Fifteeen PRS 11 fellows announced

From more than 130 entries, 15 fellows are chosen to join the 11th Palihang Rogelio Sicat on 16 -20 May, 2018 in Baguio.

The fellows are: Ricardo G. Patriarca of Cavite, and Kristinne Nigel Cenosin Santos of Malolos, Bulacan (Drama); Wilmor L. Pacay III of Makati (Flash Fiction); Charmaine Lasar of Sto. Tomas Batangas, Mubarak M. Tahir of Davao, Rene Boy Abiva of Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija,  and Rya Celine C. Ducusin of Marikina (Short Story); Mary Marvilyn M. Magalang of Marinduque (Essay); and Arvy Rose B. Mena of Quezon City, Glen Ayala Sales of San Pablo, Laguna, Michael Thomas M. Nelmida of Caloocan, Roy V. Aragon of Cagayan, Joy Vencel T. Osela of Lucena, Quezon, Abner E. Dormiendo of Antipolo, and Paterno Baloloy of Calauag, Quezon (Poetry).

PRS 11 trainors include Baguio writers (Malou Jacob, Frank Cimatu, Luchie Maranan, Chit Balmaceda, and Junley Lazaga), guest panelists (Jess Santiago, Jowie delos Reyes and Choi Pangilinan),  and UP Department of Filipino faculty members (Eugene Evasco, Joey Baquiran, Luna Sicat, Rommel Rodriguez, and Ferdinand Jarin).

Dr. Jimmuel Naval, PRS workshop co-founder, said “Many applicants are worthy of joining but the slots are limited to fifteen. We will do our best to increase financial support so we can welcome more writers in the future.”

PRS distinguishes itself as writing workshop that primarily employs the national language. The UP Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature (UP-DFPL) sponsors PRS in cooperation with Office of the President, University of the Philippines and the UP Sentro ng Wikang Filipino.

Contact person : Reuel Molina Aguila (Tagapagtatag ng PRS, Guro ng DFPP, eue927@yahoo.com)

Villena, E.J.

Si Eric John Betita Villena ay isang manunulat na naka-base sa Cagayan de Oro. Matagal na
niyang na indie-publish ang unang koleksiyon ng mga kuwento na “Thus It Rain To-
Night and Other Stories” (Lulu Press, Inc.); nalathala ang isang kuwento niya sa this is
how you walk on the moon anthology (Ethos Books Singapore), at ang di-nalathalang
manuskrito para sa kanyang nobelang “Mga Bulong ng Anino at Tahimik” ay na shortlist sa Cirilo F Bautista Prize for the Novel noong 2015. Kasapi siya ng writer’s group na Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro (NAGMAC), at kasalukuyang General Editor ng literary Zine nito, ang Bulawan.

MGA AKDA

  • General Editor, Bulawan Zine Issue 1. Cagayan de Oro: independently published by
    Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro (NAGMAC), 2016
  • “Notes on the Writing of Fantasy: A Story.” This is how you walk on the moon Anthology. Singapore: Ethos Books, 2016
  • Mga Bulong ng Anino at Tahimik. Unpublished manuscript. Shortlisted for the “Cirilo F.
    Bautista Prize for the Novel,” 2015
  • Thus It Rain To-night and Other Stories. Lulu Press, Inc.: http://www.lulu.com/shop/e-j- betita-villena/thus-it- rain-to- night-and- other-stories/ebook/product- 21778185.html, 2014
  • “December Sixteen.” In Veritas Literary and Art Folio. Cagayan de Oro: The Crusader
    Publication, 2013

Villagracia, Bobby V.

Ipinanganak ako sa Labo, Camarines Norte noong ika-5 ng Agosto, 1958 ng mag-asawang Lorenzo Asis Villagracia Sr. at Preciosa Jamito Villaluz. Siyam kaming magkakapatid, si Aleli, (SLN), ako, Melanie, Liza, Ronel, Gemma, Emmanuel, Vivian at Lorenzo Jr. Dalawa ang anak namin ng asawa kong si Alice Bibat Bilbao, si Fritzie Gaile at Juan Marco, may dalawa sa unang karelasyon, si Melanie at Mary
Ann at dalawa sa sumunod, si Virgilio Jr. at Eva Grace. Narehistro ako sa Local Civil Registrar ng Labo, Camarines Norte sa pangalang Vergelio, Robert sa Simbahang Katoliko ng Labo, ngunit nang mag-aral, nagamit ang BOBBY sa lahat ng mahalagang kaganapan sa buhay, pagsusulat at pagtratrabaho. Nag-aral ako ng primarya sa Bayan-bayan Elementary School, elementarya sa Tulay na Lupa Elementary School, high school sa Tulay na Lupa National High School, kursong AB English sa Mabini College at maikling kursong typing. Pumasa ako sa pagsusulit ng Civil Service Commission, 1979 (second grade), nagtrabaho sa Philippine Postal Corporation, 1981 at pumasa sa Philippine National Police Academy, 1983. Nagsimula sa malikhaing pagsusulat sa komiks noong 1983 at paglipas ng panahon, nagsulat sa iba’t-ibang palimbagang naglalathala ng tabloid, magasin, pocketbook at maliit na magasing naglalathala ng maikling kuwentong katatawan at crosswords.

MGA AKDA
“Minsan sa Aking Buhay” – una kong kuwento sa komiks na nalathala sa Lovelife Komiks at nilimbag ng Graphics Arts Service Incorporated noong taong ika-17 ng Nobyembre, 1983.

“Pilyo rin ang Postman” – isa pang kuwento kong nalathala sa Lovelife Komiks noong ika-30 ng Setyembre, 1983 na nilimbag ng Graphics Service Arts Service Inc. Naging dahilan ang kuwentong ito upang makilala ako ng mga katrabaho ko sa Post Office.

“Kawawa si Intoy” – kuwento kong nalathala sa Kasaysayan Komiks noong ika-13 ng Hunyo,1985 at nilimbag ng Atlas Publishing Company Incorporated. Umani rin ng atensyon ang kuwentong ito dahil sa halip na pangalan ko ang nailagay, pangalan ni Direktor Lav Diaz na kasabayan ko noong nagsusulat sa nabanggit na palimbagan. Tungkol ang kuwento sa isang batang namumulot ng basura na inagawan sa nakuhang metal ngunit radioacticve palang bahagi ng bumagsak na spaceship.

“Ang Matandang Yogi” – kuwento kong nalathala sa Marvel Komiks at nilimbag ng Rex Publishing Company Incorporated noong ika-11 ng Nobyembre, 1985. Umani ng atensyon ang kuwento kong ito dahil nagkamali ang apelyidong nailagay, sa halip na Villagracia, Villanueva.

“Mga Patak ng Dugo” – kuwento kong nalathala sa True Ghosts Komiks noong ika-13 ng Enero, 1987 at nilimbag ng Atlas Publishing Company Incorporated. Umani ng atensyon ang kuwentong ito tungkol sa kriminal na tinutugis ng mga alagad ng batas na sinundan ang mga patak ng dugo upang sa huli, matagpuan ang nakahandusay niyang bangkay.

‘Huling Bala” –kuwento kong nalathala sa Commander Komiks noong ika-23, 1987 at nilimbag ng Graphics Arts Service Incorporated. Umani ng atensyon ang kuwentong ito dahil sa ikot ng kuwento o twist kung saan nakaharap ng naghihiganting bida ang dalawang kalabang sugatan, ang nagturo sa kuta at may pinakamalaking atraso. Inakala ng may pinakamalaking atraso na sa kaniya ang huling bala ngunit
nagkamali siya dahil iniwan siyang nakagapos para unti-unting mamatay.

“Boknoy” – kuwento kong nalathala sa Shocker Komiks at nilimbag ng Graphics Arts Service Incorporated noong ika-14 ng Mayo, 1987. Umani ng atensyon ang kuwentong ito tungkol sa retarded na lalaking anak na nilinlang ng ama sa bilis ng kamay kaya naniwalang nalunok ang tali ng saranggola. Sa huli, nilaslas ng anak ang tiyan ng natutulog na ama para kunin ang tali ng saranggola na inakala
niyang nilunok.

“Dating Pag-ibig, Bagong Pag-ibig” – kuwento kong nalathala sa True Horoscope Komiks noong ika-30, ng Nobyembre, 1987 at nilimbag ng Atlas Publishing Company Incorporated. Umani ng atensyon ang kuwentong ito dahil larawan ko ang ginamit ko sa kuwento bilang letter sender sa pangalang Fermin Nicolas.

“Salapi” – kuwento kong nalathala sa King Komiks noong ika-9 ng Disyembre, 1987 na nilimbag ng Atlas Publishing Company Incorporated. Umani ng atensyon ang kuwentong ito dahil sa pagtuligsa ko sa pariralang nakalagay sa salaping papel na nagsasabing nababayaran ng salapi ng Pilipinas ang ng uri ng pagkakautang. Ayon kay Ginoong Ted Tenorio, pangkalahatang punong patnugot ng Atlas, naging
dahilan ang kuwentong ito para baguhin ang pariralang nakalagay sa perang papel ng ating bansa.

“Nakabalik si Pitoy. . . Hindi si Pitoy” – kuwento kong punong-puno ng katatawanang nalathala sa Unisex Solar Komiks, (hindi kasama sa Roces Group of Companies). Walang tala kung kailan nalimbag ang komiks na ito.

“Blood Gang” – una kong maiksing nobelang nalathala noong 1986 sa Action Komiks ng Atlas Publishing Company.

“Muling Magbabaga ang Punglo” – una kong nobela sa komiks na nalathala sa King Komiks na inilalathala ng Atlas Publishing Company noong 1987. Tungkol sa nagaganap na mainit na labanan sa pagitan ng rebelde at gobyerno ang nobela naging malaking tagumpay.

“Takas” – isa sa mga nobela kong prosang nalathala sa pocketbook noong gitnang bahagi ng dekada 90. Nalathala ang nobelang prosang ito sa Atlas Publishing Company noong 1997 na nalipat na ang pagmamay-ari sa National Bookstore. Bukod sa binago ang titulong Mga Bilanggong Puso sa Takas, binago rin ang middle initial kong V sa B.

“Trahedya” – nobela kong prosang nanalo ng ikalawang karangalan sa AIDS Media Awards 1999 at inilathala ng Ford Foundation bilang pocketbook noong 2000.

“Minsan Lang” – kuwento kong nagwagi ng unang karangalan sa AIDS Media Awards 2000 sa pagsulat ng maikling kuwento sa komiks at nalathala sa Espesyal Komiks noong 2001. Pagmamay-ari na ng National Bookstore ang Atlas Publishing Company ng malathala ang kuwentong ito.

“Mamahalin Kita, Magpakailan Man” – nobela kong prosang nalathala sa pahayagang Balita na nililimbag ng Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation Incorporated noong 2013. Kabilang pa sa nobela kong nalathala sa Balita ang “Orokotok” gamit ang pseudonym na Juan Jamillan, “Annabel”, “Esperanza” at “Asbo” na nililimbag sa kasalukuyan, Abril, 2017.

“Tahid” – nobela ko sa anyong comics strip (three frames) sa pahayagang Remate na nililimbag ng Remate News Central noong 2013. Sa kasalukuyan (Abril, 2017), inilalathala ng Remate ang nobela kong “Lahing Asuwang” at Punglo ang Hahatol”.

“Ita ng Camarines Norte” – mahigit dalawang daan at limampung (250) pahina ng manuskritong bunga ng pananaliksik sa buhay, tradisyon at kultura ng mga katutubong Kabihug sa Camarines Norte noong 2005 na itinaguyod ng National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

“Etnograpiya ng Kabihug” (Ita ng Camarines Norte) – mahigit dalawang daan at limampung (250) pahina ng manuskritong bunga ng pananaliksik sa mga katutubong Kabihug sa Camarines Norte na itinaguyod din ng National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) noong 2007. Karugtong ang pananaliksik ng Ita ng Camarines Norte na tulad ng nabanggit na manuskrito, hindi pa nalilimbag ang Etnograpiya ng Kabihug.

“Selda Dos (Manila City Jail)” – unang aklat ko sa UP Press na nilimbag noong 2016 tungkol sa naging buhay ko sa Selda Dos o Cuerna ng Manila City Jail bilang detenido sa loob ng tatlong (3) buwan.

 

Valles, Eric Francis Tinsay

Eric Tinsay Valles captures snatches of home in exile, whether physical or spiritual. He was nominated for the Singapore Literature Prize and won a Goh Sin Tub Creative Writing prize for poems in his second collection, After the Fall (dirges among ruins). His first poetry book was A World in Transit. He co-edited the Get Lucky anthology of Singapore and Filipino writings and Sg Poems 2015-2016. He has been featured in Under the Storm: An Anthology of Contemporary Philippine Poetry, & Words, Reflecting on the Merlion, Southeast Asian Review of English, Routledge’s New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, The Achieve of, the Mastery (to be released by UP Press soon) and other publications. His critical essays have appeared in The Asiatic and Writing Diaspora. He has been invited to read poetry or commentaries at Baylor, Melbourne and Oxford Universities as well as Kistrech Poetry Festival. He is a director of the Poetry Festival (Singapore).

WORKS

Poetry Collections:
1. After the Fall (dirges among ruins) [Ethos Books: 2014]
2. A World in Transit (Ethos Books: 2011)

Co-edited Anthologies:
3. Sg Poems 2015-2016 (Ethos Books: 2016)
4. Get Lucky (Ethos Books: 2015)

Published Poems:
5. “Wayang Kulit,” Straits Times (2016): http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/wayang-kulit
6. “Grazing,” The Achieve of, the Mastery (to be released by UP Press this year)
7. “Independence Day in Hong Lim Park,” Under the Storm Anthology of Contemporary Philippine Poetry (2011)

Critical Essays:
8. “Voices in Edwin Thumboo's Poetry,” Inter-disciplinary Press’s Writing Diaspora (2014)
9. The Asiatic (2013).
10. “Creativity in the Merlion State,” Multilingual Matters-published The Creativity Market: Creative Writing in the 21 st Century (2012)

Vizcarra, Natasha

Natasha Vizcarra is a Filipino children’s book author, science writer, and essayist. Her award-winning stories for children include “Ang Itim na Kuting” published by Adarna House, and “Ang Pintor ni Garu” published by Lampara Books. Her science features and essays in the US have appeared in Sensing Our Planet, Science Findings, and High Country News. Her journalistic work in the Philippines has appeared in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Sunday Inquirer Magazine, the Philippine Graphic Magazine, the Philippines Free Press, and the Manila Times Magazine. Natasha is an alumna of the U.P. Writers Workshop and the Dumaguete Writers Workshop, the Duluth Writers Workshop, and the Hawthornden Castle International Writers Fellowship. She now lives in Colorado, USA with her husband and their three cats. Her current works may be found at natashavizcarra.com.

WORKS

Vizcarra, Natasha. The researcher, the reef, and a storm. Sensing Our Planet: NASA Earth Science Research Features, 6 March 2017, https://earthdata.nasa.gov/user-resources/sensing- our-planet/the- researcher-the- reef-and- a-storm. Accessed 5 April 2017.

Vizcarra, Natasha. In the Arctic darkness. Sensing Our Planet: NASA Earth Science Research Features, 25 January 2016, https://earthdata.nasa.gov/user-resources/sensing- our-planet/in- the-arctic- darkness. Accessed 5 April 2017.

Vizcarra, Natasha. Seeds in a Sandstorm. High Country News, 21 March 2016,
http://www.hcn.org/issues/48.5/seeds-in- a-sandstorm. Accessed 5 April 2017.

Vizcarra, Natasha. Exposed orchards. Sensing Our Planet: NASA Earth Science Research Features. 25 January 2015. https://earthdata.nasa.gov/user-resources/sensing- our-planet/exposed- orchards. Accessed 5 April 2017.

Vizcarra, Natasha. Winter blooms in the Arabian Sea. Sensing Our Planet: NASA Earth Science Research Features. 25 January 2015. https://earthdata.nasa.gov/user-resources/sensing- our-planet/winter-blooms-in- the-arabian- sea. Accessed 5 April 2017.

Vizcarra, Natasha. Tracing the Tehuano. Sensing Our Planet: NASA Earth Science Research Features. 25 January 2015. https://earthdata.nasa.gov/user-resources/sensing- our-planet/tracing- the-tehuano. Accessed 5 April 2017.

Vizcarra, Natasha. Strange bedfellows. Sensing Our Planet: NASA Earth Science Research Features. 25 January 2014. https://earthdata.nasa.gov/user-resources/sensing- our-planet/strange- bedfellows-2014. Accessed 5 April 2017.

Vizcarra, Natasha. Unexpected ice. Sensing Our Planet: NASA Earth Science Research Features. 25 January 2014. https://earthdata.nasa.gov/user-resources/sensing- our-planet/unexpected- ice. Accessed 5 April 2017.

Vizcarra, Natasha. A baffling signal in the tropics. Sensing Our Planet: NASA Earth Science Research Features. 25 January 2014. https://earthdata.nasa.gov/user-resources/sensing- our-planet/a- baffling-signal-in- the-tropics. Accessed 5 April 2017.

Vizcarra, Natasha. 2009. Ang Pintor ni Garu. Lampara Books, Philippines.

Torres, Denver Ejem

Denver Ejem Torres is a poet and essayist. He writes in two languages, English and Bisaya. He earned his degree in English Language & Literature Studies from Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan. He’s been a Fellow for Literary Translation and Poetry to several writers’ workshops. His poems have been published in the Philippines, Singapore, India and the USA. His essay Restoring the lost hiniktan has been included in Kritika Kultura’s anthology of Contemporary Philippine Essay. In 2012, his essay How Gemino Abad got me published won a prize in a national competition sponsored by National Bookstore and Philippine Star. His upcoming first book, a poetry collection, is called Hate-eating birds.

Recent Works
1. Chao Phraya & other poems – Upcoming in Carayan Journal (Online)
2. I have a problem with poems & other poems – Upcoming in Under the Southern Skies Anthology (Xavier University, Edited by Arlene Yandug) (Print)
3. Typhoon Sendong – Upcoming Sustaining the Archipelago: An Anthology of Philippine Ecopoetry (Print)
4. The Roads of Bali – one of the regular essay contributions to Sun.Star Weekend – January 22, 2017 (Print & Online)
5. Restoring the lost hiniktan – Anthology of Contemporary Philippine Essay – Kritika Kultura Issue 26 – February 2016; Ateneo de Manila University (Online)
6. The Word Jar (Poem) – Silliman Journal; Tribute Issue to the Tiempos; Silliman University, Volume 54 Number 2 – July to December 2013 (Print)7. After the quake – Verses Typhoon Yolanda; Meritage Press, USA, Edited by Eileen Tabios
(Print)
8. Summertime & other poems (a collection of 12); Assaracus Journal Issue 10, USA (Print)
9. Adobo (Poem) Querida: Anthology; Edited by Tuvera, Hau & Reyes; Anvil (Print)
10. Typhoon Sendong (poem) – Quarterly Literary Review Singapore; Vol 11. No.2 (Online)

Art for Alice Fundraiser Event Slated for May 5

The Art for Alice Guillermo is a fundraiser hosted by the UP Department of Art Studies (DAS), College of Fine Arts (CFA), colleagues from UP Diliman, and the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), and is slated on May 5, 2018, Saturday, 4 to 8 pm, at the UP CFA Auditorium.  Professor Guillermo is professor emeritus of DAS where she is also the former chair, an esteemed art and social critic, author of books on social realist and Philippine arts, and a nationalist educator.

Professor Guillermo has experienced a complete heart block in 2017 where she was confined in the hospital for two months. A heart pacemaker was mounted to strengthen her health. This year, it is unfortunate that she suffered an acute intraparenchymal hemorrhage or hemorrhagic stroke, and an acute kidney injury. The costs of her hospitalization and home care continue to inflate.

The Art for Alice fundraiser has three components:  an arts raffle where tickets are priced at P5,000 each and guarantees an art work prize, an online arts auction, and lugawan.

For art work donations, contact Flaudette May Datuin at DAS, or Leonilo Doloricon (09202541589).  The drop-off points are the Department of Visual Communication office, CFA at E. Jacinto Street, UP Diliman. Look for Ms. Jane M.  For DAS, it is at Pav 1122 (Palma Hall Annex) along Quirino Avenue, opposite NSRI. Look for Hans.

Works by artists Francis M. Verano, Leonilo Doloricon, Con Cabrera, Iggy Rodriguez, Vincent Coronel, Joe Datuin, Ambie Abano, Raul Lebajo, Irma Lacorte, Aba Dalena, Tednicalao Dimaporo Camahalan, Jun Vinculado, and Kelly Ramos, among others, have been donated and received for the online auction and arts raffle.

For arts raffle ticket, contact Janette or SC at the UP Film Institute 9818500 loc 2670.  For the Lugawan for Alice, spearheaded by ACT, tickets are sold for P500 and P1,000.  For tickets, contact Zenie Lao-Santos (09198688154).

For the online auction, go to https://goo.gl/forms/2nYxdJmZJkiasq0N2 to bid.

For those who wish to donate cash or purchase tickets through bank transfer payments, here are the banking details:  DAS bank account is Landbank of the Philippines 3071-0412-70, with account names as Flaudette May Datuin and Cherryl Navida; ACT-Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Incorporated is at PNB UP Diliman Branch, Savings Account No. 393062600015.  Send the scanned copy of your bank deposit slip to roland.tolentino@gmail.com.

For details of the Art for Alice fundraiser, go to the Art for Alice page on Facebook.

Call for Entries for 68th Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature

The Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, the longest-running and most prestigious literary contest in the country now on its 68th year, is now accepting entries to its regular categories as follows:

  • English Division – Short Story, Short Story for Children, Essay, Poetry, Poetry Written for Children, One-act Play, and Full-length Play;
  • Filipino Division – Maikling Kuwento, Maikling Kuwentong Pambata, Sanaysay, Tula, Tulang Para sa mga Bata, Dulang May Isang Yugto, Dulang Ganap ang Haba, and Dulang Pampelikula;
  • Regional Languages Division – Short Story-Cebuano, Short Story-Hiligaynon, and Short Story-Ilokano.

The Kabataan Division, the special youth categories open to persons below 18 years of age as of 31 May 2018, is also now open for entries. The theme for this year is “How will you encourage the Filipino youth to read more books?” (Kabataan Essay) and “Paano mo hihikayatin ang mga kabataang Pilipino na magbasa pa ng mga aklat?” (Kabataan Sanaysay).

All submissions must be printed copies, as specified in the Official Rules. The Carlos Palanca Foundation, Inc. will not accept online or email submissions for all categories.

Contestants may submit only one entry per category. Published/produced works, which were first published or first produced between 01 May 2017 to 31 May 2018, and/or unpublished/unproduced works may be entered in the contest. Only unproduced works may be entered in the Dulang Pampelikula category. A work which has been awarded a prize in another contest before 12:00 m.n. of 31 May 2018 is not qualified for the awards.

The deadline of submission of entries is on 31 May 2018.

The Palanca Awards is open to all Filipino or former Filipino citizens of all ages, except current directors, officers, and employees of the Carlos Palanca Foundation. The Palanca Awards established in 1950 to honor the legacy of businessman and philanthropist Don Carlos Palanca Sr. aims to help develop Philippine literature by providing incentives for writers to craft their most outstanding literary work and to be a treasury of the Philippines’ literary gems from our gifted writers and to assist in its eventual dissemination to our people, particularly the students.

For official contest rules and forms, visit the Palanca Foundation office at Ground Floor, Greenbelt Excelsior Bldg., 105 C. Palanca Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City.

For inquiries and other concerns, participants may contact the CPMA office through email at cpmawards@gmail.com or at (632) 843-8277.

INQUIRER.NET: Acclaimed debut novel tackles Fil-Am immigrant experience

Link: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/292431/acclaimed-debut-novel-tackles-fil-immigrant-experience/

by Ruel De Vera

On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be much happening in the life of Geronima “Hero” De Vera when she arrives in Milpitas early in  “America is Not The Heart: A Novel” (Viking, New York, 2018, 406 pages), the debut novel of Filipino-American writer Elaine Castillo. She is surrounded by the little events that happen in the lives of the Filipino-American community in California. She picks up her uncle’s 7-year-old daughter (also named Geronima De Vera, but nicknamed “Roni”) from school. She finds things to do even as preparations are being made for the big party celebrating Roni’s 8th birthday.

But as those seemingly mundane events unfold, Hero  begins to remember how she got to Milpitas: “There were things Hero had hoped to cast off forever, and then there were things that wouldn’t dislodge, no matter how hard she tried, no matter how deep in the mountain she went.”

Castillo peppers the first part of “America” with little markers that will prove important later on. Wrapped around Hero, “America” unfurls into a multigenerational family drama, a struggle with political unrest and a coming-of-age in a strange place.

From Vigan to Isabela to Manila to Milpitas, the long and checkered history of the De Vera family stretches out to include that of Paz, who toils as a nurse, and Pol, who seeks to become an American citizen.

“America” is weighed down by the price paid by those who had to give up a privileged life in the Philippines to try and make it in America for whatever reason.  “You’re starting to learn that the things you get, you don’t get to keep,” Paz learns.

Mangled hands

“America” is one story that springs out into many other stories. The book burnishes all these small plotlines that emerge from the lives circling Hero. The quiet, meek Hero seems to be ordinary except for her mangled hands. How those hands got to be so broken lies at the heart of Hero’s very eventful life which unfolds in flashbacks set amid the backdrop of everyday life in Milpitas: childhood in Vigan, school in Manila, armed insurgent conflict in Isabela and the horrific things that bring her to where she is at the novel’s beginning.

Hero struggles with these memories: “It felt like she needed to be extra careful. She drove away before she could look back, or wave a second time.” Yet there is much that awaits Hero in her new life, including unexpected romance: “It was funny to discover this about herself only now: it was possible to have such deep, immovable desires without ever even knowing it.”

Born in the Bay Area the daughter of first-generation Filipino immigrants, Castillo has whipped up a veritable typhoon of events and emotions. “America” is a dense, challenging book that rewards the reader with a compellingly complex portrait of immigrant life in America. It’s the Filipino dream twisted around the American dream, infused with nightmares and wishes.

Castillo writes with confidence and candor. One of the book’s conceits is how characters speak, without warning or translation, Ilocano, Pangasinan, Filipino and English. It is a symbol for the shifting worlds inhabited by the inhabitants of this “America.” The book, of course, meaningfully tweaks the title of Carlos Bulosan’s classic 1946 tale of Filipino-American experience, “America is in the Heart.”

Castillo’s debut novel has received acclaim and glowing praise from many outlets, identifying her as a writer to watch out for. All this is for good reason as “America is Not The Heart” is a stunning first novel that speaks across generation and territory even as it is really ultimately about three people—and all they’ve lost and gained.

“As for loving America or not loving America, those aren’t your problems either,” Elaine Castillo writes. “Your word for love is survival. Everything else is a story that isn’t about you.”

Available in paperback from Fully Booked and National Book Store.

Follow @ruelsdevera on Twitter

Read more: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/292431/acclaimed-debut-novel-tackles-fil-immigrant-experience/#ixzz5DSXaSd6e
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UP ICW Issues Call for Submissions for the Gémino H. Abad Seminar-Workshop on Teaching Literature

DEADLINE OF APPLICATION EXTENDED TO AUGUST 15, 2018

On the occasion of its 40th anniversary, LIKHAAN: The UP Institute of Creative Writing will be holding the Gémino H. Abad Seminar-Workshop on Teaching Literature on September 20-22 at the University of the Philippines Hotel, UP Diliman, Quezon City. This ICW project will accommodate a total of fifty (50) junior and senior high school teachers in the K-12 curriculum from all over the country.

Interested participants are enjoined to carefully read the rules for application, which are as follows:

 Who may apply:

  1. The Gémino H. Abad Seminar-Workshop on Teaching Literature will be open to teachers in junior and senior high school. Priority will be given to those teaching literature and related humanities subjects.2. From a total of fifty accepted participants, 12 to 13 slots will be allotted to each of the four genres (poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and drama). Participants should state two genres in the application letter (one priority and the other as alternate) so that if the slots for one genre get filled up quickly, there would be a second option available. 

How to apply:

  1. Applicants must submit: a) a letter of intent which should include a pledge that the applicant is willing to participate in a workshop session of a literary text based on the genre he or she gets accepted for; b) the title and author of two (2) literary texts used in class, in two of his or her preferred genre (poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, or drama) as well as the title of the textbook the selections were taken from; c) a recommendation letter from one’s school principal; and d) a brief, one- to two-paragraph bio-note.
  2. Submissions should be sent via email to uplikhaan@gmail.com with the subject “Gémino H. Abad Seminar-Workshop 2018 Application.” Incomplete submissions will not be accepted.

The workshop’s resource persons will recommend the qualified participants, and the UP ICW will approve the final list. The three-day Gémino H. Abad Seminar-Workshop is free of admission, and the ICW will provide lunch as well as mid-morning and mid-afternoon merienda for the participants. However, the workshop will not cover participants’ transportation and lodging.  The deadline for submission of applications is on August 31, 2018. The final participants list will be released by August 2018.

The Gémino H. Abad Seminar-Workshop will feature an honorary lecture by Dr. Gémino H. Abad. Resource persons, discussants, and workshoppers for this seminar-workshop are Mr. Alfred Yuson for fiction, Ms. Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta for poetry, Ms. Susan Lara for creative non-fiction, and Mr. Floy Quintos for drama.

The rationale behind this seminar-workshop is the training of teachers in junior and high school in discussing literary texts that are now being used in textbooks for our classrooms. This is crucial in light of developments brought about by the K-12 curriculum. The project already has the endorsement of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). The ICW is just waiting for the advisory from the Department of Education (DepEd), which should also come out soon.

The Gémino H. Abad Seminar-Workshop on Teaching Literature aims to help establish a more standardized basis for literary discussion and analysis, as well as in choosing which works in both English and Filipino are most appropriate for inclusion in our school textbooks. In a bigger sense, the seminar-workshop aims to aid our teachers in better educating our K-12 junior and senior high school students.

For inquiries, you may call the UP ICW at 981-8500 local 2117 or email uplikhaan@gmail.com.