Tag Archives: Alfred A. Yuson

I didn’t bite my tongue, but someone remembered me

From where I come from it is believed that when you bite your tongue by accident it can only mean that someone suddenly remembered you (oh, I do hope that I am remembering that right, haha). The belief may have come from trying to make a small though uncomfortable experience a bit more welcome. Still, who doesn’t want to be remembered every now and again? If one writes – especially poetry that many seem to write but very few really read – being remembered for one’s work is part of the goal, consciously or not.

In that case, I would like to thank Alfred A. Yuson who mentioned me in his list of Filipino poets worth reading.

 My name doesn’t appear until quite far down his article which came out in the Philippine Star. So I have quoted the relevant paragraph here. Mr Yuson even mentioned my two books. I could’ve told him beforehand that two new books are also in the works. Perhaps that could have bumped me up the list a little. Hahahaha. Just trying my luck. 🙂


Then there are the non-Statesiders who may or may not still be based where they used to be, to include Jim Pascual Agustin in South Africa, Ivy A. Rosales in Wales, Ella Wagemakers in Holland, and Neal Imperial in Singapore. I know that Jim, a bilingual poet. has already authored several books, the latest being Baha-bahagdang Karupukan and Alien to Any Skin, issued by UST Publishing House last year.


For those who do not live in Manila and would like to get hold of Alien to Any Skin, I have a few copies which I brought with me to Cape Town from my last visit to the Philippines. There are also at least two online retailers that carry both my books – Mary Martin Booksellers and Kabayan Central.


Off the Beaten Track Launch

Sounds like they had a nice ride during the launch of Off the Beaten Track: Tulaan sa Tren 2, judging by Alfred A. Yuson’s account:


The prizes were first awarded for the Tulaan sa Tren 2 poetry contest run last year by the National Book Development Board.

Then we boarded the train, from the LRT-2 Santolan depot all the way to the other end stop, which was the Recto Avenue station past Quezon Blvd. Along the way, we marveled at the markedly different view of Metro Manila, at treetop level and beyond, from greenscapes and ritzy corners with modern buildings to the unavoidable rooftop patchwork of congested neighborhoods, littered empty lots and ugly dump sites.

Along the course, too, we had the privilege of standing and sashaying up and down the spacious, fresh carriages, and reading poetry up close — on horizontal posters prominently displayed above the windows. The poems also came off the sound system that pervaded the coaches and the spanking-clean stations whenever we stopped.

Thus, reality, hyper-reality and the Pinoy poetic sensibility as lyricized in two languages converged in pure delight on this rare treat of a Saturday afternoon rapid-transit ride, taking barely an hour from Marikina to Manila and back. Quite an experience.

And when our mass-transit troupe got back to the depot, what welcomed us apart from a buffet table of goodies and iced drinks was the launching of Off the Beaten Track: Poems from Tulaan sa Tren 2 — a cute, squarish, full-color edition in glossy paper that collected over 50 poems and as many poets contemplating passages physical and metaphysical.



Here’s Libay Linsangan Cantor’s report on the launch.

Link to my previous post on Off the Beaten Track: Tulaan sa Tren 2