Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Teaching Poetry

This semester I'm teaching Creative Writing at Ateneo de Davao. I went through the same class under Don Pagusara just three years ago; and now I'm picking up where he left off. I like the idea of coming full circle.

I had thought of starting with fiction and even focusing exclusively there, but per student consensus, we began with poetry instead. The plan is to move on to one-act plays, then short fiction, and if time permits, comics.

I felt apprehensive about teaching poetry. I'm not a poet, and poetry was never my strong suit. Can poetry even be taught? At best, I though all I could do was point out what looks to be bad poetry.

But hey, you never really know what you can do until you try. Taking a cue from Cesar Aquino--one time several years ago I sat in on his summer poetry workshop for kids--I had my students start off with haiku. Instead of constraining them to the usual 5-7-5
syllabication I told them to focus instead on strong imagery. There were a few false starts here and there, but we did manage to turn up a few good ones:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Trolling


The Philippine Daily Inquirer must have run out of bad news to break that they have to scour the bottom dregs to come up with this headline. Of course, while congress is in recess, I think they don't see the point in flogging their main social advocacy, the Reproductive Health Bill. And so...back to good ol' scare-mongering.

Of course, I've always known Manila wasn't safe. That's why I live in Mindanao.

Monday, June 20, 2011

William and Kate


Emily's cousin from Canada sent an invitation by mail. Our househelp L. picked up the letter from the mailbox.

L.'s first reaction was: "Oh my, I don't think this letter is from here. The envelope is so shiny. I wonder where it's from?"

Then L. glimpsed the picture at the top right of the envelope. "That couple there looks familiar.... Do I know them from somewhere?"

Finally: "Oh my God! We just received an invitation from Prince William and Princess Kate!"

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Salt over wounds

Our newsstand vendor isn't quite done with her NBA streak. After yesterday's celebratory sign, now it's a jeer and a gloat.

New Acolytes

It's the start of another school year and I have a new batch of initiates to Linux and Ubuntu. I'm running three Operating System classes this semester, totalling around 75 students.

The mindscape has changed somewhat since I first started teaching this subject. With the rise of Apple and Google and the decline of Microsoft, students are more aware of other operating systems. And with our own local activities on open source, they already know about Linux. It's a challenge for me as I have to revise my material, but one I welcome as it keeps away the boredom. Up on the menu: Android and iOS.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dallas Champion

I'm no NBA fan but this season's championship game has got even my attention. I still don't know or care what the fuss is about, but it seems to matter to a lot of people. Even to our newspaper vendor.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Arkham Asylum Batmobile

Picked up this little beauty at the toy section of Robinson's Abreeza. I don't know how rare the Hot Wheels Arkham Asylum Batmobile is--given my luck, probably not very--but I decided to pick up two anyhow: one to open and play with, and the other to keep in its original packaging. So overjoyed was I that I also picked up a more expensive color-changing Tim Burton-style Batmobile.

Nothing more to say except: "Batm-aaaaaaaan! Batm-aaaaaaan! Batm-aaaaaaaaan!"

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Plurk meetup

At Barrio Bistro with Davao plurkpals. News of this meetup came out of the blue, good thing I was free at the time.

Friday, June 03, 2011

The Mysterious Last Journey of Satur Apoyon

Satur Apoyon, veteran newsman and Bisaya fiction writer, went missing from his home in Bangkal, Davao City on the morning of Thursday, May 19. His body was found five days later on Tuesday, May 24, floating off the coast of Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental. Between where he started and where he ended was a distance of 70 km traversing water, or 150 km by the circuitous route over land.

How he got from here to there remains a mystery. What we do know from newspaper reports and recollections: