Congratulations and best wishes to the new officers of the Baguio Writers Group (BWG) that has opened itself to wider membership to infuse it with new and creative (read: out-of-the-box) ideas. All towards strengthening writing in this northern region and keeping its reputation as a voice in the Baguio and by extension the national community. Hip hip hooray to new BWG president Jenny Cariño who presided at the general assembly at another Baguio institution, Mandarin Restaurant on Session Road.
Thank you, Frank Cimatu, for graciously hosting a merienda of pancit bihon (with extra pechay toppings, as per his instruction to the waitress), lumpiang Shanghai and a round of drinks.
A spread like that is conducive to the concoction of plans. Among these are reviving the Kulitan workshop (these are bi-monthly manuscript clinics fueled by coffee for the critique-ing of works in progress by the literature profs and literary critics in the group), young adult writing workshops (open to 12 to 16 year old kids, one is coming up May 24-25 at the Frangeli House on Bakakeng road), a spoken word workshop that'll train young poets to perform and pit themselves in the Third Monday from the Sun readings/performances at Mt Cloud Bookshop (Jenny is worthy resource person for this activity), an online and refereed literary journal, among others.
We started the meeting with one large round table. As Saturday afternoon wore on, Luchie Maranan exhorted us to "let's volt in." It meant connecting two additional round tables but still it was standing room only!
What excites me about the enlarged composition of BWG is the variety of experiences, knowledge and skills that the new members are bringing in. Some of them come from civil society (human rights and indigenous people's orgs), others from the worlds of visual arts (steeped in art and comic-book writing) and local journalism. There is one who writes for an evangelical magazine as she is a theology teacher. We didn't limit ourselves to purely creative or literary writers.
Shall we sing "Happy Days Are Here Again" or "Ain't No Mountain High" to Jenny, Junley Lazaga (vice president), Scott Saboy (secretary), Merci Javier Dulawan (treasurer)?