Award-winning novelist to hold writing workshop in Bukidnon

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 14 May) – Two-time National Commission for Culture and the Arts Writers’ Prize winner Telesforo Sungkit Jr. from the Higaonons of Malitbog, Bukidnon will hold an introductory three-day workshop on creative writing at the Bukidnon State University Ethnocultural Museum as part of the 3rd Bukidnon News Malaybalay Youth Summer Workshops.

The creative writing workshop will run from May 19 to 21 (Monday to Wednesday) along with separate workshops on Basic News Writing and Basic Photography.

The workshops are for kids aged 7 to 16, but for creative writing, Sungkit said, “even the adults are welcome to enroll”. He cited that the workshop seeks to unleash the creativity among participants in expressing their imagination through writing.

Sungkit recently launched his new book Driftwood in Dryland, an English translation of “Mga Gapnod sa Kamad-an,” an unpublished book written in Cebuano, which won for him the NCCA (National Commission for Culture and the Arts) Writers Prize in 2007 for the novel category.

“It seeks to articulate how the so-called lumads view their history as opposed to how others see them. And it also tries to show the different ways of how they engaged the different races of colonizers past and present,” he added in a note to this reporter.

Sungkit also won the NCCA 2011 Writer’s Prize for the Cebuano language novel category with his work “Agalon sa mga Balod” (Lord of the Waves). “Agalon sa mga Balod” is a story of a young Higaonon Vincenzo Makaindan and his discovery of his supernatural ability to command the waves and other bodies of water.

In 2009, Sungkit launched during the Kaamulan Festival his book “Batbat Hi Udan” (The Story of Udan), the first epic novel from Bukidnon. Written in Filipino, “Batbat Hi Udan” was described by Dr. Rey Velasco, chancellor of the University of the Philippines in Los Banos, as the Philippine version of “The Lord of the Rings.”

The novel tells the story of Udan (Binukid for “rain”), a young man, his journey to a hidden world called Lidasan beneath the Mt. Kitanglad range, and his love for Ananaw (the beloved). The setting of the character’s journey in “Batbat Hi Udan” covers the present-day towns of Lantapan, Sumilao and Impasug-ong, and the City of Malaybalay.

Sungkit is an agricultural engineering graduate from UPLB. He has put up a tutorial school in Laguna, but for six months in 2005 he wrote the first draft of Batbat. He has since based in Malitbog town, where he writes and farms at the same time. The NCCA Writers’ Prize is a biennial award given to five writers, one for each of the following categories: Poetry (Waray language), Novel (Cebuano language), Essay (Bicolano language), Short Story (Panay language) and Drama (Filipino language). Sungkit is literary and native language editor of community news agency Bukidnon News.Net.

April Rose Torion, former journalism instructor at Mindanao State University (MSU)-Marawi, will give the Basic News Writing Workshop. She is presently the training coordinator of Bukidnon News and is associate editor of its online news service. She also contributes to MindaNews.

H. Marcos C. Mordeno, editor of MindaNews and chair of MindaNews Co-op, will handle the Basic Photography workshop. Mr. Mordeno is among the featured photographers of the photo book “Mindanao into the 21st Century: A Photographic Journey,” published by MindaNews in 2011.

The courses are offered with subsidized fee of P200 only per participant per workshop to cover portions of the expenses. Final enrolment is set on May 18, 1-3 p.m. at the Bukidnon News office in DXDB-AM beside the San Isidro Cathedral, Malaybalay City.

The 3rd Bukidnon News Malaybalay Youth Summer Workshops is a special project of the Bukidnon News committee on community education in cooperation with MindaNews, BSU Ethnocultural Museum, Metrobank Malaybalay, Print All Station, and other partners.