Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dear Reader: A Belated Introduction

Hi, Reader. I came upon blogging as a gate-crasher into a party. I arrived without an introduction. It was 2005, about a month or so before Davao Today came out with its maiden issue on the “Rise and Rise of Rodrigo Duterte;” six months before a memorable summer spent in a riverside kampung in Malaysia for the Seapa journalism fellowship, three years before rooming with Prateesh for the on campus sessions of our MA in Journalism programme at the Asian Center for Journalism in Manila, two years before our rented "home" in Matina disintegrated and crumbled to pieces, three years before it could rise again in another part of the city threatening to crumble once more; four years before I met a striking Mansaka woman who gave me a plant which horticulturists and culinary experts would actually identify as chives, four years before the tumultuous time when I would alternately scale skyscrapers and the most dangerous mountains in Mindanao for the editing of an 11-chapter-book on the Lumads, secretly crying on the road while listening to Louise Erdrich read and discuss with Debrah Wickenden Lorrie Moore’s “Dance in America,” and sobbing, to the consternation of other passengers in a bus I was riding. Sobbing because Louise Erdrich’s voice was so good and melodious, and I was so damned tired, body and soul!
I brought these up to describe the particular time that the blog was born.
This blog is not a journalism blog, as you might have felt for a long time now. “Are journalists ought to blog?” used to fuel a fiery debate inside Prof. C.H.’s class in journalism ethics at ADMU, with Bryant espousing the strong “no,” Bryant getting stronger in his "no" as more people talked, while I defended “yes,” not because I did not support the hard stance on journalists’ code of ethics, but because I was arguing not as a journalist but as someone else.
Blogging has democratized the telling of the story; and I am not going to give that up too easily.
My blog had nothing to do with journalism. It was borne out of my desperation to write fiction. In one of the national writers’ workshops, I overheard the writer Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo telling another member of the panel: “But we, writers of fiction are supposed to be the best judge of characters,” she said. “We study characters in every story we write. The success of our stories depends on how we know our characters.”
That might not be the exact way she said it. But I’ve been thinking of it ever since.
When I opened this blog, I meant it to be a study of characters, I meant it to be an experiment. I hope you don’t feel cheated, once you read this. This blog has no other goals but to stoke the fires of Fiction.
And just like other fires, it is meant only to be discovered. Thanks for discovering it, Dear Reader.


sheilfa said...

lamia sa hagdan uy. naglaway na pud ko.

pratul said...

i miss you!

Dava Maguinda said...

how are you, prateesh, i miss you, too!