Counter pro-Duterte social media ‘trolls,’ young writers urged

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Rolando Tolentino lectures during a seminar titled "Praxis," last March 6 at the Central Laboratory Auditorium. (Photo by Hazel Grace S. Posadas/The Varsitarian)

FILIPINO critics called for an end to the “culture of silence” among writers on killings and violence under President Rodrigo Duterte.

“[P]arati tayong nagsusulat na under siege. [P]alaging may propensity na ito-troll ka kapag ‘yong mga sinulat mo ay anti-DDS or anti-Duterte. [S]a panahon ng panunupil, kailangan talagang bastusin ito,” said Rolando Tolentino during a seminar last March 6 at the Central Laboratory Auditorium.

Tolentino, director of the University of the Philippines (UP) Institute of Creative Writing, said writers should be affected by these social issues to “internalize [their] weight.”

Tolentino also said aspiring writers should be vocal on their opinions on social media.

Sandra Nicole Roldan, who teaches creative writing and literature in UP Diliman, emphasized that writers are responsible for keeping themselves socially aware.

“If we keep writing then we keep feeling that outrage, that sense of urgency. [T]he killing isn’t stopping so we have to create that counterpart, if they are creating that reality, let us create our own reality which is our art,” Roldan said.

Continuing the practice of writing is a way of fighting Filipinos’ “desensitization” or the decrease of emotional responsiveness to killings and violence, she added.

The event, titled “Praxis,” was organized by the UST Literary Society. J. C. S. Dela Cruz

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