And then, well, I joined these writing workshops, which were the start of my fear. I became worried about every single thing: technique, voice, point of view, etc. etc. It was especially true with poetry. I stopped showing them around since I feared some people might read and, well, laugh at them. I know criticism is a large part of a writer's life, but recently I've begun to wonder where the line between criticism and ridicule lies. I believe one is supposed to look at a piece of work separately from it's author. That's the only way to be really objective. However, I've seen too many instances of criticism becoming an avenue for personal attack to believe in its legitimacy. At those moments, I felt like I was watching a real-life version of Mean Girls, only it wasn't just the girls who were nasty.
On March 17, 2011, the 13th Printemps des Poetes was held at the Alliance française de Manille. I was fortunate enough to attend and have the chance to read, thanks to Sir Krip Yuson, Ms. Deanna Ongpin-Recto (President) and Mickaël Balcon (Deputy Director). I was scared, because I was going to read my own poem. MY OWN. I've never done that before! Poems, for me, are just too personal. I think about all the emotions I put into them and just can't bear the thought of strangers looking into them, dissecting every word like a rotting cadaver. You could say it's as though I've just posted a piece of my journal for all the world to see.
But that's not how I felt that evening. Everyone was just doing their thing. It didn't matter if they were Palanca Hall of Famers, or civil engineers, or fitness buffs, or computer science students, or teachers, or copywriters (like me). Everyone had something to show. And everyone wanted to listen, or at least that was how I felt.
I was in the company of friends. I could show them what I made, and leave the stage without feeling like fleeing.
And this was everyone:
- Abdon Balde - Dream of Skycrapers
- Yanna Verbo Acosta - Dreamscaping
- Francisco Llaguno - Ang kalikasan at ang mga tao
- Mikael de Lara Co - Permanence
- Joel Salud - Faith
- Christine Joy O. Castillo - Les paysages en moi
- Beatrix Syjuco - Domino Nation (Bravo to her performance!)
- Asha Macam - Clouds
- Jacques Chessex by Markus Ruckstuhl - Je regarde la chaîne des Alpes
- Ed Maranan - Sailing on the Fourth of July
- Vim Nadera - Epiko ko (another astounding performance, accompanied by Tapati (vocalist of Davao's Bagong Lumad)
- Alfred A. Yuson - The beach, plus Pablo
- Maxine Syjuco - Weeds and Rags
- Ariana Pozzuoli - The joke is on you!
- Jacques Brel by Tata Poblador accompanied by Pr. Lester Demetillo- Ne me quitte pas
- Mookie Katigbak - As far as Cho-Fu-Sa
- Cesare A.X. Syjuco - The world turns
- Noel del Prado - Hardin sa Ibawaw ng Davao
- Gémino H. Abad - Casaroro Falls (This is the piece that touched me the most that night, not only because I can relate to Sir Jimmy's sublime imagery, but also because of the spiritual topic it grazes upon through an encounter with nature's precarious beauty)
- Marne L. Kilates - Bangaan
- Victor Peñaranda - At the Buddhist Garden
- Alma anonas Carpio - Mountain song
- Virgilio S. Almario by Marivic Rufino & Marne L. Kilates - Halimuyak ng Pulo
- Johanna Fernandez - Currents
- Ramon C. Sunico - Mindoro
- Andrea Levinge - The deepening sea
- Anne Abad - Fern
- Gian Paolo Lao - In my country
|Sir Jimmy Abad|
|>.< Me and my math notebook blouse haha|
|Mookie Katigbak Lacuesta|
|Yanna Verbo Acosta|