Thursday, February 12, 2009

At the Taboan Writers Conference

Apologies if this blog has been quiet the past few days. I'm at the Taboan International Writers Conference in Manila and the days are just packed with activities.

We arrived in Manila on Tuesday afternoon, and from then on, it's been sessions and dinners and readings and get-togethers. It's all quite heady as I'm meeting many of the Philippines' literary legends -- sometimes even sitting at the same table with them and listening to them swap stories. As a new student of Philippine literature, this is just about the best thing that's happened to me.

The breakout sessions are quite lively, though they stop short of getting heated. (I'm disappointed there aren't any catfights.) There's plenty of new ideas for new directions for me coming out of the discussions. The real action, though, takes place during the breaks when people are less guarded and more themselves.

It's my first time to stay for any long duration in the UP Diliman campus, and I must say I am loving the experience. The place has a vibe of its own. I would say it's akin to Dumaguete, the closest I can relate to in my previous experience, only bigger and at the same time more self-contained. I'm adapting quickly to the place. I take morning jogs around the oval. I know my way around. Part of me regrets not having come here to study.

To be continued...