Never been the popular kid. I’m only sharing this news because it’s out there anyway, so why not. My two recent poetry books have been nominated at the 2014 Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards.
If you ever liked any of my stuff, then maybe this nomination will encourage you to at least vote for one (or both?) of the books. Better yet, buy my books if you can. There are rumors of an e-book version some day…
With this type of popularity contest, you never know what might happen. One vote might multiply magically. 😛
In any case, since you’ve read this far, maybe you can check out the poetry drafts on this blog and ask yourself if it is worth an effort to consider voting for me.
My country of birth is celebrating Buwan ng Wika, “Language Month,” but what it means really, I think, is the celebration of all Philippine languages. The focus seems to be more on Filipino, a language based largely on Tagalog. It is considered to be more flexible than Tagalog in making room for other languages.
I grew up with Tagalog/Filipino (Marikina is in Luzon, the home of Tagalog), Ilokano (my father is from “Marcos country” in the north), English (TV in the care of Sesame Street, The Electric Company, and Philippine English-dubbed Japanese anime like Voltes V and Mazinger Z), and Spanish (forced upon us during university at a time when students were calling for more options). I wonder if there is room for more in my silly little brain.
I posted the following announcement on Facebook and will attempt to translate it for non-Filipino readers. (somehow it sounds odd and alien in translation).
Magandang balita para sa Buwan ng Wika para sa mga kaibigan kong mambabasa ng mga akdang nasulat sa Filipino… tinanggap ng UST Publishing House ang aking manuskrito ng maiikling kuwento sa Filipino, SANGA SA BASANG LUPA AT IBA PANG KUWENTO. Hindi ko pa alam kung kailan ilalathala, ngunit sana ngayon pa lamang ay pag-isipan na ninyong bigyan ng lugar sa inyong aklatan (sarili man o pampamantasan… pambaranggay o parokya, at kung saan pa! sa opisina simulan kaya?). Samantala, sana tangkilikin din ninyo ang mga koleksyon ko ng mga tula sa Filipino na inilathala rin ng USTPH: ang naging finalist sa National Book Award na BAHA-BAHAGDANG KARUPUKAN at ang kasalukuyang nominado sa Filipino Readers Choice Awards na KALMOT NG PUSA SA TAGILIRAN. Ayan, kahit malayo ako ay may paraan pa ring makapiling – kahit man lamang sa mga salitang inilatag sa papel. Isang araw iyan na lamang ang malalabi sa akin. Di tulad ng ibang yumaong nilalang na paulit-ulit pang mapapanood na gumagalaw at nagpapatawa, humuhugot ng mga damdaming sinulid sa kaibuturan ng kalungkutan. Ano nga ba ang ating ihahabilin?
Good news for Buwan ng Wika for all my friends who read literary works in Filipino… UST Publishing House has accepted my short fiction manuscript in Filipino, BRANCH ON WET GROUND AND OTHER STORIES . There is still no publication date, but I’m hoping you’d begin thinking of making room for it in your library (your own or your academic institution’s… your community library or even through your church and wherever else! at your place of work maybe?). Meanwhile, I hope you try reading my poetry collections in Filipino, also published by UST Publishing House: BAHA-BAHAGDANG KARUPUKAN, shortlisted for the National Book Award, and KALMOT NG PUSA SA TAGILIRAN which has been nominated at the ongoing Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards. And so despite the distance there might still be a way to bring us together – even if just through words on paper. One day only those willl be left of me. Not like others who are no longer with us yet we can still watch over and over, moving and making us laugh, drawing threads out of us from the pit of sadnes.What is it really that we leave behind?
Gaza Calling: All out on Saturday 9 August Day of Rage
Join the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Movement today. Demand Sanctions on Israel Now.
As we face the full might of Israel’s military arsenal, funded and supplied by the United States and European Union, we call on civil society and people of conscience throughout the world to pressure governments to sanction Israel and implement a comprehensive arms embargo immediately.
Take to the streets on Saturday 9 August with a united demand for sanctions on Israel.
From Gaza under invasion, bombardment, and continuing siege, the horror is beyond words. Medical supplies are exhausted. The death toll has reached 1813 killed (398 children, 207 women, 74 elderly) and 9370 injured (2744 children, 1750 women, 343 elderly). Our hospitals, ambulances, and medical staff are all under attack while on duty. Doctors and paramedics are being killed while evacuating the dead. Our dead are not numbers and statistics to be recounted; they are loved ones, family and friends.
While we have to survive this onslaught, you certainly have the power to help end it the same way you helped overcome Apartheid and other crimes against humanity. Israel is only able to carry out this attack with the unwavering support of governments – this support must end.
This is our third massacre in six years. When not being slaughtered, we remain under siege, an illegal collective punishment of the entire population. Fishermen are shot and killed if they stray beyond a 3 km limit imposed unilaterally by Israel. Farmers are shot harvesting their crops within a border area imposed unilaterally by Israel. Gaza has become the largest open-air prison, a concentration camp since 2006. This time, we want an end to this unprecedented crime against humanity committed with the complicity and support of your own governments!
We are not asking for charity. We are demanding solidarity, because we know that until Israel is isolated and sanctioned, these horrors will be repeated.
Cluster bombs being dropped on Gaza by Israel (image from Wikipedia)
Three poems from Sound Before Water have been posted on Dead Snakes. Please click THIS LINK to read them. Posting a comment (or three) will help encourage the editors to keep up their good work.
Thank you, Stephen, for making room for my work.