Monday, July 21, 2003

song of the south

When we talk about good Filipino writers, the usual Manila-centric list is easily turned upside down. There are many excellent authors in the Visayas and Mindanao “holding up half the literary sky.”

I first met Vince Groyon when Sarge Lacuesta and I attended the Silliman University Writers Workshop in Dumaguete City (Negros) way back when.

(We were all so young and burning with a dangerous zeal for writing, as if every word was a drop of blood fraught with meaning, imbedded with the secrets of the human condition. Doc Tiempo was still alive then, and with his wife, National Artist Edith Tiempo, taught us much in the few weeks that we there – sharing texts and critiques and techniques and passion. I remember the shivers I felt when my UP compatriot Maria Elena Paterno, known for her wonderful short stories for children, read her sensuous short story “Oil”.


Anyway, Sarge went on to win a couple of Palanca Awards for his fiction, dividing time between writing and managing his own ad agency - sound familiar?)

Vince now teaches at De La Salle University and won the Palanca Award for the Novel last year. His book, The Sky Over Dimas, is about Bacolod and the lives of people there. It's published and available wherever good books ought to be found.


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