Mga Asoy sa Tinta: Message

(One of the possible requirements I offer to my students in NORSU is to come up with a folio of literary works by the students themselves. It gives them hands on experience not only with coming up with a folio but with the feeling of getting published as well. Section C, the only section that decided to go for the folio, will release their final output tomorrow. It will be entitled Mga Asoy sa Tinta, “the speeches of the ink,” and is being edited by Liza Ragusta, Roniko Ho, Philbert Villarin, Aileen Salvoro, Joanna Marie Reyes, and Karen Pastolero. 

Below is my message in Cebuano, which appears in the beginning of the folio, with a translation. I will share a pdf version of the whole folio here when I get a copy of it.)

Ang katitikan daw mahika.

Sa pamaagi sa metapora ang butang mahimong usbon, ang mga bidlisiw kuntahay nga mulapos sa kadahonan mahimong panganod sa kalangitang kalandong. Sa pamaagi sa sugilanon, ang mga katinuoran sa mga gimugna lamang nga higayon mahimong mas matinud-anon pa sa tinuod, ang mga kahimtang sa gimugnang tawo-tawo mahimong kahimtang sa tanang katawhan. Mahimong pahilumon, pamaagi sa pagsaysay, ang mga nanagsilangas nga yawa nga namugad sa kabubut-on: kasakit sa kaagi, kagidlay sa kasamtangang kahimtang, kahadlok sa walay kasiguroang umaabot. Ug unsang lamat ang mabuhat sa entablado pamaagi sa mga dula!

Kining koleksyon sa mga balak, sugilanon, gumalaysay, ug dula sa nagkandalain-laing pinulongan panginahanglanon lamang sa mga estudyanteng manunulat sa ilang klase sa Katitikang Pilipino (Philippine Literature) sa NORSU. Apan kani lang dagway ang panginahanglanon kon diin kinahanglan nilang mu-salamangka, mamalbal, mugayuma, mamarang. Kinahanglan nilang ipadayag ilang gugma, kasadya, kalagot, kabuang. Ug kini kinahanglan nilang ihalad kaninyong mga mambabasa nga may alampat.

Bitaw, gamay ra nga panimayod, apan ang gagmayng butang, kon dili angay pangandakan, angay palamboon. Bisag gamay, naay ikadungag kining koleksyon sa musuguray pa lamang nga katitikan sa NORSU, ug sa halos hawan nga katitikang Negrense sa Binisaya.

Pangagdahon ko kamo nga mubasa ug muapil sa mga estudyanteng manunulat sa kahumanan sa ilang pagpanaw sa malamatnong, masulagmaong dalan nga mao ang katitikang Pilipino. Apil sa ila og katawa, og hilak, og saulog, samtang ilang paasoyon ang tinta sa ilang mga matag-usang handurawan.

Literature is like magic.

With metaphors, things can be transformed: sunlight, for instance, that streams through canopies become clouds in the sky of shade. Through tales the truths in imagined situations become more real than actual events, the conceived predicaments of fictitious characters become the predicaments of all mankind. Demons spawning in the depths of one’s being can be silenced by finally putting them to word: painful pasts, precocious presents, uncertain futures.  And what sorcery can be conjured on stage with plays!

This collection of poems, stories, essays, and plays in different languages is just a requirement of the student writers in their Philippine Literature class in NORSU. And yet this may well be the only requirement they will make whereon they will be required to do magic, to enchant, to bewitch, to curse. They must display their love, their joy, their hatred, their madness, and they must all display this creatively. 

Yes, it’s a small endeavor, but while small things ought not be over-glorified they ought to be encouraged. Even if it be marginal, this folio has something to add both to the still emerging literary scene of NORSU and to the almost barren literature of Negros in Cebuano. 

I invite you to read and join the student writers in the culmination of their journey down the enchanting, bewitching road that is Philippine Literature.  Join them in their laughter, tears, and reflection as they make the inks of their own imaginations talk before you. 

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