Saturday, July 01, 2017

Required Reading

So apparently my fiction is now required reading at Ateneo de Davao, a point that amuses me to no end. Last week, two students from the senior high school department wrote to tell me that I was the author they chose to write a report on, and could they please ask me some questions. This week, at a small dinner party, a young fellow told his parents with whom I was chatting with: "we discuss his short stories in class."

Seriously? If I had known I'd get to this point, I would probably have chosen better themes and plots than an extended fart joke, sexy doppelgangers, foot fetishist monster hunters, and mystic fighting magi. Now that I think about it, I am also embarrassed to no end.

I suppose this is the reward for the virtue of being among the first to have some small body of work. The new K-12 curriculum emphasizes local writing and local authors, and in a small community that is just in its beginning stages, it is easy to stand out. Most certainly my association and friendship with better authors of the Davao Writers Guild is a big factor.

But to be honest, I hold no illusions about my writing. These aren't classics by any stretch of the imagination. The stories were written in fun and that's been the extent of my ambition (see? no awards!) I've been described as 'competent' and 'workman-like', and that's the best that I can aspire to.

If I will rightly claim any little fame, it's for the Dagmay web site ( of which I am webmaster, and have been for these past ten years. During this time, the site has published over 1,200 works of fiction, nonfiction, and essays from
over 300 contributors. The primary contribution of the web site is that is provides a platform for young Mindanaoan writers to show their work. It's so famous the go-to source for Philippine academic anthologists to pirate Mindanao works to pad their textbooks.

These days, though, I'm back in my IT phase, managing a small group of bright young developers building point-of-sales systems for a national retail chain. It's not artsy but it pays the bills (including the web site's hosting fees.)

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