Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Poetical Day


First, about Pinoy Poetics , opening doors and making contact :)

I visited the Philippine Embassy today. A feat that required a bit of arranging. Meaning, Joel stays over for lunch at school and I had to empty the agenda for the rest of the day. I made it to the Embassy fifteen minutes before they closed for lunchbreak . Yay, me.

Asked if they already had a copy of Pinoy Poetics. They did not. I told them, I wanted to make a donation of a copy of Pinoy Poetics. They called the Cultural attache, who came down from somewhere upstairs, to accept the copy. We had a conversation... a nice one, a bit brief as I am not very good at small talk. I never know the right words to say. I should brush up on small talk, I suppose.

It turns out, this man writes a bit of poetry. He was quite pleased to have a copy of Pinoy Poetics to add to the Embassy Library ( did I detect a bit of impatience to go up and peruse the book in private?) and he expressed willingness to support efforts made to propagate Filipino literature in The Netherlands.

Yay. Me, doing an inside happy dance. That was objective number one. Will I email you, Mr. cultural attache? I certainly will, you bet you I will.

Thanks to Eileen and Meritage Press who made this contact possible. Without Pinoy Poetics, I would never have dared ask to speak to the attache or whatever.


And then, I asked them to notarize my entry form to the Carlos Palanca. And immediately I'm promoted from mere embassy visitor to a writer. Wow! How cool is it when someone calls you a writer? This is the first time it's happened to me in public. Normally, it's this is Rochita and she is a pianist...

Well, I suppose there is no going back now. This is what's called a definitive step. After paying the princely sum of 32 euros and 50 cents, I've sort of committed myself to not backing out at the last minute.

My two Aunts will be very, very happy. One, Evelina Orteza who told me Filipinos can write as well as anyone else, and another aunt, Evelyn Miranda Feliciano, who hasn't stopped pushing me to just send anything, anything. So there, my two aunt Evelyns, I have taken the step.

I'm not complaining. Where would I be without the encouragement of my two aunts and my Ate Wing?

I still remember coming out devastated from a workshop where someone told me Filipinos will never be able to write in a way that will satisfy an American audience...and my Ate Wing telling me, Don't you dare believe that. Don't you dare believe that. You can be anything you want to be.

And my Aunt Evelina saying: But look at F. Sionil Jose, which resulted in me purchasing every available book of Sionil Jose. For a long while, Sionil Jose was my ultimate hero.

And then, there's my aunt Evelyn, who moaned each time I let the deadline pass without submitting anything. And who when she hears this news will probably say: Finally.

I am not there yet, dear aunts. I don't even know if the judges will like what I have written, because good grief, it certainly is not as literary as what I've read on the Carlos Palanca site. But okay, I join ...well...because...well...because... hmmm.

I suppose this is just like submitting to magazines, except maybe more scary .


Now that's off my mind. I'm moving on and writing something else. If I don't place for this year's Palanca Awards, that just means I'll be doing this again next year.


Anonymous Alisa said...

kudos to you for stepping outside your comfort zone! good luck on the contest (is it a contest?).

i was just looking for a way to thank you for your crit of my little chapter and as you had nothing posted, i couldn't return the crit, and as you didn't have an e-mail address there, i couldn't e-mail you.


thank you.

i like poetry, too, though i'm a baby novice. wrote this the other day tho...

light, busy
playing, writing, working
always gone too quickly
slowing, sleeping, sighing
dark, quiet

(i can't center with html)

well, it's just for fun, anyway. *g* and i like your blog. it's nice.


12 April, 2006  
Blogger ver said...

Good for you Rochita!

I thought of you when I read that there will soon be a call for the 2nd volume of Philippine Speculative Fiction. Keep a watch on Dean Alfar's blog. Here is the post where he mentions the call.

12 April, 2006  
Blogger rcloenen-ruiz said...

Ver, thanks for the link to Dean Alfar's blog. I'll look out for that announcement.

15 April, 2006  
Blogger Dean said...

I'll be making the announcement for the second volume of Philippine Speculative Fiction soon and look forward to reading a submission from you. Also, I wish you the best for this Palanca season!

17 April, 2006  
Blogger rcloenen-ruiz said...

Thanks for the good words. It's exciting to see a market opening up for speculative writers in the Philippines.

18 April, 2006  

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