Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sundates with the Literary Parents

This is a moment worth celebrating!

Today at our Sundate together with Palanca Hall of Fame and Father of Contemporary Hiligaynon Literature Dr. Leoncio P. Deriada, Mother John Iremil E. Teodoro told me the happy news.

His book of essays "Pagtatalak at Pagmumuni ng Sirenang nagpapanggap na Prinsesa" (Reflections and Rants of a Mermaid Pretending to be a Princess) won the National Book Award for Essays in the recently concluded National Book Awards by the Manila Critic's Circle! Read a few excerpts I quoted from the Sirena book in my past blog entry here.

If you dont know who Mother John is, hayambot na lang! Read here. Congratulations and Happy happy Birthday Iloy! You have one very proud 'daughson' here!

With us at Breakthrough Villa was Tatay Leo. It sounds very very very wrong when I call John as my Literary Mom and Dr. Leo as my Literary Tatay! The image is just so so so wrong! I know I should be calling Doc Leo as Lolo, but I don't see him that geriatric yet, so leave it be! They're my Mom and Tatay but nowhere near co-procreators producing moi.

As usual, Tatay Leo was his effervescent self. Aside from spewings about some so-so has-been writers or rather never-been writers who think themselves the deities of the literary community, Tatay Leo was as always, a treasure trove bearer of quips and funny annecdotes. I too was chastised for holding a Capiznon spear-headed event not in Roxas City, but in Iloilo. Good thing I got away with a budgetary constraints explanation. Since almost all of the invited panelists where from Iloilo, it was wiser, cheaper and more practical to hold the event in Iloilo instead.

The hours stretched and the conversations flowed from here to eternity. What else would be a topic most sure to surface but Hiligaynon Literary pride. Tatay Leo informed us that the latest Man Asia Literary Price Winner Miguel "Chuck" Syjuco is actually the son of then Congressman Agusto "Buboy" Syjuco and Congresswoman Judy Syjuco! Therefore, he too, is Ilonggo! Such are happy times for Hiligaynon Literature and Ilonggo Writers!

It was a most pleasant Sundate that left my stomach, my brain and my soul satiated! But of course! Thats what happens when you go to lunch with Literary Greats. When Mother John went to the restroom, Tatay Leo asked me "So, how are you? Is the "aswang" still in search for his mortal muse?" To which I replied. "Hay nako, Tatay, I think I will just marry my poems and my stories!" He then said, "No, they can't love you back. They have lives of their own, and they are for the public, not for you. While being alone is good for writers, no one should be left alone for a very long time. It is great to have someone who'd bring out the poetry of your soul." I took a long drag on my cigarette, puffed and sighed. Mercifully, Mother John came back to the table with a bitchy comment on how, in this restaurant, the restrooms are located in the next barrio.

Am I alone for a long time already? Weeeell... and as if to answer my question, my phone sounded off a text alarm.

The message sender was asking where I was and what was I doing on a fine Sunny Sunday.

It was from Vertical Horizon.

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