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Posts tagged ‘GENEVIEVE ASENJO’

13
May

Islas de Higantes: A Taste of Wasay-Wasay & The Lesson of The Lagoon

We made it to Cabugao Gamay!

Islas de Higantes! There are available versions online of the legend of Islas de Higantes that you can read. For the version of our tour guides, this is the one-sentence summary: There was once a giant who stole cabugao fruits from Negros and when chased and caught he dropped them and these became this group of islands now called Islas de Higantes. It is also known as Higantes Islands, or simply Higantes, in the town of Carles in the northernmost part of Iloilo.

My sister and I first visited this early May. It was an hour of banca ride from Sicogon Island, from Balay Kogon where we stayed. It was a day-tour of four islands: the most Instagrammed  Cabugao Gamay Island,Bantigue Island for its sandbar, Antonia Island for snorkeling and swimming and lunch, and the Tangke Salwater Lagoon.

Cabugao Gamay Island: “Cabugao” is a variety of native pomelo, though I have not seen it there either as a tree or as a fruit sold in stalls. “Gamay” means “small” in both Kinaray-a and Hiligaynon, two major Visayan languages in Panay region. Obviously, there’s Cabugao Daku, or the bigger island nearby. It was not included in our itinerary. This means Cabugao Gamay is more special: look at this view:

Cabugao Gamay

We were also welcomed by baskets of Wasay-Wasay, a variety of shell shaped like an axe, thus its local name. This was my first encounter with Wasay-Wasay, and I loved it! Nanam, tasty and meaty.We had a basket for P200.00. We finished it, to full satisfaction and amazement, without getting sick!

Wasay-Wasay

Antonia Island fascinated me: How did it become Antonia? No one was able to tell me. It has a wide powdery-white beach and big rock formations.

Antonia Island

We had fair weather: look at the sea reflecting the sky, look at the coconut trees!

Antonia Island, Carles

There is a designated snorkeling and swimming area.There are sari-sari stores and carinderias here for lunch. You can also bring your baon or picnic spread with family and friends. As for us, we had another basket of Wasay-Wasay, and scallops equally abundant here. And grilled squid and fish shared by our two newfound friends.

Wasay-Wasay sa Higantes

Grilled Squid

“Tangke” means “tank.” I will remember the Tangke Saltwater Lagoon for my fear to swim in it, in contrast to my sister’s boldness and courage. I was enchanted that it is a lagoon, that it has towering heights of rocks with depths that I cannot measure from its greenish and bluish waters. Its beauty terrified me. My swimming pool lessons did not prepare me for it. I saved myself from cowardice by climbing a side of rocks encasing it.

Si Pangga sa Tangke

 

This encounter strengthened my resolve to get to know more about water: befriend it, have a constant relationship with it through swimming, to conquer my fear and to be able to enjoy more of our seas, rivers, lakes and lagoons.

26
Apr

Mabuhay ang mga Manunulat! Mabuhay ang mga Mambabasa! Mabuhay ang mga Pabliser! Sa (Author)ities: 9th Philippine International Literary Festival

Mabuhay din sa National Book Development Board (NBDB) sa pamumuno ni Ma’am Neni Sta.Romana-Cruz at sa kanyang staff, partikular kina Debbie Nieto, Juan Martin Guasch, at Hazel Sadian : sa unang pagkakataon sa aking kaalaman, nagkaroon ng open call para sa mga panel presentation sa dalawang araw na festival nitong Abril 19-20, 2018. Nagsumite kami, ang Taftique,Inc., grupo ng mga manunulat na kinabibilangan ko simula 2015 na binubuo ng mga faculty at graduate student ng De La Salle University, Manila. Nagpresenta kami sa hapon ng unang araw sa Main Theater Lobby ng CCP sa panel na “Essays on Place and Novels-in-Progress.” Nagbasa kami ng sipi ng aming mga akda: si Vijae Alquisola, ang kanyang “Mahiwagang Balutan, Kalabaw at Pag-uwi sa Yutang Kabilin”; si Adrian Ho, ang kanyang “Of Cities and Selves”; si Clarissa Militante, ang kanyang “State of Happiness”; si Joyce Roque, ang kanyang “How to Ride a Train to Ulaanbaatar and Other Essays”; si Dowee Untivero, ang kanyang “Sisa Corner Matiyas”, at ako, ang “Hello, Ellis.” Ang multi-awarded na manunulat at filmmaker na si Kristian Cordero ang aming moderator. Sa hapon ng Abril 20, sa panel na “Writing As A Woman, Writing in Different Tongues”, kasama ko sina Ma’am Marra Lanot, ang pangunahing bisita na nobelistang Fil-Am na si Elaine Castillo, at moderator si Luna Sicat Cleto. Nagbasa ako ng sipi ng bago kong akda, isang sanaysay, ang “Ang Alam Ko sa Giyera.” Marami ang dumalo. Nakakatuwa. Mabuhay din sa Intertextual Division ng CCP sa pamumuno ng manunulat na si Bebang Wico Siy! Iba nga rin naman ang pakiramdam kapag nasa gusali ng gobyerno ang venue. Sa unang gabi, nag-launch ng 75+1 ang tinataguriang rebelde ng paglilimbag sa bansa, ang Ateneo de Naga University Press. Masayang gabi kasama ang mga kapwa manunulat, mambabasa, at taga-suporta ng panitikan, wika, sining, kultura, at edukasyon. Nagbasa ako ng tula sa Kinaray-a, ang “Pangayaw ang Tubig nga Akon Palangga” (“The Water I Love Is A Stranger”) mula sa aklat kong Sa Gihapon, Palangga, Ang Uran/Always, Beloved, The Rain na inilathala nila noong 2014. Katotohanan na, reyalidad, hindi na lamang isang posibilidad, ang patuloy na pamamayagpag ng Bikol, Kinaray-a, Hiligaynon, Sebuwano, Waray, at ang marami pang wika sa bansa sa mga publikasyon at pagtitipong katulad nito. Gayunman, hindi pa ito ang norm, hindi rin normal kundi natatangi kaya’t espesyal, kaya ang patuloy na “pag-aklas, pagbaklas, pagbagtas” sa salita ni Roland Tolentino (pamagat din ng isa niyang aklat sa kritisismo). Sa ngayon, pagbati! Hiling ko na sana sa susunod na taon, may sustento para sa mga manunulat na galing sa labas ng NCR. Ilan sa mga bagong libro na nabili ko. Mabuhay din sa mga pabliser na nagpapatuloy sa paglilimbag ng mga akdang pampanitikan! (Kuha na mga larawan ni Jayjay Avelino ang una, pangatlo, at panglima).

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