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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

entry arrow1:01 PM | Passing the (Online) Torch

There was a time in my life when too much free time ruled much of my existence that I took on a daunting project to fill what I considered to be a void in the Internet: a portal of all things Philippine literature. That was 2001 (or 2003?), and I unleashed to the world something I called A Critical Survey of Philippine Literature. (It's now gone.) It was a popular venture, well-received, and I got all manners of writers and students who emailed to thank me for the effort. I made other related websites as well, most notably the unofficial Palanca Awards website.

It was fun, and I did it because I wanted to. Something else was propelling me to spend endless nights and days trying to keep the whole thing up-to-date, even if it meant watching the website grow into something much bigger than I had first conceived it to be. I made many friends and met so many people through that site, even to the point of becoming instrumental in some reunions between writer-friends.

Then life happened, and I got hitched, and I got deeper into work. That meant giving up all those free time tooling around the websites, and searching the Internet for all scraps of things from the Filipino literary imagination. Panitikan soon came around to continue the work I did on the main website (now with 3 million hits!), and now it looks like the Palanca Foundation has finally moved to make true its aim to have an Internet presence. I both feel happy and a little sad about all these -- happy that other people (who are better funded, and much more equipped) are finally doing something concrete to make Philippine literature more accessible to the world, and happy that I could say I had a tiny part in starting all these. But a little sad, too, because my babies are finally all grown up and leaving home to new abodes. Oh, well.

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