Thursday, September 18, 2008


If you haven't had a chance to visit it recently, do take a look at the Dagmay web site. Currently featured is "Sapay Koma", the 3rd Prize winner for Essay in English during the last Palanca awards. "Sapay Koma" was written by Jhoanna Lynn Cruz and is a heartfelt account of her marriage.

Appearing this Sunday will be an excerpt of Mac Tiu's "Tsuru", which won 1st Prize in Short Story in Cebuano, also during the last Palanca awards.

I put up the Dagmay web site for the Davao Writers Guild last May, and since then it's been growing steadily. There are now over 150 entries in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction (plus the occasional play and review) written by authors with some association to Mindanao.

The archives stretch back to last year, and while there are still some missing months (owing to lost electronic manuscripts), Dagmay is now a fairly accurate record of everything we've put out since May.

Traffic isn't all that great, but we're averaging around 60 visitors per day. Not bad, I think, for a small literary web site.

Oh, by the way, I'm also semi-permanent editor now, covering for the weeks when there is no assigned editor.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Warcraft II on Ubuntu

Now here's a blast from the past: I found a copy of Warcraft II: Battle.Net Edition on sale at Data Blitz in SM City Davao. How much? P200. Yup, that's right: P200. I was sorely tempted to buy it. After much vacillation over several visits (did I really have time to play), I finally caved in.

And you know the best part? It works great in Ubuntu under Wine!

Hmmm...and there's still a Baldur's Gate two-pack over there, too. A bit pricier at P800, but that's for both the original Baldur's Gate and Tales of the Sword Coast. Tempting, tempting....

Sure, sure, it's not World of Warcraft or even Warcraft III, but it's still one of the best games ever.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Mangyan Exhibit at Davao Museum

The Davao Museum is hosting a Mangyan exhibit for the whole month of September. Featured are examples of Mangyan script and poetry, craftwork, and artifacts.

The Mangyan are the indigenous peoples of Mindoro. Mangyan is actually the generic term for the tribes living in the area, eight groups in all. They are notable for their syllabic script which predates the arrival of the Spanish by at least 300 years.

The oldest written artifact found in the Philippines was a copper plate with Mangyan script discovered in Laguna in 1989.

I attended the opening of the exhibit last Thursday, thanks to an invite from my fellow Davao Reader Chi. It felt a little odd to be rubbing elbows with the alta sociedad of Davao, and me in my everyday work clothes. But what the hey, right?

Anya Postma, daughter of Dutch archaeologist Anton Postma, was the special guest at the opening. She recited Mangyan poetry and taught the guests how to write their names in Mangyan script.

Some words about her father: Anton Postma is the acknowledged authority on the Mangyan, having spent several years of research in the area. He went back to the Netherlands once, then returned to Mindoro for good. Anya was born in Mindoro and lived there her whole life.

This map shows the distribution of the tribal areas in Mindoro.

Mangyan musical instruments.

Weaving occupies a special place in Mangyan culture. Only married women are allowed to weave, and when they do so, they weave using a special back plate which connects them to the loom. This makes them one with their work.

An example of Mangyan poetry. All Mangyans participate in this art form. Of the specimens I read, what they had in common were nature motifs with themes of arrival, departure, friendship, love, and day-to-day activities.

There is a Mangyan web site,, which goes into more detail about Mangyan culture. But, of course, a visit to the museum to see the exhibit would enhance your experience. Catch it while it's there.

Davao Museum is at the Zonta Bldg., Insular Village Phase I, Lanang, Davao City. It is open from Monday to Saturday, 9:00am - 5:00pm.