This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.
Cupful of Anger,
Bottle Full of Smoke:
The Stories of
Jose V. Montebon Jr.
Silliman Writers Series, 2017
First Sight of Snow
and Other Stories
Encounters Chapbook Series
Et Al Books, 2014
Celebration: An Anthology to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Silliman University National Writers Workshop
Sands and Coral, 2011-2013
Silliman University, 2013
Handulantaw: Celebrating 50 Years of Culture and the Arts in Silliman
Tao Foundation and Silliman University Cultural Affairs Committee, 2013
Inday Goes About Her Day
Locsin Books, 2012
Beautiful Accidents: Stories
University of the Philippines Press, 2011
Old Movies and Other Stories
National Commission for Culture
and the Arts, 2006
FutureShock Prose: An Anthology of Young Writers and New Literatures
Sands and Coral, 2003
Nominated for Best Anthology
2004 National Book Awards
Dear Sir Ian,
During my last trip in Bacolod for the Negros-wide Journalists Fellowship, I was amazed to see how much the students in the University of St. La Salle are into literary works. They publish an annual literary folio, and I [found] all the [published] short stories and poetry to be not mediocre [at all] but could be considered [seriously literary]. I was also amazed when they told me that one of their past times is to do poetry reading at local cafes and coffee shops.
So when one student from St. La Salle asked me how the creative writing "culture" was here in Dumaguete, I [couldn't] answer because I really didn't know what to say. Sir, let me ask you, how is the creative writing "culture" here in Dumaguete?
I remember asking somebody in Silliman how come not many in the faculty of the English department are getting themselves involved in literary competitions, in publishing books, etc. The person was not able to answer that. This afternoon, I asked Mr. Misael Ondong [note: an English teacher in Silliman] about the creative writing culture in Dumaguete, and he told me that it was in a "drought." Mr. Niccolo Vitug [note: a poet and former English teacher in Silliman] even told me before that the Creative Writing Program in Silliman wasn't as good as it had been before.
Is the creative writing 'Golden Age' already over in Silliman? Weren't you the one who once told me that Dumaguete is a rite of passage for Filipino writers, and that there's no significant writer in the Philippines today that has no connection [of some sort] with Dumaguete? What has happened to our Silliman students? How come it has been quite some time since a Sillimanian even qualified for the Dumaguete National Writers Workshop?
Mr. Ondong told me that it is because the best student writers in Silliman right now are enrolled in Nursing, and they are busy students -- and they know they will not be pursuing a writing career in the future. I remember that the Kapunungan ng mga Mass Communicators once held a poetry reading at Sted's Locker Room during the first semester, but it flopped.
Do you think the students right now are not anymore interested in writing, or even reading? Do you think it is because the best writers on school are now in the College of Nursing and that they are all busy [to bother with] poetry readings? Or has the creative writing culture here simply diminished or has deteriorated?
I think something should be done on this, Sir.