Saturday, February 09, 2008

ateneo heights and high school

These past two week have seen me over Ateneo twice, both times to talk about Speculative Fiction.

The first was at the invitation of the Ateneo Heights and I was accompanied by Kyu (of Philippine Genre Stories fame). The talk was fun and open and I think I said most of what I wanted to say about spec fic (at least for one session - people who know me know that I have quite a bit to say on the matter). It was a wonderful intelligent audience (and quite a friendly one - I was especially happy to note multi-awarded playwright Glenn Mas, the best dramatist of my generation as far as I'm concerned). After the talk, I signed books and answered some more questions.

The next week I was at Ateneo High School, speaking in front of an English class - once again a wonderfully intelligent and insightful audience (can the old La Salle boy in actually have praised Ateneo folk twice in one post? But it's all true). At the invitation of Enzo Dayrit and his beautifully named partner Francis Dean, I talked about fantasy, horror, scifi and magic realism and encouraged the young men to write fiction that engaged them, stories that matter to them. They have a writing assignment - and guess what? It's speculative fiction! I said I'd publish the best and so my toes are crossed.

Talking to young people about something I'm passionate about is really rewarding. I hope to influence even just a handful, even just one person, to pick up the pen and start writing spec fic and contribute to the growing literature of the fantastic in the Philippines.

Earlier, that was what Kyu and I were talking about. Change cannot come overnight. It will be long and gradual process. Even if I'm not there when things are as we dream, I'm more than happy to help out in my small way, as much as one man with a loud voice can do, haha.

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