In the morning of May 23, we had the opening session. We rode the service van to MSU and headed for the MSU Board Room (or was it Theater?), where we listened to our most lively keynote speaker: Pearlsha B. Abubakar, a prize-winning fictionist, performer, composer, scorer and journalist (whew!). I can't forget this part of her speech, that we as writers, "must make a career out of feeling," despite the obvious difficulty of attaining financial success by going the less traveled path.
We, the fellows, were also privileged enough to watch the Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG) dance what I was later told was the Pangalay. Pangalay is apparently their word for "dancing". IPAG created their unique version, where they combined dance sequences used for courtship and battle scenes. Most prominent in this type of dance are the movements of the hands. Clad in their silken garb, The dancers maintained grace and precision whether it be for scenes of courtship or the display of martial arts. I was enthralled by the dancer who, with brass clawed hands, balanced herself on two bamboo shafts. This is the part of the dance called apatong.
|Fear thy Panelists (From left): Erlinda Kintanar Alburo, Merlie M. Alunan, Steven Patrick C. Fernandez, Pearlsha B. Abubakar, German V. Gervacio, Godinez-Ortega and Prof. John Iremil Teodoro|
And who's first? Me! And where was I? Somewhere out there, getting a glass of water or having a CR break. Returned to the Board Room wondering why everyone was looking at me. And well yeah, because they decided that my poem "At the Breakfast Table" should go first as it starts with an "A."