Names from my WIP

For those of you who have been following me for a while, you would know that my current WIP (tentatively titled The Malicious Wind, by the way) is inspired largely by precolonial Filipino culture. However, the setting isn’t exactly precolonial Philippines, just something more or less based on it. So the names I’ve chosen are also based on Filipino words, but with some letters altered.

Names based on Tagalog words

There are two groups in my story that are derivatives of the Tagalog peoples: the Katamans and the Dayungans. In the story, they are in conflict with each other, which is why I chose to base them on the same group. Otherwise, I think I would be drawing inappropriate or inapplicable parallels where the conflict is concerned.

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August 2018 Books

And it’s time for my monthly reading recap! I’m proud to say I actually did well this August. At the beginning of the month, I was 4 books behind my Goodreads Reading challenge, and now I’m one book ahead. To be fair, two of these “books” were comic volumes, but hey, I needed the boost.

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To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

Aaand, starting us off, we have a sci-fi classic! To Say Nothing of the Dog is about a bunch of historians who time-travel, and find themselves pulling forward into the future an member of an extinct species: a cat! And before this destroys the time-space continuum, Ned Henry and Verity Kindle must return the  cat and fix the incongruities they’ve introduced.

This was a lot of fun! Although I found the beginning quite tedious and a little difficult to get into, once you pass the quarter mark, it gets very entertaining. And the end offers a really pleasant twist that you might not have seen coming. (Not the butler though; I saw the butler thing coming, hehe.)

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PSF11 Launch, Camp NaNoWriMo Overview, and Other Updates

This post is a month overdue, but I was too busy crunching in my word counts for Camp NaNoWriMo to write this.

Without further ado, Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol. 11 is out now!

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It’s been a long time coming. This volume has been in the works for almost 2 years, and I am so, so honoured that the piece I submitted was accepted. My short story is called The Goddess of Debt and it’s about a young woman who is unexpectedly chosen to be a human sacrifice. Yikes, I know that sounds a little morbid, but the story isn’t really about the sacrifice, as it is about the Goddess who offers her a way out, and about whether she will take it or not.

For those of you who may not be familiar with the PSF series, it is an annual anthology that celebrates speculative fiction written by Filipinos about Filipinos for anyone at all who is interested in the genre. It’s one of the few avenues out there that brings Filipino stories out to the world. The good news for you is that all the stories in the anthologies are written in English. So please support it if you can! It would mean a lot to me, whose piece is the first original fiction I’ve written that has ever been published, and to the producers of the anthology who work tirelessly year after year to serve an underserved area of fiction.

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Writing Woes: Somebody’s Getting Axed

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Well, I think I’m realizing more and more how isolating an endeavour writing can be. Considering how many times I’ve fallen into writing angst in the past several months, I think it’s safe to say that I’m far from the image of the highly energetic, happy-go-lucky writer that I imagined myself to be while working on a fun, light-hearted adventure story. Clearly, I’m not have as much fun as my characters, that’s for sure.

And it seems as if several of them won’t be having fun any longer either.

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Dilang Conflicted

I was reading DILA last night.

As a Canadian who feels as if it’s getting more and more difficult for me to continue practising my native tongue, I realized that I’ve grown afraid that one day the Tagalog language would not exist anymore. There aren’t many avenues for me to converse in it, because most Filipinos I know here (other than my parents) or on the internet either don’t want to talk in Tagalog, don’t know how to.

It’s strange, because living in Toronto where people are generally encouraged to know more than one language, I can’t help but feel so disheartened when I look at my country of origin and find that people are now becoming less and less inclined to use Filipino languages, in favour of English.

Okay, scratch that. I totally understand why they would want to do that. Filipino languages are suffering from lack of intellectualization, lack of prestige, and from continued erosion of importance in the global landscape.

I’m a proponent of the intellectualization and conservation of the languages in the Philippines. I know it might be difficult for some people to understand, since many think that language is only a means for communication. But as a writer, I know what words can do for someone. When you lose a language, you lose a way of expressing yourself, of constructing meaning from a unique cultural perspective. I can tell you right now that there are things I can express in Tagalog that English words could never fully convey.

As someone who is half Kapampangan and never learned the Pampango language, I know that my concern for Tagalog is not nearly as warranted as the concern for other Philippine languages, many of which are on the verge of extinction within the next 50 years. And I’m hoping that one day we can find a solution to this problem.

Many people in DILA propose that the official and national status of the Filipino language should be removed. Most of them suggest that we should just keep English as the official language, and that each ethnolinguistic region in the Philippines should just use their indigenous tongue.

Here’s where I feel really conflicted though. While I do support the usage and promotion of regional languages, I’m not sure if that goal is congruent or could even be achieved with an English-only official language. I feel that English, being a dominant global vernacular, has a penchant for relegating any of the Filipino languages to an inferior status. There are Filipinos right now raised in the country itself who can only speak English. If the official status of Filipino/Tagalog can’t even compete with that now, what difference would it make for other regional languages if Filipino/Tagalog’s official status is removed? Wouldn’t people inevitably still choose to learn English instead?

And… I think what saddens me most is how a lot of Filipinos would prefer to use English than use my native tongue. I know imperialistic Manila has not been fair. And I know that there are points in history that it had just been downright cruel. I’m not denying any of that. But I wonder why it is that people are more accepting of a foreign language than a fellow language indigenous to the islands of the country? Is it still colonial mentality? Is it that we just see English as superior to any of our fellow indigenous languages?

I know that using English as the sole official language would be the fairest solution. It’s fair because every Filipino language loses equally, and hence every Filipino language wins equally. But… isn’t that just a form of crab mentality? Is it really better if we’re all in the ditch rather than have one of us climb up?

Don’t get me wrong, I do think that the Manila-centric culture of the Philippines is very problematic right now. And I wish we can find a solution. I’m just trying to convey my concerns about the proposal of having English as the only official language. And maybe my concerns are misplaced, you know? Maybe with the right nurturing and grassroots movement, regional languages might actually flourish under this kind of policy. I guess I just need some reassurance that that would really happen, instead of English ending up scything over all of our languages in its buoyed prominence.

Anyway, this post is not meant to be antagonistic or challenging. It’s not meant to propose a solution, nor bash anyone who’s proposed a solution before. A lot of these feelings come from a singular perspective and experience, of course. I understand there’s a lot of things I probably don’t know. This is just a way for me to put words to my unease. But like I said, who knows? Maybe I’m worried for nothing. Maybe that’s really the way to go.

Filipino Tech Words?

In our generation, many people,especially teenagers,are not aware of some uncommon words in Filipino.That’s because of modern technologies and stuff.Today,Im gonna show you the 10 uncommonly used Filipino Words with meanings and correct usage in a sentence.So get your vocabularies up and read attentively. 1.Haynayan (Biology) -A branch of Science that deals with life. Example […]

via Ten Uncommonly Used Filipino Words — Site Title


I never knew! What a shame!