(Screenshot from Vibal Publishing House's official Facebook page)

A resident fellow of the UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies (CCWLS) urged teachers to introduce texts that can easily be understood to jumpstart students’ interest in Philippine literature.

Paul Castillo said most students could not understand the use of language and could not relate to the text.

“Bigyan ng maikling babasahin na maaring nasa isang bersyon na mauunawaan nila (students) at mula doon, maari nating i-connect,” Castillo said in a Facebook online seminar.

(Offer short readings that may be in a version which [students] will understand, and from there, we will be able to connect.)

Castillo said part of a teacher’s duty is to give “text breaks,” or texts different from what a student usually reads.

“Kaisa ng mambabasa ang manunulat, ang manlilikha ng panitikan, [kaya ang] bisyon ng awtor ay bisyon din natin,” he said.

(The reader is one with the writer, the creator of literature, [that’s why] the vision of the author is also our vision.)

‘Pen pandemic stories’

CCWLS fellow Jose Mojica said that more than reading and sharing fiction, people should also try writing their own, especially about the pandemic.

Mojica said this could help people understand their situation.

“Not all of us are are able to write,” he said. “But by absorbing these fictional works, we get to have [a] piece [of their] mind in a world that feels like we are losing sense.”

Castillo’s session, titled “Bakit Mahalaga pa ring Basahin ang Panitikang Filipino?” and Mojica’s “The Relevance of Fiction in the Time of Pandemic” were part of a Facebook online seminar series organized by Vibal Publishing House in celebration of World Book Day last April 23.


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