rayji de guia

A lady from Maragondon.

Gay Girls Zine Coverdehydrated hugot2maycover

UP Writers Club zines I illustrated for and will be released this year:

  1. Gay Girls, eds. Rayji de Guia and Hannah Magtoto. A gay parody of Lang Leav’s novel, Sad Girls.
  2. dehydrated hugot, eds. Franz Bangalan and Danielle Abuel. With Yuuri Katsuki partially used as inspiration
  3. The Ten Commandments for (Im)Proper Women by May Cardoso.

Get these zines at UPWC’s bi-annual small press expo, Lit UP 6, on April 21, Sagul Malingap, QC, and from UPWC ZineZone.



UP Writers Club expresses its disappointment with the recently approved motion to change the current General Education (GE) Program.

As students and writers of the University of the Philippines Diliman, Writers Club actively seeks to represent and develop voices and discourses and to explore various manifestations of writing that are possible within our country, a goal that the GE reform impedes in various ways.

As writers and critics, we stand by the belief that this GE reform discourages the development of critical thinking honed through the holistic, humanistic education that this exact program provides. It is the systematic inhibition of creative and critical faculties that we are staunchly against, for the times demand more inclusive and comprehensive ways of thinking. Rather than cutting down on educational resources, which favors specific privileged sectors at the expense of historically marginalized groups, supporting an interdisciplinary mode of study that will allow for more radical, innovative ways of confronting the issues we face in society.

The decision to reduce the number of required GE units from 45 to 21 highlights a fundamental shortsightedness in the current approach to education in the University: the gap between various academic fields that are meant to work together and the public that they are meant to serve continues to grow further. As students, we believe the move to streamline and specialize certain programs to be symptomatic of an exploitative paradigm that reduces graduates to labor commodities for the global market, ignoring their need for development that is grounded in sound principles by which to engage with the world outside the University campus.

UP Writers Club calls on all UP sectors to resist and voice out their concerns. We urge everyone to participate in the mobilizations in the coming days and work together to block the reduction of GE units. The proposed GE reform spits in the face of our ideals as UP students and threatens to overturn the tradition of honor and excellence that we take pride in.

A list of good things

I live every day struggling with Bipolar I that sometimes I have to remind myself of good things that had happened to me in the past year and things that will happen.

Last January 2016, my short story, “The Manananggal of Mayabo”, got accepted for publication. It was at a point in my life where I thought I was not good enough. Two nights ago, the anthology that accepted my aforementioned short story, Danas, was finally launched. It felt spectacular to see my name on print.


Grabbed from Rae Rival-Cosico’s FB


For this month of March 2017, my good friend Rogelio Braga published his novel, Ang Lihim ng Nakasimangot na Maskara, for which I illustrated. I also have a forthcoming short story, “Para Mi Papá”, for my organization’s semi-annual folio, The Literary Apprentice 2017.

International Conference
Last October 2016, I presented my paper, “Teenage Dream: Fantasy as a Tool for Writing Diversity in Literature for Young Adults”, at the 4th Literary Studies Conference at Universitas Sanata Dharma. For the first time, I traveled outside of Region IV, and outside the country, without parental supervision. My sister and I spent two nights at Jakarta and two nights at Jogja.


At the hotel; grabbed from my sister’s FB


Grabbed from Ai Concepcion’s FB

I remember my knees almost buckling under my nervousness on the morning before my scheduled parallel session. I went through it and managed to fit my presentation at exactly twenty minutes.

It was amazing to see a foreign place that is so familiar. Snippets of conversation sounded like Tagalog if I weren’t paying attention. If communication is particularly hard in English, we would shift to mentioning Tagalog words, as my sister did when she had been looking for t-shirt souvenirs for kids, by saying, “anak-anak.”

I was a fellow for fiction for the 1st IWPA Writers Workshop by De La Salle University last April 2016 and met good writers. It was fascinating to see how workshop was conducted by people outside my organization and my university. While “Para Mi Papá” had gone through at least three workshops from my organization, this workshop helped me revise the troublesome ending.


Grabbed from Bienvenido N. Santos’s FB

I was also accepted to be a fellow for the 1st Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio Basic Writers Workshop. Unfortunately, I had to decline, because it coincided with my conference to Indonesia, but it was nice to know I got accepted nonetheless.

UP Writers Club
A lot of my accomplishments above would not have been possible without the help and support of my organization. I improved as a person and as a writer because of the people I was surrounded with. So last year, despite my initial hesitation, I became the president for A.Y. 2016-2017.

With the other wonderful members of the executive board, we managed to celebrate our 90th anniversary, which had a staging of plays by May Cardoso (Ekphrasis), a museum exhibit on our history with Roland Maliwat as coordinator (Kwentong Katha), a soft launch of our folio, contests, etc. Very challenging, as we never did much events before, but my VPs, secretary, treasurer, and committee heads worked hard.


Ekphrasis, “Giting at Tapang”; grabbed from Anthony Kim’s FB


Ekphrasis, “Leo and Galatea”; grabbed from Anthony Kim’s FB


Kwentong Katha; grabbed from Anthony Kim’s FB


Kwentong Katha; grabbed from Anthony Kim’s FB

‘Ang Lihim ng Nakasimangot na Maskara’ ni Rogelio Braga

Hi! I illustrated the front and back covers and the insides of Rogelio Braga’s Ang Lihim ng Nakasimangot na Maskara, the first book from Si Betchay at ang Sacred Circle series. It’s young adult mystery, and their first destination is Negros. Illustrations above show Betchay, the main character, and Balay Negrense.

Pre-order your copy here from Balangiga Press.



image by Regine de Mesa, text by Gita Labrador

On its 90th year, the UP Writers Club pushes writing towards new limits. No more procrastination and no more excuses-write the poems, stories and essays you’ve always wanted to publish and be brave enough to put yourself out there!

Every month, the UP Writers Club will be holding workshops on specific genres. For the month of October, we will be focusing on poetry. If you are interested in learning about the workshop process, or are simply seeking criticism for your writing from your peers, you are very much encouraged to submit. Here are the guidelines for this month:

1. Open to both undergraduate and graduate students of the University of the Philippines, Diliman (except UPWC applicants, who will have their own set of workshops).
2. 1 – 2 poems not longer than 30 lines each or 1 long poem, for a maximum of 60 lines per submission. Maximum page count is 5 pages. Works that exceed the line or page count will not be considered. We also accept Prose-Poetry, maximum of 5 000 words or 6 pages per entry.
3. Format: Garamond, size 12, single spaced
4. Submissions must come in both .pdf and .doc or .rtf format.
5. The body of the e-mail must contain the author’s full name, year and course, contact details, and title of work.
6. Limited slots only.

You may send your inquiries and submissions to upwritersclub@gmail.com with the subject line “October Workshop”.

These workshops will be open to the public, and everybody is invited to attend and observe the workshop process. A copy of all the pieces to be workshopped will be made available in a public Facebook group.

Deadline for submission is on October 10, 2016, at 11:59pm. Applicants will be informed of their acceptance two days after the deadline. The workshop will be held on October 17, 2016 from 12nn to 5pm.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: The Literary Apprentice 2017

resistance 5

The UP Writers Club is the University of the Philippines’ finest literary organization since its inception in 1927. The organization pushes for innovation and transformation, while continuing to recognize and uphold its traditions. In line with its 90th anniversary, the UP Writers Club will be publishing the 2017 Literary Apprentice with the theme of Resistance. Works with radical content or with concepts that are currently deemed too unusual or experimental by mainstream publishers are encouraged. Submission is open to works of poetry, prose, essay, and hybrid genres. Only works in Filipino or English will be considered as we do not have the resources to edit pieces in other languages. Submissions are open to UP Writers Club alumni and members. Below are the specific guidelines for each genre.

  1. Prose
  • Maximum of 10 000 words or 15 pages per entry. Works that exceed the maximum word or page count will not be considered.
  • Format: Garamond, size 12, single spaced, justified
  1. Poetry
  • 1 – 2 poems not longer than 30 lines each or 1 long poem, for a maximum of 60 lines per submission. Maximum page count is 5 pages. Works that exceed the line or page count will not be considered.
  • We accept Prose-Poetry, maximum of 5 000 words or 6 pages per entry.
  • Format: Garamond, size 12, single spaced
  1. Essay
  • Various essay forms are welcomed: academic papers, creative non-fiction, literary or art criticism, film reviews, interdisciplinary critical papers, et cetera, exploring Southeast Asian Literature or Art and its connections or intersections with Philippine Literature or Art.
  • Maximum of 10 000 words or 15 pages per entry. Works that exceed the maximum word or page count will not be considered.
  • Format similar to prose
  • Citation style: Chicago (for artwork images in Art Criticism, Turabian citation style must be used)
  1. Hybrid Works
  • Authors must indicate in which genre they want their works to be placed. In the event that their works are accepted, the editors will work closely with the author on options on how to present their work.

Submissions must come in both .pdf and .doc or .rtf format. Indicate the title of the piece in the file name, and genre in the e-mail subject line. The body of the e-mail must contain the author’s full name, contact details, and title of work. If the author wishes to include images in their work, these must be 300 dpi and in black and white, .jpg or .png format and attached as file in the e-mail submission.

You may send your inquiries and submissions to litapp90th@gmail.com.

Deadline for submission is on 30 June 2016. Authors will be notified of their submission status within three months of the deadline.

The Literary Apprentice 2017 will be published by Balangiga Press, an independent publishing house in Manila, Philippines, founded in March 2016, that aims to promote appreciation of resistance writing, liberating reading, and engaging literature. For orders and other inquiries, please visit Balangiga Press.

“Under Her Coat”


Hi! I’m selling my very short comic for less than 1$ (PHP35) HERE at Book Grab, an online store within my sister’s travel blog, Janel Codes to Travel, which ya’ll should check out, too.

Please, also like the Facebook page of Book Grab, which has been inactive last year, but I hope to get it and this online store up and running very soon as a place to buy affordable (second-hand, so far) books and independently made literature.

  • File is downloadable up to 7 times, and the link lasts up to 15 days.
  • You have the option to pay directly through my bank account or Paypal, then the download link is sent to you.
  • Shipping, however, is for people within the Philippines only.