Varsitarian)

THOMASIAN veteran writer Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo stressed that writers’ works must “serve beyond instant gratification and fleeting celebrity,” during the Kumustahan: Creative Writing in the Philippines Today at One Tagaytay Place Hotel Suites last Oct. 22.

“The writers [should] still see themselves engaged in a quest for meaning or answers to our most disturbing questions or at least…still involved in the articulation of some questions,” Hidalgo said.

Hidalgo, the director of the UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies, lamented how social media has enabled people without training in writing to gain popularity and commercial success.

“[It] has become possible to some people whose basic language skills can only been described as atrocious,” Hidalgo said.

Hidalgo cited the online storytelling platform Wattpad as an emerging publication avenue that recognizes the popularity of the writers.

“I recently noted an [advertisement] on the [Internet], announcing a contest for Wattpad stories, and the prize will go not to the best written but to the most popular,” she said.

Hidalgo, a former Varsitarian editor in chief, is a Carlos Palanca Memorial Award recipient for the short story, the essay and the novel.

Kumustahan, organized by the Likhaan: UP Institute of Creative Writing, is a seminar-workshop on the state of creative writing in the country. K. B. L. A.


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