JULY 24: My Nalo Hopkinson Writing Prompt appears in Bookbed. READ IT HERE
What I Write
Liksi and Gilas nodded at passersby that noticed the newcomers to town. They nodded back, Liksi smiled and she elbowed Gilas to do the same. When they passed four fisherfolk sharing a small jug of sweet coconut sap wine, the exchange turned into an invitation. “Have a drink, eat some abnoy.”
It sounded pleasant enough except that it was a challenge. Abnoy was a savory cake made from chopped onions and rotten duck eggs. One man, sunburnt and wiry, started a soliranin. “Tatlong gabi na sa lawà…” (Been staying in the fishpens for three nights)
The second man, just as sunburnt but much younger, maybe just a few years older than Gilas and Liksi, continued the romantic rhyme, “Nang magbantay ng payimpin…” (To stand guard over fish pens.”
The broad-shouldered and ropey armed woman in their group continued with the ironic turn. “Ngunit ang kaba’t galimgim:” (But my fear and homesickness)
They turned to Liksi and Gilas to finish the rhyme. Liksi replied. “Nasa bahay ang buwayá.” (That the crocodile is at home.)
The four locals feigned a sigh of remorse as Liksi lost that game. The man who did not participate in the rhyme handed Liksi a wedge of abnoy dipped in vinegar and chili. He poured her a small cup of lambanog to wash down the rotten egg.
Liksi put the small piece of abnoy in her mouth and chewed. She swallowed and immediately drank the lambanog to keep the stink out of her nose.
“That was a really nice image.” The fisherwoman gestured to be poured a drink.
‘Too bad buwaya doesn’t rhyme with lawa.” The starter of the poem asked for drink too. The fourth among them, the tagatagay filled their cups up and they raised their cup to toast a victory over the newcomers.
The young man among them poured himself a drink. “How would you have ended it?”
The wiry one hummed in introspection. “ Nasa bahay ang maysala?” (The sinner is at home)
“That’s terrible! It doesn’t have a solid image like hers does!” The tagatagay laughed and chided.
“At least it rhymes.” The wiry one humphed.
“How about… Ang buwaya’y gumagalà?! (The crocodile roams!)” The woman said.
The other three cheered her on.
Gilas raised a finger. “Binuwaya ang palanggà.” (The beloved has been taken by a crocodile.)
All four of the locals oohed and aaahed. The wiry one said, “That is definitely better.”
“An improvement, I admit.” The woman nodded.
Liksi then pointed at herself them Gilas. ‘I am Liksi and this is Gilas, our master just got into town yesterday.”
The tagatagay volunteered their names without gesturing to whom which name belonged to. “Dipabinin, Samot, Golo, and Payapa.”
Instead each one raised a hand as their name was mentioned to claim ownership, the wiry one, the woman, the youth and the tagatagay. They voices weaved into each other. “Welcome, welcome, nice to meet you.”
Gilas threw a knowing smile at Liksi, she intentionally lost that game to build rapport.
|What I Write||
Last 2018, I won the Scholastic Asian Book Award for Wing of the Locust. It is coming out this October 2020. It is about a young homely slave boy who aspires to escape the drudgery of his existence by learning to control insects in an agricultural society based on pre-Hispanic Philippines. Young adult fantasy with post-colonial/decolonial intent. You can read a a character sketch of a Tagalog Anito I wrote for Eternal Haunted Summer in WEBSITE. Every now and then, the contents of WHAT I WRITE will change to reflect what I have written to advance the story.
I do dabble in shorter fiction, realist, horror and sci-fi.
Eternal Haunted Summer |
Lit Love: Loveyourself Inc. | http://www.loveyourself.ph/2020/05/lit-love-feb-fair-death-traps-zombie.html | 2019
The Best Asian Short Stories | Kitaab Int. PTE. LTD | 2019
Philippines Graphic | https://philippinesgraphic.net/2019/10/20/dalang-hati-luwal-hati/ |Philippine Daily Inquirer | October 13, 2019
OMBAK Vol. One | http://ombak.org/issue | Ombak Press | 2018
Fantasy: Filipino Fiction for young adults | UP Press | 2018
Philippines Graphic | Philippine Daily Inquirer | march 6, 2017
Sustaining the archipelago | ust press | 2017
ANI 39 | Cultural Center of the Philippines | 2016
Liwayway | Manila Bulletin | February 29, 2016
My Write-a-thon Goals
I am trying to write a sequel to Wing of the Locust. I am going to write 3 to 4 chapters, each chapter about 3000 to 4000 words each. To do this, I am going to write about 500 words a day.
$(any) – I will tweet my thanks with a mention of your twitter handle
$20 – I will name a major character after you by searching for its etymological root and translating that to Filipino/Tagalog
$50 – I will read one of your stories and I will provide constructive feedback of at least 150 words
Any amount gives you access to my WIP as a commenter! You might affect the outcome of this story! If you insult my WIP, I might even kill you in fiction(REDSHIRT! A possibility we must both agree on)!
100$ or more I will DM/GM you a game of Dungeons & Dragons or Dungeonworld via Discord.