October 28, 2015, 10:54p.m. – THE USE of writing to mark the changing roles of Filipino women in modern society became the focus of a lecture at the Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P Building last Oct. 24.

Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, director of the UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies (CCWLS), said writing could go beyond telling stories through narratives.

“The very act of writing creates meaning and makes understanding possible. It enabled the writers to rewrite their lives and to recreate themselves,” she explained. 

Her discourse, titled “The Subversive Memory: Women Tell What Happened,” focused on the written works of Filipino women and the stories beyond them. 

Hidalgo pointed out how writing became a significant aspect of women’s lives by allowing them to cope with personal struggles and overcome society’s expectations. 

The lecture coincided with the launch of Hidalgo’s latest book, “To Remember, To Remember,” containing autobiographical narratives of seven women and their stories challenging the conventional roles of women in society.

Hidalgo said her new book was a hybrid of literary genres. “I consider it a kind of mongrel: part non-fiction and part literary commentary, a narrative of my encounter with these women’s literary memoirs,” she said. 

She said her encounter with these narratives revealed an underlying theme — the transformation of the Filipino woman into a formidable force in society. 

“I read the three memoirs of the three older writers as variations on a theme, that theme being the education of the modern Filipino woman, and her transformation, from sheltered school girl into formidable professional woman, without relinquishing the role of wife and mother,” she said. 

The lecture was part of the Asia-Pacific Writers and Translators Conference 2015, which had the theme “Against the Grain: Dissidence, Dissonance in Asia-Pacific Writing and Translation.” 

The conference was held in various universities in Metro Manila from Oct. 22 to 24 under a partnership between the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the University of the Philippines. C.A. Sta. Cruz


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