Oct. 24 2016, 8:53 p.m. – THE COUNTRY’S top writers urged Thomasian writers to be mindful of language and literary conventions during the Varsitarian’s 12th Creative Writing Workshop.

Discussing tula (poetry in Filipino), poet Allan Popa advised the use of conversational language to appeal to a contemporary audience.

“Gumamit ng wikang colloquial kung kinakailangan, tulad ng paggamit ng ‘ma’ imbis na ‘inay.’ Hindi masama ang mga tula na madaling intindihin,” he said.

Popa said poems should be concise but sustain their impact. “Minsan, kailangan din ng kaunting pag-rerenda sa salita. Kahit maikli lamang ang pahayag, dapat loaded siya,” he said.

Award-winning author Vim Nadera challenged budding writers to master the conventions of language in poetry.

“Dumaan muna sa tugma at sukat. Dapat alamin muna ang batas bago ito suwayin,” said the former Varsitarian editor in chief.

Screenplay writer Jerry Gracio said poets should deliver their message and purpose clearly. “Tanungin ang sarili: ‘Ano ba ang gusto kong sabihin sa tula?’ May problema kapag hindi alam ang gustong sabihin,” Gracio said.

Poet Dinah Roma slammed the “excess emotionality” in poems. “The misconception in poetry is that it is all about affection and sentiments,” she said.

Read older authors

Chuckberry Pascual, fellow of the Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies, advised young writers to read older authors to familiarize themselves with the techniques and limitations of storytelling.

Fictionist Francezca Kwe suggested the likes of F. Sionil Jose and Gilda Cordero Fernando. Writers, she said, should “write for the society in which Filipinos are [their] readers.”

Other panelists in the workshop were Rogue magazine associate editor Paolo Enrico Melendez for fiction; Palanca award-winning poet Carlomar Daoana for poetry; and authors Joselito de los Reyes and Beverly “Bebang” Siy for katha.

This year’s 16 fellows were Raymond Gold Padao, Anthea Allam, Andrea Jamaica Jacinto and Winona Sadia (tula), Hailord Lavarias, Al Vincent Tumlos, Marian Louise Guiling and Elizabeth Anthony (katha), Benedict Viernes, Jan Dennis Destajo, Arielle Abrigo and Phillip Jamilla (poetry), and Ma. Doreen Evita Garcia, Leanne Claire Bellen, Ira Beatrice Taylo and Arianne Beatrice Blanco (fiction).

The workshop was held at the Tan Yan Kee Student Center last Oct. 22 and 23.


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