RESURRECTING the dying is certainly a Herculean task.

We recently had the application exams for next year’s batch of the Thomasian Writers Guild (TWG), and during one of our meetings, Carlomar Daoana, one of our advisers, asked me to publicize the comeback of the guild in my column. Honestly, I do not really know much about TWG, for I have only been in it for two years, one of which we were even in a state of coma. But I readily obliged, for I am also eager to have the guild breathing again.

What little I know is this: the organization started in the late 50s as the Catholic Writers Guild, but it was during the late 1980s that it was christened the name Thomasian Writers Guild by poet and Ladlad editor J. Neil Garcia under the tutelage of Ophelia Dimalanta. From then on, TWG had been the fountain of creative juices in the University, conducting weekly peer critiquing sessions and poetry performances.

Its contribution to the growth of Thomasian literature is proven by the number of times it has dominated the list of winners in the Ustetika Annual Awards for Literature. It has produced outstanding alumni in letters such as Ramil Digal Gulle, Francezca Kwe, Allan Pastrana, Rosmon Tuazon, Angelo Suarez, Nerisa Guevara, and Lourd de Veyra. The guild was nurtured under the wing of the UST Center for Creative Writing and Studies (CCWS) until in 2006, when TWG became an officially recognized student organization in the University. But this was going to be a short-lived independence, for this school year, the guild has come back to its home, the CCWS, and once again its official student arm.

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But 2007 had been an uneventful year for the guild. Some people, especially the members, may even be wondering if the guild still exists at all, especially since it has become an unofficial organization once again. It could have been easy to just let TWG die a slow, peaceful death, but almost twenty years of existence coupled with a long list of acclaimed alumni is not something that anyone could just throw away. It has to live.

And live it did. After a series of application exams designed to fit the schedule of the applicants, we now have a new set of members who had their first peer critiquing session last February 16, with fictionist Pocholo Goitia and new TWG adviser Karen Capco as panelists. This was followed by another workshop with Manolito Sulit and Eros Atalia, also advisers of TWG. And, according to the panelists, this was going to be a very promising batch, considering their diverse literary interests ranging from traditional poetry to experimental pieces.

It is, perhaps, the first few steps to recovery.


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