28 April 2016, 6:30 pm – MEMOIRS by two Thomasian writers were
launched on April 27 at the Tanghalang Teresita Quirino of the UST Graduate

The new titles released were “To Remember to Remember” by Center
for Creative Writing and Literary Studies (CCWLS) Director Cristina
Pantoja-Hidalgo and “Looking for Polaris: A Memoir of Losing and Finding” by
CCWLS resident fellow Dawn Marie Nicole Marfil.

Hidalgo’s book deals with her fascination on the works of seven
Filipino women memoirists. “The title is that because the book is about
remembering,” she said. “It is basically about these seven women that I read at
different times in my life and they really affected me.”

Hidalgo said her latest publication has a style distinct from
her previous works. “[With] this one, I wanted it to be different. It’s really
[about] the narrative of my encounter with these women. It is partly creative
nonfiction, and partly literary criticism,” she said.

Marfil’s debut book is inspired by the inconsistencies found in
constellations. “When you’re looking for something and you’re constantly losing
it, but when you finally reach the end of the journey, you actually find the
one thing that you’ve been actually searching for,” she said.

According to Hidalgo, one of the requirements for a memoir to
become successful is the honesty felt by the readers from the writer. “If you
really want to write a memoir, you make a contract with your readers that
you’re going to tell the truth, and very often, the truth has to do with pain,”
Hidalgo added.

Marfil explained why women are more inclined to write memoirs
than men. “Women are drawn to memoirs because they are mostly fragments,” she
said. “Men and women now look at their lives as fragments, and memoirs are a
more practical way of dealing with your life by treating it as small fragments
that you piece together later on.”

For Hidalgo, women are inclined to write memoirs because of
norms. “Society gives men more leeway and allows them more audacity, the right
to defy conventions,” she said.

Hidalgo stressed the role of truth in writing memoirs. “Never
twist the facts in order to serve yourself,” she said.

The event was moderated by UST Publishing House Director and
John Jack Wigley. It was the fourth in the UST Authors’ Series following
“Talinghaga at Siste,” “Tabas ng Dila,” and “Against Time,” which featured the
latest releases of Thomasian authors, mostly CCWLS resident fellows. Josef
Brian M. Ramil


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