A list of good things

by Rayji

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