Wednesday, August 25, 2004



One of the most interesting words to erupt in the Filipino language is the term "jologs".

I've always wondered what it meant, exactly. Like many others, I always thought it was used in a pejorative sense - until one of my sisters proudly declared herself happily jologs (well, she said it because I was accusing her of being to "soci" for her own good, and she defended herself by claiming a commonality with the whatever jologs means).

Poet and essayist Paolo Manalo tells us what it means.

This is a well-written essay that still reads well a couple of years after it was written. Paolo's book, Jolography, collects the poems (and this essay) which garnered him the first prize Palanca Award for Poetry in 2002. He is also one of the writers featured in the upcoming Siglo: Passion, with Andrew Drilon illustrating.


I finally decided to defragment my computer, and one of the initial steps was to review all the contents and delete what I really don't want: old games, silly downloads, unused programs and other files that do nothing.

I found out that a) I am a porn packrat, and b) I have way too many bits of writing that I never finish.

While I do believe in leaving certain pieces of writing alone when I don't like what I'm writing or get bored with it or when the characters simply won't cooperate, I think there has to be a time to simply junk the junk, so to speak.

So I deleted many of them, those poor abortive efforts at something different, something new. Of course, I salvaged what I could, and saved the ones that insisted that they would work things out with me in the near future.

Among the ones I discarded was a series of stories set in Hinirang that didn't go beyond three or four paragraphs. Hinirang is a very cool setting for a lot of different tales, but the ones I begun where just so... ick - stillborn experiments with language, tone, POV and structure. I'll probably write one or two more in the setting before I walk away from the Katao and the Ispancialo.

Among the ones I saved (mostly plays) are The Butterfly Emporium (fast becoming the play I can never finish - began sometime in the last century), Interstitial, Isa Pa Para Kay Alan, and the mega-length drama version of The Lost (my sadly uncompleted comic book that didn't see issue #3). It's harder to flush down hundred-page scenes because I find dialogue more fluid to work with (therefore, their potential for revival is a tad greater).

I saved what little "poetry" I've written (note the quotation marks - because I honestly do not consider myself a poet) because they, in general, make me laugh with their mock-gravity and charmless parsing.

Among the story fragments, I've found a few that I still like and will probably continue. Most of the vignettes, I kept. These guerilla writings usually bear fruit.

So now it's just the same old step. To actually sit down and write.

It's an odd feeling, collaborating with my younger self.


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