- follow the 52nd UP NWW's live blog at upworkshop2013.wordpress.com, and follow us on twitter at twitter.com/upworkshop! 4 years ago
- Many thanks to all who followed the proceedings of the 50th UP National Writers Workshop. Check back again on April 2012 :P 6 years ago
- End of discussion; check back later for photos from the Poetry Slam at Mt. Cloud Bookshop tonight, and graduation photos tomorrow. 6 years ago
- De La Cruz: dadami ang mga pelikula; sa akin ay dapat gumawa ka lang nang gumawa kung gusto mong gumawa. 6 years ago
- Ong: Where do you think the indie movement is going? 6 years ago
- Tolentino: Mas sophisticated na rin ang rendition ng poverty ng filmmakers; hindi na siya as exoticized. 6 years ago
- Tolentino: Kapag ginawa mong more experimental ang portrayal ng poverty, nagiging dissimulated. 6 years ago
- JCR: Marami siyang sinasabing bago. At pag nilagyan mo ng structure at dialogue, sa palagay ko ay masisira. 6 years ago
- ...May attempt ipakita ang poverty sa point of view ng poor. 6 years ago
- JCR: Nagustuhan ko naman sa 'Squatterpunk' ang almost detached sensibility; na walang nagsasalita... 6 years ago
- Garcia: I think, in such portrayals, there is parasitism that's taking place. 6 years ago
- Garcia:The niche in film festivals in other countries seems to be portrayals of misery.I think it's time to rethink that neocolonial fetish. 6 years ago
- Garcia: a large chunk of indie films were on slums and misery that it becomes pornographic in a way; misery porn. 6 years ago
- Tolentino: Hindi parin siya nagiging mainstream; hind pa siya naaapropriate at naco-coopt. 6 years ago
- Tolentino: Kaya sila nasa margins parin ng indie cinema ay dahil ang indie cinema ay naging mainstream na rin. 6 years ago
- Tolentino: Ang indie cinema sa Pilipinas ay 10 years palang at quite timely na nandoon si Khavn sa moment ng pag-usbong. 6 years ago
- ...may mga shoot minsan na wala ako doon at yung actor ang pinaag-shoot. Basta't susubukan lang ang lahat ng paraan ng filmmaking. 6 years ago
- De La Cruz: Depende sa gut feel kung kailan ka lalayo at kailan ka makikialam; 6 years ago
- JCR: Advantageous ba sa isang filmmaker na pakialaman ang lahat ng proseso sa filmmaking? 6 years ago
- Miclat:Hindi ko pa rin maimagine kung paano ito magagawa.Dinedeconstruct niya pero mayroon namang panghila na ginagawa ang kanyang pelikula. 6 years ago
Congratulations to fellows who participated and won in the Poetry Slam: first place winner Jenny Ortuoste, second place winner Axel Pinpin, and participants Yvette Tan and Nerisa Del Carmen Guevara.
I write for myself. I write to become immortal. I write so you would love me. I write to find what I’ve been looking for. I write to burn in hell. I write to taste heaven. I write because I’m blind. I write because I don’t know how to speak. I write because I know nothing. I write because we’re different. I write because I can’t breathe. I write because my heart is broken. I write because my heart is bleeding. I write to have. I write to have not. I write because of you. I write because my back aches. I write because I can’t sleep. I write because of jet lag. I write because my bed is crumbling to dust. The Post-surrealists. Clayton Eshleman. Jerome Rothenberg. Pierre Joris. Emmanuel Torres and Benilda Santos and Tony Perez and Corazon Lalu and Kidlat Tahimik. The composer Michel legrand. The songwriter Andreas Mattsson. Roy Andersson. Vasko Popa. I don’t want to wake up in the same bed twice artistically. I want to renew the world by annihilating it. I want to skin life alive. I want to turn truth inside out until it becomes a lie and turn the lie inside out until it becomes truth. I want to burn history and smoke its ashes. I want to kill the living and raise the dead. I want to embrace the darkness until the light becomes blind. I want to sing until I’m shot. 30 feature films some shot in a day. 100 short films some shot in less than half a day. A dozen books. 1001 songs, song cycles, rock operas, piano solos, most written in one sitting. I have 3 bands. Vigo, Fando & Lis and The Brockas. There is no day but today. So I seize it. This is my compulsion. This is my phobia. This is my philosophy. This is my morality. This is my aesthetic. I live in mortal fear of stopping because it leads to doing nothing. Momentum is my religion. Rust never sleeps. I die tomorrow. One day all will be made clear. One day when it’s too late. Everybody is a magazine. We all have issues. These are mine.
Kung ano, paano, at bakit ako nagsusulat
Hindi ko kayang magsimulang magsulat mula sa blangkong papel. Kaya naman pelikula ang naging outlet ko, dahil pwede akong magsimula sa larawan at tunog.
Mahiyain ako simula bata kaya simula noong gumawa ako ng mga una kong short films, humihiram na lang ako sa kung anong nangyayari sa harap ko. Mas madali. Libre, at nandyan na. Mula sa paghiram ko mula sa larawan, idinidikit ko ang mga iyon sa sariling karanasan. Karanasang magkamali, magmaktol, karanasang magtanong.
At hawak ko ang kamerang kasama ko, dama ko sa panonood ko ng mga eksenang nakunan ko ang pulso ng kalooban ko, kung kailan ako kabado, kung kailan lumalim ang hinga ko, kung kailan nakatatunganga, manghang-mangha.
Sa mga mahahaba kong pelikula, ikinuwento ko ang personal na karanasan bilang isang mangingibig, terorista, rebeldeng anak – sa Todo Todo Teros at sa Taon Noong Ako’y Anak sa Labas.
Naghanap ako ng panibagong panghihiraman sa ikatlo kong pelikula, Ang Ninanais (Refrains Happen Like Revolutions in a Song). Sa pagpunta ko sa Iloilo, kung saan gumawa ako ng pelikula base sa tono ng bose at hindi ng wika, humiram ako sa mga bagay na hiwalay sa salita, na may paglalambing at pakikipaglaro sa kanilang sariling kultura, paniniwala at kasaysayan. Kinilala ko ang sarili ko sa mga nakita ko sa kanilang mukha habang nakatuon ang aking kamera, nakatitig mula sa malayo.
Kung mapapanood ang pelikula, ang subtitles na nakalista ay hindi “tugma” dahil hindi sila tamang salin ng kung ano ang sabi nila sa eksena: prosesong dokumentaryong sinulatan ng panibagong kuwentong idinidikta ng boses at mukha. O inimbento.
Ngayon, eto ako’t nagsusulat ng maikling kuwento na humihiram naman sa isang idolo sa paggawa ng pelikula: si Ishmael Bernal. Dahil hindi ako makapagsimula sa blangkong papel, naghanap ako ng limitasyon sa pamamagitan ng paghiram mula sa kanyang pelikula. Base sa pagkasunud-sunod ng pamagat ng pelikula at movie posters niya mula sa kanyang published filmography, lilimitahan ko ang daloy ng kuwento sa kung ano ang pamagat, poster, o kung anong memorable scene or dialogue na nakapaloob sa pelikula.
Bunga ng paglalaro ng isip ang maikling kuwento, at gustuhin ko mang magsulat mula sa wala (o sa lahat), hindi ko kaya. Masyadong malinis ang blangkong papel, masyadong madulas, hindi bagay sa mga “bright ideas” ko.
Naniniwala ako sa mga nangyayari sa harap ko, sa mga nadidinig, sa mga biglaang liko ng kalye, sa mga sementadong daan, sa halina ng mga nakaturong dahon.
Nais kong makumpleto ang proseso sa pagdugtong ng sequence treatment and maikling pelikula para maging mestizong kung-ano, ngayon naman nakatuon sa mga pelikulang sumunod sa lost film ni Bernal, ang pangalawang bahagi ng kanyang filmography. Inilista ko ang mga pamagat ng mga pelikula at kinontrahan ko ng mga pelikula naman ni Bobby Suarez, ayon sa pagkakapareho ng taon ng pagpapalabas nila sa madla.
Mayroon na akong ideya kung anong mangyayari, pero, gaya ng prosesong kumportable ako, hihintayin kong mabulungan ng limitasyon ng mga bagay na nakikita’t nadidinig at nararamdaman ko kung paano dadaloy ang kuwentong, bubuuin ko bilang dulang pampelikula.
Films after Bernal’s Scotch on the Rocks…
(To be developed as a story treatment for a film, based on the second part of Ishmael Bernal’s filmography, antagonized by Bobby Suarez’ films, year by year.)
1975- Huwag Pamarisan:Mister Mo, Lover Boy Ko
1975- Lumapit…Lumayo ang Umaga
1975- Babaeng Hiwalay sa Asawa (Anna Karenina)
1975 – Master Samurai
1976- Ligaw na Bulaklak
1976 – They Call Him Chop Suey
1976- Nunal sa Tubig
1976- Dalawang Pugad, Isang Ibon
1976- Lahing Pilipino Bonifacio Episode
1976- Walang Katapusang Tag-araw
1977- Lagi na lamang ba akong Babae?
1977- Bionic Boy
1978- Ikaw ay Akin
1978- Cleopatra Wong and 1978- Dynamite Johnson
1979- Menor de Edad
1979- Devils Angels/Devil’s Three/Pay Or Die
1979- Boy Kodyak
1979- Bakit May Pag-ibig Pa?
1980- Good Morning Sunshine
1980- Sugat sa Ugat
1980- City After Dark
1982- Ito Ba Ang Ating Mga Anak?
1982- Hindi Kita Malimot
1983- Broken Marriage
1983- The One-Armed Executioner
1984- Working Girls
1984- Rhapsody in Wood (Documentary)
1984- Shake, Rattle and Roll, Refrigerator Episode
1985- Gamitin Mo Ako
1985- Warriors of the Apocalypse/Searchers Of The Voodoo Mountain
1985- Hinugot sa Langit
1986- The Graduates
1986- American Commandos
1987- Working Girls 2
1987- Pinulot Ka Lang Sa Lupa
1988- Nagbabagang Luha
1989- Pahiram ng Isang Umaga
1989- Red Roses for a Call Girl/ Manila Tattoo
1992- Mahal Kita, Walang Iba
1994- Wating (Streetsmart)
WHY I WRITE
My reasons for writing may be changing. There is not one overarching philosophy or influence underlying these reasons. I can only cite specific occasions when I felt the need to acknowledge the question “why do I write?” When I’m deep into a novel—reading the work of others—I get convinced that I need to write too, as I realize that I make sense of the world and its chaos through fiction. I write because I am an avid reader of fiction. Fiction is the medium through which I understand histories, ideologies, philosophies, religions, etc. But I will contradict this faith in fiction by saying that it is only in accepting the limitations of literature that I am able to write.
I was in the midst of writing my novel “Different Countries” when the Greenbelt explosion in Makati happened, and I felt then the unreality and insignificance of writing if I would just continue with it, undisturbed by the horrible event. Yet it was another horrible news, that of the disappearance of activists, specifically of Jonas Burgos and Karen Empeno, both of whom I did not personally know, that would compel me to write the first scene of said novel, believing that it would be my first chapter. As it turned out, it would not be.
During several occasions while finishing the novel, I also entertained guilt as I doubted the power of my motivation to write or the validity of my objective when I began writing, especially about “giving voice” to the disappeared. But it was again only by writing that I was able to free myself from my desperation about what’s happening in society. My writing saved me more than it saved Karen, Jonas and other victims of enforced disappearance. This reality I am learning to live with.
I started writing short stories in Filipino when I was in college, having acquired the penchant for creative writing as a consequence of being in the literature program of La Salle; after college, my only published story was “Mira, Tanso, Baril” in the National MidWeek. I submitted short story entries to Palanca a couple of times and did not win. But I cut short whatever writing career I imagined I would have. I was convinced at that time that my writing didn’t serve my political cause. I knew my endings then, but I didn’t know how to write the stories that would bring me to the endings. Now, I guess, I have the stories but I don’t know how to end them.
HOW I WRITE
I am convinced I couldn’t have written “Different Countries” if I hadn’t written my first manuscript, still unpublished and unready to be let out in this world. It was my rite of passage in coming back to fiction writing; at a more practical level, it was a dress rehearsal that set the stage for writing “Different Countries.” After I “parked” the earlier manuscript which I wrote for about five to six years, the story/stories that eventually went into the second novel “came” to me. It had become easier writing the stories. The first scene I wrote, as I said, was motivated by the anxiety I felt about news of enforced disappearances. Then I stopped. I read history and other political stuff, and came across this essay by Foucault on the connectedness/disconnectedness of historical events; the validity of believing that there are big historical causes that have big historical effects as if these effects were inherent in the causes. But I may even have misread him. If engaged, I could not even enter into an intellectual debate about this, but at that time something clicked in my mind and the idea connected with more personal scenes and thoughts, and the writing of the manuscript proceeded.
Sometimes I will observe scenes around me, and I would be motivated to write a story about what these different, unrelated scenes, like that time when I saw this group of three young boys loitering around UP, carrying a plastic bag which they used for the scraps and wastes they picked from the ground. The first time I saw them was on one late chilly afternoon, when they seemed to emerge from a cloud of mist. I had the urge to give them names, to create stories that would make me “know” them. Eventually, they were “transformed” by experiences of children that I picked from some memory of personal encounters with other children during my advocacy work with an NGO. But the same process I mentioned above would be repeated—I would need some “back up” idea, or what Ma’m Charie called issues, to get the fictional world and character going. It’s only when a scene in my mind connects with a question or dilemma that I could go on writing. It’s not that I intentionally seek issues and imbue my stories with them—maybe it’s more like my writing cannot happen without my social-political activism, and my activism will be less defined if I am not writing.
I am not able to explain to myself the meaning of scenes while I am still in the process of writing. As Arundhati Roy said, a writer is a medium through which stories are born, written. What I do with intent and planning is the mapping of the scenes after I’ve written them; they should have some kind of “logical” flow, not necessarily based on the chronology of the events in the stories or characters’ lives. Now that I am rereading my novel, I find myself often asking myself why I wrote a certain scene; what did I mean by what I wrote. Was I expressing a personal belief or philosophy? I am amazed and amused by the meanings I discover, and the ones shared to me by those who’ve read the book. The two perspectives sometimes are in stark contrast with each other, but at some level I do accept that I am no longer the sole owner of my characters and stories now that the novel has been published into a book. There is this thought that the writing is mine, but the authoring—the book—is a necessary consequence of the act of writing. Writing is done in solitude, authoring is a more social/public act. The extreme result of merely writing is obscurity, making the act or process of becoming author necessary, but external to the writer.