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Archive for the ‘literary challenges’ Category

Apart from being young and still has a whole new world to learn, Peter speaks more English than Binisaya. It was unintended which later came with a purpose. He learn to speak English at an early age from watching shows like Barney, Dora, High Five, Blue’s Clues, and from watching a lot of movies. This also resulted to his American accent and diction as a whole. As a parent, I found this quite an advantage when he will come to school age. We were still in the old curriculum then. I encourage and converse with my kids in English because a big percentage of things that we have or read or interact with are written or spoken in English. I believe this helps my son’s confidence in speaking his thoughts.

Now that the K-12 curriculum is in full swing this school year, I need to prep Peter for the impact of the new medium of instruction—Binisaya. During his first day of his new school with this new curriculum using Binisaya as medium, he claimed he did not understand some of the things his teacher said. Lucky for us, his teacher was my classmate in college. I told him of Peter’s possible difficulty with the dialect. From his reply, I came to understand that everybody is adjusting to the new curriculum. They use bilingualism to achieve better comprehension of the lessons.

Last year’s posts on social media about MT (mother tongue) as the medium of instruction were negative. I remember a post about the “to the power of” phrase for math and the comments that went from “nosebleed” to the most hilarious. For sure, the kids were pretty worried about how they’d cope up with the new medium. I’m sure the authorities have found the right words on how to explain the complex equations and formulas. We are not abandoning English. We will use it as a reinforcement when there are things we can’t express in the dialect.

During our homeroom PTA meeting, Sir Renan explained that other Asian countries do better in math, science, and history because these subjects are taught in their mother tongue. We were under the American regime once and we embraced their language like our own. Our constitution is written in English, right? One thought came to me: how would the kids, especially those who speak more English than Binisaya, cope with this?

Sir Renan and the rest of the school’s faculty agreed to use the government school’s book on learning the mother tongue. He presented to us how the kids will learn Binisaya in-depth. I find this an adventure. We used to be so engrossed in learning English, we can’t even speak a straight Binisaya sentence. When the modules come, Peter and I will learn them together. Right now, Binisaya.com is bookmarked in the browser of our home computer so we can access it right away. We have a lifetime to learn, as they say. And I say, I am unlearning to learn my mother tongue once again.

 How will you say 7:01 A.M. in Binisaya? I used to say, “alasiete uno sa buntag.” But a great man says the time of the day in pure Binisaya every morning that I’d be dumb to miss it. Mr. Leo Lastimosa says, “Usa ka gutlo ang nakalabay human ang ikapito sa buntag.”

As Pinoys, we sure know how to adjust. We have proved that over the years. From Magellan’s time up to the jejemon’s generation, we showed how we can adjust with language hopping very well. This time, our own dialects are knocking at our doors. This is not just “pauso,” this is our identity and it’s about time we embrace Binisaya and use it intelligently.

And yes, ironically, the post is in English.

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I owe two articles for my Philippine Literature Challenge. Yeah, nobody is not busy. However, this quest is setting my heart pumping and my brain functioning in a rather excited motion. I think about what to write every night.

To start, I have to search the net for a good read on Cebuano literature. I found a few and truly enjoyed reading them aloud. Reading a Cebuano piece is a different moment, like falling in love–way pamilok kung motutok… Well, for me, I have to read it with my eyes in every syllable of the word. What I am going to share is not a literary piece but rather an intellectual discussion about Cebuano poetry. It’s a blog post with comments I was so engrossed in reading I forgot my coffee.

The discussion started with a post listing what pops out of the blogger’s mind when Cebuano poetry is the topic. It’s an interesting list ranging from names to songs to what is needed. What tickles my Cebuano spirit is the definition they gave to it.

Cebuano poetry is a different consciousness.  What makes it distinct, like all other poetry, is its own culture. I have read several from years ago until these days and one element is imminent—the guatsinanggo factor. Often (from my poems I have read), the comical and witty if not the ‘green joker’ personality of a Cebuano is present. One major example is the poem Suwat sa Sugarol by Adonis Durado, the owner of the blog himself. The poem reminds me of my father (he is alive and well, thanks God), a sugarol by heart . What else have I learned? We terribly need good critics. As much as we love to write poetry, we should also consider their quality. Let there be critics! The learning game is never satisfying without someone lashing at your work. We should not take them negatively all the time, though they are usually pride-crushing. Criticism is all around us anyway and we know we are on the roll if someone notices our work.

Lastly, I want to be a critic, oh yeah. I suddenly remember the summer with Dr. Ulysses Aparece  (AB/Liberal Arts, University of Cebu) and the yellow pads he used to carry for our literary criticism class. They contain wonderful tools for literary criticism.

What I have read today is here in my heart. I am keeping it and I will learn the trade of the critics for my love of Cebu.

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Reading has been in my love blood since elementary days. The wondering of how authors write followed me around until I got a chance to do it in an essay writing contest. My then ever supportive adviser (thank you Mrs. Caintic) praised my writing and a dream was born. College was spent with more literature I can read and I enjoyed every semester of it. My AB major (English with focus on Literature) proved to be the easiest degree ever! No kidding. Well, that’s how I see it because I truly love reading and writing. Quite the basics in life, huh.

Now, with two kids in tow, I still read a lot. I still write (poetry category). My career in book interior designing is never a hindrance to my reading hobby, really :). I get to read books firsthand, an advantage but never abused. I want to be a published author myself and my respect to authors is very high.

With due respect to Simple Clockwork, I hereby declare a challenge to myself. A challenge to enrich my knowledge on Philippine Literature by reading and posting reviews. A weekly task to read a short story, poetry or a book and share it to the world. Good luck to me!

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The Devil in the Details is a shrewdly interesting short story. I super like the finale— not the typical ending—more like my kind of ending. I suddenly miss my college days.

Every paragraph of it is informative and full of side trips. You can Google the German words so you’ll understand their meaning. The passports, how the Europeans write the date, the seating rules—they are quite educational to me. I don’t have a passport yet and I have never been inside a plane. The details—from document scrutiny to encoding to the wanderings and to his hair color genealogy—all narrated in a somewhat objective manner. His side trips which he calls ‘wanderings’ are threads on the loom, each as essential as every other thread for the weaving of the story’s big picture.

One paragraph sparked in my mind the moment I read it. It made me wonder why he had to say such.

An itch in my groin bothered me. I pushed the irritation away from the forefront of my consciousness and concentrated on the task at hand. Had I missed anything? Was there something not quite right? I was glad Cherilyn was a very poised young lady. I had been nonchalant, and so had she. I had never seen her before. She had never seen me before. I was just the guy at the counter and she was just another passenger…

I chose this particular short story because of its setting. Since the challenge focuses on the country’s own brilliant writers, why not start with the nearest?  It will be an honor to meet Carlos Cortés one of these days. Facebook, then?

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OUR POETRY CORNER

VICEDOMINI OF THE WUP New Name, New Location! Welcome to our poetry corner, The Poets’ Corner NEW SITE! The name has been changed to (our) because it belongs to all of us who post! Sincerely hope you find the change easy and exciting to be here! Please feel free to post and comment your thoughts so we all can enjoy!

Dean J. Baker - Poetry, and prose poems

BOOK PRICES! most at $9.99, up to $13.99 - https://www.amazon.com/Dean-J.-Baker/e/B00IC6PGQM