rayji de guia

A lady from Maragondon.

Month: March, 2017



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